On This Day

Birthdays in Sport on January 31

Person of interestHenri Desgrange

1865 Henri Desgrange, French cyclist and journalist, founder of the Tour-de-France, born in Paris, France (d. 1940)

Cyclist and Founder of the Tour-de-France Henri Desgrange
Cyclist and Founder of the Tour-de-France
Henri Desgrange
  • 1866 Henry Forster, cricketer (Oxford blue 1887-89, later Aust Gov-General)
  • 1889 F R Foster, cricketer (330 runs & 45 wickets for England)
  • 1906 R W Bonham, founder (International Braille Chess Association)
  • 1908 Simonne Mathieu, French tennis player (French C'ships 1938-39; 11 Grand Slam doubles titles), born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France (d. 1980)

Person of interestDon Hutson

1913 Don Hutson, American College, Pro Football Halls of Fame wide receiver (Green Bay Packers), born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (d. 1997)

First NFL Wide Receiver in History Don Hutson
First NFL Wide Receiver in History
Don Hutson
  • 1913 Wayne Millner, NFL end (Boston/Washington Redskins)

Person of interestJersey Joe

1914 Jersey Joe Walcott, American heavyweight boxing champion (1951-52), born in Merchantville, New Jersey (d. 1994)

World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jersey Joe
  • 1916 Frank Parker, American tennis player (4-time Grand Slam winner), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 1997)

Person of interestJackie Robinson

1919 Jackie Robinson, 1st African American major league baseball player (Dodgers), born in Cairo, Georgia (d. 1972)

Baseball Player Jackie Robinson
Baseball Player
Jackie Robinson
  • 1920 Bert Williams MBE, English soccer goalkeeper (24 caps; Wolverhampton Wanderers 381 games), born in Bradley, Staffordshire (d. 2014)
  • 1925 Micheline Lannoy, Belgian figure skating pairs (Olympic gold 1948), born in Brussels, Belgium
  • 1930 Joakim Bonnier, Swedish racecar driver (d. 1972)
  • 1930 Art Michalik, American football linebacker / guard (All-Pro 1953; Pro Bowl 1953; San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2021)
  • 1931 Bill Watson, cricketer (NSW & Australian opening batsman mid-50s)
  • 1931 Christopher Chataway, British MP/athlete (world record 5k)

Person of interestErnie Banks

1931 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
  • 1934 Brian Bolus, English cricket batsman (7 Tests @ 41.33; Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire), born in Leeds, England (d. 2020)
  • 1941 Len Chappell, American NBA forward (All Star 1964), born in Portage, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1944 John Inverarity, cricketer (Australian batsman 1968-72)
  • 1946 Subroto Guha, Indian cricketer (right arm swing bowler for India 1967-69), born in India

Person of interestNolan Ryan

1947 Nolan Ryan, American baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (MLB no-hit leader [7], strikeout leader [5,714]), born in Refugio, Texas

MLB Pitching Legend Nolan Ryan
MLB Pitching Legend
Nolan Ryan
  • 1949 Johan Derksen, Dutch footballer & sports journalist, born in Heteren, Netherlands
  • 1951 Juan de Dios Castillo, Mexican soccer coach (Honduras, Copa Centroamericana 2011), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 2014)
  • 1954 Faoud Bacchus, West Indies cricketer (West Indian bat late 70's), born in Georgetown, Guyana

Person of interestVirginia Ruzici

1955 Virginia Ruzici, Romanian Tennis Star (1978 French Open champion), born in Campia Turzii, Romania

Tennis Player and French Open Champion Virginia Ruzici
Tennis Player and French Open Champion
Virginia Ruzici
  • 1957 Shirley Babashoff, American swimmer (Olympics-6 silver/2 gold-72, 76), born in Whittier, California
  • 1958 Rafael Santana, Dominican baseball shortstop (NY Mets, NY Yankees), born in La Romana, Dominican Republic
  • 1959 Kelly Moore, American stock car driver, born in Scarborough, Maine
  • 1959 Michael Allen, American golfer (Senior PGA Championship 2009), born in San Mateo, California
  • 1960 Elaine Roque, American beach volleyballer (Olympics 1996), born in Santa Monica, California
  • 1964 Sharon Cain, American team handball player (Olympics 1996), born in San Antonio, Texas
  • 1965 Adam Johnson, American beach volleyball player (Olympics 1996), born in Portland, Oregon
  • 1965 Bobby Dollas, Canadian ice hockey player (Anaheim Mighty Ducks), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • 1965 Kim Clarke, American team handball back court (Olympics 1988, 92, 96), born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • 1965 René Trost, Dutch soccer player (Roda JC), born in Kerkrade, Netherlands

  • 1965 Diána Igaly, Hungarian sport shooter (Olympic gold women's skeet 2004; bronze 2000), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 2021)
  • 1966 Charles Dimry, American football cornerback (Tampa Bay Bucs, Philadelphia Eagles), born in San Diego, California
  • 1966 Jamie Taras, Canadian football player (BC Lions), born in Acton, Ontario
  • 1968 Doug Pederson, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2017, Philadelphia Eagles), born in Bellingham, Washington
  • 1968 Michael Sinclair, American football defensive end (Seattle Seahawks), born in Galveston, Texas
  • 1968 Steve Phoenix, American baseball pitcher (Oakland Athletics), born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • 1968 Patrick Stevens, Belgian athlete, born in Belgium
  • 1969 Mathew Pallister, Australian canoeist (Olympics 1996), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • 1970 Greg Skrepenak, American football offensive lineman (Oakland Raiders, Carolina Panthers), born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
  • 1970 Travis Hannah, American football wide receiver (Houston Oilers, Frankfurt Galaxy), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1970 (Amelia) "Minnie" Driver, British-American actress (Good Will Hunting; The Riches), and singer-songwriter (Everything I've Got in My Pocket), born in London, England
  • 1971 Corey Holliday, American football wide receiver (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Richmond, Virginia
  • 1971 Dimitris Markos, Greek footballer, born in Kilkis, Greece
  • 1972 Marvin Coleman, American basketball player (Calgary Stampeders), born in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 1972 Pulu Poumele, American football guard (San Diego Chargers), born in Oceanside, California (d. 2016)
  • 1972 Reinier Robbemond, Dutch soccer player (Dordrecht '90), born in Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • 1973 Latario Rachal, American football player (Amsterdam Admirals, San Diego Chargers), born in California
  • 1974 Bob Mulder, Dutch football player (Appingedam, FC Groningen), born in Delfzijl, Netherlands
  • 1974 Lorenzo Styles, American football linebacker (Atlanta Falcons), born in Sharon, Pennsylvania
  • 1974 Othella Harrington, American basketball forward (Houston Rockets), born in Jackson, Mississippi

  • 1974 Pavi Sald, Finnish ice hockey defenseman (Finland, Olympics 1998)
  • 1974 Tory Toogood, Australian rower (Olympics 1996)
  • 1974 Ariel Pestano, Cuban baseball player, born in Cuba
  • 1975 Kenard Lang, American football defensive end (Washington Redskins), born in Orlando, Florida
  • 1976 Traianos Dellas, Greek football player, born in Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 1976 Buddy Rice, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 2004, 24 Hours of Daytona 2009), born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • 1978 Fabián Caballero, Argentine footballer, born in Misiones Province, Argentina
  • 1981 Julio Arca, Argentinian football player, born in Quilmes, Argentina
  • 1982 Yuniesky Betancourt, Cuban baseball shortstop, born in Santa Clara, Cuba
  • 1982 Andreas Görlitz, German football player, born in Weilheim in Oberbayern, Germany
  • 1982 Jānis Sprukts, Latvian ice hockey player, born in Riga, Latvia
  • 1982 Brad Thompson, American baseball pitcher, born in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 1983 Tom Vangeneugden, Belgian swimmer, born in Overpelt, Belgium
  • 1984 Jeremy Wariner, American 400m runner, born in Irving, Texas
  • 1984 Vernon Davis, American football tight end, born in Washington, D.C.
  • 1985 Adam Federici, Australian football player, born in Nowra, Australia
  • 1985 Mario Williams, American football defensive end, born in Richlands, North Carolina
  • 1986 Yves Makabu-Makalambay, Congolese football goalkeeper, born in Brussels, Belgium