Top 5 Sports Stories

02/17/2012 11:24 am ET | Updated Apr 18, 2012
  • Len Berman Emmy Award winning sportscaster and New York Times Bestselling Author

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for February 17, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Gary Carter is dead at the age of 57.
  • The Yankees and Pirates are hammering out a deal that sends pitcher A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh.
  • Phil Mickelson stays hot. After winning at Pebble Beach he has a one shot lead at Riviera.
  • Jeremy Lin goes from who? to All Star weekend. He'll take part in the "Rising Stars" competition.

2. Gary Carter

Gary Carter has died far too young. The Hall of Fame catcher made his name in Montreal, but it was his trade to New York that made the Mets. In his Opening Day debut in 1985, he hit a game-winning 10th inning homer. The next year he won it all. It was Carter who started that 10th inning rally in game 6 which culminated in Mookie Wilson's ground ball through Bill Buckner's legs. He just refused to make the last out of the World Series. But strip away all the baseball heroics and it was Carter's personality that was always shining. Deeply religious, upbeat, friendly to all including the media. Some teammates mistook that for phoniness. It wasn't. That's who Gary was. If only life were like baseball, Gary Carter would have again refused to make the last out. RIP Kid. You were loved."

3. Time Flies

Tomorrow night in Salt Lake City the ice skating stars from the 2002 Olympics will return. 10 years have passed, really? Sarah Hughes of course will be there. What a moment for the then 16-year old from Great Neck when she shockingly captured Olympic gold. My new kids book due out this fall is called Greatest Moments in Sports: Upsets and Underdogs. Sarah's story will be told as will many others, some famous, others not so much. Although if this Lin kid leads the Knicks to the championship, my book will have to be rewritten before it's even published!

4. Friday eMailbag

Jeremy Lin dominated your comments. Some of it from Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5."

*P.H. I've actually started watching the Knicks!

*R.C. For a guy like me who gave up watching the NBA in the early 80's due to lack of team play... he is a breath of LIN air.

*S.S. Tebow and Lin have made sports more fun than I have seen and felt in a LONG time!

*R.T. suggests a bit of caution. People have him in the basketball Hall of Fame after 10 days. Let's wait a bit!

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight is a heartwarming tale from Gettysburg College. Senior Cory Weissman got into the game against Washington College on Senior Day. It was three years after suffering a stroke. He was fouled on purpose to give him a chance to score. Check out what happened.

Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday February 23rd in the 8:30am half hour.

Happy Birthday: Two of the all time greats, football's Jim Brown. 76. Basketball's Michael Jordan. 49.
Bonus Birthday: Paris Hilton. 31.

Today in Sports: Joe DiMaggio enlists in the Army. 1943.
Bonus Event: Joan Rivers appeared as a guest for the first time on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. 1965.

Fun fact: The Top 5 was read yesterday in Sweden, Thailand and Namibia. Still waiting for Russia!

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