And That Happened . . . CLASSIC!


Note: due to the All-Star break, we now bring you a special “Classic” version of “And That Happened.” The following originally ran on the HardballTalk pamphlet, which was mailed to subscribers. Premium subscribers received it via telegram. This installment is from the August 6, 1948 edition. 

Here are the scores. Here are the descriptions and accounts of these games, for which we are at complete liberty to provide by virtue of there being no disclaimer which constrains us otherwise:

Dodgers 4, Reds 1: Jackie Robinson hit a two-run home run and Rex Barney allowed one run while striking out nine in a complete game, giving the Reds fits. But the Reds are giving us fits too, by gum! Did you hear about the Whitaker Chambers testimony the other day? He says Alger Hiss, the former State Department official, was in league with the Russkies! That he was a communist back in the day and that he helped sell us out at Yalta! I don’t know about you, my dear readers, but I take allegations of U.S. officials colluding with the Russians to undermine U.S. interests VERY seriously. I  believe that anyone accused of this should be placed under oath to explain themselves pronto! Thank goodness upstanding Republicans in Congress seem to be taking this seriously as well and won’t give it the old brush off! I don’t agree with everything they stand for, but you can always trust the good old GOP to protect us from Russian meddling!

Indians 9, Yankees 7: You’d think Eddie Lopat vs. Bob Feller would lead to a low-scoring affair, but you’d think wrong. Lopat was touched for five runs, Feller for seven, but the Yankees’ relief pitchers were beat up as well, allowing Rapid Robert to get the win. Joe Gordon hit a three-run homer and Jim Hegan knocked in three himself. Feller likewise (all together now) helped his own cause with two RBI. Still, this was an ugly affair. It looked more like that professional wrestling business that just started airing on the DuMont network. Fella by the name of Jack Brickhouse does the announcing for it. He’s not gonna last if he associates himself with that rabble.

Cubs 5, Braves 4: Phil Cavarretta singled in Emil Verban in the sixth inning to break a 4-4 tie and give the Cubbies their winning margin. Both starters, Vern Bickford of Boston and Cliff Chambers of Chicago, lasted only two-thirds of an inning. I’m not sure why, actually. It couldn’t have been due to a rain delay as then at least one of the starters would’ve gone a full inning, so I’m vexed. I’m going to assume for now that they got into a fight over a dame and socked each others’ lights out, necessitating their exit from the game. “Getting socked in the eye while fighting over a dame” is the second leading cause of injury for ballplayers in the 40s, by the way. The leading cause: being shot by Edward G. Robinson on a boat on the Straits of Florida after he tricks you by claiming that he’ll split the loot with ya.

White Sox 4, Red Sox 3: Sox win! Haha, that’s the first time I’ve ever used that joke! It’s a good one! I’ll retire it now, though. No sense in beating a good joke into the ground. We’d never do that here at The Red Network. Pat Seerey drove in three. Not bad for a guy who is on pace for 102 strikeouts this season and who has led the league in strikeouts three previous times with 101, 99 and 97 strikeouts. Can you imagine someone striking out 100 times?! Let alone twice?! It seems irresponsible to the point of insanity! Baseball is on the road to ruin, my friends.

Giants 7, Pirates 6: The Giants beat the Buccos thanks to three-run double by their starter, Ray Poat, and a couple of RBI a piece from Johnny Mize and Sid Gordon. Poat, by the way, did something weird last year: he got four hits in his month or so in the bigs, but his four hits were a single, a double, a triple and a homer. The season cycle in four safeties. Pretty swell! Also swell: Fritz Ostermueller got shelled for seven runs — six earned — in seven innings. It’s not a bad thing for someone like him to get shelled.

Cardinals 6, Phillies 2: Howie Pollet outdueled Dutch Leonard, allowing two runs in nine innings of work. Only two of the Cardinals’ six runs were earned, by the way. In all of these games there was a pretty wide gulf between earned and unearned runs, actually. Sloppy play by slow fellas, most of whom are fat drinkers who don’t condition themselves with knee-bends and the old medicine ball in the offseason. It’s a sad state of affairs, frankly. The only thing that would make it sadder is if fans who are little boys now one day try to convince everyone that we’re enjoying some sort of “Golden Age” of baseball. I tell ya, that would be a perverse, ahistorical tragedy.

Browns 2, Athletics 1: Bill Kennedy allowed one run over seven and a third and Ned Garver shut out Philly for an inning and a third to get the . . . what? The “save?” What in the world is a “save?” Sometimes it’s hard to get your head around modern baseball, things move so quickly. I’m just thankful that some things remain constant. Like the Browns playing in St. Louis and the Athletics playing in Philadelphia.

Tigers 1, Senators 0: Ten shutout innings from Ted Gray lead the bengals to victory. He and the Tigers defense were as impenetrable as the Berlin Blockade that began a few weeks back. And I gotta tell ya, folks, it looks bad for our freunde in Deutschland! Some people say we can beat it by airlifting in supplies until the Soviets blink, but I fear the only solution to all of this is to take General Curtis LeMay’s advice and send the fighters and bombers in. We won the First World War, we won the Second and you can rest assured we’ll win the Third!

Wayne Huizenga, founding owner of the Marlins, dies at 80

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MIAMI (AP) H. Wayne Huizenga, a college dropout who built a business empire that included Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation and three professional sports franchises, has died. He was 80.

Huizenga (HY’-zing-ah) died Thursday night at his home, Valerie Hinkell, a longtime assistant, said when reached at the family residence Friday. She gave no details on a cause of death.

Starting with a single garbage truck in 1968, Huzienga built Waste Management Inc. into a Fortune 500 company. He purchased independent sanitation engineering companies, and by the time he took the company public in 1972, he had completed the acquisition of 133 small-time haulers. By 1983, Waste Management was the largest waste disposal company in the United States.

The business model worked again with Blockbuster Video, which he started in 1985 and built into the leading movie rental chain nine years later. In 1996, he formed AutoNation and built it into a Fortune 500 company.

Huizenga was founding owner of baseball’s Florida Marlins and the NHL Florida Panthers – expansion teams that played their first games in 1993. He bought the NFL Miami Dolphins and their stadium for $168 million in 1994 from the children of founder Joe Robbie, but had sold all three teams by 2009.

The Marlins won the 1997 World Series, and the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, but Huizenga’s beloved Dolphins never reached a Super Bowl while he owned the team.

“If I have one disappointment, the disappointment would be that we did not bring a championship home,” Huizenga said shortly after he sold the Dolphins to New York real estate billionaire Stephen Ross. “It’s something we failed to do.”

Huizenga earned an almost cult-like following among business investors who watched him build Blockbuster Entertainment into the leading video rental chain by snapping up competitors. He cracked Forbes’ list of the 100 richest Americans, becoming chairman of Republic Services, one of the nation’s top waste management companies, and AutoNation, the nation’s largest automotive retailer. In 2013, Forbes estimated his wealth at $2.5 billion.

For a time, Huizenga was also a favorite with South Florida sports fans, drawing cheers and autograph seekers in public. The crowd roared when he danced the hokey pokey on the field during an early Marlins game. He went on a spending spree to build a veteran team that won the World Series in the franchise’s fifth year.

But his popularity plummeted when he ordered the roster dismantled after that season. He was frustrated by poor attendance and his failure to swing a deal for a new ballpark built with taxpayer money.

Many South Florida fans never forgave him for breaking up the championship team. Huizenga drew boos when introduced at Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino’s retirement celebration in 2000, and kept a lower public profile after that.

In 2009, Huizenga said he regretted ordering the Marlins’ payroll purge.

“We lost $34 million the year we won the World Series, and I just said, `You know what, I’m not going to do that,”‘ Huizenga said. “If I had it to do over again, I’d say, `OK, we’ll go one more year.”‘

He sold the Marlins in 1999 to John Henry, and sold the Panthers in 2001, unhappy with rising NHL player salaries and the stock price for the team’s public company.

Huizenga’s first sports love was the Dolphins – he had been a season-ticket holder since their first season in 1966. But he fared better in the NFL as a businessman than as a sports fan.

He turned a nifty profit by selling the Dolphins and their stadium for $1.1 billion, nearly seven times what he paid to become sole owner. But he knew the bottom line in the NFL is championships, and his Dolphins perennially came up short.

Huizenga earned a reputation as a hands-off owner and won raves from many loyal employees, even though he made six coaching changes. He eased Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula into retirement in early 1996, and Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt, interim coach Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron and Tony Sporano followed as coach.

Harry Wayne Huizenga was born in the Chicago suburbs on Dec. 29, 1937, to a family of garbage haulers. He began his business career in Pompano Beach in 1962, driving a garbage truck from 2 a.m. to noon each day for $500 a month.

One customer successfully sued Huizenga, saying that in an argument over a delinquent account, Huizenga injured him by grabbing his testicles – an allegation Huizenga always denied.

“I never did that. The guy was a deputy cop. It was his word against mine, a young kid,” he told Fortune magazine in 1996.

Huizenga was a five-time recipient of Financial World magazine’s “CEO of the Year” award, and was the Ernst & Young “2005 World Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Regarding his business acumen, Huzienga said: “You just have to be in the right place at the right time. It can only happen in America.”

In September 1960, he married Joyce VanderWagon. Together they had two children, Wayne Jr. and Scott. They divorced in 1966. Wayne married his second wife, Marti Goldsby, in April 1972. She died in 2017.

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