Yankees Do Their Job, Take Game 1 In Houston

Despite the likelihood of both the Yankees and the Houston Astros starting their 4th starters in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, and each team has a big drop-off after their top 3, I had a feeling that Game 1, last night in Houston, would tell the tale for the whole series.

If the Yankees could win it, that would be a sign that the Astros' great pitching wouldn't matter, because the Astros' experience is that they don't do well on the road in the postseason. But if the Astros won it, that would make it all the harder on the Yankees: Instead of needing to win at least 1 out of 4 on the road, they would now have to win at least 1 out of 3.

Masahiro Tanaka did his job. In Minute Maid Park, an absolute bandbox -- or "Juice Box," as it's sometimes known -- he went 6 innings, allowing no runs, just 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 4.

The offense did their job. DJ LeMahieu led off the top of the 4th with the game still scoreless, and singled. Gleyber Torres doubled him home. In the 6th, Torres homered, and Giancarlo Stanton stepped up like we'd been waiting for him to do, adding a home run of his own. 3-0 Yankees.

With 2 out in the 7th, the Yankees got 4 straight singles, by Didi Gregorius, LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Torres. That made it 5-0. In the 9th, Gio Urshela added a homer, and the Yankees scratched out another run.

Aaron Boone did his job. Once the lead was 5-0, there was no reason to risk Tanaka any further. This time, I agreed with Boone, Brian Cashman, and, if he were still there, since he would have made the exact same decision, Joe Girardi. Tanaka had thrown just 68 pitches -- 45 of them for strikes -- but, maybe now, he can start Game 4 of this series, instead of the inconsistent J.A. Happ. And maybe Game 7, too, if it gets that far.

The bullpen did their job. Adam Ottavino was a bit shaky in the 7th, but he got out of it with no runs. Zack Britton pitched a scoreless 8th. Finally Jonathan Loaisiga pitched a 1-2-3 9th.

Yankees 7, Astros 0. We couldn't have asked for a better performance. We needed Game 1 a lot more than the Astros did. Now that we have it, Game 2 is critical for them. They need Justin Verlander to be what he's been for them the last 3 years, while we just need our hitters to stop him and James Paxton to do his job.

The Yankees' chances of winning the Pennant went way up with winning this game. And it wouldn't have happened without a pair of prize acquisitions by Brian Cashman, Torres and Stanton.

Redemption? Call it whatever you want, but the Yankees won.


October 13, AD 54: Emperor Claudius dies in Rome at age 64. He was, most likely, poisoned by his wife Agrippina, in favor of her son from a previous marriage, Nero. A real Game of Thrones story.

In 1934, Rupert Graves published I, Claudius, a novel about the Julio-Claudian Dynasty. Filming began in 1937, with Charles Laughton as Claudius, but was cut short. The BBC aired a 13-part miniseries starring Derek Jacobi in 1976, and it aired on PBS' Masterpiece Theatre in 1977. The unfinished 1937 film is included on the DVD package of the 1976 miniseries. In the early 1990s, despite being British, Jacobi did voiceovers for Ken Burns' miniseries The Civil War and Baseball.

October 13, 1307: Pope Clement V has the Knights Templar, a Catholic military order, arrested, and charged with multiple counts, including fraud, blasphemy, and what would later quaintly be called "morals charges." Many are tortured into giving false confessions, and are later burned at the stake.

What does this have to do with sports? Perhaps nothing. But since the arrests were made on a Friday, there are those who believe it to be the beginning of treating Friday the 13th as a day of bad luck.

October 13, 1775: The Continental Congress orders the creation of the Continental Navy, the forerunner of the United States Navy. As they would say, "Hooyah!" (The Army and Air Force equivalent is "Hooah!" The Marine equivalent is "Oorah!") 

This would seem to have nothing to do with baseball, but, during World War II, it would be the Navy that would have, arguably, the 3 greatest catchers in baseball history: Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. (I had thought that Johnny Bench served in the Army Reserve during Vietnam, but this appears not to have been the case.)

The WWII Navy would also have Phil Rizzuto, Pee Wee Reese, and, through the Marine Corps which is officially part of the Navy, Ted Williams, Jerry Coleman, and broadcasters Jack Brickhouse and Ernie Harwell. The Army would have Hank Greenberg, Warren Spahn, Jackie Robinson, and, through the Army Air Corps, forerunner of the U.S. Air Force, Joe DiMaggio.

On December 24 and 25, 2000, Fox Sports would broadcast their NFL studio show live on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman, giving those sailors on board one heck of a Christmas present. On November 11, 2011, Veterans Day, "The Carrier Classic" was held on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson. The University of North Carolina defeated Michigan State University, 67-55, before an official attendance of 8,111, all of them sailors and dignitaries, including President Barack Obama and Basketball Hall-of-Famers Michel Jordan (North Carolina) and Earvin "Magic" Johnson (Michigan State).

October 13, 1812: The Battle of Queenston Heights is fought in what is now Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. British troops under the command of General Isaac Brock hold off American troops under the command of Stephen Van Rensselaer. Van Rensselaer wanted to gain a foothold on the Canadian side of the border before Winter set in, and he failed, despite Brock being killed in the battle.

When the War of 1812 ended following the Treaty of Ghent and the Battle of New Orleans in early 1815, it ended up being more consequential for Canada than for America or Britain. Queenston Heights is, effectively, Canada's "Gettysburg" -- half a century before America's. The war helped to forge a Canadian identity, leading to 1867 and, unlike America, a peaceful independence from Britain.

October 13, 1843: B'nai B'rith International is founded in Aaron Sinsheimer's Cafe on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, by Henry Jones, 1 of 12 recent Jewish immigrants from Germany who attended.

Another of the 12, Isaac Rosenbourg, cited "the deplorable condition of Jews in this, our newly adopted country," and Jones sought to build a group that could aid Jews in America, much as the Ancient Order of Hibernians, founded in New York in 1836, was doing for the Irish. This included traditional functions of Jewish societies in Europe, such as, in their own words,"visiting and attending the sick" and "protecting and assisting the widow and the orphan."

Today, B'nai B'rith, meaning "Children of the Covenant," is the oldest active Jewish service organization in the world. Its stated goal is "to unite persons of the Jewish faith, and to enhance Jewish identity through strengthening Jewish family life."

October 13, 1862: In a game against Unions of Morrisania (now part of The Bronx), Jim Creighton of the Brooklyn-based Excelsiors hits a home run in the 6th inning, after doubling in each of his 1st 4 times at bat.

When he crosses home plate, the 21-year old Brooklynite complains of having broken his belt. It turns out to be a suspected ruptured inguinal hernia, caused by the torque created by his all upper-body hard swing with the bat. Medicine being what it was during the years of the American Civil War, he dies in agony 5 days later.

Creighton was the first true baseball superstar, and his monument in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery is rather outlandish. Had this not happened to him, he could have lived to see baseball in the 20th Century.

Also buried in Green-Wood are pioneer sportswriter Henry Chadwick, Dodger owner Charles Ebbets, actor DeWolf Hopper (famed for his recitings of "Casey at the Bat"), "Theme from New York, New York" lyricist Fred Ebb, conductor Leonard Bernstein, pianomaker Henry Steinway; Theodore Roosevelt's parents, uncle and 1st wife; minister Henry Ward Beecher; publishers Horace Greeley, Henry J. Raymond and James Gordon Bennett (on whose land the 1st Polo Grounds was built), and reporter Nellie Bly; artists Nathaniel Currier and James Ives, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Jean-Michel Basquiat; inventors Samuel Morse and Elias Howe; New Jersey's 1st Governor William Livingston; the people for whom the male and female components of New Jersey's State University are named, Henry Rutgers and Mabel Smith Douglass; New York Governor DeWitt Clinton and "Boss" William Tweed; actors Lola Montez, Laura Keene (onstage when Lincoln was shot) and Frank Morgan (the title role in The Wizard of Oz); and mob boss Albert Anastasia and the man often suspected of killing him, "Crazy" Joey Gallo.

October 13, 1868: Charles W. Somers -- I can find no record of what the W stands for -- is born in Cleveland. A coal executive, in 1901 he founded the teams that became known as the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. American League founder Ban Johnson, a friend of his, made it legal under League rules. At the same time, he helped finance other AL teams, essentially keeping the League afloat along with Johnson.

Because of him, the team originally known as the Boston Americans was nicknamed the Somersets. He sold the team in 1903, a few weeks before it won the 1st World Series. He had to sell the Indians in 1916, having lost a lot of money trying to keep the Federal League out of Cleveland. He was able to rebuild his fortune, and was worth about $3 million -- about $57.4 million today -- when he died in 1934.

October 13, 1876: George Edward Waddell is born in Bradford, Pennsylvania. It's hard to describe Rube Waddell, as he was one of a kind. That's probably a good thing.

Early in his career, most of which was spent with the Philadelphia Athletics, he left the pitcher's mound in midgame, to go fishing. He had a longstanding fascination with fire trucks, and had run off the field to chase after them -- again, during games. He was easily distracted by opposing fans who held up puppies or shiny objects, which seemed to put him in a trance on the mound.

An alcoholic for much of his short adult life, he reported spent his entire first signing bonus on a drinking binge. The Sporting News called him "the sousepaw." He performed as an alligator wrestler in the offseason. His eccentric behavior led to constant battles with his managers, and scuffles with bad-tempered teammates.

His usual catcher, Ossee Schreckengost, was assigned to room with him. In those days, teams were usually either so hard-up for cash, or so cheap, that they rented rooms with 1 bed each, and forced the players to sleep in the same bed. One day, "Schreck" went to see manager and part-owner Connie Mack, and told him that he would quit baseball if it wasn't written into Waddell's contract that he couldn't eat crackers in bed. (Thus possibly inspiring a "Bert and Ernie" sketch on Sesame Street.) Mack agreed.

Explanations for Rube's weird behavior have ranged from him being retarded, to autism, to his having, as one more recent reviewer of his life put it, the worst case of attention-deficit disorder he'd ever known.

But, on the mound, he was a genius. He pitched 6 seasons for the A's, 1902 to 1907, and led both Leagues in strikeouts all 6 times. In 1904, he struck out 349 batters, a major league record until Sandy Koufax got 382 in 1965, and an American League record until Nolan Ryan got 383 in 1973. (For many years, it was recorded as 343, making Bob Feller's 348 in 1946 the presumed AL record.) The A's won the Pennant in 1902, and again in 1905, a season in which Rube led the AL in wins, ERA and strikeouts, a feat now considered the Triple Crown of pitching.

But in 1908, even the kindly and pitching-concerned Mack could no longer ignore his players' inability to handle Rube's eccentricities, and he sold Rube to the St. Louis Browns for $5,000. That season, Rube struck out 16 batters in a game, an AL record until Feller fanned 17 in a 1936 game. But his drinking got worse, and he last pitched in 1910, finishing 193-146, with 2,316 strikeouts, then more than any pitcher except Cy Young.

It wasn't alcoholism or non-understanding teammates or even a jealous husband or boyfriend -- he said he'd lost track of how many women he'd married, but it was at least 3 -- but tuberculosis. He died on the eve of the 1914 season, just 37 years old. Schreckengost outlived him by only 3 months, dying at 39 from uremia, which could be properly treated once antibiotics were invented, but not then.

More than half a century later, Casey Stengel, who'd batted against Waddell, compared him with Feller and Koufax, saying, "You can forget about Feller. You can forget Waddell. The Jewish kid is the greatest of them all." That Casey was willing to remind people of how great Rube was, so long after he was gone, says something. So does the fact that he was willing to compare Rube to Feller and Koufax. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946.

Also on this day, William Edward Donovan is born outside Boston in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The pitcher went 186-139 in a major league career that lasted from 1898 to 1918, including winning National League Pennants with the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers) in 1899 and 1900, and American League Pennants with the Detroit Tigers in 1907, 1908 and 1909.

"Wild Bill" managed the Yankees in 1915, '16 and '17, making him the 1st manager hired by new owner Jacob Ruppert. "The Colonel" fired him and replaced him with Miller Huggins, and the rest is history. He briefly managed the Philadelphia Phillies in 1921, and, as manager of the New Haven Profs was on a train going to the winter meetings in Chicago on December 9, 1923, when it crashed in Ripley, New York, killing him at age 47.

October 13, 1885: The Georgia School of Technology is founded in Atlanta. It was renamed the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1948. "Georgia Tech" is renowned for its engineering school, and frequently for its sports. Its teams are called the Yellow Jackets and the Rambling Wreck, which is also the nickname for a 1930 Ford Model A that leads the players onto the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field.

Although it's been modernized so many times that it no longer looks like an old stadium, Grant Field is the oldest stadium in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A): 1913. Their fight song is also regarded as one of the most popular: "I'm a Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech." And its rivalry with the University of Georgia, 62 miles away in Athens, is one of the nastiest in the game, usually played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, sometimes even on T-Day itself.

October 13, 1889, 130 years ago: The Brooklyn Bridegrooms -- so named because 4 of their players had gotten married during the previous off-season -- defeat the Columbus Solons, 2-1 at Recreation Park in Columbus. This clinches the American Association Pennant for the 'Grooms.

In 1890, the Brooklyn club will join the National League, and win the Pennant again. They will win 12 NL Pennants, making 13 in total. They will use various names, until 1932, when they will formally adopt a nickname they'd been informally called almost since the beginning, since Brooklynites were known for having to dodge the many trolleys that crossed the Borough: The Brooklyn Dodgers.


October 13, 1891: Fred Drury McMullin is born in Scammon, Kansas. A 3rd baseman, he was a backup infielder on the Chicago White Sox team that won the 1917 World Series. He was still there in 1919, and overheard Arnold "Chick" Gandil and Oscar "Happy" Felsch talking about fixing the World Series. He demanded in on it, in exchange for his silence, even though his chances of playing in the Series weren't good.

But he may have had more to do with making the fix work than anyone: As a reserve, and not needed to play every day, he was allowed to be the advance scout, going to the Cincinnati Reds' games and writing down what to expect from them. He gave false reports to the White Sox' pitchers, other than Eddie Cicotte and Claude "Lefty" Williams, who were in on the fix. He did get into 2 games in the Series, which the Reds won 5 games to 3. He was banned late in the 1920 season, never discussed the scandal publicly, and lived until 1952.

October 13, 1893: Charles Harry Spalding is born in Philadelphia. Known as Dick Spalding, he was briefly an outfielder for the 1927 Washington Senators and the 1928 Philadelphia Athletics.

But he was also one of the founding fathers of American soccer, touring neutral Scandinavia with the national team during World War I in 1916. He was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame shortly after his death in 1950. He didn't quite live long enough to see the year's epic World Cup win over England.

October 13, 1894, 125 years ago: For the 1st time, Liverpool Football Club and Everton Football Club play each other, in a Football League Division One match at Everton's home, Goodison Park, in Liverpool. Everton win this 1st "Merseyside Derby," 3-0.

Also on this day, Charles August Risberg is born in San Francisco. A shortstop, "Swede" Risberg was, like McMullin, a member of the 1917 World Champion Chicago White Sox. But, also like McMullin, he was one of the 8 White Sox players who helped fix the 1919 World Series. Since his ban, he had worked on a dairy farm, in a tavern, and at a lumber mill. He was the last survivor of the 8, dying on his 81st birthday, October 13, 1975, in Red Bluff, Northern California.

In the 1988 film Eight Men Out, the 8 were played by: Risberg, Don Harvey; McMullin, Perry Lang; Gandil, the ringleader, Michael Rooker; Felsch, Charlie Sheen, who later played Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn in the Major League films; Cicotte, David Strathairn; Williams, James Read; "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, whose election to the Hall of Fame was prevented by the scandal, D.B. Sweeney; and George "Buck" Weaver, who knew about the scandal, refused to participate, but was indicted and banned anyway for not reporting it, John Cusack.

In the 1989 film Field of Dreams -- full of inaccuracies, but a much happier ending -- they are played by: Risberg, Charles Hoyes; Gandil, Art LaFleur, who later played Babe Ruth in The Sandlot; Cicotte, Steven Eastin; Jackson, Ray Liotta; Weaver, Michael Milhoan; and McMullin, Felsch and Williams are not credited.

October 13, 1895: Michael Gazella (no middle name) is born in Olyphant, Pennsylvania, outside Scranton. A 3rd baseman, his career was unremarkable, other than that he played on 3 straight Pennant winners, the historic 1926, '27 and '28 Yankees. But of the 3 World Series the team played in, he played in only the '26 edition, which the Yankees lost.

Still, Mike Gazella gets remembered as one of the '27 and '28 Yankees, and he was invited to a 50th Anniversary celebration at Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium in 1977. He was killed in a car crash in Texas the next year, age 82.

On the same day, Benjamin Edwin Paschal is born in Enterprise, Alabama. An outfielder, Ben was Gazella's teammate on the 1926-28 Yankees, winning those '27 and '28 World Series. Essentially what we would now call a "Quadruple-A" player, too good for the minors but never really sticking in the majors, he only had 887 major league plate appearances, 672 of them in 1925 and '26, but he did hit .309 for his career. He died in 1974, at 79.

Also on this day, John P. Loftus is born in Chicago. (I can find no record of what the P stands for.) Johnny Loftus won the 1916 Kentucky Derby aboard the horse George Smith. He became the 1st jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes all in the same year, 1919 -- the feat that would become known as the Triple Crown. His horse was Sir Barton.

He also rode Man o' War in his 1st 9 races, winning 8, but losing to the horse named Upset in the Sanford Memorial Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. (The term "upset" to describe an unexpected victory was already in place, but this helped embed it in the American lexicon.) He was denied a renewal of his license to race for 1920, and retired to become a trainer. He was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and died in 1976.

October 13, 1896: For his contributions to the game, the National League, already notorious for its penny-pinching, awards the 1st real sportswriter in America, Henry Chadwick, a pension of $50 a month -- about $1,300 in today's money, or $15,600 a year.

Chadwick died on April 20, 1908, at the age of 83. So the NL ended up paying him $6,900 -- about $177,000 in today's money.

October 13, 1899: The Louisville Colonels score 4 runs in the 9th to take a 6-5 lead over the Pirates‚ but heavy black smoke from the Pittsburgh steel mills spills over the field, and the game is called because of poor visibility. The score reverts to what it was at the end of the previous inning: Pirates 5, Colonels 2. The Colonels, led by shortstop Honus Wagner, end the season today in 9th place, at 75-77.

This turns out to be their last game, as the NL contracts from 12 to 8 teams for the 1900 season. The Pirates' owners buy the Colonels franchise, lock, stock and Honus, and will win 4 of the next 10 NL Pennants, and will at least be in the race for most of the rest. Louisville has since been one of the top minor-league cities of the last 117 years, but it has never returned to the major leagues.

Charlie Emig, a lefthanded pitcher from Cincinnati, who started 1 game for the Colonels in 1896, was not only the club's last surviving player, but also the last surviving man who had played a Major League Baseball (as we would now call it) game in the 19th Century. He died on October 2, 1975, age 100.  


October 13, 1903: The Boston Americans, forerunners of the Red Sox, win the 1st World Series, 5 games to 3, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-0 in Game 8. Hobe Ferris singles home 2 runs in the 4th, and Bill Dineen, pitching his 3rd win of the Series, outduels Deacon Phillippe, pitching his 5th complete game. Boston is the champion of the baseball world.

As with my previous mention of the 1904 Americans/Red Sox, the last survivor was shortstop Freddy Parent, who lived on until 1972. Right fielder Tommy Leach was the last surviving 1903 Pirate, living until 1969.

October 13, 1905: Coloman Braun-Bogdan is born in Arad, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After the empire was broken up following World War I, he became one of the 1st great soccer players in Romania. He starred as a midfielder in the national capital of Bucarest, playing for Juventus București, the club now known as Petrolul Ploiești (having moved to Ploiești, the nation's 3rd-largest city in 1952). Already manager of that club while still playing for it, he led Romania into the 1938 World Cup.

In 1947, Steaua București were founded, and he was named their 1st manager. In 1948, Dinamo
București were founded, and he was named their 1st manager. So he was the founding manager of his country's 2 most successful clubs, although he didn't stick around long enough to lead either to a title. He went back to his hometown, and managed UTA Arad to the 1953 Romanian Cup and the 1954 Romanian League title.

He retired from management after the 1965 season. He wrote 2 books about the sport: From the World of the Round Ball and Football As a Joke. He died in 1983, age 77, essentially the founding father of Romanian soccer.

October 13, 1906: Woolwich Arsenal travel to Bristol and beat Bristol City 3-1. A report in the Bristol Evening News mentions supporters of The Arsenal who worked in the torpedo factory at the actual Woolwich Arsenal in Southeast London, letting off fireworks. They call the team "the Gunners," and this popularizes the name.

Eventually, well after moving to North London and dropping the geographic identifier "Woolwich," fans of Arsenal would be called "Gooners."

October 13, 1909: Herbert Lawrence Block is born in Chicago. He began his journalistic career as an editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Daily News, then for a Cleveland-based syndicate, served in World War II, and worked for The Washington Post from 1946 until his death in 2001, just before his 92nd birthday.

On March 29, 1950, his "tower of tarbuckets" cartoon lampooned Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. Although McCarthy's slanderous approach to attacking his enemies, in the guise of fighting Communism, had been around for 10 years (a conservative Democrat, Representative Martin Dies Jr. of Texas, had been doing it since 1940), it was this cartoon by "Herblock" that coined the term "McCarthyism," and the technique has been called this ever since.

He was awarded Pulitzer Prizes in 1942, 1954, 1973 and 1979, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 -- from Bill Clinton, after Lyndon Johnson canceled his plan to give it to him in 1967. Herblock had drawn LBJ with a prostitute on his arm, labeled "Vietnam Spending," and had him tell a thin woman in a ragged dress, labeled "The Poor," "There's plenty for both of you. Now, don't you feel better?"


October 13, 1914 The Boston Braves defeat the Philadelphia Athletics, 3-1, at Fenway Park in Game 4, and complete the 1st-ever sweep of a World Series. The "Miracle Braves" completed one of the most amazing seasons any baseball team had ever had, although it is nearly forgotten now, partly because of the passage of time, meaning that just about everybody who attended a game of theirs is now dead (if not, he would probably be at least 110 years old), and partly because the Braves have since moved twice. 

The Braves -- so named because team owner James Gaffney was a "Brave," an official in New York's Tammany Hall Democratic political machine -- were in last place on July 4, but went on a tear, and won the Pennant by 10 1/2 games over the 3-time defending Champion New York Giants. Then they demolished the A's, who had won 3 of the last 4 World Series.

They were managed by George Stallings, and had 2 future Hall-of-Famers: Johnny Evers, the 2nd baseman who had starred on the Chicago Cub Pennant winners of 1906-07-08-10, and Walter "Rabbit" Maranville, a rookie who would go on to be known for slick fielding and heavy drinking. Catcher Hank Gowdy was also considered a star. Their leading hitters were 1st baseman Butch Schmidt and left fielder Joe Connolly, while their top pitchers were Dick Rudolph, Bill James (no relation to the baseball stats guru of the same name) and Cuban star Adolfo "Dolf" Luque.

The Braves had abandoned their 43-year-old home field, the antiquated and too-small South End Grounds, in August 1914, choosing to rent Fenway from the Sox while awaiting construction of Braves field, which would seat 40,000 when it opened in August 1915. When the Sox won the Pennant in 1915, 1916 and 1918, the Braves returned the favor of 1914 by letting the Sox play their Series games at Braves Field. Despite the Sox winning 3 Pennants in 4 years, there were no World Series games played at Fenway between 1912 and 1946.

Fighting the rise of salaries caused by the Federal League, A's owner-manager Connie Mack sold off most of his stars after this Series, ending a run of 4 Pennants and 3 World Championships in 5 seasons. In fact, he had won 6 of the 1st 14 AL Pennants and was in the race nearly every year. In 1915, the A's would collapse to last place, and in 1916 they would produce a record of 36-117, the most losses in the major leagues between the 1899 Cleveland Spiders and the 1962 New York Mets, and still the lowest winning percentage since 1899, .235.

The Braves would not be unable to maintain their prosperity, either. They finished 2nd in 1915 and 3rd in '16, but in '17, Gowdy became the 1st big-leaguer to enlist in World War I. (In fact, he would go on to become the only big-leaguer to serve in that war and World War II.) 

Like the A's, the Braves would go on to become symbolic of baseball frustration: From 1917 to 1932, the Braves would have one season above .500, and 4 seasons of at least 100 losses. A 4th-place finish in 1933 was followed by a 38-115 season in 1935, a .248 winning percentage that’s the lowest in baseball in the last 98 years and the lowest in the NL in 115, even less than the 40-120 '62 Mets' .250. Not until 1947 would they get back into a Pennant race, not until 1948 would they win another Pennant, and by the time they won another World Series, 1957, they would be in Milwaukee, and the Red Sox would be in Boston all alone.

Braves Field saw only 1 more Series, in 1948. It has not been totally demolished: The right field pavilion is now Nickerson Field, the sports stadium for Boston University, and the iconic Spanish-style ticket booth is now BU's police headquarters. Like Fenway, it can be seen from the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The last survivor from the 1914 Braves was shortstop Jack Martin. A native of Plainfield, New Jersey, he later lived in the Shore town of Brick, and died in 1980, a few days after attending Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. At the time of his death, he was also the last living New York Highlander (as the Yankees were called until 1912), and the oldest living Phillie.
The Atlanta Braves hardly even acknowledge their Boston past, as none of the Braves' 4 National Association and 11 National League Pennants, including the 1914 World Series title, were acknowledged with the Pennants on the façade of the left-field stands at Turner Field. (Nor are their 1957 World Series and 1958 Pennant win from Milwaukee. It remains to be seen how, if at all, they will display their pre-Atlanta history at SunTrust Park.) The closest the Braves come to honoring their Boston history in any way is the retired Number 21 of Warren Spahn, who debuted with Boston 28 years after the last Boston title.

From 1871 (the founding year of the National Association) through 1914, the Boston Red Stockings/Beaneaters/Rustlers/Doves/Braves won 13 Pennants in 44 years, an enviable achievement that marked them as the most successful sports franchise in North America to that point. In the 102 years since, they've won a grand total of 8 -- only 3 in the 76 seasons from 1915 to 1990. In Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta, they have been one of the more underachieving sports franchises of the last 100 years. Maybe their World Series wins of 1957 and 1995 were the real "miracles."

October 13, 1915: The Red Sox beat the Phillies 5-4 in Game 5, and win the World Series. The Sox would get to the next World Series, and another 2 years later. The Phillies would not get to another for 35 years.

This would be the last game in a Boston uniform for their superstar center fielder, Tris Speaker, who is soon traded to the Cleveland Indians. The trade doesn't hurt the Sox much, though, as a new star had his 1st full season in 1915, although he did not appear in the Series: Babe Ruth.

The last survivor of the 1915 Red Sox was pitcher Smokey Joe Wood, who lived until 1985.

October 13, 1917: "The Miracle of the Sun" takes place in Fátima, Portugal. Supposedly, the Sun did unusual things over the city, a "miracle" performed by the Virgin Mary. Although the official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that this happened, scientists have explained it as people staring at the Sun, until their vision was damaged enough to "play tricks on them."

October 13, 1918: Samuel Hamilton "Hamby" Shore dies of the "Spanish Flu" epidemic in Ottawa. A defenseman, he had on the Stanley Cup with the Ottawa Silver Seven, forerunners of the Ottawa Senators, in 1905, 1910 and 1911. He was only 32.

Also on this day, Robert Hudson Walker is born in Salt Lake City. For a time, the actor was married to actress Jennifer Jones, and, together, they starred in the 1944 film Since You Went Away. In 1946, he played songwriter Jerome Kern in Till the Clouds Roll By, and composer Johannes Brahms in Song of Love the following year. (Composer biographies were a big thing in the 1940s.)

In 1951, Walker played Bruno Antony, the aptly-named antagonist in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller
Strangers On a Train. But he was, himself, a good study for a Hitchcock film, as he had been dealing with mental illness, which led to alcoholism. On August 28, 1951, just 2 months after that film was released, he died from a fatal combination of alcohol and a barbiturate. He wasn't quite 33 years old.

Jones lived until 2009. Her son with Walker, also named Robert Walker, became an actor, and is best known for the title role in the early Star Trek episode "Charlie X." He is still alive, age 79.

October 13, 1919, 100 years ago: Leeds City Football Club are expelled from the Football League for financial irregularities. Their directors and their manager are banned from English football for life. The club is replaced by a new team, Leeds United, who take over the Elland Road ground, and, in the late 1960s, became one of England's top teams.

In 1921, another Yorkshire team, Huddersfield Town, wanted to hire the former Leeds City manager. They appealed his lifetime ban. Since no proof was ever found that he was involved in the irregularities, the ban was lifted. His name was Herbert Chapman. Between Huddersfield and Arsenal, he would build teams that won 8 League Championships.


October 13, 1920: La Raine Johnson is born in Roosevelt, Utah. By the late 1930s, she was acting under various names, eventually settling on "Laraine Day." Her 2nd husband was baseball manager Leo Durocher, and she hosted the TV pregame show Day With the Giants.

Despite marrying 3 times, and being married to Durocher with his myriad immoralities, she remained a devout Mormon until her death in 2007. She had 5 children, none with Leo the Lip. Leo died in 1991, and when he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1994, she gave his induction speech. By this point, her all-but-retirement from acting to raise her children with her 3rd husband, and her long support for Richard Nixon and other Republican causes, meant that anybody who attended that ceremony -- including myself, there for Phil Rizzuto -- knew her only as a former Mrs. Durocher.

October 13, 1921: For the last time, the World Series is a best-5-out-of-9 affair. Game 8 is played at the Polo Grounds, home for one more season after this of both the National League's Giants and the American League's Yankees. George "Highpockets" Kelly of the Giants hits a ball through the legs of Yankee shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh in the 1st, scoring a run. It is the 1st time Peckinpaugh has blown it in a Series game, but it will not be the last.

The game is still 1-0 in the 9th, when Aaron Ward draws a walk with 1 out. Frank "Home Run" Baker, previously a Series star for Connie Mack's A's against the Giants, hits a line shot that Giant 2nd baseman Johnny Rawlings snares, and throws to 1st to get Baker with the 2nd out. Ward, thinking the ball had gone through, heads for 3rd base, and Kelly throws across the infield to Frankie Frisch, and Ward is out on the double play. That's the game, and the 1st "Subway Series" (although the term wouldn't be used until the Yankee-Giant Series of 1936 and '37), as the Giants win, 5 games to 3.

For the Giants, it is their 2nd World Series win, their 1st since 1905. For Giants manager John McGraw, it is proof that his scrappy, run-scratching, pitching-and-defense-leading style of baseball, is better than the Yankee style, which is to get guys on base and wait for someone (most likely Babe Ruth, who was ineffective in this Series) to hit a home run. For the Yankees, their 1st World Series ends in disappointment. They will, however, be back.

The last survivor of the '21 Giants was Kelly, who died in 1984, 35 years ago today, exactly 63 years after this triumph.

Also on this day, Louis Henry Saban is born in Brookfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He played linebacker for Paul Brown on the Cleveland Browns, winning all 4 All-America Football Conference titles, 1946 to '49.

He did not play in the NFL. Rather, when the Browns joined in 1950, Saban was offered the head coaching job at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University. Like later coaches Larry Brown in basketball and Harry Redknapp in soccer, he would be known for never staying at a single job for very long.

His last head coaching job was at Chowan University, a Division II school in North Carolina. In between, he would be the head coach at Northwestern, Western Illinois, Maryland, Miami University (of Ohio), Army, Central Florida, SUNY-Canton, the Boston Patriots, the Denver Broncos, and the Buffalo Bills on 2 separate occasions.

He is the only man ever to coach the Bills in a season in which they went as far as the rules would allow them to go, winning the 1964 and '65 American Football League Championships. Typical Bills luck, these would be the last 2 AFL Champions who would not face the NFL Champions in a world championship game, a.k.a. the Super Bowl. 

Lou died in 2009. You may know him best as the father of Nick Saban, winner of National Championships at Louisiana State and Alabama.

October 13, 1922: Clifton Nathaniel is born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and grows up in Chicago. At some point, his name was reversed to Nathaniel Clifton, shortened to Nat, and his life of soda got him nicknamed Sweetwater. He played for 3 legendary teams in black American sports: Baseball's Chicago American Giants, and basketball's New York Renaissance and Harlem Globetrotters.

Basketball had 3 "Jackie Robinsons." The way it worked out, Chuck Cooper was the 1st black player drafted by an NBA team, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton was the 1st signed to a contract, and Earl Lloyd was the 1st who actually got into a game. Clifton was already 28 when he made his Knicks debut, but in his 1st seasons, 1950-51, 1951-52, and 1952-53, the Knicks won the Eastern Division Championship. But they lost the NBA Finals all 3 times.

He was named an All-Star in 1957 -- at age 34. He became a cabdriver in New York, died in 1990, and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. Considering his significance to their history, and how rarely it's given out, maybe the Knicks should retire his Number 8.

October 13, 1923: Game 4 of the World Series. A 6-run 2nd inning leads the Yankees to an 8-4 win over the Giants, and ties up the Series.

Also on this day, Memorial Stadium opens on the campus of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers are not yet arch-rivals with the University of Oklahoma, but that's who they play in the 1st game, and they beat the Sooners 24-0. Every seat in the stadium has been sold for every game since 1962 -- and that seating capacity is now 85,458. It is known as the Sea of Red. In 1999, the playing surface was renamed Tom Osborne Field for their former head coach and athletic director.

Also on this day, Servaas Wilkes is born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. For much of his youth, soccer in his country was amateur-only. So when the forward for Xerxes Rotterdam had the chance to turn professional, by Internazionale Milano offering him a contract, he took it -- and from June 1949 until professionalism was allowed in March 1955, "Faas" Wilkes was prohibited from playing for the Dutch national team. (This had also happened to some German players of the er.)

He didn't win any trophies in Italy with Inter, and only won minor trophies in Spain with Valencia and Levante. But he scored 221 goals in his career, making him the all-time leading scorer among Dutch-born players from 1959 to 1998. He died in 2006, age 82.

October 13, 1924: Charles Anthony Ryan Silvera is born in San Francisco. He was Yogi Berra's backup catcher on the Yankees from 1948 to 1956, and, despite coming to the plate only 484 times for the Bronx Bombers, was on 7 World Series rosters: 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1956, winning all of those but '55. But Game 2 in '49 was the only Series game he got into, going hitless in 2 at-bats as Preacher Roe of the Brooklyn Dodgers shut the Yankees out. He died this past September 7, age 94.

October 13, 1925: Leonard Alfred Schneider is born in Mineola, Long Island, New York. We knew him as Lenny Bruce. According to sportswriter Dick Schaap, who collaborated with Lenny on his book Stamp Help Out!, Lenny attended only 1 Major League Baseball game in his short life (he died from drugs on August 3, 1966). It was as Schaap's guest, as a birthday present. It was October 13, 1960, and it was Game 7 of the World Series, the Bill Mazeroski Game. Lenny wasn't a baseball fan, but he told Schaap he liked the drama.

Also on this day, Margaret Hilda Roberts is born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England. How about that: Lenny Bruce and Margaret Thatcher were born on the exact same day. He didn't live long enough to have heard of her. If he had, with his sick sense of humor, I suspect there would have been a few jokes about her sex life (possibly suggesting that she had none), and about Bobby Sands (possibly, "For letting him starve, she can eat me!") and the Brighton Bombing.

One thing's for sure: "The Iron Lady" treated all English soccer fans as if they were hooligans. She is widely believed to have been involved in the cover-up of the police's actions, both the negligent ones and the intentionally harmful ones, at the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster on April 15, 1989.

When her friend and fellow 1980s conservative icon, Ronald Reagan, died in 2004, most of his political opponents maintained a respectful silence. When the Iron Bitch died in 2013, a majority of Great Britain cheered, and was more than willing to say what a horrible person she was.

October 13, 1926: Edward Frederick Joseph Yost is born in Brooklyn. Best known as a 3rd baseman for the Washington Senators (the ones who became the Minnesota Twins), Eddie Yost batted just .254 lifetime, but drew so many walks that his on-base percentage was .394. He was an All-Star in 1952, and closed his career as an original member of the Los Angeles Angels in 1961 and '62. He hit 139 home runs, 28 of them to lead off a game, a record at the time. He also set American League records for chances, putouts and assists by a 3rd baseman, all later broken by Brooks Robinson.

He coached with the new Senators (the ones who became the Texas Rangers), managing them for 1 game in 1963, and when Gil Hodges, the new manager, was named manager of the Mets in 1968, he took Yost with him. He stayed with the Mets through 1976, including their World Champions of 1969 and Pennant winners of 1973. He coached on the Red Sox under Don Zimmer and Ralph Houk from 1977 to 1984, meaning he was in the Boston dugout for the Bucky Dent Game. He died in 2012.

Also on this day, Edward Władysław Spulnik is born in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit. He later anglicized his name (sort of) to Walter Kowalski, and became pro wrestler Killer Kowalski. He wrestled from 1947 to 1977, becoming one of the best-known villains (or "heels") in the business.

In 1952, he tore Yukon Eric's ear off at the Montreal Forum -- an ear that was already badly damaged, as it turned out. The 2 Canadian mat icons remained friends outside the ring. In 1958, he accidentally kicked the referee in the stomach at the Boston Garden, sending him to the hospital. The referee was boxing legend Jack Dempsey.

At 6-foot-7, Killer was one of the tallest wrestlers of his time. In 1972, he pinned Andre the Giant at the Colisée de Quebec -- but a photo of the 2, showing the 7-foot-4 Andre towering over the Killer, helped make Andre famous in North America.

After his retirement, Killer established a wrestling school in the Boston suburbs, producing, among others, Paul "Triple H" Levesque and Joanie "Chyna" Laurer. Killer died in 2008.

October 13, 1927: Arlington Park opens in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights. Now officially named Arlington International Racecourse, this track, with a 41,000-seat grandstand, has been the Chicago area's -- indeed, the Midwest's -- leading horse racing facility since it opened.

Jimmy Jones, the Hall of Fame trainer of 1948 Triple Crown winner Citation, and late 1950s Kentucky Derby winners Iron Liege and Tim Tam, said, "Arlington Park became the finest track in the world, certainly the finest I've ever been on."

In the spirit of Chicago's tendency toward innovation, Arlington Park was the 1st track to install a public address system, hiring horse racing's top radio announcer of the time, Clem McCarthy, to speak over it. It added the sport's 1st electronic tote board and clock in 1933, the 1st photo finish camera in 1936, and the 1st electric starting gate in 1940. One of the earliest televised major horse races was held there in 1955, with Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes winner Nashua defeating Kentucky Derby winner Swaps.

In 1973, hoping to lure Triple Crown winner Secretariat to the Midwest, the track's owners created the Arlington Invitational. It worked: Secretariat's owner, Penny Chenery, accepted the challenge, and Secretariat won the race. The race was renamed the Secretariat Stakes the following year, and is still run.

On August 31, 1981, it hosted the 1st thoroughbred race with a $1 million payout, the Arlington Million. That may not sound like a big deal today, but in 1981, when horse racing was a lot bigger than it is now, and an athlete earning $1 million in a season was a new phenomenon, it was huge. (With inflation, that $1 million would be worth about $2.77 million today.) John Henry was the winner, with Bill Shoemaker aboard.

A fire burned down the original 1927 grandstand in 1985, and the track reopened in 1989. In the interim, its meets were moved to Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney, home of the Illinois Derby. It shut down again from 1998 to 2000, for a renovation  that allowed it to host the 2002 Breeders' Cup.

October 13, 1928: Arizona Stadium opens on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson. Seating just 7,000 upon its opening -- Arizona had only been a State since 1912, and was still very sparsely populated -- it now seats 55,675. The Wildcats beat Pomona College, of Southern California, 13-6.

Also on this day, Arsenal purchase the contract of David Jack from Bolton Wanderers. Legend has it that Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman got the Bolton negotiators drunk in order to make the sale. Still, the price is a record for English football: £10,890.

Jack had already helped Bolton win the FA Cup in 1923 and 1926, and would help Arsenal do it in 1930, and win the League in 1931, 1933 and 1934. 

October 13, 1929, 90 years ago: Harold William Bradley Jr. is born in Chicago. A guard, and the son of early NFL player Harold Bradley Sr., he made them the 1st black father-son combination to play in the NFL. He is 1 of 6 surviving players from the Cleveland Browns' 1954 NFL Champions, and 1 of 8 from their 1955 NFL Champions.

In 1959, he left football, having earned a scholarship to study in Italy. He studied art, and in 1962 opened a studio in Rome to display and sell his paintings by day. He turned it into a jazz club by night, and that turned out to be considerably more profitable. It also helped him make connections that led to his being cast in 25 Italian films. He later went back to Illinois to teach, but has since returned to Italy, and still lives there at age 90.


October 13, 1931: Edwin Lee Mathews is born in Texarkana, Texas, and grows up in Santa Barbara, California. The Hall-of-Famer is the only man to have played for the Braves in Boston (his rookie season, 1952, was their last there), Milwaukee (all 13 years the franchise played there) and Atlanta (their first season there, 1966, was his last with the team).

His 47 home runs in 1953 was a franchise record, tied by teammate Hank Aaron in 1971, until Andruw Jones broke it with 51 in 2005. Mathews hit a 10th-inning walkoff home run to give the Braves Game 4 of the 1957 World Series, which they would win in 7 games. He hit his 500th career home run as a Houston Astro in 1967, finished his career as a World Champion with 512 home runs with the 1968 Detroit Tigers, and managed Aaron when he became the all-time home run leader in 1974.

The Braves retired Mathews' Number 41, and along with Mike Schmidt, George Brett and Brooks Robinson, he is one of the top 4 3rd basemen of all time -- or one of the top 5, if you count Alex Rodriguez as a 3rd baseman (and if you don't disqualify him for steroids use).

As great as Eddie was, he was not the greatest sports legend born on that day. That would be Raymond Kopasewski (no middle name), born in Nœux-les-Mines, Pas-de-Calais, France. A son of Polish immigrants, he shortened his name to Raymond Kopa, became an attacking midfielder, and helped Stade Reims win France's top division of soccer in 1953 and 1955. He helped them win the Latin Cup, the closest thing there was at the time to a European Cup/Champions League, in 1953. In 1956, he led them into the 1st European Cup Final, against Real Madrid, but lost.

Real must have seen something they liked, because they bought Kopa, and he helped them win La Liga in 1957 and 1958, and the European Cup in 1957, 1958 and 1959. In 1958, he helped France reach 3rd place at the World Cup (their best finish until winning it 1998), and was awarded the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball, for world player of the year). Real sold him back to Reims, and he led them to League titles in 1960 and 1962.

In 1970, France awarded him its Legion d'honneur, the 1st soccer player to receive the nation's highest honor. He died on March 3, 2017, at age 85.

October 13, 1932: Richard Anthony Barone is born in San Jose. A shortstop, he played all of 3 games in the major leagues, for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960. He came to bat just 6 times, and didn't get a hit. But he still made the World Series roster. And on his 28th birthday, although he didn't get into the game, the Pirates won the Series on Bill Mazeroski's home run. He died in 2015.

October 13, 1935: Bruce Meyerowitz is born in Brooklyn. You may not know his real name, and you may not know his face, but if you lived anywhere near New York in the 1960s and '70s, you know his voice.

He knew that having a Jewish name would hurt him in his chosen business, radio. (Maybe: Burton Mitchell Goldberg became B. Mitchell Reed. But maybe not: Jacob Spector became Jack Spector, and dropped a lot of Yiddish words on the air, and it didn't seem to hurt him. Both of them were from Brooklyn, too.) He told his then-girlfriend's mother that he was going to change his name for radio, and she told him to at least pick one with the same initial. So he opened a phone book to M, closed his eyes, and pointed. His finger landed on "Morrow." So he became Bruce Morrow.

That became his legal name, but it's not the name by which people would know him. In 1958, soon after joining legendary New York rock station WINS (they went all-news in 1964), a woman asked him, "Do you believe all people are related?" He said yes. She said, "Well, cousin, could you give me 50 cents for the bus?" He did. The word "cousin" stood out to him, and he started calling himself "Cousin Brucie" on the air. Best 50 cents he ever spent. (About $4.36 in 2018 money.)

From 1961 to 1974, he had the evening show on WABC, becoming the best-known disc jockey in the Eastern U.S. In 1971, afternoon host Dan Ingram complained that WABC was "only the 13th-ranked station... in Pittsburgh!" Which is 400 miles away.

When competitor WNBC hired the best-known DJ in the Western U.S., Robert Smith, a.k.a. Wolfman Jack, it was with the expressed purpose of breaking Brucie's stranglehold on the ratings. It failed. But Brucie was having problems with WABC, so WNBC struck while the iron was hot, and lured him away, giving him the Wolfman's slot, and keeping him until 1977, when Brucie decided that he'd had enough of the business.

As it turned out, what he'd really had enough of was not being able to call his own shots. He started buying small radio stations in New York State. From 1982 to 2005, given free reign by program director Joe McCoy (himself a former DJ on the station), he hosted a show on oldies station WCBS-FM on Saturday nights. Since then, he's been on Sirius Satellite Radio, and shows no sign of slowing down. So, as in the 1950s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and 2000s, if you've got a request, "Give the Cuz a buzz."

What does he have to do with sports? Not much, although disc jockeys are sometimes called "jocks." In the 1960s, WABC called their DJs "the All-Americans," in response to rival WMCA (featuring the aforementioned Reed and Spector) calling theirs "The Good Guys." When the Mets started in 1962, they did a cross-promotion with the WABC jocks, including Brucie. Always a Brooklynite (though he has long lived in the northern suburbs of The City), he was a Dodger fan, and made the adjustment to the Mets, though giving the Yankees their due when they win.

October 13, 1937: Adolph Bachmeier is born in Mihail Kogălniceanu, on the coast of the Black Sea in Romania. He lived his adult life in Chicago, and was probably the best soccer player living in America in the 1960s.

He played for amateur team Chicago Kickers, and in the original North American Soccer League for the Chicago Mustangs. Had the U.S. national team qualified for the 1964 or 1968 Olympics, or the 1966 or 1970 World Cup, he would have been the biggest reason. But losses to Haiti in the Spring of 1969 put an end to that dream.

He was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and died on July 21, 2016, at the age of 78.

Also on this day, Maurice Joseph Racine is born in Cornwall, Ontario. An offensive tackle and placekicker, "Moe the Toe" was a 4-time CFL All-Star, and helped the Ottawa Rough Riders win the Grey Cup in 1960, 1968, 1969 and 1973. He was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and when the Ottawa Redblacks were established to replace the Riders, they retired the Riders' retired numbers, including Racine's Number 62. He died in 2018, at age 80.

His son Bruce Racine was Tom Barrasso's backup as the goaltender on the Pittsburgh Penguins team that won the 1991 Stanley Cup. He later played for the St. Louis Blues, and remains in the St. Louis area, operating a goaltending school.


October 13, 1941: Jimmie William Price is born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A catcher, he played for the Detroit Tigers from 1967 to 1971, as backup to All-Star Bill Freehan. He only batted .214 lifetime, but he did fairly get a World Series ring in 1968. Since 1993, he has been a Tigers broadcaster.

Also on this day, Paul Frederic Simon is born in Newark, New Jersey, and grows up in Forest Hills, Queens. In 1967, looking around at a world seemingly falling apart, he wrote a song that was used in the film The Graduate: "Mrs. Robinson." A Yankee Fan, he included a tribute to a Yankee player who exemplified a seemingly (but hardly) simpler, more innocent time: "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you."

Simon later met DiMaggio, who was puzzled by the reference, saying, "I haven't gone anywhere." Simon explained that the line was a longing for what DiMaggio represented. When Mickey Mantle asked Simon why his name wasn't used, Simon, who turned 10 as DiMaggio was replaced by Mantle, said (correctly, if not honest about that being the reason) that the rhythm and the syllables of the song wouldn't have worked for Mantle's name. Besides, Mickey was still an active player when the song was released, if only for a few more months.

Simon recorded it with his singing partner, Art Garfunkel. "Mrs. Robinson" hit Number 1 in June 1968, and it was on top of the charts when Robert Kennedy was assassinated, making its search for meaning and hope even more poignant than it already was.

In 1972, now gone solo, Simon released "Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard." In 1988, he made a video of the song, filming it at Mathews-Palmer Playground, at 445 West 45th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. I
nd it shows him playing basketball (despite being only 5-foot-3), and then pitching (lefthanded) to kids in a stickball game.

And Mantle shows up. I guess Paul had to make it up to Mickey, and while Mickey whiffs on Paul's 1st pitch, Mickey blasts the next one, and then lip-synchs the title (though it's still Simon's voice we hear). Rappers Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie, basketball star Spud Webb and football coach-announcer John Madden also guest-starred.
Yes, it actually happened.

In 1999, after DiMaggio's death, his Plaque in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park was replaced by a Monument, and Simon stood in Joe's former position of center field, and, with Joltin' Joe truly having "left and gone away," played "Mrs. Robinson" before a sellout crowd.

Simon is a good friend of longtime Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels. The 1st time Simon & Garfunkel appeared together after their 1970 breakup was on one of the 1st SNL

episodes in 1975. Later that season, he appeared with former Beatle George Harrison. Together, they sang Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" and Simon's "Homeward Bound." He has appeared on the show more times than any other musical guest, and, to this day, SNL's closing theme is his 1976 hit "Still Crazy After All These Years."

Also on this day, John Augustine Snow is born in Peopleton, Worcestershire, England. I don't know what makes a cricket player great, but he was regarded as English cricket's best fast bowler (pitcher) of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Clearly, this John Snow knew something.

He starred for Sussex County Cricket Club (south of London, on the coast of the English Channel), and became world-famous for helping England defeat the West Indies in 1968 and Australia in 1971. He was not fond of the cricket authorities, and the feeling was mutual. He titled his memoir Cricket Rebel. He is still alive.

October 13, 1942: Robert Sherwood Bailey is born in the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach, California. Bob Bailey was a 3rd baseman, batting .257 over 17 seasons, playing his peak years with the Montreal Expos, winning the World Series with the 1976 Cincinnati Reds, and closing his career with the 1978 Red Sox -- so, like Eddie Yost, he was in the Boston dugout during the Bucky Dent Game.

He later became a coach, and was the last manager of the Hawaii Islanders as the franchise went bust in 1987. He died in 2018.

Also on this day, Jerral Wayne Jones is born in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California, but grows up in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Jerry was an offensive lineman and a co-captain of the University of Arkansas team that won a share of the 1964 National Championship, and one of his teammates was Jimmy Johnson.

Surprisingly, he was not drafted by a team in either the NFL or the AFL. Oh, how things might have been better if he had. After graduation, he worked for his father's insurance company, and quickly made enough money to buy the AFL's San Diego Chargers, but he passed up the chance (changing football history a 2nd time), and hotel titan Barron Hilton (Paris' grandfather) sold them to insurance executive and former auto dealer Gene Klein. He founded an energy company, and became perhaps the richest man in Arkansas not to be a member or an in-law of the Walton family of Walmart.

In 1989, he paid $140 million for the Dallas Cowboys, about $295 million in today's money. The team had just about bottomed out, and head coach Tom Landry probably should have retired, but he wouldn't. Jerry angered fans by firing Landry, but rebooting the organization was the right thing to do. He hired Jimmy Johnson as head coach, and, together, they built a champion in just 4 seasons, the team that won Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII and XXX, although Johnson wasn't around for the 3rd.

They squabbled intensely, Jimmy accusing Jerry of meddling in his player personnel decisions, and it's still not clear whether Jimmy was fired or resigned. (Yankee Fans will find this reminiscent of George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin.) They later patched things up. The 3rd title? Won by an assistant coach on that 1964 Arkansas team, Barry Switzer.

Jimmy had won a National Championship at Miami, and Switzer had won 2 at Oklahoma. They remain the only head coaches officially listed as winning both a college National Championship and an NFL Championship, under any name. (Pete Carroll won a Super Bowl, but the National Championships he won at USC have been stricken from the record.)

Despite all of Jerry's money, and the gigantic new AT&T Stadium he built in suburban Arlington -- some have nicknamed it Jerry World, others Jerrasic Park, others Jerry Jones' Death Star -- the Cowboys are now in their 24th season without having won another Super Bowl. Indeed, they haven't even gone to an NFC Championship Game in that time. Since Super Bowl XXX, they have gone just 4-10 in 3 Playoff games.

Yet, today, the team is worth about $5 billion, making it the wealthiest sports franchise in the world. (The Yankees? $4.6 billion. FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and, surprisingly, the Knicks are also said to be worth at least $4 billion.) With inflation, that's about 17 times what he paid for it. Jerry is having too much fun to sell the team.

Also on this day, Walter McGowan (no middle name) is born in in Hamilton, Scotland. He was Flyweight Champion of the World for 6 months in 1966. His career record was 32-7-1. He died in 2016, age 73.

October 13, 1944, 75 years ago: The Soviet Red Army retakes -- I won't say "liberates" -- Riga, the capital of Latvia, from the Nazis. Latvia remains under Soviet control until 1990.

October 13, 1946: Game 6 of the World Series is played at Sportsman's Park. The St. Louis Cardinals score 3 runs in the 3rd inning, and hold on for a 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox, and send the Series to a Game 7. It will prove to be one of the key games in Red Sox mythology -- and not in a good way.

Also on this day, Grady Demond Wilson is born in Valdosta, Georgia, and grows up in New York. Dropping his first name, Demond Wilson became a dancer and an actor. He is best known for playing Lamont Sanford, the "Son" on Sanford and Son.

In the 1982-83 season, he played Oscar Madison alongside Ron Glass' Felix Unger in The New Odd Couple, with many of the same storylines as ABC's 1st go-around with it, but with Felix and Oscar being black. (The Pigeon Sisters were also black, but the other guys -- Murray, Speed, et al. -- were white, as before.) I thought it was good, but ABC didn't bring it back for a 2nd season.

He became an ordained minister in 1984. In 2004, he played Kenneth Miles, Lynn's father, on Girlfriends. He hasn't acted since 2005, limiting himself to religious programming, often with his fellow 1970s and '80s acting star turned minister, Clifton Davis.

October 13, 1947: The 1st official National Hockey League All-Star Game is played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, home of the Stanley Cup holders, the Toronto Maple Leafs. An All-Star team made up of the NHL's other 5 teams at the time -- the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins, the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks -- beats the Leafs 4-3. Howie Meeker of the Leafs is the last surviving player from this game.

There had, sort of, been NHL All-Star Games before, staged benefits. In 1934, the Leafs had hosted one for Ace Bailey, their player who'd sustained a career-ending injury, beating a team made up of players from the rest of the league. In 1937, the Canadiens hosted one for the family of the late Howie Morenz, a combined Canadiens and Montreal Wanderers team losing to a team made up of the rest of the League. In 1939, the Canadiens, now alone in Montreal, hosted one for the family of the late Babe Siebert, losing to a team from the rest of the League.

From 1947 to 1965, the NHL opened its season with the All-Star Game, much as European sports leagues begin their seasons with exhibition games between the winners of the previous season's league title and national cup. For the 1966-67 season, it was switched to midseason, as MLB and the NBA do; as a result, there was no 1966 NHL All-Star Game.

In 1969, with expansion having come, it was no longer practical to have the defending champions take on the entire rest of the League, so it became Eastern Division vs. Western Division. This remained the format -- albeit with name changes, Prince of Wales Conference vs. Clarence Campbell Conference 1975 to 1993, and then Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference -- through 1997.

The NHL has tinkered with the format ever since. It was North America vs. the rest of the World from 1998 to 2002, then East vs. West again through 2009. Starting in 2011, team captains have chosen up sides. Since 2016, each period has been between All-Stars representing the various Divisions.

The game was canceled in 1979, replaced with the Challenge Cup between NHL All-Stars and the Soviet national team; in 1987, with another NHL vs. USSR match-up, the 3-game Rendez-Vous '87; in 1995, 2005 and 2013 due to the team owners' lockouts; and in 2006, 2010 and 2014 due to players being away for the Winter Olympics.

Also on this day, Jerome Michael Trupiano is born in St. Louis. Jerry Trupiano broadcast for the Howe-family-led Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Associatin, and also for Houston's Rockets, Oilers and Astros. He also broadcast for the Montreal Expos and the Boston Red Sox. In 2004, he got to broadcast the night the Sox won the World Series -- in his hometown of St. Louis, no less.

He is now the main sports anchor for Lexy.com, an audio social media company in San Francisco, and is the play-by-play voice of Fox College Sports' Ivy League football broadcasts.

October 13, 1949, years ago: Thomas E. Mees (I don't have a record of what the E stands for) is born in the Philadelphia suburb of Springfield, Pennsylvania. Tom Mees began his broadcasting career at the University of Delaware. In 1979, he was one of the original ESPN on-air personalities. On August 14, 1996, he, Chris Berman and Bob Ley were the only ones left. Unfortunately, on that day, he drowned in a neighbor's swimming pool in Southington, Connecticut, near the ESPN studios in Bristol. He was only 46.

He is buried in Holy Cross Burial Park in East Brunswick, New Jersey, about 3 miles from the house where I grew up. I don't know why: I'm not aware of any connection he had to East Brunswick. In 2005, he was posthumously elected to the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.

Also on this day, Marc Mandel is born in Manhattan. In 1972, he left New York for a Hollywood screenwriting career, and met Lowell Ganz. Ganz heard the name "Mandel," and was reminded of a character in Philip Roth's novel Portnoy's Complaint, and gave the character's nickname to Marc. Ever since, he's been known as Babaloo Mandel.

Ganz and Mandel have worked together ever since. Their big break was working on Happy Days. They kept going with series star Ron Howard, writing for him as he directed on Night Shift and

They worked lots of baseball references into their script for the Billy Crystal film City Slickers. Through Happy Days, they met Penny Marshall, star of the spinoff series Laverne & Shirley, and when she wanted to direct A League of Their Own, about the women's pro baseball league that began in World War II, they wrote the script.

They also wrote Forget Paris, in which Crystal plays a basketball referee; and the U.S. version of Fever Pitch, in which Jimmy Fallon tries to find a way to live with both the Boston Red Sox and Drew Barrymore. Their most recent film is Tooth Fairy, in which former college football player and "professional wrestler" Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays a hockey player nicknamed "The Tooth Fairy" because he knocks opponents' teeth out, and ends up having to become an actual tooth fairy.


October 13, 1950: All About Eve premieres. It's a classic film that I've never seen. But I've seen many a sporting event where I could have delivered Bette Davis' iconic line, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night." This is often incorrectly given as "a bumpy ride."

October 13, 1953: Patrick Alan Day is born in Brush, Colorado. A Hall of Fame jockey, Pat Day (not to be confused with the old Auburn football coach Pat Dye) won the 1992 Kentucky Derby aboard Lil E. Tee, 5 Preakness Stakes, 3 Belmont Stakes (including the 1989 race aboard Easy Goer, whom he called his favorite horse), and 4 Breeders' Cup Classics, including the inaugural aboard Wild Again in 1984. He retired in 2005, having won 8,803 races, still the 4th-most all-time.

October 13, 1954: George Allen Frazier is born in Oklahoma City. He pitched for the Yankees, winning the 1981 AL Pennant, but ended up losing 3 games in the World Series. He is the only pitcher ever to do so, aside from Eddie Cicotte, and that should be discounted because he was one of the 1919 Black Sox.

George would reach the postseason again with the 1984 Chicago Cubs, and win a World Series in his last year in the majors, with the 1987 Minnesota Twins. He is now a broadcaster for the Colorado Rockies. His son Parker was drafted by the Rockies, but did not make the majors. His daughter Georgia was Miss Oklahoma 2015.

October 13, 1957: The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns, 24-7 at Connie Mack Stadium. A feud that had been brewing between the Eagles' Chuck Bednarik and the Browns' Chuck Noll (later to coach the Pittsburgh Steelers to 4 Super Bowl wins) comes to a boil.

Four years earlier, Bednarik, a center and a middle linebacker, had snapped the ball, and, in those days when facemasks were new and not every player had them, Noll clobbered the man known (for his offseason sales business, not his football toughness) as Concrete Charley. When Bednarik's vision cleared, he saw Noll walk away -- laughing, so he knew he had the right guy -- and took note of his uniform number (65, so he could look up the name later), and said, "You son of a bitch, I'll get you!"

For whatever reason, in 4 years, Bednarik hadn't gotten his revenge. But, in this game, he tosses Noll around like a rag doll. When the final whistle blows, Noll, having had enough of Bednarik's manhandling, comes at him -- with his helmet off. Big mistake. Noll says, "Are you ready, you... " And before Noll can call Bednarik whatever he meant to call him, Bednarik takes advantage of the unprotected head, and flattens Noll with one punch.

The result is a brawl that gets the attention of NFL Commissioner Bert Bell. Due to a quirk in the schedule, the same 2 teams were to meet again the very next week, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Bell, the founder and former owner of the Eagles franchise, hauls Bednarik into his Philadelphia office, and tells him that, before taking the field in Cleveland, he has to go into the Browns' locker room, and apologize to Noll in front of his teammates, or face what would have been, for that era, a huge fine.

The following Sunday, Bednarik does as Bell asked, and says to Noll, "I want to apologize for what happened in Philadelphia." Noll thought this over for a minute, and said, "Bullshit." Bednarik turned and began to walk off, having done his duty, for all the good it had done. But Noll then said, "All right, I accept your apology." The Browns won the game, 17-7.

Also on this day, Reginald Wayne Theus is born in Inglewood, California. Unlike fellow Inglewooder Jerry Jones, he did play professionally in his sport. A 2-time All-Star with the Chicago Bulls, he played the 1990-91 season with the New Jersey Nets, and recently ended a 5-year run as the head coach at California State University at Northridge. But his best-known coaching role is as Bull Fuller on the NBC kids' show Hang Time.

October 13, 1959, 60 years ago: Massimo Bonini is born in the City of San Marino, in the Republic of San Marino, a tiny nation surrounded by Italy, whose population of 33,562 could fit in any Major League Baseball stadium.

A 24-square-mile refuge of religious freedom since AD 301, it has deftly maintained its independence, getting it guaranteed by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797 and Giuseppe Garibaldi, unifier of Italy, in 1861. It is not a member of the European Union, but, like Italy, uses the euro as its currency (having used the lira before).

A midfielder, Bonini is easily the greatest Sammarinese soccer player ever. With Turin club Juventus, he won Serie A, the Italian league, in 1982, '84 and '86; the Coppa Italia in '83; the European Cup Winners' Cup in '84; and the European Cup in '85, the Final known as the Cup of Blood because of the tragedy before the game when 39 Juventus fans were killed.

The San Marino Football Federation was not recognized by UEFA until 1990. Until then, Sammarinese players were allowed to play for Italy, and Bonini played for Italy's Under-21 team. However, he anticipated recognition, and refused to give up his citizenship, and thus did not play a senior international match until San Marino was recognized in 1990, shortly after his 31st birthday. Being so small a nation, it has never qualified for the World Cup or the European Championships, and is regularly clobbered by the great powers of Europe. Bonini managed the national side in 1996 and '97.

Also on this day, Olive Marie Osmond is born in Ogden, Utah. Like her brother Donny, with whom she hosted a variety show on ABC from 1976 to 1979, Marie got her start with bland covers of 1950s and '60s pop hits. These days, she's probably best known for her commercials for Nutrisystem, which she claims helped her to lose 50 pounds.


October 13, 1960: Bill Mazeroski hits a home run off Yankee pitcher Ralph Terry in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 7 of the World Series, to give the Pittsburgh Pirates their 1st World Championship in 35 years.

Mazeroski is often called the greatest-fielding 2nd baseman in history. But he's primarily known for this home run -- which went about 420 feet, and may well have been the longest he ever hit. I honestly believe that if he hadn't hit it -- even if the Pirates had won the Series some other way -- he'd have been thought of first as the legendary glove man that he was, and he would have gotten into the Hall of Fame a lot sooner than he finally did, in 2001.

Today, William Stanley Mazeroski is 83 years old, retired and living in Panama City, Florida, and is a spring-training fielding instructor for the Pirates. The Pirates have retired his Number 9, and in 2010, on the 50th Anniversary of the homer, dedicated a statue to him outside PNC Park. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001, the same year PNC Park opened.
At a still-standing, ivy-covered piece of the
Forbes Field outfield wall, October 13, 2010,
the 50th Anniversary of the home run.

After the Series, Yankee owners Del Webb and Dan Topping fire manager Casey Stengel. They make Casey read a statement in which he says he is resigning. When Casey finishes reading the statement, he puts the paper down, and tells the press, "I guess this means they fired me." He later says that they forced him out due to his age: "I'll never make the mistake of being 70 again."

Competitively, firing Casey may have been the right decision: Ralph Houk managed the Yankees to the next 3 American League Pennants, and the next 2 World Championships. Given that 4 new teams were being expanded into existence, and managerial changes are common, the Yankees would have lost Houk if they hadn't made him manager.

Still, Casey was treated shabbily. Topping and Webb could have done something. Casey was rich, having made savvy investments when he was younger, and owning a bank in the Los Angeles suburbs where he lived in the off-season. They could have sold him a piece of the ownership. They could have made him a well-paid special consultant. They could have let him stay, or walk away, with dignity. Instead, they canned him. It would be 10 more years, after they sold the team, before new Yankee president Mike Burke invited Casey back, to make peace and to retire his Number 37.

The Bill Mazeroski Game was also the last game as Yankee general manager for George Weiss. For all his cheapness and bigotry, Weiss was an organizational genius. First as farm system director from 1932 to 1947, and then as GM, he helped to build 23 Pennants (counting the 4 won in the 4 years after he left), and 17 World Series.

But he saw the writing on the wall. He knew that the system he used, of trading multiple players, usually a mix of over-the-hill veterans and prospects, for 1 of 2 players who could help the Yankees win the Pennant that year, couldn't work much longer, as the farm system was drying up.

He also knew that Topping and Webb didn't care, as they were planning to sell. At his resignation, Weiss told the press, "I give it 5 years." He was right: 1961, World Series win; 1962, World Series win; 1963, World Series loss; 1964, World Series loss; 1965, 6th place, the 1st of 7 straight seasons without even coming close to contending.

The Baseball Gods were cruel to Ralph Terry that day in Pittsburgh, but they would be kind to him for the next 2 years, allowing him to win 39 regular-season games for back-to-back Yankee World Championship teams, to add the 1962 Cy Young Award to his honors, and to add his own shutout in Game 7 of the 1962 World Series. So, as bad as certain moments of Yankee history, such as the Bill Mazeroski Game, have been, there's usually a sequel that sets it all right, and goats become heroes.

Of the men who played in that game, 59 years ago, the following are still alive:

Pirates: 2nd baseman Mazeroski, shortstop Dick Groat, center fielder Bill Virdon, left fielder Bob Skinner, catcher Hal Smith, pinch-runner Joe Christopher (lost in the 1962 expansion draft to the Mets), and pitchers Vernon Law and Elroy Face. Not entering the game but on the roster and still alive: Shortstop Dick "Ducky" Schofield, outfielder Roman Mejias, catcher Bob Oldis, and pitcher Bennie Daniels.

Yankees: Pitchers Terry, Bobby Shantz and Jim Coates, 2nd baseman Bobby Richardson, shortstop Tony Kubek, and pinch-hitter Hector Lopez. Not entering the game but on the roster and still alive: Pitchers Whitey Ford, Art Ditmar, Bill Short, Fred Kipp, Johnny James and Hal Stowe. So the Pirates and Yankees each have 12 survivors.

Mazeroski and Roberto Clemente were the only players still with the Pirates when they won their next World Series, in 1971.

Mickey Mantle was in 12 World Series with the Yankees. They won 7 and lost 5. He said that the 1960 Series was the only one in which the better team didn't win. He also said that he cried the entire plane ride back to New York, and some of his teammates confirmed this.

The Yankees won their games by scores of 16-3, 12-0 and 10-0. The Pirates won theirs 6-4, 3-2, 5-2 and 10-9. In other words, the Yankees won by an average score of 13-1, the Pirates by an average of 6-2. The Yankees scored 55 runs in the Series, the Pirates 27, for an overall average of Yankees 8, Pirates 3.

But just as it's not the popular vote but the Electoral College that determines who becomes the next President of the United States, it's not the most overall runs in the World Series but who is the 1st to win 4 out of 7 games that determines who is the World Champions of baseball. Or, as Pirate outfielder Gino Cimoli told Bob Prince, the Pirates' Hall of Fame broadcaster, in the locker room afterward, "They broke all the records, and we won the game! How 'bout that!"

I'm not going to tell you that, in 1960, the Pirates were a better team than the Yankees, or a more talented one. But they were worthy champions. They led the NL in batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, runs, hits and doubles; and were 2nd in slugging percentage and triples. The Pirates' .979 fielding percentage led the NL, and their 128 errors for their entire team were 3rd in the NL. In other words, this was a team that did not beat themselves. And they had really good pitching.

No one can say they didn't belong on the same field as Mantle, Berra, Ford and the rest. They beat the Yankees fair and square, 4 out of 7, with a little bit of luck but without apparent cheating -- the poor condition of Forbes Field's infield doesn't count -- and that's what a World Series winner is supposed to do.

On the same day as the Mazeroski Game, the 3rd of the 4 Presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon is held -- but not in the same place. Kennedy, a Senator from Massachusetts and the Democratic nominee, is in the WABC-Channel 7 studio in New York. But Nixon, the incumbent Vice President and the Republican nominee, is in the KABC-Channel 7 studio in Los Angeles. They are linked up by the ABC-TV network. The debate is considered to be a draw, which helped Kennedy.

Also on this day, Tim Brewster (I don't have his full name) is born in Phillipsburg, Warren County, New Jersey -- a town that is football-crazy, with the Phillipsburg High School team winning multiple State Championships, having produced Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Jim Ringo. Tim was a tight end at the University of Illinois, captain of their team that won the 1983 Big Ten title and went to the 1984 Rose Bowl.

He was cut from training camp by the Giants in 1984 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1985. So he went into coaching, becoming a graduate assistant at Purdue University, and then head coach at Central Catholic High School in nearby Lafayette, Indiana. He coached with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos, and from 2007 to 2010, was the head coach at the University of Minnesota. His record was 15-30. From 2013 to 2018, he was the tight ends coach for Jimbo Fisher, first at Florida State, and now at Texas A&M. He is now recruiting coordinator for North Carolina.

October 13, 1961: Glenn Anton Rivers is born in Chicago, and grows up in neighboring Maywood, Illinois. He attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he was coached in basketball by Al McGuire. One of McGuire's assistants, Rick Majerus (later to build the program at the University of Utah), saw Glenn Rivers wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Julius "Dr. J" Erving, and started calling him Doc. He's been Doc Rivers ever since.

Doc was an All-Star point guard with the Atlanta Hawks in 1988, and a member of the Knicks team that reached the NBA Finals in 1994. He went on to a broadcasting career, but is best known as a coach, winning the NBA Championship with the 2008 Boston Celtics.

He is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. In this role, he is the 1st NBA coach ever to coach his own son, point guard Austin Rivers. He recently stepped down as the team's president of basketball operations, but remains the head coach.

This is also the day when, according to the TV show The X-Files, Fox William Mulder was born in Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

And speaking of weird TV shows, this is the night that The Twilight Zone aired the episode "A Game of Pool." Jack Klugman, 9 years before playing Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple, plays Jesse Cardiff, the best pool player in Chicago at the time. But he wants to be known as the best ever, and that's not going to happen, since hanging on the wall is a photo of a man everyone knew well, the greatest of all time, Fats Brown -- effectively, the Babe Ruth of pool sharks. He's played by Jonathan Winters.

Jesse is too young to have met and played him, and wishes he could, to settle it for once and for all. Then Fats appears, and offers Jesse a bet: Beat me, and you will be recognized as the greatest pool player ever; lose, and you will die.

Jesse takes the bet. He ignores Fats' talk about how he did other things with his life besides play pool, while Jesse hasn't, saying that a game shouldn't be a man's whole life. Jesse thinks Fats is trying to, as we would say today, psych him out. Finally, Jesse wins -- and Fats thanks him. Jesse can't understand, but when Fats disappears, Jesse takes Fats' picture down, and tells no one in particular that he's the greatest of all time -- and this was before Muhammad Ali, still Cassius Clay, began saying this about himself in boxing.

The traditional Twilight Zone twist ending shows Jesse doing what Fats did when we first saw him: Sleeping on a pool table in the afterlife, awakened by a voice telling him to report to a pool hall where some punk kid wants to be remembered as the greatest of all time, if only he could beat the greatest. What was once Fats' burden is now Jesse's. And where is Fats? According to series creator and narrator Rod Serling, he's still in the afterlife, gone fishing.

There were actually 2 endings written. When the show was revived, the other ending was used for a 1989 episode. This time, Jesse, played by Esai Morales, loses to Fats, played by Maury Chaykin. Jesse is afraid that Fats will take him to Death, but this is not the case: Instead, Fats tells him that each man dies, but Jesse "will die in obscurity, as all second-raters do in the end." Fats walks out, and Jesse yells that he'll get better, and that, one day, he'll beat Fats. But, as we've seen, that wouldn't be for the best.

Also on this day, President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia, visiting the U.S., is given a ticker-tape parade in New York.

October 13, 1962: Jerry Lee Rice is born in Starkville, Mississippi. He may be the greatest player in the history of American football. Certainly, he is the greatest receiver. He's in the Hall of Fame, the San Francisco 49ers (with whom he won Super Bowls XXIII, XXIV and XXIX) have retired his Number 80, and in 1999 -- while he was still at the peak of his career -- The Sporting News listed him at Number 2 on its list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, trailing only Jim Brown. With the stats he added afterward, he could now be Number 1.

Also on this day, Kelly Preston is born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and grows up there and in Adelaide, Australia. A high school classmate of Barack Obama, the actress played Kevin Costner’s love interest in the film For Love of the Game. And, of course, she is married to John Travolta.

Hmmmm, Hawaiian-born, Australian-raised, married a goofy Scientologist… Ah, but Kelly is still married to Travolta, whereas Nicole Kidman is no longer married to Tom Cruise.

October 13, 1965: Jim "Mudcat" Grant wins Game 6 of the World Series, pretty much all by himself: He pitches a 1-hitter, and hits a 3-run home run. The Minnesota Twins beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, and the Series goes to a Game 7.

October 13, 1966: Larry Collmus (I don't have his full name) is born in Baltimore. He announced horse races at tracks in Maryland: Bowie, Laurel Park, Pimlico and Timonium. He later announced at Golden Gate Fields in San Francisco and Suffolk Downs in Boston.

In 1994, he came to New Jersey, and became the announcer at Monmouth Park in Oceanport. He announced at Aqueduct in Queens in the summer, and Gulfstream Park in Miami in the winter. He is now the announcer for the New York Racing Association's tracks: Aqueduct, Belmont Park just outside The City in Elmont, and Saratoga, Upstate. He is also the announcer for NBC's Triple Crown coverage.

October 13, 1967: The Seattle SuperSonics make their NBA debut. Walt Hazzard scores 30 points, but they lose 144-116 to the San Francisco Warriors at the Cow Palace. They will recover from a bad 1st season, and become a perennial contender, winning the 1979 NBA Championship, and reaching the Finals in 1978, 1979 and 1996, before being moved in 2008, becoming the Oklahoma City Thunder. From March 1917 to February 2014, they were the only Seattle team to win a World Championship in any sport.

Also on this day, also in the San Francisco Bay Area, the American Basketball Association has its 1st game, at the Oakland Coliseum Arena (now known as the Oracle Arena). The host Oakland Oaks defeat the Anaheim Amigos, 134-129.

The ABA will last 9 seasons, and 4 of its franchises will be absorbed into the NBA in 1976: The 2-time ABA Champion New York (now Brooklyn) Nets, the 3-time ABA Champion Indiana Pacers, the Denver Nuggets (who lost to the Nets in the last ABA Finals) and the San Antonio Spurs (who never won anything in the ABA but have been consistently successful in the NBA, winning 5 titles).

Also on this day, Trevor William Hoffman is born in the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower, California. Having spent most of his career with the San Diego Padres, he finished his career as baseball’s all-time saves leader with 601.

Sports Illustrated dedicated their May 13, 2002 issue to Hoffman, calling him "the greatest closer in MLB history." I guess they forgot about Mariano Rivera: Not only did Mo go on to break Trevor's record, but the question was settled in the 1998 World Series, when Rivera got 3 saves and Hoffman blew one against… Scott Brosius?

Still, Hoffman is a class act. This year, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, in his 3rd year of eligibility, after missing election by just 5 votes the year before. 
The Padres have retired his Number 51, and elected him to their team Hall of Fame. He now works in their front office. His brother Glenn Hoffman was also a big-league player, and briefly managed the Dodgers.

Also on this day, Scott Kendrick Cooper is born in St. Louis. The 3rd baseman was a 2-time All-Star for the Red Sox, but lost his batting eye when traded to his hometown Cardinals in 1995. He played for the 1997 Kansas City Royals, was cut in spring training by the Texas Rangers the next year, and now runs a baseball training facility in St. Louis.

Also on this day, Javier Sotomayor Sanabria is born in Limonar, Cuba. He didn't get to compete in the 1984 or 1988 Olympics because his homeland boycotted them. But in 1992 in Barcelona, he won the Gold Medal in the high jump.

On July 28, 1989, he became the 1st man ever to high-jump 8 feet. On July 27, 1993, he made 8 feet, 1/2 inch. That remains the world record, 24 years later, and, to this day, Javier Sotomayor is the only human being to high-jump at least 8 feet. However, at times, he tested positive for cocaine and steroids, so perhaps we should take that achievement with a grain of salt.

Also on this day, Aleksander Čeferin is born in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, then part of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. The son of a noted lawyer and playwright in his homeland, he was an official with some Slovenian sports teams, before being elected President of the Football Association of Slovenia in 2011. In 2016, he was elected President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

October 13, 1969, 50 years ago: As the World Series has a travel day from Baltimore to New York, Billy Martin is fired as manager of the Twins after just 1 season -- a season in which they won the AL Western Division title.

What gives? Apparently, Twins owner Calvin Griffith was going to fire Billy no matter what, due to an August fight with 2 of his players, outfielder Bob Allison and pitcher Dave Boswell. Billy was out of baseball in the 1970 season, and in mid-1971 was hired to manage the Tigers.

Also on this day, Nancy Ann Kerrigan is born in the Boston suburb of Woburn, Massachusetts. She won the Bronze Medal in women's figure skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics. This was when the Winter Olympics were moved to off-years from the Summer Olympics, and there would be another in 1994, instead of 1996. She won the Silver Medal, but the competition incredibly hyped because of the drama between Nancy and fellow American Tonya Harding. So much was made of it that I began to ask the same question Nancy asked when she was purposely injured: "Why? Why? Why?"

She retired from competition immediately after the Olympics, and was invited to throw out the ceremonial first ball on Opening Day at Fenway Park. She later married her agent, has 3 children, and still skates in professional ice shows.


October 13, 1970: In Game 3 of the Fall Classic played at Memorial Stadium, Dave McNally of the Baltimore Orioles goes deep with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th inning off Wayne Granger of the Cincinnati Reds, to become the 1st pitcher to hit a grand slam in a World Series game.

McNally's offensive output contributes to the Birds' 9-3 victory over Cincinnati, and gives Baltimore a commanding 3-0 game advantage in the 7-game series. The Big Red Machine is seriously sputtering.

Also on this day, Robert Howley (no middle name) is born in Bridgend, Wales. One of the top rugby players of his generation, he starred for Cardiff Rugby Football Club (Cardiff RFC) and Coventry-based Wasps. Rob Howley coached Wales to win the 2013 Six Nations Championship, and again coached them in that tournament in 2017.

October 13, 1971: The 1st night game in World Series history is played. The Orioles blow a 3-0 lead, and the Pirates win 4-3, on a pinch-hit single in the 8th by backup catcher Milt May. The Pirates have tied the Series at 2 games apiece.

Also on this day, Stafford Smythe dies of a bleeding ulcer in Toronto, at the age of 50, while awaiting trial on a charge of income tax evasion. In spite of the charges against him, his death was the worst thing that could have happened to the Toronto Maple Leafs, as he was the largest stockholder in the company that owned both the team and Maple Leaf Gardens, having been part of a group with John Bassett and Harold Ballard that bought the team from his father, longtime head coach and general manager Conn Smythe.

In 1932, at age 11, he was the Leafs' mascot, making him the youngest person ever to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup. His ownership group, with head coach George "Punch" Imlach, built the Cup winners of 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1967.

After his death, Ballard -- despite already being convicted of tax evasion -- bought Bassett's shares, and convinced the Smythe family to sell Stafford's shares to him, making him the team's sole owner, and plunging the Leafs into a decline from which they have never recovered. Despite reaching the last 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs (under various names) in 1978, 1993, 1994 and 1999, they have never again reached the Finals. Ballard ended up serving a little over a year in prison, and his death in 1990 ended a period of Leaf mediocrity, but they've rarely been Cup contenders since.

Also on this day, in international soccer, Scotland beat Portugal 2-1 at Hampden Park in Glasgow. John O'Hare and Archie Gemmill, both of English Midlands team Derby County, are the goalscorers.

This was the 1st Scotland game for goalkeeper Bob Wilson and midfielder George Graham, both of the Arsenal team that won the English Double the season before, both the League and the FA Cup. Wilson would only be called up for Scotland once more. Graham would play for his country 12 times. Centreback Frank McLintock, the Captain of that Arsenal team, only played for Scotland 9 times.

On this same day, England beat Switzerland 3-2 at St. Jakob Park in Basel. It was the 2nd England appearance for Arsenal forward John Radford. And it was the last.

As good as that Arsenal team was, their players were terribly shortchanged by their national teams. England manager Alf Ramsey made few callups from the Gunners. The list is galling. In addition to the preceding: Peter Storey, 19; Ray Kennedy, 17, and not until 1976, under Don Revie, after he was sold by Arsenal; Bob McNab, 4, the last in 1969, before the 1970 Fairs Cup win, let alone the 1971 Double; Charlie George, just 1, alos in 1976 under Revie after he was sold by Arsenal; George Armstrong, none (he was a winger, and Ramsey's team was nicknamed the Wingless Wonders); Peter Simpson, none.

Also on this day, Jay Omar Williams is born in Washington, D.C. A defensive end, he was with the St. Louis Rams when they won Super Bowl XXXIV. He now works as a gun dealer, and has sold weapons to several professional athletes.

October 13, 1972: The World Hockey Association's Quebec Nordiques play their 1st home game at Le Colisée de Québec. But, for the 2nd time in their 2-game history, they get shut out, losing to the Alberta Oilers 6-0. They will, however, reach the WHA Finals in 1975 and win the title in 1977.

Also on this day, Summer Elisabeth Sanders is born in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville, California. The swimmer won 2 Gold Medals at the 1992 Olympics. She now works as a sportscaster for NBC, and is married to former Olympic skier Erik Schlopy.

Also on this day, Arthur Schabinger dies at age 83. Some people credit him with throwing the 1st legal forward pass in college football history, for the College of Emporia over fellow Kansas school Washburn University in 1910. However, it is unlikely that it was the 1st, since the forward pass was legalized 4 years earlier.

His achievements in basketball are much better documented. The head coach at Creighton University in Omaha from 1922 to 1935, he was one of the founders and a president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and wrote their by-laws. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961.

October 13, 1973: The Houston Aeros beat the Los Angeles Sharks, 4-3 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. This WHA game is notable for the debut of the main forward line for the Aeros, consisting of Mark Howe at left wing, Marty Howe at center, and their father Gordie Howe on right wing.

The Detroit Red Wings legend, 45 years old, had come out of retirement to play with his sons, because the Red Wings weren't listening to his personnel and strategy suggestions, and, thinking they just wanted his historic name on their letterhead, he said, "I was tired of being vice president in charge of paper clips."

When the Aeros win the 1974 WHA Championship, Gordie will be awarded the Gary Davidson Trophy as league Most Valuable Player -- and the trophy, named for the league's founder (Davidson was also a founder of the ABA and the WFL), will be renamed for him.

The Aeros would win the 1975 WHA title and reach the Finals again in 1976, but money woes forced them to sell all 3 Howes to the New England Whalers. When the NHL took on 4 WHA teams in 1979, the renamed Hartford Whalers were one of them, and all 3 Howes were still there, as Gordie embarked on 1 last season, his 32nd in the major leagues and his 26th under the NHL banner. Mark would later become a defenseman, and join Gordie in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Also on this day, Brian Patrick Dawkins is born in Jacksonville, Florida. A devastating safety, he made 9 Pro Bowls, and the Philadelphia Eagles have retired his Number 20. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, and worked in the Eagles front office, finally getting a Super Bowl ring. He then resigned his post, to seek opportunities elsewhere.

October 13, 1974: 
Game 2 of the World Series is played in Los Angeles. A 6th-inning home run by Joe Ferguson gives the Dodgers a 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics. Don Sutton gets the win over Vida Blue.

The big story, though, is Herb Washington. A track star signed by A's owner Charlie Finley to be a "designated runner," he made 92 appearances in the 1974 season, all as a pinch-runner. He made 92 appearances, stealing 29 bases and scoring 29 runs, without ever coming to the plate. In Game 2, Dodger reliever Mike Marshall embarrasses him (and Finley) by picking him off 1st base.

He would make 3 more appearances the next season, before Finley released him. He started buying McDonald's franchises, and is now one of the most successful black fast-food restaurant owners -- as is later A's World Champion Dave Parker, an operator of several Popeye's in his native Cincinnati and environs.

Also on this day, the Cardinals trade Joe Torre to the Mets for pitchers Ray Sadecki and Tommy Moore. This trade will be a wash for both teams, as none of the players involved has much left. But it will lead to the beginning of Torre's managing career in 1977.

Also on this day, Hall of Fame outfielder Sam Rice dies at Rossmor‚ Maryland‚ at age 84‚ leaving a letter at Cooperstown-confirming his controversial catch in the 1925 World Series. The letter‚ dated July 26‚ 1965‚ details the entire play and ends with Rice's declaration, "at no time did I lose possession of the ball."

Also on this day, Ed Sullivan dies of cancer in New York. Having made his name as the Broadway columnist for the Daily News, he hosted the Toast of the Town variety show on CBS, starting in 1948. It was renamed The Ed Sullivan Show in 1955, and lasted until 1971. Rather than changing tastes, it was Ed's mental and physical decline that brought it to an end: Some have speculated that his erratic behavior toward the end was advancing Alzheimer's disease.

Ed was always fond of sports, especially baseball and boxing, and frequently brought sports stars onto "this great stage" on "this really big shew." If any were in the audience, he would ask them to stand and receive applause from the rest of the crowd.

Early in 1969, he introduced Mickey Mantle, and asked him to explain why he was retiring: "The young kids are just gettin' too fast for me." Later in the year, he brought the World Series-winning Mets onstage to sing "You Gotta Have Heart," ironically from the musical Damn Yankees. The players' names were shown in graphics on the screen, including "G. Thomas Seaver" and "L. Nolan Ryan."

Also on this day, Frank Sinatra, with Woody Herman and his orchestra backing him up, performs at Madison Square Garden. The concert is recorded for an album, titled for Frank's, and the building's, love of boxing: "The Main Event."

October 13, 1977: The Philadelphia Flyers retire a number for the 1st time. They retire Number 4 for Barry Ashbee, a defenseman whose career ended with an eye injury during the 1974 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He would get his name on the Cup that season, and again the next season as an assistant coach, but died from leukemia on May 12, 1977. They beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1.

By a nasty coincidence, the next time the Flyers retired a number, the 1 of goalie Bernie Parent, 2 years later, it was also because his career ended too soon due to an eye injury. However, as of this writing, Parent is alive and well.

Also on this day, Paul Anthony Pierce is born in Oakland. A 10-time All-Star, he led the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA Championship, and reached the Finals again the next season. He played the 2013-14 season with the Nets, and retired in 2017, having finished his career with his former coach and fellow birthday celebrant Doc Rivers on the Los Angeles Clippers.

His Number 34 was retired by both the University of Kansas and the Celtics. He is now an analyst for ESPN, and will be eligible for election to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.

Also on this day, Antonio Di Natale is born in Naples, Italy. The striker retired at the end of the 2017 season as Captain of Italian soccer team Udinese, and was Serie A top scorer in 2010 and '11. Nicknamed Totò, he played on the Italy teams that won the 2006 World Cup and reached the Final of Euro 2012.

Also on this day, Gareth John Batty is born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. One of English cricket's top spin-bowlers, he plays for Captain of Surrey County Cricket Club, in London's southern suburbs, and had recently been their captain.

His name is a little unfortunate: Not only is "batty" English slang for "gay," but there's also an English soccer player named Gareth Barry.

October 13, 1978: Game 3 of the World Series. Joe DiMaggio throws out the ceremonial first ball at Yankee Stadium. The Dodgers lead the Yankees 2 games to none. The Yankees are desperate for a win. They send out Ron Guidry, who has already won 26 games (including the Divisional Playoff against Boston and the Pennant-clincher against Kansas City) against only 3 losses, but is exhausted. And he doesn't have his best stuff: He strikes out only 4 and walks 7.

But… Graig Nettles puts on a fielding clinic at 3rd base, much as Brooks Robinson did 8 years to the week (including the day) earlier. He makes 6 sensational plays, including 2 scintillating stops that end innings with forceouts at 2nd base.

Roy White's 1st-inning home run gets the Yankees going, and, somehow, Guidry goes the distance in a 5-1 win, striking out the dangerous Ron Cey for the final out. The Yankees are still alive in the Series.

Also on this day, Billy Joel releases his album 52nd Street. It includes the songs "Big Shot," "Honesty" and "My Life," the last of these becoming the theme song to the ABC sitcom Bosom Buddies, which launched Tom Hanks to stardom.

Just 11 days earlier, Billy Joel played the Boston Garden, mere hours after the Bucky Dent Game. I wonder if he sang, "Miami 2017 (Seen the Light Go Out On Broadway)," with its line about the apocalypse in New York, and the Yankees getting picked up for free.

Also on this day, Jermaine Lee O'Neal is born in Columbia, South Carolina. From his 1996 debut with the Portland Trail Blazers until 2005, he held the record for youngest player to appear in an NBA game: 18 years, 1 month and 22 days. 

A 6-time All-Star with the Indiana Pacers, he had some rotten luck: He got to the Pacers right after their 1 and only appearance to date in the NBA Finals, was traded from the Miami Heat to the Boston Celtics in 2010 just in time to miss both teams' glory days, and was cut by the Golden State Warriors in 2014, missing out on their 2015 NBA title. He hasn't played since, but has still never officially announced his retirement.

October 13, 1979, 40 years ago: Arizona State defeats Washington 12-7 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils pick head coach Frank Kush up and carry him off the field -- for the last time. He had been fired earlier in the day, for a number of reasons, not all of them fair. This would be 1 of 5 wins the team would have to forfeit as a result of Kush's actions.

Also on this day, Game 4 of the World Series is played at Three Rivers Stadium. A home run by Willie Stargell is the highlight of the Pittsburgh Pirates taking a 6-3 lead over the Baltimore Orioles into the top of the 8th.

But in that inning, Earl Weaver sends the lefthanded John Lowenstein up to face the submarining righthanded reliever Kent Tekulve. It works, for a 2-run double, sparking a 6-run inning that gives the O's a 9-6 win. The O's need just 1 more win to take the Series, and if they don't get it in Game 5 in Pittsburgh, Games 6 and 7 will be at home.

Also on this day, Wesley Michael Brown is born in Manchester, England. As a centreback for Manchester United, he won 7 League titles from 1999 to 2011, the FA Cup in 1999 and 2004, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999 and 2008.

Strangely, he only made 23 appearances for England. Gee, maybe he wasn't that good -- or maybe Man U players can't win without the officials fixing things for them. After playing last season in the Indian Super League, for Kerala Blasters, he is currently without a club.

Also on this day, Mamadou Niang (no middle name) is born in Matam, Senegal. The striker won France's Ligue 1 with Olympique de Marseille in 2010, Turkey's Süper Lig with Istanbul-based Fenerbahçe in 2011, and the Asian Champions League with Doha, Qatar-based Al Sadd in 2011. He retired in 2015.


October 13, 1980: Scott Michael Parker is born in Lambeth, South London. One of the most-hyped English soccer players of the last few years, he's also one of the most underwhelming if you actually, you know, watch him play.

The midfielder helped South London side Charlton Athletic win promotion to the Premier League in 2004, West London's Chelsea win the League and the League Cup in 2005, and Newcastle United win their last trophy to date, the Intertoto Cup, in 2006. With East London's West Ham, North London's Tottenham, and West London's Fulham, his career turned into a joke, until he retired in 2017.

The fact that he was still being selected for England as recently as the 2012-13 season shows just how bad English soccer has become. And to think, Arsenal fans wanted this guy...

Also on this day, David Deron Haye is born in Bermondsey, making him the far better athlete to come from South London. "The Hayemaker" was WBA Heavyweight Champion from November 7, 2009 to July 2, 2011.

Also on this day, Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas is born in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Using only her first name, Ashanti was one of the biggest female R&B singers at the dawn of the 21st Century, and has since turned to acting.

In 2005, she played Dorothy in The Muppets' Wizard of Oz. Queen Latifah played Auntie Em, David Alan Grier played Uncle Henry, and Jeffrey Tambor played the Wizard. Steve Whitmire voiced Kermit the Frog, who played the Scarecrow; Dave Goelz voiced Gonzo, who played the Tin Thing (not "Man"); Eric Jacobson voiced Miss Piggy, who played all the Witches, and Fozzie Bear, who played the Cowardly Bear (an inside joke, as the original film was produced by MGM, and Fozzie once played the MGM Lion in a Muppet tribute to the movies, as "Metro Goldwyn Bear"); and Bill Barretta voiced Pepe the King Prawn, who played Toto (a prawn, not a dog).

October 13, 1981: Taylor Buchholz (no middle name) is born in the Philadelphia suburb of Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. Not to be confused with distant cousin Clay Buchholz, he was a member of the Colorado Rockies' 2007 Pennant winners, and last pitched in the majors with the Mets in 2011.

October 13, 1982: Ian James Thorpe is born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. "The Thorpedo" won 3 Gold Medals in swimming at the 2000 Olympics in his hometown, and 2 more in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Although he is now openly gay, he remains Australian sports' endorsement leader, and is also enormously popular in East Asia.

Also on this day, Michael Rashard Clayton is born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A receiver, he won a National Championship with Louisiana State in 2003, and Super Bowl XLVI with the Giants. He now runs a charitable foundation, and commentates on British network Sky Sports' broadcasts of NFL games.

October 13, 1984: Saturday Night Live shows a short film, with Billy Crystal, a white New York Jew, and Christopher Guest, a white English nobleman (no kidding: He's Baron Haden-Guest, as well as a great comedian), as elderly veterans of baseball's Negro Leagues: Guest is pitcher "King" Carl Johnson, and Crystal is speedy outfielder Leonard "The Rooster" Willoughby. The film features cameos of Yogi Berra, then the Yankees' manager, and Yankee star Dave Winfield.

Also on this day, the football team at Kansas State defeats arch-rival Kansas, 24-7 in KSU's home of Manhattan, Kansas. That evening, KSU students gather in a section of Manhattan, full of shops catering to students, known as Aggieville, and celebrate a little too hard. They smash windows, overturn cars, and uproot street signs. The police try to intervene, but the mob throws bottles at them. There were 10 injuries, including 6 police officers, and 24 arrests. It becomes known as the Aggieville Riot.

Two years later, the next time KSU hosted the rivalry game, some students wore T-shrits saying "Riotville" and "Riot II," and they did it again following KSU's 29-12 win. This time, while the damage was more extensive, there were fewer injuries. 

Also on this day, Franklin Michael Simek is born in St. Louis, once considered the capital of American soccer. He was the 1st American ever to play for Arsenal Football Club, the pride of London. It was just 1 game, at right back, wearing Number 51, in the League Cup against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Highbury on December 2, 2003. Arsenal won, 5-1, although he had neither a goal nor an assist.

He would later play for Queens Park Rangers, Bournemouth, Sheffield Wednesday and Carlisle United, last playing in 2013. He played 5 times for the U.S. national team, all in 2007.

Only 2 other Americans have ever played for Arsenal. Danny Karbassiyoon, a forward from Roanoke, Virginia who played 3 League Cup matches for the Gunners in the 2004-05 season, scoring a goal on his debut. He is now Arsenal’s chief North American scout. And Gedion Zelalem, now 21 years old, born in Germany of Ethiopian parents, lived in the Washington, D.C. area as a teenager, has earned his American citizenship, and has played for America at the U-20 and U-23 levels, though not yet at the senior level.

October 13, 1985: The Cardinals rout the Dodgers 12-2, to even the NLCS at 2-2‚ but also lose rookie sensation Vince Coleman to one of the most bizarre injuries in sports history. Coleman is stretching before the game when his left leg becomes caught in Busch Memorial Stadium's automated tarpaulin as it unrolls across the infield‚ trapping him for about 30 seconds. He is removed from the field on a stretcher and will not play again this year.

This will turn out to be a critical injury – not for Coleman's life, or even for his career, but for the Cards' lineup, as they will not have their leadoff man and sparkplug for the World Series, in which they put up one of the most pathetic batting performances in postseason history.

Also on this day, Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka sends 320-pound defensive tackle William Perry in... as a running back. So full of food, he's known as "The Refrigerator" (or "The Fridge" for short), he gets the ball twice, rushes for 4 yards, and blocks for Walter Payton on a touchdown. 
The Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers, 26-10 at Candlestick Park.

Also on this day, East Brunswick High School plays football on a Sunday for the 1st time in its 25-season history. It couldn't be done on the preceding Friday, because the school did not have lights at Jay Doyle Field. It couldn't be done on the preceding Saturday, because Hurricane Gloria hit on Friday, and, while Saturday had perfect weather, the field was still soaked. Then a junior at EBHS, I watched us beat Edison 22-14, thanks to a goal-line stand on a 2-point conversion that would have given Edison a 16-15 lead.

After this game, the decision was made to buy and set up a lighting system. Edison, its crosstown rival J.P. Stevens, and Sayreville all got lights this season. Prior to this, the only schools in Middlesex County that had them were New Brunswick (and, due to groundsharing, St. Peter's), Madison Central (and, due to groundsharing, Cedar Ridge, the 2 schools since reconsolidated into Old Bridge), and North Brunswick.

In 2019, the only football-playing schools in Middlesex County that don't yet have lighted stadiums are South River and Spotswood -- technically, each other's arch-rivals.

Also on this day, Brian Axel Hoyer is born outside Cleveland in Lakewood, Ohio. He's been a backup quarterback for 7 different teams in 10 NFL seasons, and won a Super Bowl ring last season as Tom Brady's backup on the New England Patriots. He now plays for the Indianapolis Colts.

October 13, 1986: Gabriel Imuetinyan Agbonlahor is born in Birmingham, West Midlands, England. Except for a couple of brief early-career loanouts, the striker played his entire career, except for a couple of early loan spells, for hometown club Aston Villa. But he never won a major trophy reaching the Finals of the League Cup with Villa in 2010 and the FA Cup in 2015, losing both. After playing the 2017-18 season with them, he retired.

October 13, 1988: A racing accident at Belmont Park claims the life of jockey Mike Venezia. He was thrown by his horse, Mr. Walter K., and trampled to death by a trailing horse. The Brooklyn native was 43, and had won 2,313 races since 1964.

Also on this day, Norm Barry dies in Chicago, after suffering a heart attack at his law office. He was 90 years old. A member of Knute Rockne's 1st National Championship team at Notre Dame, in 1919, he played in the early NFL, and coached the Chicago Cardinals to the NFL Championship in 1925. He later served in the Illinois State Senate and as a judge.

Also on this day, for the 1st time, a Presidential debate is held in a sports arena, rather than in a theater in a big city or on a college campus. The venue is Pauley Pavilion, home court of UCLA basketball. The combatants are the Republican nominee, Vice President George H.W. Bush, a former 1st baseman at Yale University; and the Democratic nominee, Governor Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts.

As the Number 2 man in the Reagan Administration, one of the most lawless in American history, Bush was on shaky ground to accuse Dukakis of being soft on crime. Indeed, the very law he'd been ripping Dukakis for, a prison furlough program, was based on one that outgoing President Ronald Reagan had signed into law as Governor of California in the late 1960s.

CNN anchor Bernard Shaw was the 1st black person to moderate a Presidential debate. He decided to use his 1st question to ask Dukakis about crime: "Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?"

Shaw had asked Dukakis to imagine his wife as the victim of a horrible crime. He did not know that Panos Dukakis, the nominee's father, had been badly beaten during a robbery. He seemed to ignore the fact that the death penalty is essentially a State-by-State issue, and the President, aside from appointing federal judges and the power to grant clemency -- in federal cases only -- has no say over it. And what Shaw's own wife thought of that question has never been recorded.

Dukakis could well have become the 1st person to say, "Fuck you" on live prime-time American network television, and he would have gotten more votes if he had. Instead, he said, "No, I don't, Bernard, and I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life. I don't see any evidence that it's a deterrent." He said it so calmly that it was, to borrow the words from a similar incident on the TV show The West Wing 14 years later, "an answer so soporific, it's barely even human."

Shaw's indecency did not stop there. He had every right to ask Bush if his Vice Presidential nominee, Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana, just 41 years old and clobbered a week earlier in his debate with Dukakis' running mate, Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, was ready to be President:

Shaw: "If you were to be elected, and then die before the election -- "

Bush, cutting him off, with a fake look of shock on his face: "Bernie!"

Shaw: "Dan Quayle would then become the 41st President of the United States. How do you respond to that?"

Bush: "I'd have confidence in him. And I have never seen a candidate for public office take such an unfair pounding... "

Given all the crap that the Bush campaign had hurled at him, this was Dukakis' moment to say, "The hell you haven't!" But he didn't. Instead, his rebuttal gave only the slightest of mockings of Bush and Quayle.

Quayle didn't hurt Bush in the election at all. If Dukakis still had a chance on the afternoon of October 13, he had none on the morning of October 14.

October 13, 1989, 25 years ago: Breno Vinicius Rodrigues Borges is born in Cruzeiro, São Paulo, Brazil. A centreback, the man known as simply Breno won the Brazilian league title with São Paulo FC in 2007, and the German edition of The Double (the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal) with Bayern Munich in 2008. He is now with Rio de Janeiro team Vasco da Gama.

Also on this day, Family Matters, which had debuted on ABC 3 weeks earlier, airs the episode "Rachel's First Date." Unfortunately, it marks the debut of the character of Steve Urkel, played by Jaleel White. Perhaps the wackiest "wacky neighbor" in TV history, he becomes the show's breakout character, and ruins what had been a promising show. "Did I do that?" No, Steve, the writers did that.


October 13, 1990: The Target Center opens in Minneapolis. The NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves move in immediately, and the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx do so in 1999.

Also on this day, a testimonial match is held at Highbury for former Arsenal layer Graham Rix. This was before his later... problem. Arsenal lose to their North London arch-rivals, Tottenham, 5-2. It is the last game for Arsenal for centreback Gus Caesar, the goat of the 1988 League Cup Final loss to Luton Town.

In his memoir Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby would lament what happened to Caesar, saying that he was considered one of the best English defenders of his generation, until his mis-kick led to a Luton goal, and made him one of the most abused players in Arsenal history. He was soon pushed aside for Steve Bould, and made hardly any contribution to the 1989 League title.

He was essentially ruined at age 22, and bounced around the world's soccer leagues until he retired in 2002. His last team was Hong Kong Rangers, and he stayed in Hong Kong, and still works in the financial industry at age 53.

October 13, 1993: The combined pitching of Tommy Greene and Mitch Williams gives the Phillies a 6-3 win over the heavily-favored Atlanta Braves and the NL Pennant, only the 5th flag in Fightin' Phils history. Dave Hollins hits a 2-run homer for the winners‚ while Mickey Morandini and Darren Daulton also drive in 2 runs each. Curt Schilling is named the NLCS MVP despite no victories: He gave up just 3 earned runs and struck out 19 in 16 innings, 2 no-decisions.

And, lest Phils fans forget, they would not have gotten that far if Williams hadn't been a terrific closer all year long, including getting the final out tonight at Veterans Stadium. I was at a Phillies game in August 2011, when John Kruk was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Hall of Fame. Williams was one of the guests, and he got a nice hand. So Philadelphia sports fans do have some class, and some understanding.

With long hair, chewing tobacco, in a few cases being well overweight, and some bad manners, the 1993 Phillies were known as "Macho Row," and remain, despite the dream ending a little sourly in the World Series, one of the most popular teams in the history of Philadelphia sports. And, while they share Lenny Dykstra with the similarly slobbish 1986 Mets, any resemblance to the 2004 Red Sox "Idiots" is strictly coincidental.

Dykstra's legal troubles have been many. The lowlights: 1991, drunk driving; 2011, sexual assault, bankruptcy fraud, car theft and drug possession, never arrested on the sex charge but served 2 years in prison on the fraud and theft charges; and, just 3 days ago, indicted for cocaine and methamphetamine possession, and making terroristic threats. He's gone from being a modern Pepper Martin to being the next Walter White: "Say my name." You're Nails. "You're goddamned right."

Also on this day, Tiffany Ariana Trump is born in West Palm Beach, Florida, the only child of Donald Trump and his 2nd wife, actress-model Marla Maples. She has gone into modeling herself, but is now a student at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

Unlike her older half-siblings Donald Jr,, Eric and Ivanka, she has taken no role in her father's illegitimate Administration. They are fair game for criticism about it, but she is not.

October 13, 1994, 25 years ago: Friends airs the episode "The One With George Stephanopoulos." Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) and Rachel Greene (Jennifer Aniston) are both depressed. Ross is depressed because this is the anniversary of the 1st time he and his now-ex-wife Carol (Jane Sibbett, not seen in this episode) slept together. So Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) take him to a game of the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the New York Rangers, to cheer him up. It doesn't work, as Ross gets hit in the nose by a loose puck, and has to go to the hospital.

Oddly, in real life, the season got delayed by the NHL team owners locking the players out, and there would be no NHL games until January 1995. But the show's writers and NBC's executives didn't know that would happen when it was time to write and schedule the episode.

So the show deviated from real life in at least 2 ways that 1st season: There was no NHL lockout, and, on November 3, 1994, it had New York City hit with a blackout which didn't actually happen, caused by something that happened on Friends' lead-in show, Mad About You.

Rachel is depressed because she just got her 1st paycheck from waitressing at Central Perk, but a big chunk of her pay was taken out in taxes: "Who's FICA? Why's he gettin' so much of my money?" (The Federal Insurance Contributions Act funds Social Security and Medicare.)

So Monica Geller (Ross' sister and Rachel's roommate, played by Courteney Cox) and Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) hold a slumber party at the apartment. A pizza is delivered there by mistake, meant for an apartment across the street. The name on the pizza is George Stephanopoulos, recently an advisor to President Bill Clinton, but, by this episode, having already gone into journalism.

And the girls spy on him from across the street -- something they were also frequently able to do with a man known only as "Ugly Naked Guy" (played by Jon Haugen, although he was never seen from the face up or, thankfully, from the waist down).

October 13, 1996: The Yankees defeat the Orioles‚ 6-4 at Camden Yards‚ giving them the Pennant, 4 games to 1. The Yanks score all of their runs in the 3rd inning‚ which features homers by Jim Leyritz‚ Cecil Fielder‚ and Darryl Strawberry. Scott Erickson gives up all 3 homers in one inning‚ a first in LCS play. Bobby Bonilla‚ Todd Zeile‚ and Eddie Murray homer for the O's.

The last out of the game is a bit of a torch-passing moment: Cal Ripken, the face of the Oriole franchise for the last few years and possibly for the rest of his life, hits a ground ball to the Yankee shortstop, a rookie named Derek Jeter, who goes on to become the face of the Yankee franchise. Jeter throws to Tino Martinez at 1st, and Ripken, desperate to keep the series alive, slides head-first. He's too late, and the Yankees have their 1st Pennant in 15 years.

There's another torch-passing fact: The Orioles' manager is Davey Johnson, who, 10 years ago, managed the Mets to New York baseball's most recent Pennant; while the Yankees' manager is Joe Torre, who, after 4,279 combined games as a player and a manager, more than anyone who's never participated in a World Series in either role, has finally made it.

I'll never forget (and this is another torch-passer) Reggie Jackson, in the Yankee dugout, with a big smile, giving Joe a big hug, and Joe trying to maintain his composure as Mr. October gives him his long-worked-for due. However, after the game, Reggie is interviewed in the locker room, and he speaks a truth he knows full well: "They've got another leg to go. They've got another lap to make. Not done yet." He is right: There's still the matter of winning 4 more games against either the Cardinals or the Braves.

The Orioles, who last won a Pennant 13 years earlier, are frustrated, not in the least because of the Jeffrey Maier incident in Game 1. However, they lost all 3 home games in the series, and a team that can't defend its home field in the Playoffs needs to zip their lips. Especially since that Oriole team had Rafael Palmeiro (proven steroid user), Brady Anderson (almost certainly a steroid user, because the 50 homers he had that year far outpaced his previous high of 21 and his next-best later total of 24), and Bobby Bonilla (never proven a steroid user but the guy had some incidents that suggest "roid rage").

October 13, 1998: The Yankees win Game 6 of the ALCS over the Indians, 9-5 at Yankee Stadium, to take their 35th Pennant. Chuck Knoblauch, in his 1st game back in The Bronx after his Game 2 "brainlauch," leads off the bottom of the 1st, and gets a big hand from the fans, who've seen the big double plays he started late in both Game 4 and Game 5. "Apparently, all is forgiven," says Bob Costas on NBC.

October 13, 1999
, 20 years ago: Bernie Williams, who had previously hit one to win Game 1 of the '96 ALCS (the Jeffrey Maier Game), becomes the 1st Yankee to have hit 2 walkoff home runs in postseason play. His drive off Rod Beck goes over the center field fence to lead off the bottom of the 10th, and the Yankees win the 1st official postseason Yankees-Red Sox game, 4-3. (The 1978 "Boston Tie Party," a.k.a. the Bucky Dent Game, is counted by MLB as a regular season game.)

Red Sox fans, buoyed by the success of Pedro Martinez and Nomah Gahciahpawhah – or, at least, that’s how Nomar Garciaparra's name sounded in their New England accents – were sure that this was The Year that the Red Sox were finally going to "Reverse the Curse" and stick it to the Yankees. But Bernie remembered the script handed to him earlier that day by Yankee legend Yogi Berra: "We've been playing these guys for 80 years. They cannot beat us." Not yet, anyway.


October 13, 2000: Extending his streak to 33 1/3 innings, Mariano Rivera breaks the 38-year-old record of Whitey Ford for consecutive scoreless frames in postseason play when the Yankees defeat the Seattle Mariners, 8-2 in Game 3 of the ALCS. The Yankees' Hall of Fame lefty had established the record from 1960 to 1962 with 33 innings as a World Series starter, and still holds the record as far as the World Series is concerned.

October 13, 2001: The Yankees enter Game 3 at the Oakland Coliseum (or whatever corporate name the "Mausoleum" had at the time) down 2 games to none against the A's, and are desperate for a victory.

Jorge Posada homers in the top of the 5th, to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead. That lead holds in the 7th, but Terrence Long drives one into the corner. Right fielder Shane Spencer heaves the ball home, but it's off the line. Jeremy Giambi, brother of star Oakland slugger Jason Giambi, will score for sure.

Except… out of nowhere comes Jeter, who sprints in, grabs the ball, and, holding it for less than half a second, flips it to Posada at the plate, and Posada juuuust barely tags Giambi on the back of the knee, before his foot touches the plate, completing one of the most amazing defensive plays in baseball history.

"The Flip" allows Mike Mussina and, in the 9th, Rivera to preserve the 1-0 shutout, and keep the Yankees from being eliminated. The Yankees would win the series in Game 5 at the old Yankee Stadium, with Jeter making another amazing play, tumbling into the stands to catch a foul pop, also off the bat of Terence Long.

Has it really been 18 years? Jeter retired in 2014, making him the last man who played in that game still active.

October 13, 2002: The Anaheim Angels – as they are officially known at the time – score 10 runs in the 7th inning on their way to a 13-5 win over the Minnesota Twins, winning the 1st Pennant in the team's 42-season history. Adam Kennedy is the hero for Anaheim with 3 homers and 7 RBIs. Scott Spiezio also homers for the Angels‚ with Francisco Rodriguez getting the win in relief.

Prior to the Angels' 1st Pennant, they were considered "cursed": The Curse of the Cowboy was named for legendary entertainer Gene Autry, who founded the team and died without them ever winning a Pennant. This one wasn't funny, as several players had died while still active with the Angels (most notably All-Star outfielder Lyman Bostock, shot in 1978), in addition to their 1979, '82 and '86 ALCS collapses, and their late-season swoon that cost them the '95 AL Western Division title.

Between 1959 and 1988, their rivals up Interstate 5, the Los Angeles Dodgers, had won 9 Pennants in a 30-year stretch, including 5 times winning the World Series. Since 2002, both the Dodgers and the Angels have been in the postseason 7 times in the last 14 seasons, but while that includes a World Championship for the Angels, the Dodgers still have no World Series wins in the last 31 years.

October 13, 2003: Game 4 of the ALCS, delayed a day by rain. This gives the players time to calm down after the riotous Game 3. Tim Wakefield knuckleballs his way to 3-2 win over the Yankees, and the Red Sox tie the series at 2 games apiece.

October 13, 2004: Game 2 of the ALCS. Jon Lieber outpitches Pedro Martinez, as chants of "Who's your Daddy?" rain down from the stands at Yankee Stadium. Trailing 1-0 in the 6th, Pedro surpasses the 100-pitch mark, at which he becomes useless, walks Jorge Posada, and gives up a home run to John Olerud. The Yankees go on to win 3-1, and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

October 13, 2006: Mark Kiger becomes the 1st player in history to make his big league debut during the postseason. The 26-year-old 2nd baseman from San Diego enters Game 3 of the ALCS 
for the A's in the bottom of the 8th inning, as a defensive replacement for D'Angelo Jimenez, who has been filling in for the injured starter Mark Ellis.

Kiger appears in tomorrow's Game 4 as well, but that's it. The A's released him in the off-season. He played in the Mets' system in 2007, the Seattle Mariners' in 2008, the Mets' again in 2009, and retired. He's 39 now: He could still be playing somewhere, but I can find no reference as to what he's doing now, only that he's living in Texas, and has joked, "I'll probably end up writing a book about being the modern-day Moonlight Graham."

He is the only player in the history of Major League Baseball to play in the postseason, but not in the regular season. In Game 3 of the 2015 World Series, Adalberto Mondesi -- then using the name Raul Mondesi Jr. -- made his MLB debut, thus becoming the 1st player to play in the World Series without having yet played in the regular season, but since has.

As far as I know, there's only 1 other such example in all of sports of a player playing in the postseason, but never in the regular season: There was a career minor-league hockey player who played 1 game for the Boston Bruins, in the 1955 Playoffs. He would, however, make a name for himself in coaching, and again in broadcasting. It's Don Cherry.


October 13, 2012: Game 1 of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium II. The Yankees trail the Detroit Tigers 4-0 going to the bottom of the 9th. By this point, the Yankees had left the bases loaded in 3 innings. But Russell Martin leads off with a single, and Ichiro Suzuki, in his 1st season with the Yankees after 11 years with the Seattle Mariners, and not really known for hitting home runs, does so. With 2 outs, Mark Teixeira draws a walk, and Raul Ibanez, for the 3rd time in the postseason, sends a game to extra innings with a home run.

But the Tigers score a run in the top of the 12th. Then Jhonny Peralta hits a grounder to short. Derek Jeter, who had earlier gotten his 200th career postseason hit, which remains a record, breaks his ankle trying to field the grounder. He has to leave the game, and never plays in the postseason again, after a record 168 such games. That was the beginning of the end of the Yankee "dynasty" that never quite happened starting in 2009, as well as the beginning of the end of the Jeter-Rivera Era in Yankee history. The Tigers beat the Yankees, 6-4, and the Yankees don't win another game that counts until April 4, 2013.

Also on this day, Rutgers beats Syracuse in football, 23-15. With the Orangemen moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference and Rutgers to the Big Ten, this remains the last football game between the top universities in the States of New Jersey and New York. Syracuse leads the rivalry 30-12-1.

Also on this day, Barbara Field dies. Known as Bo Field or "Mets Lady," you might remember seeing her sitting behind home plate at Shea Stadium, twirling her fists to distract opposing pitchers. There are still people who think she was what caused Bob Stanley to throw the wild pitch that nearly hit Mookie Wilson and allowed the tying run to score in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

In real life, she was from Kearny, Hudson County, New Jersey, and was a waitress at the Lyndhurst Diner in adjoining Lyndhurst, Bergen County. 

October 13, 2013: Game 3 of the ALCS at Comerica Park. Mike Napoli hits a home run in the 7th inning, 1 of only 4 hits allowed by Justin Verlander. But that's all John Lackey needs, as he pitches a 6-hit shutout. The Boston Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 1-0, and take a 2-games-to-1 lead.

October 13, 2014: Game 4 of the ALCS at Kauffman Stadium. Alcides Escobar leads off the bottom of the 1st with a single. Miguel Gonzalez hits Nori Aoki with a pitch. Lorenzo Cain bunts the runners over. Eric Hosmer's grounder is thrown away, and it's Kansas City Royals 2, Baltimore Orioles 0.

The Royals hang on to win, 2-1, behind a fine start by Jason Vargas, and complete a 4-game sweep, for their 1st Pennant in 29 years. They were now 8-0 in the postseason, counting their win in the Wild Card game. The 2007 Colorado Rockies had gone 7-0 (their play-in game for the NL Wild Card not officially counted as "postseason") before smacking into the Red Sox in the World Series, and the 1976 Cincinnati Reds had swept the NLCS and the World Series to go 7-0. 

October 13, 2015: The 1st-ever postseason series between the arch-rival Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals ends with Game 4 of the NL Division Series at Wrigley Field. The Cards jump out to a 2-0 lead before the Cubs can even come to bat, but the Cubbies come back with 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber hit home runs, and the Cubs win 6-4, eliminating the Cards.

It's not yet known who they will play in the NL Championship Series, because the Dodgers win Game 4 of their series with the Mets, 3-1, denying the Metropolitans the chance to clinch at home at Citi Field. Daniel Murphy hits a solo home run, but that's the only run given up by Clayton Kershaw, who comes through with a rare, for him, good postseason start.

October 13, 2324: According to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beverly Cheryl Howard is born on this day, in Copernicus City, on the colony on Earth's Moon. As Dr. Beverly Crusher, played by Gates McFadden, she would be Chief Medical Officer of the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-D, and its successor, NCC-1701-E.

Not a sports fan, Beverly would frequently treat the injuries of those who were, and trying out their sports on the ship's holodeck.

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