Gov. Baker Paves The Way For Pro Sports To Return To Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker provided a glimmer of hope for live sports to return in the coming weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker clearly misses sports – we all know he is a proud supporter of our state’s hometown teams.

So on Friday, Baker announced that the state’s professional teams would be allowed to begin practicing as soon as Saturday, June 6. That is also the same date Massachusetts residents should learn more about the second phase of the state’s reopening plan, which would begin Monday, June 8.

“I know we still aren’t to the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet,” Baker said during Friday’s press briefing. “The leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. And I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.”

Professional sports have been idle since mid-March when the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) paused their respective seasons due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Since then, both leagues have been working diligently to find a way to restart their seasons safely in “hub cities.”

Major League Baseball (MLB) delayed the start of its 2020 season but continues to be stuck in neutral due to ongoing contract discussions between the players and owners.

Both Major League Soccer (MLS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have announced plans to return to the pitch in the coming weeks, which should excited local New England Revolution fans.

Baker believes live sports would certainly help all of us during this unprecedented time. Additionally, it would be a great outlet for many, who have been consuming older contests these past few weeks, including a 2007 playoff run by the Boston Red Sox on NESN.

“I think for all of us live sports, and especially pro sports would be a great thing to see again because not only will it be a significant milestone for those of us who are fans but it will also send a big signal that we’ve continued to do all the things that we need to do to contain and control the virus,” said Baker.

Sports History: Jackie Robinson Makes His Debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers

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On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. (PHOTO COURTESY: J. R. Eyerman/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It was on this date 73 years ago (April 15, 1947) when Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming just the second African American to play professional baseball since catcher Moses Fleetwood Walker suited up for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association in 1884.

The 28-year-old infielder, who was a native of Georgia and credited for breaking the color barrier, had his contract purchased just five days ahead of the Dodgers’ season-opener after spending the previous year with the team’s minor league affiliate the Montreal Royals.

Robinson and the Royals enjoyed a very successful 1946 campaign, winning 100 games while capturing the Governor’s Cup for beating the Syracuse Chiefs in five contests.

In his debut with the Dodgers, Robinson recorded one run and one walk in three plate appearances while Pete Reiser led Brooklyn with three runs on two hits. Eddie Stanky also scored a run against Boston while drawing one walk.

Robinson, who was named the 1947 MLB Rookie of the Year, would conclude his initial season by producing 125 runs, 175 hits, 31 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs, and 48 RBI in 590 plate appearances. He led the National League with 29 stolen bases in 1947 while helping Brooklyn reach the World Series. Unfortunately, Brookly lost the World Series in seven games to the New York Yankees, but Robinson and the Dodgers would win the Fall Classic eight years later.

The 1955 World Series victory against the Yankees would be the only championship Robinson would celebrate as he would retire the following season after leading Brooklyn back to the Fall Classic against New York.

Years after his 10-year career with the Dodgers ended, the MLB permanently retired his No. 42 before former commissioner Bud Selig announced that April 15th would be known as “Jackie Robinson Day.” The first official “Jackie Robinson Day” was held in 2004 with every player wearing the No. 42.

On This Date In History: Friday, April 10th, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to Friday, everyone – we also like to call it Fri-Yay (hope that is OK with everyone!).

As usual, we hope this post finds everyone doing well and staying safe – remember, we are ALL in this together, so take a break from the scary news and revisit some exciting sports moments, which occurred on this exact date (April 10th).

Have a wonderful rest of your morning (and day), as well as a wonderful weekend, everyone.


On This Date in History: Friday, April 10th, 2020

  • 1913: President Woodrow Wilson throws the first pitch ahead of the Washington Senators‘ 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees. Additionally, 1913 marked the rebranding of New York’s ballclub from the Highlanders to the Yankees.
  • 1934: The Chicago Blackhawks win their first-ever Stanley Cup with a 1-0 double-overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings. Harold “Mush” March netted the game-winner 11 minutes into the second extra session for Chicago. The game was held at Chicago Stadium.
  • 1945: The Brooklyn Tigers and Boston Yankees merged operations to compete as one team in the 1945 NFL. Referred to as the Yanks, the team played most of its games in Boston and concluded the season with a 3-6-1 record.
  • 1947: Jackie Robinson signed his first major league contract and would become the first African American to play baseball five days when he suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson became the second African American to play baseball after Moses Fleetwood Walker, who broke baseball’s color barrier in baseball in 1884.
  • 1961: President John F. Kennedy attends the Washington Senators‘ 1961 opener to cheer on a new franchise that would eventually become the Texas Rangers in 1972. The original Washington team became the Minnesota Twins following the conclusion of the 1960 Major League Baseball (MLB) season.
  • 1962: 52,564 fans attended the first game at Dodger Stadium to cheer on the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Cincinnati Reds. The Dodgers would lose their initial game at their new stadium but would beat the Reds the following day (Wednesday, April 11th, 1962) by a score of 6-2.
  • 1993: The Ottawa Senators snapped a 38-game roading losing streak with a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders. The win, unfortunately, would be followed by three more losses, including a pair of road setbacks to the Boston Bruins (4-2) and Quebec Nordiques (6-2).

On This Date In History: Thursday, April 9th, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

It’s Thursday, which means we are one day closer to a brand new weekend!

Yes, Saturdays feel like Mondays and Sundays feel like Wednesdays, but hopefully, the thought of some extra sleep and time with the family brings a smile to your face!

But what also brings a smile to our face is ‘On This Date in History’ – we have a brand new one (below), so enjoy this trip down memory lane.


On This Date in History: Thursday, April 9th, 2020 

  • 1939: The Toronto Maple Leafs won the 1932 NHL Stanley Cup by beating the New York Rangers in the third and final game of the series by a score of 6-4.

    The 1932 Stanley Cup Finals was a best of five-game series – the third (and final) contest took place in Toronto after the second game was shifted from New York to Boston due to a scheduling conflict with Madison Square Garden on April 7, 1932.

  • 1947: Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher was suspended for “conduct detrimental to baseball,” just six days before Opening Day. Additionally, Brooklyn’s Chuck Dressen was suspended 30 days while the Dodgers were fined $2,000.
  • 1959: The Boston Celtics won their third NBA Championship by sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers on the road.

    Bill Sharman paced the Celtics with 29 points while Bill Russell recorded a double-double of 15 points and 30 rebounds. Boston would win the NBA championship the following year against the St. Louis Hawks.

  • 1989: Major League Baseball (MLB) Hall of Famer Ricky Henderson stole his 800th career base in a 4-3 setback to the Cleveland Indians. Henderson, who played for both the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics during the 1989 season, concluded his career with 1,406 stolen bases. He set the record for most stolen bases in a single-season with 130 in 1982.
  • 1993: The Colorado Rockies win their first game in franchise history by defeating the Montreal Expos, 11-4. The win snapped a two-game losing streak – Montreal blanked Colorado on Opening Day by a score of 3-6 before the Rockies registered their initial run in franchise two days later in a 6-1 setback.

    Colorado concluded its first season sixth in the National League West with an overall record of 67-95.

  • 1997: Major League Soccer (MLS) announced two expansion franchises for the 1998 season: Chicago and Miami. The two new clubs bumped the league’s total to 12 teams.

Sports History: Ted Williams Manages His First Game with the Washington Senators

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Ted Williams, who played for the Boston Red Sox, began his managerial career with the Washington Senators on April 7th, 1969. (PHOTO COURTESY: Boston.com)

By Matt Noonan 

As noted in today’s ‘On This Date in History’ for Tuesday, April 7th, 2020, former Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams managed his initial game with the Washington Senators, which sadly did not end with a victory, but a disappointing 8-4 setback to the New York Yankees.

New York spoiled Williams’ managerial debut on Monday, April 7th, 1969 by producing eight runs in a span of three innings (second, third, and fourth) to secure a lead they would not relinquish.

Washington would, however, trim the deficit, thanks to Frank Howard, who finished the game with two RBI. Howard also recorded one hit and one run during five plate appearances while Del Unser and Tim Cullen recorded three hits, respectively.

Howard’s lone RBI – a home run – occurred in the ninth inning against Mel Stottlemyre, who would conclude the 1969 season with a career-high 24 complete games.

New York’s Bobby Murcer highlighted his team’s opening day win with three RBI, including a pair of two-out RBI, along with a home run off Washington’s Camilo Pascual in the third inning.

Washington would provide Williams with his initial win two days later (Wednesday, April 9th, 1969) when the Senators beat the Yankees, 6-4.

Williams, who managed the Senators from 1969 to 1971, led the team to its only winning season in franchise history with an 86-76 record. They finished in fourth place in the American League East while the Yankees concluded their 1969 campaign in fifth place.

The Baltimore Orioles, which won the AL East, would advance to the World Series after beating the Minnesota Twins in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) before losing to the New York Mets in five games.