Posts Tagged ‘baseball’
Idle hands at work: Baseball Card Vandals…
As we sharpen our Sharpies, we might recall that it was on this date in 1996 that Grand Master and world champion Gary Kasparov took the sixth and final game to win his chess match against IBM’s Deep Blue computer. Humanity’s triumph was short-lived: Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in a rematch the following year, and has been winning ever since. Indeed, Deep Blue’s younger cousin, Watson, the Jeopardy-winning AI, has gone into medical practice.
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From Good, a breakdown of the 10% of the world’s population (!) that believes the world will end by the conclusion of this calendar year.
As we turn to happier– but also unlikely– thoughts, we might recall that it was on this date in 1971 that the Houston Astros’ Cesar Cedeno, at bat with with the bases loaded and his team trailing the Dodgers 3-2, hit a pop fly that turned into an inside-the-park grand slam:
The Olympic Games: nine days and counting. As we refresh ourselves on the rules of ribbon dancing and brush up on badminton, we might spare a moment to recall some of the events that have been dropped– “discontinued”– by the Olympics…
While the long jump event has tested the athletic prowess of track and field stars from around the world, back in the Paris Games of 1900, horses were given the chance to show off how far they could leap. As part of the equestrian events, horse long jump only had one Olympics to make its mark and it failed to do so spectacularly. No one could accuse equestrian horses of not being athletic, yet the winning leap, from Belgium’s Constant van Langendonck atop the horse Extra Dry, measured only 6.10 meters. Not too shabby, until you consider the world record for long jump, by a human, is 8.95 meters.
Though part of the aquatics program at St. Louis in 1904, the distance plunge event seems to have more in common with a children’s game than an Olympic sport (which might explain why it’s never returned to the Games). The event required athletes to dive into the pool and coast underwater without moving their limbs. After 60 seconds had passed – or competitors had floated to the surface, whichever came first – referees measured the distance the athletes had drifted. The gold medal winner was U.S. athlete William Dickey, although, it should be noted, only Americans competed in the event.
Seven other expired events at Time‘s “9 Really Strange Sports That Are No Longer in the Olympics.“
And on the heel of the London authorities unplugging The Boss and Sir Paul mid-song, a look at local reactions to the London Olympic authorities’ authoritarian antics.
As we practice in preparation for the inclusion of beer-pong in 2016, we might recall that it was on this date in 1927 that “The Georgia Peach,” Ty Cobb, recorded his 4,000th career hit. Cobb finished out his Major League Baseball career the next year with a grand total of 4,191 hits– which stood as a record until 1985, when it was surpassed by Pete “What are the Odds” Rose. Cobb was in the inaugural class of five elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
source: Library of Congress
What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?
- Ellen McManis
The answer turns out to be “a lot of things”, and they all happen very quickly, and it doesn’t end well for the batter (or the pitcher). I sat down with some physics books, a Nolan Ryan action figure, and a bunch of videotapes of nuclear tests and tried to sort it all out. What follows is my best guess at a nanosecond-by-nanosecond portrait…
Read the whole sad tale (and see the other explanatory illustrations) at What If?
As we restrain ourselves on the mound, we might recall that it was on this date in 1990 that White Sox first baseman Steve Lyons slid headfirst to beat out a bunt… a play that became memorable when he dropped his pants to brush away the dirt inside his uniform in front of 14,770 fans at Tiger Stadium.
A comprehensive taxonomy of 482 professional baseball team names, spanning over 150 years and covering teams from the bigs to the minor and independent leagues, as well as the Negro Leagues, the Nippon Professional Baseball league, and more. Styled like an old school baseball card, this is the definitive guide to the nation’s pastime.
Pick one up at their site.
As we don our colors, we might recall that this was a sad date in 1972: The San Francisco Giants traded Willie Mays to the New York Mets (for pitcher Charlie Williams and $50,000 cash). Mays had played with Giants– first in New York, then San Francisco– since 1951. As a Giant he won two MVP awards, played 24 times in the All-Star Game (a record he shares with Stan Musial), and won 12 Golden Gloves (also a record). Mays ended his career with 660 home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fourth all-time.
in 1972, the Giants franchise was losing money. Owner Horace Stoneham couldn’t guarantee Mays an income after retirement, while the Mets–anxious to capitalize on Mays’ continued popularity in new York– could offer Mays a position as a coach upon his retirement… so a friendly trade was arranged.
They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays.
- Ted Williams