This Day in Ballpark History: Yankee Stadium hosts "The Greatest Game Ever Played"

December 28, 1958: A crowd of 64,185 takes in the NFL Championship game at Yankee Stadium. 45 million more watch the league's first nationally televised championship game (though it is blacked out in New York City.) Baltimore beats the New York Giants 23-17 in the first sudden death playoff game in NFL history.

A trio of 25-year olds play starring roles for the Colts. Alan Ameche scores two touchdowns, including the winning rush from a yard out in overtime. Johnny Unitas throws for 349 yards, with 178 on 12 catches by Raymond Berry.

Unitas leads a game-tying drive at the end of regulation, with Steve Myra's 20-yard field goal forcing overtime.

Seventeen people (players, coaches, owners and administrators) who took part in this game are now enshrined in football's Hall of Fame. The list includes the Giants' offensive and defensive coordinators (Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, respectively.) The game is Lombardi's last with New York as he becomes Green Bay's head coach on February 2, 1959.

Long called The Greatest Game Ever Played, the '58 Championship was recently voted that honor as part of the NFL's 100th season celebration.

*Did You Know?* Legendary baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell called football games for Baltimore from 1956 to 1958.


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