Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Historically Speaking: 4-8-09

It's about that time of year where it looks like we'll be gettin' lots of baseball tidbits inside the bowels of this feature. Speaking of bowels, I gotta run. You -- jump on in.

* We got way back to 1911, and channel Eli Manning as we go, as we remember that the very first squash tournament was played today at Harvard Club in New York City.

* It was a sad 1968 (April 4) day when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, an event that shocked and dismayed America, including Major League Baseball, which postponed the season's opening day.

* Four MLB expansion teams debuted today in 1969; the Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Pilots all garner wins in their first regular-season games. A foreshadowing of sustained excellence? Uh. Yeah, well, moving on...

* A couple of mid-70s gems: Today in 1974, Hank Aaron jacked number 715 to break Babe Ruth's record, and the following year, the Cleveland Indians hired Frank Robinson as MLB's first black manager.

* Oliver McCall was unanimously awarded the victory over Larry Holmes after a 12-round Las Vegas fight for the WBC title in 1995.

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

...former Orlando Magic (and Buck/Pacer/Bullet/'6er/current Bucks coach) guard Scott Skiles, who, circa 1993, had this to say about fans booing him: "Basketball is like church. Many attend but few understand."