Curran: American Sports History Made on Memorial Day

It may hold true for some that we commemorate the past by acknowledging how it has impacted us in the present. It seems arduous that we would ‘celebrate’ a day like Memorial Day, knowing the sacrifices that were made. But something was able to keep our spirits high and able to unify us as a country again when it came to American sports and it continues to do so.


Let’s take a look back at some of the greatest sports moments made on Memorial Day:


May 25, 1951Willie Mayes, “the Say Hey Kid,” Hits First Major League Homerun

What proved to be the first of many, the 20-year-old Willie Mayes connected with the ball thrown by the winningest left-hander in baseball history, Warren Spahn. Mayes ended up hitting 660 career homeruns and is fifth on the all-time homerun list.


May 27, 1991- Michael Jordan Finishes Sweep of Detroit Pistons

The ‘Bad Boys’ tried all kinds of ways to stop the Bulls from advancing to the NBA Finals but Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen figured them out. The Bulls completed the four-game sweep at the Palace of Auburn Hills and they went on to defeat the Lakers in the Finals.


May 30, 1997 – Dennis Eckersley Throws No-Hitter in 1-0 Win

The Cleveland Indians defeated the California Angels backed by Eckersley’s no-hitter. He finished the game walking just one batter. It was one of fourteen no-hitters thrown for the Indians in franchise history.


Other Notable Memorial Day Sports Moments:

Venus Williams arrives on the scene as she debuts in her first Grand Slam Title.

Phillies third baseman Mike Schmidt retires after a storied 18-year career with the Phillies.

Tiger Woods becomes first repeat champion of Memorial Tournament.

Ken Griffey Junior passes Lou Gehrig to become 20th all-time homerun leader.


Each one of these moments helped to rebuild our country and bring us together on a day that we can be proud as a country. Those who fought for us are remembered on this day and these sports moments only can bring a glimpse of the reality of the sacrifices made. But in these moments, there was unity, pride, and a slight bit of understanding why our veterans fought for our freedom.