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Sports notes: Ted Williams steals, Ernie Lombardi hits, best college hockey rivalry intensifies, Jack Clark walks and slugs, Pastrnak is on his way, Celtics may or may not, New England got amped

Sunday 1/28/24

Ted Williams was second on the 1950 Red Sox in steals and he never got caught! He went 3-for-3. The team stole 32 bases that year. People tend to think that everyone was stealing and playing small ball way back in the 1950s, which isn't really way back, but that's not true. Check out the totals for the league leaders in stolen bases some time. Luis Aparicio led the AL in thefts in 1956 with 21.

I am unsure how Ernie Lombardi was credited with the 1942 NL batting title when he hit .330 in only 376 at-bats with 414 plate appearances (Lombardi never walked much).

I'm ready to say that David Pastrnak will be a Hall of Famer. Not that he has that kind of ability, but rather that he will get there. HIs game has matured this year and he could score 600 goals even with the games he's lost that weren't on account of injury.

BC men's hockey beat BU again last night, this time at Agganis. The Terriers are going to be extra tough to beat in that opening Beanpot game. Toppling the number one rated team in the country--well, BC will be rated number one again when the rankings come out today--three times in a row? Tall order.

You see these old photos from NFL conference championship games, and the players are covered in mud. I like that.

With fewer injuries, Jack Clark would have been a Hall of Famer. His 1987 season is one of those quiet great seasons that doesn't get discussed much. High slugging and high on base percentage guy.

In order for the Celtics to win a championship, they need to out-talent teams. I'm not sure they're a team suited to winning close games where it comes down to a handful of possessions at the end, nor do I think the coach is someone who can scheme up a play that you have to have out of a timeout. They're not a mettle and fundamentals teams.

Last year made it clear that Andruw Jones will be a Hall of Famer eventually, and the vote total he received this year only backs that up. I don't think Andruw Jones should be a Hall of Famer at all, as I've written in these pages, but it's going to happen.

The Patriots scored first in that Super Bowl against the Bears, and people thought, "This could really go well," and the network provided some stat about how the team that scores first in the Super Bowl wins the game this very high percentage of the time, and then it started going a lot less well.

I've never seen an entire region as hyped for a sports team as New England was during the 1985 playoff run for the Patriots. There were songs about the team on the radio. Winning was no given, which is what people later took it as. The excitement in the build-up to the AFC Championship Game was greater than any I've witnessed for a Boston sports team. Greater than for the 2004 Red Sox in the ALCS, in part because those Red Sox were always being given last rites in that series. No one could get excited after a win because elimination was staring the team in the face less than twenty-four hours later. After the Sox won Game 4, it wasn't like, "Hooray!" It was more like, "Okay. Another day." It kept going like that up until Game 7, when most reasonable people figured they'd blow it in what would be a new way for the franchise that was good at finding new, gut-punch ways to lose, but they didn't and then they were in the World Series and instantly, for some reason, everyone was overconfident but it worked out.

Here is the first half of that New England-Miami game (the NFL won't let me post the second half). The Patriots, of course, ran wild. Note what an athletic guard John Hannah is--this is the penultimate game of his career.

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