There’s a lot going on at TheSportsNotebook in the way of sports history articles, activity that’s not always—or even usually—visible on the home page. Here’s a breakdown of some of the highlights in our Sports Museum, and some of the additions currently taking place.
The crown jewel of the Museum is found on the Sports History Articles page. There’s a “best of” piece for each year since 1976, covering all four major professional sports, along with college basketball and college football. The page itself contains the explanation for the 1976 cutoff point, and we also honor the five-year waiting period of Hall of Fames, and end in 2009. Each July, a new year will be added.
1976 serves as a general cutoff point, but as the process of creating histories for individual sports and teams has begun, it makes sense to tweak that based on the historical flow. The big project that is now underway is developing a comprehensive historical package on each major league baseball season.
The Big Red Machine of Cincinnati won back-to-back World Series in 1975-76, and to get both of those teams included, we adjusted the timeframe to go to 1975. I also did the 1984 season, the year the Detroit Tigers dominated and the Chicago Cubs got their hearts ripped out in San Diego.
I’ve got visions of eventually going back to 1969, to pick up with the year that baseball expanded to 24 teams and introduced divisional play for the first time. But for now, 1975 is the starting point.
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1975 MLB SEASON
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1976 MLB SEASON
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1984 MLB SEASON
More seasons will be added with each passing week, and as they get built up, they’ll be added to the MLB History page.
A project to develop individual team histories is also underway. This is a substantial undertaking, and naturally requires some focus to begin. The teams currently being worked on are the Boston Red Sox, San Antonio Spurs and Notre Dame football.
Why these three? They bring a unique balance, starting with the obvious one of being different sports, and also being in different parts of the country. They also each fill a different niche for me personally.
The Red Sox are a labor of love, my favorite baseball team in my favorite city. Notre Dame is what I’ll call a heritage team—if you’re an Irish Catholic sports fan, ND football lurks in the background in the same way a cathedral, a chapel or a confessional would.
I won’t say I’m always a faithful Notre Dame fan—there are times they annoy me with the excessive preening, but I always think they’re interesting. And for different reasons, I’ve become interested in the Spurs—their extraordinary ability to implement team concepts in a league that thrives on promotion of the individual—is a terrific story.
I’ve started the Spurs project in 1990, the year David Robinson came to town. The tracking of Notre Dame football goes back to 1975, which was Dan Devine’s first year in South Bend. And the Red Sox also start in ’75, when they were the foil for the Reds in an epic World Series.
The Notre Dame project is advanced enough to justify its own landing page, all the way into the late 1990s. The Spurs and Red Sox aren’t quite that far along, but steady progress is always being made. Below is a link to the ND page, and the most recent Spurs & Red Sox history pieces.
READ MORE ABOUT NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL HISTORY
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1998 SAN ANTONIO SPURS
READ MORE ABOUT THE 1977 BOSTON RED SOX
There’s also some other articles that appear in a more random fashion. For example, last week in reviewing the 1978 NFL season (the first year of the 16-game format and a fourth round of the playoffs), interesting stories surfaced about the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. And no, I haven’t forgotten the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won the Super Bowl that year. We’ll likely have an e-book soon available for download that will cover all six Steeler Super Bowl wins.
So that’s the gist of what’s going on in the Museum here at TheSportsNotebook.com. We approach each week looking to add a comprehensive major league baseball seasonal package, and to dig deeper into the modern histories of Notre Dame football, the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Red Sox.