Today in 1962, one of the most stunning performances in the history of pro sports: Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an NBA game.
It’s still a record; in fact, only one other NBA player has ever scored more than eighty points in a game.
A hundred points is what an entire team might score in a typical game.
Of course, the game that night was anything but typical.
For one thing, it was a so-called neutral game, played in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Both teams were on the road, playing to just 4,000 fans, zero TV cameras and only one pro photographer, who left after the first quarter.
Chamberlain’s team, the Philadelphia Warriors, was having a very good season.
The opposing New York Knicks, on the other hand, were at the bottom of the standings.
And their starting center, the guy who would be defending Chamberlain, was out of the lineup.
Instead, the 7’1” Chamberlain would face a 6’9” rookie, Cleveland Buckner.
But it wasn’t just a mismatch that led to a record scoring night.
Chamberlain was in the zone the whole game.
He hit 36 shots from the field, and he sank 28 of his 32 free throw attempts, even though his career free throw average was just 51 percent.
The star didn’t just score – he also had 25 rebounds and two assists – but as his point total grew, people started to realize Chamberlain was on the cusp of doing something that had never been done before.
Fans started shouting to his teammates, “Give it to Wilt!”
And they did; even when the other Warriors were open, they got the ball to Chamberlain.
With just 46 seconds left in the game he scored his last two-pointer of the game, for 100 in all.
Now, if you hear this and go, well, what’s 100 points against a not so great team without its starting center, consider this: Chamberlain finished the season with an average of over 50 points and 25 rebounds a game.
And, thanks to some games that went into overtime, he averaged 48.5 minutes of play that year, in a league where games are 48 minutes long.
Some people just go above and beyond.
Today in 1935, the release of a short film called “Donkey Baseball,” featuring a bunch of amateur baseball fans who put together a baseball game where most of the players have to ride donkeys, like when they ride the bases.
What’s next, squirrel hockey? Panda curling? Squid ga- eh, never mind.
Donkey Baseball (YouTube)