Editor’s Note: A version of this story originally appeared on the author’s personal blog in 2009.
One night, during law school, I went to the gym looking for some pickup with the undergrads. I played about four games, and was ready to head home.
As I was walking off the court I saw a guy from my Law School League basketball team (Yeah, it was a law school-only intramural league. Law school is small, and the basketball talent is slim, but we managed to stockpile all the good players on one team. In three years, we lost zero games). He told me some of the guys from my law school team had an intramural game in an undergrad league starting in a few minutes, and they could use me. I was pretty tired and a bit worried about a knee injury I was just easing back from, but I gave it a shot.
We had a very good team (I was maybe the 8th best of 9 guys), but so were the undergrads. We were down 50-44 with about 45 seconds left and we started fouling. They missed their free throws and we managed to tie it up at 54. We had a decent final shot for the win, but it was no good. In overtime, we were up 3. We got hosed on a horse shit call, and then they hit a 3 to tie.
We went to double overtime, and we were down 1 with 2.8 seconds left. We called timeout, but we still had to inbound the ball full court. And then, essentially, this happened.
I’m not kidding. We (well, I was on the bench) threw it the length of the floor and somehow my teammate Chris caught it on the right wing. He took a couple dribbles toward the baseline, shot it from behind the backboard over 2 guys, and buried it, as the buzzer sounded.
The shot itself was kind of like this.
It was god damn incredible. And don’t think for one second that I didn’t run around like Thomas Hill after that Laettner shot when it happened. Well, less crying and disbelief; more whooping and mobbing. I would pay $100 to see the whole thing on video.
Post Script: Just because these commercials were awesome…
When I first wrote this story, back in 2009, my friend Senthil pointed out that as amazing as this game was it does not surpass the time I tackled a guy and ended the game with a bench clearing brawl. But that is a story for another day… -TOB
PAL: Your memory is bonkers, TOB. Are you the LeBron of your field? Can you recount trials in perfect sequence?
First the defendant told us about his usual morning. Eggs with chorizo and spinach. Cheese: Jack. Coffee – medium roast with half-and-half. Morning news – 4 tabs on the laptop: SF Chronicle, ESPN, 1-2-3 Sports!, CNN. Only after his coffee did he threaten his tenants with eviction via SMS text for the fourth time February, 2018.
A few games stand out, but I don’t remember the exact sequences. Some highlights:
- Little League: My brother and brother-in-law coached a rival to my team, and they beat us in a close one. I made the final out as my brother, leaning on years of experience pitching to me in the garage, openly instructed his star pitcher where and where not to pitch me for everyone to hear.
- A few years later, same brother and brother-in-law were now coaching my team. Jay, my in-law, kicked off his bachelor party with our game. All of his and my sister’s friends, joined by the team parents – tailgated before and during the game (apparently Roseville had very loose restriction on beer around youth sports). The fans basically partied and this youth game between Roseville and Mahtomedi served the backdrop, like a game on the tube at the bar. Game came down to the last at-bat, and I hit a walk-off single. The 50 fans (a big turnout for a 13 year-old regular season game) went bonkers. I now wonder what the Mahtomedi parents thought. Also, $5 says one of the Mahtomedi dads mosied on over to the tailgate for a cold one.
The ultimate is actually a double-header in college. We needed to sweep University of Omaha in a 4-game weekend series to make the North Central Conference tournament. Can’t remember how, but we won both games on Friday. And then Kevin Wiessner – the tall lefty with the red moon boots mentioned yesterday – hit not one, but two walk-off home runs on Saturday. First game was a walk-off grand slam. The second was a walk-off solo shot in the bottom of the 12th inning. We had an awesome kegger that night at The Moontower. Here’s the writeup about Wiessner’s heroics from UNO.
TOB: I can’t stop laughing about your brother shouting your scouting report for all to hear. But I’ve got bigger questions here. I read the link about Kevin’s two walk off dingers and I have thoughts.
One: THIS is a baseball coach.
Two, from the article:
In the first game, Nebraska-Omaha held a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning until Augustana loaded the bases with a walk, a hit batsman and a base hit. Wiessner then connected for a grand slam to give the Vikings a 7-4 victory.
Excuse me, the seventh inning? Did you guys play 7 innings? Is this beer league softball? What’s the story here?
PAL: Double-headers were 7-inning affairs in NCC play. Single games were 9 innings. Damn you, TOB.
Lockdown Dailies Overview
A distraction – I sure as hell need one. I can’t go down the pandemic wormhole every day. There are no sporting events to argue over or to celebrate. We need to do it ourselves. We’ll tentatively call in Lockdown Dailies. Don’t care how goofy the topic, and I’m asking our readers to join the conversation. We’re going to do our best to post a fun topic every day or so. We’ll see how all of this goes.
Possible topics to include (readers, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up on the socials to add your suggestions or request from the current list)
- Your process for selecting the perfect baseball glove
- What is the earliest level of baseball can coaches wear full uniform w/o ridicule?
- Sport you wished you hadn’t quit (or had quit earlier)
- Sport you never played but think you could’ve been pretty good at
- Greatest game you ever played in
- Greatest spectating memories
- Ever been ejected? Do tell.
- Worst mistake you ever made in competition
- Analyzing TOB’s LL stats from Tahoe (altitude)
- Best youth field you ever played on
- Best youth althlete you ever competed against/with (not how they turned out,but at the time)
- Cal – how do we make them not suck?
- Why Augustana should not go D1…but if they do can I claim D1 status (asking for a friend)?
Readers – Share your topics…and this story with your friends.