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Sports Then and Now



Book Review: When The Game Was Ours 2

Posted on December 04, 2009 by Joe Gill

“When The Game Was Ours”

Written by: Larry Bird and Earvin Magic Johnson with Jackie MacMullan

What can I say about this book? For one, I could not put it down.

This is a must read for any sports fan.

This is a must read for any sports fan.

A book has to grab my attention right away or it finds its way to the Land of Lost Toys AND Books.

“When The Game Was Ours” did not find its way to that place. This book brought me back to memories of my youth.

As a child of the 80’s, my fondest sports memories were of Celtics-Lakers on Sunday afternoons.

Bird. McHale. The Chief. Magic. Worthy. Kareem.

These are all names that are interwoven into the fabric of my sports soul.

To say I was excited to read this book is an understatement!

The journey starts with the tandem of Bird and Johnson telling the stories of their childhoods in French Lick and East Lansing. You learn about their high school playing days and how they were courted by the big time college basketball programs.

Bird would choose the powerhouse of Indiana coached by the infamous Bobby Knight and Magic stayed with his hometown school of Michigan State.

You will discover the reasons for Bird’s transition from Indiana to dropping out of school and then being wooed by Indiana State. Bird was very close to cutting his basketball career short.

The rivalry between Magic and Bird would start in college culminating with the 1979 NCAA championship.

This is when Magic and Bird followed each other’s career obsessively.

This is when the rivalry bloomed.

This is when the NBA became relevant again.

Read the rest of this entry →

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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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