The Yankees trail the 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, “I can't think of anything better than making 55,000 Yankee fans shut up.”) Schilling had outpitched the Yankees' Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez. Grace had homered for the Snakes, Shane Spencer for the Yankees.
October 31, 1864, 150 years ago: Nevada is admitted to the Union as the 36th State. President Abraham Lincoln wanted its silver revenues to win the American Civil War. Turns out, he didn't need them.
Nevada has been a part of the Union for a century and a half. But, due to gambling and other issues, no Nevada city, including Las Vegas, has ever been granted a team in any major sports league -- not even MLS or the WNBA (if you consider those "major").
Originally called the Border War, and evoking memories of proslavery raids before and during the Civil War, by the 2004 the schools agreed to rename it the Border Showdown in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq War. (Colorado State and Wyoming, however, still call their rivalry the Border War. CSU fans would rather beat Wyoming than Colorado.)
In 2007, a T-shirt created by a Missouri alumnus gained national attention. It depicted the 1863 burning of Lawrence, seat of KU ("UK" is correct, but "KU" is preferred) following the raid of Confederate guerrilla William Quantrill and his Bushwhackers, who included Jesse and Frank James. The image of Lawrence burning was paired with the word “Scoreboard” and a Mizzou logo. On the back of the shirts, Quantrill was quoted, saying "Our cause is just, our enemies many." Some Kansas fans interpreted these shirts as supporting slavery. KU supporters returned fire with a shirt depicting abolitionist John Brown, perpetrator of the anti-slavery Pottawottamie Massacre, with the words, “Kansas: Keeping America Safe From Missouri Since 1854.”
Missouri's move from the Big 12 Conference to the Southeastern Conference (I'm guessing Colonel Quantrill and his latter-day apologists would approve) ended the football edition of the rivalry after the 2011 season. The current all-time results are disputed: Missouri say they lead 57-54-9, while Kansas give themselves 1 more win, thus giving Kansas a lead of 56-55-9.
October 31, 1900: Ban Johnson, founder and President of the American League, writes a letter to National League President Nick Young. In it, he offers a deal for peaceful coexistence: Accept the AL as a "major league," and it won't pursue NL players. This was possible because the NL had contracted from 12 to 8 teams for the 1900 season. Johnson was willing to let his 8 teams (totaling 16) leave the NL teams alone and respect their contracts.
Young refused the deal. In retaliation, Johnson authorized his teams' owners to raid any NL team for any player they wanted. These would include future Hall-of-Famers Cy Young, Jimmy Collins, Napoleon Lajoie, Sam Crawford, Elmer Flick, Clark Griffith, Jack Chesbro and Willie Keeler. The "war" between the Leagues will rage for 2 years, until the NL, with a new President, Harry Pulliam, accepted the AL in 1903. After this deal, Johnson agreed to accept the reserve clause and respect all NL contracts.
October 31, 1933: Phillippe Joseph Georges Goyette is born in Lachine, now a part of the city of Montreal. Apparently, Halloween is a good day to be born if you want to become a Canadiens legend. Phil Goyette was a center who won Stanley Cups with Les Habitantes 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. He has never coached again, but is still alive.
McNally retired to his ranch and a car dealership, and wrote a memoir, A Whole Different Ball Game. He died of cancer in 2002.
According to B-R, his 10 Most Similar Batters (weighted toward players of the same position) includes 4 HOFers: Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell, Frank Thomas and Billy Williams; 1 guy who absolutely should be in, Jeff Bagwell; 2 guys not yet eligible who have decent shots, Paul Konerko and Carlos Delgado; and 3 guys who would probably make it if they weren't tainted by steroids: David Ortiz, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield.
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 he was on winning teams. So why hasn't he been elected? His son Erick McGriff played wide receiver at the University of Kansas.
But the midfielder grew to 5-foot-9-1/2, and, being Brazil by birth but Italian and German by ancestry, could have been expected to star in soccer. He did, 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. Then he flopped as manager of Internacional. But when Brazil was slaughtered by Germany in the Semifinal of this year's World Cup, on home soil, the CBF (the Brazilian answer to the USSF or England's FA) hired him back. He is 3-0 since, having beaten fellow South Americans Colombia, Ecuador, and arch-rival Argentina.
October 31, 1967: After 11 seasons of the Cy Young Award being given to the most valuable pitcher in both Leagues, each League has a winner. The NL winner is announced as Mike McCormick of the San Francisco Giants. The AL's winner will be Jim Lonborg of the Pennant-winning Red Sox.
He also pitched for the Mets, winning the NL East with them in 2006. He last pitched for the Baltimore Orioles in 2008, and now lives outside San Diego.
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 he Lonborg retired after 1978). 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.
Also on this day, Gaylord Perry of the Cleveland Indians is named AL Cy Young Award winner. His brother Jim, of the Minnesota Twins, had won it 2 years earlier. The Perrys remain the only brothers to both win the Cy Young.
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.”
He declined the extension, and, having once more drawn the ire of fans and sports media, had the worst season of his career in the final year of his contract -- maybe the worst "contract year" in the history of sports.
In the summer of 2005, the Nuggets, Cavs, and Rockets all expressed interest in signing Latrell Sprewell, but no agreements were reached. Spree never played again, and the former All-Star has never been hired in any capacity by any basketball team since. By 2008, through his own stupidity, he had fulfilled his own prophecy: He was bankrupt, his mansions foreclosed on and his yacht repossessed.
Sprewell’s contract rejection was the last event of October 2004, a truly futzed-up month in sports, following the Boston Red Sox cheating their way to a World Series win and the delay (and eventual cancellation) of the new NHL season.
Things would soon get worse for the NBA as this new season dawned: The Malice at the Palace was coming, and the Finals would be played by, perhaps, the last 2 teams that Commissioner David Stern wanted in them: The defending champions and Malice participants, the Detroit Pistons; and the San Antonio Spurs, whose Tim Duncan may be the most boring superstar in American sports history. Detroit and San Antonio: 2 “small markets” who did very little to boost TV ratings, although the Finals, won by the Spurs, was very well-played. Gee, maybe Stern didn’t fix as many titles as we thought he did.
October 31, 2010: Game 4 of the World Series. Southpaw pitcher Madison Bumgarner and catcher Buster Posey of the Giants become the first rookie battery to start a World Series game since Spec Shea and Yogi Berra appeared together for the Yankees in Game 1 in 1947.
The freshmen do not disappoint, as Bumgarner, just 21, becomes the fourth-youngest to post a Fall Classic victory, limiting the Texas Rangers to 3 hits while throwing 8 strong innings, and Posey contributes to the Giants' 4-0 win in Arlington with an 8th-inning home run.
Bumgarner and Posey. Two young men with a lot of promise in baseball. I wonder whatever happened to them...