From WILL - Focus -

Play Ball!

Do you know the first president to throw an MLB opening day pitch? Did you know in 1907, there was an epic snowball fight at an opening day game in New York that determined the outcome? Starting today, Major League Baseball is officially in season, and this hour on Focus, we talked with John Thorn, the official historian of the MLB and Donald Spivey, who has spent his career studying Satchel Paige.

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(Duration: 55:03)

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field Wikimedia Commons

In 1974 on opening day at Comiskey Park in Chicago, several naked fans rushed the field, disrupting the game and starting a riot in the stands; in 1907, the Phillies won a game against the New Your Giants because fans threw enough snowballs onto the field to force a forfeiture. Crazier things have happened.

This hour on Focus, John Thorn, Official Historian for Major League Baseball, joins guest host Jeff Bossert to talk about baseball history. We’ll talk about what Thorn does as MLB historian and what makes opening day so iconic  in American culture. Then, during the second half of the hour, Donald Spivey, a UIUC grad and a Professor of History at the University of Miami joins us to talk about pitching legend Satchel Paige. Spivey will be giving a lecture at Eastern Illinois University this evening about Paige and his legacy. Find more information here.

Do you love opening day? Why? Who are you rooting for this season? Join our conversation! Post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.

Categories: Sports