Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Remembering the Great Frank Robinson 0

Posted on February 07, 2019 by Dean Hybl

Frank Robinson-OriolesThe baseball universe is missing a major star today with the passing of all-time great Frank Robinson. Anytime you use the words “only” and “first” in someone’s biography, you know that they were probably quite special.

That is certainly the case for Robinson during his playing days as well as throughout his career as a manager and administrator.

There are many superlatives to share about what Robinson accomplished on the field, but one thing that makes him stand out is that he remains the only player in Major League Baseball history to earn the Most Valuable Player Award in both the American and the National Leagues.

Starting his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956, Robinson blasted 38 home runs and was named the National League Rookie of the Year. He quickly joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente as one of the elite outfielders in the National League.

In his first seven major league seasons, Robinson eclipsed 30 home runs six times and the other season hit 29. He was a regular .300 or better hitter and annually ranked near the top of the league in runs batted in.

He reached new heights during the 1961 campaign when he was named the National League MVP while leading the Reds to the National League Pennant and a spot in the World Series. He hit 37 home runs with 124 RBI and a .323 batting average. Read the rest of this entry →

Major Leagues: Which Players had the Worst Injuries in 2014? 5

Posted on October 24, 2014 by Brooke Chaplan
Aroldis Chapman had a tough start to the 2014 season.

Aroldis Chapman had a tough start to the 2014 season.

While baseball isn’t technically a contact sport, injuries are common. Sometimes, serious injuries can have a significant impact on a player’s, or even a team’s season. Here are some of the worst injuries suffered in the 2014 MLB season.

Dan Jennings–Miami Marlins
This injury is, fortunately, not one of the worst because of the damage done. That said, any time someone takes a 101 mile line drive to the head, the event has to qualify for any “worst injuries” list. Jennings, a pitcher, was struck on the head by a line drive off the bat of Jordy Mercer, a shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jennings was carried off of the field and diagnosed with a concussion.

Aroldis Chapman–Cincinnati Reds
Pitchers often find their way onto the injuries list, and Chapman is no exception. Another pitcher struck by a batted ball, Chapman was struck by an estimated 99 mile per hour line drive while on the mound. Unlike Jennings, Chapman was struck directly in the face instead of on the top of the head. Chapman sustained severe damage to his head and face, and the game was cancelled after the incident.

Carlos Quentin–San Diego Padres
Quentin was off to a slow start for his 2014 campaign. Before he could get back on track and be the impact player for the Padres everyone hoped, he suffered a bone bruise in his left knee. While a bruise might not sound like a major injury, Quentin was placed on the disabled list for the rest of the year. Only time will tell if Quentin recovers and returns to his prior performance levels. Read the rest of this entry →

Lee May: Forgotten Slugger 6

Posted on June 06, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Lee May

The June Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is one of the forgotten sluggers of baseball history.

For more than a decade, Lee May was one of the most feared sluggers in baseball.  He blasted 20 or more home runs and drove in 80 or more runs for 11 straight seasons while playing for the Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros and Baltimore Orioles. Read the rest of this entry →

Remembering Sparky Anderson: Manager of the Big Red Machine 7

Posted on November 05, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Sparky ANderson (center) guided the famous Cincinnati "Big Red Machine" to four pennants and two World Series titles in nine seasons.

News this week of the illness and then death of Hall of Fame manager George “Sparky” Anderson has elicited many fond memories of the feisty manager who enjoyed unparalleled success during 26 seasons managing the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers.

When Anderson was introduced as the new manager of the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 1970 season many asked “Sparky Who?” and wondered why management would turn the reins of one of baseball’s up and coming teams to an unknown 36-year-old who had spent one season playing in the majors for the Philadelphia Phillies (hit .218 in 152 games in 1959) and never managed above AA.

As it turns out, Cincinnati General Manager Bob Howsman, who had hired Anderson for minor league managerial stints with the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds, had the manager he needed to turn the Reds into baseball’s team of the 1970s.

It didn’t take long for Anderson to prove that he was indeed the right man for the job. During his first season at the helm, the Reds won 102 games and reached the World Series for the first time since 1961.

Though they lost the Series to the Baltimore Orioles, with emerging superstars like Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Tony Perez and Dave Concepcion, the “Big Red Machine” had been born. Read the rest of this entry →

35 Years Ago: 1975 World Series – A Timeless Classic 3

Posted on October 22, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Carlton Fisk's dramatic home run in game six is the most vivid memory of the 1975 World Series.

It was 35 years ago today on October 22, 1975 that one of the most exciting World Series of all-time ended with a game seven that would propel the Big Red Machine to immortality while adding another tale of woe for fans of the Boston Red Sox.

From the very beginning, there was something about the 1975 World Series that brought it to the national forefront like no other World Series since the hey days of the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers.

With superstars Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan, the Cincinnati Reds were baseball’s best known team, but two previous trips to the World Series had resulted in a pair of defeats and questions as to whether the Reds could win the big one.

The Boston Red Sox were back in the spotlight buoyed by the play of flashy young outfielder Fred Lynn, who would become the first rookie in baseball history to be names American League MVP. He was joined on the roster by future Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski and Carlton Fisk as well as charismatic pitcher Luis Tiant.

With weekday World Series games now being played primarily at night, it provided fans (both young and old) who in the past had needed to play hooky from work or school to watch the World Series to now be able to enjoy the games from the comfort of home. Read the rest of this entry →

25 Years Ago: Pete Rose Becomes Baseball’s Hit King 3

Posted on September 11, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Pete Rose became baseball's all-time hits leader on September 11, 1985.

From the time he entered the major leagues in 1963, it was obvious that Pete Rose was a different breed of baseball player. Nicknamed “Charlie Hustle” for his tendency to run to first base after receiving a walk, he played every inning with an urgency that allowed his performance to exceed his level of God given talent.

After entering the league as a second baseman, Rose moved around the field during his 16 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds playing more than 500 games at second base, third base, leftfield and rightfield.

However, what rarely changed was his place in the batting order. From the beginning, it was obvious that Rose was a hit machine and a run producer from the leadoff spot.

As a rookie, Rose was named the National League Rookie of the Year after hitting .273 with 170 hits and 101 runs scored. He went on to eclipse 200 hits and 100 runs scored 10 times while leading the league in hits seven times, runs four times and batting average on three occasions.

Though not a home run hitter (Rose hit only 160 homers in 24 seasons), Rose earned 12 All-Star berths with the Reds and was named the National League MVP in 1973. He also helped the Reds to four National league pennants and two World Series titles. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Tony Oliva: Hall of Fame Worthy
      April 21, 2019 | 5:18 pm
      Tony Oliva

      Cuba is known for producing great baseball talent and there has arguably been no one from the island better than the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

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

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Do You Think Andrew Luck Made the Right Decision to Retire from the NFL?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top