On This Day

Year 1888 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Feb 22 “Father of American Golf” John Reid first demonstrates golf on a Yonkers cow pasture to friends

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Mar 10 Heavyweight Boxing champ John L. Sullivan draws Charlie Mitchell in 30 rounds

Heavyweight Boxing Champion John L. Sullivan
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
John L. Sullivan
  • Mar 23 50th Grand National: George Mawson aboard 40/1 outsider Playfair easily wins by 10 lengths from Frigate
  • Apr 1 Students from Rotterdam, Netherlands establish a cricket club called Rotterdamsche Cricket & Football Club Sparta which evolves into Sparta Rotterdam
  • May 11 16th Preakness: F Littlefield aboard Refund wins in 2:49
  • May 14 14th Kentucky Derby: George Covington aboard MacBeth II wins in 2:38.00
  • Jun 3 Baseball poem "Casey at the Bat" 1st published by the San Francisco Examiner
  • Jun 9 22nd Belmont: Jim McLaughlin aboard Sir Dixon wins in 2:40.25
  • Jun 15 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Philadelphia Cricket Club: Bertha Townsend beats defending champion Ellen Hansell 6-3, 6-5
  • Jul 16 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: 3-time runner-up Ernest Renshaw wins his lone major title; beats defending champion Herbert Lawford 6-3, 7-5, 6-0
  • Jul 21 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Lottie Dod retains her title beating Blanche Bingley-Hillyard 6-3, 6-3

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Aug 10 NY Giant pitcher Tim Keefe sets a 19 game winning streak record

Major League Baseball Pitcher Tim Keefe
Major League Baseball Pitcher
Tim Keefe
  • Aug 20 Longest US men's single tennis tournament match Palmer Presbrey defeats T S Tailer, 19-21, 8-6, 6-1, 6-4, an 80 game 1st-round contest
  • Aug 28 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Newport R.I.: Henry Slocum beats Howard Taylor 6-4, 6-1, 6-0
  • Oct 3 New Zealand Natives, a privately organised and mainly Māori rugby team, plays first game in UK; beats Surry 4-1; first national rugby team to wear all-black & perform the 'haka'
  • Oct 8 British Open Men's Golf, St Andrews: Scotsman Jack Burns wins his lone Open title by 1 stroke from Ben Sayers and David Anderson Jr
  • Oct 20 Chicago & All America baseball teams play exhibition in Auckland, NZ
  • Oct 27 "World Championship" Baseball Series, Sportsman's Park, St. Louis; St. Louis Browns rout NY Giants, 18-7 in Game 10 but lose series, 6-4
  • Oct 31 Scottish vet John Boyd Dunlop patents pneumatic bicycle tyre
  • Nov 14 St Andrews Golf Club, Yonkers NY, opens with just 6 holes
  • Dec 22 Heavyweight boxing champ John L. Sullivan challenges Jake Kilrain
  • Dec 25 1st indoor baseball game played at fairgrounds in Philadelphia

Birthdays in Sport

  • Jan 4 Arthur Berry, England, soccer player (Olympic gold 1908, 12)
  • Jan 5 George "Rube" Foster, American baseball pitcher (World Series 1915, 16; no-hitter 1916; Boston Red Sox), born in Lehigh, Oklahoma (d. 1976)
  • Jan 21 Herbie Collins, Australian cricket all-rounder and captain (19 Tests, 1,352 runs @ 45.06, 4 x 100s), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 1959)
  • Feb 2 Frederick Lane, Australian swimmer (d. 1969)
  • Mar 1 Ewart Astill, England cricket all-rounder (9 Tests, Leicestershire), born in Ratby, Leicestershire, England (d. 1948)
  • Mar 4 Knute Rockne, American College Football Hall of Fame receiver, coach, (Notre Dame, 13 National titles), born in Voss, Norway (d. 1931)
  • Mar 4 Jeff Pfeffer, American professional baseball pitcher (d. 1972)
  • Mar 19 Léon Scieur, Belgian cyclist (d. 1969)
  • Mar 28 Jack Burke Sr., American golfer (US open 1920 runner-up; Senior PGA C'ship 1941), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1943)
  • Apr 3 Neville Cardus, English writer and cricketer, born in Rusholme, Manchester, England (d. 1975)

Person of interestTris Speaker

Apr 4 Tris Speaker, American baseball player, hit more doubles than Pete Rose, born in Hubbard, Texas (d. 1958)

Baseball Player Tris Speaker
Baseball Player
Tris Speaker
  • Apr 12 Dan Ahearn, Irish-American athlete (men's triple jump WR 15.52m 1911-24), born in Athea, Ireland (d. 1942)
  • Apr 18 Duffy Lewis, American baseball left fielder (World Series 1912, 15, 16; Boston Red Sox), born in San Francisco, California (d. 1979)
  • May 17 Tich Freeman, English cricket leg-spin bowler (12 Tests, 66 wickets; Kent), born in Lewisham, England (d. 1965)
  • May 23 Zack Wheat, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (NL batting champion 1918; Brooklyn Superbas / Dodgers / Robins 1909–26), born in Hamilton, Missouri (d. 1972)

Person of interestClarence DeMar

Jun 7 Clarence DeMar [Mr. DeMarathon], American marathon runner and 7-time winner of the Boston Marathon, born in Madeira, Ohio (d. 1958)

Marathon Runner Clarence DeMar
Marathon Runner
Clarence DeMar
  • Jun 28 George Challenor, West Indian cricketer (pioneering West Indian batsman), born in St. Michael, Barbados (d. 1947)
  • Jul 1 Ben Taylor, American Baseball Hall of Fame 1st baseman (Indianapolis ABCs) and manager (Washington Potomacs, Baltimore Black Sox), born in Anderson, South Carolina (d. 1953)
  • Jul 10 Graham McNamee, American early sportscaster (1st Rose Bowl), born in Washington D. C. (d. 1942)
  • Jul 24 Arthur Richardson, Australian cricket batsman (20's), born in Sevenhill, Clare, Australia (d. 1973)
  • Jul 28 Sidney Pegler, South African cricket leg spinner (16 Tests), (d. 1972)
  • Sep 15 Antonio Ascari, Italian racing driver, born in Bonferraro, Italy (d. 1925)
  • Oct 4 Oscar Mathisen, Norwegian speed skater (5-time World Champion all-round), born in Kristiania, Norway (d. 1954)
  • Oct 30 Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, Greek athlete (Olympic gold standing long jump, bronze high jump 1912, 2 silver 1908), born in Pylos, Greece (d. 1913)
  • Nov 2 Dutch Zwilling, American baseball outfielder (Federal League HR all-time leader), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1978)
  • Nov 19 José Raúl Capablanca, Cuban world chess champion (1921-27), born in Havana, Cuba, Spanish Empire (d. 1942)
  • Dec 3 Algernon Kingscote, English tennis player (Australasian C'ship 1919), born in Bangalore, India (d. 1964)
  • Dec 20 Fred Merkle, American baseball figure, born in Watertown, Wisconsin (d. 1958)

Deaths in Sport

  • Jun 20 Johannes Zukertort, German chess player, dies at 45
  • Oct 3 Tom King, English boxer, rower and bookmaker (English heavyweight champion), dies of bronchitus at 53