July 09, 2019

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 4 comments

50 years ago today, Tom Seaver threw his near perfect game against the Cubs as the Mets were on their way to their miracle 1969 championship, giving up only a single to rookie Jimmy Qualls in the ninth inning and finishing with a one hit shutout.

I watched the game as a high school boy on WOR Channel 9 out of New York, the Mets' station. I was in an upstairs bedroom with a tiny black and white "portable" TV. I needed the second floor elevation to be able to pick up the broadcast signal 60 miles away with just the TV's small collapsible antenna. Needless to say, there was no cable at the time.

To this day, it remains one of the most electrifying sporting events I've ever seen. I was a rabid Cubs fan at the time, and followed that '69 team from Opening Day the old fashioned way - by racing out to get the morning paper and poring over the standings and box scores from the day before. It was a great team. The infield was special and a good chunk of the pitching staff was too.

I turned the game on with high anticipation, as Seaver was facing the great young lefty Ken Holtzman, and the chances were good for a pitching duel. There was a duel, but it was strictly between Seaver and immortality. The Cubs were awful, started giving up unearned runs, and Holtzman only lasted an inning.

The sound of the home crowd at Shea was astounding - I'd never heard anything like that. It was awe inspiring, even through the tinny little TV speaker.

By the time Seaver got the final out, I knew that the Mets were in the midst of something magical, and that my Cubs were doomed. 1969 was the first year of divisional play, and it was the Cubs' misfortune to play in the "East" with the Mets, while Atlanta played in the "West" - and made the post-season.

When I turned the TV off, I was in that state that appears often in novels and screenplays: "He was thoroughly spent and resigned to inevitable disillusionment but felt fully alive, and was unable to sleep".

posted by beaverboard at 07:16 AM on July 09

Russell Okung contributes a justification for paying student athletes to The Players' Tribune . There's a bit of interesting history about how the NCAA grew into its present form included.

posted by Howard_T at 03:48 PM on July 09

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.