Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Historically Speaking: Oh, Billy

Well, kids, it's that fantastic time of year when the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA are all going on at once. Er, uh, wait. The World Series is usually over by now, not just getting started, so scratch that intro, but dig it while it's here! Sports fancy ticklers, a click away.

* Construction of two notorious baseball parks got underway on this day in history: It was 1958 when operations began for a new stadium for the San Francisco Giants. Allegedly, the neighboring rocks looked like candlesticks. Three years later the ground was broken for Municipal, a.k.a. Shea Stadium for the Mets of New York.

* Everyone wants to talk Cleveland Cavaliers these days, so let's recall that today in 1970 was their first National Basketball Association contest, a 110-99 loss to the San Diego Rockets. The Rockets, after a five-year stay in the Whale's Vagina, would move to Houston. A short seven years later the Buffalo Braves moved to San Diego, and became known as the Clippers, which last until '84, when the club moved to L.A. I suppose it's worth noting that Cleveland dropped their opener to the Celtics last night, which must've been a tough one for the artist formerly known as the Lone Reader to swallow, since he is devoted to both of these clubs in months that end in 'r.'

* Today in 1974, two New York Islanders -- Billy MacMillan and Ed Westfall -- tallied hat tricks in the same contest -- a 10-1 home-ice victory over the California Golden Seals -- for the firt time. Twenty years later on this same date, Ron "Ronnie Franchise" Francis accumulated his 1000th career point.

* What kind of day would it be without a Billy Martin mentioning? A sad day, friends. A sad day. It was 1976 when Billy Martin was named A.L. Manager of the Year after guiding the Yankees to a 97-62 record, and a World Series (swept by Reds) appearance. And it was three years later to the day when George Steinbrenner canned the skipper after Martin engaged in a saloon scuffle with a marshmallow salesman. Martin's replacement: Dick Howser.

* Three World Series were wrapped up on 28s of October: In 1981, the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the help of five Pedro Guerrero RsBI, tallied a 9-2 victory, and sent the New York Yankees packing after six games. Eight years later, in a 9-6 win over the Giants, the Oakland A's completed a Series sweep, and the year was 1995 when the Atlanta Braves took a 1-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians in a Series-deciding game six.

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

...former Baltimore Oriole pitcher Mike Flanagan, who, in 1992, said, "You know you're having a bad day when the fifth inning rolls around and they drag the warning track."