On this day in 1993, Nolan Ryan hit Robin Ventura with a pitch in a game between the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox. Ventura paused briefly after the impact, as if contemplating his plan of action, then rushed to the embankment, where Ryan – 20 years his senior – grabbed his head and punched him in the head several times before it was all over. is broken by a normal fight in a base fight.
Three things about this fight are certain: First, Ryan was clearly the winner. Second, it has become a staple of sports broadcasting and is likely to remain so for as long as sports broadcasts exist. And third, if Twitter had existed back in 1993, this moment would have dominated feeds.
You can easily imagine a pattern that we have all seen many times since the launch of the social networking service in 2006. The first reaction is tweets. A fight where everyone who wasn’t watching tried to figure out what was going on. The first person to make a video that got tens of thousands of retweets in minutes. Famous athletes and celebrities seize the moment. Memes. Memes about memes. The inevitable moment when everyone gets bored with memes.
As the fight anniversary prompted everyone to remember it on social media, we’ve put together a short list of pre-Twitter moments that would certainly be the only thing anyone talked about on the site – at least for a day or two.
Bo Jackson running up the wall
It’s hard to narrow down a list of the best moments of Jackson’s career – in fact, this list may just be the highlights of his career. However, Jackson defying gravity by climbing the wall after the catch would probably have generated the most reaction, if only for the reason that it was unique.
Vince Carter jumped over Frederick Weiss
Carter is another player whose best moments could easily add to this list. However, his legendary dunk over center Frederick Weiss at the 2000 Olympics would have had an immediate impact on proto-Twitter. Jump over a 7-foot man while playing for Team USA at the Olympics? So many people would have written about it at once.
Read more: Oral History of Carter’s Cult Dunk
Brandi Chastain wins USWNT
It’s got it all: The world is watching two of the best teams in women’s football battle it out in a shoot-out at the 1999 Women’s World Cup when Chastain took the winning penalty and immediately created an iconic moment by ripping off her jersey. in pure glee.
Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield
Two of the world’s greatest boxers will fight in a rematch in Las Vegas, and one of them bites part of the other’s ear? Twitter may have had something to say about this ordeal.
Kerry Strug makes his last jump
For pure drama, this is hard to beat. Preparing for Strug’s vault, in which she won gold for Team USA in the women’s gymnastics team event at the 1996 Olympics, virtually guaranteed everyone would be watching, and the moment she got stuck landing led to online pandemonium.
Christian Lettner sings “The Shot”
duke. Kentucky. A trip to the Final Four is at stake. The shot is so tenacious that it is known simply as “The Shot”. Basketball Twitter would just be banging on the keyboard for ten minutes after that.
michael jordan changing hands in the air
The magic of the best sports moments on Twitter lies in the short period of time when everyone wonders what exactly they just saw, whether it’s because of the absurdity of the moment or the outrageous skill. There was a bit of both in this play. Jordan is not have change hands in the middle of that layup against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals. But he did it, and, above all else, that’s what made him great.
Roger Clemens throws a bat at Mike Piazza
Infrequently, a broken bat is returned to the pitcher. It’s also not often that a pitcher throws him back into the batter. Add to that the fact that Roger Clemens defeated Mike Piazza earlier in the series, and it all happened in the second game. world Series, and you can bet it would go viral.
Venus and Serena dominate the US Open
By that point, the Williams sisters were already stars, but their dominance at the 2001 Open Championship, where Venus went undefeated on her way to defending her title against Serena, was unrealistic. The hype leading up to their face-off in the championship round would have been the talk of the day on Twitter.
Was it groping? The judges said no. What would Twitterverse say? Considering the stakes in this game – how the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders took very different paths at the end – and the fact that instant replay was a relatively new thing in the NFL, plus the fact that it could go either way and Twitter could melt away with a huge amount of hot takes.
Hail Mary Douga Fluti
A last-second jump by the eventual Heisman Trophy winner in a nationally televised matchup between Boston College and Miami? After a desperate fight? College football Twitter would explode.
In at least one respect, Steve Bartman was lucky—his moment of infamy came at the NLDS in 2003, before social media was widespread. Be that as it may, Bartman has received more than enough trouble from fans and pundits alike. Luckily, his story has something of a happy ending, as the Chicago Cubs gifted him a World Series ring after winning in 2016.
Watch: “Catch in Hell” about the moment and its consequences
Bill Buckner’s Mistake
Unfortunately, bad games have the same tendency as good ones, maybe even more. This is another example of how lucky someone is that their worst moment came before the era of social media. Twitter users may have been ruthless, but they may have been more sympathetic than we might have expected.
Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points
It’s almost unbelievable, but there is no record of Wilt Chamberlain’s record-breaking 100-point game. Many people remember the iconic photo above when looking at it.
But what if it was broadcast and Twitter existed at the time?
Wilt had 23 points at the end of the first quarter, 41 at halftime, and if all proto-NBA Twitter wasn’t watching at this point, we’d be shocked.
Babe Ruth traded to Red Sox
Okay, this would require a little more than just Twitter – personal computers and the Internet just to get started. Can you imagine, however, the reaction of the shocked Boston Red Sox fans when their team sold Babe Ruth all people to New York Yankees? Their rivals? And all they got was cash rewards? #CurseoftheBambino would have hit the trends right away.