On This Day

Birthdays in Sport on May 17

  • 1836 Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian World Chess Champion (1866-94), born in Prague, Bohemia, Austrian Empire (d. 1900)
  • 1876 Alban Collignon, Belgian sport journalist, born in Mechelen, Belgium (d. 1955)
  • 1888 Tich Freeman, English cricket leg-spin bowler (12 Tests, 66 wickets; Kent), born in Lewisham, England (d. 1965)

Cool Papa Bell

1903 James "Cool Papa" Bell, American Baseball HOF center fielder (NgL WorLd Series 1943, 44 Homestead Grays; 8 x NgL All Star; career BA .337), born in Starkville, Mississippi (d. 1991)

  • 1906 Zinka Milanov, Croatian soprano (Ljublama Opera, 1927; NY Metropolitan Opera, 1937-66), born in Zagreb, Croatia (d. 1989)
  • 1907 Ilona Elek, Hungarian fencer (Olympic gold 1936, 48), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1988)
  • 1909 Karl Schäfer, Austrian figure skater (Olympic gold 1932, 36), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1976)
  • 1912 Clarence "Ace" Parker, American NFL quarterback (Brooklyn, Boston Yanks), born in Portsmouth, Virginia (d. 2013)
  • 1913 Hans Ruesch, Swiss racing driver (d. 2007)
  • 1919 Antonio Aguilar [Barraza], Mexican singer, producer and actor (Emiliano Zapata) who popularized the Mexican equestrian sport la charrería, born in Villanueva, Zacatecas, Mexico (d. 2007)
  • 1920 Lydia Wideman, Finnish cross country skier (first female cross-country Olympic gold 1952), born in Vippula, Finland
  • 1929 John Davies, Australian swimmer (Olympic gold 200m breaststroke 1952; WR 200m breaststroke 2:34.4 1952), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2020)
  • 1931 Stan Albeck, American basketball coach (Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, New Jersey Nets, Chicago Bulls), born in Chenoa, Illinois (d. 2021)
  • 1932 Peter Burge, cricketer (dashing Australian batsman of 50's & 60's)
  • 1934 Earl Morrall, American NFL quarterback (Super Bowl 1970, 72, 73; Pro Bowl 1957, 68; First-team All-Pro 1968, 72; NFL MVP 1968; Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins), born in Muskegon, Michigan (d. 2014)
  • 1942 Myles Brand, American sports administrator (4th NCAA President), born in Brooklyn, NY (d. 2009)
  • 1943 Johnny Warren, Australian Footballer (d. 2004)
  • 1944 Arif Butt, Pakistani cricketer (pace bowler for Pakistan in three Tests 1964-65), born in Lahore, Punjab, British India (d. 2007)
  • 1945 Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Indian cricketer (brilliant Indian leggie 1964-79), born in Mysore, Karnataka
  • 1946 Sinaida Turchina, USSR, team handball (Olympic gold 1976)
  • 1947 John Traicos, cricketer (in Egypt South Africa 1970, Zimbabwe 1992-93)
  • 1954 Michael Roberts, jockey

Sugar Ray Leonard

1956 Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer (Olympic gold 1976), born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina

  • 1957 Pascual Pérez, Dominican baseball pitcher (MLB All Star 1983; Atlanta Braves), born in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic (d. 2012)
  • 1960 Lou DiBella, American boxing promoter
  • 1962 Scott Case, NFL safety (Dallas Cowboys)
  • 1963 Jon Koncak, NBA center (Orlando Magic)
  • 1964 Menno Oosting, Dutch tennis player (d. 1999)
  • 1966 Danny Manning, American basketball forward (NBA All-Star 1993, 94; NBA Sixth Man of the Year 1998; Phoenix Suns), born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • 1966 Mark Kratzmann, Australia, tennis star
  • 1966 Mark Schmocker, US team handball goalie (Olympics 1996)
  • 1968 Tim Grunhard, NFL center (KC Chiefs)
  • 1969 Aaron Ruffin, CFL defensive back (Hamilton Tiger Cats)
  • 1969 Ujesh Ranchod, cricketer (Zimbabwe off-spinner 1993)
  • 1970 Alan Wetmore, CFL fullback (Montreal Alouettes)
  • 1970 Derrick Deese, NFL guard (SF 49ers)
  • 1970 Hubert Davis, NBA guard (Dallas Mavericks, NY Knicks)
  • 1970 Jodie Rogers, Australian diver (Olympics 1996), born in Melbourne, Victoria
  • 1970 John Karelse, soccer player (NAC)
  • 1970 Renzo Furlan, Italian tennis star
  • 1970 Stefania Croce, Italian golfer (Women's PGA C'ship 2000 runner-up), born in Bergamo, Italy
  • 1970 Todd Mundt, NBA center (Atlanta Hawks)
  • 1970 Matt Lindland, American mixed martial arts fighter
  • 1970 Giovanna Trillini, Italian fencer (2 x Olympic gold foil 1992), born in Iesi, Italy
  • 1971 Bill Lindsay, Big Fork, NHL left wing (Florida Panthers)
  • 1971 Mark Williams, NFL linebacker (Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • 1971 Shaun Hart, Australian footballer
  • 1972 Elena Wagner, Sofia Bulgaria, tennis star (1996 ITF/Redbridge-GBR)
  • 1972 John Burrough, NFL defensive tackle (Atlanta Falcons)
  • 1973 Jay Riemersma, tight end (Buffalo Bills)
  • 1974 Wiki González, Venezuelan baseball player
  • 1976 Anna Windsor, Australian swimmer (Olympics 1996), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • 1976 Daniel Komen, Nyaru Kenya, 5k runner
  • 1976 Peter Devine, American fencer-foil (Olympics 1996), born in NYC, New York
  • 1977 Jere Michael, Aspen Colo, figure skater (1994 National Jr champ)
  • 1978 Paddy Kenny, Irish goalkeeper
  • 1978 Carlos Peña, Dominican MLB baseball infielder, 2001-14 (Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and 6 other teams), and broadcaster, born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • 1979 Wayne Thomas, English footballer, born in Gloucester, England
  • 1980 Stéphane Robert, French professional tennis player, born in Montargis, France
  • 1981 Beñat Albizuri, Spanish cyclist
  • 1981 Giannis Taralidis, Greek footballer
  • 1981 Leon Osman, English footballer
  • 1982 Tony Parker, French basketball guard (NBA C'ship 2003, 05, 07, 14; NBA Finals MVP 2007; 6 × NBA All-Star; San Antonio Spurs), born in Bruges, Belgium
  • 1982 Hunter Mahan, American golfer (World Matchplay 2012; Ryder Cup 2014), born in Orange, California
  • 1983 Nicky Hofs, Dutch footballer
  • 1983 Channing Frye, American basketball player
  • 1983 Jeremy Sowers, American baseball player
  • 1984 Christian Bolaños, Costa Rican footballer, born in Hatillo, Costa Rica
  • 1985 Matt Ryan, American football player