As useful as round-ups, retrospectives, and anniversary pieces can be for making sense of historical events, there’s no substitute for going back to primary documents. And an exceptional primary document quietly appeared on YouTube Sunday: the WSNS Channel 44 Chicago broadcast of the July 12, 1979 double-header between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Those baseball games, only one of which was ultimately played, lived on in infamy under a different name: Disco Demolition Night.[more inside]
Today's Orioles and White Sox game at Camden Yards in Baltimore will be the first game in MLB history played in an empty stadium. However, the phenomenon is more common in football (soccer) because of reasons ranging from punishment for racist fans to fears of contagious diseases. The crew at 538.com suggest that the Orioles might lose the home-field advantage from umpiring calls that teams playing in front of a friendly crowd typically enjoy. If you want to view the surreal scene yourself, the game is MLB.com's free game of the day.
Books return home. Librarians do a little dance. Back in 1919, Collyer's Eye was the first newspaper to report the details of the Chicago Black Sox scandal. This year, as the Sox neared the end of their 88-year pennant drought, bound volumes containing one of the few remaining copies of the newspaper disappeared from the library of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This week, thanks to an apparent attack of conscience on the part of the thief, they mysteriously reappeared on a desk inside the University's main reference room. Libraries aren't always this lucky.
88 years in the making. The Chicago White Sox have swept the series.