Monday, March 2, 2009

Historically Speaking: 3-2-09

Nothing says March like snow and ice all over the ground. Gotta love schizophrenic winters in the midwest. Well, you don't gotta, but you gotta. We're looking forward to one heck of a week here in the House of Georges. We have no idea why, but we're glad you're here to be a part of it with us. Let's look at a few bullet points of old. After the jump.

* Today in 1874, baseball's batter's box was officially adopted. Apparently, batter's box's biological parents were deemed unfit for caregiving by social services.

* Fast forward to 1929, and we've got a stat about America's favorite game: hockey. The pesky Blackhawks of Chicago accomplished something amazing on this day 80 years ago: They were shutout for the eighth consecutive contest. For those less skilled in the math department, that's 24 periods, or 480 minutes without scoring a goal. Sheesh. And I thought I had dry spells.

* It was today in 1962 when Wilt Chamberlain recorded his famous 100-point outing against the New York Knicks. En route to re-writing several records in that game, Chamberlain and the '6ers went on to win 169-147. That's the second final score of similar magnitude we've mentioned in less than a week here in the vein of "Historically Speaking." Man. And I thought the defense of today's NBA was non-existent. I remember watching this sports bloopers and blunders video in middle school, and one of the segments was on that game, and the story was that the scorekeeper had made an error; he claimed that Chamberlain only scored 10 points in the game, and he'd accidentally added another zero to the tally. This of course makes sense. I've been watching many basketball games and said to my buddies, "Hey, has he scored five or 25 field goals? I can't remember which, but I know it's exactly one of the two."

* Then there was 1989. It of course came right after 1962. Nevertheless, 20 years ago today, New York Met Darryl Strawberry took a swing at teammate Keith Hernandez. The scuffle was a two-parter; it began the night before, and carried into the next morning, just in time for Photo Day, where plenty of media caught the moment. As Big League Stew reported last summer, it was apparently media's fault in the first place. Them's some good times, but personally, I like how nearly 20 years later Hernandez is ready to duke it out with a whole new generation of Mets.

* And since we like to close with a warm-and-fuzzy recollection, it was but five years ago today that Old No. 7's favoritest quarterback ever hit the jackpot. That's right. None other than Peyton Manning put his autograph on a seven-year, $98 million deal, one with a $34.5 million signing bonus. I remember exactly where I was when I heard that news, and I remember thinking to myself, "I'm trying to be a good citizen here, but let's just say we have some financial problems."

And your Sports Illustrated quote of the day happens to be one of my favorite in recent weeks. It came from the mouth of...

...former Houston Astro Joe Niekro, who hurled a 21-win season in 1979. Heading into 1980, Niekro was asked how he expected to pitch that year. His response: "Righthanded."