Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Historically Speaking: Tax Day 2009

Yes, yes, yes. I'm sure the local news stations across the country will be boiling over with thrilling stories of how long the lines are at the post offices. I'd rather they just hang the press release from my eyeballs with thumb tacks. We know. We know. This has been happening for decades. Just get to the depressing rapes and murders already. Anyhow, it's baseball season, the NFL schedule just came out, hockey playoffs start tonight, and the NBA ain't far behind. I'm not saying we'll look at all of these sports/leagues after the jump, but you should go there anyway. It's way more exciting than the news.

* Couple of interesting baseball bits to get things rolling this morning: Today in 1958 was the first occasion for Major League Baseball in San Francisco, where the Giants blanked the Dodgers 8-0. Ten years later, the New York Mets would fall 1-0 in a game against the Houston Astros. It would take 24 innings for that run to occur. And no, those two stories have absolutely nothing to do with one another.

* I said yesterday that we'd be done with the Masters nonsense but we've got some good ones today, so call me a liar. In 1979, Fuzzy Zoeller won with a 280; and it was 1984 when Ben Crenshaw was fitted for a green blazer, thanks to his 277.

* Since we're doing things in twos, it was this date in 1947 when Jackie Robinson played his first regular-season game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. All the previous ones had been in exhibition. Fifty years later to the day, MLB honored Robinson by retiring his number 42 for each team in the league, and they will honor him again today by having teams at 15 parks represent represent.

* It was 1972 today when the Oakland A's beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 in 11 innings. Wanna know what was interesting about that day? A guy named Reggie "I must kill...the queen" Jackson rocked a moustache (Editor's Note: Why? Why must we have two accepted spellings for this word?) for the victory, making him the first MLBer to sport facial hair in nearly 60 years. Wally Schang, in 1914, then of the Philadelphia Athletics, had been the last to do so.

* Eleven years later, Detroit Tiger Milt Wilcox is one out away from a perfect game when Jerry Hairston of the White Sox knocked his chances with a single. Wilcox went on to get the 6-0 win, and became the third MLB hurler to see a perfect game slip away with two down in the ninth.

And your Sports Illustrated quote of the day is actually quite appropriate for an April 15. It came from the mouth of...

... one-time New Jersey Nets guard Otis Birdsong, who had his own twist on the famous saying regarding life's only certainties, indicating that they were none other than, "Death, taxes, and my jump shot."

On that note, don't forget to pay the man, America. Ain't no House of Georges print version available in the can. Well, not unless we know you, in which case we'll need your address.