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

December 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.

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.

This Day in Sports History: 12/4

  • 1909 – The University of Toronto defeats Toronto Parkdale 26-6 in the first ever CFL Grey Cup championship.

  • 1943 – MLB commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announces that clubs are allowed to sign African-American players.

  • 1956 – Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1987 – Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s streak of 787 consecutive games of scoring double-digit points comes to an end.

  • 1996 – The Orlando Magic tie an NBA record by scoring the fewest amount of points in a game with the 24 second shot clock as they fall to Cleveland 84-57.

  • 1997 – The NBA suspends Latrell Sprewell for one year after attacking coach PJ Carlesimo.

  • 1997 – Barry Sanders sets an NFL record by running for 100 or more yards for the 12th straight game.

  • 2003 – The Red Sox hire Terry Francona as manager. He’d go on to lead the team to two World Series titles.

This Day in Sports History: 12/1

  • 1924 – The Boston Bruins and the Montreal Maroons face off in the first NHL game that’s played in the United States – it’s held at Boston Arena.

  • 1930 – The NHL removes the 20 minute “slashing-about –the-head” penalty.

  • 1956 – Luis Aparicio of the White Sox is named AL MVP after hitting .266 with 56 RBI & 21 stolen bases.

  • 1962 – The Grey Cup (Canadian Football League championship) is suspended due to fog covering the field. It is resumed the next day with Winnipeg defeating Hamilton 28-27.

  • 1964 – The Houston Colt .45s change their name to the Astros.

  • 1967 – Wilt Chamberlain sets a record with 22 missed free throws in a game.

  • 1967 – Major League Baseball awards Seattle a new American League franchise.

  • 1970 – The NHL takes control over the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise.

  • 1971 – The Cubs release Ernie Banks and sign him as a coach.

  • 1981 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar passes Oscar Robertson to become the second leading scorer in NBA history.

  • 1984 – Doug Flutie wins the 50th Heisman Trophy.

  • 1994 – Mike Frier of the Seattle Seahawks is paralyzed in a car accident.

  • 1996 – Hershey Hawkins of the Seattle Supersonics scores the 7,000,000th point in NBA history.

  • 1997 – Golden State’s Latrell Sprewell attacks his head coach, PJ Carlesimo.

  • 2002 – Falcons quarterback Michael Vick sets a single game rushing record for QBs with 173 yards on the ground against the Vikings.

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.

412, 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/4

  • 1909 – The University of Toronto defeats Toronto Parkdale 26-6 in the first ever CFL Grey Cup championship.

  • 1943 – MLB commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announces that clubs are allowed to sign African-American players.

  • 1956 – Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung wins the Heisman Trophy.

  • 1987 – Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s streak of 787 consecutive games of scoring double-digit points comes to an end.

  • 1996 – The Orlando Magic tie an NBA record by scoring the fewest amount of points in a game with the 24 second shot clock as they fall to Cleveland 84-57.

  • 1997 – The NBA suspends Latrell Sprewell for one year after attacking coach PJ Carlesimo.

  • 1997 – Barry Sanders sets an NFL record by running for 100 or more yards for the 12th straight game.

  • 2003 – The Red Sox hire Terry Francona as manager. He’d go on to lead the team to two World Series titles.

112, 2017

This Day in Sports History: 12/1

  • 1924 – The Boston Bruins and the Montreal Maroons face off in the first NHL game that’s played in the United States – it’s held at Boston Arena.

  • 1930 – The NHL removes the 20 minute “slashing-about –the-head” penalty.

  • 1956 – Luis Aparicio of the White Sox is named AL MVP after hitting .266 with 56 RBI & 21 stolen bases.

  • 1962 – The Grey Cup (Canadian Football League championship) is suspended due to fog covering the field. It is resumed the next day with Winnipeg defeating Hamilton 28-27.

  • 1964 – The Houston Colt .45s change their name to the Astros.

  • 1967 – Wilt Chamberlain sets a record with 22 missed free throws in a game.

  • 1967 – Major League Baseball awards Seattle a new American League franchise.

  • 1970 – The NHL takes control over the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise.

  • 1971 – The Cubs release Ernie Banks and sign him as a coach.

  • 1981 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar passes Oscar Robertson to become the second leading scorer in NBA history.

  • 1984 – Doug Flutie wins the 50th Heisman Trophy.

  • 1994 – Mike Frier of the Seattle Seahawks is paralyzed in a car accident.

  • 1996 – Hershey Hawkins of the Seattle Supersonics scores the 7,000,000th point in NBA history.

  • 1997 – Golden State’s Latrell Sprewell attacks his head coach, PJ Carlesimo.

  • 2002 – Falcons quarterback Michael Vick sets a single game rushing record for QBs with 173 yards on the ground against the Vikings.