Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Historically Speaking: 4-7-09

Great-looking image, handsome uniform, awesome teams, right? Riiight. Anyway, coupla' strange details, hilariousness, you know where.

* We go way back to 1943 to kick things off today, which was when the NFL adopted the free-substitution rule. In seasons prior, coaches were required to deposit a nickel in a parking-meteresque sort of apparatus. Yes, I'll be here I'll night.

* Couple Dodger tidbits: In 1958, a 42-foot screen was erected in L.A. Coliseum's left field to minimize the number of long balls hit all 250 feet out of the park; in 1969, L.A. reliever Bill Singer was credited with the first save in MLB history, a feat he achieved at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds.

* Jack Nicklaus became the youngest golfer to win the green jacket at the Masters Tournament in 1963. He was just 23 years old.

* In 1979, Houston Astro Ken Forsch blanks the Braves 6-0. It was the earliest (in the season) no-hitter ever recorded. Additionally, Forsch's brother Bob of the St. Louis Cardinals, had tossed one against the Phillies the previous season, making them the first ever brothers to do so in the MLB. Ironically, Bob would conclude his career with one season in an Astro uniform. And, in a strange twist of coincidence, each brother's skipper, moments before taking the field on the days in which they threw no-hitters, were overheard whispering to their starters, "May the Forsch be with you."

* And here's where it gets complicated: Today in 1970, Major League Baseball returned to the city of Milwaukee. The Braves moved out of Wisconsin and into Atlanta in 1966. Four years later, however, the artists formerly known as the Seattle Pilots debuted as the Brewers in their first game in Milwaukee, and got smoked by California, 12-0 before a crowd of less than 38,000. Twenty-eight years later -- that'd be 1998, FYI -- National League baseball was back in Milwaukee, as the Brewers swapped leagues, and on this day, they got a 6-4 win over the Expos of Montreal. Somewhere in that mix is Bud Selig, which makes the tale considerably less cool.

Your Sports Illustrated quote of the day came from the mouth of...

...Syracuse fullback Brent Ziegler, who, circa 1984, was taken as the 265th pick in the NFL draft, which prompted him to say, "I think they drafted in alphabetical order." Ziegler was taken by the Patriots, who'd acquired the pick from Cincinnati in a multi-pick-swap transaction.