On this date in 1993, Nolan Ryan hit Robin Ventura off the pitch in a game between the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox. Ventura pauses briefly after the hit, as if to contemplate his action, then charges onto the mound, where Ryan — 20 years older than her — put her in a headlock and several times before the whole thing happened. Bar punched in the head. Normal baseball broke from the scrum.
Three things are certain about this fight: One, Ryan was very clearly the winner. Two, it became a staple of sports highlight shows and will likely remain for as long as sports highlight shows exist. And three – if Twitter existed in 1993, this moment would have dominated feeds.
You can easily imagine the pattern we’ve seen many times since the social media service was launched in 2006. Initial response tweets. Not everyone was watching as the melee tried to figure out what was going on. The first to grab a video garnering thousands of retweets in minutes. Big name athletes and celebrities are in shambles at the moment. Memes. About memes. The inevitable point when everyone gets sick of memes.
With the anniversary of the fight prompting everyone to remember it on social media, we came up with a short list of moments from before Twitter even existed that would certainly be something anyone on the site was talking about. The only thing would be – at least for a day or two.
Bo Jackson runs up a wall
It’s hard to narrow down the best highlights of Jackson’s career — in fact, this list might just be the highlights of his career. Jackson defying gravity by running up the wall after a catch, would probably provoke the most reaction, if for no other reason than it was unique.
Vince Carter jumps over Frederick Weiss
Carter is another player whose best highlights can be added to this list without objection. His famous dunk at center Frederick Weiss at the 2000 Olympics, however, would have had an immediate impact on proto-Twitter. Jumping from a 7 foot man while playing for Team USA at the Olympics? So many people must be tweeting about it at once.
Read more: The Oral History of Carter’s Iconic Danko
USWNT. Brandi Chastain won it for
That’s all – the whole world watching the two of the best teams in women’s football face off in the penalty kick shootout at the 1999 Women’s World Cup, in which Chastain created an iconic moment by immediately ripping her shirt off the winning penalty kick in sheer glee. .
Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield
Two of the world’s greatest boxers are fighting in a rematch in Las Vegas, and one of them the bite Part of the other ear closed? Maybe Twitter has a thing or two to say about this test.
Kerry Strug builds his final vault
For pure drama, it’s hard to beat. Building Strug’s vault, in which she won gold for Team USA in the 1996 Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team Competition, would have practically ensured that everyone was watching, the moment she made the landing, resulting in Online pandemic happened.
Christian Laettner Hits “The Shot”
Duke. Kentucky. The journey of the last four on the line. A shot so clutch that it is known as “the shot”. Basketball Twitter must have extended its keyboard about ten minutes later.
The magic of the best sports Twitter moments happens in a short time when everyone questions what they just saw, whether because of the absurdity of the moment or the outrageous skill involved. Both had a little part in this play. Jordan didn’t passed To change hands in the middle of this lap against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals. But he did, and among many other things, that made him great.
Roger Clemens throws his bat at Mike Piazza
It is not often that a broken bat is returned to the pitcher. It is also not often that the pitcher throws back at the batsman. Add to that the fact that Roger Clemens had already defeated Mike Piazza in the same series and it all happened in Game 2. world Series, And you can bet it would have gone viral.
Venus and Serena dominate the US Open
The Williams sisters were already stars at this point, but their dominance at the 2001 Open, where Venus did not lose a set to defend her title against Serena, was unreal. The promotion of their face-to-face during the championship round must have been a topic of discussion on Twitter.
Was it a rumble? The referee said no. What would the Twitterverse have to say? Looking at the stakes of this game – how the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders took very Parted paths to its conclusion — and the fact that instant replay was a relatively new phenomenon in the NFL, as well as the fact that it could have gone either way, and Twitter may have melted from the sheer amount of heated debate. .
Doug Flutie Hail Mary
Last-second heave by the last Heisman Trophy winner in a nationally televised game between Boston College and Miami? After a desperate scuffle? College football Twitter must have flared up.
In at least one way, Steve Bartman was lucky—his moment of notoriety came at the 2003 NLDS, before the widespread adoption of social media. As it was, Bartman caught the hell out of fans and pundits alike. Luckily, his story had a happy ending, as the Chicago Cubs earned him a World Series ring from their 2016 win.
watch: About “Catching Hell,” the Moment and the Aftermath
Bill Buckner’s error
Unfortunately, bad plays tend to be just as much as good ones – maybe even more. This is another example of someone being lucky that their worst moment came before the age of social media. Twitter users may have been ruthless – but it may have been more sympathetic than we expected.
It sounds almost impossible to believe, but there is no footage of Wilt Chamberlain’s record-setting 100-point game. Many people think of the iconic photo above when considering it.
But what if it aired at the time and Twitter existed?
Wilt had 23 points at the end of the first quarter, 41 at halftime, and we’d be shocked if all the proto-NBAs weren’t watching Twitter at the time.
Babe Ruth sold to the Red Sox
Well, this will require little more than Twitter – a personal computer and the Internet, just for starters. Can you imagine, though, the reaction from Boston Red Sox fans selling their team? babe Ruth to all people new York Yankees, their rivals? and they all got back cash consideration, #CurseoftheBambino started trending instantly.