On This Day

Birthdays in Sport on December 31

  • 1857 Michael "King" Kelly, American Baseball HOF utility (NL batting champion 1884, 86; NL runs scored 1884–86, Chicago White Sox) and manager (Boston Beaneaters, Reds; Cincinnati KKs), born in Troy, NY (d. 1894)
  • 1870 Tom Connolly, American Baseball HOF umpire (AL-record 8 x World Series), born in Manchester, England (d. 1961)
  • 1882 Ben A. Jones, American horse trainer (US Champion trainer by earnings 1941, 43, 44, 52; Kentucky Derby x 6 including Citation, Whirlaway), born in Parnell, Missouri (d. 1961)
  • 1893 Jimmy Blanckenberg, South African cricket medium pace bowler (18 Tests, 60 wickets; Western Province), born in Cape Town, South Africa (d. 1955)
  • 1904 Chuck Gardiner, Canadian NHL goalie (Vezina winner), born in Edinburgh, United Kingdom (d. 1934)
  • 1906 Erna Bogen-Bogáti, Hungarian foils (Olympic bronze 1932), born in Jaroslaw, Poland (d. 2002)
  • 1919 Tommy Byrne, American baseball pitcher (MLB All-Star 1950; World Series 1949, 56; NY Yankees), born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 2007)
  • 1924 Victoria Draves, American platform/springboard diver (Olympic gold 1948)
  • 1928 Hugh McElhenny, American Pro/College Football HOF halfback (University of Washington; 5 × First-team All-Pro; 6 × Pro Bowl; Minnesota Vikings, SF 49ers), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2022)
  • 1929 Peter May, English cricket batsman (66 Tests, 4,537 @ 46.77, 13 x 100, 22 x 50; HS 285no; Surrey CCC), born in Reading, England (d. 1994)
  • 1935 Peter Allan, Australian cricketer (1 Test Australia v England 1965, 2-58 & 0-25), born in Brisbane, Australia
  • 1936 Jerry Sturm, American football tackle (AFL All-Star 1964, 66; Denver Broncos, NO Saints), born in English, Indiana (d. 2020)
  • 1938 Atje Keulen-Deelstra, Dutch speed skater (world champ, born in Grou, Netherlands (d. 2013)
  • 1939 Afaq Hussain, Pakistani cricketer (Pakistani off-spinner in 2 Tests 1961-64), born in Lucknow, India (d. 2002)
  • 1939 Willye White, American athlete (Olympic silver long jump 1956, 4x100m relay 1964; Sports Illustrated 100 greatest women athletes of 20th century), born in Money, Mississippi (d. 2007)
  • 1941 Milkha Singh, Indian cricketer (brother of Kripal Singh India batsman in 4 Tests), born in Madras, India (d. 2017)
  • 1941 Sir Alex Ferguson, Scottish football manager, born in Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 1946 Cliff Richey, American tennis player (World #6 1970; Davis Cup 1969-70), born in San Angelo, Texas
  • 1948 René Robert, Canadian ice hockey winger (NHL All Star 1972-73, 74-75; Buffalo Sabres 1st 100 point player 1974-75), born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec (d. 2021)
  • 1950 Inge Helten, German sprinter (Olympic bronze 1976), born in Sinzig, Germany
  • 1950 Bob Gilder, American golfer (6 PGA tour titles), born in Corvallis, Oregon
  • 1951 Michael Allen Bantom, American basketball player (Olympic silver 1972), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1958 Geoff Marsh, Australian cricket batsman (50 Tests, 4 x 100s; 117 ODIs, 9 x 100s), born in Northam, Australia
  • 1960 Broderick Dyke, Australian tennis player, born in Gumeracha, Australia
  • 1961 Rick Aguilera, American baseball pitcher (Minnesota Twins), born in San Gabriel, California
  • 1962 Tyrone Corbin, American NBA forward (Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks), born in Columbia, South Carolina
  • 1963 Ed Simmons, American NFL tackle (Washington Redskins), born in French Camp, California
  • 1963 Konishiki, Japanese-Samoan sumo wrestler, born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1964 Denis Hickey, Australian cricketer (fast bowler for Vic, SA & Glamorgan), born in Mooroopna, Australia
  • 1964 Klari MacAskill, Canadian kayaker (Olympics-5-92, 96), born in Budapest, Hungary
  • 1964 Liz Masakayan, Filipino WPVA volleyball player (Best of Beach-3rd-1994), born in Quezon City, Philippines
  • 1964 Winston Benjamin, Antiguan cricketer (WI right armed fast bowler 1987-95), born in All Saints, Antigua and Barbuda
  • 1967 Brad Daluiso, American NFL placekicker (NY Giants), born in San Diego, California
  • 1970 Bryon Russell, American NBA forward (Utah Jazz), born in San Bernardino, California
  • 1970 Dan Howe, Canadian canoeist (Olympics 1996), born in Kingston, Ontario
  • 1970 Michel Brunet, Canadian ice dancer (1996 Canadians-2nd), born in Gatineau, Quebec
  • 1971 Brent Barry, American NBA guard (LA Clippers), born in Hempstead, New York
  • 1971 Erin Warren, American luger (Olympics 1994), born in Winchester Massachusetts
  • 1971 Heath Shuler, NFL quarterback (Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints), born in Bryson City, North Carolina
  • 1971 Ricardo López Felipe, Spanish footballer, born in Madrid, Spain
  • 1972 Kelvin Kinney, American football defensive end (Washington Redskins), born in Montgomery, West Virginia
  • 1972 Cole Ford, American football placekicker (Oakland Raiders), born in Tucson, Arizona
  • 1973 Curtis Myden, Canadian 200m/400m swimmer (Olympic 2 bronze-96), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • 1973 George Jones, American running back (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Greenville, South Carolina
  • 1973 Hiroyuki Miura, Japanese hockey defenceman (Team Japan 1998, Montreal Canadiens), born in Hokkaido, Japan
  • 1974 Mario Aerts, Belgian cyclist, born in Herentals, Belgium
  • 1974 Tony Kanaan, Brazilian racing driver, born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
  • 1975 Toni Kuivasto, Finnish footballer, born in Tampere, Finland
  • 1977 Wardy Alfaro, Costa Rican footballer, born in Alajuela, Costa Rica
  • 1980 Richard "Richie" McCaw, New Zealand rugby player (All Blacks), born in Oamaru, New Zealand
  • 1981 Jason Campbell, American football player, born in Laurel, Mississippi
  • 1981 Matthew Pavlich, Australian football player, born in Adelaide, Australia
  • 1982 Julio DePaula, Dominican baseball player, born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • 1982 Luke Schenscher, Australian basketball player, born in South Australia, Australia
  • 1982 Craig Gordon, Scottish footballer, born in Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 1987 Javaris Crittenton, American basketball player, born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1987 Émilie Le Pennec, French gymnast, born in La Garenne-Colombes, France
  • 1993 Ryan Blaney, American auto racer (Daytona 500 2020 runner-up), born in Hartford Township, Trumbull County, Ohio
  • 1995 Gabby Douglas, American gymnast (2012 Olympic champion), born in Newport News, Virginia
  • 1996 Alexander Bolshunov, Russian cross-country skier (Olympic gold 30k, 50k, 4 x 10k relay 2022; Tour de Ski 2021, 22), born in Podyvotye, Russia