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Vintage Video: George Springer Channels Joe Rudi With Playoff Catch

Posted on October 21, 2017 by Dean Hybl
The catch by Astros outfielder George Springer in the 2017 ALCS was remeniscent of the grab by Joe Rudi of the Oakland A's in the 1972 World Series.

The catch by Astros outfielder George Springer in the 2017 ALCS was reminiscent of the grab by Joe Rudi of the Oakland A’s in the 1972 World Series.

When Houston Astros outfielder George Springer raced to the wall and made a crucial catch of a Todd Frazier blast in game six of the 2017 American League Championship Series it brought back memories of another great catch by the wall in a previous post season.

In game two of the 1972 World Series, Catfish Hunter and the Oakland A’s were clinging to a 2-0 lead when the Cincinnati Reds batted in the bottom of the ninth inning. Future Hall of Famer Tony Perez led off the inning with a single. The next batter, third baseman Denis Menke, hit a long blast to leftfield that looked destined for extra bases. However, lanky outfielder Joe Rudi raced to the wall and made a backhanded catch at the wall to secure the out and force Perez back to first base. At the time, the catch was considered one of the greatest postseason catches of all-time and was an iconic moment of that seven-game series.

It also proved critical, as Hal McRae eventually drove home Perez with a single, but Rollie Fingers came in to get the final out in a 2-1 Oakland victory. Had Rudi not made the catch off Menke’s blast, the Reds would have likely tied the game and had an opportunity to win it in regulation. Given that the A’s ultimately won the Series in seven games, that moment was certainly pivotal to Oakland winning the first of their three straight World Series.

While it is yet to be determined whether Springer’s catch will help propel the Astros into the World Series, it certainly was important in game six as it came with two runners on and only one out in the seventh inning. Had Springer not made the catch, Justin Verlander would likely been pulled from the game and the Yankees could have been poised for another big inning as they have done several times throughout the 2017 playoffs.

Instead, Verlander eventually finished the inning without giving up a run and the Astros went on to win 6-1 and force a decisive seventh game.

Below are videos of Rudi’s catch in 1972 and Sprringer’s in 2017. You can see that they each made a long run to grab the ball at the wall and help save victories for their teams.

5 Ways to Avoid Common Sports Injuries

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Dixie Somers

5 Ways to Avoid Common Sports InjuriesEngaging in sports provides the exercise the body needs, in an enjoyable manner that also fosters regular interaction with other people. These qualities explain why it is one of the most popular ways of staying fit and healthy. However, many sports include the risk of injury, usually from various sprains and strains that occur during play. You can prevent many of these injuries by taking proactive measures to protect your joints and muscles against overuse. Here are a few tips for staying injury-free and ready for play.

Do Warm-up Stretches

You can prevent common injuries, such as ankle sprains, back strains and groin pulls by doing a series of warm-up exercises that work your body sufficiently to improve blood flow that helps protect muscles. Stretches, jogging in place, knee bends and other gentle exercises help to prepare your body for a vigorous physical workout.

Provide Proper Support

If you have an ankle that tends to give out or a knee that sometimes fails, use an elastic brace or Rock tape to provide additional support. Proper bracing can help to avoid sprains and dislocations that can keep you out of the game for long periods of time. If you are engaged in a sport that poses a risk for tooth injuries, use a mouth guard to prevent damage to teeth that can result in the need for extensive dental work. A simple elbow to the mouth could result in something as serious as the need for a root canal. Read the rest of this entry →

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Poker in 2017 compared to 1800′s

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Jeremy Biberdorf

poker-2While there is much speculation in regards to its exact origins, what’s clear is that poker has been around since the days of the Wild West. Today, over 60 million people play poker in the USA alone. Around the world, more than 100 million play regularly, making poker even more popular than tennis and golf! Today we look at how the game has evolved since the gun slingin’ days of the 1800s to now.

Firstly, let’s just say the safety of the game has improved considerably. Back in the Wild West, it was not uncommon for a game to end in a gun fight! If you were caught cheating, chances are you may have even been hanged for your indiscretion, or at the very least, driven out of town. Nowadays, things tend to be a little more respectable, and a lot less life threatening.

Over the years, poker has taken on many forms –straight, stud, draw, Omaha, even Strip Poker!  All these disciplines have enjoyed their time in the sun. Arguably the most significant change to the game itself came upon the creation of Texas Hold’em, which began in Robstown Texas in the early 20th Century. Texas Hold’em, which is popular due to its ease and the fact it allows players to think tactically, didn’t hit the mainstream until around 1967. The game was taken to Las Vegas by Texas businessmen but was initially only played in one dingy casino miles away from The Strip. The game’s big break came following a tournament in the lobby of The Dune Casino, one of Las Vegas’s top spots. When a number of High Rollers won big, Texas Hold’em was catapulted into the poker limelight. Just a few years later in 1970 the World Series of Poker was established and since 1971 the Main Event of the tournament has always been a no-limit game of Texas Hold’em. Read the rest of this entry →

Is It Legal For Fighters To Bet On The UFC?

Posted on October 16, 2017 by James Andrews

UFC 184: Rousey v ZinganoBetting is a common sport across the world. There is something fascinating, compelling and even berating about predicting the right outcome and generating yourself a few dollars in the process.

The more popular the sport the easier it will be to find the right bet. Sports like UFC have become incredibly popular thanks to high profile athletes like Ronda Rousey. Once you start looking into UFC you will realize that there are approximately ten fights every weekend across the different weight bands. This means there is always something to bet on.

Every fight can end in a submission, decision or a straightforward knockout; increasing the options for you when placing your bet.

In fact, to improve your chances and reduce the effect on your wallet you may find it a good idea to start by doing a little UFC free betting.

Free betting means you get to place a bet without having to put any money down! All you actually need to do is create an account with the betting agency and use the free funds they give you to place your first bet or bets! Read the rest of this entry →

When the Heavyweights were Kings

Posted on October 13, 2017 by Robert Oldman

Ali-ForemanBoxing has a proud history and growing up in the 1970s, there was nothing that could top the battle for the World Heavyweight title and the return of Muhammad Ali.  The division has had its problems in recent years but there’s a long way to go before it can reach the great heights of that decade.

For starters, the division wasn’t split with several world champions as it is now.  When you asked anyone who the World Heavyweight Champion was, they’d give you just one name, whether that be legends such as Joe Frazier, George Foreman and of course the greatest of them all, Muhammad Ali.

Ali Returns

The 1970s had begun with controversy over the World Heavyweight title with the undefeated Joe Frazier as champion and Muhammad Ali still suspended over his refusal to fight in the Vietnam war. As soon as that suspension was lifted, it was just a matter of time before Ali won his comeback fights and in 1971 challenged Frazier for the title he never lost in the ring. Two unbeaten fighters clashing for the World Heavyweight title, Frazier vs Ali was classes above the current diet of Parker v Fury and the likely fight next year between Joshua and Wilder. Read the rest of this entry →

Remembering the Boston Celtics Comeback of 2008

Posted on October 11, 2017 by Aleksandra Udovenko

2008_NBA_Finals_–_Game_2It was without a doubt one of the greatest comebacks of all time. And that includes the incredible Liverpool comeback in the 2005 Champions League Final. In fact, it was so thrilling that even the most casual of basketball fans will probably be able to tell you where they were when the Celtics put in one of the most heroic performances the NBA has ever seen.

But first a little background.

It was 2008, and the Boston Celtics, with fresh recruits Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, had made it to the Championship Finals. They faced their age-old rivals the LA Lakers in what many neutrals billed as the Finals matchup of the century. The Celtics went into the Finals series as the record holders for most NBA Championships, yet it had been 22 years since their last win. The Lakers were second to the Celtics in terms of Championships won, but that didn’t stop them from being the favorites.

At home, the Celtics won Games 1 and 2 before heading to the Staples Center where the Lakers managed to win Game 3 81-87. The series was set up for a barnstorming Game 4, and the significance of the result cannot be understated. With the Celtics leading the series 2-1, a Lakers win would have tied the series and put a serious dent in the Celtics confidence. And in the first quarter, that’s exactly what looked like was happening. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Joe Cronin: Player-Manager
      October 1, 2017 | 8:21 am
      Joe Cronin

      Joe Cronin

      In recognition of the start of the baseball playoffs, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month a man who managed pennant winning teams in Washington and Boston and spent more than decade as a player-manager.

      When the Boston Red Sox acquired Joe Cronin following the 1934 season they didn’t just get an All-Star player, they also got a new manager.

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