What sporting events in 1999 do you remember? Golf's Ryder Cup, baseball's All-Star Game, and the women's World Cup soccer tournament were some of the most compelling events of the year. Retirements and comebacks were also sprinkled throughout. The memorable moments go well beyond the space of this column, but here are my top picks:
Women win over fans
On July 10, 40 million American TV viewers and 90,185 ticketholders at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., watched the US women's soccer team defeat China 5-4 on penalty kicks in the World Cup Final. The US women got America to pay attention to the world's favorite team sport. Twenty-seven years after Title IX leveled the college playing field, women's sports are in top form.
Season of swan songs
Several top athletes from basketball to tennis said goodbye to their sports:
*Michael Jordan, winner of six NBA titles.
*Wayne Gretzky, the all-time leading scorer in NHL history.
*John Elway, the all-time winningest starting quarterback in NFL history (148-82-1) and two-time Super Bowl champion.
*Steffi Graf, ranked as the No. 1 women's tennis player in the world for a record 377 weeks.
Year of the Yankees
The New York Yankees won their third World Series in four seasons, and their 25th of the 20th century.
Up-and-coming star Venus Williams defeated her younger sister, Serena, in the Lipton final in the spring and finished the year ranked No. 3 in the world. Serena won the US open and finished No. 4.
Mark McGwire (65) and Sammy Sosa (63) became the first two players ever to hit 60 home runs in consecutive seasons.
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society