This Day in Sports History 2017-08-07T11:37:47+00:00

December 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/14

  • 1901 – The first table tennis tournament is held. It took place at the London Royal Aquarium.

  • 1915 – American boxer Jack Johnson is the first African American to win the heavyweight title.

  • 1947 – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is founded in Daytona Beach, Florida.

  • 1953 – The Dodgers sign future Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax.

  • 1960 – The Los Angeles Angels select Yankees pitcher Eli Grba with the #1 pick in the first ever expansion team draft.

  • 1968 – Hockey legend Bobby Orr records his first career hat trick.

  • 1982 – Marcel Dionne of the Los Angeles Kings becomes the ninth player in NHL history to score 500 career goals.

  • 1984 – Legendary announcer Howard Cosell retires from Monday Night Football.

  • 1987 – Jerry Rice catches three touchdowns in a 49ers victory over the Bears, tying an NFL record for consecutive games with a TD catch (11) and number of TD receptions in a season (18).

  • 1988 – Following 17 consecutive losses to open their inaugural season, the Miami Heat pick up the first win in franchise history, a 89-88 victory over the Clippers.

  • 1992 – Lennox Lewis is awarded the WBC title when champion Riddick Bowe refuses to fight him.

  • 1997 – Mike Gartner of the Phoenix Coyotes becomes the fifth player in NHL history to score 700 career goals, joining Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito & Marcel Dionne.

  • 2009 – Alabama running back Mark Ingram wins the 75th Heisman Trophy. He’s the first player from the University of Alabama to receive the award.

This Day in Sports History: 12/13

  • 1936 – The Redskins play their last game in Boston as they will move to Washington DC the following season.

  • 1956 – The Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to the Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000. Robinson opts to retire rather than to play for the Giants.

  • 1977 – 14 University of Evansville basketball players are killed in a plane crash.

  • 1983 – The Detroit Pistons beat the Denver Nuggets 186-184 in triple overtime in the highest scoring game in NBA history.

  • 1991 – Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics becomes the fifth player in NBA history to play in 1,200 career games.

  • 1995 – Paul Coffey of the Detroit Red Wings becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to record 1,000 career points.

  • 1996 – After spending 13 years as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Roger Clemens signs a free agent contract with division rival Toronto for three years and $25 million. Clemens wins the Cy Young in both 1997 & 1998, his only two years with the Blue Jays.

  • 1997 – University of Michigan corner back Charles Woodson is the first, and to date only, primarily defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy.

  • 2000 – The Boston Red Sox sign Manny Ramirez to an eight year $160 million contract.

  • 2007 – The Mitchell Report, which investigated performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, is publicly released with 89 players on the list of having used steroids, including Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi,  Roger Clemens & Miguel Tejada.

This Day in Sports History: 12/12

  • 1899 – George F. Bryant of Boston patents the wooden golf tee.

  • 1930 – Baseball makes a rule change – a ball that bounces from the field into the stands is now a double, not a home run.

  • 1937 – The Washington Redskins defeat the Bears 28-21 in the NFL Championship game at Wrigley Field.

  • 1951 – Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement.

  • 1965 – Gale Sayers of the Bears ties an NFL record with six touchdowns in a game. Sayers had four TDs on the ground, one on a catch and one on an 85 yard punt return.

  • 1968 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American tennis player to be ranked #1 in the world.

  • 1971 – Bobby Hull of the Blackhawks scores his 1,000th career point.

  • 1980 – The Cardinals trade pitchers Rollie Fingers and Pete Vuckovick to the Milwaukee Brewers. Fingers would win the Cy Young in 1981 and Vuckovick would win it in 1982.

  • 1981 – Wayne Gretzky reaches 50 goals in a season faster than anyone in NHL history. It took him only 39 games.

  • 1984 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the first NBA player to pass 32,000 career points.

  • 1987 – Mookie Blaylock sets an NBA record with 13 steals in one game.

  • 1998 – The Red Sox sign Pedro Martinez to a six year $69 million contract.

  • 2000 – The Texas Rangers sign Alex Rodriguez to a record breaking 10 year $252 million contract.

This Day in Sports History: 12/8

  • 1863 – England’s Tom King defeats American boxer John Heenan to become the first world heavyweight champion.

  • 1914 – Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack sells the contract of second baseman Eddie Collins to the White Sox. Collins would play 11 years on the south side and make the Hall of Fame.

  • 1940 – The Bears beat the Redskins 73-0 in the NFL championship – it’s not only the most lop-sided win in NFL history, it’s also the first NFL championship game broadcast on radio.

  • 1953 – Notre Dame running back John Lattner wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1955 – Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella wins his third MVP award.

  • 1961 – Wilt Chamberlain scores 78 points in a game – a single game scoring record at the time and now the third highest, behind his own 100 point outing in 1962 and Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game in 2006. Elgin Baylor also scores 63 in the same game.

  • 1966 – The Yankees trade Roger Maris to the Cardinals for Charlie Smith.

  • 1967 – The NHL’s California Seals change their name to the Oakland Seals.

  • 1987 – Flyers goalie Ron Hextall becomes the first goalie in NHL history to shoot and score a goal. Other goaltenders have been credited with goals after being the last player to touch a puck and the other team put it in their own net, but Hextall, who shot at an open net, was the first to do it on a shot.

  • 1987 – The Cubs trade relief pitcher Lee Smith to the Red Sox for Al Nipper & Calvin Schiraldi.

  • 1989 – Jack Sikma of the Milwaukee Bucks becomes the 18th player in NBA history to grab 10,000 career rebounds.

  • 1992 – The San Francisco Giants sign free agent Barry Bonds to a six year, $43.75 million dollar contract. Bonds had already won two MVPs with the Pirates.

  • 2000 – Mario Lemieux announces that he will return to the NHL as a player, becoming the first player-owner in modern sports.

  • 2000 – Hakeem Olajuwon scores his 26,000th career point, becoming just the 5th player in NBA history to have 26,000 career points and 13,000 rebounds. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone and Elvin Hayes had already done it.

  • 2007 – University of Florida QB Tim Tebow is the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.

  • 2008 – Greg Maddux announces his retirement. Won 355 games, four Cy Young awards and had a 3.16 career ERA.

This Day in Sports History: 12/7

  • 1907 – Eugene Corri is the first boxing referee to ref a bout from inside the ring.

  • 1937 – The Red Sox acquire the contract of 19 year old prospect Ted Williams from San Diego of the Pacific Coast League.

  • 1939 – Lou Gehrig is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s the first player to have the rule waived that required a player to be retired for one year before they could be enshrined.

  • 1949 – Notre Dame tight end Leon Hart wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1956 – Basketball legend Larry Bird is born.

  • 1963 – CBS uses instant replay on a broadcast for the first time – it’s used during an Army-Navy football game.

  • 1963 – In men’s college basketball, Kansas defeats Cincinnati, snapping the Bearcats’ 90 game home winning streak.

  • 1978 – Hockey great Mike Bossy records the first of his 39 career hat tricks.

  • 1985 – Auburn running back Bo Jackson wins the Heisman trophy in the second closest voting for the award ever. Jackson narrowly edged out Iowa QB Chuck Long.

  • 1986 – Pat Riley is the fastest coach in NBA history to 300 wins, picking up the milestone victory in his 416th game.

  • 1988 – The Texas Rangers sign free agent pitcher Nolan Ryan to a one year contract.

  • 1996 – Texas upsets #3 Nebraska 37-27 in the first Big 12 championship game.

  • 2005 – The Texas Rangers trade Alfonso Soriano to the Washington Nationals. Soriano would become the fourth player in MLB history to have a 40/40 season the following year.

This Day in Sports History: 12/5

  • 1908 –Numerals are used on the jerseys of college football players for the first time, with the University of Pittsburgh being the first team to add them.

  • 1943 – The NFL dissolves the merger between the Steelers and the Eagles. The teams had to combine for the ’43 season due to the amount of players each team was missing due to military service. They were unofficially known as “The Steagles”.

  • 1970 – Rams running back Willie Ellison sets a record with 247 rushing yards in one game.

  • 1970 – The Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy & Bill Masterson Trophy are all stolen from the Hockey Hall of Fame.

  • 1973 – Ron Santo becomes the first player in MLB history to use his “5/10 rights” to veto a trade. Put into the Collective Bargaining Agreement after the 1972 player strike, “5/10 rights” allow a player who has played in the league for 10 years with the most recent five being for the same team to reject any trade. Santo nixed a deal that would have sent him from the Cubs to the Angels.

  • 1978 – Pete Rose signs a four year, $3.2 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, making him the highest paid player in baseball.

  • 1981 – USC running back Marcus Allen wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1987 – Notre Dame wide receiver Tim Brown wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1990 – The Blue Jays trade Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the Padres for Roberto Alomar & Joe Carter, two key pieces to Toronto’s World Series winning teams in 1992 & ’93.

  • 1992 – Alabama beats Florida 28-21 in the first SEC championship game.

  • 1995 – Dan Marino sets a record with his 52nd 300 yard passing game.

  • 1996 – At 18 years old, Portland’s Jermaine O’Neal becomes the youngest player in NBA history (at the time).

  • 2000 – Jazz forward Karl Malone passes Wilt Chamberlain for second on the NBA all-time leading scorer list.

  • 2008 – OJ Simpson is sentenced to 33 years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery.

1412, 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/14

  • 1901 – The first table tennis tournament is held. It took place at the London Royal Aquarium.

  • 1915 – American boxer Jack Johnson is the first African American to win the heavyweight title.

  • 1947 – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is founded in Daytona Beach, Florida.

  • 1953 – The Dodgers sign future Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax.

  • 1960 – The Los Angeles Angels select Yankees pitcher Eli Grba with the #1 pick in the first ever expansion team draft.

  • 1968 – Hockey legend Bobby Orr records his first career hat trick.

  • 1982 – Marcel Dionne of the Los Angeles Kings becomes the ninth player in NHL history to score 500 career goals.

  • 1984 – Legendary announcer Howard Cosell retires from Monday Night Football.

  • 1987 – Jerry Rice catches three touchdowns in a 49ers victory over the Bears, tying an NFL record for consecutive games with a TD catch (11) and number of TD receptions in a season (18).

  • 1988 – Following 17 consecutive losses to open their inaugural season, the Miami Heat pick up the first win in franchise history, a 89-88 victory over the Clippers.

  • 1992 – Lennox Lewis is awarded the WBC title when champion Riddick Bowe refuses to fight him.

  • 1997 – Mike Gartner of the Phoenix Coyotes becomes the fifth player in NHL history to score 700 career goals, joining Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Phil Esposito & Marcel Dionne.

  • 2009 – Alabama running back Mark Ingram wins the 75th Heisman Trophy. He’s the first player from the University of Alabama to receive the award.

1312, 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/13

  • 1936 – The Redskins play their last game in Boston as they will move to Washington DC the following season.

  • 1956 – The Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to the Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000. Robinson opts to retire rather than to play for the Giants.

  • 1977 – 14 University of Evansville basketball players are killed in a plane crash.

  • 1983 – The Detroit Pistons beat the Denver Nuggets 186-184 in triple overtime in the highest scoring game in NBA history.

  • 1991 – Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics becomes the fifth player in NBA history to play in 1,200 career games.

  • 1995 – Paul Coffey of the Detroit Red Wings becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to record 1,000 career points.

  • 1996 – After spending 13 years as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, Roger Clemens signs a free agent contract with division rival Toronto for three years and $25 million. Clemens wins the Cy Young in both 1997 & 1998, his only two years with the Blue Jays.

  • 1997 – University of Michigan corner back Charles Woodson is the first, and to date only, primarily defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy.

  • 2000 – The Boston Red Sox sign Manny Ramirez to an eight year $160 million contract.

  • 2007 – The Mitchell Report, which investigated performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, is publicly released with 89 players on the list of having used steroids, including Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi,  Roger Clemens & Miguel Tejada.

1212, 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/12

  • 1899 – George F. Bryant of Boston patents the wooden golf tee.

  • 1930 – Baseball makes a rule change – a ball that bounces from the field into the stands is now a double, not a home run.

  • 1937 – The Washington Redskins defeat the Bears 28-21 in the NFL Championship game at Wrigley Field.

  • 1951 – Baseball legend Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement.

  • 1965 – Gale Sayers of the Bears ties an NFL record with six touchdowns in a game. Sayers had four TDs on the ground, one on a catch and one on an 85 yard punt return.

  • 1968 – Arthur Ashe becomes the first African American tennis player to be ranked #1 in the world.

  • 1971 – Bobby Hull of the Blackhawks scores his 1,000th career point.

  • 1980 – The Cardinals trade pitchers Rollie Fingers and Pete Vuckovick to the Milwaukee Brewers. Fingers would win the Cy Young in 1981 and Vuckovick would win it in 1982.

  • 1981 – Wayne Gretzky reaches 50 goals in a season faster than anyone in NHL history. It took him only 39 games.

  • 1984 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the first NBA player to pass 32,000 career points.

  • 1987 – Mookie Blaylock sets an NBA record with 13 steals in one game.

  • 1998 – The Red Sox sign Pedro Martinez to a six year $69 million contract.

  • 2000 – The Texas Rangers sign Alex Rodriguez to a record breaking 10 year $252 million contract.

812, 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/8

  • 1863 – England’s Tom King defeats American boxer John Heenan to become the first world heavyweight champion.

  • 1914 – Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack sells the contract of second baseman Eddie Collins to the White Sox. Collins would play 11 years on the south side and make the Hall of Fame.

  • 1940 – The Bears beat the Redskins 73-0 in the NFL championship – it’s not only the most lop-sided win in NFL history, it’s also the first NFL championship game broadcast on radio.

  • 1953 – Notre Dame running back John Lattner wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1955 – Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella wins his third MVP award.

  • 1961 – Wilt Chamberlain scores 78 points in a game – a single game scoring record at the time and now the third highest, behind his own 100 point outing in 1962 and Kobe Bryant’s 81 point game in 2006. Elgin Baylor also scores 63 in the same game.

  • 1966 – The Yankees trade Roger Maris to the Cardinals for Charlie Smith.

  • 1967 – The NHL’s California Seals change their name to the Oakland Seals.

  • 1987 – Flyers goalie Ron Hextall becomes the first goalie in NHL history to shoot and score a goal. Other goaltenders have been credited with goals after being the last player to touch a puck and the other team put it in their own net, but Hextall, who shot at an open net, was the first to do it on a shot.

  • 1987 – The Cubs trade relief pitcher Lee Smith to the Red Sox for Al Nipper & Calvin Schiraldi.

  • 1989 – Jack Sikma of the Milwaukee Bucks becomes the 18th player in NBA history to grab 10,000 career rebounds.

  • 1992 – The San Francisco Giants sign free agent Barry Bonds to a six year, $43.75 million dollar contract. Bonds had already won two MVPs with the Pirates.

  • 2000 – Mario Lemieux announces that he will return to the NHL as a player, becoming the first player-owner in modern sports.

  • 2000 – Hakeem Olajuwon scores his 26,000th career point, becoming just the 5th player in NBA history to have 26,000 career points and 13,000 rebounds. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone and Elvin Hayes had already done it.

  • 2007 – University of Florida QB Tim Tebow is the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.

  • 2008 – Greg Maddux announces his retirement. Won 355 games, four Cy Young awards and had a 3.16 career ERA.

712, 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/7

  • 1907 – Eugene Corri is the first boxing referee to ref a bout from inside the ring.

  • 1937 – The Red Sox acquire the contract of 19 year old prospect Ted Williams from San Diego of the Pacific Coast League.

  • 1939 – Lou Gehrig is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He’s the first player to have the rule waived that required a player to be retired for one year before they could be enshrined.

  • 1949 – Notre Dame tight end Leon Hart wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1956 – Basketball legend Larry Bird is born.

  • 1963 – CBS uses instant replay on a broadcast for the first time – it’s used during an Army-Navy football game.

  • 1963 – In men’s college basketball, Kansas defeats Cincinnati, snapping the Bearcats’ 90 game home winning streak.

  • 1978 – Hockey great Mike Bossy records the first of his 39 career hat tricks.

  • 1985 – Auburn running back Bo Jackson wins the Heisman trophy in the second closest voting for the award ever. Jackson narrowly edged out Iowa QB Chuck Long.

  • 1986 – Pat Riley is the fastest coach in NBA history to 300 wins, picking up the milestone victory in his 416th game.

  • 1988 – The Texas Rangers sign free agent pitcher Nolan Ryan to a one year contract.

  • 1996 – Texas upsets #3 Nebraska 37-27 in the first Big 12 championship game.

  • 2005 – The Texas Rangers trade Alfonso Soriano to the Washington Nationals. Soriano would become the fourth player in MLB history to have a 40/40 season the following year.

512, 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/5

  • 1908 –Numerals are used on the jerseys of college football players for the first time, with the University of Pittsburgh being the first team to add them.

  • 1943 – The NFL dissolves the merger between the Steelers and the Eagles. The teams had to combine for the ’43 season due to the amount of players each team was missing due to military service. They were unofficially known as “The Steagles”.

  • 1970 – Rams running back Willie Ellison sets a record with 247 rushing yards in one game.

  • 1970 – The Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy & Bill Masterson Trophy are all stolen from the Hockey Hall of Fame.

  • 1973 – Ron Santo becomes the first player in MLB history to use his “5/10 rights” to veto a trade. Put into the Collective Bargaining Agreement after the 1972 player strike, “5/10 rights” allow a player who has played in the league for 10 years with the most recent five being for the same team to reject any trade. Santo nixed a deal that would have sent him from the Cubs to the Angels.

  • 1978 – Pete Rose signs a four year, $3.2 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, making him the highest paid player in baseball.

  • 1981 – USC running back Marcus Allen wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1987 – Notre Dame wide receiver Tim Brown wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1990 – The Blue Jays trade Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the Padres for Roberto Alomar & Joe Carter, two key pieces to Toronto’s World Series winning teams in 1992 & ’93.

  • 1992 – Alabama beats Florida 28-21 in the first SEC championship game.

  • 1995 – Dan Marino sets a record with his 52nd 300 yard passing game.

  • 1996 – At 18 years old, Portland’s Jermaine O’Neal becomes the youngest player in NBA history (at the time).

  • 2000 – Jazz forward Karl Malone passes Wilt Chamberlain for second on the NBA all-time leading scorer list.

  • 2008 – OJ Simpson is sentenced to 33 years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery.