The Best Grudge Matches in Recent Sports History

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The Best Grudge Matches in Recent Sports History
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Grudge matches have been a staple in sports going back to the earliest part of the 20th century.

Some of the oldest rivalries have helped define why sports is such an important part of American culture. In the 1950s for example, the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants had the most intense rivalry in baseball.

It reached its peak in 1951 when the Giants mounted a tremendous comeback after falling 13 1/2 games behind the Dodgers and forced a playoff for the National League championship. With the Giants trailing 4-2 in the ninth inning of the third and final game of the playoffs, Bobby Thomson hit a three-run homer to give the Giants a miraculous pennant.

There was a rivalry before Thomson's tremendous blow; there was a grudge between the two teams ever since. It has not waned even though the teams left New York and moved to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In this piece, we look at the greatest grudge matches in recent sports history. Some are long lasting, while others came along much later.

Old and new rivalries have one common factor: hatred.

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