The Year in Sports

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff
1998 in Review

Top 10 Sports Moments of the Year
6 Nykesha Sales Breaks the Record?
Source: Archive Photos
Twenty-year-old Se Ri Pak acknow-
ledges the gallery after finishing the second round of the U.S. Women's Open on July 3.
It was really a cruel joke. Nykesha Sales was just one point away from tying the all-time women's basketball scoring record at Connecticut. Driving to the hoop to break the record against Notre Dame, she ruptured her achilles tendon. The following game against Villanova, both coaches decided to give her a gift by allowing her to hobble to the hoop and deposit a layup after the opening tip. And it was followed by controversy previously unknown to women's college basketball. Is the record tainted? Well, maybe. But at least everyone's heart was in the right place. Sales scored 2,178 points in her illustrious career at UConn but unfortunately, it took the final two for people to take note of her.

7 Pak vs. Chuasiriporn
The women's golf world needed this tournament. In the 1998 U.S. Open, 20-year-old Se Ri Pak and 20-year-old amateur Jenny Chuasiriporn found themselves tied at 290 after the first four rounds. An 18-hole playoff was needed to decide the winner. But it didn't. They were still tied. So on they played until finally, on the second sudden death hole, fittingly the 20th extra, Pak sank an 18-foot putt and emerged victorious. It was her second major victory of 1998, her rookie year. Like women's tennis, things are heating up for the LPGA for the next millenium.

8 Cinderella Drives a Pacer to the Dance
Down just one point with 2.6 seconds remaining against No. 4 seed Mississippi in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Valparaiso coach Homer Drew reached down deep into his bag of plays and grabbed one he'd been waiting all season to call — "Pacer". From the other end of the court the ball was inbounded and hurled about 60 feet, not caught but purposely tipped into the waiting arms of sharpshooter Bryce Drew. Before you could say "swish," the ball was in the net and the Drews, father and son, were locked in an embrace. Valpo 70, Mississippi 69.

9 Real Quiet Makes Plenty of Noise
There hasn't been a horse racing Triple Crown winner since the legendary Affirmed won it twenty years ago. In 1998, we were just inches away from ending that drought. Real Quiet, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, outdueled runner-up Victory Gallop in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. The same two horses finished 1-2 in the Belmont, but this time the roles were reversed as Gary Stevens rode Victory Gallop hard down the stretch to overtake Real Quiet and spoil the festivities.

10 That's "K" as in "Kerry"
He had made a name for himself as a dominating pitcher in the minors, but hardly anyone expected 20-year-old Chicago Cubs rookie Kerry Wood to make the splash he did in 1998. On May 6, Wood became just the second pitcher in major league history (Roger Clemens did it twice) to strike out 20 batters in one game. Wood baffled the Houston Astros, winning 2-0 and giving up just one seeing-eye single. Like Clemens, he walked no one. It was one of the most dominant pitching performances in baseball history… and he was in high school just three years ago.

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