Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Historically Speaking: 7-28-09

In an effort to make up for your lack of historical sports nuggets, yesterday, we'll try to cram some more information into the week's remaining posts. Lucky you.

* Two Olympic Games have opened on this day in history: the ninth in Amerstdam, 1928, and the 23rd in Los Angeles, 1984.

* Today in 1933 the National Football League divided into two five-team divisions.

* Nineteen eighties baseball, July 28-style: Lee McPhail, American League President in 1983, ruled on this day in that year that George Brett's pine-tar home run (07/24) should count. The remainder of the game was played on August 18, a Kansas City victory, 5-4, over the Yankees; Lou Brock, Enos Slaughter, Arky Vaughan, and Hoyt Wilhelm were inducted into Cooperstown today in 1985; and today in 1989, Vince Coleman's MLB-record 50 consecutive stolen bases ended when Montreal Expo catcher Nelson Santovenia put out Coleman.

* Little known fact: Twenty-one ser humanos have orbited the moon. Eighteen have thrown perfect games. Two of them happened on July 28. Today in 1991, Montreal Expo Dennis Martinez tossed number 13. Three years later, Texas Ranger Kenny Rogers threw the next.

* Mark Messier signed with the Vancouver Canucks today in 1997. The transaction followed Messier's 12 years with the Edmonton Oilers, six more with the New York Rangers, and was the first of his three seasons in Vancouver, and preceded a four-year stint back in New York. The 15-time All-Star won a Conn Smythe, two Hart Memorial, and two Lester B. Pearson awards. He retired with 694 goals, nearly 1200 assists, and six Stanley Cup championships.

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

...former lightweight boxing champion Sean O'Grady, who, in 1989, while working as a USA Network boxing analyst, informed the viewing audience that a number of boxers go shower-free for consecutive days before a fight. "Talking to a fighter at a weigh-in is like learning to swim. You have to remember to turn and breathe, turn and breathe."