On This Day

Year 1881 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Mar 12 Andrew Watson makes his Scotland debut as the world's first black international football player and captain
  • Mar 25 43rd Grand National: Irish jockey Tommy Beasley wins his second consecutive GN aboard 11/2 co-favourite Woodbrook
  • May 17 7th Kentucky Derby: Jim McLaughlin aboard Hindoo wins in 2:40
  • May 21 US National Lawn Tennis Association is established in NYC, New York
  • May 27 9th Preakness: T Costello aboard Saunterer wins in 2:40.5
  • Jun 1 Ridden by outstanding English jockey Fred Archer, Iroquois wins the Epsom Derby to become first American-owned and bred horse to take out a European classic race
  • Jun 7 15th Belmont: T. Costello aboard Saunterer wins in 2:47
  • Jul 13 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: William Renshaw beats defending champion John Hartley 6-0, 6-1, 6-1 for first of his 7 Wimbledon singles titles
  • Aug 3 US National Lawn Tennis Association removes "National" from its name
  • Aug 31 1st US men's single tennis championships (Newport, Rhode Island)
  • Sep 1 The Dwyer Brothers' 3-year-old Kentucky Derby winner Hindoo wins his 19th consecutive race, a purse event at Sheepshead Bay; winning streak snapped 6 days later in the September Handicap at Sheepshead
  • Sep 3 1st US National Championship Men's Tennis, Newport R.I.: Richard Sears wins inaugural event beating William E. Glyn 6-0, 6-3, 6-2
  • Sep 27 Chicago Cubs beat Troy 10-8 before record small "crowd" of 12
  • Oct 14 British Open Men's Golf, Prestwick GC: Bob Ferguson retains title with 3 stroke win over Jamie Anderson in shocking weather conditions

Birthdays in Sport

  • Feb 1 Tip Snooke, South African cricket all-rounder and captain (26 Tests, 35 wickets), born in St Mark's, Eastern Cape, South Africa (d. 1966)
  • Feb 2 Karl Frederick, pistol champ (Olympic gold 1920)
  • Mar 18 Oliver Seibert, Canadian hall of fame hockey player (elected 1963), born in Berlin, Ontario (d. 1944)
  • Apr 23 Claude Carter, South African cricket spin bowler (19 Tests, 28 wickets), born in Durban, South Africa (d. 1952)
  • May 11 Al Cabrera, Spanish-born Cuban baseball player (d. 1964)
  • May 14 Ed Walsh, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, manager (Chicago WS; MLB ERA record 1.82), born in Plains Township, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)
  • May 29 Frederik Septimus Kelly, Australian-British composer and rower (Summer Olympic gold 1908), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 1916)

Person of interestTommy Burns

Jun 17 Tommy Burns, Canadian boxer, born in Hanover, Ontario (d. 1955)

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Tommy Burns
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Tommy Burns
  • Jul 26 James Cecil Parke, Irish tennis, rugby player (Australasian C'ship 1912, Ireland rugby 20 caps), born in Clones, Ireland (d. 1946)
  • Sep 8 Harry Hillman, American athlete (3 Gold Olympic 1904), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1945)
  • Sep 27 William Clothier, American tennis player (US Nat C'ships 1906; 1st President International Hall of Fame 1954), born in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania (d. 1962)
  • Oct 28 Bruno Söderström, Swedish athlete (Olympic silver pole vault & bronze javelin 1906; bronze pole vault 1908; popularized bowling in Sweden), born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1969)
  • Oct 28 Vin Coutie, Australian rules footballer, born in Melbourne, Australia (d. 1951)
  • Nov 3 George Mehnert, American wrestler (Olympic gold flyweight 1904, bantamweight 1908), born in Newark, New Jersey (d. 1948)
  • Nov 16 Joel H. Hildebrand, American chemist and educator (research led to new treatments for divers with the 'bends' through the use of helium and oxygen breathing mixtures), born in Camden, New Jersey (d. 1983)
  • Nov 18 Percy LeSueur, Canadian hockey player and inventor (large goalie glove), born in Quebec City, Quebec (d. 1962)
  • Dec 17 Aubrey Faulkner, cricketer (great South African all-rounder early 20th cent)

Person of interestBranch Rickey

Dec 20 Branch Rickey, American baseball player (St. Louis Browns), manager (St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers) and sports executive, born in Stockdale, Ohio (d. 1965)

Baseball Player and Sports Executive Branch Rickey
Baseball Player and Sports Executive
Branch Rickey
  • Dec 25 Joseph V McCarthy, baseball manager (NY Yankees)
  • Dec 29 Jess Willard, American boxer, born in Pottawatomie County, Kansas (d. 1968)