I choose the years in this Any Ol’ Game pandemic series pretty much at random. I purposely don’t read all those “This Day In Baseball” posts. I don’t want anything special to get in my way – I want to find a game that’s so ordinary it’s been pretty much forgotten. I want to find the beauty in that unsung game.
The date is always the day that I post. Simple enough. But, sometimes strange things happen when I choose a year.
Very strange things.
Maybe I don’t pick the games after all. Maybe they pick me.
May 25, 1935, a Saturday, was any ol’ day.
I was more interested in discovering what was going on in Ann Arbor that day at the Big 10 Championships where a 21-year-old Ohio State track and field star named Jesse Owens would set five world records and equal another in a span of 45 minutes.
3:15 p.m. – At 9.4 seconds, Owens equals the world record in the 100 Yard Dash
3:25 p.m. – Owens sets a world record with a 8.13 meter long jump
3:34 p.m. – Owens sets, in 20.3 seconds, two world records (in yards and meters) in the 220 yard/200 meter dash
4:00 p.m. – Owens sets, in 22.6 seconds, two world records (in yards and meters) in the 220 yard/200 meter low hurdles
While most of us know Owens from his Olympics heroics in 1936, his accomplishments between 3:15 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. on May 25, 1935 are known by many as the greatest 45 minutes ever in sports history.
(The day’s reports had yet to recognize Owens’ two additional “meters” records in the 200 meter and 200 meter low hurdles races.)
That Owens did all this with a back injury so severe that he could barely bend over and touch his knees and his coach nearly pulled him from the event, makes it all the more remarkable.
Surely, one historic sporting event is enough for a single day like this. Continue reading