This Day In Sports History; February 23
Happy Birthday to Andrew Wiggins, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bobby Bonilla, and Fred Biletnikoff.
February 23rd is not a super significant day when it comes to big time games or huge signings but, four players, generations apart, were all born. So, happy birthday to Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, Cowboys defensive lineman Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Mets third baseman Bobby Bonilla, and Raiders receiver Fred Biletnikoff.
The 26 year old Canadian born forward Wiggins has bounced around the league since his entrance in 2014. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers but, was swapped a few weeks later for power forward Kevin Love. Wiggins played from 2014-2020 with the Minnesota Timberwolves where he won the 2015 Rookie of the Year and was on the 2015 All Rookie First Team.
Over the offseason, Wiggins was dealt for D’Angelo Russell and began his journey as a Golden State Warrior. In first debut, he went for 24 points and 5 steals in a 125-120 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 1951, a man named Ed Lee Jones was born but, many people know him as Ed “Too Tall” Jones. The 6’9 pass rusher played college football at Tennessee State and was drafted number one overall in 1974 by the Dallas Cowboys. Jones played two stints with Dallas from 1974-1978 and then 1980-1989, where he would win a Super Bowl, goto three Pro Bowls, and be named to three All Pro teams. He recorded 57.5 sacks but an unofficial 106.
Jones took 1979 off from football to start his boxing career. He was a Golden Gloves boxer in Tennessee before he entered the world of boxing. Jones competed six times and went 6-0 as a heavy weight. Due to his high profile, all of his fights were nationally televised on CBS.
2035, 2035, just remember that year because, that is the year that Bobby Bonilla will stop getting paid by the New York Mets. Bonilla was born 58 years ago and was a solid ball player for the Pirates, Mets, and Orioles. He is a six time All Star and a three time Silver Slugger.
Bonilla’s real significance to baseball is the magnitude of his contract. In 1998, the Mets reacquired Bonilla from the Dodgers in exchange for Mel Rojas. Bonilla played subpar and was released but, the Mets still owed him 5.9 million dollars. Bonilla’s agent made the Mets a solid deal though, to defer his contract for a decade. The Mets would start paying Bonilla 1.19 million in 2011 through 2035, equaling a payout of 29.8 million.
78 years ago in Erie, Pennsylvania, a legend was born. Fred Biletnikoff played college football at Florida State University and played so good that they named the award that is given to the best receiver in college after him. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders where he played from 1965-1978.
Biletnikoff was a Super Bowl champion and a Super Bowl MVP who was also an All Pro that made the Pro Bowl four times.