Tag Archives: sports

Happy New Year From AmericanSportsHistory.com

New Years Eve 2015

Happy New Year everyone! 2014 was a great year for this web site. There was a lot of history made this year in sports and AmericanSportsHistory.com had you covered all year. We also delved into the past for stories of legends like Jim Brown, Michael Jordan and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.

I am proud to say the site attracted more visitors than ever before. I will be celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the site in March. Keep an eye out for more great American Sports History content in 2015. I plan on continuing many of the main stay articles like “History Now” and “Historic Rookies” plus bring you more exciting content. Thanks again for all of the support and get ready for a great year ahead.

Justin Hand
Founder, Owner and Writer
WWW.AmericanSportsHistory.com

1st Anniversary of 2CentsWorthOfSports!

2centsdoublesmaller

The site hit it’s year mark this month.  I have had a lot of fun covering many different sports topics over the last year.  With over 100 articles posted and a few thousand visitors, it has been a fun year!  As you may have notice the site’s direction changed in January from general sports coverage to sports history only.  I will  be keeping you posted on History as it happens and covering the classic moments and accomplishments in sports.  Thank you to all of our readers and stay tuned for more classic reading!

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.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas from 2centsworthofsports.com! Hope everyone out there is having a great holiday season. Please don’t forget to keep all our brothers and sisters serving in the armed forces in your prayer. We have the privilege to spend the holiday safe in our homes because of them.

NFL Sundays Are Back

After a long spring and summer America’s top sports league is back.  The sometimes boring and monotonous training camps of July and August are complete.  It is finally time to get the season under way on the greatest day of the week, Sunday.

(Getty Images)

There are many story lines to pay attention to this year.  Will the young rookie Andrew Luck and RG3 QB’s shine and have a season the likes of Cam Newton last season?  Will Peyton Manning return to his old form with the Broncos after sitting out the entire 2011 season?  Can the teams like the 49ers and Texans continue the strong play they had last season?  There are many more storylines that will follow as the season rages on through the Fall and into the Winter.

There is something about this season and this time of the year that just makes football fans a little happier.  For many of us it bring back memories of growing up watching football with our families.   Your home town team that you love so much no matter how horrible they are every year.  For others it’s the nostalgia of playing the game while in grade school or high school.  Then there are the fantasy football nuts that just can’t wait to show all of their friends how much more they know about the game and managing their own team.  Whatever you reason is for getting excited about the upcoming season it a valid one.

Football has been around for many years and will be an American favorite for a lot more to come.  It is engrained in our make up as people and as a country.  We as Americans love physicality and proving who the better man or better men really are.  In every game every Sunday we get to see just that, who is better on this day.  So let the gatherings of friends and the barbeques continue into the winter cause football is back.

Cleveland Sports “The Heartbreaking History”

My friend George, who is the biggest Browns fan I know came to me with an idea for an article.  The idea was to cover the negative history of sports teams in Cleveland.  I took that Idea and turned it into what you are about to read.  George, this is for you brother!

Cleveland has a history of bad luck and heartbreaking defeats when it comes to its sports franchises.  From the “Fumble” to Lebron’s “Decision”.  There have also been some incredible times for Cleveland’s sports franchises, however the bad far out way the good.  Cleveland is a city that loves it’s sports, unfortunately sports gods do not care for Cleveland very much.  I am going to take you on a trip through the history of Cleveland sports.  So sit back, relax and revel in Cleveland’s sorrows.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Michael Jordan celebrating the “Shot”
(Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavs have had many Horrible season.  The team has held the franchise record for most loses in a season with 67, twice.  The first came in their inaugural season of 1970-71 and the second  during the 1981-82 season.   The team made a strong run in 1989 only to fall hard to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.  The game became known for the “Shot”, it was the final game in round one of the Eastern Conference playoffs.  The moment was considered one of the greatest clutch moments in the history of Michael Jordan’s career.  It was one of the worst moments in history of the Cavileers.  The Cavs have never won an NBA Title, not even with the great Lebron James.  The team has only made one trip to the NBA Finals, in 2007 the Cavs were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in 4 games.  The City has Lebron James to blame for one of their many horrible moments.  In 2010 Lebron had an ESPN special live from a Boys and Girls Club in his home town of Akron, Oh.  Many thought because of the location he would be announcing that he would be staying in Cleveland.  He instead announced he would be taking his talents to South Beach and play for the Miami Heat.  That infamous broadcast is known as the “Decision” The City was in an uproar and Lebron jerseys were quickly being thrown away and even burned in the streets of the City who’s heart he broke.  The team followed up the “Decision” with one of the worst seasons in the history of the NBA.  The team lost a record tying 26 games in a row in the 2010-11 season.  The Cavs are 2 years removed from that fateful night and have never been able to get over it.  The team may be destined to dwell in the sadness that is Cleveland sports forever.

Cleveland Indians

The Indians lose to the Marlins in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series
(Getty Images)

The Indians are one of the teams that have been successful at times but have had more bad seasons than good ones.  The team has two World Series Championships.  The first came in 1920 and the most recent was back in 1948.  The Indians have added to the cities history of heartbreak over the years.   From 1960-1993 the team never made the playoffs and spent most of their seasons in last place.  In 1995 the Indians were one of the best teams in the MLB, until they made it to the World Series and lost to the Braves in 6 games.  The team made another trip to the World Series in 1997.  The tribe lost the series to the Florida Marlins in a devastating late inning Game 7 affair in Miami.  The team has been through countless rebuilding periods, all with no success.  The team was even featured as lovable losers and misfits in the major motion picture “Major League”.  The Indians are only second to one other team in the city of heart break, The Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns Earnest Byner seconds after the “Fumble”
(Getty Images)

The city’s most devastating stories and moments have come from their football team, the Browns.  The team had early success in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  The Hall Of Fame Quarterback Otto Graham led the team to ten straight championship games with the Browns winning 7 of them.  The team found great success with Hall Of Fame running back Jim Brown.  Brown played with the team in the 60’s and 70’s and established himself as one of the best running backs in the history of the NFL.  The 1980’s brought the team some success. Led by their young quarterback Bernie Kosar, the team made it to the AFC Championship game twice.  Both meetings were against the rival Denver Broncos and their superstar QB John Elway.  The first of those championship meetings came in the 1986 AFC Championship game.  The Browns were leading the Broncos and had them pinned down on their own 2 yard line with 5 minutes and 11 seconds to play.  John Elway was about to show the world that he was one of the best of that era with the “Drive”.  Elway led his team all of the way down the field to score a touchdown and tie the game at 20-20.  The damage had been done and Cleveland lost the game 23-20 in overtime.  The “Drive” took place in Cleveland but that wasn’t the last quotable game to take place at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium.  In the 1987 AFC Championship Game the Broncos came into town again.  This time the Browns dominated the Broncos for most of the game and looked to be the AFC Champions.  Then the unthinkable happened again, this moment was to be known as the “Fumble”.   With the game tied 30-30 Kosar and the Browns were on the Broncos 8 yard line with 1 minute and 12 seconds left on the clock.  Kosar took the snap and handed the ball off to running back Earnest Byner for what looked like and open touchdown run.  Out of nowhere came the Broncos defensive back Jeremiah Castille who stripped Byner of the ball. The Broncos took the intentional safety and ended up scoring a touchdown with less than a minute to play in the game.  The Broncos defeated the Browns by a score of 38-33.  The city of Cleveland has never fully recovered from the “Drive” or the “Fumble”.  In 1995 The Browns played their final game in Cleveland before owner Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore to become the Ravens.  Modell claimed that he moved the team because he was losing money and could not keep the team the city without a new stadium.  He petitioned for a new stadium for years and saw a new ballpark go up and a new arena be constructed while he was left without tax payer support and a dilapidated stadium.  The Browns would return in 1999 as an expansion team but still had rights to the history of the team unlike other cities who lost their teams and history like Houston.  The “new” Browns have only made it to the playoffs once.  There was hope for the team with new ownership to turn things around in 2012.  The Browns were shut out of the playoffs for another season this year.

All of Cleveland’s major sports teams have gone through hardships. The Browns are by far Cleveland’s most heartbreaking team with a history that will not let the fans of Cleveland rest easy.  Any time something goes well for any of their teams disappointment is sure to follow.  Maybe one day the sports gods will treat the great fans of Cleveland to some success and happiness.

*UPDATE*

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to become NBA Champions for the first time in their history.  They also ended the decades long championship drought for the city of Cleveland.  This event was aided by LeBron James returning to Cleveland in 2014.

Team USA Wins Their Opener Against Team France

The basketball competition at the 2012 London Olympics began today.  The US team came into this Olympics with high expectations.  This years Team USA has been compared to the great 1992 “Dream Team”.   Team USA took to the court against Tony Parker and the French team.   The game tipped off at 2:30pm local time in London, England.

Team USA
(David Becker/Getty Images)

1st Quarter

The 1st quarter began with the US getting the first points on the board.  Both teams were missing nearly all of their 3 point attempts.  There were reports that the Olympic basketballs were sometimes slick and even over inflated, it would make sense given all of the missed 3 pointers.  Neither team had very flashy play other than when Lebron James threw a long pass to Kevin Durant for a dunk on the French side of the court.  The 1st quarter came to an end with France’s Yannick Bokolo hitting the games first 3 point shot.  The score when the quarter ended was 22-21 in favor of team USA.  Tony Parker led the French team in the 1st quarter with 6 points, while the USA’s leading scorer was Kevin Durant with 7 points.

2nd Quarter

Lebron James started off the 2nd quarter with a 3 pointer.  The US team played the French team well on defense in the early part of the quarter.  Kevin Durant had an inedible blocked shot on a Nicolas Batum shot in the paint.  The US team committed a lot of fouls in the 1st half of the game, the french team did well at the free throw line when the fouls were made.  Durant continued his excellent play in the 2nd quarter with a beautiful 3 point shot with a little more than 4 minutes remaining in the half.  Team USA moved the ball around very well and started racking up points.  The half ended with the Team USA leading the French team by a score of 52-36.  The leading scorer for the US in the 1st half was Kevin Durant with 14 points. The leading scorer for the French was Florent Pietrus with 8 points, he also was 4 for 4 at the free throw line.

3rd Quarter

The US continued the excellent defending against the French in the 3rd quarter.  Lebron received a great pass from Deron Williams for the layup at the rim with 5 minutes left to go in the quarter.  The passing of the US team was perfect and counted for a lot of the scoring by the team.  Kevin Love played really well in the game with his signature shooting and aggressiveness.  The US ended the quarter leading 78-51.  The US really played more fluid and started clicking better in this quarter.

4th Quarter

Tony Parker began the final quarter on the bench.  Parker had been out of playing shape heading into the Olympics due to the eye injury he sustained a couple of months ago.  The game was all but over, all that was left to do for Team USA was pull away even more in the score.  The NBA’s #1 draft pick Anthony Davis got into the game in the final quarter and put his 1st ever Olympic points on the board.  James Hardin made a nice break away dunk with 4 minutes left to go in the game.  The bench was on the court for Team USA most of the 4th quarter,  they are all top level players and showed it by holding the lead.   The game ended like most thought it would with Team USA taking the game by a score of 98-71.  Kevin Durant was the lead scorer in the game with 22 points, Ali Traore was France’s leading scorer with 12 points.

Team USA looked really good today.  They proved that they can play well together as a team and are likely to win the gold medals this year.  Kevin Durant came out of this game as the teams best player and lead the team very well today.  Many will say it’s Lebron’s team but after today I would say it’s Durant’s.  Tunisia will be their next opponent on Tuesday night.  That game like this one should not be a difficult one for a squad with this many great players.

The Dwight Howard Headache Continues For Orlando

Dwight Howard is not playing nice with the Magic.
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty images)

A few weeks ago it looked like the drama that is Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic was coming to an end, but here we are with Howard still on a team  he no longer wants to be on.  The Magic want Howard to give the new management a chance but he wants a trade and wants one now.  There is one problem though,  there are no teams that for one want to have Howard for one season only to see him leave or a team with assets worthy of him.

The Houston Rockets were pushing hard for Howard going into the draft.  Howard’s management even warned the team that if he were traded to Houston he would leave as a free agent next summer.  Still the Rockets pursued Howard feeling that their legacy and how they would perform as a team with him would sway his decision to leave in 2013.  The Magic were not offered a package of players that fit what they wanted.

Then came along the Brooklyn Nets, the team which Howard wants to ultimately end up with.  The Magic were offered a deal that would involve the Nets and 2 other teams that would send the Magic Center Brook Lopez and a handful of other players.  That deal was never accepted by the Magic and the Nets spent big money on Daron Williams and Lopez signed a contract extension with the team.  The extension makes Lopez untradable until January.  So the Magic will have to wait if they do in fact want Lopez.  Lopez would be the only star player the Nets could include in a trade that would be a good deal for the Magic.
The Lakers are the latest team to be in talks with the Magic for Howard.  The Lakers already traded away 2 future 1st round draft picks so that is off the table in a possible deal.  The star player that could be involved in a deal between the Magic and Lakers would be Andrew Bynum.  The problem with that scenario is two fold.  The first problem is that Bynum is a free agent in 2013 and would have to sign if the Magic would acquire him and he has shown strong interest in being a free agent next year.  The second issue is the Magic also want to unload a lot of their team and clean out some cap space.  The Lakers cannot help them there.  So the Magic stand with a player that is not looking to be going anywhere soon.

The Magic have been getting the rough end of this Howard situation.  They are not finding any great deals but at the same time can’t afford for him to leave as a free agent and get nothing for him.  Howard is really being tough with the team.  The team has new management and is wanting to work something out with Howard.  Howard does need to go but for the right price.  The Magic should wait this out a little longer until they get a deal they can live with.  The team will be set back many years if they don’t get players of value for Howard.  This is a bad situation and a bad summer for the team and things don’t look to be getting better anytime soon.

Why You Should Watch UFC 148: Silva VS Sonnen II

One of the biggest MMA fights of the year is taking place July 7th on the UFC 148 card in Las Vegas.  One of the longest running championship reigns in the UFC is being challenged.  Also the most charismatic figure in MMA  is in this fight.  UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva will defend his title against Chael Sonnen in their second battle.  Their first fight took place on August 7th, 2010.  It was an incredible fight and one of the best fights in 2010.  Anderson Silva was losing the fight going into the 5th and final round when he was able to submit Sonnen with less than 2 minutes remaining in the fight.  It was a fight that caused many to demand a rematch.

Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at a press conference.
(Getty Images)

It has been almost 2 years since their first battle.  Many things have happened in the last couple of years to make it difficult for this fight to take place.  In 2011 Chael Sonnen was dealing with a legal battle involving fraudulent use of his real estate license from 2006.  That issue resulted in Sonnen losing his real estate license.  Almost immediately after that problem was over Sonnen had controversy with the California State Athletic Commission for using PED’s.  It was shown through urinalysis that Sonnen had elevated levels of testosterone during the fight on the 7th of August, 2010.  He was suspended and the rematch was put on hold.  He was recently cleared by the commission and the fight was finally scheduled.

Originally the fight was to take place in Brazil, in Silva’s home country.  The President of the UFC Dana White wanted to have the event held in a big soccer stadium in the country.  It would have made for great visuals and would have made the event very memorable.  Unfortunately the United Nations will be holding a convention in Brazil in July as well.  It was not in Brazil’s or the UFC’s favor to have both events there at the same time.  The UFC 148 show was moved to Las Vegas a couple of months ago to solve the scheduling conflict.

Chael Sonnen holds a record of 27 wins and 11 loses and has a good all around fight game.  Sonnen is not only an incredible fighter but also has the talking ability the world of MMA has never seen before.  He has cut some of the best promos seen in the UFC.  Sonnen has a very pro wrestling style of talking up the fights and that is what the sport needs more of.  It makes the fights feel like big events and is a very entertaining way of promotion for the events.  He is a one of a kind talent that could do very well as a champion for the UFC  and draw big PPV numbers.

Anderson Silva is a completely different man.  Silva is quiet and too himself, the language barrier does not help him being marketable in the US either.  Silva hold s a record of 35 wins and 4 loses.  He has been a UFC Champion since October of 2006 when he defeated Rich Franklin for the middle wieght title.   Silva is a great stand up fighter with good submission skills.  He has dominated most of his fights in the last 6 years.  There have been times however when matched up against lesser fighters where he has settled into a groove during the fight and not been very aggressive.  Sonnen showed in the first fight that he can get Silva out of that groove and make him fight.

Chael Sonnen pushing Anderson Silva to the limit during their 1st fight on August 7th,2010.
(Getty Images)

This fight will probably be the best selling fight of the year for the UFC on PPV.  Some are predicting more than 1 million PPV buys.  I expect it to be a great fight, maybe even better than their first contest.  I predict that Sonnen will win the fight via decision in 5 rounds.  No matter who wins we will have great stories coming out of this fight.  Either we will see Silva further cement his place as the best fighter in the UFC or we see their most charismatic champion ever.  I think Sonnen winning would be a better outcome for the UFC.  Sonnen has the potential to be one of their biggest PPV drawing buys since George St. Pierre and Brock Lesnar.  The time to find out who takes this rematch is almost here and the fans and the MMA world can wait for it any longer.

The Kings Cup

The Kings Game 2 star Jeff Carter celebrates with hockey’s most prized trophy the Stanley Cup.
(Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Kings shocked the sports world during this NHL postseason.  At a time when NHL coverage on the news and sports channels usually takes a back seat to what is happening in the NBA’s postseason,  the Kings had all of the attention.  On Monday night the Kings won Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the New Jersey Devils. It was   their first Stanley Cup trophy in the franchises 45 year history.

It was an amazing year for the Kings who began the year with not very high expectations.  Some figured they could make the playoffs but no one had any idea what was about to occur when the season kicked off last Fall.

The Kings had an average regular season finishing with a record of 40 wins, 27 loses and 15overtime loses.  When April started and the final games before the post season were about to be played many thought the Kings would not even qualify for the playoffs.  Well they did but barely and got the placed in the playoffs as the 8th seed.  The Kings faced off against the 1st seeded Vancouver Canucks and shocked the hockey world by taking the series in 5 games.  It was their first time making it out of the first round since 2001.  The Kings then swept the 2nd seeded St. Louis Blues and the hockey world started to think, maybe these guys are for real.  It was confirmed when the Kings took game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Phoenix Coyotes by a score of 4-3 in overtime to advance into the Finals.  The Kings made history during this incredible playoff run by being the first 8th seeded team to beat both the 1st and 2nd seeded teams in the playoffs.

There were high expectations for the Kings by the time they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.  They were so dominant and seemed to breeze through the first 3 rounds.  The Kings did not lose any road games during the first 3 rounds of the NHL postseason.  The Kings had about a week off before the Cup was to begin.  Some were worried they might lose the momentum they had built up in the previous month of play.  Momentum ended up not being a problem for the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Stanley Cup Finals started on May 30th between the Kings and the Devils.  Game 1 took place in New Jersey and the sports world was on the edge of it seat to see if the Kings could keep up their incredible run and capture the cup.  The Kings took game 1 in overtime by a score of 2-1 with a goal from Anze Kopitar.  Game 2 was a similar story when both teams were tied 1-1 after 3 periods.  The Kings received a goal from Jeff Carter to win the game 2-1 over the Devils.

Games 3 and 4 took place in L.A. at the Staples Center.  The Kings would blow out the veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur and the Devils 4 goals to 0.  As game 4 approached it looked like the Kings would get the sweep and make NHL History not only for their playoff run but their Finals run as well.  With game 4 came disappointment came with a 3-1 lose as the series would then head back to New Jersey for game 5.

Game 5 was another disappointment with a close 2-1 lose.  But the good news was that the series was headed back to L.A. for game 6 and the Kings were only 1 win away from the Championship.

Game 6 brought an incredible blow out victory.  The Kings goaltender Johnathan Quick was named the series MVP for his great play during the Finals.  Quick also had a great postseason overall winning 16 games and only losing 4 over the month and a half playoff season. The Kings defeated the Devils 6-1 and sealed their place in NHL History as one of the most surprising champions to have ever come out of the NHL postseason.

This Stanley Cup victory will never be forgotten by the hockey world or the sports world for that matter.  The city of L.A. needed this victory at a time when the Lakers and Clippers both were knocked out of the NBA Playoffs early.  The city of L.A. got red hot over the Kings outstanding postseason run.  Many casual fans that disappeared when Wayne Gretzky left the team for the Rangers in the late 90’s were back.  The American Hockey scene needed this victory as well.  This could spark excitement and push the sport even further in the American Culture.

The Kings are as they proved a very talented and young team that could dominate the NHL for years to come.  I know that many fans will be waiting for next season to see if the Kings return to their 2012 playoff form.  But until then we should acknowledge how great of a team this was and how much of a story book playoff run this 2011-2012 Kings team had.  Long live the Kings!