Cal Ripken Jr. was 15 years old when Dick Bavetta officiated his first NBA game. Now, the longtime referee and the baseball legend will be forever linked. That's because the 74-year-old surpassed Ripken's ironman streak Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden while working the Brooklyn Nets-New York Knicks game. Bavetta has now been a part of 2,633 consecutive regular season games (as well as 270 playoff games, 27 NBA Finals games and three All-Star Games), eclipsing Ripken's mark of 2,632 set in 1998. Bavetta was honored by NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn prior to the game and given a commemorative plaque. The veteran ref's first game was at MSG 39 years ago. "Well it means that I am here and alive and happy," Bavetta said about what he thinks of his streak. "And it doesn't end here as they say. After tonight there is another game." Bavetta noted there have been several close calls over the years of the streak being in jeopardy due to inclement weather and flight cancellations. He's undecided on whether or not he'll continue officiating beyond this season.
Flying Red Wing
Moving to the NHL, Detroit Red Wings center Gustav Nyquist notched one of the prettiest goals of the season during the team's tilt with the Boston Bruins. The 24-year-old Swede got the puck and zoomed past defenseman Zdeno Chara for what proved to be the game-winning tally in a 3-2 Wings victory.
0-2 … but Emilio
Finally, the Chicago Cubs may be winless but new leadoff man Emilio Bonifacio set a modern day, major league record with nine hits through the first two games of the season. The former Marlin went 4-for-5 on opening day and 5-for-7 in a 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 16 innings Wednesday.
- Sports & Recreation
- Dick Bavetta
- Cal Ripken Jr.