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Sports Then and Now



Baseball World Says Goodbye to Several All-Time Greats 0

Posted on October 04, 2020 by Dean Hybl

There is no question that 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, but it has been an especially sad year for long-time baseball fans. Bob Gibson, who passed away this weekend, is the fourth member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to pass away in 2020. The other members of the HOF to pass away this year are Al Kaline, Tom Seaver and Gibson’s long-time teammate Lou Brock.

Bob Gibson facing Al Kaline in the 1968 World Series.

In addition, the game has said goodbye to several other notable players including Don Larsen, Jimmy Wynn, Tony Fernandez, Tony Taylor, Bob Watson and Claudell Washington. Here is the full list from Baseball Reference.

Gibson, Brock and Kaline were all part of the dramatic 1968 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers. As should be the case on the World Series stage, all three of the future Hall of Famers were at their best during the seven-game series.

For Kaline, who played his entire 22 year career with the Tigers, the 1968 World Series marked the first post-season opportunity of his career. He definitely made the most of it as he registered at least one hit in each of the first six games and finished with a team-high 11 hits and a .379 average. He also hit two home runs and drove home eight runs.

Gibson and Brock were both playing in their third World Series in five seasons in 1968. The Cardinals claimed World Series titles in 1964 and 1967. Both Gibson and Brock were key performers in both of those wins.

In the 1964 World Series against the New York Yankees, Gibson won two of three starts, including a 7-5 victory in the decisive seventh game. Brock had two hits, scored a run and drove home a run in the seventh game. Over the full seven game series, Brock had four multi-hit games and drove home five runs.

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New York Mets – Anatomy of a Franchise: Part 5, Grant’s Tomb 2

Posted on December 13, 2009 by Richard Marsh

For many Mets fans, the franchise low-point occurred with the trade of Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds in 1977.

For many Mets fans, the franchise low-point occurred with the trade of Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds in 1977.

1974 was a big transition year for me. For the first time in my 29 years I was venturing out of the safety net of the New York City, Connecticut, and New York State area and venturing into new uncharted Philadelphia Phillies territory down the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 4 better known to most as Cherry Hill.

We actually didn’t live there but close enough so that when people asked me where I lived that was the most recognizable. Later, after just a few months there, it became simply known as South Jersey which in reality is a state all of its own.

Unlike North Jersey that has a healthy selection of New York Mets fans, in 1974 there was only one New York Met fan in South Jersey. Me, and here I was starting a new job, in a new area still only 90 miles away that seemed like another continent.

South Jersey starts just below Trenton, goes east to the Jersey Shore to Seaside Heights, and south to Cape May. It is completely 100% Philadelphia fans in every sport out there and maybe some time somewhere in the future during football season I will tell a similar story about the Eagles, but for this series the Phillies ultimately play a pivotal role in my life. Read the rest of this entry →

New York Mets – Anatomy of a Franchise: Part 4, Was 1969 A Fluke? 2

Posted on November 20, 2009 by Richard Marsh

After their miracle season in 1969, the Mets remained a contender for the next five years.

After their miracle season in 1969, the Mets remained a contender for the next five years.

Bob Scheffing was promoted to the Mets General Manager after the untimely death of Johnny Murphy in January 1970. The Mets had just come off their “Miracle” season of 1969 with their first Playoff, World Series and Championship in its brief seven-year history.

The two sided answer to the question, was 1969 a fluke? That would be answered in the next coming months as the Mets prepared for yet another Spring Training in St. Petersburg Florida where they shared the training facilities with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bob Scheffing came to the Mets organization after a career as a player with a little over 500 games with the Cubs, Reds, and Cardinals. A rather pedestrian .263 career lifetime average set no fires blazing in that realm. He managed both the Cubs and the Tigers, did a little broadcasting and some scouting before becoming the Mets GM.

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Tom Seaver 2

Posted on October 21, 2009 by Dean Hybl

Tom Seaver

Tom Seaver

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week was the staff ace on a team that pulled one of the greatest upsets in baseball history 40 years ago.

“Tom Terrific” Seaver won the first of his three career Cy Young Awards in 1969 and won a crucial game in the World Series as the New York Mets captivated the nation by winning the 1969 World Series over the seemingly invincible Baltimore Orioles.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

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