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44 Years Ago: Number 44 Became Number 1 0

Posted on April 08, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Hank Aaron being celebrated after hitting career home run number 715 on April 8, 1974

Hank Aaron being celebrated after hitting career home run number 715 on April 8, 1974

It was 44 years ago today, April 8, 1974, that Hank Aaron, wearing number 44 for the Atlanta Braves, broke the seemingly unbreakable home run record of Babe Ruth with his 715th career home run.

In the decades since, the home run in baseball has lost some of its individual luster as juiced balls, juiced bats and juiced people (not to mention shrunken ballparks) have made the home run a much more common occurrence than in past generations.

However, that “cheapening” of the home run has in some ways elevated the realization of just how amazing it was for Aaron to amass more than 700 home runs despite playing much of his career during a time when baseball wasn’t geared to make it easier to hit home runs.

Few players have displayed the long-term consistency of greatness that Aaron compiled during his career. From 1955 through 1973 (19 years), he finished in the top 17 in the National League MVP voting every year, including 13 times in the top 10 and winning the award in 1957.

He led the National League in home runs four times and blasted 40 or more home runs in a season eight times. He hit a career-high 47 at the age of 37 in 1971 and two years later hit 40 home runs in just 120 games.

While his total of 755 career home runs has technically been passed, Aaron is still recognized by many as the Home Run King. His 2,297 career RBIs and 6,856 total bases are still the highest totals in Major League history. Not to mention, he finished his career with 3,771 career hits and a .305 career batting average.

In celebration of the 44th anniversary of his record-setting home run, check out videos of that blast as well as Aaron’s career.

 

Read the rest of this entry →

Vintage Video: George Springer Channels Joe Rudi With Playoff Catch 1

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.

Vintage Video: The Magic of Roger Staubach 0

Posted on October 08, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Roger Staubach led the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl wins and 23 fourth quarter comebacks during the 1970s.

Roger Staubach led the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl wins and 23 fourth quarter comebacks during the 1970s.

It seems like just about every week at least one NFL quarterback leads his team to an exciting comeback victory.

Of course, exciting comebacks are nothing new. In the 1970s, Dallas Cowboys star Roger Staubach became known as Captain Comeback for his many late miracle comeback wins.

As part of our Vintage Videos series we look back at the career of Staubach, including some great YouTube videos of one of the iconic quarterbacks in NFL history.

During his nine seasons as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Roger Staubach seemed to always have the uncanny knack of making the big play needed to lift his team to victory. He led the Cowboys to 23 fourth quarter game-winning drives during his career, including 15 times with his team trailing.

The Cowboys reached the playoffs in eight of his nine seasons as the starting quarterback and advanced to the Super Bowl five times.

He was named MVP of Super Bowl VI and also led Dallas to the title in Super Bowl XXII.

Staubach was a winner even before joining the Cowboys.

He spent three seasons at the Naval Academy and as a junior in 1963 won the Heisman Trophy while leading the Midshipmen to a 9-1 record and a number two national ranking.

After graduating, he spent five years in the U.S. Navy, including a tour in Vietnam. Read the rest of this entry →

Floyd Mayweather Outclasses Conor McGregor 1

Posted on August 28, 2017 by Roland Fuller
Conor McGregor took most of the big hits during his battle with Floyd Mayweather.

Conor McGregor took most of the big hits during his battle with Floyd Mayweather.

Las Vegas’ T-Mobile arena saw Floyd Mayweather surpass Conor McGregor with a tenth round stoppage on Saturday, and win the money spinning super fight, alongside clinching the 50th straight victory of his extraordinary career.

Mayweather Took His Time on Saturday

Mayweather, as a former welterweight boxing champion, emerged from a retirement spanning two years to face the Irish MMA superstar, and took his own sweet time to get the fight started. After the fourth round began, however, his domination was complete.

The end of the fight saw an exhausted McGregor doubled over the ropes and Mayweather landing two hard left hooks, an action which prompted ref Robert Byrd’s intervention, and his call of a technical knockout.

Mayweather Remains Complimentary about McGregor

Mayweather stated that McGregor impressed him, and that the Irishman was far better than he had imagined he would be. He went on to say, however, that although McGregor was a tough competitor, he had been the better man that night.

The Slow Going a Deliberate Move

Mayweather said that he had purposefully taken his time as the match began, since he knew that this would allow him to take full advantage of the fatigue he predicted McGregor would be battling.

In accordance with many of the punters that partook of the online betting NZ and the rest of the world provided, Mayweather was certain that McGregor would be unable to go the distance, and he was proven correct, as the tenth round revealed. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Make Money From Your Sporting Obsession 0

Posted on August 14, 2017 by John Harris

Sport Hockey Fan Team Ice HockeyNot many of us have the good fortune to play sports for a living. If we did, we would soon be on the way to making a fortune. However, while we may need to be content with the meager salary we get from our ‘normal’ jobs, there are still ways to make money from our sporting obsession.

Here are a few (sporting) tips to get you going, and you won’t need to break any sweat in the process.

Sports betting

An easy, though risky way to make money from sports, is to take part in sports betting. From horse racing to EPL betting, signing up to a site like Unibet and spending a little bit of money on the bet can net you a sizeable return if your luck is in. Of course, you can just as easily lose money, and for many people, betting can lead to a gambling addiction. However, if you limit yourself each month, you may just score your bank balance a winning goal.

Sell sporting memorabilia

You have probably amassed quite a bit of memorabilia yourself over the years, and amongst the tat, you have no doubt built up, there may be something that is worth a lot of money. Of course, true sports obsessives will buy anything associated with their favorite team or sport, so you may be able to sell anything in your collection. Letting go of it, of course, is another matter, but if you want to make money, this is a viable way to do it. Take a look at sites such as Amazon and eBay and price up your items.

If you know your stuff about your chosen sport, you may even find something of value online or at a car boot sale, giving you the means to sell it for a profit. Be aware that there are a lot of forgeries out there, however, so be wary of sellers looking to flog signed items, for example. Read the rest of this entry →

Mayweather Admits McGregor Has an Edge 1

Posted on August 14, 2017 by Roland Fuller
Does Conor McGregor's youth give him an advantage against 41-year-old Floyd Mayweather.

Does the 11 year age different give the youthful Conor McGregor an advantage against 40-year-old Floyd Mayweather.

Floyd Mayweather has carried on with the mind games in the lead up to his super-fight against Conor McGregor, most lately by acknowledging his younger opponent’s advantages.

McGregor Looks Good on Paper

Mayweather, speaking to ESPN, has said that the physical differences between him and his rival meant that, theoretically, McGregor looked good for the win.

Mayweather also conceded that he was older now, and far from the fighter he once was, and that the age gap of 11 years gave McGregor a considerable edge. He went on to say that not only was McGregor was a lot younger than he, he was also taller, with a longer reach.

Mayweather Takes Time Off of Criticizing Conor

When he was questioned as to why he was not taking this chance to once again verbally assault his opponent, Mayweather replied that facts were facts, and that he had to acknowledge his age. He went on to say that he knew he was not the same fighter that he had once been, even two years ago, and that Andre Berto managing to go the distance with him was indicative of the advantages he no longer had access to because of his age.

Mayweather stated that his knockout ratio had once been 90%, and that it was obvious that he had started slipping, and his age had started taking its toll on his ability to fight as he once had. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Mike Gminski: Four-Year Duke Star
      March 10, 2018 | 11:05 am
      Mike Gminski

      Mike Gminski

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a star big man who achieved great success at Camden Indoor Stadium in the era before Coach K and the One-and-Done big men became the norm at Duke University.

      Much like recent Duke big men Marvin Bagley III, Jayson Tatum and Jahlil Okafor, Mike Gminski made an immediate impact for the Blue Devils. However, because he played 40 years earlier at a time when few players left college early, Gminski spent four years racking up stats and success in Durham.

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