Every fan, if he or she is lucky, has a year to look
back on and treasure.
For SI.com columnist John Ondrasik, that year was 1988. As a young fan in Los Angeles, he thrilled to the Lakers' second straight NBA title, the arrival of Wayne Gretzky with the Kings, and Kirk Gibson's dramatic pinch-hit walk-off home run in Game 1 of the World Series that sparked the Dodgers to the championship while the voice of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully provided a soundtrack. The year still resonates for him:
Listening to Vin Scully makes me feel good. When he goes, so will a chunk of the hometown heart. I'm not alone in treasuring each story, strike, and stretch these days. Perhaps it's because he's my last connection to my sports puberty, perhaps because he's just the best.
Golden ages are gold for a reason. They shine and increase in value over time. We forget the bad, remember the great, and embellish the rest.
Here in my forties, I still watch and enjoy sports. I can't help it. My hat size was imprinted on The D.C. Westin's ceiling after Derek Fisher's Game 4 OT three against the Magic. Ben Howland's Bruins, Mike Scioscia's Angels, even my Kings show promise, so I'm still holding on.
In this photo gallery, we look at 10 magical years in various cities where multiple titles were won and star athletes made or added to their legends. So, what was your greatest year as a fan? What memories do you treasure most? Maybe, if you're lucky enough to live in Pittsburgh, these are the good old days.