Friday, May 8, 2009

Historically Speaking: 5-8-09

After a day's rest from this feature, we're back to cap off the week with a Friday installment. Let's just say we're glad for two reasons: The weekend's near, and boxers don't wear shorts like that anymore. Happy trails.

* Today the boxing world takes us back to 1907, where the prize fighters looked like slices out of a Wonder bag, and the rounds went on until somebody died. Well, not really, but it took 20 rounds for Tommy Burns to get the win over Jack O'Brien in Los Angeles. Burns, who held the title February 1906 through December of '08, won this one via a referee's decision, while the fight between the two six months earlier also went 20 rounds, resulting in a draw.

* We jump ahead to 1973 and catch up with Willie Stargell and the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was on this day that Stargell launched an Andy Messersmith pitch out of Dodgers Stadium. The blast hit the right field pavillion roof 470 feet away, which was barely shy of his first shot out of that park, a 1969 jack off of Alan Foster that travelled 506 feet. No other player -- not even Manny and his creams, that I'm aware of -- has hit a baseball out of the stadium.

* May 8 bled into the ninth today in 1984 as the Milwaukee Brewers fell to the Chicago White Sox 7-6 over the course of 25 innings. Ah. The good ol' days when the Brewers were in the A.L.

* It was 1993 when Lennox Lewis made his first "title defense," and was victorious over Tony Tucker via a 12-round unanimous decision in Las Vegas.

* Randy made baseball history today in 2001 when he joined Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood as the only players to tally 20 strikeouts in a game. The Big Unit is the only lefty of the trio.

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

...Nancy Moyer, one-time coach of the girls' basketball team at Pinewood School in Los Altos, California. After a 1987 season-opening 101-1 loss to San Mateo High, Moyer said, "This is going to be a rebuilding year." Jackpot. Count it.