We hope everyone is doing well and staying safe, of course. We are excited to produce a brand new ‘On This Date in History’ – are you ready for a trip back in time?
Just a QUICK program note: We will be pressing the pause button on the ‘Daily Noontime’ and focusing on producing ‘On This Date in History.’ The ‘Daily Noontime’ will return – do not worry – but for now, we will be focusing on producing a daily sports history post, which has been a LOT of fun!
As always, be well, stay safe, and have a wonderful Monday, everyone!
On This Date in History: April 6th, 2020
1896: The first modern Olympic Games are held in Athens, Greece. They were called the Games of the I Olympiad, which were held in front of 60,000 spectators. James Connolly (USA) placed first in the triple jump.
1958: Arnold Palmer wins his first of four Masters by finishing with a score of 284 (70-73-68-73).
1973: Ron Blomberg becomes the first major leaguer to play a game as a designated hitter. Blomberg, who played for the New York Yankees, drew a walk in his first at-bat as the DH against Boston Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant.
1973: The Pittsburgh Pirates retired Roberto Clemente‘s uniform number (No. 21).
1992: The Baltimore Orioles won their first game at Camden Yards (now Oriole Park at Camden Yards) by defeating the Cleveland Indians, 2-0.
1993: The Florida Marlins sustained their initial setback in franchise history with a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The setback occurred one day after the team won their first-ever game in franchise history on Monday, April 5th, 1993.
2004: Diana Taurasi earned her second consecutive Most Outstanding Player honor after guiding Connecticut to the 23rd NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship with a 70-61 win over Tennessee.
2019: The Tampa Bay Lightning becomes the fourth team in NHL history to record 62 wins in a single-season. The Lightning match the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings squad, which finished their regular season campaign with 62 wins and 128 points.
Unlike past years that have pitted squads with championship resumes, this year’s finals features two teams representing cities desperate for hardware.
Cleveland hasn’t celebrated a championship since 1964, the year the Browns defeated the Baltimore Colts in the N.F.L. Championship.
Golden State – winners of the 1975 N.B.A. Finals – have come close to winning its fourth championship in franchise history, but have only appeared in the final round twice since defeating the Washington Bullets in four straight games.
Unlike Cleveland, Golden State, which plays its games in Oakland, has seen neighboring professional squads win titles. The Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have won Super Bowls since the 1970’s, while the Oakland A’s captured the 1988 World Series, sweeping the San Francisco Giants in four game. The Giants have won a trio of championships since 2010, including their franchise’s eighth World Series crown last fall.
The San Jose Sharks, however, are the lone Bay Area team without a championship. San Jose has appeared in the Western Conference Finals three times since the turn of the century, but suffered setbacks to the Calgary Flames (2004), Chicago Blackhawks (2010) and Vancouver Canucks (2011).
So, who needs this title more? The answer would be both Cleveland, right?
If Cleveland wins the title then it will probably call-off school, work and everything else the following day. Yet, if the series does go the distance, I guess school would be cancelled the following Monday, right?
The Bay Area has celebrated multiple championships. So, while Oakland and San Francisco would rejoice in the Warriors’ fourth franchise crown, it may not feel as special as Cleveland finally getting over the hump and winning a title.
Cleveland has seen its baseball team come close to winning a World Series title since capturing the 1948 World Series.
In 2013, the Indians attempted to extend its campaign to the round of eight, but lost to Tampa Bay in a play-in-game, 4-0. Cleveland concluded the game with nine hits – one more than the Rays – but could not muster a single run.
In 2007, the Indians fell to the Boston Red Sox – remember when they were good? – in the American League Championship Series and dropped a pair of American League Division Series in 2001 and 1999.
Cleveland did, however, appear in 1995 and 1997 World Series, but did not win.
The Indians saw its best chance to end the city’s championship drought in 1997 when they prolonged their championship series with Florida to seven games following a 4-1 victory in the sixth game. Yet, despite an early two-run lead in the final game of the Series, the Marlins rallied to even the game at 2-2 before plating the final run in the bottom of the 11th to win their first-ever crown.
As for the Cleveland Browns, they haven’t earned a postseason victory since 1989 after defeating Buffalo, 34-30. The Browns advanced to the Conference Championship following their win against the Bills, but fell to the Denver Broncos for the second time in three seasons by a score of 37-21.
Cleveland outscored the Broncos, 21-14, during the third stanza, but did not register a single point during the final 15 minutes. John Elway connected with Sammy Winder for a 39-yard touchdown strike, while David Treadwell kicked a pair of field goals during the final session to send the Broncos to the Super Bowl.
Since the turn of the century, the Browns have posted a pair of winning seasons, including a 9-7 mark during their 2002 campaign. Yet, similar to past years, the Browns fell in the playoffs, losing to rival Pittsburgh. Cleveland registered a 10-win season in 2007 – their most wins in a single-season since 1994 – but did not qualify for the postseason.
Let the debate rage on, who needs this championship? Cleveland or the Bay Area? I guess you would say, Cleveland, right?
Initially, I chose to Golden State to hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, but after rattling off Cleveland’s frustrating postseason setbacks, I guess I have to root for the Cavaliers.
Enjoy the remainder of the N.B.A. Finals and consider rooting for Cleveland, so they can finally celebrate a championship for the first time since “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles was a chart topper.