The Fourth of July is a day to see family and friends, set off fireworks and celebrate America. What could be more American than doing all three while also watching sports? Here are some events ThePostGame recommends watching on Thursday to liven up your Independence Day festivities, followed by a slideshow on the greatest Fourth of July sports moments.

1. Wimbledon, 8 a.m. ET on Centre Court
We won our independence from the British, but that shouldn't prevent you from watching their storied tennis tournament. The women's singles and men's doubles semifinals are on in the morning.

2. Chicago Red Stars at Western New York Flash, 2 p.m. ET
This game in the upstart National Women's Soccer League features several Team U.S.A. stars, including Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd of the Flash.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies, 8 p.m. ET
Check out Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig as the streaking (and finally healthy) Dodgers, who have won nine of their last 10, take on Colorado.

4. St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Angels, 10 p.m. ET
In the final game of his first series against St. Louis, will struggling former Cardinal Albert Pujols set off some fireworks?

Memorable Fourth Of July Sports Moments Slideshow


1910: Jack Johnson's 'Fight Of The Century

Johnson, the heavyweight champion of the world and son of a slave, defeats retired former champion Jim Jeffries in a fight that exposes America's racial tensions. After San Francisco declines to host the fight, Reno hastily rushes to build a stadium specifically for the bout. Though Jeffries has slipped out of shape in retirement and Johnson is the world champion, the betting lines favor the ex-champ. Johnson proves the doubters wrong with a 15th-round knockout, leading blacks around the country to rejoice. However, many are beaten by angry whites in one of the uglier Independence Day moments.


1939: Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech

Days after he is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which had ended his record consecutive games streak at 2,130, Lou Gehrig makes a farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. It goes down as arguably the most famous speech in sports history, with Gehrig telling the fans "today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth." Gehrig passes away less than two years later at age 37.


1980: Nolan Ryan's 3,000th Strikeout

At only 33-years-old, Ryan notches the landmark strikeout with the Houston Astros. He continues pitching until age 46, retiring with 5,714 strikeouts and seven no-hitters, both MLB records.


1983: Dave Righetti Throws No-Hitter

Righetti strikes out Wade Boggs to no-hit the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Righetti not only helps America and Yankees fans celebrate, but also owner George Steinbrenner, who was born July 4, 1930.


1984: Phil Niekro's 3,000th Strikeout

One year later, another Yankee brings Fourth of July memories to the Bronx. The 45-year-old knuckleballer ends up pitching three more seasons after 1984, retiring with 3,342 career strikeouts and 318 wins.


1984: Richard Petty's Final Victory

With President Ronald Reagan watching, Petty takes his 200th and final victory lap by winning the Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway. It counts as a birthday present for Petty, who was born July 2, 1937.


1985: Mets and Braves Go 19 Innings

Dwight Gooden (pictured here against the Cardinals) starts the game for the Mets, but lasts roughly an eighth of it, pitching 2.1 innings. New York wins after 4 a.m. in Atlanta, which has a fireworks show prepared for the Fourth of July. The show proceeds, awaking startled residents nearby Fulton County Stadium, who fear the city is under attack or apocalypse.


1987: Martina Navratilova Wins Eighth Wimbledon Singles Title

Navratilova defeats rival Steffi Graf in straight sets after losing to Graf in the French Open final. Graf eventually finishes the year with the No. 1 singles ranking, but Navratilova wins the '87 U.S. Open as well (Graf had been eliminated prior the final). Navratilova wins a combined 16 Wimbledon singles and doubles titles.


1994: U.S. Loses World Cup Heartbreaker To Brazil

Remembered as the team that put U.S. men's soccer on the map, the Americans hang around with eventual champion Brazil in the second round until a goal in the 73rd minute at Stanford Stadium. The tournament also contains tragedy, as Colombian defender Andrés Escobar is murdered after an own-goal against the U.S. in group play.


2008: Albert Pujols Hits 300th Homer

Three years before Cardinals fans shun him for leaving, Pujols is at the peak of his adoration in St. Louis. He smacks his landmark homer against the despised Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium and goes on to win the 2008 and 2009 National League MVP awards.


2008: Rockies Erase Nine-Run Deficit

On the same night that Pujols hits home run No. 300, the Rockies and Florida Marlins play a wild one in Denver. The Marlins jump out to a 13-4 lead in the fourth inning, but Colorado storms back for an 18-17 victory on catcher Chris Iannetta's (pictured) bases-loaded, walk-off single.

previous next