10/25/2012 11:26 am ET Updated Dec 25, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories


Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 25, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Giants beat the Tigers 8-3 in game 1 of the World Series last night. Pablo Sandoval joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit three homers in a World Series game. Game 2 is tonight in San Francisco.
  • The New York Islanders are moving to Brooklyn in 2015.
  • NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said we can basically forget about a full 82-game season. At the moment it looks like a zero-game season.

2. Island Hopping

The New York Islanders are skating to Brooklyn. Borough President Marty Markowitz wins the hyperbole award. He claimed the Brooklyn/Manhattan hockey rivalry will surpass the Brooklyn Dodgers/New York Giants. Oh really? It's a sad day for Long Islanders with fond memories of the glory years. But time marches on. And no name change. They'll remain the New York Islanders. Technically, Brooklyn is part of Long Island. So the Islanders playing in Brooklyn isn't a misnomer. And it's not as bad as the Lakers playing in L.A. instead of Minnesota and the Jazz in Utah, not New Orleans.

3. Positioning

Can you have a basketball team without a center? Blasphemy! But that's the case when it comes to the new NBA all-star ballot. You'll have backcourt and frontcourt. That's it. So maybe you'll have two centers in the starting five. How about Wilt and Russell? Anyway, I guess it makes sense. The baseball all-star ballot just lists "outfield," so you can have three center fielders. I'll choose Willie, Mickey and the Duke even though they were in two different leagues.

4. Memories

There aren't that many events where we can say "I remember where I was when..." But what happened 26 years ago today at Shea Stadium just might be one of them. The Boston Red Sox were perched on their dugout steps ready to celebrate their first championship since 1918 when... well you know the rest of the story. I wish my story were better. I was nodding off in a hotel room in Buffalo when Vin Scully's call of Mookie's grounder woke me up. I was there to call a Bills/Patriots game for NBC the next day. The Patriots won the game 23-3. I had to look it up because I have zero memory of that game, unlike what had happened a few hours before in New York.

5. Jeff Blatnick

Jeff Blatnick overcame cancer and won the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling. In 2000 I worked with Jeff at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. I was assigned to cover Greco-Roman wrestling and I didn't know a Greco from a Roman. But Jeff walked me through it, and when Rulon Gardner stunned the world by beating the unbeatable Alexander Karelin, Jeff dubbed it "The Miracle on the Mat." He later was well known in the mixed martial arts arena. An American Olympic hero and all around good guy, Jeff Blatnick passed away yesterday from complications following heart surgery at the far too young age of 55.

Happy Birthday: Former Celtics center Dave Cowens. 64.

Bonus Birthday: Singer Katy Perry. 28.

Today in Sports: "And it gets by Buckner." 1986.

Bonus Event: For history buffs, the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean war. 1854.

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