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What was going on 50-13 years ago

Last week, I had another birthday.

I had one last year too, but they seem to be coming faster for some reason.

A couple of people asked me how old I was, and I told them I was in my 50s.

What I didn’t tell them was I turned 50-13 last week. Somehow saying I’m still in my 50s doesn’t make me seem quite so old (at least to my 50-13 year old brain).

I decided to go back and see how things have changed in some areas since I first appeared in the world in 1959, focusing on sports (for some reason).

For instance, in 1959, there were 16 teams in Major League Baseball, almost half the number today. The Braves still played in Milwaukee, and the Athletics were in Kansas City.

There was one (1!) postseason series, which makes all the talk about players today setting a “postseason record” are pretty well meaningless. Imagine how many home runs Babe Ruth would have had in the postseason if you gave him three series every year instead of just one.

There was a baseball team in Montreal in 1959, but it was the Royals, who were a farm team for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Vancouver also had a team, the Mounties, a farm team for the Baltimore Orioles.

While MLB has almost doubled the number of teams since 1959, the NHL has grown by more than five times, from six to the current 32.  The Montreal Canadians won their fourth straight Stanley Cup, downing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the championship.

The top scorer in the league was Dickie Moore of Montreal with 96 points. Among the players who made their debut in the season were Stan Mikita, John McKenzie and Eddie Shack, and I now feel even older, realizing all three of those guys played a full NHL career and retired many years ago.

The NBA has grown almost as quickly as the NHL since 1959, going from eight teams then to the current 30. The Boston Celtics won their first of what would be eight straight titles, beating the Minneapolis Lakers in the final.

The NFL had 12 teams in 1959, and played the entire season in one calendar year. The season started on September 26 and ended with the Baltimore Colts beating the New York Giants in the title game (the Super Bowl was still about 10 years away, for reference).

Most of the NFL teams of 1959 would still be familiar to fans today, although both the Chicago Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams have moved about 12 times each since then.

I’m interested to see how much things change in the next 50-13 years.

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