10 Heartbreaking Moments in Sports History

Sports are not just games. For most, they go much deeper. Something as simple as a father throwing a baseball or kicking a soccer ball with their child has been a great bonding moment passed down for several generations. It will continue to be passed down for as long as we can imagine.

There are emotions tied to sports that go much deeper than what the surface shows. It is not simply just throwing or kicking a ball. There is an intangible, unmeasurable factor that takes it so much deeper than that. A sport is certainly not “just a game”, and anyone who knows sports will agree. To showcase this point, here are ten moments in sports that show the profound impact it carries.

1. Prince Fielder’s retirement press conference

Prince Fielder had been told by doctors that he could no longer play baseball after he underwent a second cervical neck fusion in two years. He didn’t want to leave the game, but his life was at risk if he returned to the diamond. He voiced this in an emotional press conference in 2016. Technically, he didn’t retire at this press conference though. His team, the Texas Rangers, kept him on the roster for an additional year so he could receive some disability payments.

2. Marquise Goodwin’s Touchdown for his lost son

Just hours before a 2017 game against the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin lost his future son because of pregnancy complications with his wife. He did not want to play, but his wife forced him to go. Seven minutes into the second quarter of the game, Goodwin caught a huge 80+ yard touchdown pass. He collapsed and broke into tears in the endzone immediately after. His score lead the 49ers to their first win of the season.

3. Dee Gordon’s homerun in honor of Jose Fernandez

Dee Gordon was the first player to go up to bat for the Marlins after their star player, Jose Fernandez, had tragically died in a boating accident the day before. He hit a homerun for his best friend in that very moment. He wept as he rounded the bases. Out of Dee Gordon’s 326 at-bats in 2016, the one after Jose Fernandez’s death was the only one that resulted in a homerun.

4. Derek Redmond’s father helps him across the finish line

In the 1992 Summer Olympics Derek Redmond’s dreams abruptly came crashing down. He tore his hamstring in the 400 M sprints, and was noticeably upset. His father, Jim, came to the rescue though. He helped his son limp across the rest of the track past the finish line, so he would at least finish the race.

5. Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man on the face of the earth” speech

You may have heard of Lou Gehrig’s Disease before. That name comes from the wide popularity of his 1939 speech. In front of a packed Yankee Stadium crowd, Gehrig assures his fans that they have no reason to feel bad for him. He essentially said that playing alongside his Yankees teammates over the years was enough to make him the luckiest man on earth – despite being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

6. Wilmer Flores hearing he was traded in the middle of a game

In the age of social media, words of a trade spread quickly. No one knows this better than Wilmer Flores. The young New York Mets’ shortstop had been with the organization since he was 16, and in 2015 he had been handed the news that he was being traded away. Flores was heartbroken and in tears while on the field. It later came out that the trade was just a rumor.

7. Jim Valvano’s “never give up” speech

College basketball coach, Jim Valvano, had been diagnosed with cancer before his appearance at the ESPYs. Somehow during his speech, he managed to keep everyone laughing and not have a single person feeling sorry for him. Everyone just admired a great man and took in how much he would be missed. This speech lead to the announcement of the Jimmy V Foundation’s creation.

8. Steve Bartman’s life ruined

The Cubs’ infamous World Series drought had them hungry for a championship for over 100 years. A few times, they were close to breaking the streak. One of those times, a chance at a World Series ring was potentially thwarted by a fan – Steve Bartman. He grabbed for a ball that could have been caught by the left fielder. If the Cubs had recorded that out, they would’ve gotten out of an inning that ultimately ended up going awry. Bartman had food and drinks thrown at him and was blamed for the Cubs’ playoff loss. He received multiple threats and has actually gone into hiding since the incident.

9. Entire crowd sings the National Anthem after Boston Bombing

After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the city of Boston was brought together. Everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, age, or whatever – became one. They were all Bostonians, and they were all Americans. At a Bruins’ hockey game, the crowd joined in so triumphantly in the singing of the National Anthem that the singer actually stopped and handed the microphone over to the crowd.

10. Peyton Manning leaves Indianapolis

Legendary quarterback, Peyton Manning, had a desire to keep playing football. The Indianapolis Colts, his team for almost 15 years, had no desire to keep him. In a 2012 press conference, Manning announced to the world that the team he had shown so much loyalty to, no longer wanted him. In a tear-filled interview he graciously thanked everyone, and expressed his hopes to find another home in the NFL.

Well, there’s our list. Now wipe your tears, blow your nose, and get back to practice! As these ten guys will tell you – the show must go on. And don’t forget to share your progress despite any adversity on Sportamix!

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