Monday, March 23, 2009

Historically Speaking: 3-23-09

We're off to another late start today, but we're not worried about it. Who isn't running late on Monday? Your daily dose of history, just after the jump.

*Way back in 1938, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis freed 74 Cardinals minor-league players in an effort to halt the infamous farm-system cover-up in place by Branch Rickey. Allegedly, Landis was afraid that Rickey's talent-ladent club of minor-leaguers would ruin the game of baseball, but once every other team in the league developed a similar system, it was said to have saved it.

* We've got five, count 'em five, NCAA men's basketball championships that happened on this day. The 1946 championship featured Oklahoma State and North Carolina, the Cowboys knocking off the Tarheels in a barn-burner, 43-40. Ten years later, San Francisco beat Iowa 83-71, while the following year saw North Carolina take three overtimes to down the Kansas Jayhawks 54-53. In 1963, Loyola beat Cincinnati in overtime, 60-58, and in 1968, UCLA beat the Tarheels 78-55.

* Daredevil motorcyclist Evil Knievel successfully jumped 35 cars in 1972. He also successfully broke 93 bones in his body as a result of the act.

* Today in 1979, Larry Holmes defeated Osvaldo Ocasio in the seventh round via a technical knockout for boxing's heavyweight title.

* The year was 1995, when Pittsburgh Penguin Jaromir Jagr became the first European-born skater to lead the NHL in scoring.

And your Sports Illustrated quote of the day came from the mouth of...

...former Texas football coach Darrell Royal, who, circa 1973, said, "Football doesn't build character. It eliminates the weak ones."