"My dad taught me that there’s three parts: There’s hitting, there’s defense, and there’s baserunning. And as long as you keep those three separated, you’re going to be a good player. I mean, you can’t take your defense on the bases, you can’t take your hitting to the field, and you can’t take your baserunning at the plate. But defense, is number one." - Ken Griffey Jr.

Defense is numero uno.

Aug. 31, 1990 - Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. play together for the Seattle Mariners

In their first game together Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. hit back-to-back singles in the first inning and would later come around to score.

Ken Jr. was selected with the first overall pick in the 1987 amateur draft and it did not take him long to make it to the Majors. Less than two years later, at the age of 19, Griffey found himself as the starting center fielder for the Seattle Mariners. Meanwhile, his father was in the twilight of his career and had been released by the Cincinnati Reds, leading to his signing with the Mariners. The Griffey’s would end up playing a total of 51 games together before Ken Sr. retired in May of 1991 at the age of 41.

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"My father made me who I am. He gave me a basketball and told me to play with the ball, sleep with the ball, dream with the ball. Just don’t take it to school. I used it as a pillow, and it never gave me a stiff neck." - Shaquille O’Neal

Hoop dreams.

Aug. 30, 1991 - Mike Powell set the world record for long jump

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At the 1991 World Championships in Athletics (Tokyo), Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon's almost 23-year-old long jump world record by 5 cm (2 inches), leaping 8.95 m (29 ft 4¼ in). The world record still stands, making Powell the fourth person since 1900 to hold the record for over 20 years. His feat earned him the James E. Sullivan Award and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 1991. He also holds the longest non-legal jump of 8.99 m (29 ft 5¾ in) (wind-aided +4.4) set at high altitude in Sestriere, Italy in 1992.

"Dr. King was in my mind and heart when I raised my fist on that podium." - John Carlos

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

Aug. 29, 1974 - Moses Malone is the first ball player drafted from high school

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Moses Malone was immediately signed by the Utah Stars. He became an instant success, averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds per game in his rookie season. He played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) until the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. He then played 19 successful seasons with 7 NBA teams. He won the NBA championship, along with the Finals Most Valuable Player Award, with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983. His other achievements include 3 Most Valuable Player Awards, 12 consecutive All-Star Game selections, 8 All-NBA Team selections and 6 rebounding titles. He has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named in the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list announced at the league’s 50th anniversary in 1996.

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.

"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.

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.

"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.

Aug. 21, 2004 - Michael Phelps wins eighth medal at Summer Olympics in Greece

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Michael Phelps left Athens with six gold and two bronze medals. His eight total medals tied him with Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin for the most medals ever won by a competitor at a single Olympic Games.

Since then, Phelps has become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. In Beijing in 2008, he broke Mark Spitz's record by winning eight gold medals. After his performance in London in 2012, he now has 22 medals, including 18 gold medals.

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