The list has been an easy one — inarguable, in my opinion, for years.
Three athletes always have stood at the top when it comes to transcendent feats and performances in what ultimately was a losing effort: Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Mike Scott.
Each deserved a better result, instead ultimately having to settle for a tip of the cap and a place among the greatest near-misses in sports history.
1. Jordan put up 63-points and was completely unguardable on April 20, 1986:
2. Reggie Miller capped a 31-point night in the 1994 playoffs against the Knicks with eight-points in 9-seconds that sealed the deal.
3. Then there was Mike Scott, who would have clinched the 1986 NL Championship for the Astros — had he had the chance to pitch. In two previous games against the Mets, Scott went 2-0 with two complete games and 19 strikeouts. But the Phillies won it with a Game 6 thriller.
But then there was this.
4. Tim Howard set a World Cup record with 16 saves in goal in what would be a singularly remarkable performance, but 2-1 Extra Time loss to Belgium.
To me, Howard’s effort ranks only behind Jordan’s 63-points against Boston.