Over the next few weeks in three separate installments, we’ll be going back throughout sports history, discussing all of the eye-opening and jaw-dropping blowouts we found along the way.
Let’s talk about the hardwoods of the National Basketball Association. Teams get dusted all the time in the NBA but have you ever heard of a team losing by 68? Ironically, it was the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers who dealt the punishment. They wiped the floor with the Miami Heat 148-80 on December 17, 1991.
Long before LeBron James came along, the Cavs won the game without the benefit of any one player scoring ridiculous numbers. Instead, eight players finished in double figuresa��the highest-scorers being Mark Price and John Battle (18). Brad Daugherty added 17, as did Henry James. With five field goals and six free throws, Hot Rod Williams tallied 16. Winston Bennett, Danny Ferry, and Jimmy Oliver added 11 apiece.
Larry Nance chipped in with nine, Terrell Brandon had eight and Craig Ehlo offered up seven. Rounding out the scoring? Current Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, with five. Cleveland only scored six three-pointers, but made 24 of 29 free throws. Danny Ferry had 11 rebounds while Winston Bennett hauled down 10 more. For the Miami Heat, only Steve Smith with 15 points and Kevin Edwards (10) could manage double-digits. Additionally, only 10,487 fans witnessed the debacle that took place in Cleveland.
So, as a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, I can still vividly recall the day I was in the driveway of my house with my transistor radio on, listening to the Bucs play the Chicago Cubs. Little did I know in the first inning that by the time the last pitch was thrown, the final score would be Pittsburgh 22, Chicago 0. Dave Parker had five RBI while Rennie Stennett tied an all-time record with seven hits in seven at-bats.
If you think that is a major blowout, though, think again. Dating way back before the modern era, there was another team in Chicagoa��the Colts. They were in the National League and that day, were playing the Louisville Colonels. After nine innings, the Colonels were miserable losers by a tally of 36-7. But since 1900, a not-too-long ago team blasted another entirely off the diamond in the American League.
The Texas Rangers were playing the Baltimore Orioles in 2007, losing 3-0. It was the fourth inning. But over the next six, Texas’ bats would go off and score 30 runs. The final score? 30-7.
The Rangers scored five in the fourth, nine in the sixth, 10 in the eighth, and six more in the ninth. Texas banged out 29 hits to produce those 30 runs. David Murphy had five hits in seven plate appearances. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and RamA?n VA?zquez both finished with four hits in six at-bats. Both also tallied seven RBI.
Texas smacked six home runs in the effort (Jarrod Saltalamacchia-2, RamA?n VA?zquez-2, Marlon Byrd and Travis Metcalf). As for those poor Orioles, they used just four pitchers. All of them got smoked. Starter Daniel Cabrera surrendered six earned runs. Brian Burres gave up eight more in just 2/3 of an inning. Rob Bell surrendered seven more while Paul Shuey took the cake with nine earned.
It was just an all-around bad day at the office for Baltimore. The O’s were 58-67 at this point of the 2007 season while Texas sat with a record of 56-70, good for last place in the AL West.
We’ve got just one installment left! What is the most memorable blowout of your lifetime? And for more from Harv Aronson, check out his website!