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Mickey Mantle Hits 50th HR. Maris already has 53 – September 3, 1961

Click image to see in eBay

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Mickey Mantle his 49th and 50th home runs of the season on September 3, 1961. He joined Roger Maris in “the 50 home run club”. Maris at that point already had 53 homers. Both Mantle and Maris were now ahead of Babe Ruth’s 1927 60 home run (in 154 games, per Commissioner Ford Frick’s edict) pace.

Bob Holbrook, in the Boston Globe wrote.

Luis Arroyo said it nicely “You got those home run heeters, you don’t get hurt too much. You don’t get beat by one run.”

What Holbrook was referring to with his early sixties-era, pre-politically correct depiction of the Yankees’ star reliever’s Puerto Rican accent; was that in the ninth inning against the Tigers, Arroyo had blown a 4-3 lead. but the Yankees’ home run “heeters” bailed him out.

Mantle led off the ninth inning with the Yankees trailing 5-4. He homered to right field and tied the game. Yogi Berra singled and Arroyo sacrificed him to second. Moose Skowron was intentionally walked and Elston drove everybody home with a three run blast into the left field stands.

Arroyo got the win, but he would have also been tagged with a blown save if anybody had been tracking those statistics in 1961.

This was the only time in baseball history when two players hit 50 or more home runs in a season for the same team.

It was a pretty good game for a guy who the Chicago Tribune described as “The Magnificent Invalid”. Mantle commented on his performance, “Give the iceman an assist” he said, “The arm pained me considerably especially when I swung and missed. The ice really helped between innings”. The slugger explained how he managed to hit his two homers, “I was trying to swing hard most of the time”, he said, “but the times I did swing hard, I missed the ball. Both times I really tried to swing easy, the ball went out of the park.”

Michigan Wolverines Shocked by App State – September 1, 2007


You didn’t have to be a real serious football fan to know about the University of Michigan Wolverines. This is a team that started playing the game in 1879. They crushed Stanford in the first Rose Bowl in 1902. They won 42 conference championships and 11 national championships!

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The number of former Wolverines who played in he NFL is ludicrous.

They also had some great players who didn’t play pro ball, including the MVP of their 1934 team who turned down offers from the Packers and Lions in favor of attending Yale Law School. His name was Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States. (He played in the East-West All Star, but contrary to popular belief, was not an All American.)

And let’s not forget The Big House, which is what everybody calls Michigan Stadium, the official name of the biggest stadium in the United States.

On September 1, 2007 a bunch of kids from a place in Boone, NC called Appalachian State University, came to Ann Arbor to play a football game with the Michigan Wolverines. Apparently the kids from Appalachian State, or as the school refers to itself, “App State”, hadn’t done their research.

They didn’t know that when an unknown Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) team that usually plays in a stadium that seats about 16,000 goes in front of 110,000 maize and blue clad screaming fans at The Big House, to play a team that’s ranked #5 in the country; They’re supposed to get slaughtered. (OK, some football wonks might have known that App State had a kick-ass program, for a second tier school, but nobody else did.)

Nobody told the kids from App State, that after the team who’s favored to win the Big 10 Championship scores first (66 yards on 6 plays), you’re just supposed to just roll over and die.

Maybe they were thinking that all those nice people who packed the stadium to see them get crushed, might actually want to see something that resembled a game. So the Mountaineers came back and answered with a 68 yard touch down pass of their owbn. And they answered again after trailing Michigan at the end of the first quarter, 14-7. Actually Appalachian State answered answered three times in the second quarter, and was leading the Wolverines 28-14 when Michigan cut the lead to 11 with a field goal, 23 seconds before the end of the first half.

Two minutes into the third quarter, Michigan was back on the board with another field goal, only to see App State push the lead back to 11 with a field goal four and a half minutes later. As the third quarter ended, Michigan scored on a four yard run, and could have cut the Mountaineers lead to three, had their two point conversion not failed.

With 4:36 remaining in the game, Michigan finally took a one point lead on a 55 yard touchdown run. (Another Michigan two point attempt failed.) After receiving the kick off, App State was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage. After five plays the Wolverines attempted a 43 yard failed goal that was blocked. The Mountaineers took possession with 1:37 left in the game. With only 26 only left to play, App State kicked a 24-yard field goal and led 34-32.

After receiving the kickoff, the Wolverines completed a 46 yard pass. In the final six seconds Michigan was set up to win it, except Appalachian State blocked their 37 yard field goal attempt. App State beat Michigan 34-32.

And folks, is why they play the game.

Lebron was Le Bronze – August 28, 2004


A nickname NBA player Lebron James got after Team USA failed to win a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics.

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The Americans won’t be the Olympic basketball champions for the first time since 1988, beaten by an Argentine team that lacks stars but simply knows how to play together better.
Manu Ginobili scored 29 points
to lead Argentina to an 89-81 victory in the semifinals Friday night, humbling the nation where the game was invented and perfected.
Read more: Sports Illustrated

ATHENS — The reasons are aplenty, some legitimate, some exaggerated and others simply imagined, but the reality of the situation is chilling — a group of top NBA stars, albeit, not the very top, but still among the best — lost three games at the Olympics and isn’t even in the gold medal game.
The United States is no longer the invincible basketball power it once was. The world’s best players might be in the NBA, but the best team, for right now, at least, is Argentina.
Read more: USA Today

The U.S. men’s basketball team, hurriedly assembled and seriously flawed, was beaten with surprising ease yesterday by the more experienced, more cohesive Argentines, 89-81, in an Olympic semifinal.
The U.S. men’s basketball team, hurriedly assembled and seriously flawed, was beaten with surprising ease yesterday by the more experienced, more cohesive Argentines, 89-81, in an Olympic semifinal.

When, after being engulfed by the victors’ joyful postgame explosion, the Americans walked off the Olympic Indoor Arena court in a long, sad line, they were guaranteed an ignoble spot in U.S. Olympic history.
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Munich Olympics Open – August 26, 1972


The Munich Olympics opened on August 26, 1972.
The following day, Shirley Povitch wrote in the Washington Post:

It was a smashing effort by the opulent city-state of Munich, only seven miles from the Dachau of foul memory, to compensate for Germany’s remembered sins of that era. For the crowd of 80,000 in Olympische Stadion and almost one billion television viewers around the world, Munich wheeled out its best Bavarian manners, and Gemutlichkeit was rampant. Peace, love and joy were the motif of the ceremonies. From on high in Bonn descended the order to stomp any military note, and even army officers detailed to help with the administration had orders to wear civilian clothes. After the parades, 3,200 boys and girls of Munich, aged 10-14, serenaded the 7,000 athletes before the Olympic flame was lighted. This was a switch from 1936 when thousands of Hitler Youth, shouting the glories of Nazi Germany, attended the Olympics in Berlin, and 40,000 helmeted storm troopers lined an avenue for the entrance of their Fuehrer. The Germans were on their good behavior today, and thinking of everything. They gave the opening ceremonies a script unmatched by any previous Olympics, even to edging the entire stadium with the pale, robin’s-egg blue uniforms of the thousands of hostesses and Olympic workers framed against the 360-degree skyline. The joyful skip-dances of Munich’s children were tasteful affairs as they brandished their flower wreaths woven with halo effects.

Opening day at the Munich Olympics wasn’t all sweetness and light. Twenty members of the Rhodesian team (Rhodesia is now known as Zimbabwe.) watched the ceremonies from the stands. Their team was “uninvited” four days before the start of the games.

Rhodesia has been thrown out of the Olympic Games with just four days to go before the opening ceremony in Munich, Germany.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted by 36 to 31 with three abstentions to recommend Rhodesia’s expulsion in the face of mounting international pressure. Two days ago the National Olympic Committees of Africa threatened to pull out of the games unless Rhodesia was barred from competing.
The African nations were demanding Rhodesia’s expulsion on the grounds the country was an illegal regime and members of its team were not therefore British subjects.

There was also a March against the War in Vietnam The LA Times reported:

About 5,000 anti-Vietnam War protestors marched through Munich Saturday.
The demon strators, armed with clubs hidden beneath their jackets and holding masks and helmets, marched behind a banne r. It read, “Two Faces of Imperialism— Genocide in Vietnam and a Peace Show in Munich.”
Special trains and buses had brought the protestors from various areas of Germany.

And of course among the 7,000 athletes who marched into the Olympic Stadium, were several Israeli team members who were massacred by terrorists, 10 days after the opening ceremonies.
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Grand Slams – Yankees Hit Three on August 25, 2011


The New York Yankees became the first and only team in Major League history to hit three grand slams in one game. Trailing 7-2 in the fifth inning, Robinson Cano hit one into the right field stands off of Oakland A’s starter Rich Harden. In the next inning Russel Martin facing Fautino De Los Santos, put the Yankees ahead 10-7 with a shot to right center. In the eighth inning, with Yanks now ahead 17-8, Curtis Granderson drove Bruce Billings pitch out of the park for the Yankees third slam of the game.
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In nearly a century of storied slugging, the Yankees had never enjoyed a day like this.
On a dreary afternoon, some fans headed home with the Yankees trailing 7-1 after three innings and rain still falling in a game that began after an 89-minute delay.
Turns out they missed the Yankees coming home — over and over and over.
Read more:


o team in major league history had hit three grand slams in a game before Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson strode to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday, the crowd at Yankee Stadium having been thinned, but the bases loaded one more time.
Granderson had 35 home runs before Thursday, which made him as good a candidate as any to help the Yankees set a record. With the Yankees well on their way to a wild 22-9 victory over Oakland, Granderson really just wanted one good pitch to drive.

He got it.
Read more: NY Times

Pete Rose Banned from Baseball – August 24, 1989

Pete Rose Banned Click Image to See on eBay

Pete Rose Banned Click Image to See on eBay

Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life by Commissioner Bart Giamotti, on August 24, 1989. There is no doubt that Rose bet on games that he was involved with, and that was obviously against the rules, and of course it was bad for baseball. But unlike Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, Rose wasn’t a cheater.

While there is no proof that that he didn’t bet against himself, there is absolutely no evidence that he did. And if you consider how sloppy Rose was about concealing his gambling habits, it’s likely that if he had bet against himself, we’d know it.

The evidence was so staggering that it was difficult to fathom. Records of phone call after phone call made to bookies, sometimes just minutes before the national anthem. Records of bets, one after another, day after day, on virtually every team, including the team he managed, along with the amount of the bet. Nearly $20,000 a day being waged on bets.
The baseball world — and the world in general — was staggered by the amount of evidence, leaving little doubt that Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader and one of history’s greatest and celebrated players, had gambled on baseball and bet on his own team.
Read more: ESPN

Rose wasn’t a cheater. He was just a pathetic gambling addict.

I tried everything I could every night to win. I told the guy [I bet with] before the season I want my team every night and we’ll settle up at the end of the year. That was my first year without playing. Managing wasn’t enough. I needed more. The more was betting on my team every night.
Read more: Sports Illustrated

Bob Feller MLB Debut 15Ks – August 23, 1936


17 Year-Old Bob Feller Strikes Out 15 Batters in His First Major League Start

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Bob Feller grew up on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa. Cleveland Indians chief scout Cyril “Cy” Slapnicka earned his keep when he signed Feller after his junior year in high school. Feller’s signing bonus was $1.00. (Yes, that’s right, one U.S. dollar) To sweeten the deal the Indians threw in a baseball autographed by the other players on the Indians. (Where is that ball, and what would it be worth today?)

Feller made his first official big league start on Aug. 23, 1936 against the St. Louis Browns. When Feller went to the mound, Indians manager Steve O’Neill sent veteran Denny Galehouse to the bullpen to warm up in case Feller had trouble. After Feller struck out the side in the first inning, Galehouse sat down. Feller struck out 15 batters, one short of the league record, in a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Browns. The Plain Dealer called it the greatest pitching debut ever.

Gets 17 at 17

Two weeks later, on Sept. 13, 1936, Feller broke the American League mark with 17 strikeouts in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics. He was still only 17 years old.

After the season, he returned to Van Meter for his senior year in high school. He could not play basketball for the school because he had already become a professional athlete. He was accompanied by a tutor when he went to spring training.
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