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This Day in Sports History


1926 – At age 38, Walter Johnson throws his seventh career opening day shutout.

1942 – In a final showdown of two golf legends, Byron Nelson defeats Ben Hogan by one stroke in an 18 hole playoff to win the Masters.

1949 – The Minneapolis Lakers defeat the Washington Capitols to win the Basketball Association of America championship. Later in the year, the BAA and the National Basketball League will merge to form the NBA.

1954 – Hank Aaron appears in his first MLB game, taking the field for the Milwaukee Braves.

1963 – “Hit King” Pete Rose triples for his first career hit.

1979 – The world’s longest game of doubles ping-pong ends after 101 hours.

1980 – The United States and its allies announce that they are boycotting the Summer Olympics in Moscow in protest over the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan.

1984 – 21 years to the day after recording his first career hit, Pete Rose picks up career hit #4,000. He’s the first player in National League history to reach that milestone.

1986 – At the 50th Masters Tournament, Jack Nicklaus wins his record 18th major with a one stroke victory over Greg Norman and Tom Kite. At 46 years old, Nicklaus becomes the oldest player to win a Masters.

1997 – Tiger Woods wins his first major title, winning the Masters by a record 12 shots over Tom Kite. His four round total of 18 under par is also a Masters record.

1997 – The Hartford Whalers play in their final game. In the off-season they move to North Carolina and become the Carolina Hurricanes.

1997 – Pittsburgh Penguins great Mario Lemieux plays in his final regular season game.

2004 – Barry Bonds hits career home run #661 passing Willie Mays (who is Bonds’ godfather) for third place (at the time) on the all-time home run list.

2016 – The Golden State Warriors finish the NBA regular season with a 73-9 record, surpassing the best record in NBA history set by the 1995-96 Bulls.

2019 – San Antonio Spurs coach, and Merrillville grad, Greg Popovich passes Lenny Wilkens to become the all-time winningest coach in NBA history with victory #1,413.

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