Monday, April 6, 2009

Historically Speaking: 4-06-09

I'll be damned if it ain't opening frickin' day for baseball, kids. Seems like the Phillies just finished buying winning the Series. We're aware that you've got some baseball to pay attention to, but sprinkle a little history on your Corn Flakes before you head out.

* 1900 sounds like a nice round year in which to kick things off: Jack Finnegan was knocked out by James J. Jeffries in the first round of a heavyweight title bout in Detroit on this day.

* A mere 70 years later, a nearly 40-year-old Willie Mays hits an opening-day homerun for a Giants win over San Diego. He would also hit long balls in each of the next three San Francisco contests.

* 'Twas 1977 when the Seattle Mariners made their debut, a tilt they lost 7-0, courtesy of the Californicated Angels.

* "Sugar" Ray Leonard and Marvelous -- no quotes necessary since he actually changed his name to 'Marvelous' -- Marvin Hagler squared off in Las Vegas 1987, a fight in which Leonard took the title from Hagler in a split decision.

* And in 1992 the Duke Blue Devils beat Michigan 71-51 for the NCAA men's basketball championship.

Today's Sports Illustrated quote came from the mouth of... New York Yankee pitcher Roger Erickson, who in 1983 -- aside from being one handsome son of a bitch -- was demoted to Columbus. Though Erickson was assured that he was part of the Yankees future, he announced his retirement, saying: "I don't want to be in your future. It's frustrating enough being in your present."