This article is compiled with the greatest moments in Toronto’s major sports teams (NHL, NBA, MLB) in the last 30 years. Before beginning, let’s start with a few honourable mentions that didn’t make the cut.
10. Gilmour in double OT (1993)
- Vladdy’s Record Breaking HR Derby (2019)
- The Leafs Winning the Draft Lottery to Select Auston Matthews (2016)
- Dave Stieb’s No Hitter (1990)
- Sundin breaks Maple Leafs Goals and Points Record (2007)
- Opening of the Skydome (1989)
- The Raptors beat the Bulls (1996)
- Raptors trade Demar Derozan (2018)
- John Tavares comes home (2018)
- Leafs trade for Gilmour (1992)
- Dave Stewart’s No Hitter (1990)
- Leafs final game at the Gardens (1999)
- Raptors draft Damon Stoudimire (1995)
The Leafs and Blues faced off in the 1993 Norris Division Finals. Both really good teams, this series was set to be a treat for hockey fans and it did not disappoint. The game went into double overtime where 3 minutes and 16 seconds in, Doug Gilmour worked his magic behind the net where he quickly faked going left and wrapped the puck in on the right side of legendary goalie Curtis Joseph to give the Maple Leafs a crucial game 1 win.
9. The Bat Flip (2015)
Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS may have been the craziest game in the history of Toronto Blue Jays baseball. The game is tied in the top of the 7th when Jays catcher Russell Martin attempts to throw the ball back to the pitcher Aaron Sanchez but in doing so, he threw the ball off the bat of Rangers batter, Shin Soo Choo. This resulted in a live ball in which the Rangers scored off of to make it 3-2. During the bottom of the 7th, the Rangers committed 3 errors which allowed the Jays to score 1 while leaving 2 on base for Jose Bautista to unload on a baseball to left field. Obviously, his bat flip towards the Rangers dugout cause plenty of controversy. The Jays would go onto to win the game, advancing them to the ALCS.
8. Air Canada is born (2000)
The 2000 NBA Dunk Contest was one of the most legendary performances in dunk contest history. Vince Carter would win over the judges by performing a series of high difficulty dunks. Vince Carter’s final dunk of the contest however may be the most iconic dunk in Toronto. Vince did a one handed 360 reverse dunk which was followed by him going up to the camera where he uttered the words “Its over.”
7. Roberto Alomar’s Home Run in the ALCS (1992)
In Game 4 of the ALCS, the Blue Jays were down 6-1 against the A's. They fought their way back to make it 6-4 and then in the 9th, Roberto Alomar hit a game-tying 2-run home run off Dennis Eckersley (the best closer in the league at the time), forcing the game into extra innings. The Blue Jays scored a run in the 11th inning and won the game 7-6, taking a 3-1 stranglehold on the series. They Jays would go on to win their first World Series this year.
6. Auston Matthews’ NHL Debut (2016)
Shortly after the Leafs drafted Matthews first overall, Matthews won the hearts of Maple Leafs fans across the city. Everyone glued to their televisions to see the debut of the new look Leafs. Fresh off of a last place finish, the Maple Leafs had little to no expectations coming into the season. In Ottawa, Matthews scored 4 goals in the first game of the regular season to break a record for most goals in a debut.
5. Nikolai Borchevsky’s Overtime Winner (1993)
The 1993 playoffs were a wild one for the Maple Leafs as they advanced to the 2nd round to play against the 103 point, star studded Detroit Red Wings. The Leafs quickly found themselves down 3-1 in the series but despite the odds, the Leafs didn’t quit. The Leafs battled back to send the series to 7 and in overtime, Nikolai Borchevsky deflects the puck past the Red Wings netminder to shock the Wings in Detroit.
4. Kawhi’s “The Shot” (2019)
2nd round of the east conference playoffs, game tied at 90, the Raptors need to inbound the ball with 4.2 seconds left. The ball goes to Kawhi Leonard, he runs to the right of the basketball and hits a fadeaway mid range jump shot over Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to send the Raptors to the ECF. This shot became the first ever game 7, buzzer beater in NBA history.
3. Joe Carter’s Walk Off Home Run (1993)
2-2 count, runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out, bottom of the 9th, World Series on the line, Joe Carter steps up and hits a home run to straight away left field that would give them their 2nd World Series pennant in as many years.
2. Toronto Raptors win the NBA Championship (2019)
The Raptors became the first team outside of the US to win the Larry O'Brien on the shoulders of superstar Kawhi Leonard. They dethroned the reigning champions, Golden State Warriors whose stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were injured for part of the series
1. Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series Twice (1992-1993)
This and the Raptors championship were very hard to decide between as both were Toronto’s first championship in their respective sport. The only reason this was over the Raptors is purely because the Jays went back-to-back
Thoughts? Did I miss anything?