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22 Years Ago

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Since I'm on a bit of a 1986 trip right now I figured I'd take a look back at what was going on this week in 1986 in the world of sports with the help of PaperofRecord.com using their Sporting News archive which I did once before with 1994.


February 17, 1986


Cover Story: Baseball's Worst Ballpark. Gale-force winds gust through Candlestick Park by day and frigid temperatures set in by night. One Giants official calls it the weather "the worst in baseball in June, July, and August." Fans don't like it any better than players. They're staying away in droves. That's why in baseball is in jeopardy in San Francisco.

-Now just a hunch coming off a 100 loss season wasn't helping attendance either but Candlestick Park really was the worst place to watch a baseball game and the Giants came close to moving to St. Petersburg in 1993, and damn that would have been great (for me). The best part of the article was an insert about a Canadian firm was coming up with a "revolutionary idea" of doming already built stadiums with an air-filled balloon type structure. Now that would have been quite the eyesore.


Down and Up at Michigan

-In the college basketball section there were two articles regarding Michigan State's Scott Skiles and Michigan's Roy Tarpley. One of the articles talks about a player having off the court troubles with a marijuana possession and dui conviction. If you guessed that player was Tarpley, you'd be wrong. Apparently Tarpley's off the court problems weren't public knowledge at this point as he would later be banned from the NBA for multiple drug violations.


-There's a little notes section about the old Continental Basketball Association where it notes Albany head coach Phil Jackson has been suspended for two games for "physically confronting" a referee. Wonder what happened to that guy?


-In the NBA notes section the Lakers had beaten the Rockets 14 straight games in Houston. The Rockets would stun the defending champs in the Western Conference Finals in five games later that year.


-Brief article about rising 20 year old, rising star Mario Lemieux although it more focuses on Wayne Gretzky and whether Lemieux would reach the level of Gretzky. There's a little blurb about how if the Penguins hadn't drafted Lemieux the franchise would have left Pittsburgh.


-In the NHL notes section there's a proposed change to the All-Star Game format that would match-up the NHL All-Stars against a touring Soviet national team in a two game series. Other ideas are the Stanley Cup champs vs. All-Stars or Americans vs. Canadians.


-A proposed new stadium deal in New York for the Jets that would be built by Donald Trump had fallen through.


-Brief commentary about the fallout after the Super Bowl about the drug problems of several members of the New England Patriots. In some team meeting after the Super Bowl the Patriots agreed to drug testing which didn't sit well with union head Gene Upshaw (yes that idiot was already running things back then) and he had this fantastic quote:

What are they going to do in the next city? Shoot the players? Ask for their first-born child?


-Cincinnati Reds had offered Rollie Fingers an non-roster invite to Spring Training on the condition that he shave his mustache. He would end up refusing.


-Phillies pitcher Dave Stewart was very close to signing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants but it fell through. Phillies would release him three months later.


-There's a few mentions in various parts of the MLB team notes sections talking about team sponsored drug testing but of course the main concern back then was cocaine not steroids.

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