Sunday, November 4, 2012

Filler for October and November 2013

This is just filler for next year.  Feel free to ignore it.


October 29, 1860: In the match for the 1860 whip-pennant‚ emblematic of the championship of the U.S.‚ the Atlantics top the Eckfords‚ 20-11. Both clubs are from Brooklyn, until 1898 a separate city from New York.

With the game tied at 5-5 after 5 innings‚ the Atlantics score 6 in the 6th‚ 5 in the 7th‚ and 4 in the 8th to win. Asa Brainard of the Excelsior club umpires the game. As agreed upon‚ all umpires are players from a third club. Brainard will later became the pitcher – yes, the only single pitcher – for the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first openly professional team, and his name, Asa, will become the pitching term “Ace.”

October 29, 1866: The final championship match of the season is between the Irvington club of New Jersey and the host Atlantics‚ with the 2 clubs playing a rubber match to determine the champion of the 1866 season.

The Atlantics break a 5-5 tie by scoring 7 in the 10th inning and winning‚ 12-6, to keep the Championship. This is the closest a team playing its home games in New Jersey will come to being a sport’s “world champion” until the New York Giants win Super Bowl XXI, 120 years later.

October 29, 1889: The Giants win their 2nd consecutive World Championship by taking this year's best-of-11 matchup in 9 games. After spotting the Bridegrooms (the once-and-future Dodgers were so named because 3 of their players had gotten married in the 1887-88 off-season) 2 runs in the first‚ the Giants rally to win 3-2 behind Hank O'Day's pitching -- the same Hank O'Day who would be the umpire who ruled against them in the Fred Merkle Game 19 years later. Slattery scores the winning run in the 7th inning‚ coming in from second as catcher Doc Bushing misses a two-out 3rd strike.

October 29, 1920: The Yankees sign Red Sox manager Ed Barrow as business manager – what will, in a few years, begin to be called “general manager” – completing the front office team that will build the game's most successful record. Hugh Duffy, the Boston Braves star who batted a record .438 in 1894, replaces Barrow at Fenway Park.

Barrow had managed the Red Sox to the 1918 World Series, and, regarding the hitting and pitching talents of Babe Ruth, said, “I’d be a fool to turn the best lefthanded pitcher in the game into an outfielder.” The choice had already been made for him, but he would help the Yankees win 14 Pennants and 10 World Series in his 26 seasons as Yankee GM. Shortly before his death in 1953, he was elected to the Hall of Fame. At the Yankees’ next home opener, a plaque was dedicated in his memory and hung on the outfield wall near the Monuments, and would later be moved to Monument Park.

He is buried in Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester County, New York, along with several other baseball-connected personalities: The Yankee owner who hired him, Jacob Ruppert; a Yankee slugger he signed, Lou Gehrig; the Boston owner and Broadway promoter who previously hired him, Harry Frazee; the Governor of New York who sometimes threw out the first ball at big Yankee games, Herbert Lehman; the opera singer who often sang the National Anthem at Yankee games, Robert Merill; and the Brooklyn-born comedian who was a member of the first ownership group of the Seattle Mariners, Danny Kaye.

October 29, 1921: The Harvard University football team loses to Centre College of Danville, Kentucky, ending a 25-game winning streak. This is considered one of the biggest upsets in college football, as the “Praying Colonels” (no, I’m not making that mascot name up) were the first team from outside the East to beat one of the old “Big Three” of Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Today, Harvard, like all the Ivy League teams, is Division I-AA (or whatever the NCAA calls the second level of play now), while Centre is in Division III.

October 29, 1942: Bob Ross is born.

October 29, 1950: King Gustav V of Sweden dies of flu complications at age 92. As the host of the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, he presented decathlon and pentathlon champion Jim Thorpe with a laurel wreath and, according to legend, said, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world,” coining a phrase that has become an unofficial title for the Olympic decathlon champ. Thorpe’s response is said to have been, “Thanks, King.” Gustav V was the great-grandfather of the current monarch, King Carl XVI Gustaf.

October 29, 1953: Denis Charles Potvin is born in Hull, Quebec, across the Ottawa river from the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Ontario. One of the greatest defensemen in hockey history, he was the Captain of the New York Islanders’ 4 straight Stanley Cups of 1980 to 1983. Arguably the team’s greatest player ever, certainly its most important, his Number 5 has been retired, and he was the first Isles player elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. His brother Jean Potvin also played for the Isles for a time, and his cousin Marc Potvin also played in the NHL.

However, his name is best remembered for an incident in the Ranger-Islander rivalry. On February 25, 1979, the teams played at Madison Square Garden, and Potvin checked Ranger All-Star Ulf Nilsson into the boards, breaking Nilsson’s ankle. In spite of the fact that no penalty was called, and the fact that Nilsson has always maintained that it was a clean hit, and that fact that then-Ranger coach Fred Shero also said it was a clean hit, the moron Ranger fans have spent 30 years chanting, “Potvin sucks!” – against all opponents, not just the Islanders. This led to some confusion, years later, when Felix Potvin (no relation) would tend goal for various teams, including the Islanders for a time.

In retaliation, Islander fans have done a “Rangers suck!” chant for every home game, regardless of opponent, and New Jersey Devils fans do the same. Ranger fans also had a chant of “Beat your wife, Potvin, beat your wife!” Denis Potvin usually beat the Rangers instead.

Part of Ranger mythology is that Potvin’s hit knocked Nilsson out for the season, and that’s why they lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Montreal Canadiens. In fact, Nilsson returned in time for those Finals, in which the Rangers won Game 1 at the Montreal Forum, but then dropped the next 4, including all 3 at the Garden.

October 29, 1959: Michael Aflred Gartner is born in Ottawa.  Mike Gartner was a right wing who starred for several hockey teams, including the Washington Capitals, who retired his Number 11. But he never appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals, being traded by the Rangers at the trading deadline in 1994, in a trade that helped them win the Cup, to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who made it to the Western Conference Finals before losing. Among players who have never won a Cup, he is second to Phil Housley in games played and second to Marcel Dionne in goals, with 708.

October 29, 1961: Joel Stuart Otto is born in Elk River, Minnesota. The center won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames in 1989.

October 29, 1968: Johan Olav Koss is born in Drammen, Norway.  The speed skater won a Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics in 1992 and 3 more at the 1994. He and American speed skater Bonnie Blair were named Sportspeople of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 1994.

October 29, 1969: The first-ever computer-to-computer link is established on ARPANET, thus making this a possible birthdate for the Internet.

October 29, 1970: Edwin van der Sar is born in Voorhout, South Holland, the Netherlands. The goalkeeper starred in his native land for Ajax Amsterdam (winning 4 league titles, 3 Dutch Cups, the domestic “Double” in 1998 and the Champions League in 1995), in Italy for Juventus (where he was the first non-Italian to be their starting goalie) and in England for Fulham, before going to Manchester United (where he backstopped them to 4 Premiership titles and the 2008 Champions League). He has now retired.

October 29, 1971: Winona Laura Horowitz is born in Winona, Minnesota.  Her hippie parents named her for the hometown.  Sometimes, that works, as with Florence Nightingale.  Sometimes it doesn't, as with David and Victoria Beckham's son Brooklyn.  She renamed herself Winona Ryder, after 1960s rocker Mitch Ryder.  She is bets known for playing Veronica Sawyer in Heathers. You don’t like that? “Lick it up, baby, lick it up!”

October 29, 1972: Dwayne Tyrone Wade Jr. is born in Chicago. He led the Miami Heat to the 2006 and 2012 NBA Championships, and remains one of the league’s top stars.

Also on this day, Gabrielle Monique Union is born in Omaha, Nebraska. She played Alice Kramden to Cedric the Entertainer’s Ralph in the 2005 film version of The Honeymooners. She was formerly married to Michigan and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Howard, and was one of several actress who had been linked to Derek Jeter. She is now with, interestingly enough, the aforementioned Dwayne Wade.

Also on this day, Tracee Joy Silberstein is born in Los Angeles. The daughter of singer Diana Ross (and sister of actress Rhonda Ross Kendrick), she acts under the name Tracee Ellis Ross.  She starred as Joan Clayton on Girlfriends. That show has often been compared to a sitcom of the previous decade, Living Single, with Joan compared to Queen Latifah’s character Khadijah James, not least because both characters’ fathers were played by basketball player turned actor Michael Warren (Officer Bobby Hill on Hill Street Blues).

October 29, 1973: Robert Emmanuel Pires is born in Reims, France. The midfielder was a member of France’s World Cup winners in 1998 and the Arsenal champions of 1998 (League and FA Cup “Double”), 2002 (another Double) and 2004 (undefeated League season). He has not officially retired, but we have probably seen the last of him as an active player.

October 29, 1981: Bill Giles‚ the Philadelphia Phillies' vice president for the past 11 years‚ heads a group of investors which purchases the club for just over $30 million‚ the highest price paid to date for an MLB club. Giles is the son of longtime National League President Warren Giles.  He turned over day-to-day operation of the club to David Montgomery in 1997, and since 2000 has been NL president himself, although this is a powerless, purely ceremonial role, pretty much limited to awarding the trophy named for his father to the NL’s Pennant winner.

Also on this day, Amanda Ray Beard is born in Newport Beach, California. The swimmer won Gold Medals at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics.

October 29, 1983: Maurice Edward Clarett is born in Youngstown, Ohio. As a freshman, the football player helped Ohio State win the 2002 National Championship. Then, figuring freshmen are allowed to come out for the NBA Draft, he tried to make himself eligible early for the NFL Draft, and racked up over $1 million in legal fees. When he was finally drafted, in 2005 by the Denver Broncos, he was released before ever stepping onto the field, even in an exhibition game, and remained in debt. In 2006, he was arrested for armed robbery, and plea-bargained. Released from prison in 2010, he now plays for the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.

October 29, 1984: Eric Craig Staal is born in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The All-Star center is the Captain of the Carolina Hurricanes, with whom he won the 2006 Stanley Cup. In May 2009, May, he scored the winning goal with 31 seconds left in regulation in Game 7 to give the Canes a first-round Playoff series win against the New Jersey Devils. For this, I hate his fucking guts. Okay, it would be better to say that I strenuously dislike his fucking guts.

He has 3 brothers who play pro hockey: Carolina teammate Jordan Staal (who won the 2009 Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins), Carolina farmhand Jared Staal, and Marc Staal of the New York Rangers (therefore someone who sucks).

October 29, 2006: Silas Simmons passes away at the Westminster Suncoast retirement community in St. Petersburg, Florida. The 111-year old was a southpaw hurler in the Negro Leagues for 17 years and played for the Homestead Grays, New York Lincoln Giants, and Cuban All-Stars. He is believed to be the oldest professional baseball player who ever lived. The longest-lived major leaguer was Chester "Red" Hoff, who pitched in the 1910s and lived to be 107.

October 29, 2008: After a 2-day delay for rain, Game 5 of the World Series is resumed at Citizens Bank Park. It begins in the bottom of the 6th, with the game tied 2-2. Geoff Jenkins doubles, is bunted to third by Jimmy Rollins, and driven in by a Jayson Werth single. Rocco Baldelli ties the game with a home run in the 7th. Later in the inning, Utley fakes a throw to first, then throws Jason Bartlett out at home for the third out in a play later described as having saved the Series for the Phillies.

In the bottom of the 7th, Pat Burrell leads off with a double. Eric Bruntlett, pinch-running for Burrell, scores on a single by Pedro Feliz to put the Phillies up by a run again, 4–3.

In the top of the 9th, Brad Lidge gives up a single and a stolen base, but faces Eric Hinske with the chance to give the city its first World Championship in any sport since the 1983 76ers. Harry Kalas, the Hall of Fame voice of the Phils who would die the following season, had the call:

One strike away, nothing-and-two to Hinske. Fans on their feet. Brad Lidge stretches. The 0–2 pitch! Swing and a miss! Struck him out! The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball!

Brad Lidge does it again, and stays perfect for the 2008 season, 48-for-48 in save opportunities! And let the city celebrate! Don't let the 48-hour wait diminish the euphoria of this moment and celebration! Twenty-five years in this city that a team has enjoyed a world championship and the fans are ready to celebrate. What a night! Phils winning, 4–3, Brad Lidge gets the job done once again!

Harry would die early the next season. He deserved that title.


October 30, 1871: The final championship match of the season takes place on the Union Grounds in Brooklyn between the Athletics and the Chicago White Stockings. The Championship Committee decrees that today's game will decide the winner of the pennant. Chicago‚ having played all of its games on the road since the October 8 fire‚ appears in an assorted array of uniforms. Theirs were all lost during the fire. The 4-1 victory by the Athletics gives them the championship for 1871. It will be 41 years before another Philadelphia team wins a major league Pennant.

Also on this day, John Frank Freeman is born in Catasauqua, in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. The right fielder, better known as Buck Freeman, was the first man to lead both Leagues in home runs: The National in 1899 with 25 for the Washington Senators (who were about to be contracted out of the NL and are not to be confused with the AL team that started in 1901), and the American in 1903 with 13 for the Boston Pilgrims, forerunners of the Red Sox. That season, he and the Pilgrims won the first World Series.

October 30, 1875: The Boston Red Stockings beat the visiting Blue Stockings of Hartford‚ 7-4‚ to finish the season without a home defeat. Boston finishes the year at 48-7, to win their 4th straight National Association Pennant.

Only 7 NA teams finish the season, with a total of 185 games played between them. The success of the Red Stockings has led to several forfeits, and this domination and erratic scheduling is one of the reasons the NA is abandoned and the National League established for 1876. The Red Stockings will join, eventually becoming the Beaneaters, the Rustlers, the Doves and finally the Braves, before moving to Milwaukee and later Atlanta.

October 30, 1896: Ruth Gordon Jones is born in Quincy, Massachusetts.  Dropping her last name, she starred on Broadway and in silent films before becoming a major star in the “talkies” of the 1930s. She also collaborated on screenplays with her husband, Garson Kanin. But she’s best known for her role in the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby. At age 72, she got an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, and said, "I can't tell you how encouraging a thing like this is." She was still acting up to the end of her life in 1985.

What does she have to do with sports? Well, in 1993, on an episode of Mad About You, Paul Reiser’s character, a documentary filmmaker named Paul Buchman, told his wife Jamie, played by Helen Hunt, that he was making a movie about Yankee Stadium, using the common nickname “The House That Ruth Built.” Jamie: “Ruth who?” Paul, sarcastically: “Gordon, honey. Ruth Gordon built Yankee Stadium.”

October 30, 1898: William Harold Terry is born in Atlanta, but lives most of his life in Memphis, giving him the nickname "Memphis Bill." The New York Giants 1st baseman helped them win Pennants in 1923 and ’24, and after succeeding John McGraw as manager, he led them to win the 1933 World Series and the ’36 and ’37 Pennants. In 1930, he batted .401, making him the last National Leaguer to date to bat .400 or higher for a season. He is a member of the Hall of Fame, and the Giants retired his Number 3 (in 1984, albeit well after they had moved to San Francisco, but at least he lived long enough to see it, dying in 1989).

October 30, 1916: Leon Day is born in Alexandria, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. He pitched for the Newark Eagles and the Baltimore Elite Giants in the Negro Leagues, and was also an excellent hitter. He landed on Utah Beach on D-Day. Although just 30 years old when Jackie Robinson debuted, he only played two seasons, 1952 and 1953, in the formerly all-white minor leagues, and was never approached by a major league team to sign. He retired in 1955. In 1995, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame based on his Negro League service. Just six days later, he died, making him the only person ever to be a living Hall-of-Famer-elect, but not a living Hall-of-Famer.

October 30, 1917: Robert Randall Bragan is born in Birmingham, Alabama.  Bobby Bragan was a backup catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, but when team president Branch Rickey announced he would promote Jackie Robinson to the majors, Bragan was one of the Southern players who signed a petition opposing it, and even asked Rickey to trade him rather than make him play on a desegregated team. Rickey refused, and Bragan soon realized that he was wrong.

In 1948, Rickey wanted to promote Roy Campanella to the Dodgers, putting Bragan out of a job. To make up for this, he offered Bragan, then just 30, the post of manager of a Dodger farm team, the Fort Worth Cats of the Texas League. In 1955, Rickey, now president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, gave Bragan his first big-league managing job, which also made him Roberto Clemente’s first big-league manager. When Rickey died in 1965, Bragan attended his funeral, he said, “I had to go, because Branch Rickey made me a better man.”

In 1958, he was fired as manager of the Cleveland Indians, and legend has it that he walked out to the field at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and declared that the Indians would never win another Pennant. He denied this many times, but the Indians didn’t win a Pennant from 1954 to 1995. He was the manager of the Braves when they moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966, but was fired in that first season in Atlanta, and despite being only 49 he was finished as a big-league manager.

But it was in the minors that Bragan truly made his mark, gaining a reputation for winning and for fairness to nonwhite players he could not have imagined prior to 1947. He led the Fort Worth Cats to Texas League Pennants in 1948 and 1949, and the Hollywood Stars to the Pacific Coast League Pennant in 1953. As manager of the PCL’s Spokane Indians, he taught Maury Wills (a black player) to switch-hit, enabling him to become a big-leaguer and to revolutionize baserunning even more than Robinson had. He was named President of the Texas League in 1969 and of the National Association, the governing body for minor league baseball, in 1975. He is a member of the Sports Halls of Fames of both Alabama and Texas.

On August 16, 2005, Bragan came out of retirement to manage the current version of the Fort Worth Cats, of the independent Central League, for one game. (The original Cats, along with their arch-rivals, the Dallas Eagles, had been replaced in 1965 by the Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs, whose new Turnpike Stadium was expanded into Arlington Stadium for the arrival of the Texas Rangers in 1972.) At age 87 years, 9 months, and 16 days, Bragan broke by one week the record of Connie Mack to become the oldest manager in professional baseball annals. Always known as an innovator with a sense of humor, and an umpire-baiter, Bragan was ejected in the third inning of his "comeback", thus also becoming the oldest person in any capacity to be ejected from a professional sporting event. Bragan enjoyed the rest of the Cats' 11-10 victory from a more comfortable vantage point. He died in 2010, age 92.

October 30, 1927: Joseph Wilbur Adcock is born in Coushatta, Louisiana. The first baseman was an All-Star slugger for the Milwaukee Braves, hitting 4 home runs in a 1954 game, and was a member of their 1957 World Champions and 1958 Pennant winners. He also briefly managed the California Angels. He died in 1999.

October 30, 1935: James Evan Perry Jr. is born in Williamston, North Carolina.  Jim Perry was an All-Star pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, helping them win the 1965 Pennant. He won 215 games in the major leagues, and took the 1970 AL Cy Young Award. Older but lesser-known than his Hall of Fame brother Gaylord Perry, they still combined for more wins and more strikeouts than any brother combination before them, and have since been surpassed in each category only by Phil and Joe Niekro.

Also on this day, Robert Allan Caro is born in Manhattan. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, in which he details both the benefits and the harm the legendary bureaucrat, builder and destroyer brought the City from the 1920s to the ‘60s, including standing in the way of Walter O’Malley getting a new stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers, leading to O’Malley moving the team to Los Angeles, and building the Flushing Meadow facility that became Shea Stadium.  Incredibly, the book was published in 1974, while Moses was still alive; I can only guess the old bastard was no longer vigorous enough to mount any kind of attempt to stop it.  Caro has also written a multi-volume biography of President Lyndon Johnson.

October 30, 1945: Henry Franklin Winkler is born in Manhattan. He’s had many fine roles since Happy Days went off the air, but he will always be that show’s Arthur Fonzarelli. And that is so cool. Cooler than any typecasting could ever be. You don’t think so? As the Fonz would say, “Sit on it!”

October 30, 1956: Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley sells Ebbets Field to a real estate group. He agrees to stay until 1959‚ with an option to stay until 1961. Then again, as one of the most unscrupulous lawyers in New York, what the hell is a legally binding agreement to Lord Waltermort?

October 30, 1958: Joe Alton Delaney is born in Henderson, Texas, and grows up outside Shreveport, Louisiana. He was a sensational running back for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1981 and '82, but his career was cut short when he attempted to save two drowning boys in a lake near his Louisiana home, and ended up drowning as well. He was just 24. The Chiefs have removed his Number 37 from circulation, although they have not officially retired it.  They have also elected him to their team Hall of Fame, and placed him on their Ring of Honor at Arrowhead Stadium.

October 30, 1960: Diego Armando Maradona is born Lanus, Buenos Aires state, Argentina.  He led his homeland to the 1986 World Cup, thanks to a two-goal game against England. The second goal has been regarded as one of the greatest goals ever scored. But the first goal was an obvious handball, or, as Maradona called it, “The Hand of God.” This came just 4 years after Britain had clobbered Argentina in the Falkland Islands War, so it was a huge boost for Argentina, but it made the English really mad, and it infuriated everybody else who hates Argentina (which includes most of South America).

He won league titles in Argentina with his hometown club, Boca Juniors, of Buenos Aires in 1981; and in Italy with Napoli of Naples in 1987 and 1990, the only 2 Serie A titles they have ever won. However, the club narrowly missed winning in 1989, and for over 20 years rumors have been floated that Maradona, already addicted to cocaine, was, shall we say, enticed to throw some matches.

After years of dealing with drug addiction, his weight and debt from unpaid taxes during the Italian phase of his playing career, Maradona is now the manager of the Argentina team, but he is somewhat less capable there than he was as a player, just barely qualifying them for the 2010 World Cup. He got them to the Quarterfinals before losing, and was fired. His daughter is married to Sergio Aguero, the Argentine striker whose last-minute-of-the-season goal won the 2012 Premier League title for for Manchester City.

October 30, 1961: Scott William Garrelts is born in Urbana, Illinois. The All-Star pitcher helped lead the San Francisco Giants to the National League Pennant in 1989. The following year, he took a no-hitter into the 9th inning against the Cincinnati Reds, but it was broken up with one out to go by future Yankee legend Paul O’Neill.

October 30, 1974: “The Rumble in the Jungle” in Kinshasa, in the former colony of Belgain Congo, at this point called Zaire, and since 1997 called the Democratic Republic of the Congo. George Foreman was the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, and heavily favored to defeat former champion Muhammad Ali. Ali was talking his usual trash, but most people thought Ali would lose.  Indeed, there were some who feared that Ali would be killed in the ring.

Ali fooled them all. People who say Ali just leaned against the ropes in his “rope-a-dope” strategy and let Foreman tire himself out with punches are fools. I’ve seen the tape of the fight: Ali got in a lot of punches, enough to win every round except for the 2nd and the 6th. Foreman would later say that, at the end of the 6th, Ali yelled at him, “Is that all you got, George?” Years later, Foreman told an interviewer he had to admit, “Yup, that’s all I got.”

Through a months-long psychological campaign, including practically the entire black population of the continent of Africa in his favor and against the equally black Foreman – he had done something similar to Joe Frazier, who was puzzled by it: “I’m darker than he is!” – Ali had gotten into Foreman’s head, just as he had done to Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, and just about everybody else he’d ever fought. In the 8th round, backed up against the ropes, Ali managed to turn an exhausted Foreman around, toss a few jabs, and knock him on his can. Foreman tried to get up, but he ran out of time, and Ali was the winner by a knockout.

When David Frost went to interview him for the BBC after the fight, he pointed at the camera and said, “Is this thing on? I told you all that I was the greatest of all time when I beat Sonny Liston! I am still the greatest of all time! Never again doubt me! Never again make me an underdog until I’m about 50 years old!”

He was off a bit, as he probably should have quit at 36, after losing the title to Leon Spinks and then regaining it from him. But by far more than his boxing prowess, by the force of his personality, and by the example he set as a man of (at least, in America) a minority race and a minority religion, making him, somewhat contradictorily, the champion of the underdog, he proved that he really was the greatest of all time. At age 70, he still is.

October 30, 1975: The New York Daily News, responding to President Gerald Ford’s statement that he wouldn’t allow the federal government to bail out New York City’s desperate finances, prints the most famous newspaper headline ever: “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” Ford didn’t actually say that, but that was the message he sent, intentionally or otherwise.

Both sides compromised, as the City did a few more things to try to get its financial house in order, and this satisfied Ford to the point where he changed his mind and signed a bailout bill.

But Ford was damned when he did, and damned when he didn’t. The bailout he actually did sign infuriated many conservatives, who already had a few problems with the mildly conservative Ford, and they voted for former Governor Ronald Reagan of California in the Republican primaries, and Reagan very nearly won the GOP nomination, and when Ford won the nomination anyway, many of those conservatives stayed home on Election Day, November 2, 1976. This may have made the difference in throwing some States to the Democratic nominee, former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia.

In addition, a lot of people in New York City remembered the headline and forgot that Ford changed his mind about the bailout, and held it against him, and a lot of people in the City who might not have been comfortable with Carter either voted for Carter or stayed home, enough to throw the State of New York to Carter. Had Ford simply won the State, he would have won a full term.

True, the Nixon pardon, lingering feelings over Watergate, the shaky economy, his debate gaffe about Eastern Europe, and conservatives issues with him over things like foreign policy and federal spending also hurt him. But the day after the ’76 election, Mayor Abe Beame posed in front of City Hall with the headline, as if to say, “City to Ford: Don’t tell someone to drop dead unless you can make him drop dead. We just made your campaign drop dead.” A year later, with the City’s finances still not fully straightened out, and crime seemingly out of control, the City’s voters told Beame to “drop dead” and elected Congressman Ed Koch as its Mayor.

October 30, 1979: Jason Alan Bartlett is born in Mountain View, California.  He was the shortstop for the Tampa Bay Rays when they played in the 2008 World Series.  He was recently released by the San Diego Padres, and is currently a free agent.

October 30, 1982: Andy Greene is born in the Detroit suburb of Trenton, Michigan. He is a defenseman for the New Jersey Devils.

October 30, 1995: The Quebec sovereignty referendum fails by a razor-thin margin, with 50.58 percent voting “Non” and 49.42 percent voting “Oui.” The number of “spoiled ballots,” unusable for whatever reason, is said to be greater than the margin of victory. Despite the anger of the separatists, angry over their perception of victimization at the hands of the federal government in Ottawa and the English-speaking establishment – an absolutely ridiculous notion, since the Provincial government has been dominated the ethnic and linguistic French for most of the 20th Century – the Province will remain a part of Canada, but there is still bitterness on both sides. It’s just as well: Would you be the one who has to tell the Montreal Canadiens, the greatest cultural institution in Quebec, that they had to change their name?

October 30, 2001: Game 3 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium. The flag found at the World Trade Center on September 11, with some of the stripes having come apart, is flown at the flagpole in Monument Park. This is an honor.

George W. Bush throws out the ceremonial first pitch. This is not an honor, it is a desecration: By ignoring the August 6 national-security briefing that told of Osama bin Laden’s plan to hijack American airliners, Bush allowed New York City to be attacked. Stand on the mound to throw out the first pitch? He shouldn’t have even been allowed inside the hallowed House That Ruth Built, no matter how much he was willing to pay for a ticket. (Not that the son of a bitch would have been willing to pay. Has he ever done anything in his life, without somebody doing it for him?)

The somewhat more honest and somewhat less egotistical born-elsewhere-but-calls-himself-Texan, Roger Clemens, does some of his best postseason work, and the Yankees ride a Jorge Posada homer and a Scott Brosius single to take a 2-1 win, and close to within 2 games to 1.

October 30, 2002: Jam Master Jay is murdered.

October 30, 2005: Al Lopez, not only the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame but the oldest Hall-of-Famer ever, dies at age 97. He had been an All-Star catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he caught more games in the major leagues than anyone until Bob Boone surpassed him 1987, and more than anyone in the NL until Gary Carter surpassed him in 1990. (Boone’s achievement was spread over both leagues; Boone’s record was surpassed in 1993 by Carlton Fisk, and Fisk’s this past season by Ivan Rodriguez, if you cant count anything that steroid user does as legitimate.)

From 1949 to 1964 he was the only manager to take a team other than the Yankees to an American League Pennant, in 1954 with the Cleveland Indians and in 1959 with the Chicago White Sox. He dies just 4 days after the White Sox win their first Pennant since ’59. Like another catcher who became famous in another sphere of baseball, Tim McCarver, he had outlived a minor-league ballpark that had been built in his home town. Al Lopez Field opened in Tampa in 1954 and was demolished in 1989. It stood in what is now the south end zone at the Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium. Just north of the stadium, Horizon Park was renamed Al Lopez Park, and a statue of him stands there.

October 30, 2010: For the first time, a team based in Texas wins a World Series game.  The Texas Rangers, hosting a Series game for the first time, beat the San Francisco Giants, 4-2, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and close the gap to 2 games to 1.  Previously, the Rangers (in this Series) and the Houston Astros (in their only appearance, in 2005) had been 0-6.


October 31, 1887: Edouard Charles Lalonde is born in Cornwall, the easternmost city in Ontario, bordering Quebec. “Newsy” (from working in a newspaper plant) was one of early hockey’s greatest stars, winning 7 scoring titles and Captaining the Montreal Canadiens to their first Stanley Cup in 1916. On December 29, 1917, in the first-ever NHL game, he scored a goal on route to the Canadiens’ 7-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators. In 1922, the Canadiens angered him and a lot of their fans by trading him to the Pacific Coast Hockey Association’s Saskatoon Sheiks, but the Habs got future Hall-of-Famer Aurel Joliat in the deal.

From his retirement in 1927 until Maurice Richard surpassed him in 1954, his 455 goals in all leagues in which he played combined stood as a pro record. He was also the best lacrosse player of his era, and in 1950, he was named athlete of the half century in lacrosse. He was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1950, the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1965, and the Sports Hall of Fame of Canada. He had lit the torch when the Sports Hall of Fame opened in Toronto in August, 1955. In 1998 he was ranked number 32 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, making him the highest-ranking player on the list who had played in a professional league before the founding of the NHL. He was the first Canadiens player to wear Number 4, and Joliat got it after the trade, but it was retired for later star Jean Beliveau.

October 31, 1933: Phillippe Joseph Georges Goyette is born in Lachine, now a part of the city of Montreal.  Phil Goyette was a center who won Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens in 1957, ’58, ’59 and ’60. He was the first coach of the New York Islanders in 1972-73, but was fired due to a poor record midway through the season.

October 31, 1942: David Arthur McNally is born in Billings, Montana.  Dave McNally pitched a complete game to clinch the 1966 World Series for the Baltimore Orioles, and won another game and hit a grand slam in it to help them win it in 1970. His career won-lost record was a sterling 184-119.

But he’s best known as one of the two pitchers, along with Andy Messersmith, who played the 1975 season without a contract to test the legality of the reserve clause. McNally, by then with the Montreal Expos, had been injured, had a successful ranch in his native Montana, and was ready to retire anyway, so he was an ideal player to make the test, since he didn’t need the money.  The clause was overturned.

Also on this day, David Ogden Stiers is born in Peoria, Illinois. Best known as Major Charles Emerson Winchester III, the pompous but sometimes surprisingly human surgeon on M*A*S*H, he has spent much of the last few years doing voiceovers for PBS documentaries – in his real voice, not in Charles’ Boston Brahmin accent. I still can't believe "Chahles" wore a Brooklyn Dodger cap in one episode.

October 31, 1943: Louis Brian Piccolo is born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  Dropping his first name, the All-American running back from Wake Forest overcame his natural prejudice to help Chicago Bears teammate Gale Sayers come back from a devastating knee injury, then developed lung cancer at died at age 26.

Shortly before Piccolo’s death, Sayers was given the NFL’s most courageous man award for winning the 1969 rushing title on a knee with no cartilage in it. At the award ceremony, he said he didn’t deserve the award, because Piccolo was showing more courage. “I love Brian Piccolo,” he said, “and tonight, when you get down on your knees to pray, I want you to ask God to love him, too.”

The Bears retired Piccolo’s Number 41. In the 1971 film Brian’s Song, Piccolo was played by James Caan, and Sayers by Billy Dee Williams, career-making roles for both men.

October 31, 1946: Stephen Rea is born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He starred in The Crying Game and was nominated for an Oscar for it. He’s best known in the U.S. as Inspector Eric Finch, a good guy who figures out that he’s really working for the bad guys, in V for Vendetta.  It was because of that film that he was the only actor besides Colin Firth that I recognized from the original, British soccer, version of Fever Pitch.

October 31, 1947: Frank Charles Shorter is born in Munich, Germany, where his father was serving with the U.S. Army. He grew up in Middletown, Orange County, New York, won the Olympic marathon in 1972, and finished second in 1976. Thanks to his ’72 win, the Boston Marathon was reborn as an event the whole country wanted to watch, and the New York City Marathon, which started the year before, took off. Along with Jim Fixx and his Jim Fixx's Book of Running, Shorter is probably more responsible than anyone for the rise of recreational running in America. I leave it to you to decide whether that’s a good thing.

October 31, 1950: John Franklin Candy is born in Newmarket, Ontario, outside Toronto. In the closing minutes of Super Bowl XXIII, when the Cincinnati Bengals had just scored to take the lead, the San Francisco 49ers were nervous, when quarterback Joe Montana, pointed out of the huddle to the stands and said, “Isn’t that John Candy?” The question relaxed the players, and Montana drove them for the winning touchdown.

Candy played the Cubs’ broadcaster in Rookie of the Year, and I give him a lot of credit for playing someone similar to, but not a total caricature of, Cubs broadcasting legend Harry Caray. On the other side of Chicago, he also shot a scene at the old Comiskey Park in its closing days for Only the Lonely. Considering his weight, I’m not surprised that he died young (53), but I’m still sorry about it. He gave us a lot, but he had a lot more to give.

Also on this day, Margaret Jane Pauley is born in Indianapolis.  Dropping her first name, she was the longtime co-host of The Today Show on NBC, and is married to Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau.

October 31, 1951: Nicholas Lou Saban is born in Fairmont, West Virginia. The son of legendary football coach Lou Saban, Nick hasn’t yet moved around to as many coaching jobs, but he has moved around with considerably less ethics than his father. He did, however, lead Louisiana State to the 2003 National Championship, and Alabama to the 2009 and 2011 editions.

October 31, 1953: John Harding Lucas II is born in Durham, North Carolina. He played both basketball and tennis professionally, and was a member of the Houston Rockets’ 1986 NBA Western Conference Champions. His overcoming of drug addiction led him to become an NBA head coach and an addiction counselor. He is currently an assistant coach under Mike Dunleavy of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Like Dunleavy, he has a son who played in the NBA, John Lucas III, who, unlike his father whose 1974 Maryland team was prevented under the rules of the time from playing in the NCAA Tournament due to its loss in the ACC Final, went to the 2004 Final Four with Oklahoma State. John III played in the NBA with the Rockets, was recently waived by the Miami Heat and is currently a free agent. Another son, Jai Lucas, now plays pro basketball in Latvia.

October 31, 1959: Mats Naslund is born in Timra, Sweden. The left wing was known as Le Petit Viking (the Little Viking) when he played for the Montreal Canadiens, a tenure that included the 1986 Stanley Cup, in which he became the most recent Canadien to score 100 or more points in a season. He helped Sweden win the 1994 Olympic Gold Medal, and as general manager of the team he built their 2006 Gold Medal team.

October 31, 1960: Michael Anthony Gallego is born in Whittier, California.  Mike Gallego was the starting second baseman on the Oakland Athletics’ 3 straight Pennants of 1988-90. In 1993, he was voted the second baseman on their 25th Anniversary team (25 years since they’d moved to Oakland). He briefly played for the Yankees in the early 1990s, and is now back with the A’s as their 3rd base coach.

Also on this day, Reza Pahlavi is born. He was 18 years old and the Crown Prince of Iran when his father, the Emperor, Mohammed Reza Shah, was overthrown in the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Luckily for him, he was already in the U.S., training as a fighter pilot (much as was his cousin and fellow heir to a throne, now King Abdullah II of Jordan).

He now lives in Potomac, Maryland, outside Washington. Unlike his father, who ran a brutally repressive, unofficially fascist regime, he has been an outspoken supporter of human rights, saying that in order to bring freedom to his homeland, “Idealism and realism, behavior change and regime change do not require different policies but the same: empowering the Iranian people.” His supporters have referred to him as “His Imperial Majesty Reza Shah II” since his father’s death on July 27, 1980, but he officially calls himself “the former Crown Prince,” and admits he has no realistic hope of the monarchy being restored, even when the Ayatollahs are finally and rightfully toppled.

October 31, 1961: A federal judge rules that Birmingham‚ Alabama laws against integrated playing fields are illegal‚ eliminating the last barrier against integration in the Class AA Southern Association.

October 31, 1963: Fredrick Staley McGriff is born in Tampa. In 1982, the Yankees traded 1st baseman Fred McGriff, young pitcher Mike Morgan and outfielder Dave Collins to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitcher Dale Murray and 3rd baseman Tom Dodd. Dodd did play one year in the majors, but for Baltimore, and is not the man for whom the ballpark belonging to the Norwich Navigators, a former Yankee farm team, is named. (That was Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut, whose son Chris Dodd also served in the Senate.) Murray got hurt and never contributed to the Yankees, either. Collins was pretty much finished.

In contrast, in 2001, 19 years later after the trade, Morgan pitched against the Yankees in the World Series for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and McGriff was also still active. By trading him, the Yankees essentially traded 493 home runs for nothing.

Or did they? McGriff was 20 at the time, and did not reach the majors for another 4 years. Had he done so with the Yankees, he would have smacked right into Don Mattingly at his peak. And the Yankees seemed to be loaded with designated hitters and pinch-hitters at that time.  They may not have had any place to put him. Still, in retrospect, the trade looks really bad.

McGriff was involved in some other big trades: The Jays traded him to the San Diego Padres in 1990, a trade which brought them Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar, key figures in their 1992 and ’93 World Champions; and the Padres sent him to the Atlanta Braves as part of their 1993 “fire sale,” a pure “salary dump.”

McGriff hit the first home run at the Rogers Centre (then called the SkyDome) in 1989. With the Jays that season and the Padres in 1992, McGriff became the first player in the post-1920 Lively Ball Era to lead both leagues in home runs. He helped the Braves win the World Series in 1995, and later played for his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

He now the head baseball coach at Jesuit High School in Tampa, whose alumni include not him, but such major leaguers as Al Lopez (Hall-of-Famer catcher and manager), Lou Piniella, Dave Magadan and Brad Radke; and from football, Atlanta Falcons general manager Rich McKay (his father John was Tampa Bay Buccanneers coach at the time Rich was at Jesuit) and Arizona Cardinals (and former Giants and Jets) kicker Jay Feely.  Fred is also the host of a sports-themed radio show in Tampa.

He has been eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame since the election of January 2010.  Despite falling 7 homers short of the magic 500 Club, he has not yet made it.  He was always popular – ESPN’s Chris Berman took the public-service-announcement character of “McGruff the Crime Dog” and nicknamed McGriff “Crime Dog” – and despite his home-run heroics, he has never been seriously suspected of steroid use.  And he was on winning teams.  So why hasn't he been elected? His son Erick McGriff plays football at the University of Kansas.

Also on this day, Carlos Caetano Bledorn Verri is born in Ijui, Porto Alegre, Brazil.  The soccer player was nicknamed “Dunga” by an uncle, Portuguese for “Dopey,” since he was short and expected to stay that way. But the midfielder starred for several Brazilian teams, with his longest tenure at Internacional (like the Milan club known as “Inter” for short) of Porto Alegre; for Fiorentina in Italy and Stuttgart in Germany. Dunga was a member of Brazil’s 1994 World Cup winners, but bombed as manager of the national team at the 2010 World Cup.

October 31, 1964: Marcel van Basten is born in Utrecht, the Netherlands.  Better known as Marco van Basten, the striker starred for Ajax Amsterdam, winning League Championships in 1982, ’83 and ’85 and the Dutch Cup in ’83, ’86 and ’87 – meaning they won “The Double” in 1983. He moved on to AC Milan in Italy, winning Serie A in 1988, ’92 and ’93, and back-to-back European Cups (now the Champions League) in 1989 and ’90. He led the Netherlands to the European Championship in 1988.

Despite an ankle injury that essentially ended his career at age 28, 3 times he was named European Player of the Year, and the magazine France Football placed him 8th in a poll of the Football Players of the Century. He has managed both Ajax and the Netherlands national team.  He now manages Dutch top-flight club Heerenveen.

October 31, 1966: Michael Edward O’Malley is born in Boston. The comedian and actor, formerly star of Yes, Dear, is a tremendous Boston Red Sox fan. But he’s funny, so I forgive him.

October 31, 1968: Antonio Lee Davis is born in Oakland, California. After going undrafted out of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), he played pro basketball in Athens and Milan before signing with the Indiana Pacers. He was an All-Star for the perennial Playoff contenders and Knick nemeses, although they didn’t reach the NBA Finals until after he left.  He is now an NBA studio analyst for ESPN.

October 31, 1970: Stephen Christopher Trachsel is born in Oxnard, California. In 1996, the Chicago Cubs pitcher was named to the All-Star Team.  On September 8, 1998, Steve gave up Mark McGwire’s steroid-aided 62nd home run.  But just 20 days later, he was the winning pitcher for the Cubs over the San Francisco Giants in the Playoff for the NL Wild Card berth. Since the Cubs only made the Playoffs 4 times in the 61 seasons between 1946 and 2006, this makes him a Wrigleyville hero for all time. He also pitched for the Mets, winning the NL East with them in 2006. He last pitched for the Baltimore Orioles in 2008.

October 31, 1972: The Philadelphia Phillies trade 3rd baseman Don Money and 2 others to the Milwaukee Brewers for 4 pitchers‚ including Jim Lonborg and Ken Brett. This was a rare good trade for both teams: Lonborg was a key cog in the Phillies developing a pitching staff that would reach the Playoffs 6 times in 8 years from 1976 to 1983 (though Lonborg retired after ’78); while Money helped stabilize the Brewers and make them a contender by 1978 and a Pennant winner in 1982, and trading him allowed the Phillies to make room for the best player in the history of Philadelphia baseball, Mike Schmidt.

October 31, 1973: David Michael Dellucci is born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The outfielder was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks team that beat the Yankees in the 2001 World Series, and of the Yankee team that won the 2003 American League Pennant. He was released by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009 and retired.

October 31, 1976: José María Gutiérrez Hernández is born in Torrejon de Ardoz, Spain. “Guti” was a midfielder who starred for Real Madrid as they won Spain’s La Liga in 1997, 2001, 03, ’07 and ’08; and the Champions League in 1998, 2000 and ’02.  He is now seeking to become a coach, and says his dream is to manage Real Madrid's youth team.

October 31, 1983: George Halas dies at age 88. He was the founder of the Chicago Bears, for all intents and purposes the founder of the NFL, formerly the winningest coach in NFL history (324), and no coach in the history of professional football has won as many league championships, 8: 1921, 1932, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1963. One of his last acts as owner was to hire former Bears star Mike Ditka as head coach, and Ditka would lead them to a 9th World Championship in 1985. When asked by Bob Costas in the locker room afterwards if he thought of “Papa Bear,” he said, “I always think of Coach Halas.”

This, despite a reputation for being cheap, which led Ditka to say, “George Halas throws nickels around like manhole covers.” It was also Halas’ cheapness that kept the Bears in Wrigley Field, with a football capacity of just 47,000, in spite of Soldier Field having over 65,000 seats and lights, because he didn’t want to pay the rent the City of Chicago was demanding; the Bears didn’t move there until 1971, when the money available to teams on Monday Night Football, which couldn’t be played at then-lightless Wrigley, more than offset the cost of the rent. In spite of this, when the aforementioned Brian Piccolo got sick, Halas paid all his medical expenses and for his funeral.

An NFL Films documentary from 1977 showed Halas walking through the Bears’ practice facility at Lake Forest, Illinois (the main building is now named Halas Hall), and announcer John Facenda said it was “like visiting Mount Vernon and seeing George Washington still surveying the grounds.”

He had planned to hand the team over to his son George Jr., but “Mugs” predeceased him in 1979. His daughter Virginia handed control to her husband, Ed McCaskey. Unfortunately, Big Ed handed a lot of control over to his and Virginia’s son, George’s grandson, Mike McCaskey, who ran the franchise into the ground before Big Ed took it back and handed it over to someone else prior to his own death. Virginia is still alive and the nominal owner of Da Bears.

October 31, 1987: Nicholas Foligno is born in Buffalo, New York, where his father Mike was an All-Star right-winger for the Sabres.  Nick, a center, now plays for the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Brother Marcus is now a left wing for the Sabres.

October 31, 1992: Rutgers plays Virginia Tech in a Halloween Homecoming thriller, in the next-to-last game at the old Rutgers Stadium.  The stars were quarterback Bryan Fortay of East Brunswick, running back Bruce Presley of Highland Park, tight end Jim Guarantano of Lodi, and Chris Brantley of Teaneck.  RU won on the final play, 50-49.  Yes, that's football, not basketball.

October 31, 1998: Elmer Vasko dies at age 62. “Moose” was an All-Star defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks, winning the Stanley Cup with them in 1961.

October 31, 2001: Game 4 of the World Series. The Yankees trail the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 in the bottom of the 9th, and are about to fall behind in the World Series by the same margin of games. This is due in large part to the fine pitching of Curt Schilling, who was asked about the “mystique” of Yankee Stadium. He said, “Mystique, aura, those are dancers in a nightclub.” (Three years later, pitching for Boston, he would prove he was still not intimidated by Yankee Stadium, saying, “There’s nothing like making 55,000 Yankee fans shut up.”)

Byung-Hyun Kim, a “submarine” style pitcher from Korea, tries to close the Yankees out in the bottom of the 9th. But he lets a man on, and Tino Martinez comes to the plate. Tino electrifies the crowd but slamming a drive toward the upper deck. On the video, a fan in the front row of the upper deck tries to catch the ball, but it bounces off your hand. Now, imagine you’re that fan: Are you excited that the Yankees have come back in this World Series game, or are you mad that you were unable to catch this historic homer (and probably hurt your hand in the process)?

As the clock strikes midnight, for the first time ever – due to the week’s delay from the 9/11 attacks – a Major League Baseball game is played in the month of November. It is the bottom of the 10th, and Derek Jeter steps to the plate against Kim. A fan holds up a sign saying, “Mr. November.” (It’s often been asked, “How did he know to hold up that sign for Jeter?” The answer is easy: He didn’t hold it up specifically for Jeter. Jeter was just the batter when the clock struck 12, making him the first batter for whom it could be held up.)

At 12:03 came a typical Jeter hit, an inside-out swing to right-center, and it just... barely... got over the fence for a game-winning home run. Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 3. The Series was tied. The old ballyard was shaking. The “Yankee Mystique” had struck again. It is hits like this that have gotten Jeter the nickname “Captain Clutch.”

The next night, the first game to officially be played in the month of November, a fan made up a sign that said, “BASEBALL HISTORY MADE HERE” on what looked like an ancient scroll. Another fan made up a sign that said, “MYSTIQUE AND AURA APPEARING NIGHTLY.” (Two years later, in the Aaron Boone game, that same fan made up one that said, “MYSTIQUE DON’T FAIL ME NOW.” It didn’t.)

October 31, 2002: The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association votes 9-6 to prohibit the use of metal bats in the state high school tournament in 2003. Twenty five of 40 leagues will switch to wood for the regular season. The State is the first to outlaw metal bats. In this particular case, Massachusetts is ahead of the curve in baseball.

October 31, 2009: Alex Rodriguez's Game 3 fly ball in the right-field corner Citzens Bank Park becomes the subject of the first instant replay call in World Series history. The Yankees' third baseman hit, originally ruled a double, is changed by the umpires to a home run after the replay clearly shows the ball going over the fence before striking a television camera and bouncing back to the field.

Figures that A-Rod's first World Series home run would be controversial. But it does help make the difference, as the Yankees win, 8-5.


November 1, 1870: In Chicago‚ the Mutuals of New York play the White Stockings at Dexter Park before 6‚000 people. With Chicago leading 7-5 after 8 innings‚ the Mutuals score 8 runs in the top of the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th‚ Chicago adopts a waiting game and Wolters‚ the Mutuals pitcher‚ loads the bases on walks‚ and complains that the umpire is not calling strikes. A few hits and passed balls makes the score 13-12 in favor of the Mutes when McAfee‚ the next batter for the Whites‚ lets a dozen balls go by without swinging. Wolters throws up his hands and walks off. The ump reverts the score to the 8th inning and the Whites win‚ 7-5. Chicago has now defeated the Mutes twice since they took the Championship away from the Atlantics. The controversial ending of the game makes the Mutual club unwilling to give up the Championship. The New York Clipper says‚ In 1867 the Union club happened to defeat the Atlantics two games out of three of the regular series them played between them-only one series being played between clubs at that time. By this victory a precedent was established giving the championship title only to the club that defeated the existing champions two games while they were the champions. Of course this is an. absurd rule but it has prevailed ever since."

November 1, 1874: The season ends today with the Boston Red Stockings being declared the champions with a record of 43-17. Boston actually had a record of 52-18 but the Committee throws out the Baltimore games because the team did not complete their schedule. The Mutuals finish second.

November 1, 1893: Alex Burr is born.

November 1, 1894: Former Providence P Charles Sweeney is convicted of manslaughter in San Francisco.

November 1, 1914: Connie Mack begins cleaning house‚ asks waivers on Jack Coombs‚ Eddie Plank‚ and Chief Bender. Colby Jack goes to Brooklyn (NL). Plank and Bender escape Mack's maneuvering by jumping tfo the Federal League. Although all have some life left in their soupbones‚ they are near their careers' end‚ and departure is more sentimental than serious. Mack's excuse: retrenchment. Despite the pennant‚ Philadelphia fans did not support the A's and the club lost $50‚000.

November 1, 1916: Harry H. Frazee‚ New York theater owner and producer‚ and Hugh Ward buy the Red Sox for $675‚000 (one report puts the figure at $750‚000) from Joseph Lannin. Bill Carrigan announces that he will retire as Red Sox manager to pursue his interests in Lewiston‚ Maine.

November 1, 1918: Outfielder Alex Burr is killed in France on his 25th birthday‚ the 3rd Major Leaguer to die of WW1.

November 1, 1942: Larry MacPhail enters the army and the Dodgers look to St. Louis for leadership. After 2 decades in St. Louis‚ Branch Rickey splits with owner Sam Breadon. He will sign to become GM at Brooklyn.

November 1, 1946: The right foot of Cleveland owner Bill Veeck is amputated‚ a result of a war injury in the South Pacific 2 years before. Veeck has had a tremendous impact on promotion in a half season of ownership. A minor but typical change is the regular posting of NL scores on the Cleveland scoreboard‚ a departure from the long-standing practice of both leagues.  The first NBA game is played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

November 1, 1979: Edward Bennett Williams buys the Orioles from Jerold Hoffberger for a reported $12.3 million.  In separate deals‚ the Yankees acquire OF Ruppert Jones from the Mariners and C Rick Cerone and Tom Underwood from the Blue Jays‚ giving up 7 players‚ including popular 1B Chris Chambliss‚ SS Damaso Garcia‚ OF Juan Beniquez‚ and Ps Jim Beattie and Paul Mirabella. Chambliss will be with the Blue Jays a month before they swap him to Atlanta.

November 1, 1997: The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum opens in its new home in Kansas City‚ Missouri. It had been occupying a temporary site there for 4 years.

November 1, 2001: In an amazing case of history repeating itself‚ the Yankees again come from 2 runs down with 2 outs in the 9th inning to defeat the Diamondbacks‚ 3-2 in 12 innings. Byung-Hyun Kim is again victimized‚ this time by Scott Brosius' 2-run HR in the 9th. Alfonso Soriano's single wins it in the 12th. Steve Finley and Rod Barajas homer in the 5th for Arizona's runs.

November 1, 2010: The Giants win their first World Series since moving to San Francisco.


November 2, 1881: The American Association of Professionals is founded with the motto "Liberty to All." The members are St. Louis‚ Cincinnati‚ Louisville‚ Allegheny‚ Athletic‚ and Atlantic. This AA will be considered a major league.  The AA elects H. D. McKnight as its president. It votes to honor the NL blacklist in the case of drunkenness but not to abide by the NL reserve clause. The new league will rely on home gate receipts‚ visiting teams getting just a $65 guarantee on the road‚ as opposed to the NL's policy of giving 15¢ from each admission to the visitors. The AA will allow Sunday games‚ liquor sales‚ and 25¢ tickets‚ all prohibited by the NL.

November 2, 1913: Former St. Louis Browns manager George Stovall is the first ML player to jump to the Federal League‚ signing to manage Kansas City. With glib salesman Jim Gilmore as its president‚ and backed by several millionaires‚ including oil magnate Harry Sinclair and Brooklyn baker Robert Ward‚ the Feds declare open war 2 weeks later by announcing they will not honor the ML's reserve clause. It will prove a long‚ costly struggle‚ similar to the AL's beginnings‚ but with more losers than winners.

November 2, 1913: Burt Lancaster is born in Manhattan.  Field of Dreams.

November 2, 1950: The baseball writers select Phillies relief P Jim Konstanty as the NL's MVP.

November 2, 1960: George Weiss‚ recently turned 66‚ resigns as GM of the Yankees.

November 2, 1971: The Orioles Pat Dobson pitches a no-hitter against the Yomiuri Giants‚ winning 2-0. It is the first no-hitter in Japanese-American exhibition history. The Orioles compile a record of 12-2-4 on the tour.

November 2, 1972: Former Boston SS Freddy Parent dies at the age of 96. Parent had been the last surviving player from the first modern WS between Boston and Pittsburgh in 1903.  He was also the last surviving player from the first Pennant race between the teams now known as the Yankees and the Red Sox, in 1904.

November 2, 1974: The Braves trade Hank Aaron to the Brewers for OF Dave May and a minor league pitcher to be named later. Aaron will finish his ML career in Milwaukee‚ where he started it in 1954.  Meanwhile‚ Aaron‚ the HR king of American baseball‚ and Sadaharu Oh‚ his Japanese counterpart‚ square off for a HR contest at Korakuen Stadium. Aaron wins 10-9.

November 2, 1995: The Yankees name Joe Torre as their new manager‚ replacing Buck Showalter.

November 2, 1999: The Rangers trade OF Juan Gonzalez‚ P Danny Patterson and C Gregg Zaun to the Tigers in exchange for pitchers Justin Thompson‚ Alan Webb and Francisco Cordero‚ OF Gabe Kapler‚ C Bill Haselman‚ and IF Frank Catalanotto.  The trade of "Juan Gone" is the beginning of the breakup of the Rangers' first postseason team, winners of 3 of the last 4 AL West titles.  Meanwhile, Seattle announces that superstar Ken Griffey Jr. is requesting a trade closer to his home. The Mariners agree to try to trade him during the off season.


November 3, 1968: Cardinal broadcaster Harry Caray is struck by a car while crossing a street in St. Louis‚ and he suffers two broken legs‚ a broken shoulder‚ and a broken nose.

November 3, 1970: The Phillies trade Curt Flood to the Senators for 3 minor league players.

November 3, 1992: The Yankees trade OF Roberto Kelly and minor league 1B Joe DeBerry to the Reds in exchange for OF Paul O'Neill.

November 3, 1993: Cleveland Indians P Cliff Young is killed in a truck crash in Willis‚ Texas. He is the 3rd Indians pitcher to die this year.

November 3, 2001: The Diamondbacks even the Series at 3 games apiece with a 15-2 win over the Yankees in Game 6. Randy Johnson gets the win for Arizona while Danny Bautista drives in 5 runs. Arizona knocks out a WS-record 22 hits‚ and scores 8 runs in the 3rd inning.

November 3, 2004: The Mets name Yankee coach Willie Randolph as their new manager.  The Phillies name Charlie Manuel as their new manager.  One of these moves will work out only so well, and no more.  The other will work out very, very well.


November 4, 1889: After a formal meeting of reps from all NL chapters‚ the Brotherhood issues a "Manifesto" in which it claims that "players have been bought‚ sold and exchanged as though they were sheep instead of American citizens." This bold statement constitutes a declaration of war between the Brotherhood and ML officials which will soon explode.

November 4, 1893: John Ward comments that a professional football league "may eventually come‚ but . . .the game is so complicated that . . . the general public does not understand it."

November 4, 1935: Cal Hubbard‚ pro football tackle with the Green Bay Packers‚ 1929-35‚ joins the AL umpiring staff.

November 4, 1948: Former OF Jake Powell‚ 39‚ shoots and kills himself in a Washington‚ D.C.‚ police station. Powell was arrested for writing checks on a false account. Powell was the star of the 1936 WS‚ going 4-for-4 in game one against Carl Hubbell and finishing the series with a .455 average and scoring 8 runs.

November 4, 1976: The first mass-market free-agent reentry draft is held at New York's Plaza Hotel. Among those available are Reggie Jackson‚ Joe Rudi‚ Don Gullett‚ Gene Tenace‚ Rollie Fingers‚ Don Baylor‚ Bobby Grich‚ and Willie McCovey. McCovey and Nate Colbert are the only two players not selected‚ but McCovey will catch on with the Giants in spring training and have a banner year at his old position.

November 4, 1980: Ronald Reagan is elected President.  Forty-year-old Sadaharu Oh‚ professional baseball's all-time home run king with 868 in 22 seasons in Japan‚ retires.

November 4, 1981: The Reds trade OF Ken Griffey to the Yankees for P Fred Toliver and minor-leaguer Brian Ryder. Griffey was about to become a free agent.  The Phillies announce that Pat Corrales will manage the club in 1982‚ replacing Dallas Green‚ who quit to become Cubs GM.

November 4, 1994: Dwight Gooden receives a year-long suspension for violating his aftercare program. He reportedly has continued to test positive for cocaine.

November 4, 2001: The Arizona Diamondbacks win the first WS of their 4-year existence with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Yankees. Alfonso Soriano breaks a 1-1 tie with a HR in the 8th inning to give NY the lead‚ but Arizona comes back with 2 runs in the bottom half of the 9th off Mariano Rivera to get the win. Luis Gonzalez drives home the winning run while Randy Johnson gets the win in relief. Johnson and Curt Schilling share the WS MVP award.

November 4, 2009: The Yankees win the World Series.

November 6, 1865: The last grand match of the season takes place at the Capitoline Grounds before 15‚000. Henry Chadwick waxes‚ "is there another sport attractive enough to draw such attendance under such circumstances? In the summer it is not surprising as the weather is pleasant. . . but on a cold November day‚ in the busiest time of the year‚ it must be indeed an attractive sport to collect such an assemblage that is present on this occasion." The Atlantics lead all the way to win‚ 27-24‚ and claim the 1865 championship with a record of 17-0.

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Emma Faith said...
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