Can you imagine where sports would be without some of the greatest play-by-play announcers and their incredible sports calls? I mean, let’s be honest, those sports calls help turn that moment into a memory you remember forever. It wouldn’t be the same without the announcer.
Whether you’re watching the game on television, online, or through the radio, having a play-by-play announcer is crucial to the overall enjoyment of the game. They help paint the picture of what’s going on at any given moment of the game – without that, you’d be lost!
But every once in a while, a play-by-play announcer surprises us with one of the craziest sports calls of all-time. It usually happens during a pivotal play or incredible accomplishment that calls for an over-the-top reaction. It’s what gets the fans fired up and helps create the overall moment.
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What Are the Craziest Sports Calls of All-Time?
Throughout the history of sports broadcasting, there have been a number of play-by-play announcers that have etched their name into history as some of the greatest of all-time. They continuously ‘wow’ us with their amazing sports calls and are vital to ‘making the moment.’
Some of the most memorable play-by-play announcers of all-time include Vin Scully (baseball), Mike Emrick (hockey), Rick Jeanneret (hockey), Al Michaels (football), Pat Summerall (football), John Madden (football), Marv Albert (basketball), and Dick Enberg (various).
Now that you’ve been introduced to some of the greatest announcers of all-time, let’s take a look at some of the craziest sports calls of all-time – some of which are from those listed above. These are the sports calls that get implanted into your memory bank the moment they happen!
20. “Auburn’s gonna win the football game!” – Rod Bramblett
It was November 30, 2013 when Rod Bramblett had one of the greatest sports calls in recent history. The Auburn Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide, both with 11-1-0 records, were playing in the Iron Bowl and the game was tied 28-28 with just one second remaining in the fourth quarter.
Alabama was lining up for a 57-yard kick to win the game, a kick that ended up falling short. That’s when Adam Griffith caught the missed field goal in the endzone and returned it for a game-winning touchdown as time expired. Rod Bramblett made the moment memorable.
19. “Hello… Heisman!” – Keith Jackson
It was November 23, 1991 and the Michigan Wolverines were matched up against the Ohio State Buckeyes. It was a rivalry, but the environment was even more electric with wide receiver Desmond Howard leading the race for the Heisman Trophy – college football’s MVP award.
It was late in the first half with Michigan up 17-3. Howard was back to field a punt and ended up turning it into a 93-yard punt return for a touchdown. As he made his way into the endzone, Keith Jackson blessed us with the sports call and Howard blessed us with the Heisman pose.
18. “That ball is gonna be… outta here!” – Milo Hamilton
Hank Aaron is one of the greatest hitters of all-time and currently ranks second in MLB history with 755 career home runs, but let’s take it back to the end of the 1973 season. He ended the year with 713 career home runs – just one shy of tying Babe Ruth and two shy of the record.
On April 8, 1974, Aaron did what he waited all offseason for – broke the then-record. He hit his 715th home run during the fourth game of the season and Vin Scully was present to make the call. It was a memorable moment already, but Scully made it that much better with his call.
17. “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!” – Jack Buck
Just one month before the “Hello… Heisman!” call by Keith Jackson, we were blessed with another one of the greatest sports calls of all-time. This time it was Jack Buck calling the incredible ending to Game 6 of the 1991 World Series between the Twins and Braves.
The two teams were tied at the end of regulation and both went scoreless in the 10th inning. The Braves had the 3-2 series lead, but gave up a walk-off home run to Kirby Puckett – his third hit of the game. It sent the series to a Game 7, which the Twins won in another spectacular fashion.
16. “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.” – Vin Scully
Vin Scully is a name you’ll want to get used to as we go down this list – he’s a legend. This call came during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics. The Dodgers found themselves down 3-4 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs.
That’s when Kirk Gibson, who was left off the roster due to an injury, stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter. With a man on base, Gibson hit a walk-off home run that gave the Dodgers a 5-4 win in Game 1. They never looked back and would later win the World Series in five games.
15. “Go crazy, folks, go crazy!” – Jack Buck
Jack Buck is another name to get used to – he’s known for his amazing sports calls. This one came during Game 5 of the 1985 NLCS between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers. LA won the first two games, but the Cardinals tied the series ahead of Game 5.
The game was in the bottom of the ninth with one out when Ozzie Smith stepped up to the plate. With no one on base and the game tied 2-2, Smith went deep for a walk-off home run. It gave the Cardinals their third-straight win and they later won Game 6 to advance to the World Series.
14. “Touch ‘em all, Joe…” – Tom Cheek
We’ve got another baseball sports call, but this one isn’t from Jack Buck or Vin Scully. Instead, this one came from Tom Cheek during Game 6 of the 1993 World Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. The Blue Jays had a 3-2 series lead ahead of Game 6.
With that said, the Blue Jays were down 5-6 in the bottom of the ninth with one out and two on base. Joe Carter stepped to the plate and hit a walk-off home run, giving the Blue Jays an 8-6 win and World Series pennant. It was Carter’s first hit of the game and he made sure it counted.
13. “Maybe… Yes sir!” – Verne Lundquist
Alright, that’s enough with the baseball sports calls – let’s discuss one of the greatest golf sports calls of all-time. This one came from Verne Lundquist, who was covering the 1986 Masters Tournament. The tournament started on April 10, 1986 and concluded on April 13, 1986.
It was the year Jack Nicklaus had an incredible final nine to win his sixth Masters Tournament and became the oldest player to accomplish such. Verne Lundquist was lucky enough to call the final putt that sealed the deal for Nicklaus – one of the game’s all-time greats doing what he did best.
12. “A win for the ages…” – Jim Nantz
11 years after Jack Nicklaus’ incredible Masters win, Tiger Woods won his first ever major championship at the 1997 Masters Tournament. He was 12 shots ahead of Tom Kite, who was ironically the second place finisher behind Nicklaus in 1986. It was a dominating win for Tiger.
Despite shooting a 70 in the first round, Woods bounced back to have the best score on the second and third days of the tournament – a 66 for day two and a 65 for day three. Woods won a total of $486,000 for the win and we were all blessed with Jim Nantz and his amazing call.
11. “The band is on the field!” – Joe Starkey
Most college football fans are going to recognize this sports call – it was simply too good to leave off this list. It became known as ‘The Play’ and is still talked about to this day. It all went down on November 20, 1982 when UC Berkeley (Cal) matched up against Stanford.
Cal had the ball with no time left on the clock as they started to lateral the ball to each other – in hopes of finding a hole. That’s exactly what happened as they ran it in for a game-winning touchdown, but not before the Stanford band got in the way and almost ruined the entire play.
10. “The slipper still fits!” – Gus Johnson
Alright, we finally have a basketball call for you! This one takes us back to the 1999 March Madness Sweet Sixteen matchup between the No. 6 Florida Gators and No. 10 Gonzaga Bulldogs. Both teams were going back and forth the entire game in what was a thriller.
With less than 10 seconds left, Quentin Hall tries a game-winning floater, but it doesn’t go in. That’s when Casey Calvary came out of nowhere to tip the rebound in with just over four seconds left. Gonzaga kept their Cinderella season alive with a 73-72 win over Florida.
9. “Gets through Buckner…” – Vin Scully
Back to Vin Scully and another one of his great sports calls in the world of baseball. This one brings us back to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series between the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox. Both teams were tied 3-3 at the end of regulation, bringing the game into the 10th.
The Red Sox responded first with two runs scored in the 10th inning, giving them a comfortable 5-3 lead and three outs away from a pennant. That’s when the Mets rallied and scored three runs – capped off by this incredible call by Vin Scully due to a bad Boston defensive play.
8. “May day!” – Rick Jeanneret
Rick Jeanneret is a legendary play-by-play announcer that spent over 50 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. The 2021-22 season was his final season before retiring, capping off a legendary career that will be remembered forever – largely due to some of his best sports calls.
One of those sports calls is his ‘May Day,’ which came during Game 4 of the 1993 Division Semifinals. The game was tied 5-5 at the end of regulation, but Brad May scored the goal that gave the Sabres a sweep of the Boston Bruins. You don’t see sports calls like this anymore!
7. “A spectacular move by Michael Jordan.” – Marv Albert
We’ve had a college basketball sports call, but now let’s highlight an NBA call that will never get old. This one comes from Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers had a 1-0 series lead, but were down five points at halftime.
That’s when Michael Jordan and the Bulls started to break away. They opened up a huge lead with a 38-point third quarter and led by 20+ points late in the fourth. That’s when MJ hit his infamous switch-hands layup that led to one of the NBA’s greatest sports calls of all-time.
6. “There’s the pass to Laettner…” – Verne Lundquist
The 1992 Elite Eight was one to remember – so much that it’s regarded as one of the greatest college basketball games ever played. It was the Duke Blue Devils who were matched up with the Kentucky Wildcats – each had a shot at the Final Four, but only one would actually advance.
Duke had a five-point lead at halftime, but the Wildcats came back and brought the game to overtime. In the overtime period, Kentucky had a one-point lead with just two seconds left on the clock. A full-court heave to Christian Laettner ends well as he hits the quick fadeaway to win it.
5. “I don’t believe what I just saw!” – Jack Buck
Remember when we were talking about Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series? Well, Vin Scully’s call of the game wasn’t the only one that went down in history. At the same time, Jack Buck was calling the game on a different network as Scully.
It goes to show how two sports announcers can create two separate legendary calls on the same play. It was the perfect way to open the 1988 World Series and was a sign of what’s to come for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won the World Series after a modest five-game series.
4. “Down goes Frazier!” – Howard Cosell
We’ve mentioned football, basketball, baseball, and even hockey – but let’s turn our focus over to boxing. On January 22, 1973, George Foreman and Joe Frazier put their undefeated records at stake for the heavyweight title. Foreman was 37-0-0 and Frazier was 29-0-0 in their careers.
From the beginning, Frazier never really stood a chance as Foreman knocked him down three times in the first round. He did the same thing in the second round before the ref stopped the fight, naming Foreman the heavyweight champion. That ‘Down goes Frazier’ line never gets old!
3. “Do you believe in miracles?” – Al Michaels
You might’ve heard about the game, you might’ve heard the Al Michaels call, or you might’ve seen the movie they made about it – either way, you’ve heard about the ‘Miracle on Ice,’ as it was dubbed. It’s a sports call that could easily be No. 1 on this list, depending on who you are.
It was the game that saw the United States defeat the Soviet Union for the gold medal in ice hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics. The United States’ team was made up of college athletes, while the Soviet Union were the four-time defending gold medalists – still, Team USA prevailed.
2. “The Giants win the pennant!” – Russ Hodges
We’ve got one more baseball call for you and this one comes from Russ Hodges during a matchup between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants on October 3, 1951. Both teams were tied in the NL pennant race thanks to the Giants winning 37 of their last 44 games.
It was an incredible game that saw the Dodgers up 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth. The Giants scored one run to bring the deficit down to two and that’s when Bobby Thomson stepped up to the plate. He hit a three-run, walk-off home run with one out to give the Giants the NL pennant.
1. “Havlicek stole the ball!” – Johnny Most
To top things off, we have one final NBA call to highlight. This one comes from Johnny Most during Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Division Finals between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. With the series tied 3-3, both teams were one win away from an NBA Finals appearance.
The Celtics took a nine-point lead in the first quarter, but the 76ers took a one-point lead at half. Boston pulled away again, taking an eight-point lead into the final quarter. They were outscored by seven points in that quarter, but a late steal by John Havlicek sealed the game for Boston.
The Celtics went on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals that season as Bill Russell and company continued their dominance.
The Craziest Sports Calls Are the Best Sports Calls
For every single game, no matter the sport, there are several types of fans – the thousands that are in attendance watching live, the millions that tune in at home or work, and the ones that catch the highlights after the game. We can all agree that there’s benefits to being each fan.
One of the benefits of watching at home or at work is you get the opportunity to witness sports calls – like the ones listed above – as they happen. And when they happen, it’s something you remember forever. It’s not the same as being live at the stadium, but it’s the next best thing.
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Of course, we only went over 20 of the best sports calls of all-time. There are hundreds of sports calls that are worth mentioning here and we can go on for days about some of our favorites. Now we’d like to know – what are some of your favorite sports calls of all-time?
25 Incredible Sports Moments You May Have Missed But Should Relive Again and Again
Every year, fans bear witness to an array of incredible sports moments that inspire a new generation of talented athletes – proving that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Some might say those incredible sports moments are what make the sports world go ‘round.
From overcoming the odds to helping your opponents in the heat of the moment, some sports moments can restore your faith in humanity and give you a new perspective in life. It might sound silly to some, but sports have a much deeper impact than most people want to admit.
Sports instill hope in those that need it most. It gives people strength when times are hard, something to watch when bored, something to root for when life is going downhill, and a community of other, like-minded individuals that are ready to network – sports bring us together.
You Won’t Believe These Amazing Sports Moments
The world of sports has evolved greatly over the past 3,000 years – originally a means of preparing for war or hunting, sports are now a career to some and entertainment to others. No matter which side you fall on, incredible sports moments are something you look forward to.
You never really know what you might witness and while it’s not always something memorable, every now and then you witness something special – something you’ll one day tell your children about. It might be a big play or an act of sportsmanship – either way, it’s worth remembering.
Luckily, we have the internet and social media to help share old memories. You can scour the internet for hours and read up on the history of sports, but we’re going to save you some time and detail 25 of the most incredible sports moments to occur in recent years – let’s get started!
25. Jackie Robinson Makes MLB Debut
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson did what no other African American had done up to that point – play in a Major League Baseball game. He was signed to a minor league contract two years prior and while he didn’t record a hit in his MLB debut, he would go on to have a Hall of Fame career – which included MVP, Rookie of the Year, 1955 World Series, and seven All-Star appearances.
24. Serena Williams Wins First Grand Slam
Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players to ever grace this planet. With 23 major championships to her name, many people don’t talk about her first enough. It came at the 1999 US Open and Serena defeated Martina Hingis in two sets. It would take Serena three years to win another major, but that’s when she really started to come into her own on the court.
23. Red Sox Win 2004 World Series
The Red Sox finished the 2004 regular season with a 98-64 record – their best finish since 1978. They were three games behind the Yankees in the AL East, who they met in the ALCS after Boston swept the Anaheim Angels. The Red Sox dropped the first three games to the Yanks, but won the next four and then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series to break their 86-year championship drought.
22. Lou Gehrig Retires from Baseball
Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS in May of 1939, which prompted his abrupt retirement from baseball after 17 seasons in the MLB. The Yankees declared July 4th as ‘Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day,’ which prompted his ‘Luckiest Man’ speech.
“Fans, for the past two weeks, you’ve been reading about a bad break. Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans,” he said in his speech.
21. Tom Brady Wins Seventh Super Bowl
On February 7, 2021, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. It was Tom Brady’s seventh championship, which is more than any other player or franchise – you heard that right, franchise – in NFL history. It was also his first season with Tampa after spending 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, where he won six titles.
20. Buster Douglas Knocks Out Mike Tyson
On February 11, 1990, undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was ready to defend his honor against Buster Douglas – who was the 42:1 underdog. That didn’t matter because Douglas won anyway, knocking Tyson out in the 10th round. The knockout is still regarded as one of the greatest upsets in sports history. Tyson’s perfect record ended at 37-0.
19. 2006 Rose Bowl Ending
The 2006 Rose Bowl was one of the greatest college football games of all-time – it’s definitely worth a watch if you’re feeling nostalgic. It was between the Texas Longhorns and USC Trojans, both of which had perfect 12–0 records. The game went back and forth for four quarters, but the Longhorns eventually overcame a 38-26 deficit thanks to two rushing touchdowns by Vince Young in the final four minutes of play.
18. Buffalo Bills End 17-Year Playoff Drought
The Buffalo Bills have one of the most storied NFL franchises of all-time, but they haven’t enjoyed a lot of success. They might be a powerhouse today, but they failed to make the playoffs every year between 2000 and 2016 – finally doing so in 2017. And it was a touchdown throw by Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals that sent them there. Watch the video above for their reaction in the locker room.
17. Manchester City Wins 2012 Premier League
At the end of the 2011-12 season, Manchester City and Manchester United were tied for first place in the Premier League – all Manchester City had to do was win against the Queens Park Rangers and they would take the title. While they had an early 1-0 lead, they gave up two goals and were down 2-1 at the end of regulation. Luckily, they scored two goals in stoppage time to win the title.
16. Tiger Woods Wins His First Masters
Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers of all-time. Over the past 25+ years, he has won 15 major championships – including five Masters Tournaments. His first came in 1997 and after he nailed his final putt, he walked over and gave his father a huge hug. It was a sports moment that the golf community will remember forever as it marked the beginning of what was to come for Tiger.
15. Tiger Woods Wins His Fifth Masters
Bringing the sports moment full-circle, Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters Tournament in 2019. In what was an extremely touching moment, Woods walked over to his son and gave him a big hug after nailing his final putt – similar to the moment he shared with his father more than 20 years prior. It goes to show just how great Tiger has been throughout his entire career.
14. The Babe Calls His Shot
On October 1, 1932, Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees were matched up with the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the World Series. Video evidence confirms Babe Ruth pointed off into the distance as he stepped up to the plate. The at-bat ended with him hitting a home run, leading many to believe that he was calling his home run before hitting it. Some people are skeptical, though.
13. The Immaculate Reception
On December 23, 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders were matched up in the 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff Game. With just seconds remaining, the Steelers needed a miracle and that’s exactly what they got. Terry Bradshaw escaped the pressure and threw a pass that was broken up, but bounced directly in the hands of Franco Harris, who ran it in for a game-winning touchdown.
12. The Fight of the Century
On March 8, 1971, Muhammad Ali squared off against Joe Frazier for the WBA, WBC, and The Ring heavyweight championship in Madison Square Garden. It became known as ‘The Fight of the Century’ with Frazier walking away victorious via unanimous decision after 15 rounds. It was one of the greatest fights of all-time between two heavyweight greats – it’s worth the watch!
11. Kobe Bryant Scores 81 Points
Everyone always talks about Wilt Chamberlain and his 100-point game – which is impressive – but let’s highlight Kobe Bryant and his 81-point game – the second-most in a single game. Bryant achieved the feat on January 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors. Bryant finished with 81 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block on 28/46 shooting from the field.
10. Patriots’ Massive Comeback in Super Bowl LI
On February 5, 2017, the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons played in Super Bowl LI – it was one for the ages. The Falcons had a 28-3 lead over the Patriots halfway through the third quarter, but that’s when the tide turned. The Patriots scored 25 unanswered points to take the game to overtime before scoring a touchdown four minutes into the OT period to win.
9. The Shot Heard ‘Round the World
On October 3, 1951, the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers played a decisive Game 3 for the NL pennant. The Giants were down 4-1 at the start of the ninth inning, not wasting any time bringing the game to 4-2 with two runners on. That’s when Bobby Thomson stepped up to the plate and belted a three-run home run for the win. The Giants won the NL pennant.
8. The Rumble in the Jungle
On October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fought for the heavyweight championship. Entering the fight, Ali had a 44-2 record and Foreman had an undefeated 40-0 record. It was a great fight that went eight rounds before Ali got the deciding blow – knocking out Foreman for the first time ever. The fight became known as The Rumble in the Jungle.
7. Jesse Owens Wins Four Gold Medals
The 1936 Olympics was supposed to be the moment Adolf Hitler proved Aryan superiority by dominating the games. Unfortunately for Hitler, he didn’t plan on Jesse Owens spoiling that dream. Owens, an African American, won four gold medals – the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and long jump. He ended the 1936 Olympics as the most successful athlete.
6. Miracle On Ice
On February 22, 1980, the United States faced off against the Soviet Union in what would become one of the most iconic sports moments in American sports history – so much that it garnered its own movie. The US overcame a late 3-2 deficit and scored two goals in the final period to advance to the gold medal game – effectively ending the Soviet’s Olympic reign.
5. Cubs Win 2016 World Series
The Chicago Cubs appeared in four World Series between 1906 and 1910, winning two of them (1907 and 1908). They would appear in six more World Series between 1911 and 1945, but would lose each time. Between 1946 and 2015, they failed to make the World Series – but finally broke their curse in 2016 with a Game 7 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
4. 1988 Slam Dunk Contest
Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins first squared off in the 1985 Slam Dunk Contest, with Wilkins edging out the rookie MJ to win the title. They planned on a rematch in 1986 and 1987, but injuries prevented it from happening – until 1988. The two put together quite the performance, one that’s arguably the greatest of all-time, with MJ getting his revenge on Dominique.
3. Michael Jordan’s Flu Game
On June 11, 1997, the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz played Game 5 of the NBA Finals with the series tied at 2-2. The game is notorious for being Michael Jordan’s ‘flu game.’ He wasn’t feeling well, but decided to play anyway and dropped 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. The Bulls won the game and went on to win the series, marking MJ’s fifth championship.
2. Michael Jordan’s Last Shot
Let’s fast forward one year to the 1998 Finals, with the Chicago Bulls once again matched up against the Utah Jazz. In case his flu game the year prior wasn’t enough, Michael Jordan made a series-winning, 20-foot shot with five seconds left in the game. It marked his second three-peat and was the last shot he would take on an NBA court – what a way to end his career, huh?
1. Michael Jordan’s ‘The Shot’
And now to wrap up our list of incredible sports moments, let’s take a look at one more shot by the GOAT, Michael Jordan. It happened during a 1989 playoff game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 7, 1989. Jordan hit an iconic buzzer-beater shot to send the Bulls to the Conference semifinals. The Bulls would beat the Knicks, but lose to the Pistons in the Conference Finals.
Incredible Sports Moments Happen Every Single Day
Incredible sports moments are happening every single day and they’re being documented everywhere you look. Just a few weeks ago, we saw a coach rescue one of her swimmers from drowning during the women’s solo free event at the FINA World Aquatic Championships.
Let’s also not forget about Adonis Lattimore, a high school wrestler who was born without legs and just one finger on one of his hands. Earlier this year, he won the state championship in Virginia after boasting a 32-7 record on the season. It sure was an incredible sports moment.
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And it won’t be the last – like we said, incredible sports moments happen every single day. The problem is they don’t always get the media attention they deserve, but don’t panic. We’ll continue to spread the word and ensure these amazing sports moments don’t go unnoticed.
At The Buzzer, or ATB is the place for those who love sports, life, family, community, and so much more. We are far from the run-of-the-mill 24/7 sports news websites. We not only bring you what’s happening in the world of sports in terms of trades and breaking news, but we also bring you the news that goes on behind the scenes, like big life moments, and so much more. So take a minute and read one of our articles, we promise you won't regret it.