The Sporting Moments That Define San Francisco

World Champs
World Champs | © GPS/Flickr
Deanna Morgado

The history of sport can go as far back as a millenia. As for San Francisco, California, sports may not have been around for that long in comparison, but that doesn’t mean San Francisco fans are any less passionate and proud. The Giants and 49ers, golf, amazing plays, and mind-blowing events all make up the city’s history. Here are just some of the significant sporting events, moments, and feats that define San Francisco.

Att IPhone San Francisco

1946 – The SF 49ers Are Bought

The first ever professional sports team is brought, not only to San Francisco, but the whole Bay Area. Trucking executive Tony Morabito brings in the 49ers starting as charter members of the All-American Football Conference.

January 31, 1988 – Joe Montana Wins Super Bowl For 49ers

During a supposedly “lackluster” Super Bowl match between the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals, SF Quarterback Joe Montana did something people have been, and will continue talking about for years. With 34 seconds left in the game, Montana throws an amazing 10-yard pass to beat the Bengals in Super Bowl XXII with a 20-16 victory.


November 1, 2010 – San Francisco Wins World Series

The Giants win the 2010 World Series. It was the city’s beloved baseball team’s first World Series win since 1954. And of course a crazy celebration parade ensued with one million people in attendance.

Two Years Later, Another Win

Two years later, on October 28, 2012, the San Francisco Giants are at it again with another World Series win. The team won the best-of-seven playoff in an amazing four-game sweep over the Detroit Tigers.

…And Another

Sensing a theme here? With what seemed to be a two-year pattern, on October 29, 2014, the San Francisco Giants win another World Series in 2014, their third in four years.

World Champs

October 17, 1989 – Earthquake Shakes World Series

Although this isn’t technically a sporting moment, the strike of the 1989 earthquake will always be remembered in sports history. During game three of the World Series at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, thousands of fans were already in the stadium when the quake occurred. The earthquake measured 6.9 magnitude.

June 13, 2012 – Pitch Perfect

Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitched a perfect game, meaning no opposing batters reached first base. This was the 22nd perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the first in Giants’ franchise history.

America’s Cup

September 25, 2013 – America Sails To Victory

During the 2013 America’s Cup, an international sailing race, Oracle Team USA, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club, wins the last eight races on the San Francisco Bay. The challenging team was Emirates Team New Zealand representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Oracle Team USA once again win the oldest trophy in international sport.

June 16-19, 1955 – Underdog Takes Golf Title

Jack Fleck stuns the golfing world in 1955 by beating Ben Hogan in a playoff for the US Open title at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Ben Hogan was about to win the tournament for a record fifth time, when little-known Fleck swooped in with a dramatic Saturday finish to tie Hogan, before a 69 in the Sunday playoff to Hogan’s 72. It was one of the biggest upsets in golf history.

Billie Jean King

1974 – A Win For Women In Sports

It’s an exciting time to be a woman involved in the male-dominated world of sports. The Women’s Sports Foundation is founded by Billie Jean King in San Francisco. Former professional tennis player King has long been a champion of social change and equality. King won 39 Grand Slam titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles, while she also claimed the singles title at the inaugural WTA Tour Championships. Throughout her life, King has paved new roads for both genders in and out of sports during her legendary career and she continues to make a difference to this day.

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