"Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string." - Pelé

Enthusiasm is contagious :)

Aug. 28, 1977 - Pelé played in his final non-exhibition game as Cosmos defeated Sounders, 2-1, for NASL championship

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The game was an offensive slugfest, with the teams combining for 55 shots (29 Cosmos, 26 Sounders). Although Pelé did not score in the New York Cosmos’ 2-1 Soccer Bowl win over the Seattle Sounders, it was his day all the same. After the final whistle blew and the trophy was presented, it was Pele that the new champions hoisted onto their shoulders and carried off to the cheers of a standing-room crowd of 41,270 at Civic Stadium.

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(via athleticpoetics)

"If my uniform doesn’t get dirty, I haven’t done anything in the baseball game." - Rickey Henderson

Get down and dirty.

Aug. 27, 1982 - Rickey Henderson set the MLB record with his 119th stolen base

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Rickey Henderson's 119th stolen base of the season, breaks Lou Brock's record set in 1974. That season Henderson set a major league single season record by stealing 130 bases, a total which has not been approached since. He stole 84 bases by the All-Star break; no player has stolen as many as 84 bases in an entire season since 1988, when Henderson himself stole 93. Henderson’s 130 steals outpaced nine of the American League’s 14 teams that season.

"Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity." - Michael Johnson

Seize the opportunity.

Aug. 26, 1999 - Michael Johnson sets 400m World Record with 43.18 seconds

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Michael Johnson breaks Butch Reynolds' 11 year standing 400m world record of 43.29 by running 43.18 at the 1999 Seville World Champs which still stands as the world record today.

Johnson formerly held the world and Olympic record in the 200 m, and the world record in the indoor 400 m. He also currently holds the world’s best time at the 300 m. His 200 m time of 19.32 at the 1996 Summer Olympics stood as the record for over 12 years. Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest long sprinters in the history of track and field. Johnson’s stiff upright running stance and very short steps defied the conventional wisdom that a high knee lift was essential for maximum speed.

"If you can get an out on one pitch, take it. Let the strikeouts come on the outstanding pitches. Winning is the big thing. If you throw a lot of pitches, before you know it, your arm is gone." - Dwight Gooden

Get the W.

Aug. 25, 1985 - Mets’ Dwight Gooden is the youngest pitcher to win 20 games in a major league season

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In 1985 Dwight Gooden pitched one of the most statistically dominating single seasons in baseball history. Leading MLB with 24 wins, 268 strikeouts and a 1.53 ERA (the second lowest in the Live Ball Era, trailing only Bob Gibson’s 1.12 in 1968) Gooden earned the major leagues’ pitching Triple Crown. He led the National League in complete games (16) and innings pitched (276⅔). From his second start onward, Gooden’s ERA never rose above 2.00. At age 20, he was the youngest pitcher of the last half-century to have an ERA+ above 200. Gooden’s ERA+ was 229; 23-year-old Dean Chance (200 ERA+ in 1964) was the only such pitcher under the age of 25 to do so.

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"Somebody’s gotta win and somebody’s gotta lose and I believe in letting the other guy lose." - Pete Rose

It’s that simple.

Aug. 24, 1989 - MLB permanently banned Pete Rose for betting on baseball games

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The Major League baseball rule Pete Rose violated is: “Rule 21 MISCONDUCT, (d) BETTING ON BALL GAMES, Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.”

Pete Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball’s ineligible list. Rose accepted that there was a factual reason for the ban; in return, Major League Baseball agreed to make no formal finding with regard to the gambling allegations. According to baseball’s rules, Rose could apply for reinstatement in one year but Bart Giamatti said, “There is absolutely no deal for reinstatement. That is exactly what we did not agree to in terms of a fixed number of years.” Rose, with a 412–373 record, was replaced as Reds manager by Tommy Helms. Rose began therapy with a psychiatrist for treatment of a gambling addiction. Rose’s ban has prevented the Reds from formally retiring his No. 14 jersey.

"Fear is the greatest obstacle to learning. But fear is your best friend. Fear is like fire. If you learn to control it, you let it work for you. If you don’t learn to control it, it’ll destroy you and everything around you." - Mike Tyson

Fearless.

Aug. 23, 1988 - Mitch Green and champion Mike Tyson got into a street fight at 5 A.M. in Harlem

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Mike Tyson sustained a hairline fracture of his right hand when he and former opponent Mitch “Blood” Green brawled, at 5 A.M. in the street outside an all-night clothing store in Harlem. The Manhattan phone directory lists that location as a business called Dapper Dan, which Tyson described as an all-night clothing store that caters to performers. Tyson said he had gone there with two friends, Walter Berry of the San Antonio Spurs, and Berry’s cousin, Thomas Smalls, to pick up an $850 garment. As he was leaving Dapper Dan, Tyson said, he encountered Mitch Green.

The fighters had different versions of what happened next.

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"One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something." - Nolan Ryan

Prove it.

Aug. 22, 1989 - Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher in MLB to get 5,000 strike outs

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A fan favorite, Nolan Ryan was 42 years old and a 21-year major league veteran in 1989, but continued to deliver consistently powerful pitching. He was 14-7 coming into the game on August 22, with 219 strikeouts, and needed just six more to reach the 5,000-strikout milestone. Rickey Henderson led off the top of the fifth inning with Ryan sitting on 4,999. Henderson, as he did so often in his long career—he retired as the all-time walks leader—worked the count full, fouling off two pitches at a 3-2 count before swinging at and missing a low, 96-mile-per-hour fastball. After the game, Henderson told The New York Times, ”It was an honor to be the 5,000th. As Davey Lopes says, ‘If he ain’t struck you out, you ain’t nobody.’ ”

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"I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time." - Michael Phelps

Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.

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