Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Historically Speaking: Keepin' 'Em Guessin'

Look at that, boys and girls. It's already Wednesday. To add to that joy, we got a teaspoon of rain last night, so hopefully the highs today will only be 96-97. Luckily, this came out Monday, so I'll be quenching my post-work thirst with a few.

* We could talk a bit more about U.S. Open victories today, but we ain't gonna. Nineteen sixty-eight. Joe Frazier. Manuel Ramos. Madison Square Gardens. For the title. Who ya' got? (Hint: It was over in two rounds via TKO.) In other noteworthy 1968 news, Detroit Tiger Jim Northrup hit tied a Major League Baseball record when he hit two grand slams in one game. Many years later, when asked what he thought of the feat, Mike Greenwell was quoted as sayin', "Pshh. That's nothin'."

* Historically speaking, history was forever changed on this date in 1971 when the National Basketball League modified its four-year eligibility rule, permitting "collegiate hardship cases." Jiminy Christmas.

* Rickey Henderson debuted for the Athletics of Oakland today in 1979. Betcha' can't guess what he did in his first game. On that same day, Houston Astro Bob Watson hit for the cycle. Later in the season, then donning a Boston Red Sox jersey, Watson hit for the cycle again in September, making him the first player in MLB history to accomplish the feat in both leagues, a feat which, years later, got the thumbs up from Greenwell.

* Today in 1992, Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent banned relief pitcher Steve Howe from baseball. He became the second player (Editor's Note: both of whom were later reinstated) to be banned for this offense. Remember: I'll need your answer in the form of a question.

* One year earlier, the National Hockey League added instant replay and the tenth of a second to the final minute of the clock. It was 1995, however, when a club formerly known as both the Rockies and the Scouts swept the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final.

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

...former welterweight boxer Buck (Tombstone) Smith who, late in his career, boasted a 110-2-1 career record with 81 knockouts. When accused, circa 1992, of obtaining such an impressive record via his bum-of-the-month fighting schedule, he said, "But I'm not fighting one bum a month. I'm fighting three or four."