On This Day

Birthdays in Sport in 1931

  • Jan 4 Guido Messina, Italian road and track cyclist (World C'ship gold individual 4000m pursuit 1948, 53, 54, 55, 56; Olympic gold team 1952), born in Monreale, Italy (d. 2020)
  • Jan 5 Walt Davis, American athlete (Olympic gold high jump 1952) and basketball center (NBA C'ship 1956, 58; Philadelphia Warriors, St. Louis Hawks), born in Beaumont, Texas (d. 2020)
  • Jan 6 Graeme Hole, Australian cricketer (Australian batsman of the fifties), born in Concord West, Australia (d. 1990)
  • Jan 17 Don Zimmer, American baseball player (1949-66), and coach or manager (19671-2014), born in Cincinnati, Ohio, (d. 2014)
  • Jan 22 Galina Zybina, USSR, discus thrower (15 world records between 1952-58)
  • Jan 24 Maria Piątkowskacka, Polish athlete (WR 4 x 100m relay 1964), born in Goleni, Moldova (d. 2020)
  • Jan 31 Bill Watson, cricketer (NSW & Australian opening batsman mid-50s)
  • Jan 31 Christopher Chataway, British MP/athlete (world record 5k)

Person of interestErnie Banks

Jan 31 Ernie Banks, American baseball shortstop, 1st baseman and hall of famer known as "Mr Cub" as he played all 19 of his seasons with the Chicago Cubs, born in Dallas, Texas (d. 2015)

MLB shortstop Ernie Banks
MLB shortstop
Ernie Banks
  • Feb 1 Madeleine Berthod, Swiss alpine skier (Olympic gold women's downhill 1956), born in Château d'Oex, Vaud, Switzerland
  • Feb 6 Fred Trueman, England cricket fast bowler (England 67 Tests, 307 wickets), born in Stainton, England (d. 2006)
  • Feb 9 Josef Masopust, Czech footballer
  • Feb 11 Larry Merchant, American boxing author and analyst (International Boxing Hall of Fame; HBO, Showtime), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Feb 14 Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, NHL right wing (Canadiens, Rangers)
  • Feb 16 Gamini Goonesena, cricket leg-spinner (all-rounder for Ceylon, Notts)
  • Feb 16 Bobby Collins, Scottish soccer midfielder (31 caps; Celtic, Everton, Leeds), born in Govanhill, Scotland (d. 2014)

  • Feb 17 Buddy Ryan, NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles, Phoenix Cardinals), born in Frederick, Oklahoma (d. 2016)
  • Feb 18 Bob St. Clair "The Geek", American football player, born in San Francisco, California
  • Feb 24 Brian Close, cricketer (played for England between 1949 & 1976), born in Rawden, West Riding (d. 2015)
  • Feb 26 Ally MacLeod, Scottish footballer and manager (d. 2004)
  • Feb 28 Peter Alliss, English golfer (Ryder Cup 1957 GB winners) and author, course designer and television presenter, commentator (BBC, ESPN, ABC Sports), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 2020)
  • Mar 1 Índio, Brazilian soccer striker (7 caps; Flamengo, Corinthians, Espanyol), born in Cabedelo, Brazil (d. 2020)
  • Mar 4 Bob Johnson, American ice hockey coach (d. 1991)
  • Mar 6 Ed Whitlock, British-born runner, oldest person to run marathon under 4 hrs (at 85), born in London (d. 2017)
  • Mar 7 Wálter Taibo, Uruguayan soccer goalkeeper (30 caps; Huracán, C.A. Peñarol), born in Montevideo, Uruguay (d. 2021)
  • Mar 8 Neil Adcock, South African cricket fast bowler (26 Tests, 104 wickets @ 21.10), born in Cape Town, Western Cape (d. 2013)
  • Mar 22 Billy Vessels, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback (Heisman Trophy 1952, University of Oklahoma), born in Cleveland, Oklahoma (d. 2001)
  • Mar 23 Yevdokiya Mekshilo, Soviet skier (Olympic gold 1964), born in Gorno-Altaysk, Russia (d. 2013)
  • Mar 23 Yevgeni Grishin, Russian speed skater (4 Olympic gold 1956, 60), born in Tula, Russia (d. 2005)
  • Mar 24 Thelma Kalama, American 4 X 100m relay swimmer (Olympic gold 1948)
  • Mar 28 Anatoly Lein, Soviet-American chess player (Grandmaster 1968; World Chess Hall of Fame), born in Leningrad, Russia (d. 2018)
  • Mar 31 Miller Barber, American golfer (11 PGA Tour; 3 US Senior Open titles), born in Shreveport, Louisiana (d. 2013)
  • Apr 3 Johnny Nicholls, English football player, born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire (d. 1995)
  • Apr 9 Bill Gilbert, sports author (They Also Served, Big E), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Apr 13 Daniel "Dan" Gurney, American race-car driver, coach and team owner (All American Racers), born in Port Jefferson, New York (d. 2018)
  • Apr 14 Paul Masnick, Canadian ice hockey player

  • Apr 17 John Bartlett, Australian tennis player (Davis Cup capt-Britain), born in Woonona, New South Wales
  • Apr 18 Klas Lestander, Swedish 20K biathlon (Olympic gold 1960), born in Arjeplog, Sweden
  • Apr 19 Alex Webster, American football coach (NY Giants), born in Kearney, New Jersey (d. 2012)
  • Apr 21 Morgan Wootten, American Basketball Hall of Fame coach (46 seasons DeMatha Catholic HS, Hyattsville, Maryland; National C'ships 1962, 65, 68, 78, 84), born in Durham, North Carolina (d. 2020)

Person of interestWillie Mays

May 6 Willie Mays, American Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder (24 x MLB All Star; 12 x Gold Glove Award; 660 career HRs, NL MVP 1954, 65; SF Giants, NY Mets), born in Westfield, Alabama

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • May 15 Ken Venturi, American golfer, broadcaster (US Open 1964), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2013)
  • May 17 Stan Albeck, American basketball coach (Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, New Jersey Nets, Chicago Bulls), born in Chenoa, Illinois (d. 2021)
  • May 19 Bob Anderson, British racing driver (d. 1967)
  • May 20 Chiharu Igaya, Japan, slalom (Olympic silver 1956)
  • May 20 Ken Boyer, American baseball player (d. 1982)
  • May 26 Jim Frey, American MLB manager (Kansas City Royals, American League C'ship 1980; Chicago Cubs), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2020)
  • May 28 Raymond Miquel, chairman (Scottish Sports Council)
  • Jun 1 Walter Horak, Austrian soccer striker (13 caps; Wiener Sport Club, Sochaux), born in Marchegg, Austria (d. 2019)
  • Jun 1 Hal Smith, American baseball catcher (MLB All-Star 1957, 59²; St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates), born in Barling, Arkansas (d. 2014)
  • Jun 2 Larry Jackson, American baseball pitcher (5x MLB All-Star; MLB wins leader 1964; St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies), born in Nampa, Idaho (d. 1990)
  • Jun 3 Lindy Remigino, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1952), born in Elmhurst, Queens, New York (d. 2018)
  • Jun 9 Bill Virdon, American baseball outfielder, manager, coach (NL Rookie of the Year 1955; World Series 1960; Gold Glove 1962), born in Hazel Park, Michigan
  • Jun 15 Bernice Gera, first woman umpire in US pro baseball, born in Ernest, Pennsylvania (d. 1992)
  • Jun 21 Enzo Maiorca, Italian freediver (17 world records), born in Syracuse, Sicily (d. 2016)
  • Jun 24 Billy Casper, American golfer (US Open 1959, 66; US Masters 1970), born in San Diego, California (d. 2015)
  • Jun 27 Eddie Kasko, American baseball infielder (MLB All Star 1961, 1961²; Cincinnati Reds) and manager (Boston Red Sox), born in Linden, New Jersey (d. 2020)
  • Jun 27 Grant Weatherstone, Scotland rugby union winger (16 caps; Edinburgh District), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 2020)
  • Jun 28 Junior Johnson, American auto racer and team owner (Daytona 500 1960; NASCAR Hall of Fame), born in Wilkes County, North Carolina (d. 2019)
  • Jun 28 Lucien Victor, Belgian road racing cyclist, born in Oekene, Belgium (d. 1995)
  • Jul 4 Peter Richardson, British cricketer (England batsman mid-50's), born in Hereford, England (d. 2017)
  • Jul 4 Rick Casares, American NFL fullback (Chicago Bears), born in Tampa, Florida (d. 2013)
  • Jul 6 László Tábori, Hungarian middle/long distance runner (1,500m world record 1955), born in Košice, Slovakia (d. 2018)

Person of interestRoone Arledge

Jul 8 Roone Arledge, American President of ABC Sports (Monday Night Football), born in NYC, New York

Sports Broadcasting Pioneer and President of ABC Sports Roone Arledge
Sports Broadcasting Pioneer and President of ABC Sports
Roone Arledge
  • Jul 16 Norm Sherry, American baseball catcher (Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets) and manager (California Angels), born in NYC, New York (d. 2021)
  • Jul 20 Tony Marsh, English racing driver
  • Jul 21 Gene Fullmer, American boxer (world middleweight champion), born in West Jordan, Utah (d. 2015)
  • Jul 23 Viktor Korchnoi, Russian-born chess grandmaster, born in Leningrad (d. 2016)
  • Jul 24 Éric Tabarly, French Navy officer and yachtsman, born in Nantes, France (d. 1998)
  • Jul 26 Takashi Ono, Japanese gymnast (Olympic gold 1956, 60), born in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, Japan
  • Jul 28 Johnny Martin, Australian cricket left-arm chinaman bowler (60's)
  • Jul 31 Nick Bollettieri, American tennis coach (Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles), born in Pelham, New York
  • Jul 31 Bill Bidwill, American NFL team owner (Arizona Cardinals 1962-2019), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2019)
  • Aug 1 Trevor Goddard, South African cricketer (South African opening batsman & opening bowler), born in Durban, Natal, South Africa (d. 2016)
  • Aug 2 Eddie Fuller, South African cricketer (South African fast bowler in 7 Tests 1952-58), born in Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa (d. 2008)
  • Aug 2 Viliam Schrojf, Slovak footballer, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2007)
  • Aug 4 Narendra Tamhane, Indian cricket wicket-keeper (1950's), born in Bombay, India
  • Aug 9 Chuck Essegian, American MLB baseball player, born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Aug 13 Norman Read, New Zealand 50k race walker (Olympic gold 1956), born in Portsmouth, England (d. 1994)
  • Aug 18 Dick White, English footballer, born in Scunthorpe, United Kingdom (d. 2002)
  • Aug 19 Bill Shoemaker, American Racing Hall of Fame jockey (8,833 career victories, Kentucky Derby 1955, 59, 65, 86), born in Fabens, Texas (d. 2003)
  • Aug 20 Don King, American boxing promoter best known for his association with Mike Tyson and for his unusual hairstyles, born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Aug 21 Pete Retzlaff, American NFL halfback, tight-end (Pro Bowl 1958, 60, 63–65; First-team All-Pro 1958, 65) and general manager (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Ellendale, North Dakota (d. 2020)
  • Aug 27 Sven Tumba, Swedish ice hockey center, football winger, golfer, course designer, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 2011)
  • Aug 27 Joe Cunningham, American baseball player

Person of interestJean Béliveau

Aug 31 Jean Béliveau, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center (Hart Trophy 1956, 64; Art Ross Trophy 1956; Conn Smythe Trophy 1965; record 17 Stanley Cups), born in Trois-Rivieres Quebec (d. 2014)

NHL Legend Jean Béliveau
NHL Legend
Jean Béliveau
  • Sep 3 Dick Motta, American basketball coach (NBA Championship, Washington Bullets 1977-78), born in Midvale, Utah
  • Sep 7 Al McGuire, American basketball coach (Marquette), born in NYC, New York (d. 2001)
  • Sep 13 Marjorie Jackson, Australian sprinter (Olympic gold 1952) and 33rd Governor of South Australia, born in Coffs Harbour, Australia
  • Sep 23 Ruud van den Hende, sports reporter
  • Sep 26 Vijay Manjrekar, Indian cricketer (father of Sanjay, reliable Indian batsman), born in Bombay, India (d. 1983)

Person of interestGlenn Hall

Oct 3 Glenn Hall, National Hockey League goaltender (butterfly goalkeeping), born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan

NHL Goalie Glenn Hall
NHL Goalie
Glenn Hall
  • Oct 4 Basil D'Oliveira, English cricket all-rounder (44 Tests, 2,484 @ 40.06, 47 wickets), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 2011)
  • Oct 7 Cotton Fitzsimmons, American basketball coach (NJCAA C'ship 1966, 67; Moberly Area CC; Kansas State; NBA: Phoenix Suns; Atlanta Hawks, San Antonio Spurs), born in Hannibal, Missouri (d. 2004)
  • Oct 8 Pepper Rodgers, American football coach (University of Kansas, UCLA, Georgia Tech; USFL: Memphis Showboats), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2020)
  • Oct 8 Bill Brown, Scottish soccer goalkeeper (28 caps; Dundee, Tottenham Hotspur), born in Arbroath, Angus, Scotland (d. 2004)
  • Oct 13 Eddie Mathews, American hall of fame third baseman (Milwaukee Brave) who hit 512 home runs, born in Texarkana, Texas (d. 2001)
  • Oct 13 Raymond Kopa [Kopaszewski], French footballer 'the Napoleon of football', born in Noeux-les-Mines (d. 2017)
  • Oct 18 Ed Biles, American football coach (College: Xavier 1962-68; NFL: Houston Oilers 1981-83), born in Reading, Ohio (d. 2020)
  • Oct 19 Atsushi Miyagi, Japanese tennis player (US Open doubles 1955 [with Kosei Kamo] first Japanese players to win a Grand Slam event), born in Tokyo, Japan (d. 2021)

Person of interestMickey Mantle

Oct 20 Mickey Mantle, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (1956 Triple Crown, 20-time All Star), born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma (d. 1995)

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • Oct 20 Zeke Bratkowski, American NFL quarterback and coach (Green Bay Packers), born in Danville, Illinois (d. 2019)
  • Oct 21 Jim Parks, cricketer (England batsman-keeper in 46 Tests 1954-68)
  • Oct 23 Jim Bunning, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, politician (perfect game vs Mets 1965, Rep. Senator-Ky), born in Southgate, Kentucky (d. 2017)
  • Oct 25 Jimmy McIlroy, Irish footballer and football manager, born in Lambeg, Ireland
  • Nov 1 Arne Pedersen, Norwegian soccer inside forward (40 caps; Fredrikstad), born in Fredrikstad, Norway (d. 2013)
  • Nov 6 Peter Collins, English auto racer (British GP 1958), born in Kidderminster, England (d. 1958)
  • Nov 9 Tommy Greenhough, English cricketer (English leg-spinner in 4 Tests 1959-60), born in Rochdale, Lancashire (d. 2009)
  • Nov 9 Whitey Herzog, American baseball manager (St Louis Cardinals), born in New Athens, Illinois
  • Nov 16 Frank Bolling, American baseball second baseman (MLB All-Star 1961–62²; Gold Glove Award 1958; Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves), born in Mobile, Alabama (d. 2020)
  • Nov 23 Yevgeni Grischin, USSR, 500m/1500m speed skater (Olympic gold 1956, 60)
  • Nov 25 Dickie Jeeps, English rugby international/chairman Sports Council
  • Nov 26 Giuliana Chenal-Minuzzo, Italian downhill skier (Olympic bronze 1952, 60), born in Vallonara di Marostica, Italy
  • Nov 29 André Noyelle, Belgian cyclist (d. 2003)

Person of interestBill Walsh

Nov 30 Bill Walsh, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (San Francisco 49ers), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2007)

American Football Coach Bill Walsh
American Football Coach
Bill Walsh
  • Dec 4 Alex Delvecchio, Canadian ice hockey forward, coach, and executive (Stanley Cup 1952, 54-55, Detroit Red Wings 1,549 games, 1,281 points), born in Fort William, Ontario

Person of interestTom Brookshier

Dec 16 Tom Brookshier, American football player and sportscaster, born in Roswell, New Mexico (d. 2010)

NFL Sportscaster Tom Brookshier
NFL Sportscaster
Tom Brookshier
  • Dec 18 Noel McGregor, cricketer (batted in 25 Tests for NZ 1955-65)

About 1931

How Old? 89 or 90 years old
Generation: Silent Generation

Chinese Zodiac: Horse (Jan 1 - Feb 16), Goat/Sheep (Feb 17 - Dec 31)