Football pain and basketball optimism are part of five fantastic facts from 50 years ago in the Dayton Daily News archives:
1. With the college basketball season right around the corner, expectations were high for the Dayton Flyers — and not just in the Gem City.
Coming off a season in which they lost the national championship game to UCLA, the Flyers were ranked the No. 6 team in the country by the Basketball Yearbook.
Don May was part of the preseason All-America team, joining Lew Alcindor, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld and Cal Murphy.
Former Belmont star Bill Hosket was tabbed the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year at Ohio State.
2. The Reds closed out a fourth-place season with a 10-3 win over the Cubs.
The star of the game was right-hander John Tsitouris, who hoped his six strong innings would earn him a look for the starting rotation in 1968.
3. In the meantime, several Reds had interesting offseason plans.
Pete Rose, who had two hits in the season finale to raise his batting average to .301, was initially headed north to Dayton, where he would join Omar Williams to analyze the World Series on television.
Outfielder Tommy Harper was going the same direction, but he had more serious work to do: 30 days of active duty at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Then there was Johnny Edwards. The All-Star catcher was to spend the winter working for General Electric in Cincinnati on a project for the Atomic Energy Commission.
4. As for baseball, the Red Sox edged the Tigers for the American League pennant, earning a World Series berth against a St. Louis Cardinals club that had dominated the National League.
The Fall Classic returned to Fenway Park for the first time in 21 years, but it turned out to be Bob Gibson’s day. The Cards’ ace struck out 10 while going the distance in a 2-1 win in Game 1. Jim Lonborg tossed a shutout for the Red Sox the next day to even the series.
5. And how about local football action? Well, it’s better left mostly unsaid.
Flying high after a rousing win at Cincinnati, Dayton was brought back to Earth by Bowling Green. The Falcons beat the Flyers 7-0, shutting them out for the fifth time in a row.
The news wasn’t any better for Miami as Xavier beat the Redskins in their home opener 7-6.
Ohio State filled out the trifecta of bad news on the gridiron with a 14-7 loss to Arizona. The visitors from the Skyline Conference suggested Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes had probably overlooked them in their season preparations.
On the high school scene, two-time defending City League champion Belmont improved to 3-0 with a 32-30 win over Dunbar.
Miss last week’s edition of our stroll through the archives? Here you go!
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