Sunday, June 30, 2013

June 30, 1993: Draper Shipped to the Red Wings For a Dollar

On June 30, 1993, the Winnipeg Jets shipped Kris Draper to the Detroit Red Wings for future considerations, the future considerations turned out out be $1.  It proved to a be a dollar well spent for the Red Wings organization as Draper spent the next 17 seasons in the Motor City and was an integral part of four championship teams. The first championship came in 1997 as the Red Wings brought a 42 year drought to an end with a 4 game sweep over the Philadelphia Flyers. He would go onto win the Stanley Cup in 1998, 2002, and in 2008. In 2004, after he had his best offensive year of his career, he was recognized as the best defensive forward in the game by being awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy. In 2009, Draper joined Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Steve Yzerman, and  Niklas Lidstom  as the only players to wear a Red Wings uniform in 1,000 games. After retiring in 2011, Draper took on a front office position with the Red Wings, they definitely got a decent return on their initial investment.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

June 29, 1983: Joe Delaney of The Kansas City Chiefs Drowns While Trying To Save 3 Children

On June 29, 1983, tragedy struck the Kansas City Chiefs organization as they learned that their running back Joe Delaney had drowned while trying to save three children from drowning in a pond in his home state of Louisiana, only one of the children survived and Delaney gave his life trying to save them all. The 24 year old was a second round draft pick in 1981, he showed great promise in his rookie season as he ran for 1,121 yards and propelled the Chiefs to their first winning season since 1973. Delaney broke four franchise records in his rookie campaign while he was on his way to winning the AFC Rookie of the Year award, the records have since been surpassed but it gives you an idea of how much potential he had. His second year in the league was hampered by a strike and an eye injury which led to just 380 yards rushing in 8 games for the running back, despite the fact that his second year was not the best, everyone in the Chiefs organization believed him to be the real deal and that he would bounce back with a solid season in 1983, it just wasn't to be. Delaney had a history of trying to help others and when he saw the kids in the lake that day he knew he couldn't swim very well, but refused to stand to the side when he saw them in trouble, it's admirable that a man would be so unselfish to not even think of his own life and just do whatever he could to save others. In a perfect world this would have ended with three children saved by a heroic running back, unfortunately it is not a perfect world but that doesn't change the fact that what he was trying to do was nothing short of heroic. The Chiefs honored Delaney during the '83 season by wearing a circular patch bearing  a gold eagle and the number 37 on the upper left chest of their uniforms, his number is unofficially retired by the team and it is in the ring of honor at Arrowhead, no Chiefs player has worn it since. Less than a month after Delaney's death The President of the United States, Ronald Reagan honored the fallen player by awarding him the Presidential Citizens Award which was presented to his family by the Vice President George H. W. Bush, Reagan would say "He made the ultimate sacrifice by placing the lives of three children above regard for his own safety. By supreme example of courage and compassion, this brilliantly gifted young man left a spiritual legacy for his fellow Americans."

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 28, 1957: Frick Removes Members of the Redlegs From The All Star Game

On June 28, 1957, Ford C. Frick made an unprecedented move by removing three Cincinnati Redlegs from the starting lineup of the All Star game that was to be held in St. Louis. His reason for removing the players was the fans in Cincinnati had stuffed the ballot box so effectively that 8 of the 9 starters were projected to be from the Cincinnati club. The players removed were Cincinnati's first baseman George Crow as well as outfielders Gus Bell and Wally Moon, they were replaced by Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals, Willie Mays of the New York Giants, and Henry Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves. The avalanche of votes out of Cincy had come from the Cincinnati Times-Star as well as local radio and television stations that had dropped 500,000 votes into the commissioners lap just before the voting deadline came to an end. When you think about it now days, it's pretty funny, especially since they encourage the stuffing of the ballot box.

Here is a link to a story that was in the newspaper the day after Frick made his decision:,6249892

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 27, 1988: Iron Mike Knocks Out Michael Spinks

On June 27, 1988, Iron Mike Tyson knocked Michael Spinks out in just 1 minute and 31 seconds to become the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. Both men had not lost a match going into the match and each considered themselves to be the true champion. Tyson held the WBA,WBC, and IBF belts, while Spinks held the Ring Magazine belt and was considered the lineal champion. The fight was billed as the"Once and For All" as only one champion would walk out of the ring that night in Atlantic City. Before the fight even started Spinks' manager Butch Lewis claimed he had seen a bump in Tyson's glove and insisted that his hands be rewrapped, Lewis would later admit he was trying to get a psychological edge which more than likely worked against him as the 21 year old kid came out pissed and ready to rumble. Tyson came out and simply pummeled the 31 year old Spinks, he worked fiercely and quickly as he trapped him against the ropes and knocked him to the canvas for the first time in his career. After a four count Spinks looked ready to go until the two boxers came toward each other and Tyson landed a quick left right combo that sent Spinks crashing right back to the mat, this time he could not recover and after a count of ten Tyson was the Undisputed Champion. Only ten punches were landed in this one, with eight of them coming from Tyson, the kid showed pure dominance as he was just reaching his potential. The fight proved to be the last one for Spinks while Tyson's career was reaching a pinnacle. Iron Mike successfully defended his title nine times before he was upset by Buster Douglas in 1990. After his well documented legal troubles that landed him in prison, he was not able to regain the title, however, he was and always will be one of the best that ever put on a pair of gloves.

Watch the fight here:

And this is a link to Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J: it seemed appropriate.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June 26, 1944: The Three Sided Game

On June 26, 1944, with more than 50,000 in the stands at the Polo Grounds in New York, the Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees played in the first and only three sided game in the history of Major League Baseball. The concept was to have all three New York teams play each other in an exhibition game to raise money for War Bonds, the teams would play a round robin of sorts that had one team sitting out an inning then appearing in two consecutive innings before sitting out again, the game was played a regulation nine innings with each team playing a total of 6 innings apiece. Sounds crazy don't it? That's because it is. The final score had the Dodgers coming out on top with a score of 5-1-0, the Yankees scored a run while the Giants were shutout. While the concept was an odd one it was a huge success as the crowd raised more than $6,000,000 to contribute to the war efforts.

If you would like to read more about this game check this out:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25, 1937: Augie Galan The First National League Player To Hit a Bomb From Both Sides of The Plate

On June 25, 1937, Augie Galan of the Chicago Cubs became the first player in the history of the National League to hit a home run from both sides of the plate. Galan's pair of bombs helped lift the Cubbies to an 11-2 victory over the Dodgers at Wrigley. The feat had only been accomplished one other time by Wally Schang of the Philadelphia A's who did it in September of 1916. Galan, a .287 career hitter, hit 100 home runs in his 16 year career, those two in 1937 earned him a spot in the history books that will stand the test of time.

Check out the box score:

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24,1968: Northrup Rocks 2 Grand Slams

On June 24, 1968, Tigers outfielder Jim Northrup hit two grand slams in a 14-3 rout over the Indians in Cleveland. The man nicknamed "The Silver Fox" was just the sixth player to accomplish the feat and only the second player to accomplish it in consecutive at bats, with Jim Gentile being the first to do so in 1961. Five days later Northrup hit another grand slam which made him the first player to hit three grand slams in one week, it was a feat that was later matched by Larry Parrish of the Texas Rangers in 1982. To date only 13 players have hit two grand slams in one game with the last being Josh Willingham of the Washington Nationals in 2009.

You can look over the list of 13 men to accomplish the feat here:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 23, 1963: Jimmy Piersall's Home Run in Reverse

On June 23, 1963, New York Mets outfielder Jimmy Piersall celebrated the 100th home run of his career by running around the bases backwards. Piersall had said he noticed that when Duke Snider hit his 400th jack that there was little fanfare so he decided he was going to something a little "different" when he reached his milestone. It happened in the 5th inning with the Mets already on top 1-0, Piersall led the inning off with a bomb then dropped his bat and proceeded to first base running backwards, he would touch'em all  that way much to the amusement of the fans at the Polo Grounds in New York. Some in attendance weren't amused by his antics, namely the commissioner of baseball Ford Frick and Piersall's skipper Casey Stengel. Stengel was so pissed that he released him just two days later. Piersall went onto join the Angels organization where he played until 1967 before moving to the front office.

Piersall was an interesting guy to say the least, he once stepped to the plate wearing a Beatles wig while playing air guitar on his bat, if you would like to read more about him check this out:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 22, 1937: Joe Louis Vs. James Braddock

On June 22, 1937, Joe Louis knocked James Braddock out in the eighth round to become the World Heavyweight Champion. It was a monumental fight, as Louis became the first African American to hold the title since Jack Johnson in 1915. Louis vs. Braddock was held  in front of more than 45,000 people at Comiskey Park in Chicago and they would witness a truly historic bout. Braddock was able to knock Louis down in the first round but couldn't put much together after that. By the seventh round Braddock was looking defeated, he was clearly gassed, and had a cut above his eye as well as a busted lip. The blow that ended it in the eighth was a solid right that put Braddock on the canvas where he laid well after the count was over. The win by Louis was a win for the African American community, all night long parties all across the country were held as his victory was celebrated. On the same date one year later, Louis successfully defended his title against Max Schmeling at Yankee Stadium. The fight between Louis and the German Schmeling had political undertones as well as racial undertones, Schmeling had beat Louis in 1936 and the leaders of Nazi Germany claimed it proved their superiority over the African American race. Joe would prove he was superior with a first round knockout.

Friday, June 21, 2013

June 21, 1938: Pinky Higgins Picks Up 12 Consecutive Hits

On June 21, 1938, after picking up 8 hits in a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox 3rd baseman Pinky Higgins set a major league record with 12 consecutive hits over 14 plate appearances because he also walked twice during the streak. The Red Sox split the bill by winning the first game 8-3 then Detroit took the second game 5-4. The record still stands today and it was only matched one time by Walt Dropo, while he was playing for the Tigers in 1952 , Dropo accomplished the feat in 12 consecutive plate appearances.

Box Scores from both games of the doubleheader:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

June 20, 1925: Max Carey Becomes The First Switch Hitter To Hit For The Cycle

On June 20, 1925, Pirates center fielder Max Carey became the first ever switch hitter to hit for the cycle. He accomplished the feat in a 21-5 beatdown of the Brooklyn Robins at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. His fellow outfielder Kiki Cuyler picked up 6 ribbies on two home runs and a triple, while shortstop Glenn Wright fell just a single short of the cycle.  The offensive explosion set a franchise record for runs scored in a game which surprisingly the Pirates would break in the next game as they pounded the St. Louis Cardinals 24-6 just two days later at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, the rout of the Cardinals is still a franchise record. Carey was best known for his excellent fielding and his ability to swipe a base, he led the league 10 times in stolen bases and when he retired in 1929. His 738 swipes was a National Record, the record would stand until Lou Brock surpassed him in 1974. The 1925 season was a great one for the 35 year old Carey, after leading the league with 46 stolen bases in the regular season his Pirates went onto win the World Series in 7 games over the Washington Senators. It was the only World Series title for the man who would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1951.

Today's artwork was done by Dick Perez check out his Facebook page here:

Check out the box score:

Carey's career stats:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 19, 1943: The Steelers and the Eagles Become the Steagles

On June 19, 1943, the NFL approved a merger between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 1943 season because of a player shortage due to World War II. There was talk of the league shutting down completely, as more than 300 players had left their respective teams to serve on the largest team they would ever be a part of . The official name for the team was the Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers Combine, the official name didn't stick very long at all as the fans and the writers began to call them the "Steagles" it was a nickname that stuck. Both teams had not been very good up to that point, in fact the Eagles had never had a winning season and Pittsburgh had only one winning season to their credit, so expectations were low to say the least. They surprised everyone as they posted a 5-4-1 record and fell just short of winning the Eastern Conference. The team would have been considered a ragtag bunch, some players were only able to make the squad because of different medical conditions that kept them from being drafted. These men would work 40 hours a week in factories for the defense industry, practice at night, then play ball on Sunday's. Perhaps the most memorable game of that season came in the second game as the Steagles upset the New York Giants 28-14 even though they had fumbled the ball 10 times in the contest, the 10 fumbles in one game  is a record that still stands today. I find this fact remarkable as it shows how the country came together in a time of war, the men who played on that Steagles team not only brought Philadelphia their first winning season, they also brought much needed joy to the fans in both cities as their fathers, brothers, and sons were fighting for the country. The merger came to an end following the '43 season, the Steelers combined forces with the Chicago Cardinals the next year and had rough season as the team that was nicknamed the "Carpets" went 0-10. The Eagles continued to get better following the '43 campaign, they would eventually win back to back championships in '48 and '49 with several of the players from the Steagles on those championship squads.

Bleacher Report did a great video that gives you a look into the team:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 18, 1953: The Red Sox Score 17 Runs In One Inning

On June 18, 1953, in  a contest versus the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox scored 17 runs on 14 hits in the bottom of the 7th inning. The offensive explosion set a modern day record for most runs scored by one team in an inning, it's a record that still stands today. George Stephens picked up 3 hits and 3 ribbies in the frame and Dick Gernart hit the only home run of the monster inning. It took three pitchers and 47 minutes to complete the bottom of the 7th and by the time it was wrapped up the Sox had a 22-3 advantage, they tacked on another run in the eighth. The 23-3 beatdown was witnessed by 3,108 fans, those that sat in the stands that day witnessed something that is almost hard to believe. The all time record  for most runs scored by one team in an inning is 18, it was set by the Cap Anson's Chicago White Stockings in 1883, they beat the Detroit Wolverines 26-6.

Here's the crazy box score, if you scroll down a bit you can check out the play by play of that inning:

The 18 run inning for Chicago is remembered in this newspaper archive from 1932:,1554365

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17, 1954: Marciano vs. Charles I

On June 17, 1954, in a fight that went the full 15 rounds, Rocky Marciano successfully defended his title against Ezzard Charles at Yankee Stadium in New York. Charles had an edge early, he pounded Marciano with a series of left hooks and opened up a pretty nasty cut under his eye in the fourth round. Marciano countered with his right but it hardly fazed his opponent, then the tide turned. Marciano unleashed his power in the 5th then proceeded to dominate his opponent, he tried to knock him out in the 6th and the 7th but Charles wasn't having it. They traded punches at will in the late rounds then Charles began to wear down and Marciano used him as a punching bag until the bell rang at the end of the 15th. Marciano won the match by unanimous decision, three months later the two men would meet again at Yankee Stadium with Marciano knocking out Charles in the 8th round of the rematch. The two fights with Charles were Marciano's the 47th and 48th victories of his career, he fought one more fight against Archie Moore in 1955 in which he won by knockout. With a 49-0 record in the ring Marciano is the only man to retire as an undefeated heavyweight champion.

Great footage of the fight here:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June 16, 1999: The Lakers Hire The Zen Master

On June 16, 1999, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Phil Jackson would be taking over as head coach of the team. Jackson's resume was more than impressive as he had helped lead the Chicago Bulls to 6 titles over 8 seasons before taking a year off. In his first season in L.A. he led the team to the NBA Finals where they beat the Indiana Pacers. The team won two more Championships in a row to give Jackson his third 3-Peat in his coaching career. After the Lakers were eliminated by the Pistons in the '04 Finals Jackson relinquished his head coaching duties. One year later he returned to the Lakers bench and began his quest for another title. The quest ended with two more titles with the latter two coming in 2009 and 2010. Jackson's days as the Head Coach of the Lakers ended after a disappointing sweep by the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. He flirted with a return just last year but the organization went in another direction. His 11 NBA Titles as a head coach is a NBA record that might never be broken.

On a sidenote, Happy Father's Day to each and every one of you and your Father's. I know for a lot of us, our Father's were instrumental in helping develop a love for sports that we all cherish. If you have the opportunity today to give your dad a big ole hug and thank him for all he has done for you and your life. I envy you, my father passed away when I was just 12 years old but I can still remember standing at Busch Stadium with him as a young boy watching the Cardinals play some ball. For me my love for sports began right then and there. Have a great day.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

June 15, 1938: Vander Meer Tosses His Second Consecutive No Hitter

On June 15, 1938, in the first ever night game played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds led his team to a 6-0 win with a no hit performance against the Dodgers. Just four days earlier he had tossed a no no in a 3-0 win over the Boston Braves at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, making him the first and only pitcher in the history of the game to throw consecutive no hitters.

If you would like to read more abut Vander Meer check this out:

Here are the box scores for both no hitters:

Friday, June 14, 2013

June 14, 1990: Back 2 Back Titles For The Pistons

On June 14, 1990, the Detroit Pistons became just the third franchise to win back to back championships by beating the Portland Trailblazers 92-90 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Only the Lakers and Celtics had accomplished the feat before the Pistons joined the exclusive club.  The victory in Game 5 was a a dramatic one. The Pistons controlled things early before the Trailblazers rallied late to put them up 76-68 with just 10 minutes to play. The lead didn't last long, Vinnie Johnson took over as he went on a 9-0 run that gave the Pistons a 77-76 edge with 6:35 on the clock. The Blazers still had some fight left in them, with solid pressure they took the lead back and found themselves up 90-83 with 2:05 to go. Then Johnson struck again, he went on another 9-0 run that nailed the coffin shut on Portland, his last shot came from 14 feet out with just 7 tenths of a second left on the clock. Since that day in Oregon, the Bulls and Rockets have joined the exclusive back to back titles club. Will the Miami Heat join them?

If you would like to read more about the 1990 Championship run by the Pistons check this out:

Watch Johnson Knock Down The Game Winner:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 13, 1948: The Babe Makes His Final Appearance at Yankee Stadium

On June 13, 1948, The Great Bambino made his final appearance at Yankee Stadium, it came on a day that the organization proclaimed to be "Babe Ruth Day" which was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the opening of  "The House That Ruth Built". The Yankees legend was visibly ill and could hardly speak as he was introduced with several other members of the 1923 Championship squad. As he used a bat as a cane, he stood before those that loved him the most and said "Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. You know how bad my voice sounds. Well, it feels just as bad. You know, this baseball game of ours comes up from the youth. That means the boys. And after you're a boy and grow up to know how to play ball, then you come to the boys you see representing themselves today in your national pastime. The only real game I think in the world is baseball. As a rule, some people think that if you give them a football or a baseball or something like that they naturally become athletes right away. But you can't do that in baseball. You've got to start from way down at the bottom, when you're 6 or 7 years of age. You can't wait until you are 15 or 16. You gotta let it grow up with you. And if you are successful, and you try hard enough, you're bound to come out on top just like these boys have come to top now. There have been so many lovely things said about me and I'm glad I got the opportunity to thank everybody. Thank you." As he wrapped up the speech Ruth stood before the crowd and listened to them cheer him one last time. He passed away on August 16, 1948, instead of a traditional funeral his casket was taken to Yankee Stadium where more than 75,000 paid their respects to the man who had brought them so much joy in the past.

You can listen to his speech here:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 12, 1983: Dale Murphy Delivers

On June 12, 1983, before a game against the San Francisco Giants at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Braves outfielder Dale Murphy met with a 6 year old little girl named Elizabeth Smith who had lost both hands and a leg after stepping on a live power line. Murphy gave the girl a cap and a t-shirt before the little girl's nurse asked him if he could hit a home run for her, Murphy admitted that the question caught him off guard and he just mumbled "well okay", Murphy didn't hit one home run that day in Atlanta he hit two. The first jack came in the bottom of the 3rd, it was a 2 run shot that scored the first runs of the game. The Giants battled back to tie it in the 5th, then Murphy led off the bottom of the 6th with his second round tripper of the game. The Braves went onto win 3-2 on the day that Murphy provided all the offense.

Check Out The Box Score:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June 11, 1993: Jordan and Barkley both Score 42 In Game 2 of the NBA Finals

On June 11, 1993, Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls and Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns each scored 42 points in Chicago's 111-108 win in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. It marked the first time in NBA Finals history that opposing players each scored 40 or more in one game. The victory gave the Bulls a 2-0 lead in a series that Chicago would never trail in. Barkley's Suns went onto win Games 3 and 5 but Jordan's Bulls proved to be too much as they took home a third consecutive title with a victory in Game 6.

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 1996: The Avalanche Win The Cup

On June 10, 1996, with a 1-0 win in triple overtime the Colorado Avalanche completed a 4 game sweep of the Florida Panthers to become Stanley Cup Champions. The goaltenders John Vanbiesbrouck and Patrick Roy went toe to toe in the 4th and final game of the series, Vanbiesbrouck stopped 55 of 56 and Roy didn't let one of the 63 shots he faced reach the back of the net. Uwe Krupp scored the game winner at the 4:31 mark of the third overtime to bring the Avalanche their first title since they relocated from Quebec. Roy stood on his head throughout the series, he stopped 147 of 151 shots for a save percentage of .974. Joe Sakic scored 18 goals throughout the entire playoffs which earned him the Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP.

Watch The Game Winner And The Celebration That Followed:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 9, 1973: Secretariat Becomes A Legend

On June 9, 1973, with a win at the Belmont Stakes, Secretariat completed horse racing's most coveted  achievement the Triple Crown. He broke records at all three races in the series which began at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby. In the three races leading up to the Derby, Secretariat cruised to 2 wins before a third place finish in the Wood Memorial. He came into the Derby and set records through each quarter mile stretch on the way to setting a track record. The victory at Churchill Downs was by 2 1/2 lengths over the next contender, Sham. The magic continued in Baltimore at the Preakness, he made a legendary move on the first turn of the race that took him from last to first in the blink of an eye, once he got the lead no other horse could challenge him. He set another track record and once again Sham was tailing him by 2 1/2 lengths at the finish line. He was just one win away from becoming the first Triple Crown Winner in 25 years. Only four horses which included Sham challenged Secretariat at the Belmont Stakes in New York. Sham and Secretariat set the pace early by opening up a ten length lead on the rest of the field. As they continued Sham began to tire and fell off the pace so drastically he came in last place. Secretariat continued to run straight into the history books by 31 lengths, he not only broke the track record at the Belmont he ran the fastest 1 1/2 miles on dirt in history and  the 31 length margin shattered the previous record set by Triple Crown winner Count Fleet who won by 25 lengths in 1943.

Watch Secretariat's pure dominance:

The artwork was done by Rick Timmons yo can view more of his work here:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8, 1966: The NFL/AFL Merger Is Announced

On June 8, 1966, the merger between the NFL and AFL was announced. For years the NFL held off rival leagues until the AFL emerged in 1960. The eight team league offered a high flying aerial attack and a gritty type of a defense that brought interest from fans to the tune of a million fans by 1962. As time progressed the league simply grew stronger, they landed a lucrative tv deal and brought in big names that gave them legitimate credibility in the world of sports. In an effort to stop the NFL from losing players and tv money to the rival league, negotiations began to merge the two leagues. When the details were hammered out it was announced that the new league would be called the NFL, there would be 24 teams that would be split into two conferences the NFC and AFC. The first Super Bowl would be played at the end of the '66 season, the Vince Lombardi led Green Bay Packers took the first title. It took three seasons for one of the former AFL teams to win the big game. Joe Namath and the Jets surprised the world by beating Johnny Untias' Baltimore Colts, the upset brought about a  new era in football. Since the day the two leagues became one the NFL has become a true powerhouse in American sports.

Friday, June 7, 2013

June 7, 1978: The Bullets Win It All

On June 7, 1978, the Washington Bullets brought home a title by beating the Seattle SuperSonics 105-99 in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The two teams split the first four games, then Seattle just got by the Bullets with a 98-94 in Game 5. Facing elimination the Bullets dominated in Game 6 with a 117-82 victory. With the series headed back to Seattle for Game 7, Sonics fans had to believe they would be celebrating a championship very soon. The Sonics would stay within striking distance throughout the contest but they just couldn't get passed them. Paul Silas knocked down 2 to bring the score to 101-99 with just seconds to go, Silas then fouled Bullets big man Wes Unseld who drained both of his free throws. Moments later Bob Dandridge's slam dunk finished the Sonics off and the Bullets were champs. The Bullets had made two appearances in the Finals in the seventies, in both of those appearances they were swept and still yearned for the elusive title that they would finally get in '78. Both teams met in the Finals one year later, this time Seattle would bring home the Championship, by knocking out Washington in 5 games. The 1978 Championship was the first and only title for the franchise that would become known as the Wizards.

If you would like to read more about Washington's historic run check this out:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6, 1934: Hoag goes 6 For 6

On June 6, 1934,  in the first game of a doubleheader at Fenway Park in Boston, New York Yankees outfielder Myril Hoag went 6 for 6 in a 15-3 rout of  the Red Sox. Hoag was the first player to accomplish the feat in the pinstripes, nearly 74 years later Johnny Damon joined him as the only two Yankees to go 6 for 6 in a game. Hoag spent 7 years with the Yankees and was a part of 3 Championship teams with the Bronx Bombers.

If you would like to know more about Myril Hoag check this out:

Here's the box score to Hoag's 6 for 6 day:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 5, 1967: The '67 Expansion

On June 5, 1967, the NHL announced that the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, and California Seals would be joining the league. It was the first time the league made any changes since the Brooklyn Americans folded in 1942. The six new franchises joined "The Original Six" and marked a new era for the league. The St. Louis Blues made an immediate impact in the league by making three consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals, in their first three years in existence, they weren't able to bring the city a title but they did prove to be a great spot for a new team. The Philadelphia Flyers were the first of the six to win Lord Stanley's Cup, they accomplished the feat in back to back seasons in 1974 and 1975. The Pittsburgh Penguins struggled in the beginning, they didn't win their division until 1991 then began an ascent into one of the best teams in the league with the emergence of Mario Lemieux, the team won two championships in the 90's then another in 2009. The L.A. Kings had limited success until Wayne Gretzky led them to the Finals in 1993, they lost that season but would finally win a Cup in 2012. The Minnesota North Stars faced financial struggles that eventually led the team into a relocation to Dallas, Texas. Throughout their time in Minnesota the North Stars made the playoffs 17 times and made it all the way to the Finals twice before the team headed for the Lone Star State where they brought home the championship in 1999. The California Seals were the least successful of them all , the team based out of Oakland struggled on  the ice and the lack of ticket sales led them to becoming the Cleveland Barons in 1976. After two years in Cleveland the club folded and merged with the North Stars.

If you have 45 minutes to watch a great documentary about the '67 expansion check this out:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 4, 1951: Gus Bell Hits For The Cycle

On June 4, 1951, Pirates outfielder Gus Bell hit for the cycle in a 12-4 win over the Phillies in Philadelphia. It was a hit parade in Philly that day, the two teams combined for 29 hits, 17 for the Buccos  and 12 for the Phillies. The 22 year old Bell tied Stan Musial for the National League lead in triples with 12 in that '51 season and his biggest one probably came on that day at Shibe Park in Philly. Gus was the first of a long line of  major leaguers, his son Buddy had a solid career as a third baseman and a coach, and his grandsons Mike and David both made it to the show. On June 28, 2004, David hit for the cycle in the same city his Grandfather achieved the feat, this time it was for the Phillies and not against them. The Phillies cruised to a 14-6 win over the Expos that day and Gus and David became the first grandfather/grandson duo to achieve the feat.

This is the bx score to Gus' historic day:

And this is the box score for his grandson's historic day:

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3, 1999: Malone Wins His Second MVP Award

On June 3, 1999, Utah Jazz star Karl Malone was named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA. It was the second MVP award for The Mailman, making him just the ninth player in NBA history to win it more than once. Malone's outstanding play earned him the award in 1997, he led his team all the way to The Finals only to be beaten my the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls. The next season the Jazz met the Bulls once again in The Finals and once again The Mailman and the rest of those great teams would have their dream of a ring dashed by Jordan and company. The Jazz were simply dominant in the strike shortened '99 season, they posted a 37-13 record with Malone leading the charge. Malone took home his second MVP award, but the Jazz made a second round exit and once again Malone and the Jazz would fall short of a Championship. To date only 12 men have won multiple MVP awards, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won 6, Bill Russell and Michael Jordan won 5, Wilt Chamberlain and (the most recent winner) LeBron James won 4, Moses Malone, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson won 3, and Bob Pettit, Tim Duncan, and Steve Nash are with Malone with 2.

The Artwork was done by Joel Kimmel, you can view more of his work here:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

June 2, 1948: The NHL Announces The Art Ross Trophy Will Be Given To The Scoring Leader

On June 2, 1948, at the NHL's annual meeting in Montreal it was announced that the Art Ross Trophy would be awarded annually to the league's scoring leader. Elmer Lach of the Montreal Canadiens took home the first prize with a 61 point campaign. Lach also led the league in scoring three years before the trophy came to fruition. Lach led a hall of fame career, he was a 3 time Stanley Cup Champion that got to play beside the likes of Maurice Richard and Toe Blake, the trio became known as the famous Punch Line.The trophy was named after another Montreal Candiens player and Hall of Famer Art Ross, Ross won 2 Stanley Cup championships as a player then would go onto lead a successful career as a coach and a general manager, primarily with the Boston Bruins. The trophy has been awarded  61 times to 25 players, with the latest being Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 37 year old St. Louis is the oldest player to win the trophy. Wayne Gretzky has taken it home 10 times, Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux both won it 6 times, and Phil Esposito and Jaromir Jagr took home the hardware 5 times.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 1, 1925: Lou Gehrig's Legend Begins

On June 1, 1925, Lou Gehrig came in to pinch hit for Pee Wee Wanninger and replaced Wally Pipp at first base for the New York Yankees, Gehrig didn't pick up a hit in the appearance but it did turn out out be the first of 2,130 consecutive games played for the man who would become known as The Iron Horse. The day after Gehrig made his appearance as a pinch hitter he was inserted into the starting lineup after Wally Pipp asked a trainer for some aspirin because of a terrible headache he was having. Once the Yankee skipper Miller Huggins heard that Pipp had a headache he said to him "Wally take the day off. We'll try that kid Gehrig at first today and get you back in there tomorrow" Pipp would call it the two most expensive aspirin in history. Gehrig picked up 3 hits in his first start, which included a double and a run scored as the Yankees knocked off the Washington Senators 5-3. Gehrig forged a legendary career that  spanned 17 seasons, he broke multiple records, many of those records still stand today. He stood at first base for the Yankees until he benched himself on May 2, 1939, when the announcer at Briggs Stadium in Detroit announced that Gehrig would not be appearing in the Yankees lineup for the first time in 2,130 games the Yankees slugger wept as he sat in the dugout. It was the end of an era.

If you would like to read more about the Pride of the Yankees check this out:  it not only tells his story, it also lists his records and notable achievements.