Jan 23 in Sports History: Jackie Robinson elected to HOF

In 1962: Dodgers second baseman Jackie Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In an ironic twist, Cleveland pitcher Bob Feller was also elected. Feller, who is an outspoken critic of baseball’s controversies to this day, openly questioned that Robinson even belonged in the major leagues. When Robinson was breaking in, Feller said, “He’s all tied up in the shoulders and can’t hit an inside pitch to save his neck. If he were a white man, I doubt if they would even consider him big league material.” Feller was, however, very much in favor of integrating baseball. He was just dead wrong on Robinson, who obviously showed that he belonged in baseball. Feller is spouting off even today. As the oldest living hall of famer, he is still railing against the likes of Pete Rose and Barry Bonds getting into the hall, once called Jim Thome a “journeyman first baseman” and said that Latin players “don’t know the rules of the game.”

In 2000: The St. Louis Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-6 in the NFC Championship game. In a matchup of contrasting styles, Tampa’s defense shut down St. Louis’ “Greatest Show on Turf” for much of the day. Trailing 6-5 in the fourth quarter (still sounds weird), Rams’ quarterback Kurt Warner hit seldom-used wideout Ricky Proehl for a 30-yard touchdown. It was the Rams first Super Bowl appearance since 1979, as they were set to play the Tennessee Titans, who defeated Jacksonville earlier in the day. It was the first Super Bowl matchup of two franchises that had relocated.

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