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Alfred Mosher Butts Inventor of Scrabble One of my heroes! In 1948 Alfred Mosher Butts, an unemployed architect, invented the greatest word game in the history of the world: Scrabble Brand Crossword Game. He named it Criss-Cross Words and didn't make much money from it. He sold the rights to a family called the Brunots who renamed the game Scrabble and marketed it from their home. It got plenty of rave reviews in the early 1950s. Demand for Scrabble became so great that the Brunots could not keep pace with the orders. They in turn sold the rights to Scrabble to a manufacturer. Over the years Scrabble's ownership has passed through several companies. Hasbro presently owns the North American trademark name of Scrabble. Each year millions of games are sold and hundreds of tournaments are held under the aegis of the National Scrabble Association. (Yours truly is an expert ranked player who directs an official NSA club in Canada. I can often be spotted officiating major Scrabble events. Look for me at the 2008 U.S. Nationals in Orlando in July!)
Tags: Scrabble  Alfred  Butts 
Added: 17th November 2007
Views: 2601
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Posted By: Lava1964
America Comes of Age  Where Dreams are Born t has been called the great American Pastime. From sand lots to vacant lots, there isn't a young boy ... or girl, for that matter, that hasn't had the dream. The dream of being up to bat, in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and "touching them all" to the deafening roar of the crowd. Baseball is truly as American as Apple Pie and the Fourth of July. Where Dreams are Born is a journey back .. To when legendary ballplayers were mere mortals .. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Bucky Harris, and Walter Johnson. The 1924/25 major league season. Photos National Photo Company Archive Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov music The Natural Randy Newman Take Me Out to the Ballgame Harry Carey Who's On First Bud Abbot and Lou Costello conceived and produced by Dale Caruso
Tags:   Baseball    Washington    Nationals    Babe    Ruth    Ty    Cobb    Walter    Johnson    1924    1925    Season     
Added: 25th September 2008
Views: 1490
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Posted By: dalecaruso
NBA Shot Clock Invented 1954 It was the innovation that saved professional basketball: The 24-second shot clock. Coach Howard Hobson came up with with the idea of a shot clock, but it was first used in 1954 in Syracuse, New York. There Danny Biasone, the owner of the National Basketball Association's Syracuse Nationals, experimented with a 24-second version during a scrimmage game. He then convinced the NBA to adopt it. In the pre-shot clock days, the NBA had problems attracting fans and television coverage. This was largely due to the stalling tactics used by teams once they took the lead. Without the shot clock, teams could pass the ball in the front court endlessly without penalty. If the team in the lead chose to stall, the trailing team was forced to commit fouls to get the ball back following the free throw. Low-scoring, boring games with many fouls were common. The most extreme case occurred on November 22, 1950, when the Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18. A few weeks later, the Rochester Royals and Indianapolis Olympians played a soporific six-overtime game with only one shot in each overtime. The NBA tried several rule changes in the early 1950s to speed up the game and reduce fouls before eventually adopting Biasone's idea. How did Biasone arrive at the strange figure of 24 seconds? According to Biasone, 'I looked at the box scores from games I enjoyed, games where they didn't screw around and stall. I noticed each team took about 60 shots. That meant 120 shots per game. So I took 48 minutes--2,880 seconds--and divided that by 120 shots. The result was 24 seconds per shot.' When the shot clock first came into vogue, it made players so nervous that it hardly came into play; players were generally taking fewer than 20 seconds to shoot. According to Syracuse player Dolph Schayes, 'We thought we had to take quick shots. But as time went on, we saw the inherent genius in Danny's 24 seconds. You could work the ball around for a good shot.'
Tags: NBA  shot  clock 
Added: 15th November 2009
Views: 3769
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Posted By: Lava1964
1933 World Series Scorecard The 1933 World Series pitted the National League champion New York Giants versus the American League champion Washington Senators. (The team was officially the Nationals, but they were commonly called the Senators by baseball writers and fans.) Both managers were player/managers. Bill Terry, New York's first baseman, was in his first full season as Giants' manager. Likewise, Joe Cronin was in his first full season as the Senators' pilot. Cronin played shortstop for Washington. This is what a souvenir scorecard from Washington's Griffith Stadium looked like. The Giants won the first two games at the Polo Grounds, lost the third game at Griffith Stadium, but won the next two--both in extra innings--to capture the World Series in five games. To date, Game Five, on October 7, was the last World Series game played in Washington.
Tags: 1933  World  Series  scorecard 
Added: 9th December 2009
Views: 2240
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Posted By: Lava1964
Jeopardy Champion Jason Keller Jason Keller, 30, a private tutor from Highland Park, NJ, won $213,900 as a nine-time champion on Jeopardy! He won for the first time on the December 16, 2011 episode and successfully defended his title eight times until losing on the December 29 episode. His winnings rank sixth in the syndicated show's 27-year history. (It should be noted that contestants were limited to five wins until September 2003.) I know Jason through his connection to tournament Scrabble. (He is one of the top 100 Scrabble players in North America; he finished 19th at the U.S. Nationals in 2011.) Jason attended a Scrabble tourney in Albany, NY just in time to watch the broadcast where he was defeated! He was justifiably greeted by his fellow Scrabble players with great enthusiasm. Jason was called upon to make a speech. He told the crowd a few interesting tidbits about his experiences on Jeopardy!: Tapings are done just two days per week (Tuesday and Wednesday). Jason's shows were taped in mid and late October. Jason won his first game on the last show of the Tuesday taping. He then won all five shows of the Wednesday taping. He then had to fly home for a Scrabble event that weekend and fly back to Los Angeles for further tapings. He won two more games on the Tuesday taping before losing. Jason said he has to wait 120 days to get his winnings--and he will lose about 42 percent of them in taxes. All Jeopardy! contestants are responsible for their own travel and hotel costs. However, the champion of the final show on Wednesday is flown home and back to LA for the next week's taping(s) at the show's expense. In an interesting twist, the player who defeated Jason was Dave Leach--who himself became a six-time champion. The was the first time in Jeopardy! history that a super-champion (a player who won more than five games) was dethroned by another super-champion.
Tags: Jeopardy  Jason  Keller 
Added: 4th January 2012
Views: 4831
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Posted By: Lava1964
Barry Bonds Asterisk Ball On August 7, 2007 at 8:51 PM PDT, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit a 435-foot home run, the 756th of his MLB career. The pitch was delivered by Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals. The homer broke MLB's prestigious all-time career home run record, formerly held by Hank Aaron who had retired after the 1976 season. The pitch, the seventh of the at-bat, was hit into the right-center field bleachers. The fan who ended up with the ball was 22-year-old Matt Murphy from Queens, NY. Bonds, long suspected of steroid use, was hugely unpopular outside of San Francisco, and most fans perceived his home run record to be tainted. Murphy decided to sell the ball to the highest bidder and consigned it to an auction house on August 21. Bidding began on August 28 and closed with a winning bid of $752,467 on September 15 after a three-phase online auction. The highest bidder was fashion designer Marc Ecko who created a website and online poll to let baseball fans decide the fate of the ball. The overwhelming majority of the 10 million online voters preferred the ball be branded with an asterisk (to signify a debatable achievement) and donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Ecko agreed; that's where the ball can be found today. Upon hearing what Ecko intended to do with the ball, Bonds was incredulous. He said, "[Ecko] spent $750,000 on the ball and that's what he's doing with it? What he's doing is stupid." Similarly, the man who bought Bonds' record-tying 755th home run ball for more than $180,000 held a similar online poll to decide that ball's fate. By a 2:1 ratio, fans voted to smash the ball.
Tags: baseball  Barry  bonds  home  run  steroids 
Added: 21st May 2012
Views: 2231
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Posted By: Lava1964
Scrabble Cheating Scandal - 2012 It's not often that the U.S. National Scrabble Championship tournament prompts a discussion on an ESPN panel show, gets feature coverage on CNN, is reported in numerous overseas newspapers, and has an op-ed piece in the New York Times written about it, but it happened at the 2012 tourney in Orlando. Why? A youthful competitor was disqualified for cheating. It was the first time in the tournament's 35-year history that a player was booted out of the Nationals. The minor, whose identity is being protected by the North American Scrabble Players Association because of his age, was caught 'palming blanks' before his 24th-round match on Tuesday, August 14. At the previous year's tourney in Dallas, suspicions were raised about the same player because he only had six tournaments' worth of experience and did not possess especially strong word knowledge, yet he consistently scored exceptionally well. After the tournament, one suspicious opponent polled the boy's other opponents and discovered the youth had gotten about 90% of the important blank tiles over 31 games--which is statistically improbable. The legitimacy of the boy's 2011 performance was widely debated on Internet Scrabble forums, with the accusers often being denounced as jealous or sore losers. At the 2012 event, the boy's 'lucky tile drawing' again appeared. Before round 24 began, after all 100 tiles were supposed to have been put into the tile bag, the youth's opponent suspected that the boy had palmed the two valuable blank tiles instead of placing them into the bag. He summoned a tournament director (referee) to examine the bag to see if it contained 100 tiles or just 98. Just as the director was about to begin his count, an alert player at a nearby table shouted, 'He just threw two tiles onto the floor!' Sure enough, they were the two blank tiles. The youth was quickly disqualified--and the close-knit tournament Scrabble world knew about it almost immediately through Internet tournament coverage and social media. The I-told-you-so crowd had a field day. The news spread quickly beyond the Scrabble chatrooms. Within 40 minutes the story was on ABC News' website and on CNN's within an hour. Without much delay, the story spread to most of the English-speaking world, garnering print media coverage in Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, among other far-flung places. The British enjoy a good scandal, so it was not too surprising that UK newspapers were escpecially interested in the youth's disqualification. A picture of the youth, cleverly Photo-Shopped to show him playing Scrabble behind prison bars with the vertical caption 'BUSTED' (written in Scrabble tiles, of course), circulated in cyberspace. John D. Williams of the National Scrabble Association joked, "We're one step away from drug testing." Nigel Richards, a brilliant New Zealander who lives in Malaysia, won the the tournament and the $10,000 first prize for the third time in four years in a spectacular manner--but Richards' feat was almost completely overshadowed by the juicy cheating scandal.
Tags: Scrabble  scandal  cheating 
Added: 5th September 2012
Views: 1491
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Posted By: Lava1964
Montreal Expos Last Home Game September 29, 2004 was a sad day for baseball fans in Canada. The Montreal Expos played their final game at home. They would relocate to the District of Columbia in 2005 and become the Washington Nationals. Some 31,000 nostalgic people showed up to see the Expos lose 9-1 to the Florida Marlins. This is a CBC News report about that last game at Olympic Stadium.
Tags: MLB  Montreal  Expos  last  home  game 
Added: 15th July 2013
Views: 1337
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Posted By: Lava1964

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