The following is an article from Uncle John’s OLD FAITHFUL 30th Anniversary edition.
These guys’ pro sports careers were unexceptional …except for that one big moment of glory.
In baseball, a perfect game is when one pitcher works all nine innings, and never allows a batter to reach first base. No hits, no walks, no hit batters, no errors. It’s an incredibly difficult and rare achievement: only 23 perfect games have ever been thrown in the history of Major League Baseball. Several Hall of Famers threw one in their careers, including Cy Young, Catfish Hunter, and Sandy Koufax. And so did Charlie Robertson. He started out with the Chicago White Sox in 1919, got cut from the team, and returned to the Sox three years later. In 1922, in just his fourth overall start as a pitcher, Robertson threw a perfect game against Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers. It was essentially the only highlight of an otherwise brief, forgettable career. Robertson bounced around the big leagues, playing for the St. Louis Browns and the Boston Braves, but retired in 1928. His career record: 49 wins and 80 losses.
Williams was a star quarterback at Grambling State University. He led Grambling to three straight conference championships and, in 1977, his junior year, led all college players in passing yards and touchdown passes. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1978 and helped the Bucs reach the NFC Championship game in 1979. Williams was the lowest-paid starting quarterback in the league at the time, earning $ 120,000 a year, less than a lot of second-stringers. In 1982, he asked for $ 600,000 and didn’t get it, so he left the NFL for the Oklahoma Outlaws of the new United States Football League. The Outlaws never had a winning season, and when the USFL folded in 1986, Williams was signed by the Washington Redskins as a backup. After outperforming starter Joe Schroeder in a handful of games, Williams was picked to lead the team in the 1987 Super Bowl, which the Redskins won 42-10 on the strength of four Williams touchdown passes. Williams, the first black quarterback to ever play in a Super Bowl, was named MVP. And that was pretty much it for Williams’s career. He was plagued by injuries in the 1988 season, and was replaced by Mark Rypien. By 1989, Williams was out of the league for good. (Image credit: Chrisdbrowndotnet)
(Image credit: ha.com)
It’s the dream of every little kid who ever played baseball in the backyard: hit a game-winning home run in the World Series. But Rhodes really did it. In the 1954 series, Rhodes’s New York Giants faced the Cleveland Indians, and in game 1, in the bottom of the 10th inning with the score tied and two men on base, Rhodes came in to pinch-hit and walloped a pitch from Hall of Famer Bob Lemon out of the park. The Giants went on to sweep Cleveland in four straight games. It was the best moment of Rhodes’s seven-year career, in which he had a batting average of .253 and hit 54 home runs in all.
After playing at George Mason University in his first two years (2009– 11) of college basketball, Hancock transferred to the University of Louisville, a basketball powerhouse. He was a decent player, averaging 7.7 points a game in his senior season (2012– 13). But his play kept the team advancing through the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and he exploded for 20 points in the semifinals against Wichita State. A couple of days later in the title game against Michigan, Louisville was down by 12 points late in the first half… only to have Hancock put up four straight three-point shots to cut Michigan’s lead to a single point by the end of the half. In the second half, Hancock sank one more three-pointer, which cemented a lead for Louisville, and they won, 82– 76. Hancock had taken five three-point shots in the game and made them all. With a total of 22 points, he was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, the first and only reserve player ever to win the honor. Despite that remarkable performance, no NBA team drafted Hancock. In 2014, he signed with a professional team in Greece, but played in only six games before he suffered a career-ending calf muscle tear. He now works as a financial advisor in Louisville.