His claim to fame: Jose Canseco hit 462 home runs in his major-league baseball career, but it was one he helped allow that will go down as one of sports' funniest bloopers. On May 26, 1993, Carlos Martinez of the Cleveland Indians launched a long fly ball to right field, where Canseco -- never a particularly adept fielder -- somehow lost track as he approached the wall. The ball bounced off his head and over the wall.
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His claim to fame: Bill Buckner had a stellar 22-year career, batting .289 with 2,715 hits. But he is most remembered for letting Mookie Wilson's ground ball wiggle through his legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series as Ray Knight scored the winning run for the Mets in the 10th inning. Red Sox pitchers Calvin Schiraldi and Bob Stanley and manager John McNamara were equally culpable in Boston's failure to protect a two-run lead in the 10th, but the image of Buckner is the one that became iconic (see video). Twenty-five years later, it's still baseball's most infamous error.
His claim to fame: Bartman is the foolish fan who single-handedly destroyed all of the Chicago Cubs' hopes and dreams. At least that's how irrational people everywhere -- which is to say all sports fans -- reacted after Bartman reached out and deflected a foul pop in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field, preventing Moises Alou from catching the ball. The Cubs, only five outs away from going to their first World Series since 1945, went on to blow a 3-0 lead when the Florida Marlins scored eight runs in the inning. The Marlins also won Game 7 and the Cubs haven't won a playoff game since. That's all Bartman's fault, too.
Zinedine Zidane starred on the soccer field for a long time. But, as is sometimes the case, his stellar play might not be the first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions Zidane. More than likely, the image that will pop up is one of Zidane head-butting Italy's Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup. Zidane was given a three-game suspension that the Frenchman never served; he announced his retirement after the tournament. When you retire following a meltdown, there tends to be a case of “what have you done for me lately?”
See Zidane’s infamous headbutt
Jean Van De Velde
His claim to fame: Van de Velde was in complete control through 71 holes and stood at the tee at No. 18 in Carnoustie, Scotland, in 1999 needing only a double-bogey six to become the first Frenchman since 1907 to win the British Open. He hit his driver far to the right but should have been OK had he played conservatively. Instead, Van de Velde fired for the green and missed badly, again to the rough of the right. He hit awkwardly into the burn alongside the hole, took a drop and hit into a bunker. The triple-bogey seven dropped him into a three-way playoff won by Paul Lawrie.
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His claim to fame: Lett was on his way to an easy touchdown in Super Bowl XXVII after recovering a Buffalo Bills fumble late in the Dallas Cowboys' 52-17 romp. As he approached the goal line, however, Lett slowed down and extended his right arm. That gave hard-charging Bills receiver Don Beebe the opportunity to run the lineman down from behind and swat the ball away. It trickled harmlessly through the end zone for a touchback that kept the Cowboys from setting a Super Bowl scoring record. Of course, Lett is the same player who tried to recover a blocked field goal against Miami on Thanksgiving Day the following season, and his misplay gift-wrapped a Dolphins victory.
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His claim to fame: Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out from throwing a perfect game June 2, 2010 when first-base umpire Jim Joyce incorrectly ruled that the Cleveland Indians' Jason Donald reached safely on a ground ball. Gallaraga retired the next batter to finish with a one-hitter, and the missed call renewed the debate about adding more instant replay to Major League Baseball games. An emotional Joyce admitted after the game that he had missed the call, thus denying Galarraga his place in history.
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His claim to fame: Webber was part of Michigan's acclaimed Fab Five basketball recruiting class and appeared in NCAA championship games following both his seasons at the school. His last game in a Wolverines uniform ended with a huge gaffe as Webber called a timeout with 11 seconds left and North Carolina leading 73-71 in the 1993 final. But Michigan was out of timeouts, and the subsequent technical foul clinched the Tar Heels' victory.
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Curse of the Bambino
Their claim to fame: The Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 1918 and then went 86 years without capturing another title, attibuted by some to be retribution for the trade of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees after the 1919 season. Alas, the frustration ended in 2004 when Boston rallied from a three-game deficit to the Yankees in the ALCS and then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. Still, the heat you catch for trading a slugger who would hit 714 career home runs is well deserved.
Portland Trail Blazers
His claim to fame: The Houston Rockets took Hakeem Olajuwon with the first pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. Having already drafted guard Clyde Drexler a year earlier, the Blazers went for size and took Sam Bowie (pictured), a center from the University of Kentucky. Bowie played 76 games as a rookie, averaging nearly a double-double. But a string of injuries limited him to just 63 more appearances over the next four seasons. Bowie went on to play six more seasons with the Nets and Lakers. And whom did the Chicago Bulls take with the third pick in the draft? Just some guy named Michael Jordan.
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His claim to fame: With the St. Louis Cardinals leading 3-2 in games and 1-0 in the eighth inning of Game 6 in the 1985 World Series, Jorge Orta hit a slow roller to the right side. Though first baseman Jack Clark clearly threw the ball in time to pitcher Todd Worrell covering the bag, Denkinger ruled Orta safe. The Royals went on to win 2-1 and then blew out the Cardinals 11-0 in Game 7.
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His claim to fame: The Dutch speed skating star was well on his way to adding a gold medal in the 10,000-meter event to his gold in the 5,000 earlier in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver when he made a critical error. Incorrectly changing lanes at the direction of his coach Gerard Kemkers, Kramer was disqualified, leaving both men distraught. "My world collapsed. This is a disaster. This is the worst moment in my career,'' Kemkers said.
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Her claim to fame: Well ahead of the field in the finals of the snowboard cross, an Olympic sport debuting at the 2006 Games in Turin, Jacobellis (right) decided to showboat for the crowd, attempting a flashy board grab on one of the last jumps. She fell on her back and was passed by Tanja Frieden (left) of Switzerland for the gold. Yet the 20-year-old American said she had no regrets. "I was having fun," she said. "Snowboarding is fun. I was ahead. I wanted to share with the crowd my enthusiasm. I messed up. Oh well, it happens."
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His claim to fame: Frerotte played for seven NFL teams in a 15-year career and even made a Pro Bowl. Not too bad for a seventh-round draft pick. Still, his most memorable moment may have come in a 1997 game against the New York Giants when he celebrated his own short touchdown run by ramming his head into a padded cement wall. He suffered a sprained neck and had to leave the game at halftime.
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Colorado's fifth-down win
Its claim to fame: Colorado benefited from a colossal officiating blunder to score the winning touchdown against Missouri on Oct. 6, 1990. With the ball at the Missouri 3-yard-line in the final minute, the Buffaloes spiked the ball on first down, ran two running plays, then spiked the ball again to stop the clock. No one seemed to notice until it was too late that the down marker never changed after the first running play, giving Colorado a fifth down that resulted in a TD and a 33-31 win. Colorado went on to share the national title and coach Bill McCartney (pictured) never acknowledged his good fortune, instead complaining about the slippery field conditions after the game.
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His claim to fame: As the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions prepared to play overtime on Thanksgiving Day in 1998, Luckett was the official presiding over the coin flip. Though Steelers captain Jerome Bettis clearly enunciated the correct call of "tails," Luckett awarded the ball to the Lions, who took advantage of the mistake and kicked a winning field goal on the first drive of OT.
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