Notes from around the Human Experience…
FROM YE OLDE BALLYARDS: Monday night the Cleveland Indians continued the second-longest winning streak this century, defeating the Detroit Tigers 11-0. The Indians have won 19 straight games, one less than the 2002 Oakland A’s won, a streak which established a new American League record. In the process, the Indians have run away with the American League Central, going from 5.5 games up on the Minnesota Twins to 13.5 games up.
Get Out Your Record Books: If they keep winning, the Indians would tie and break the record in Anaheim against the Angels on September 19 and 20.
This Isn’t More Dry, Technical Matter, Is It?: The most consecutive games won without a loss in major league history is 26, done by the New York Giants in 1916. There was a tie in there, but baseball doesn’t include tie games in standings and replayed them whenever possible, although individual stats were counted.
Oh Jesus, H: The 1935 Chicago Cubs hold the ML record for most consecutive wins, no ties, with 21.
As Long As Your Record Books Are Out: The Los Angeles Dodgers might well be in the process of blowing the biggest lead in baseball history. Once 21 games up on the Arizona Diamondbacks – 21 games! In August, no less! – they have lost ten straight and 15 out of 16 and are now 9.5 games up on Arizona, still a sizable margin but if you don’t think the Dodgers are checking their rear view mirror, you are deluding yourself.
There have been some majestic collapses in baseball over the decades, but blowing a 21-game lead would be unprecedented, even for the Dodgers who blew a 13.5 game lead in 1951, found themselves in a best-of-three playoff with the Giants and lost the pennant in three games.
Still, though, the Dodgers were so good before they started losing ten straight and 15 out of 16 they still have the best record in the majors, though Cleveland and Washington each have 88 wins and are four games back for the best record mark.
More From The Dodgers Were So Good Department: The Dodgers previous 15 losses came between June 1 through August 23.
Make Your Ticket Plans Now: So far only the Washington Nationals have clinched a playoff spot, having won the National League East, and, thanks to each league having two wild card playoff berths, only San Francisco and Philadelphia have been eliminated.
Somebody Get Him A Crying Towel: We’re still going to whine about this: having each wild card team meet in a one-game playoff looks more like the high school regionals than anything a professional league would play. And, as long as we are on the subject of the baseball playoffs, if you are going to make teams potentially travel twice during a series, please play a best-of-seven series instead of a best-of-five, like you do in the first round. Making teams travel twice in a best-of-five series is silly.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Adolph Hitler, then a soldier with limited education and prospects, joins the German Workers Party – the precursor to the Nazi Party – on this date in 1919. That night Hitler attended a party meeting at a beer hall, got into an argument, won it, and was invited to join by party leaders. He quickly became a popular speaker and organizer and was instrumental in changing the party’s name to the Nazi Party the following year.
FunFact…Unless You Were Jewish: Hitler really wanted to form his own party, but his resources were limited and he figured – correctly as it turned out – that he could eventually take over the party.
More From The Hitler Desk: On a mission ordered by Adolf Hitler, former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is rescued from house arrest on this date in 1943. Mussolini had been arrested in July and Hitler had planned to arrest the Italian king and his government, but they had fled. Supported by Nazi Germany, Mussolini would pretend to be in charge until his fellow Italians arrested and executed him in April 1945.
“This Country Was Conquered By Those Who Moved Forward…”: President John F Kennedy gives a speech reaffirming America’s commitment to landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s at Rice University on this date in 1962.
“If We Shall Do All This, And Do It Right, And Do It First…Then We Must Be Bold”: If you haven’t read the whole thing – and who hasn’t really? – then treat yourself and go and do so. The speech is pure Kennedy, thoughtful yet accessible, with a touch of humor.
Quotebook: The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space. – John F Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, speech at Rice University, 9/12/63
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Ty Cobb broke Cap Anson’s record of 3,435 hits in 1923.
Today’s Stumper: When Benito Mussolini was arrested in 1945, he was attempting to flee to another country. Which country was he trying to flee to? – Answer next time!