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Game Day!

Today in Cleveland Sports History

By Budd Bailey and Larry Pantages

Cavaliers star LeBron James raises his arms in a mirror image of his pose depicted for years on the Sherwin-Williams building near Huron Road and Ontario Street. James and the Cavs celebrated winning the NBA's 2016 championship on June 21 along with a crowd estimated at 1.3 million people. (Courtesy of David Richards)
Cleveland Browns star running back Jim Brown read the New York Daily News edition of Monday, Oct. 25, 1965, after his team defeated the New York Giants 38-14 the day before. The 1965 season was Brown's final year in pro football as he retired to begin a career as an actor. (Courtesy of Buffalo State/SUNY Library)
Defensive players from the Cleveland Browns celebrate the team's only touchdown in the 14-12 playoff loss to the Oakland Raiders on January 4, 1981. From left, Henry Bradley (91) and Clinton Burrell (49) congratulate Ron Bolton (28), who had scored on a 42-yard interception. Also celebrating is Clarence Scott (right). (Photo by Paul Tepley, The Cleveland Press Collection, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University)
When Cleveland sports entrepreneur Nick J. Mileti obtained a franchise in the fledgling World Hockey Association for the 1972-73 season, a priority was set on obtaining a top-quality goaltender. Cheevers had played five seasons for the Boston Bruins but at age 31, he did not have a contract for the upcoming year. The Akron Beacon Journal reported Cheevers' contract with the Bruins was for $45,000 but Mileti's offer was believed to be between three years and $500,000 up to six years for $1 million. Cheevers, shown here in a Cleveland Crusaders' WHA uniform, played 3 1/2 years before going back to the Bruins and the National Hockey League. (Photo by Paul Tepley, The Cleveland Press Collection, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University)
A high leg kick was an integral part of the pitch delivery by Cleveland Indians starter Len Barker during his five seasons with the team in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Barker, who threw a perfect game in 1981, won 19 games in 1980 and 15 in 1982 for Cleveland. In 1983, he was traded to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Rick Behenna and two position players -- outfielder Brett Butler and third baseman Brook Jacoby -- who would become steady performers for the Indians. (Photo by Paul Tepley, The Cleveland Press Collection, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University)
Tris Speaker was one of baseball's greatest players during his time with the Boston Red Sox. When the Red Sox and Speaker couldn't agree on a salary for the outfielder, the Indians were more than happy to acquire him in 1916. Speaker continued his great career in Cleveland, and also managed the team for more than seven seasons. (The Cleveland Press Collection, Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University)

Given Cleveland fans’ passion and dedication to their sports teams, it sometimes seems like every day in Cleveland is a game day. Now, all Cleveland sports fans can feel the thrill of game day every day of the year.

Veteran sports journalists Budd Bailey and Larry Pantages have produced Game Day! Today in Cleveland Sports History, which captures highlights of the thrills, disappointments, surprises, and tragedies that have defined professional, collegiate, and amateur sports in Northeast Ohio over the last 150 years.

This fun book has it all for diehard Cleveland sports fans. For instance, how many fans knew that June 4 held such importance in local sports history? On that day in 1967, 10 nationally known Black athletes (including Jim Brown, Bill Russell and Lew Alcindor) met in Cleveland to show public support for boxer Muhammad Ali's refusal to be inducted into the U.S. military. Then, seven years later on the same date, the Indians’ famous promotion, "Ten-Cent Beer Night," resulted in a forfeited game as some fans in the crowd of 25,134 stormed the field and fights broke out with Texas Ranger players.

Take November 6. On that day in Cleveland sports history:

  • In 1878, the Cleveland Press newspaper reported a decision to join the National League of baseball teams would be postponed because attendance was so small at a meeting to consider the question.
  • In 1980, the NBA announced an unprecedented decision involving the Cavaliers under the ownership of Ted Stepien -- a ban on making trades after three key players and three future first-round draft picks were sent to other teams.
  • In 1995, Art Modell stood at a podium in Baltimore and announced the Browns would play home games there beginning in 1996.

Local publisher Cleveland Landmarks Press’ newest release provides more than 1200 vignettes of major moments in Northeast Ohio sports history – from the on-field and on-court memories to trades, hirings, firings, and tons of other noteworthy tidbits. The edition provides a daily exploration of the important moments of the Guardians, Browns, and Cavs as well as stories about Northeast Ohio’s links to professional hockey, golf, tennis, bowling, soccer, and auto racing. It also features Northeast Ohio Olympians, and highlights of many local colleges and universities, including Kent State University, University of Akron, Cleveland State University – and even Ohio State University.

Game Day! is perfect for Cleveland sports fans who have grown up loving, suffering, cheering, and celebrating their favorite hometown teams and heroes.

Book Details
Title:  Game Day! Today in Cleveland Sports History
Author:  Budd Bailey and Larry Pantages
Price:  $19.95
ISBN:  978-0-936760-07-0
Number of Pages:  264
Number of Photos:  26 photos
Cover Type:  Soft
Order Book
  • Game Day! Today in Cleveland Sports History
  • Resisting Segregation
  • Bernie Kosar: Learning to Scramble
  • All Access Cleveland: The Rock And Roll Photography of Janet Macoska
  • The PSYCHOLOGY of COLLECTING: Everybody Collects Something, YES You Do
  • Geauga Lake: Sunrise to Sunset
  • Acrosss Many Fields
  • Cleveland's Short Vincent
  • East Fourth Street
  • Surviving the Drought
  • Vintage Cleveland
  • Citizen Soldiers:107th Cavalry Regiment, Ohio National Guard
  • A Cleveland Original: 50 Years Behind the Lens
  • Cleveland Stadium: The Last Chapter
  • Horse Trails to Regional Rails: The Story of Public Transit in Greater Cleveland
  • Cleveland's Towering Treasure: A Landmark Turns 75
  • Euclid Avenue: Cleveland's Sophisticated Lady
  • The Heart of Cleveland: the Story of Public Square in the 20th Century
  • Founded in Faith: Cleveland's Lost Catholic Legacy
  • Euclid Beach Park Album
  • Vintage Cleveland II: More Photographs of Yesteryear
  • Pop Goes Cleveland - The Impact of Cleveland & Northeast Ohio on Pop Culture
  • A Shaker Rapid Album
  • Cleveland's Dynamic Transit Heritage
  • Cleveland's Transit Vehicles
  • The Peter Witt Streetcars of Cleveland