Magazine article Information Today

Flashing Back to a Tender Age

Magazine article Information Today

Flashing Back to a Tender Age

Article excerpt

April 23, 1964, still ranks among the darkest days of my life. It was bad enough to be lured into the clutches of one of the most exasperating sports franchises of all time at the tender age of 6. But to have your team, the Houston Colt .45s (who would become the equally exasperating Astros in 1965), lose despite getting a no hitter from its starting pitcher? And on your birthday? It's a wonder I didn't become a hermit.

Of course, it may explain my pathological distaste for one Peter Edward Rose, aka the Guy Banned for Life from Baseball for Betting on Games While He Was Managing a Team. You see, it was Pete Rose who scored the only run of the game when the Cincinnati Reds beat the Colt .45s 1-0, despite Ken Johnson's no-hitter.

This horrible, and I hope not-too-tedious, flashback was inspired by a Web site called Today in Baseball History (http:// www.todayinbaseballhistory .com). The idea is simple: At the home page, you choose the month, date, and year (the year is optional), then click "go."

Up comes a list of noteworthy events that occurred on that date, including (ack!) no-hitters gone awry, court rulings, and managerial hirings and firings. Oh yes, and even the occasional oddball item, like the day the Cincinnati Reds' Edd Roush, who was supposed to be playing centerfield, laid down in the outfield and fell asleep during a long argument at home plate. (Even after being awakened by teammate Heine Groh, Roush was ejected for slowing down the game.)

The general rule: As long as you stay away from unfortunate birthday incidents that have scarred you for life, you'll be fine, and it'll be worth a laugh.

There's also an option in which you can see who shares your birthday. Funny, being born on the same date as Warren Spahn never helped with my lame fastball that didn't last past the fifth grade. And sharing a birthday with Chuck Harmon--who broke the color barrier for the Reds in 1954--didn't provide any intestinal fortitude.

At the birthday page, you can click on the players' names and link to their career statistics at the wonderful Baseball Almanac site (http://www.baseball-almanac .com). This is where all that is big league baseball goes to reside. (If they ever remake Field of Dreams, the response to "Is this heaven?" may be, "No, it's Baseball Almanac.") And if you're ghoulish, there's also a way to see which players died on which dates, with links to their stats as well.

Besides being linked to a little bit o' heaven, Today in Baseball History also has a link to Baseball Boxscores (http:// www. …

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