The putt only covered 15 feet, but it seemed more like 100 to the gallery gathered at the eighteenth hole at Pinehurst No. 2 on that early Sunday evening in June 1999. It traveled uphill, broke ever so slightly to the right...and slipped gently into the cup.
Payne Stewart, wearing his trademark knickers and argyle socks, hoisted the ball up to the heavens. The crowd roared. And for the second time in his career, Stewart was crowned champion of the U.S. Open--the most prestigious event for American golfers. The victory would be his last on the PGA Tour.
Four months later, on October 25, 1999, Payne Stewart entered the gates of heaven after his private jet plowed into a dirt field in Minot, South Dakota, taking the lives of Stewart and three business associates. His death at only 42 years old shook the golf world and the entire nation...
Just the mention of his name elicits a collection of defeated, almost fearful responses from major league hitters.
Some shake their head and laugh nervously. Others ponder their fate for a moment...then shrug their shoulders in resignation. Still others take a deep breath and slowly exhale as if they've narrowly escaped death.
Remember the 1993 All-Star Game? The always colorful, left-handed hitting John Kruk stepped in to face Johnson. The 6-foot-10 inch southpaw promptly sailed a fastball over the first baseman's head. That's all Kruk needed. He was finished.
He was transformed into a wide-eyed little leaguer batting for the first time as he bailed...
Yawn...yawn. Seemingly just another day at the office for point guard Steve Alford. The smooth 6-foot-2 senior led Indiana University to the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball championship this season, averaging 22 points a game. But his fluid movements on the floor belie the effort and diligence away from the camera that went into his contributions toward the team's national title.
Alford ended his career as the Hoosiers' four-time Most Valuable Player. He finished as the number 2 all-time scorer in the Big 10 Conference--a mere deuce behind Michigan's Mike McGee...
To read our story on Hoosiers star and recently-named UCLA head coach Steve Alford from our Volume 1, Number 3 issue, click here.
Familiar words to a Frank Sinatra song became reality for Joe and Kim Girardi on a November day in 1996. After three years behind the plate for the Colorado Rockies, Girardi left the Mile-High City in a trade that sent him east to don the Yankee pinstripes. The Girardis had no idea what was ahead, but with excitement and a bit of anxiety they changed the message on their answering machine to greet callers with, "It's up to you, New York, New York."
"I was in a comfort zone in Colorado," says Girardi. "Getting traded was a faith-builder, and as the season progressed I began to see what God was doing in our lives."
This archived story was published in the May 1997 issue of Sports Spectrum magazine. Click here to read the rest of the story.
For even the world's best athletes, the Olympics represent the chance of a lifetime. Years of sacrifice and training culminate in fleeting minutes, perhaps only seconds, of effort. And then…only one winner stands atop the award platform.
Going for the gold is one thing. Getting it is another. Just ask Jim Ryun.
Though not one, not two, but three Olympiads, he chased the gold. But every time he ran, its glitter remained just beyond his grasp…
Click here to read the remainder of Jim Ryun's story in the Vol. 3, No. 2 (1989) issue of Sports Spectrum, which was then called Second Look.
Below are segments of Sports Spectrum's interview with Mark Jackson from our February 1995 issue.SS: How have you changed since your college days at St. John's? Has being an NBA star affected you?
Jackson: No, I think the things that have changed me are being married, having two children, and most important, becoming a Christian. That changed my life more than anything else. That changed my perspective, changed my attitude, changed my whole outlook, and that really was the greatest thing that happened to me...
The last time we had a Detroit Tiger on our cover was Travis Fryman in our May 1996 issue. Read his story below...
Travis Fryman's dream had come true.
He found himself in the visitor's clubhouse at Fenway Park--covered with ketchup, mustard, and every other condiment that could be rustled up from Fenway concession stands.
Some wise guy had come up with two eggs that were added to the mix, along with some Coke and cold coffee. Yellow ooze was dripping from Fryman's hair and into his eyebrows. This was the fulfillment of a dream?
Click here to read the remainder of Travis Fryman's story.
Carlos Beltran: "I really believe we can do everything in the name of Jesus Christ. The way I see it, everything that we do is for God. In our life, there is nothing as important as Him. The only thing that really matters is our faith. I feel He put me here for a reason. Every time I take the field, I tell Him, 'I'm doing this in Your name.' When I want to accomplish things I feel like I can. But it's not for myself, but for Him and His glory."
This story on Carlos Beltran was published in the July/August 2005 issue of Sports Spectrum magazine. Click here to read the remainder of the story.
A decade ago, we featured David Carr, the No. 1 draft pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, on the cover of our magazine. This week, we released our August 2013 DigiMag, which features David's younger brother, Fresno State University quarterback Derek Carr, on the cover. It's the first time two brothers have graced the cover of Sports Spectrum in its 30-year history. Here is a look back at the January/February 2003 cover story on David Carr...
You look at David Carr and you see a star in the making.
You see a 23-year-old man with chiseled good looks that have put him in a GQ pictorial. You see a blossoming Houston Texans quarterback with a 7-year contract worth $46.2 million...
In a controversial season for Alex Rodriguez because of his involvement in the Biogenesis case and his appeal to Major League Baseball, we dug up this story from our Summer 2009 issue about A-Rod's teammate Andy Pettitte. Pettitte admitted in 2008 to using performance enhancing drugs; and his road to confession, forgiveness and redemption is chronicled in today's archived story.
Read more here.