Tim Lincecum mobbed after his no hitter.
The Bay Area has been a hotbed of talent over the last few years, with the Oakland A’s winning back-to-back division titles, the San Francisco Giants winning two of the last four World Series, the Golden State Warriors’ playoff surge, and the 49ers coming within seconds of winning the Super Bowl last season. Ordered from least to most awesome, here is your ranked recap of the last year of fantastic Bay Area sports.
10. Stephen Curry drops 54 points at Madison Square Garden in loss to the Knicks
If you’re not on the Steph Curry bandwagon yet, better hop on. In a year that really put him on the national radar, Curry had his most eye-popping performance of the regular season on basketball’s biggest stage, scoring an absurd 54 points at Madison Square Garden. It’s even prettier looking than it sounds.
9. Angel Pagan hits walk-off inside-the-park home run against the Rockies
AT&T Park has a well-known feature that opposing outfielders must want to take a wrecking ball to: Triples Alley. Even Bengie Molina could hit a ball there and end up standing on third. Pagan, who is as speedy as they come, hit one there in the 10th and a favorable bounce gave him plenty of time to come all the way around for a game-winning homer.
8. Josh Donaldson makes one of the best catches you’ll ever see
You could probably fit an entire extra baseball diamond in the spacious gap between the foul lines and stands at O.Co Coliseum. The foul ground never ends, and third baseman Josh Donaldson used that to his advantage in 2013 to make a spectacular diving catch over a tarp against the Texas Rangers. It was just one of many Donaldson gems in a breakout year for the young star.
7. Colin Kaepernick sets record in playoff rout of the Green Bay Packers
Kaepernick, in his first career playoff game, racked up 181 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers. On the ground. He added over 200 yards and two touchdowns passing, shattering records and springing the 49ers to a run to the Super Bowl. We’ve seen less phenomenal play this season, but Niners fans will never forget what they saw that day in January.
6. Yoenis Cespedes blasts his way to a Home Run Derby title
Everyone in Oakland knew what their slugging, Cuban left fielder was capable of. But a mostly- unpopular Home Run Derby selection made it known that he was an elite power hitter by crushing 32 home runs in three rounds, including several moonshots in a ballpark that usually doesn’t allow such feats of strength. Enjoy the show.
5. Terrelle Pryor breaks NFL record with 93-yard-touchdown scramble
He may not be the starter in Oakland anymore, but the dynamic young quarterback has an enviable skill set and put it to use on the Raiders’ first play from scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers. A fake handoff and a 93-yard sprint later, Pryor was in the end zone and in the record books with the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback in NFL history.
4. Tomas Hertl’s through-the-legs shot caps off four-goal game
What were you doing when you were 19 years old? Probably not flicking a hockey puck through your legs at full speed for your fourth goal of the night in an NHL game. That’s exactly what Hertl did, finally justifying all those Top-10 spots that hockey has been gobbling up on SportsCenter. Way to go, kid.
3. Curry scores 22 points against the Denver Nuggets…in the third quarter…in the playoffs
My next task may have to be compiling Steph Curry’s top 10 plays of the year. He’s made plenty of highlights. Check out this video of the Warriors’ point guard going absolutely crazy in a playoff game against the Nuggets last season, dropping 22 of his 31 points in the third quarter of a huge win at Oracle Arena.
2. Tim Lincecum throws a million pitches and none of them result in a base hit
I don’t care how many pitches you throw, or how many batters you walk, or how many diving plays have to be made behind you—if you throw a no-hitter in a Major League Baseball game, it’s a top- 10 moment. Fan-favorite Lincecum, after so many recent struggles, put together a beautiful start against the Padres and completed his first career no-hitter. Celebration, engage.
1. Rookie Sonny Gray out-duels Justin Verlander, rookie Stephen Vogt hits walk-off
This is “Moneyball.” A baby-faced rookie hurler outdueled one of the best pitchers in the game, and a no-name rookie catcher came through with the game-winning hit in a playoff matchup against the Detroit Tigers at O.Co Coliseum. It was yet another miracle in a string of clutch wins for the A’s, who continue to take the baseball world by storm every year under Billy Beane.