Let’s just be honest here, Michael Jordan’s entire run with the Chicago Bulls could be counted as a defining moment in Chicago history. Jordan is still regarded as one of, if not the, greatest basketball player of all-time. His performances in the 1991 and 1992 championship runs were unbelievable, as well as the game he played through the flu. But the defining moment would be Jordan’s last game, where he sunk once final shot to solidify his time in the NBA. He played with a few other teams along the way, but his time in Chi-town will always be most memorable.
While most of these sports memories are positive, some are unfortunately not … as is the case with the White Sox throwing the World Series in 1919. A number of players on the team made a deal with some big shot gamblers that they would throw, or intentionally lose, the game against the Cincinnati Reds. To this day, the scandal is still the biggest in sports history … and Cubs fans will never let them forget it.
Though many don’t know it, the first automobile race took place in Chicago! Sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald in 1895, the race featured six cars and the course ran from downtown Chicago up to the northern suburb of Evanston. The race was originally considered publicity for the motorcycle, which was introduced two years previously. The race was won by Charles Duryea in his motorized wagon after finishing in seven hours and roughly 50 minutes. Today, the drive to Evanston takes all of an hour.
It often seems like baseball is the city sport of Chicago, but in fact, softball was invented in the fair city. On Thanksgiving Day in 1887 alumni of the Farragut Boat Club were waiting for the results of the Harvard vs Yale football game. When Yale was announced as the winner, a Yale fan threw a boxing glove at a Harvard fan, who hit it with a stick. The rest of the group looked up in awe as one yelled out “Play Ball!” and the game of softball was born.
The Blackhawks are beloved in Chicago whether they win or lose – but it’s a lot better when they win. And after 49 years without a Stanley Cup “W,” in 2010 when Patrick Kane hit a buzzer beater into the net, fans wanted to rejoice. Problem was, the shot was so fast that even the refs didn’t catch it! Luckily they reviewed the tape and the shot did go in, inciting Blackhawks fans everywhere to go nuts.
For a long time, the Cubs were laughably bad at baseball. Not only were they not winning the World Series, they were arguably the worst team ever to hit a mound. But in 2016 that all changed. Putting the “Billy Goat” curse aside, the 2016 Cubs seemed to tear through their competition. When they made the World Series, the city went wild. When they won it? The city was practically burned to the ground by dedicated lifelong fans setting off fireworks or drinking like it was the end of the world. When it comes to true Chicago sports moments, this is it.