Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Historically Speaking: 6-23-09

No day baseball happening in the bigs today, but at least there's a full slate on tap for you this evening, which means you've got plenty of time to brush up on a little history.

* The Sultan of Swat was ejected from a Major League Baseball game today in 1917. The Boston pitcher walked Washington leadoff man Ernie Foster, each pitch of which was followed by complaints from the mound in the direction of home plate umpire Brick Owens. After ball four, Babe Ruth supposedly clocked Owens in da' mouf, which is just fantastic. Ruth's replacment, Ernie Shore, took the hill, and saw Foster get caught stealing just before retiring all 26 batters he faced, earning himself a 4-0 perfect-game victory.

* A couple of U.S. Open victories happened today: Julius Boros claimed the victory in 1963 when he shot a 293; and Lou Graham won it with a 287 in 1975, which is phenomenal considering that he had already been a 19th-century madame in a Seattle brothel, as well as Foreigner's front man.

* We're talking 1969 when we mention Joe Frazier and Jerry Quarry. It was inside New York City's Madison Square Gardens and in the eighth round when Frazier was awarded the technical knockout of Quarry. The victory fell right in the middle of a stretch of wins that would ultimately crown Frazier the champ in November of the following year.

* Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ken Brett got the 7-2 win over the Montreal Expos today in 1973. He also hit a home run in the game, making the contest his fourth consecutive in which he hit a long ball and got the W as the starter. The other victories came on the ninth versus San Diego, the 13th against the Dodgers, and the 18th against Los Mets. Brett had already homered three times in previous campaigns with Boston, and would homer thrice more as a Pirate to give him a career total of 10.

* It was today in 1988 when the Charlotte Hornets and the Miami Heat began their National Basketball Association expansion draft. Whoop-dee-do. Of a more enticing '88 flavor would be this: George Steinbrenner fired Billy Martin for the fifth time, replacing him with Lou Piniella. Three years earlier, Piniella was fired and replaced by Martin, and in that same season, Martin was fired and replaced by Piniella.

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

...former Kansas City Royals catcher Mike Macfarlane, who, in 1992, commented on KC's one-hit, 3-1 victory over Oakland: "That was a maximization of a minimization of hits."