Monday, March 9, 2009

Historically Speaking: 3-9-09

Mondays are fantastic. Really, though. I love starting off the work week with a swelling desire to mow everyone down with my car just before I go work with kids. It's a fantastic feeling. In less depressing news, there's some stuff after the jump you might never've learned before. Have a peek.

* In 1859, professional baseball's player association announced that they would limit the size of bats to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.

* Every now and again, the House of Georges staff makes an effort to recognize equality. Apparently, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn felt the same way in 1979 when he ordered the league to give equal access to female reporters. Thing is, I can't recall ever seeing a kitchen in a locker room.

* The following year, National Hockey League history would be made when Gordie Howe, then a Hartford Whaler, took the ice for a shift against the Boston Bruins. His linemates for that shift were a couple of guys by the names of Marty and Mark. They were also his sons. In 1997, Howe took the ice for one final shift, marking his sixth decade of playing professional hockey. He retired with 801 goals and 1049 assists. A fellow by the name of Wayne Gretzky would later say that he chose to wore #99 because he felt he was not worthy of donning Howe's famous #9.

* The year was 1984 when "Terrible" Tim Witherspoon won a 12-round decision over Greg Pane to claim the WBC championship.

* Finally, fourteen years ago today, MLB awarded a franchise to Tampa Bay. They adopted the nickname of Devil Rays and would later drop the Devil.

And your Sports Illustrated quote of the day came from the mouth of... great Lou Brock. In 1986, one year after being elected into baseball's Hall of Fame, brock finished playing in the National Old-Timer's Baseball Classic in Washington, D.C. His words regarding the conclusion of the contest: "The real thrill in this game is to finish it."