Sunday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 to win the NBA championship. It was Cleveland's first championship in any sport since the Browns won the NFL title in 1964.
Following the game Akron native and Finals MVP LeBron James called out former Indians closer Jose Mesa, who blew a save in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. The Marlins went on to win the game and the World Series in extra innings. Here is LeBron's quote:
"You know, just knowing what our city has been through, Northeast Ohio has been through as far as our sports and everything for the last 50-plus years, you can look back to the Ernest Byner fumble, Elway going 99 yards to Jose Mesa not being able to close out the bottom of the ninth, to the Cavs going to the Finals, I was on that team in 2007, us getting swept and then last year us losing 4-2 and so many more stories. And our fans, they ride or die no matter what's been going on. No matter. The Browns, the Indians, the Cavs and so on, and all the other sports teams, they continue to support us. And for us to be able to end this, end this drought, our fans deserve it. They deserve it. It was for them."
The Indians took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning in Game 7. Mesa blew the save by allowing singles to Moises Alou and Charles Johnson, and a game-tying sacrifice fly to Craig Counsell. Here's video of that blown save in the ninth inning:
The Marlins eventually won the game in the 11th inning on Edgar Renteria's walk-off single. Charles Nagy was on the mound for that.
Game 7 of the 1997 World Series was the closest the city of Cleveland had come to winning a title in a very, very long time prior to the Cavaliers' win Sunday night. Pretty wild that LeBron went back in Cleveland history like that.
LeBron, by the way, was 12 when Mesa blew that save in 1997.