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.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Doesn’t Think Its Safe To Welcome Back Sports

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh doesn’t believe it is safe to welcome back pro sports to the city. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

By Matt Noonan

There’s no doubt that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh would like to welcome back sports – he even said he would be willing to reopen Fenway Park and the TD Garden earlier this month with no fans. But as of this afternoon, Walsh believes its best to keep teams on the sidelines as the state and city slowly begin to reopen.

“As much as I would love to watch our pro teams play right now, we really have to put the health and safety of (the) Boston residents first,” Walsh said during his daily press briefing. “As I have said before, if pro teams (and) sports come back, it will be very different than what we’re used to.

“I don’t think right now we’re where in a place where we’ll have fans watching and cheering from the stands, (but) we also have to think about the health of the players and the players traveling from other places. Teams could look into things like temperature checks and testing to limit the spread amongst players and staff. Any proposals of teams will have to be matched with the proper health and safety protocol to make both staff and players feel comfortable with their plans.”

While Walsh’s announcement shouldn’t impact the Boston Celtics – if basketball were to resume, games would be held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports – it could be an issue for the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox.

The NHL is planning to provide its fans with an update this afternoon about restarting games while the MLB is trying to get a deal done between its players and owners. And if a deal is reached, it’s likely the Red Sox would play home games in Fort Myers, not Boston.

“We’ll keep fans posted as soon as decisions are made,” said Walsh.

The Bruins and Celtics last played in Boston in early March while the Red Sox’s last home game occurred against the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 2019.

Sports History: Boston Tops Los Angeles, Wins Sixth NBA Championship

By NoontimeSports.com 

It was on this date 57 years ago (April 24, 1963) when the Boston Celtics captured yet another NBA Championship by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. Boston outlasted Los Angles, 112-109, in the sixth and final contest of the best of seven game series after capturing the first two meetings in Massachusetts. 

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The Boston Celtics celebrated their sixth NBA Championships on April 24, 1963, by beating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. (PHOTO COURTESY: NBA.com/Celtics)

Boston was led by the league’s Most Valuable Player Bill Russell, who guided the Green and White to a 58-22 record, as well as the team’s sixth NBA title in seven seasons. The 58 wins was the most victories recorded by any team during the 1962-63 season.

The Celtics postseason run began with an exciting seven-game series against the Cincinnati Royals, who secured a spot in the Eastern Finals after beating the Syracuse Nationals in the Eastern Semifinals (3-2). Sam Jones highlighted his team’s game seven victory over the Royals by scoring a team-high 47 points on 18 of 27 shooting while Tom Heinsohn added 31 points. 

Boston led Cincinnati, 68-64, at the break before outscoing the visitors, 74-67, in the final two sessions to clinch the series and secure a date with Los Angeles.

The Celtics, which beat the Lakers one year earlier in seven contests, won the first two games before Los Angeles won games three and five. Boston won the fourth game, which was held in California, before winning the sixth contest in the same state five days later.

Tom Heinsohn led the Green and White with 22 points on 8 of 18 shooting to go with nine rebounds and two assists while Tom SandersBob Cousy, and John Havlicek each scored 18 points. Los Angeles’ Jerry West led all scorers with 32 points and Elgin Baylor recorded 28 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists.

Boston’s winning ways would continue throughout the decade as they would win five more championships, including the 1969 NBA Finals against the Lakers. Boston needed to win the final two games to clinch the series after Los Angeles won three of five contests.


NoontimeSports.com’s Mia Len contributed to today’s ‘On This Date in History’ sports history post. 

On This Date In History: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

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By NoontimesSports.com 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

We hope (as usual) that everyone is doing well, staying safe, and smiling, of course. The sun is shining outside our window, but it is a bit chilly and windy today, so make sure to bundle up if you need to go outside to the store or for a walk.

Let’s take another trip down memory lane with a brand new ‘On This Date in History’ for Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Have a great day, everyone!


On This Date in History: April 22nd, 2020

  • 1876: The Boston Red Stockings defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 6-5, in the first National League game in the history of baseball.
  • 1954: At the annual owners’ meeting in New York, Daniel Biasone, who was the founding owner of the Syracuse Nationals, which would become the Philadelphia 76ers, “proposed a rule that would force each team to take a shot within 24 seconds of gaining possession.”According to the New York Times, Biasone felt 24 seconds would allow each team to attempt an average of 60 shots per game. “My idea was to keep the game going, to speed it up,” Biasone said, via Charles Paikert.
  • 1995: John Smoltz, who spent a majority of his big league career pitching for the Atlanta Braves, recorded his 3,000th strikeout on this date when he retired Washington Nationals infielder Felipe Lopez in the top of the third inning.Smoltz joined an impressive list of MLB pitchers that recorded 3,000 strikeouts or more, including Nolan RyanRandy JohnsonRoger ClemensSteve Carlton, and Bert Blyleven.
  • 2010: With the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams selected quarterback, Sam Bradford, who quarterbacked Oklahoma in the Big 12Ndamukong Suh, a defensive tackle from Nebraska, was selected second by the Detroit Lions while Gerald McCoy, who also played defensive tackle, was picked third by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.The New England Patriots selected Devin McCourty with the 27th pick., McCourty, who played collegiately at Rutgers, has enjoyed a very successful career with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowls while becoming a player to watch on the defense.

On This Date In History: Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com 

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone – how is everyone doing?

The sun is shining (currently) but we do have some rain on the way so make sure to get some Vitamin D before the clouds arrive. And make sure to smile, too – smiling is important during unprecedented times.

Let’s have another great day by taking another trip down memory lane with a brand new ‘On This Date in History’ from your friends here at Noontime Sports!


On This Date in History: April 21st, 2020

  • 1995: The Boston Celtics played their final regular-season contest at the original (and old) Boston Garden – sadly, the Green and White lost to the New York Knicks by a score of 99-92.
  • 1996: The Chicago Bulls defeated the Washington Bullets, 103-93, to conclude the 1995-96 regular season with a 72-10 overall record. Chicago would go onto win an NBA championship later that spring against the Seattle SuperSonics.
  • 2001: The Atlanta Falcons selected quarterback Michael Vick with the first pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. The Arizona Cardinals selected guard Leonard Davis with the second pick, while the Cleveland Browns picked defensive tackle Gerard Warren with the third pick.

    Richard Seymour was selected sixth by the New England Patriots before the team snagged Matt Light in the second round.

  • 2018: Oakland A’s pitcher Sean Manaea no-hits the Boston Red Sox while retiring 10 batters in nine innings. Oakland beat Boston, 3-0, thanks to Marcus Semien, who concluded the early season contest with three runs, two hits, and one RBI. Boston’s Chris Sale suffered his first loss of the season – the lefthander recorded 10 strikeouts but did yield three runs on six hits.