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Friday Night Open Thread: Favorite Cinderella Stories

Hopefully everybody made it through the week and is ready to enjoy what should be an entertaining weekend of sports. The A's and Giants kick off the second half of their annual Bay Bridge Series over in Oakland. The US Open continues on as Rory McIlroy looks to make history after a record-breaking first two days. And for college baseball fans, the 2011 College World Series gets underway on Saturday.

This year's College World Series features a pretty cool story from the Bay Area as Cal's baseball team will be taking part. Cal is the lowest seeded team in the eight-team field and faces an uphill battle to win it all. However, the fact that they've even gotten this far is pretty impressive given where they were leading up to this season.

The state of California faces a brutal economic crisis that has led to serious belt-tightening. Budget cuts are the norm at this point, and state universities are feeling the crunch. At one point Cal had voted to eliminate its baseball program in an attempt to satisfy the budget cuts. Supporters for the team rallied and came up with $9 million in donations to keep the program afloat for the foreseeable future. Over at SB Nation Bay Area, one of our contributors who writes for California Golden Blogs put together an awesome feature detailing the past year for Cal from being on the verge of budgetary elimination to now being in the College World Series.

It's not exactly a traditional Cinderella story, but it's a Cinderella story nonetheless. Given that, i'm curious what are some of your favorite Cinderella, underdog stories? Try and get a little creative as everybody knows about teams like the 1980 US Olympic ice hockey team. Any others that people might not remember nearly as much?