Posted by Steve Lombardi on June 5, 2010
There's a sporting event taking place at Yankee Stadium today. But, it's not baseball-related. More via the L.A. Daily News -
Yuri Foreman made his amateur boxing bones growing up in Israel after moving from Belarus at age 9. His goal was to become a world champion as a pro, but duking it out one day in Yankee Stadium never entered his mind.
Foreman will defend his junior middleweight world title there tonight against Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico. It is the first fight in the new Yankee Stadium and the first fight at either the new or old one since Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton tangled nearly 34 years ago.
"Never in my wildest dreams after I decided to leave Israel and pursue a boxing career in the United States, did I think I would be fighting at Yankee Stadium, much less the very first fight ever (in the new one)," said Foreman, 29, who moved to Brooklyn 11 years ago.
"I'm looking here and I can't believe it. This is the place where Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano fought. And look at me, a guy from Israel who is joining all of them in defending a world championship here. It's awe-inspiring."
The media attention for the fight has been enormous in the Big Apple. With a large Puerto Rico population there, Cotto has drawn 93,000 to fights in New York City over the past decade. And Foreman is training to be a Rabbi. The large Jewish population of the city will have his back.
Since the media has decided to really play the Jewish/Puerto Rican angle on this event, and it's being played in a baseball facility, I thought I would try and spin off all that and use Play Index to give us some "baseball" stuff to look at and discuss. And, here it is - the year by year record of Sandy Koufax facing Roberto Clemente:
Overall, Roberto did pretty good against Sandy, wouldn't you say? An OPS of .905 on 122 PA is impressive. And, look at these two games - played somewhat close to each other: May 17, 1964 and May 31, 1964. In a span of 6 PA over those two games, Clemente hit for the cycle against Koufax. Does that count as a TKO?