Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Historically Speaking: 5-19-09

I'm a-feared that summer's right around the corner, as the day-baseball schedule looks smaller, and the temperatures begin to demand that I'll carry a cooler for my lunch, lest I eat some rotten deli meat. Summer or not, school's still in session. Open your Trapper Keepers, and click on through.

* Today in 1909, Jack Johnson and Jack O'Brien got in the ring for a heavyweight title bout. The fight, which occurred months after Johnson pulverized Tommy Burns for the belt, then defended it six times, was stacked with racial tension, birthing Jack London's beckoning for a great white hope to take back the title. The bout between Johnson and O'Brien, was declared a no-decision after six rounds. Johnson would retire in 1938, posting a staggering fight total of 104, including 73 wins, 13 losses, nine draws, nine no-contests, and a solid 40 of his wins, determined by knockout.

* Three years later, American League President Ban Johnson let the Detroit Tigers Baseball Club know that they would be banned from baseball if they continued to protest the suspension of their teammate, Ty Cobb.

* The year was 1935 when the National Football League declared that they would adopt an annual college draft, set to begin the following year.

* Stan Musial, in 1962, set the National League record for hits when he smacked number 3431 into play. I'm not certain who exactly, but I think there's another National League lifer out there that tallied a few more. One's in Cooperstown; the other...

* A couple of first-time Stanley Cup champions claimed the title on this day in history: In 1974, the Philadelphia Flyers claimed their first of two consecutive Cups, eliminating the Boston Bruins in six games, and becoming the first post-1967expansion club in NHL history to win one; and a decade later, the Edmonton Oilers claimed their first Cup, taking the Islanders in five games.

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

...one-time veteran Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Roger McDowell, who, in 1994, allegedly took rookie bullpenmate Darren Dreifort under his wing, and said, "I have to go to all the places he can't, to make sure he isn't there."