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History Highlights for September 2

It was Yankees in front of Boston in the standings on September 2, 2001. The venue was Fenway, the opposing pitchers, Mike Mussina and (at the time) Boston’s David Cone. Cone battled gamely through eight scoreless innings against the “perfect” Mussina, who lost his perfecto to Carl Everett‘s single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, one half inning after Cone had allowed the only (unearned) run of the contest, on Enrique Wilson‘s double. Continue reading

Excerpt from When It Was Just a Game Remembering the First Super Bowl

This is a well-executed retelling of the game and its surroundings from all points of view: officials, coaches, players, the media, and even fans. Among the narrative’s best parts are the late Stram’s detailed recollections from an unpublished manuscript made available to the author from Stram’s son. Verdict: Consistently fascinating, this book will appeal to all football fans. —Library Journal

One of Commissioner Pete Rozelle’s suggestions for the name of the new game was “The Big One.” That name never caught on. “Pro Bowl,” was another Rozelle idea. Had the name been adopted there would have been confusion for that was the name used for the NFL’s All Star game. Another name was floated “World Series of Football.” That died quickly. It was deemed too imitative of baseball’s Fall Classic. Continue reading

History Highlights for August 31

In an August 31, 1995, game that I believe served as the template for a hilarious episode of the TV sit-com Seinfeld, Paul O’Neill homered in his first three at bats to drive in eight runs in an 11-6 win over the Angels in Yankee Stadium.

It was not just the gaudy offensive stats, but the record too, that has many fans thinking the 1927 Yankees were among the best teams of all time. They lengthened their lead over the second-place A’s to 17 games on August 31 by beating the Red Sox, 10-3. The offense featured Babe Ruth‘s 43rd homer, two better than the 41 on Lou Gehrig‘s ledger, and the Yanks extended their record to 89-37. Continue reading

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