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Our picks for the top individual performances from NFL, college, baseball, the Olympics and more
Even in a year when records fell, athletes achieved famous firsts and the games changed, 2012 seemed to be a more eventful than usual year in sports. And thanks to an Olympics year, a portion of this occurred on a grand stage.
Usain Bolt furthered his claim as the World’s Fastest Man. LeBron James answered the question of if he’d be a world champion. And Pablo Sandoval etched his name in World Series history.
It was a year of great sports feats by the elite athletes of this generation, but also a year of monumental upsets and firsts.
Our 2012 Year in Review series already looked back at the top individual performances in a handful of sports. Now, here’s the complete picture.
From January to December, what were the most impressive and legendary performances by single athletes this year? Here is our look.
Top 50 Individual Performances of 2012:
1. Aug. 5: Usain Bolt makes history
Slow starts are relative when it comes to Usain Bolt, but the 6-foot-5 Jamaican didn’t start the 100-meter dash quite as well as he would have hoped. No matter. Bolt hit his top speed in short order and took the lead to catch up to countryman Yohan Blake, who had beaten Bolt in the Jamaican trials. Bolt set an Olympic record with a time of 9.63 seconds, only 0.05 short of his own world record. Three of the top five finishers in the race -- considered one of the best collections of world-class sprinters in Olympic history -- set personal bests, all to finish behind Bolt anyway. Bolt also provided the impetus for this graphic.
2. June 7: LeBron closes door on Boston
The win to send the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals would be a game away, but LeBron James turned in the signature performance of his playoff career with 45 points and 15 rebounds in a 98-79 win over Boston on the road to force a Game 7 in South Beach. In a playoff run that acted as a referendum on James’ ability to win the Big One, LeBron responded emphatically in the Eastern Conference finals.
3. Oct. 25: Panda becomes a World Series home run hero
Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols and Pablo Sandoval. Those are the four players who have hit three home runs in a World Series game. The Kung Fu Panda struck in Game 1 last October on his way to earning the World Series MVP award. The Giants' Sandoval performed large on the biggest stage of the season in an 8-3 win over Detroit.
Related: Top 10 Performances in Baseball
4. April 9: Bubba's Pine Straw Miracle
Bubba Watson trumped Louis Oosthuizen's double eagle with a miracle shot of his own, curving a wedge approach out of the trees and onto the green at No. 10 to set up a clinching two-putt par in his playoff with Oosthuizen, earning Bubba an emotional Masters win. Watson was spectacular down the stretch of his final-round 68, draining four birdies in a row from 13-16. His short birdie putt on the par-3 16th drew him even with Oosthuizen, who was unable to match Bubba's par on the second playoff hole. Fittingly for Watson and his famously home-made game, it was his heroic, creative recovery from the pine straw that they'll be talking about at the 2050 Champions Dinner. "I was there earlier today in regulation,” Watson said afterward. “I hooked it 40 yards. I’m pretty good at hooking it."
Related: Top Five Performances in Golf
5. Nov. 10: Johnny Manziel’s Heisman moment
Alabama wasn’t invincible after all. In a game that propelled Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel to the Heisman Trophy, Manziel stunned No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa for the Tide’s first defeat since LSU during the 2011 regular season. Manziel broke off miracle runs and bobbled a snap only to turn it into a touchdown pass early in building a three-score lead in the first quarter. Alabama crawled back into the game, but Manziel finished 24 of 31 for 253 yards with two touchdowns in the 29-24 win. He also rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries.
Related: Top 10 Performances in College Football
6. Jan. 14: Tom Brady truly terrific against Denver in AFC playoffs
Denver came into this AFC Divisional playoff matchup with New England riding a bunch of momentum after shocking Pittsburgh at home in its overtime win the previous Sunday. Brady and the Patriots’ offense made sure the Broncos knew who the best team was in this one, however, as No. 12 tossed five touchdown passes in the first half and added one more in the third quarter to tie the postseason single-game record. Brady broke his own franchise record for most passing yards (363) in a playoff game and climbed up the all-time postseason passing charts with arguably his best playoff performance yet.
Related: Top 10 Performances in the NFL
7. March 31: Anthony Davis’ Big Blue dominance
With one of the best seasons in college basketball history, at least in terms of the trophy case he filled in one year, Anthony Davis may have trouble picking out his own best game of the year. The one Kentucky fans may remember most, though, is his major role in vanquishing rival Louisville in the Final Four. Davis had 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting with 14 rebounds and five blocks against the Cardinals. Kentucky would win the national championship two days later.
Related: Top Five Performances in College Basketball
8. Oct. 14: Aaron Rodgers torches undefeated Texans in primetime
Green Bay entered the Week 6 Sunday night showdown with Houston at just 2-3, having blown a 21-3 halftime lead to Indianapolis Colts the previous week. The Texans were undefeated, boasted one of the league’s best defenses, and seemingly ready to make a statement on national television by taking down the mighty Packers. The reigning NFL MVP had something else in mind, however, throwing two touchdown passes in the first quarter to help his team jump out to a 14-0 lead. He would add four more in the next three quarters, tying the Green Bay single-game record with six touchdown passes, as the Packers would cruise to a convincing 42-24 victory. Rodgers finished with 338 yards and no turnovers, becoming just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 300 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions in a game.
9. June 14: LeBron again with a flair for the dramatic
James finished with 32 points in a 100-96 Game 2 win over Oklahoma City in the NBA Finals. The sheer numbers were important, but they key plays came late. With 1:26 remaining, James hit a jumper from with four seconds left on the shot clock to open a five-point lead. On a 12-for-12 day from free throw line, James hit two freebies in the final seven seconds to put the game out of reach and the NBA title in the Heat’s sights.
10. May 8: Josh Hamilton punishes Baltimore pitching
Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton sandwiched a double between four home runs in his punishment on Baltimore pitching. Hamilton hit two homers and the double off Orioles starter Jake Arrieta. He then victimized Zach Phillips and Darren O’Day for a grand total of eight RBI. Hamilton raised his American League-leading batting average to .406 with his five hits and ended the day with 14 homers and 36 RBI, both tops in the American League at the time.
11. Aug. 2: Gabby Douglas becomes new gymnastics sweetheart
In addition to providing one of the most iconic photos of the London Olympics, the 16-year-old Douglas is on her way to being the next American sweetheart in gymnastics on par with Mary Lou Retton. Douglas became the first African-American to win the gold medal in the all-around event. Douglas took a narrow lead into the final event, but clinched her gold with a 15.033 score in the floor exercise.
12. Nov. 4: Rookie Doug Martin breaks out in Oakland
Martin, the No. 31 overall pick in April’s draft out of Boise State, entered the game in Oakland coming off of his best performance of his rookie season. He piled up 214 total yards and two touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s win in Minnesota the previous Thursday. Little did anyone know he would make that game seem minor, but that’s what happened as he piled up 251 yards on 25 rushing attempts in the Buccaneers’ Week 9 win against the Raiders. Besides posting the third-most rushing yards by a rookie in a game, Martin joined Mike Anderson as the only backs in NFL history with at least 250 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a single contest. Martin scored on runs of 70, 67, 45 and 1, making him the first back since 1940 to score on three runs of at least 45 yards in one game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
13. Aug. 12: Rory McIlroy at the PGA Championship
Call it the Snore by the Shore. Twenty-one years after the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island brought the world's greatest players to their knees at the 1991 Ryder Cup in the famed "War by the Shore," Rory McIlroy turned the tables on Pete Dye's seaside creation at the PGA Championship, subduing the Ocean Course and an elite field in winning his second major championship in two years. In posting 13-under and winning by eight strokes, McIlroy reprised his eight-shot win at the 2011 U.S. Open, becoming the first player in golf history to earn his first two major wins in such dominant fashion. Glory's Last Shot was Rory's personal showcase, as he destroyed the recent trend of late collapses with a textbook display of major championship golf — fairways, greens and made putts, with a few successful scrambles thrown in.
14. Oct. 10: Jarvis Jones’ party in Jacksonville
The Georgia linebacker took over a handful of games this season, but few were as impressive -- and important to the Bulldogs’ season -- as his effort against Florida. Jones finished with 13 tackles, three sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss in the 17-9 win over the Gators, which ended up clinching the SEC East for the Bulldogs. One of his two forced fumbles poked the ball away from Gators tight end Jordan Reed in the red zone, ending Florida’s final scoring chance.
15. Sept. 22: Manti Te’o’s grief and joy
The same week Te’o’s grandmother and girlfriend died, the Notre Dame linebacker had his best game of the season against Michigan. Te’o finished with eight tackles and intercepted Michigan’s Denard Robinson twice.
Update: Deadspin reports Te'o's girlfriend was a hoax
16. May 18: Justin Verlander dominates the Pirates
Perhaps Verlander’s most notable start was his four-hit, one-walk shutout against the Oakland A’s in the deciding Game 5 of the ALDS. However, his most dominating effort came in May with a one-hit shutout of the Pirates. The no-hit effort wasn't broken up until Josh Harrison bounced a hit up the middle in the ninth inning. Verlander walked two and just two runners reached second base in the 6-0 Tigers win.
17. Oct. 10: Raul Ibanez takes over for A-Rod
It took guts for New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi to pinch-hit for star Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning with the game on the line in Game 3 of the ALDS. But Raul Ibanez was called off the bench to hit for A-Rod with the Yankees down 2-1 with one out and facing Baltimore closer Jim Johnson, who had been lights out all season. Ibanez rewarded his manager not once but twice. He took Johnson deep to tie the game, sending it to extra innings. Ibanez struck again in the 12th inning with a bomb to win it, giving the Yankees an edge in the series.
18. Aug. 3: Missy Franklin takes spot in USA swimming
With Michael Phelps gone in the next Olympics, there’s room for a new star in among American swimmers. Missy Franklin entered the Olympics with fanfare and delivered. The 17-year-old demolished the world record by finishing the 200-meter backstroke in 2:04.06, giving Team USA its first gold in the event in 40 years.
19. June 2: King Quick
Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick had a playoff run for the ages, but the best performance may have been a 32-save effort to give the Kings a 2-1 win in overtime in Game 2 on the road against the New Jersey Devils in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.
20. Humber, Cain and Hernandez pitch perfect games
It seemed as if some pitcher flirted with a no-hitter every couple of nights. So, to honor the perfect games, three are presented as a three-way tie.
20a. The White Sox’ Phil Humber entered the season with a modest 11-10 lifetime record with just 214.1 innings in his six-year career. But in his second start of 2012, the journeyman righthander tossed a perfect game at Seattle, striking out nine in the White Sox 4-0 win.
20b. Matt Cain, the ace of the Giants, was at his best in a 10-0 whitewashing of the Astros. Cain struck out 14 in his perfect game. He had a three-ball count on just four hitters, striking out three of them in his masterpiece.
20c. Just 11 days after a masterful performance at Yankee Stadium in which Felix Hernandez needed just 101 pitches in a two-hit 1-0 win over the Yankees, he threw a perfect game at home against the Rays. Once again, there was little run support for King Felix as the Mariners won 1-0. Hernandez whiffed 12 Rays in the 113-pitch effort.
21. Nov. 18: Matt Schaub’s record-setting day helps Texans outlast Jaguars
Known for its running game, Houston relied on Schaub and the passing attack in Week 11 against AFC South rival Jacksonville. Thanks to Chad Henne’s impressive performance (354-4-0) off of the bench, the Texans found themselves in a closer-than-expected battle with the Jaguars. Schaub saved the day with his franchise-record 43 completions, 527 passing yards and career-high five touchdown passes. The yards tied Warren Moon for the second-most in a game in NFL history, second only to Norm Van Brocklin’s 554 (set back in 1951). Schaub threw two scoring strikes with less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter to tie the game, and finally won it with a 48-yarder to wide receiver Andre Johnson with just 2:10 left in overtime.
22. Dec. 16: Adrian Peterson continues run for history with season-best effort in St. Louis
At this rate, you could make one impressive list of performances just using Peterson’s 2012 season, but for our purposes, we’ll go with this gem. Less than a year removed from a devastating knee injury, Peterson is redefining the term Comeback Player of the Year, and that’s with all due respect to what Peyton Manning is doing in his first season in Denver. Look no further than the Dec. 16 212-yard effort in Minnesota’s win in St. Louis, highlighted by a 82-yard touchdown run. Not only was it All Day’s second 200-yard game of the season, it was the fourth of his career. Only O.J. Simpson (six) and Tiki Barber (five) have more such games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
23. June 7: Djokovic outlasts Nadal
Novak Djokovic outlasted Rafael Nadal in a grueling marathon of an Australian Open final with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 victory that took five hours and 53 minutes and didn’t end until 1:37 a.m. Djokovic won the longest finals match in Grand Slam singles history, and the victory came against an opponent in Nadal who specializes in winning long, grinding matches.
24. March 16: O’Quinn stuns Missouri
Missouri was one of the surprise teams of the season in 2011-12, but the Tigers ended the season with a shock of their own. Kyle O’Quinn scored 26 points with 14 rebounds as 15th-seeded Norfolk State of the MEAC upset No. 2-seed Missouri 86-84 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Norfolk State became the fifth No. 15 seed to win an NCAA Tournament game and the first since Hampton in 2001. “We even messed up my bracket,” O’Quinn said.
25. March 16: Speaking of messing up brackets...
Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum has been one of the nation’s highest-scoring players for four seasons, but he’s hardly a household name playing in the Patriot League. A win over Duke in the NCAA Tournament. Lehigh became the second No. 15 seed to win a Tournament game that day and sixth all-time when McCollum scored 30 points in the 75-70 win over Duke. McCollum added six rebounds and six assists.
26. Jan. 9: McCarron manages Mathieu
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron was derided as a “game manager” all too often in 2011-12, but he proved the skeptics wrong by turning in the most critical individual performance in a 21-0 handling of LSU in the BCS Championship Game. McCarron’s 23-of-34 showing for 234 yards came seemingly from nowhere as the Alabama quarterback picked on Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu and the Tigers secondary.
27. June 8: R.A. Dickey strikes out the Orioles
The National League Cy Young winner also had two stellar performances seriously considered for our greatest list. After winning three consecutive starts without allowing a run, R.A. Dickey won back-to-back one-hitters over Tampa Bay and Baltimore. In the one-hitter against the Orioles, Dickey walked just two and struck out 13 in the 5-0.
28. Nov. 18: Tavon Austin’s switcheroo
West Virginia struggled to run the ball all year, so against Oklahoma, Dana Holgorsen changed his approach: He asked his best athlete to start running the ball. Tavon Austin responded to his first day at tailback with 344 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. With 146 yards on kickoff returns and 82 receiving yards, Austin finished with 572 all-purpose yards, only six yards short of the FBS record in the 50-49 loss.
30. Jan. 1: Matt Flynn makes most of only start of 2011 season
With the top seed and home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs already secure, Green Bay decided to rest eventual MVP Aaron Rodgers in the season finale against Detroit on New Year’s Day. Enter Flynn, making his first start of the season and only second of his NFL career. Turns out Flynn can do a pretty decent Rodgers impression, as he torched the Lions for 480 yards and six touchdowns, both Packers’ single-game records, in the 45-41 win. Flynn teamed with Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford to set some NFL history of their own, as it was the first time opposing quarterbacks each threw for more than 400 yards and at least five touchdowns in a game. It also set the mark for most net passing yards (971) in a single game.
31. May 15: Keselowski pulls away in Talladega
Brad Keselowski clinched the Sprint Cup thanks to late-season mishaps from Jimmie Johnson, the only other contender for the Cup. So Keselowski’s signature performance in a consistent season may have been his win in Talladega. With a nifty move on the final lap, Keselowski whipped ahead of Kyle Busch to win by a 0.304-second margin.
32. March 4: Rajon Rondo’s doubly impressive feat
Triple-doubles aren’t all that uncommon for Boston Celtics guard, but this one in March against the Knicks is up there. Rondo scored 18 points and dished out 20 assists in the 115-111 overtime win. He also grabbed an astounding 17 rebounds giving Rondo the first triple-double with at last 17 in each category since Magic Johnson did it in 1989.
32. Aug. 9: David Rudisha’s world record
Not even Usain Bolt set a world record in London. Kenyan David Rudisha did with his gold medal in the 800 meters. Rudisha finished in one minute, 40.91 seconds, beating his own record by a tenth of a second.
33. April 15: A Quick sign of things to come
The L.A. Kings would go on to win the Stanley Cup, but in Game 3 of the first round against Western Conference regular season champion Vancouver, they were just shocking underdogs. Quick had 41 saves in the 1-0 shutout in Game 3 to set the tone for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
34. Jan. 1: Matthew Stafford caps breakout 2011 season with record-setting day
Prior to the 2011 season, Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2009 draft, had trouble simply staying on the field. In his first two seasons he missed more games (19) than he played in (13), raising all sorts of questions about his long-term future. He put many of these to rest after passing for more than 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns last season, helping the Lions end a 12-year playoff drought in the process. Stafford saved his best for last, throwing for 520 yards and five touchdowns against Green Bay in a 45-41 loss on New Year’s Day to close out the ’11 regular season. Even though he shared the Lambeau Field spotlight that day with Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn, it was Stafford who finished with the fifth-most yards passing in a single game and the most by a losing quarterback since Dan Marino had 521 back in 1988.
35. Feb. 4: Sure-handed Tony Parker
In a February game against would-be Western Conference champion Oklahoma City, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker finished with 42 points and nine assists. In a game in which Parker took 29 shots from the field, he also finished with no turnovers in his matchup with Russell Westbrook.
36. April 30: Ryan Braun blows up San Diego
Ryan Braun, the reigning NL MVP, had four of the Brewers’ seven hits and drove home six of their eight runs in Milwaukee’s 8-5 win at San Diego. After hitting home runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, Braun came to the plate in the ninth inning with an opportunity for a rare four-home run game. He tripled in a couple of runs with a shot to deep right-center. He finished 4 of 5 with six RBI and three runs.
37. Nov. 3: Kenjon Barner rips USC
Barner didn’t set a Pac-12 record (that would have been Ka’Deem Carey’s 366 yards against Colorado), but his 321 yards against USC was record-breaking nonetheless. Barner rushed for a school record and a record for a USC opponent with his 300-yard game against the Trojans which included five touchdowns in the 62-51 win. Being from Riverside, Calif., only added to Barner’s excitement (and USC’s misery).
38. July 22: Ernie Els Shocks Adam Scott at Royal Lytham
The agony and the ecstasy of golf were on full display at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, and when it was over, Ernie Els had his second Claret Jug and fourth major, and Adam Scott had first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to be Greg Norman. Or Jason Dufner. Els didn't back into it, though, posting a back-9 4-under 32 in the stiffening breezes of Royal Lytham and rolling in a clutch birdie on the 72nd hole before grabbing a sandwich and watching Scott implode with bogeys on the final four holes. It was an utterly shocking turn of events on a day that seemed like a Scott coronation until the heartbreaking conclusion. Els now has major championships in three different decades and four majors for his career, tying Phil Mickelson for second-most of the Woods era.
39. Sept. 29: West Virginia’s Big 12 welcome
Bash the Baylor defense if you must, but what Geno Smith did at the end of September would have been impressive in a summer 7-on-7. Smith threw more touchdown passes (eight) than he did incomplete passes (six) that day against the Bears in West Virginia’s first game as a Big 12 team. Smith completed 45 of 51 passes for a school-record 656 yards that day.
40. Aug. 13: Ambrose wins a thriller
In perhaps the most thrilling NASCAR race of the year, Marcos Ambrose came out on top in a wild final lap at Watkins Glen in which he battled with Kyle Busch and eventual Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski. Busch spun out in the final lap, leaving Ambrose and Keselowski dueling for the checkered flag.
41. Nov. 18: Andre Johnson first declaws Jacksonville’s secondary then breaks Jaguars’ hearts in overtime
While Matt Schaub rewrote the Houston passing records in the Texans’ Week 11 win over Jacksonville, he would not have done so without a huge assist from Johnson. Schaub found his favorite target 14 times for 273 yards against the Jaguars, including a 48-yard game-winning touchdown with just 2:01 remaining in overtime. It was a career day for Johnson, as the All-Pro wideout set a franchise record for receiving yards and posted the seventh-highest single-game total in NFL history.
42. Feb. 4: Denmon’s wild finish
Kansas and Missouri did their best to remind us what we’d miss with this rivalry going away as a casualty of realignment. Both games were classics, but Marcus Denmon’s wild finish in Columbia gets the nod. The Missouri guard playing out of position at small forward scored the final 11 points in the 74-71 win. Denmon converted a three-point play and hit two shots from beyond the arc in the final 2:05 for a thrilling finish. He finished with 29 points and nine rebounds.
43. June 28: Lukas Rosol’s Wimbledon upset
The second defeat of Rafael Nadal on our list, Rosol’s victory in five sets in Wimbledon was one of the biggest upsets of the year. Making his Wimbledon debut, Rosol defeated Nadal 6-7 (9-11), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Nadal hadn’t lost before the third round of a Grand Slam since 2005.
44. Sept. 23: Old Dominion QB claims passing records
FCS football is often in the shadows of college sports, but not when one of its quarterbacks breaks NCAA all-division records. Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke set records for passing yards (730) and total offense (791) on 55-of-79 passing with five touchdowns against New Hampshire, which entered the game with the top defense in the FCS.
45. Jan. 14: Rob Gronkowski sets a new postseason standard for tight ends
Half of Tom Brady’s record-tying six touchdown passes (see No. 6) in last season’s AFC Divisional round victory over Denver went to Rob Gronkowski, his favorite tight end. Gronkowksi finished the game against the Broncos with 10 receptions for 145 yards and the three scores. Not only did the man affectionately known as “Gronk” tie the postseason single-game record for touchdown catches, he posted the most productive game by a tight end in the playoffs in 25 seasons. In fact, Jan. 14 was a big day for tight ends in general as New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham and San Francisco’s Vernon Davis also had more than 100 yards receiving and caught two touchdowns in their respective games.
46. Nov. 19: Aldon Smith dominates Bears on Monday Night Football
Week 11 was set up to finish with a bang, as San Francisco was hosting Chicago in a matchup of two of the top teams in the NFC and toughest defenses in the NFL. Alas, the Monday Night Football showdown never materialized as the 49ers’ defense manhandled the Bears’ offense from the opening snap, highlighted by Smith’s 5.5 sacks. Even though it was backup Jason Campbell under center for the Bears in place of a concussed Jay Cutler, it didn’t matter to Smith and the rest of the 49ers, as the linebacker also chipped in seven total tackles and two forced fumbles in the convincing 32-7 whitewashing. The Bears may be the Monsters of the Midway, but Smith was an absolute beast that night.
47. Feb. 8: Rivers’ dramatic game-winner
Austin Rivers made sure his one season at Duke left a lasting impression. Rivers hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in Duke’s 85-84 win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Rivers ended a furious 10-point rally in the final 2:30 in one of the wildest finishes in the the history of the rivalry. The final 3-pointer was his sixth of the game and capped a 29-point effort against North Carolina.
48. Nov. 21: Jack Taylor’s controversial outburst
At first, Jack Taylor’s NCAA-record 138 points was a jaw-dropping stat line. Then the performance against Faith Baptist Bible College by the guard at Division III Grinnell College became subject for debate. The game was engineered to give Taylor a gaudy stat line has he took 108 shots from the field (making 52) and 71 from 3-point range (making 27).
49. Sept. 30: Mike Napoli's 6 RBI against the Angels
With the Rangers struggling to stay on top of the AL West as the Oakland A’s surged, Texas fell behind the Angels 4-0 in the first inning. It was Mike Napoli to the rescue as he homered in the second and third innings before adding a double in the fifth. His six RBI helped the Rangers take an 8-4 lead in a game they would eventually win 8-7.
50. Feb. 2: Eight is great
Edmonton center Sam Gagner became the 13th person in NHL history to record at least eight points in a game when he had four goals and four assists as he played a hand in all of the Oilers goals in an 8-4 win over the Blackhawks.
-Rob Doster, David Fox, Charlie Miller and Mark Ross contributed to this report.