Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now


Archive for the ‘Sports History’


The Role of Baseball in the American Culture 0

Posted on August 07, 2020 by Bijoy Hembram

Playing baseball is a leisure and pass time activity for American families. Baseball plays a significant role in the development of children in the states. Most American baseball fans grew up knowing and playing baseball. This is the reason that millions of American citizens follow the sport.

A Brief History of the Sport

The history of baseball dates back to hundreds of years in the past. In the 1800s, the sport received recognition from the government and set on the path to create a formal league. The Major Baseball League came into existence in the 1900s. In the modern era, the Jackie Robinson jersey portrays the end of racial segregation in professional baseball.

Unity through Baseball

In the past, when America was undergoing a civil war baseball was a factor in unifying the people. Not only was the sport efficient in the unity of the North and South of America but it brought people together because of the athleticism and ability to play the sports. After the game broke the New York borders, the sport gained popularity as a national symbol of unity. The pastime was responsible for building a rapport between soldiers of the different sides and the conclusion of the war.

Fast-forward to modern times and the sport is a factor in unifying rivals in the global political scene. Amid the growing political divides in residents of Washington DC, the locals come together to support their team. The game presents the chance for Americans of different social and political views to put the differences aside.

Read the rest of this entry →

PGA Championship History is Full of One Hit Wonders 0

Posted on August 03, 2020 by Dean Hybl

Like the musical group that had one big hit then faded off into the world of elevator music and reunion tours, the PGA Championship has more than its share of champions whose greatest moment under the professional golf sun came at what was for many years the final major of the season.

Jason Dufner is one of 33 golfers whose lone major title came at the PGA Championship.

Names like Jim Turnesa, Chandler Harper, John Mahaffey, Wayne Grady, Jeff Sluman, Shaun Micheel, Jason Dufner and Rich Beem grace the victory roster at the PGA Championships while golf greats including Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Hale Irwin and Seve Ballesteros never claimed the crown.

Of the four major championships, the PGA Championship has by far been the kindest to players looking for their first (and in many cases only) major championship.

Since World War II, 44 golfers have claimed their first major title at the PGA Championship. This compares to 38 for the U.S. Open, 31 for the British Open and 31 for the Masters.

The PGA Championship is also home to the greatest number of golf’s “one hit wonders” as 33 of the first-time winners of the tournament failed to claim another major title. In comparison, 24 winners of the U.S. Open, 22 of the British Open and 19 of the Masters failed to win another major.

It is hard to pin-point one specific reason for why so many golfers have won their only major at the PGA Championship, but there is no question that it has been the toughest tournament for great players to win multiple times.

Known for many years as “Glory’s last shot” because it was always the final major of the year, the PGA Championship moved to second in the order of majors in 2019. However, because of COVID-19, this year it will be the first major of the season.

Read the rest of this entry →

Early Wynn: 300 Game Winner 0

Posted on August 01, 2020 by Dean Hybl
Early Wynn

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month pitched in four decades, was a veteran of World War II and is one of only two pitchers to finish with exactly 300 career victories.

Hall of Famer Early Wynn began his career as a 19-year old in 1939 by pitching three games for the Washington Senators. After spending the 1940 season in the minors, he went 3-1 with a 1.58 ERA in a brief stint in the majors in 1941.

Read the rest of this entry →

45 Years Ago: The Billy Martin-New York Yankees Saga Begins 0

Posted on August 01, 2020 by Dean Hybl

Regardless of whether you love or hate the New York Yankees, you couldn’t help but follow the 14-year saga of Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees. Like a car accident, you just had to slow down and see what was happening.

Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner during one of the lighter moments during their 14-year relationship.

It all started 45 years ago when it was announced on August 1, 1975 that manager Bill Virdon was being replaced by the already flamboyant and controversial Billy Martin. Though owner George Steinbrenner was technically suspended by MLB at the time for making illegal campaign contributions to the campaign of President Richard Nixon in 1972, he was in reality still the top decision maker for the organization and believed that Martin would provide a fire that was lacking under Virdon.

Martin was familiar to Yankee fans from his time as part of Casey Stengel’s squad during the hey day of the 1950s. During seven seasons as an infielder with the Yankees, the scrappy Martin won four World Series rings and made one All-Star team, but was perhaps better known as a party partner for all-time great Mickey Mantle.

Many believe that it was his negative influence on Mantle that led to the Yankees trading Martin to the Kansas City Athletics during the 1957 season. He later played for the Tigers, Indians, Reds and Twins before retiring following the 1961 season.

He became a major league manager at the age of 41 in 1969 with the Minnesota Twins. He led the Twins to 97 wins and the first AL West Division title. However, the Twins lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the playoffs and a number of disagreements with management and off the field issues ultimately led to his dismissal following the season.

Read the rest of this entry →

Great Baseball All-Star Game Moments: 1990-2019 1

Posted on July 18, 2020 by Dean Hybl
The most memorable moment of the 2001 All-Star Game occurred when Alex Rodriguez convinced Cal Ripken, Jr. to play shortstop. (Photo credit JOHN MABANGLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Over the last three decades, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game has transformed from being simply a game to being a multi-day extravaganza where the game itself is simply one component. For that reason, the game has at times seemed to be anti-climatic, but has still produced some great memories.

After the National League dominated the competition throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including a stretch of 19 victories in 20 games, the rolls have completely reversed in recent years.

The American League has claimed 23 out of the last 30 meetings, including a 13 game winning streak between 1997 and 2009 as well as a current seven game winning streak

In this final installment of the three part series in which we have reminisced about some of the great moments, games and players in All-Star history, we look at the most memorable games of the last three decades. Here are links to part one from 1933-1959 and part two from 1960-1989.

July 10, 1990 (Wrigley Field, Chicago)
The addition of lights at Wrigley Field allowed for the All-Star Game to be played at the storied venue for the first time since 1962.

The lights came in handy as the game endured 85 minutes worth of rain delays, which made it difficult for either team to develop a rhythm or establish a consistent pitching rotation.

The American League used six pitchers and the National League went through nine hurlers in the contest.

The game was scoreless until a two-run double by Julio Franco gave the AL all the runs they needed in posting a 2-0 victory.

July 12, 1994 (Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh)
In one of the most exciting All-Star Games in recent memory, the lead changed hands five times before the National League pulled out the victory in the 10th inning.

The NL jumped to a 4-1 advantage before the AL stormed back to claim a 7-5 lead entering the bottom of the ninth.

Read the rest of this entry →

Great Baseball All-Star Game Moments: Part 2 (1960-1989) 1

Posted on July 12, 2020 by Dean Hybl

After becoming an American tradition following its inception in 1933, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game evolved into the “Midsummer Classic” through some memorable moments in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Pete Rose took out Ray Fosse to help the National League win the 1970 All-Star Game.

The exhibition eventually moved beyond being just a game to include a home run contest and many other activities that gave fans the opportunity to see their heroes in a completely different atmosphere than ever before.

From the very beginning, the All-Star Game was a highly competitive contest that even though technically an exhibition, lacked little in desire by the great players to win the game and claim bragging rights over the other league.

The game began to lose a little of the competitive edge following the inception of free agency in the 1970s. More players were switching from league to league and by the 1980s it started to be more important to give as many players as possible a chance to play, rather than keep your best players out there for the entire contest.

Of course, that strategy culminated with the 2002 game, which had to be called with the game tied in the 12th inning because both teams had run out of players. We will look more in-depth at that game in part three of this series.

In this second installment of the three part series, we will relive some of the legendary moments and games in All-Star history between 1960 and 1989. You can also catch the first installment with memories from 1933-1959.

July 13, 1960 (Yankee Stadium, New York City)
Between 1959 and 1962, two All-Star Games were played each year to provide the opportunity for fans in different cities to see the players up close and personal.

The second All-Star Game of the 1960 season provided a homecoming for Willie Mays, who had not been back to New York City since the Giants moved to San Francisco following the 1957 season.

He didn’t disappoint as Mays led off the game with a single and then hit a home run in the third inning.

Eddie Mathews, Ken Boyer and Stan Musial also blasted home runs for the National League as they won the game 6-0.

Also of note in the game was that it marked the 18th and final All-Star appearance for Ted Williams.

July 31, 1961 (Fenway Park, Boston)
The second meeting between the All-Stars in 1961 marked the first time that the game ended in a tie as the game was knotted at 1-1 when rain prevented the game from continuing after nine innings.

The American League scored first on a home run by Rocky Colavito in the first inning. The National League didn’t score until the sixth inning when Eddie Mathews scored on a hit by Bill White.

Read the rest of this entry →
  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Early Wynn: 300 Game Winner
      August 1, 2020 | 8:37 pm
      Early Wynn

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month pitched in four decades, was a veteran of World War II and is one of only two pitchers to finish with exactly 300 career victories.

      Hall of Famer Early Wynn began his career as a 19-year old in 1939 by pitching three games for the Washington Senators. After spending the 1940 season in the minors, he went 3-1 with a 1.58 ERA in a brief stint in the majors in 1941.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Current Poll

    Who Will Win the World Series in the Shortened MLB Season?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top