Tag Archives: April

Russell Westbrook: Triple-Double King 2016-17 Season

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Russell Westbrook during the 2016-17 season (Getty Images)

 

After eight seasons playing alongside NBA All-Star Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook had the Oklahoma City Thunder all to his own in the 2016-17 NBA Season.  Everyone knew how incredibly athletic and skilled Westbrook was but I don’t know if any body would predict this season he would achieve all he did this season.

The most important stat for Russell Westbrook during the 2016-17 NBA Season are his 42 triple-doubles.  Yeah that’s right, he had a triple-double in more than half of his teams regular season games.  During the course of the season there was much doubt as to whether he could break the record of 41 triple doubles.

As a fan it seemed as almost every night he was ending a game with a triple-double.  This was one of the best regular season performances by any player in NBA history.

Russell Westbrook’s historic achievement was made on April 9, 2017 in Denver Colorado against the Nuggets.  In this game where he had his 42 triple-double of the season he did it in style by scoring 50 points.  He moved ahead of NBA Legend Oscar Robertson that night who held the previous record of 41 triple-doubles in a single season.

He finished the season with an average of 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists.  It’s insane to thing about the fact he averaged a triple-double per game.  At 28 years old he still has many more great years ahead of him and who know how many other records he will break before his career is over.

 

History Now: The Golden State Warriors Tie The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls Season Wins Record At 72

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On Sunday April 10, 2016 the Golden State Warriors added to an already amazing story by matching the single season wins record.  The Warriors are now tied withe the legendary Chicago Bulls team from the 1995-96 season with 72 regular season wins.

The Warriors did so with an impressive victory over a San Antonio Spurs team that until now was undefeated at home this season, which was 39 straight home wins.  The Spurs also had their 48 home game winning streak snapped that dated back to the 2014-15 season. Stephen Curry lead the Warriors to victory with 37 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.  The final total of the game was 92-86.

The Warriors have one shot at surpassing the Bulls record with only one game remaining on their schedule.  That game will take place on Wednesday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland,CA against the Memphis Grizzlies.  We will keep you updated on the results of this game.

History Now: LA Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Banned From Basketball For Life

On April 29, 2014 the long time owner of the NBA’s L.A. Clippers franchise, Donald Sterling was banned for life from the game of Basketball. Sterling had purchased the team in 1979 and there had been controversy surrounding him over the last three decades. Much has been covered over the last week since the audio was released of Sterling making racial remarks.  In the recording Sterling was speaking with his mistress about not having “black people” associated with he Instagram account.  He also made reference to her bringing them to the games as well.

Former L.A. Clippers Owner Donald Serling. (Getty Images)

Former L.A. Clippers Owner Donald Serling. (Getty Images)

His own team had reacted very harshly to the comments, which they should have.  Their first game since the comments were released the team turned their warm up gear inside out and wore black arm bands during the game.  The Clippers lost that game and are needing the relief that this announcement would create.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. (Getty Images)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. (Getty Images)

Much talk had swirled the sports world over what the new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver would do in response to these comments.  Today Silver made it clear that these kinds of comments will not be tolerated in the NBA.  Silver held a press conference at 2pm ET to made the announcement on how this situation would be dealt with. Along with the life time ban from Basketball he will be forced to sell the team and will be fined $2.5 million. Silver made a bold statement and one that will go down in NBA History as one of the biggest statements ever made by the League’s Commissioner.

Fernando Tatis And His History Making Inning

When you think of all time greats in baseball, names like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson are a few of the players that might pop into your head.  When you think of Major League Baseball record holders you might think of Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr and Barry Bonds.  Fernando Tatis would be the last player you would think of being one of the greats of the game or even holding a MLB record.  While he is not a legendary player he does hold a pretty incredible record.

Fernando Tatis rounding the bases. (Getty Images)

Fernando Tatis rounding the bases. (Getty Images)

Only thirteen players in the history of MLB have hit two grand slams in the same game.  Fernando Tatis is one of those players to accomplish this amazing feat, but he did it better than the twelve other players.  On April 23, 1999 Tatis, playing for the St Loius Cardinals took to the plate in the third inning of their game against the Los Angeles Dogders.  Chan Ho Park was the pitcher on the mound for the Dodgers.  Tatis hit not one but two grand slams, all of them in the third inning against Park.  The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers by a score of 12-5 that day.

Fernando Tatis retired from baseball after the 2010 season.  He had a career batting average of .265 with 113 home runs and 448 RBIs.  While not a impressive career numbers, Tatis holds a very rare and difficult record.  Many look to records like Cal Ripken Jr’s consecutive game record and Nolan Ryan’s career no hitter’s as unbreakable records.  This record is right up their with those as records that might stand forever.  The proof is in the amount of player that have hit two grand slams in one game with only thirteen.  Then take a look at how many did that in one inning, only one.

While Fernando Tatis was a very forgettable player that had a forgettable career, no one can take away this accomplishment.  So when you think of incredible records think of Tatis in that one game back in April of 1999.

Ron Blomberg Was The First DH 40 Years Ago Today

Ron Blomberg (Getty Images)

Ron Blomberg (Getty Images)

He may not be a household name but he has become a great trivia fact.  On April 6th, 1973 New York Yankee Ron Blomberg became the first Designated Hitter (DH) in baseball history.  This first came in game against the rival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.  Blomberg was walked in his first home plate appearance against pitcher Luis Tiant.  Blomberg finished the season with a .321 batting average in 301 plate appearances.  His career ended with the Whit Sox after the 1978 season.

To this day the DH remains exclusive to the American League.  The DH position has caused mush controversy and excitement over the years.  Many have debated through the years that the DH position hurts the game.  Most feel that in the game of baseball the pitcher should be in the hitting lineup.   The DH has been criticized for taking away from baseball’s tradition.  40 years later I think it is safe to say that it has become apart of the tradition, at least in the American League.

Hank Aaron Tied Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record On Opening Day 1974

Many know that Hank Aaron was the first player to tie and break Babe Ruth’s all time home run record.  However most don’t know that the historic tying home run came on Opening Day.  On April 4th, 1974 the Hank Arron and Atlanta Braves played the Reds in Cincinnati, Oh.  It was in that game that Aaron hit his 714th career home run.  The historic home run came in Hank Aaron’s first at bat of the 1974 season.  Jack Billingham was the pitcher that gave up the home run.

Hank Aaron being congratulated on home run 714. (Getty Images)

Hank Aaron being congratulated after home run 714. (Getty Images)

There was no better place for this incredible moment to happen in Cincinnati.  The city is home to the first ever professional baseball team, the Reds.  Everyday until 1990 the Reds had thrown the first pitch in every baseball season.  Opening Day is even an official holiday in the city, complete with a parade.

That great Opening day moment almost never happened.  Prior to the season opener the Braves management was worried that Aaron would not only tie but break the record in Cincinnati.  They were so concerned that he was going to sit out the first series of the season until the team returned to Atlanta.  The Braves were forced to play Aaron in at least two games of the three game series.

Hank Aaron would not hit another home run until April 8th, 1974 in Atlanta.  That home run would be his 715th and broke Ruth’s all time record.  Aaron retired after the 1976 season with the Brewers.  When his career was over Aaron had 755 career home runs.

The Pursuit Of Baseball In Tampa

The State of Florida has been the home of Spring Training since the early part of the 1900s. Up until 1993 Florida never had a professional baseball team to call their own.  The Florida Marlins who were based in the Miami area were the first.  The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were soon to follow in 1998.  But Florida has a deep history of pursuing Major League Baseball before they received their teams in the 1990s.
It started in 1983 in the Tampa Bay area when local city officials considered building a baseball stadium to house a pro team.  Construction began in 1986 on what is now known as Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.  It was completed in 1990.  At the time there were no expansion franchises being granted for any city.  So they sought a team the best way they could, trying to lure a team from their current city.
Tropicana Filed,  The stadium that would bring baseball to the Tampa Bay area. (Getty Images)

Tropicana Filed, The stadium that would bring baseball to the Tampa Bay area. (Getty Images)

The Chicago White Sox were the first team that Tampa pursued.  In 1989 The White Sox were not happy in the old Comiskey Park and wanted a new stadium.  They flirted with Tampa for a while before ultimately getting their new stadium and staying in Chicago.
The next team that was rumored was the Seattle Mariners.  The talks did not go very far and the Mariners remained in Washington.
Tampa had their hearts broken in 1991 when they were denied an expansion franchise.  The Miami area won out instead of Tampa and the Florida Marlins came into existence.  The Marlins played the first ever regular season game in Florida in April of 1993.
The closest that Tampa ever came to stealing a team away from a city was in 1993.  The San Francisco Giants owners were looking to sell and a group of investors from Tampa were looking to buy them.   The deal was almost done.  The local baseball fans were already celebrating and then the bad news came.  The sale was vetoed by the National League Owners.  The Giants remained in San Francisco and Tampa was still without a team.
That was until in 1995 when they were granted an expansion franchise.  The Tampa Bay Devil Rays played their first regular season game in 1998.
The past does make one wonder how different things would be if the White Sox, Mariners or Giants would have relocated to Tampa.  If the White Sox or Mariners would have moved would there have been a team in Miami in 1993?  Probably not, there more than likely would have been years later though.  The Giants move would have been interesting.  The city of San Francisco would probably have a different team right now.  There is no way that City would be without a team for too long, not with their tradition and history.

It’s really incredible how things turned out for Tampa.  They took a huge risk by building a stadium without having a team for it.  For many years they looked like failures.  Many in the city thought they would never have a team to call their own.  But Tampa proved to be very persistent and got what they wanted in the end.