8/03/1959 - Baseball plays second All-Star Game
From 1959 to 1962, Major League Baseball did something very odd: they played two All-Star games. On this day in 1959, the American League defeated the National League, 5-3, in the second edition of the midsummer classic to take place in 1959 -- the first All-Star Game was played in July. In the following years, the two games were separated by a manner of days and not by a full month.
The origin of the second All-Star Game came from the players themselves, who requested it so they could fund the pensions of retired baseball players. And while the practice of playing two All-Star games continued for a few years, most people saw it as too much of a good thing. Commissioner Ford Frick, feeling that the second game was diluting the novelty of the first game, petitioned for the All-Star Game to again be an annual event.
After the second All-Star Game in 1962, the owners voted to return the midsummer classic to its previous level of one game a year. In return, the players would receive a greater percentage of the revenue. It shows how different baseball was back then -- nowadays, managers would never allow even the suggestion of a second exhibition game.
8/03/1960 - Two managers traded for each other
History is made as the Cleveland Indians trade manager Joe Gordon to the Detroit Tigers for their manager, Jimmy Dykes. It was the only manager-for-manager trade in the history of baseball, and it did little help out either team. Dykes managed the Indians until 1961, while Gordon left the Tigers immediately after the season to coach the Kansas City Athletics.
"Frank Lane was general manager of the Indians and one day, when we were talking about trading some players, he told me he didn't care too much for Joe Gordon as a manager," then-Tigers president Bill DeWitt said in 1977. When DeWitt told him that he wasn't satisfied with his team's skipper either, Lane responded, "Why don't we try something new? Why don't we trade managers?"
8/03/2000 - Hill heads to the Magic kingdom
Three months before the start of the season, the Orlando Magic acquired Grant Hill from the Detroit Pistons in a sign-and-trade deal for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace. Hill, along with future All-Star Tracy McGrady, were supposed to lead the Magic to prominence in the pitiful Eastern Conference. However, Hill's seven-year $92 million signing turned out to be one of the worst deals in NBA history.
Hill played just 202 games in his seven years in Orlando. He had badly injured his ankle in a playoff game at Miami the previous season and exacerbated the injury in his attempts to come back. Year after year, McGrady was left to lead the team by himself, while Hill never fully recovered. Had a healthy Grant Hill and his 25 points per game been there to assist T-Mac, it's very possible that they could've gone to the Finals. Instead, the highest the Magic finished was 5th place in 2002. Then when Darrell Armstrong left Orlando a few years later, they lost a league-worst 61 games.
Hill only played in one playoff series with the Magic: in 2007, when he regained some resemblance of his healthy self. By that point, injuries had severely limited his triple-double threat to a mere 16 PPG and Orlando was swept, ironically, by the Pistons. Detroit surprisingly got the better end of the trade as Ben Wallace became an integral part of their 2005 championship run.
Following seven years of disappointment, Grant signed with the Phoenix Suns in the 2007 offseason. When he made his return to Orlando, Hill was booed fervently by the Magic crowd. It wasn't out of hate -- Hill was too nice a guy. It was out of languish that he wasn't their to help them. For $92 million, they should have received the MVP candidate that he was in Detroit. Instead, they got a player who made it to the end of the season only once.