We hope everyone is doing well, staying positive and optimistic, as well as enjoying the sun, which seems to be fading outside our window.
As usual, we are here every day to provide some relief, a smile and yes, a walk down memory lane with ‘On This Date in History.’
On This Date in History: Sunday, April 12th, 2020
1909: Eric McNair, who played shortstop, second and third base for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers was born today. McNair, who recorded 1,240 hits and 82 home runs, finished first in the American League in doubles (47) in 1932 and first in putouts (305) in 1934.
1941: The Boston Bruins clinched the 1941 NHL Stanley Cup with a game four victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The win occurred on the road after Boston won the first two games of the series on their home ice by a combined score of 5-3.
1958: The St. Louis Hawks clinched the 1958 NBA Championship with a game six win over the Boston Celtics with a 110-109 victory. The Celtics would avenge the loss the following year by beating the Minneapolis Lakers in four-straight contests.
1961: Gen. Douglas MacArthur was offered the position of Baseball Commissioner, but declined.
1981: The Milwaukee Brewers pulverized the Boston Red Sox by a score of 18-1. Cecil Cooper concluded the game with five RBI, three runs, and two hits while Ben Oglivie recorded two RBI, two hits, and three runs.
Detroit plated 26 runs against the Red Sox and won two of the three contests during the team’s final at-bat. The Tigers, which would go onto represent the American League in the World Series, edged the Red Sox in their season-opener, 3-2, despite Jose Valverde blowing what would have been his initial save of 2012.
Boston’s offense, which was led by Mike Aviles and Nick Punto, did provide its pitchers (and defense) with an opportunity to win this particular game, not just in the ninth inning, but also in the eleventh. However, Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon surrendered the leads by giving up a home run to Cabrera in the ninth inning and Avila in the eleventh.
“This is a work in progress,” first-year Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said following his team’s third setback of the 2012 season. “We’re three days in after losing our closer, and we’re still trying to figure it out.”
Boston would erase memories of the Sunday setback, along with its Opening Day loss on Monday, April 9th when they beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2.
Unfortunately, 2012 was not Boston’s best season as they finished 69-93 overall, as well as 26 games behind the first-place New York Yankees. Boston never spent a single day during the 2012 season in first-place – in fact, their longest winning streak was just six games (Apr. 23rd to Apr. 28th).
Weeks after squandering their lead to the Tigers, the Red Sox would suffer a disappointing 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in 17 innings.
As always, we hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.
It looks like it is going to be an indoor day from a quick glance outside the window, so stay inside and enjoy a brand new ‘On This Date in History’ for Wednesday, April 8th, 2020.
On This Date in History: Wednesday, April 8th, 2020
1940:John Havlicek, who played 16 seasons for the Boston Celtics and won eight NBA titles with the Green and White, was born on this date in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Nicknamed “Hondo,” the small forward/shooting guard was named to both the NBA’s 35th and 50th Anniversary Teams.
1943: The Detroit Red Wings defeated the BostonBruins, 2-0, in the fourth game of the NHL‘s Stanley Cup to secure a series sweep of the Black and Gold. The game was held in the Boston Garden – that would be the original Garden for those keeping track at home. Detroit outscored Boston, 6-0, in the final two games of the series.
2003: The Connecticut women’s basketball team defeated Tennessee in the NCAA Championship, capping their campaign with a 37-1 record (the Huskies’ lone setback of the 2002-03 season came against Villanova on Tuesday, March 11, 2003.). Diana Taurasi was named the Most Outstanding Player while earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team with Ann Strother. Tennesse was represented by Gwen Jackson and Kara Lawson.
2012: The Detroit Tigers outlasted the Boston Red Sox, 13-12, in a thrilling eleven inning clash, which took almost five hours to be played. Nick Punto and Mike Aviles concluded the game with three RBI for the Sox, respectively, while Adrian Gonzalez smacked his first home run of the season.
2014: The Connecticut women’s basketball team celebrated another NCAA Championship with a 79-58 win over Notre Dame. The Huskies’ victory came one day after the men’s team beat Kentucky in the championship by a score of 60-54. It was just the second time in NCAA history that the same school had won both the men’s and women’s tournaments after the school won both title games in 2004.
As usual, it is time to brighten that spirit with a brand new ‘On This Date in History’ with your friends from Noontime Sports (and Noontime Nation!).
Be well, stay safe, and have a good rest of your morning/day, everyone!
On This Date in History: April 7th, 2020
1969: Relief pitcher Bill Singer was credited with the first official save when the Los Angeles Dodgers edged the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2.
1969: Former Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams manages his first game with the Washington Senators. Washington opened the season with an 8-4 setback to the New York Yankees. The Senators would conclude their 1969 campaign with an 86-76 record, along with a fourth-place finish in the American League East.
1977: The Toronto Blue Jays win their inaugural game in franchise history by beating the Chicago White Sox, 9-5. Toronto would conclude its initial season with a 54-107 record, as well as a seventh-place finish in the American League East.
1984: Jack Morris throws a no-hitter for the Detroit Tigers against the Chicago White Sox. Years later, Justin Verlander would record two no-no’s with the Tigers, but Morris’ no-hitter was the first since Jim Bunning recorded one against the Boston Red Sox on July 20, 1958.
2018: The Vegas Golden Knights conclude their initial season with a 7-1 setback to the Calgary Flames, but finish with an NHL expansion team record of 51 victories. The new mark erases the original mark of 33 wins by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Florida Panthers from the 1993-94 season.
Welcome to the first Noontime Sports rewind post, which will recap the current year of New England (and Boston) sports as well as look back on the soon-to-be past decade of blogging for NoontimeSports.com.
In this particular post, we highlighted our favorite Boston sports teams that we covered (and chronicled) through the site – there were some fun teams to watch and others that made us sick to our stomach over the past nine-to-ten years.
We hope you enjoy this look back at the soon-to-be past decade of Boston sports, which certainly kept us busy, both here on the site and social media.
The Best New England Patriots Team of the 2010s: The 2014 New England Patriots. Sure, you can make the case for the 2016 squad, which overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons or the 2018 squad, which outsmarted Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams, but in my opinion, the 2014 squad was the best Pats team of the 2010s. Between the offense and the defense and just the way they manhandled teams after losing to Kansas City, this particular Patriots squad was perhaps one of the best teams under current head coach Bill Belichick.
One of the most impressive games this team played was against the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of the postseason. They ran a few tricky plays, including one that saw Julian Edelman throw a touchdown pass to a streaking Danny Amendola. Additionally, they stole a play from Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, which infuriated Baltimore coach John Harbaugh.
But the cherry on top of the sundae was the Malcolm Butler interception on a potential go-ahead touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Butler will be forever linked to that play – the result ignited an animated (and giddy) celebration by Tom Brady and … Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Best Boston Red Sox Team of the 2010s: The 2013 Boston Red Sox. Following the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, our city became enamored with the local nine, especially after David Ortiz delivered a heartfelt speech just days after the horrendous attacks. Ortiz’s words would be the catalyst for a magical season that concluded with a World Series victory at historic Fenway Park.
Boston, which went from worst (2012) to first (2013), concluded the 2013 campaign with 97 wins. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays in four games before topping the heavily-favored Detroit Tigers in six games. Shane Victorino hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh in game six before Koji Uehara shut the door on a possible rally in the top of the ninth.
The win over the Tigers secured the Sox their third American League crown, as well as their third appearance in the World Series in 10 seasons.
The Best Boston Bruins Team of the 2010s: The 2011 Boston Bruins. If the Bruins won the Stanley Cup earlier this year, I would have chosen that team, but instead, I’ll play it safe and go with the squad that won the Stanley Cup eight years ago.
After seeing the 2010 squad collapse in the second round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers, I was unsure if the 2011 Bruins would be able to make myself (and other Black and Gold fans) proud. But they certainly did.
Their Cup run began with an epic game seven overtime win in the opening round against the Montreal Canadiens, thanks to Nathan Horton. One round later, Boston erased memories of a dreadful collapse from one year earlier by sending the Flyers home with four-straight wins (it was sweet revenge, in my opinion!).
But perhaps Boston’s most impressive win came against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals, especially in the seventh game. Horton netted the lone goal of the contest, while TimThomas, who won the Vezina Trophy, stopped every shot he faced.
Those ‘smiles’ would not disappear as those same grins reemerged days later after the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in six games to win their sixth championship in franchise history.
The win over the Canucks was exciting – it was also the team’s third game seven victory of the 2011 postseason, which was the most game seven wins by any team in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Unfortunately, their win over Vancouver did not result in a few more titles as Boston would lose in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013 and seven games to the St. Louis Blues in 2019.
The Best Boston Celtics Team of the 2010s: The 2017-18 Boston Celtics. After winning their 17th championship in June 2008, the Celtics have yet to return to top of the mountain but have had chances, including ten years after they beat the Los Angeles Lakers in six games when the Green and White almost beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Boston was without Kyrie Irving who missed the entire postseason, as well as Gordon Hayward, who suffered a serious end-of-season injury during the team’s initial game of the 2017-18 campaign, which happened to be against the Cavaliers. So, without two of the league’s marquee players, the Celtics turned to both their veteran and youth players to go on an exciting run, which included wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers (4-1).
Against Cleveland, Boston won the series’ first two games before losing four of the next five contests. They had chances to beat James and the Cavaliers in each of the final five contests, but the youth and inexperience eventually caught-up with the Green and White, who have been really fun to watch this season.
What made this particular postseason run so much fun was the play of both Brown and Tatum, along with Al Horford, Marcus Smart, and Marcus Morris.