Friday, April 17, 2009

Historically Speaking: 4-17-09

It's Friday again, and since there's typically no homework assigned over the weekend, your reading assignment's a wee bit heavier this morning. After the jump, show us what 'A' students you all are by expressing evidence of your comprehension in the comments.

* Couple more baseball firsts today: Apparently, one of the first professional game was played today in 1869 between the Cincinnati Reds and a Cincinnati amateur squad, and if I had been the Reds, I wouldn't feel so great about dubbing that contest as "professional," especially considering I pounded the amateurs, 24-15; the Reds were involved in another first -- the original N.L. Sunday game, which was an 1892, 5-1 victory over the Cardinals; the new Fenway Park opened in 1934, and the Red Sox were downed by the Senators, 6-5; and the first game at Shea Stadium was today in 1964, which as a 4-3 loss for the home team, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

*If I were a nice guy, I'd've included in that previous note that the Oakland A's' debuted at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum today in 1968. But I'm not a nice guy. Eff the A's because their debut was of course following their last season in Kansas City. Also, they are, by virtue of association, affiliated with turd-burglars like the ones in these videos. Also, the steel frame beneath the mound became exposed during the game, causing the ground crew to have to recover the mound between innings. Also, Oakland lost the game to the flippin' Orioles, 4-1, and also, 11 years later on this same very day, 653 fans showed up for a game against the Mariners, a game the home team won, 6-5.

* On this day in 1939, Joe Louis knocked out Jack Roper in the first round of a title-defense bout in Los Angeles. The fight was Louis' sixth (of 25) successful defenses over a nine-year span as the champ. He retired in March of 1949. Between 1942-45, Louis served in the Army visiting troops and boxing in exhibitions in Europe, a period during which he earned, and subsequently donated $100,000 to the Army and Navy Emergency Relief Funds to show his support for the U.S. war effort. His thoughts regarding a then-segregated U.S. Army were summarized as such: "Lots of things wrong with America, but Hitler ain't going to fix them." Ironically, it was also on this day in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court barred Muhammad Ali's request to be blocked from induction into the U.S. Army.

* Fresh outta the things-that-make-ya'-go-hmmm department is a 1976 ball game betwen the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs. The contest is one in which Philly third baseman Mike Schmidt hits four consecutive home runs, followed by a single. I'm no big-league skip, but I ain't pitchin' to 'im no more after jack number three. The other oddity -- and really -- someone better've been fired on this day -- is that the visitors took the victory, 18-16. In the 10th! Now, how neither manager was able to stop the bleeding of a 15-15 game before going into extra innings is beyond me, but what a game.

* And in 1997, netminder Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils became just the second goalie in NHL history to score a goal in a playoff game.

And your quote of they day came from... Indian skipper Frank Robinson, who said, "In Cleveland, pennant fever usually ends up being just a forty-eight hour virus."