From the 201, before there was a 201

If there's one thing the internet has been good for, it's spawning acronyms. These serve as a convenient shorthand. Thanks to LOL and LMAO, IIRC and OMG, TTYL and WTF, we can dispense with a lot of typing. Who knew there'd be so much typing?

One of my favorites is TIL, for "Today I learned." For decades, I've absorbed something new just about every day. 

Here's the latest I've picked up, something I never knew: A few years before I was born, a guy from Bayonne, New Jersey won the Australian and Wimbledon men's tennis titles in the same year. He was only the second American man to do it, and only one of four ever to do it.

His name was Dick Savitt, and TIL all I know about him from his obituary. He left the world the other day at age 95.

His tennis career was short, because even for a major champion, there was no money in the sport. He became an investment banker and lived and died in New York City. The Times writeup is here

Interestingly, Savitt never had a tennis lesson.

He taught himself to play tennis in his early teens when he was a ball boy at the Berkeley Tennis Club in Orange, N.J., mostly by watching some of the game’s greatest players, including Jack Kramer, Bobby Riggs and Pancho Segura, competing there in New Jersey state tournaments.

“I had never seen tennis like that before,” Savitt said in his Hall of Fame interview. “I immediately got Don Budge’s book on tennis to learn how to hit strokes correctly.”

His TIL moment, as it were. He definitely figured it out.