Jim Brown announced his retirement from football at a news conference in London, where he was was acting in the hit movie The Dirty Dozen. Brown had been the NFL’s MVP the prior season and led the league in rushing, as he did in 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, and 1964. (Jim Taylor edged him out in 1962.) At the time of his retirement, Brown said “I am leaving the Browns with an attitude of friendliness and co-operation”.
We now know that Brown’s statement might have been stretching the truth a little. In June of 1966, Browns owner Art Modell released this press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLEVELAND, OHIO – The following statement is issued by Arthur B. Modell, owner of the Cleveland Browns, regarding the status of fullback Jim Brown:
“No veteran Browns” player has been granted or will be given permission to report late to our training camp at Hiram College- and this includes Jim Brown. Should Jim fail to report to Hiram at check-in time deadline, which is Sunday, July 17, then I will have no alternative to suspend him without pay.
“I recognize the complex problems of the motion picture business, having spent several years in the industry. However, in all fairness to everyone connected with the Browns – the coaching staff, the players and most important of all, our many faithful fans – I feel compelled to say that I will have to take such action should Jim be absent on July 17.
“Lest anyone get the impression that suspension would be a token slap on the wrist, since the salaries of most professional athletes do not go into effect until the start of the regular season, I point out that we have several players, Jim included, who are paid on a 12-month basis.
“I am certain that Jim and all of our players are aware that under terms of their contracts with us they are expected to participate in all pre-season practice sessions and games.
“I have been asked what my attitude would be if Jim Brown fails to report to Hiram next month but returns to the United States in September and decides that he wants to play football.
“Our coaching staff cannot wait until such a late date to formulate our offensive plans for the 1966 season. If Jim were to show up in September, we would have to make an appraisal as to his physical condition, his ability to pick up quickly the new offense being prepared for the season plus the general personnel situation of our Club.”
To which Brown replied:
12 Portman Street,
LONDON, W. 1
July 5, 1966
I am writing to inform you that in the next few days I will be announcing my retirement from Football. This decision is final and is made only because of the future that I desire for myself, my family, and if not to sound corney my race. I am very sorry that I did not have the information to give you at some earlier date, for one of my great concerns was to try in every way to work things out so that I could play an additional year.
I was very sorry to see you make the statements that you did, because it was not a victory for you or I but for the newspaper men. Fortunately, I seem to have a little more faith in you than you have in me. I honestly like you and will be willing to help you in anyway I can, but I feel you must realize that both of us are men and that my manhood is just as important to me as yours is to you.
It was indicated in the papers out of Cleveland that you tried to reach me by phone. Well, I hope you realize that when I am in my apartment I never refuse to answer my phone. The only reason that I did not contact you before I knew the completion date of the movie, is that the date was the one important factor. You must realize that your organization will make money and will remain successful whether I am there or not. The Cleveland Browns’ are an Institution that will stand for a long, long time.
I am taking on a few projects that are very interesting to me. I have many problems to solve at this time and I am sure you know a lot of them, so if we weigh the situation properly the ‘Browns’ have really nothing to lose, but Jim Brown has a lot to lose. I am taking it for granted that I have your understanding and best wishes, for in my public approach to this matter this will be the attitude that will prevail.
The business matters that we will have to work out we could do when I return to Cleveland. I will give you any assistance I can and hope your operation will be a success. You know the areas that I can be helpful and even if you do no ask this help my attitude will be one that I will do only the things that will contribute to the success of the ‘Cleveland Browns.’
The Washington Post’s venerated Sports Columnist, Shirley Povitch, wrote this about Brown’s departure:
WORD THAT HIS peerless fullback was. announcing his retirement from the game, Cleveland Coach Blanton Collier said, bravely, “We’re not going to press any panic button. Jim was the greatest back *in the history of the game, but I want to make it clear that this was not a one-man football team.”
The Browns, indeed, may not have been a one-man football team, because ten other players could be counted whenever they took the field. But the others had to be searched out in the shadow cast by Jim Brown, who was the only man that counted whenever opposing coaches plotted to stop the Cleveland attack. Stop Jim Brown and that does it. Somehow, Collier’s protests. do not make it clear that the Browns were not a one-man team.
The wonders Jim Brown wrought for the Cleveland team had a pattern. Not only did he bring them from also-rans to pennant threats, he made a winning coach out of Blanton Collier, who was a sort of flop in college football with Kentucky. Frank Ryan was a second-string quarterback everywhere he played, at Rice behind King Hill and with the Rams behind Bill Wade and Zeke Bratkowski. Ryan joined Jim Brown at Cleveland and¬presto—became the NFL’s newest wonder quarterback.
Sergey Bubpka became the first pole vaulter ever to clear what had long been considered the unattainable height of 6.00 meters (19 feet 81/4).He did it at the Paris International Track and Field Meet on July 13, 1985.
When the Ukrainian Bupka first cleared 6 meters, he broke his own world record of 5.94 meters. That was the fifth time that he broke the world record. After setting the mark at 6.00 meters, Bubka set twelve more world records, over a period of nine years. His record of 6.14 (20 feet, 1¾ inches) meters set on July 31, 1994, still stands.
This 11 minute video by “Pole Vault Nerd” Bryan Clymer, breaks down Bubka’s 6.0 meter vault in minute detail. It’s actually very beautiful and well worth watching.
In the 1998 World Cup Brazil was shocked by France 3-0.
Brazil worked its way through the round of 16 by defeating Chile, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Before the French team could advance to the championship game, they had to beat Paraguay, Italy, and Croatia.
The heavily favored Brazilians were defending the title they won in 1994, and were seeking their fourth World Cup title; having the won previous championships in 1958, 1962, and 1970. The French on the other hand, had never made it to the finals.
Zinedine Zidane broke the ice for the French with a header at the 27 minute mark. He scored on another header, three minutes before the end of the first half. At the 68 minute mark, the officials invited France’s Marcel Desailly to leave the game, but the French managed to keep Brazil off the scoreboard even though they had to play the last 22 minutes a man down.
France stunned Brazil 3-0, thanks to midfielder Zinedine Zidane’s two goals, Emmanuel Petit’s late strike, and a stifling defense, which kept the tournament’s top-scoring team from creating many chances…The French, playing their first ever final, had to defend its two-goal lead without star defender Marcel Desailly for the last 22 minutes. The center-back, who had superbly kept the Brazilian strike force quiet, was expelled for his second yellow card.
1998 World Cup Winners, Where are they now?
(1) Fabien Barthez
The eccentric French keeper moved to Manchester United in 2000 as the long sought after replacement for Peter Schmeichel. Despite two league titles Sir Alex Ferguson eventually lost patience with Barthez after a host of costly errors.
He moved to Marseille in 2003 but controversy was never far away and he was banned for six months in 2005 for spitting at a referee in a friendly. In 2006 he announced his retirement, only to sign for Nantes soon after. His stay there however ended in 2007 after he was attacked by a fan.
Aged 37 he is in limbo at the moment but can be found on the beach soccer tour circuit, and has even intimated that he would like to race Porsche GT 3s.
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Babe Ruth pitched six strong and one not so strong inning in his major league debut against the Cleveland Indians on July 11, 1914.
The Boston Globe Headline read:
RUTH LEADS RED SOX TO VICTORY: PITCHER RUTH WARMLY WELCOMED BY FANS, BUT CLEVELAND FINDS HIM VERY COLD Southpaw Displays High Class In Game Against Cleveland.
Still going by the name George Ruth, the young Red Sox pitcher held Cleveland to one run and only five hits through the first six innings, as the Sox jumped to a
3-1 lead. The Indians roughed him in the seventh, scoring two earned runs and tying the game. In the bottom of the seventh (Get this!, Duffy Lewis came in to pinch hit for Ruth. The Sox managed to score a run in the seventh enabling Ruth to get the win in his first start.
Last month, one of ten Babe Ruth Rookie Cards was sold for $450,000
The sports memorabilia world is still buzzing over an auction result that can rightly be considered an upset. For the first time ever, a 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth rookie card sold for more money than the famed T206 Honus Wagner.
It happened at Robert Edward Auctions (REA), where one of only about 10 known examples of the Ruth card sold for a record price of $450,300. That was nearly $48,000 more than a 1909 T206 Wagner, which was offered in the same grade and was once the subject of an FBI “card hunt” after it was stolen from a restaurant display in the 1990s.
The Babe Ruth Birth Place and Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore, has another one of the Babe Ruth rookie cards.
In the 1934 All-Star Game, Carl Hubbell struck out five hall-fame-destined batters in a row. Pitching for the National League, in his own ball park, The Polo Grounds, The New York Giants ace got off to a shaky start by giving up a lead off single to Charlie Gehringer and a walk to Heinie Manush.
So now with runners at first and second Hubbell got to face Babe Ruth who was working his way toward 714 career home runs; followed by Lou Gehrig who was on his way toward 49 homers in 1934, and 493 career home runs. Then batting fifth for the American League, Hubbell would have an “oppourtunity” to try his luck with Jimmy Foxx who was going rack up 44 bombs in 1934 along the way to 534 career homers.
Apparantly Hubbell hadn’t read their resumes. He struck out the three of them (with a combined 1,739 career home runs) in succession. But Hubbell wasn’t finished. In the second inning, future Hall of Famer Al Simmons lead off for the National League, and Hubbell struck him out. Future Hall of Famer Joe Cronin was up next, and Hubbell struck him out as well. Finally, Bill Dickey (yes, another Hall of Famer) singled.Hubbell notched one more strikeout in the second inning. This time the victim was pitcher Lefty Gomez, who was also a future Hall of Famer, but not for his hitting prowess.
Completely overshadowed by Hubbell’s incredible pitching heroics, was the American League’s come from behind effort that featured a six run rally in the fifth inning (Hubbell pitched another inning of shutout ball in the third inning, and then watched Lon Warneke and Van Mungo blow the game in relief.)
At the age of 26 Jack Nicklaus won the British Open, joining Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan as only golfers who achieved a “Career Grand Slam”.
The four tournaments that comprise golf’s grand slam are The Masters, The U.S. Open, The PGA, and The British Open (Some folks, especially the British, refer to it simply as “The Open”.) Gary Player joined the elite circle of career Slam winners in 1972 and Tiger Woods joined the club in 2000. The legion of golfing greats who have failed to notch a career slam include the likes of Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, and Lee Trevino.
Prior to completing his slam at Muirfield (Edinborough, Scotlaqnd) in 1966, Nicklaus had won the U.S. Open in 1962 at Oakmont, in Oakmont, PA; the 1963 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta,GA (where it’s always played); and the 1963 PGA at the Dallas Athletic Club, in Dallas, TX
When Jack Nicklaus approached the 18th green at Muirfield last Saturday afternoon the largest crowd in Scotland’s long golfing history let go a roar of acclaim. Instead of responding like the certain winner he seemed to be, Nicklaus gave the appreciative gallery a tentative wave of the hand and a momentary smile, and then lapsed back into a deep frown of concentration. He had only to two-putt from 22 feet to win the 106th British Open, but the 75-year-old Muirfield course had made its impression. All week long it had seemed to submit to one or another of the game’s best players, and then had used its knee-high rough and glass-slick greens to nullify their accomplishments. Cautiously, Nicklaus stroked his first putt to within six inches of the hole. He marked his ball—partly as a courtesy to Phil Rodgers, who putted out, and partly out of real concern about this last shot. When the moment arrived, Nicklaus bent over his minuscule putt, and the only sound to be heard was the far-off atonal argument of sea gulls. He tapped it in, of course, for a two-under-par 282 that defeated Doug Sanders and Dave Thomas by a stroke. Then, and only then, did he let himself believe he had finally won the last major golf title to have eluded him. As the applause soared, his smile grew wider and wider, and he kept raising his arms from his sides, like a sleepy man reluctantly doing his morning exercises. But the fearful concentration that Muirfield had exacted from him was going to take a long time to wear off, for once again an historic British golf course had proved to be an historic test of skill.