Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Historically Speaking: 5-20-09

It's the third Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means. Right? Yikes. I was hoping you did, because I haven't the faintest. Well, let's see, colorful Colorado Rocky Todd Helton padded his firearms and liquor stashes yesterday when teammates rained gifts upon him for achieving the 2000-hit milestone, the Mexicutioner is throwing again, and, um...oh, yeah! Ookie might get out of the clink today. That is, the details concerning his release are a bit foggy. Some think he'll be out today. Others think it's later in the week. One source is saying July 20, while the four-letter thinks he's already been smuggled out in some dirty laundry. Personally, I just can't wait to see him in training camp over yonder at Dove Valley. But enough with the current events, we're interested in old shit. You know where to find it.

* Today in 1900, the second modern Olympic Games opened in Paris. They lasted for five months.

* Twenty years later, Chicago Cubs officials requested that, during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies, policman disguised as soldiers, farmers, and bootblacks, raid the stands and arrest two dozen fans for gambling. On the field, Grover Alexander tossed a 6-0 shutout.

* And 40 years after that, a baseball game in Milwaukee was postponed due to dense fog. Just found that peculiar.

* Couple mid-80s boxing quips for you: Michael Dokes and Mike Weaver grapple through 15 rounds to a draw in a Las Vegas fight for the WBA title; on the same day in the same city, Larry Holmes got the nod over Tim Witherspoon in a split decision for the world heavyweight title; and just two years later, also in Vegas, Holmes defeated Carl Williams by way of a unanimous decision, a fight that was also in defense of his then recently acquired IBF belt as well.

* Couple mid-80s homer quips for you: Today in 1988, Mike Schmidt his number 535, moving him into eighth place on the all-time list; while a mere three years ago to the day, Barry Bonds tied Babe Ruth with long ball number 714.

And your Sports Illustrated quote of the day came from the mouth of... Vancouver Canuck goalie Gary Smith, who, in 1975, made an observation of five-foot, five-inch teammate Bobby LaLonde: "He'd be great in a short series."