10 Memorable Halloween Moments in Sports History originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Halloween gives kids the chance to dress up as their favorite characters, celebrities and athletes while collecting buckets of candy. What can be better?
In many cases, you’re watching the players who inspired the costumes.
Halloween is far from the most prominent sporting holiday. The NFL has Thanksgiving. The NBA has Christmas. Baseball is July 4th. Still, October 31st is at a point on the esports calendar when each of these leagues and more are in full swing, offering some iconic moments. In fact, this Halloween marks the 29th Sports Equinoxa day when the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL all have games.
Before trick-or-treating rings the doorbell, let’s recap 10 of the most iconic Halloween sports moments in history:
Billy Cannon’s Halloween Run
Billy Cannon’s Heisman moment from the 1959 season came on Halloween.
No. 1 LSU faced No. 3 Ole Miss in a battle of suffocating defenses at Tiger Stadium. Trailing 3-0 in the fourth quarter, Cannon gave the top-ranked Fighting Tigers all the points they needed with an 89-yard punt return touchdown as they secured a 7-3 win.
Frank Mahovlich scores the NHL’s first Halloween hat trick
It’s clear what Frank Mahovlich would choose between trick or treating.
The Detroit Red Wings forward scored his first hat-trick with the franchise and seventh of his career on October 31, 1968 in a 7-5 win over the Boston Bruins. He became the first player in NHL history to score three goals on Halloween.
Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Stevens score matching hat tricks
Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Stevens made Halloween hat-trick history in 1989.
With three goals scored by each player in a matchup between the Kings of Los Angeles and Pittsburgh Penguins, it was the first time two players had scored hat tricks in the same game that holiday. Gretzky added three assists and carried his Kings to an 8-4 win over Stevens’ Pens.
Packers beat bears in soaked Chicago
The Green Bay Packers rained down on Dick Butkus, Gayle Sayers and the Chicago Bears Parade on Halloween in 1994.
Mother Nature wreaked havoc with rain and wind at Soldier Field on a night when the Bears honored two franchise legends. The Packers were able to play on the ground as Edgar Bennett had three touchdowns and Brett Favre hit a 36-yard score in a 33-6 win over their longtime rivals.
Derek Jeter becomes Mr. November
This moment may have ended on November 1st, but it began on Halloween, so we’re counting it here.
Game 4 of the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks was that first game of Major League Baseball will be played on October 31st. Derek Jeter earned a new moniker with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning after the clock struck midnight tonight the series 2-2.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers could have been spooked by that New England Patriots 2004 on the way to their Halloween matchup. Instead, they defeated one of the NFL’s scariest teams and put an end to history.
The Patriots entered the Week 8 matchup on a 21-game winning streak that stretched back into the 2003 regular season and included their playoff run through Super Bowl XXXVIII. That record run ended against the 5-1 Steelers and their rookie quarterback, who helped his team build a 24-3 lead en route to a 34-20 win late in the first half.
Manu Ginobili hits racquets out of the air
Manu Ginobili didn’t want anyone to become a vampire on Halloween in 2009.
A villain bat flew between the San Antonio Spurs and around the AT&T Center during a game Sacramento Kings. The Hall of Famer decided to take matters into his own hands and hit the bat on the court.
Steph Curry loses 53 points to the Pelicans
With his first NBA MVP and his first NBA title, Steph Curry took his game to an even higher level to start the 2015-16 season.
Just in Warriors of the Golden State In the third game of a later 73-9 campaign, Curry seared the New Orleans Pelicans with a 53-point breakout that set the NBA’s one-game Halloween scoring record. He also contributed nine assists in a 134-120 win.
Royals march past Mets in Game 4
The Kansas City Royals took a step closer to winning the 2015 World Series title with a comeback win New York Mets on Halloween.
Kansas City was down 3-2 in the eighth inning of Game 4 at Citi Field. They leveled the game thanks to a Mets error and then took a two-run lead thanks to RBI singles from Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez. The team won the championship the next night with an extra innings win in Game 5.
Derrick Rose turns back the clock with a 50-point game
Derrick Rose put together one of the most memorable performances of his career on Halloween in 2018.
The 2011 NBA MVP posted a career-high 50 points and led the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 128-125 win over the Utah Jazz. The point tally tied Adrian Dantley and Rashard Lewis for the second highest points in an NBA Halloween game. After the last buzzer, Rose entered emotional interview and was given a full hug by his Wolves teammates.