On This Day

1931 in Sport

Events in Sport

  • Jan 1 17th Rose Bowl: Alabama beats Washington State, 24-0
  • Jan 3 Nels Stewart of Montreal Maroons scores 2 goals in 4 sec (record)
  • Jan 5 1st woman to purchase a baseball team Lucille Thomas purchases Topeka franchise in the Western League

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Bradman scores 223 Australia v West Indies in 297 mins, 26 fours

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 31 NHL's Quebec Bulldogs' Joe Malone scores a record 7 goals

Ice Hockey Player Joe Malone
Ice Hockey Player
Joe Malone
  • Feb 4 National League adopts a deader baseball
  • Feb 14 Don Bradman scores 152 for Australia v West Indies, 154 minutes, 13 fours 2 fives
  • Feb 15 Spring training site of NY Yankees in St Petersburg is renamed Miller Huggins Field in honor of the team's late manager
  • Feb 17 1st telecast of a sporting event in Japan (baseball)
  • Feb 21 Chicago White Sox & NY Giants play 1st exhibition night game
  • Feb 28 Canadian Rugby Union adopts the forward pass
  • Mar 4 Bradman bowled by Herman Griffith for a duck as W I win the Test
  • Mar 8 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Coral McInnes Buttsworth beats Marjorie Cox Crawford 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
  • Mar 8 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Jack Crawford wins 1st of 4 Australian titles; beats fellow Australian Harry Hopman 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
  • Mar 27 John McGraw says night baseball will not catch on
  • Mar 27 90th Grand National: 9 year old Grakle, at odds of 100/6 and ridden by jockey Bob Lyall wins by 1.5 lengths from 1929 winner Gregalach

  • Apr 1 Jackie Mitchell became 1st female in professional baseball

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Apr 2 Teenage girl strikes out Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Baseball Player Lou Gehrig
Baseball Player
Lou Gehrig

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 9 Chicago Cy Wentworth beats Montreal Canadiens at 13:50 of 6th period

NHL Goalie George Hainsworth
NHL Goalie
George Hainsworth
  • Apr 12 Joe McCarthy debuts as NY Yankee manager
  • Apr 14 Stanley Cup Final, Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec: Montreal Canadiens beat Chicago Blackhawks, 2-0 for a 3-2 series win; Canadiens' back-to-back Championships
  • Apr 20 35th Boston Marathon won by Jim Henigan in 2:46:45.8
  • Apr 20 British House of Commons agrees for sports play on Sunday
  • Apr 26 Lou Gehrig hits a HR but is called out for passing a runner, mistake costs him AL home run crown; he & Babe Ruth tie for season
  • Apr 28 Program for woman athletes approved for 1932 Olympics track & field
  • May 9 56th Preakness: George Ellis aboard Mate wins in 1:59
  • May 10 Golf ball size hail falls in Burlington, New Jersey
  • May 16 57th Kentucky Derby: Charley Kurtsinger on Twenty Grand wins 2:01.8
  • May 30 Phillies Chuck Klein homers off Ben Cantwell (Braves) in both ends DH
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Schneider wins in 5:10:27.948 (155.509 km/h)
  • May 31 French Championships Men's Tennis: Jean Borotra wins his only home title; beats fellow Frenchman Christian Boussus 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4

Sport awardTennis Open

May 31 French Championship Women's Tennis: Cilly Aussem of Germany beats England's Betty Nuthall 8-6, 6-1 for the first of 2 major titles in 1931

Tennis Player Betty Nuthall
Tennis Player
Betty Nuthall
  • Jun 1 Rozenburg soccer team forms in Rozenburg
  • Jun 5 British Open Men's Golf, Carnoustie: American based Scotsman Tommy Armour outlasts José Jurado of Argentina by 1 stroke to win his only Open title and his 3rd and final major championship
  • Jun 13 63rd Belmont: Charley Kurtsinger aboard Twenty Grand wins in 2:29.6

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 15 Eddie Collins & Harry Heilmann retire from baseball

Baseball Legend Eddie Collins
Baseball Legend
Eddie Collins

Sport awardRyder Cup

Jun 27 Ryder Cup Golf, Scioto CC: Walter Hagen captains his 2nd victorious American team; US wins, 9-3

Golfer Walter Hagen
Golfer
Walter Hagen
  • Jul 1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium (Indians MLB, Browns NFL, 78,189 capacity) is completed, closed 1993
  • Jul 3 German boxer Max Schmeling beats American Young Stribling by TKO in 15 in Cleveland in his first heavyweight title defence
  • Jul 3 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: In the first ever all-German final, Cilly Aussem beats Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling 6-2, 7-5
  • Jul 4 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Sidney Wood Jr beats fellow American Frank Shields in a walkover - ankle injury

  • Jul 6 US Open Golf, Inverness Club, Ohio: Billy Burke wins by 1 stroke from George Von Elm in a second 36-hole playoff; longest playoff in tournament history
  • Jul 11 NY Giants beat Phillies 23-8
  • Jul 12 45,715 fans in 35,000 seat Sportsman Park St Louis, help cause many ground ruled doubles, 11 in 1st game & 21 in 2nd game for 32
  • Jul 23 France announces it can't afford to send a team to 1932 LA Olympics
  • Jul 26 LPGA Western Open Women's Golf, Midlothian CC: June Beebe beats Mrs. Melvin Jones, 3 & 2 for golf's only major title
  • Jul 26 26th International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Paris: Henri Cochet beats Fred Perry 6-4, 1-6, 9-7, 6-3 to give France 3-2 win over Great Britain
  • Jul 26 25th Tour de France won by Antonin Magne of France
  • Jul 28 White Sox score 11 in 8th to beat Yankees 14-12
  • Aug 8 Wash Senator Bob Burke no-hits Boston Red Sox, 5-0
  • Aug 13 Cincinnati Red Tony Cuccinello goes 6 for 6
  • Aug 15 Spakenburg soccer team forms
  • Aug 18 Lou Gehrig hitless in Detroit, his 1,000th consecutively played game

Sport awardTennis Open

Aug 20 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Helen Wills Moody beats Eileen Bennett Whittingstall of England 6-4, 6-1 for her 7th and final US singles title

Tennis Player Helen Wills Moody
Tennis Player
Helen Wills Moody

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Aug 21 Babe Ruth hits his 600th HR, off George Blaeholder of Browns

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
  • Sep 1 Future Baseball Hall of Fame 1st baseman Lou Gehrig hits his 3rd grand slam in 4 days & 6th homer in consecutive games in NY Yankees' 5-1 win v Boston Red Sox
  • Sep 10 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Ellsworth Vines beats George Lott 7-9, 6-3, 9-7, 7-5 for his first of 2 straight US singles titles
  • Sep 16 St Louis Cards repeat as NL champions with a 6-3 win over Phillies
  • Sep 17 Red Sox Earl Webb sets record with 65 en route to 67 doubles

Sport awardPGA Championship

Sep 19 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Wannamoisett CC: 20 year old American Tom Creavy beats Denny Shute, 2 & 1 in the final for his lone major title

Golfer Denny Shute
Golfer
Denny Shute
  • Sep 19 Lefty Grove wins his 30th game of season over White Sox, 2-1
  • Sep 20 MLB's Lou Gehrig's 4 RBIs break his old RBI mark of 175 en route to 184
  • Sep 24 Round-robin playoff among NYC's 3 major league teams, to raise money for unemployed, concludes with Brooklyn losing to both Giants & Yanks
  • Sep 27 MLB's Lou Gehrig completes his 6th straight season, playing in every game (.3486) Jim Bottomley (.3481)
  • Oct 1 Philadelphia Athletics seek 3rd straight World Series baseball title; beat St. Louis Cardinals, 6-2 in opener at Sportsman's Park; lose series, 4-3
  • Oct 10 St Louis Cards beat Philadelphia A's, 4 games to 3 in 28th World Series
  • Oct 27 Chuhei Numbu of Japan, sets then long jump record at 26' 2½"
  • Oct 29 Lefty Grove, A's pitcher who won 31 games, is named the AL's MVP
  • Nov 12 Maple Leaf Gardens opens in Toronto - Chic Blackhawks beat Leafs, 2-1
  • Nov 17 Bradman scores 135 NSW v South Africa, 128 mins, 15 fours
  • Nov 28 Bradman scores 226, the 1st Test Cricket century at Gabba, v South Africa
  • Dec 5 CFL Grey Cup, Molson Stadium, Montreal: Montreal AAA Winged Wheelers shutout Regina Roughriders, 22-0 for their first title
  • Dec 7 Bradman scores 219 NSW v South Africa, 234 mins, 15 fours
  • Dec 9 Baseball cuts squad from 25 to 23 players & NL continues to prohibit uniform numbers
  • Dec 13 National Football League Championship: Green Bay Packers (12-2-0) win 3rd straight first past the post title
  • Dec 19 Bradman scores 112 Australia v South Africa at cricket SCG

Birthdays in Sport

  • Jan 5 Walt Davis, American high jumper (Olympic gold 1952) and NBA player (Philadelphia Warriors), born in Beaumont, Texas
  • Jan 6 Graeme Hole, Australian cricketer (Australian batsman of the fifties), born in Concord West, Australia (d. 1990)
  • Jan 17 Don Zimmer, American baseball coach, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, (d. 2014)
  • Jan 22 Galina Zybina, USSR, discus thrower (15 world records between 1952-58)
  • Jan 31 Bill Watson, cricketer (NSW & Australian opening batsman mid-50s)
  • Jan 31 Christopher Chataway, British MP/athlete (world record 5k)

Person of interestErnie Banks

Jan 31 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
  • Feb 1 Madeline Berthod, Swiss downhill skier (Olympic gold 1956)
  • Feb 6 Fred Trueman, England cricket fast bowler (England 67 Tests, 307 wickets), born in Stainton, England (d. 2006)
  • Feb 9 Josef Masopust, Czech footballer
  • Feb 11 Larry Merchant, author/boxing commentator (Showtime)
  • Feb 14 Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, NHL right wing (Canadiens, Rangers)
  • Feb 16 Gamini Goonesena, cricket leg-spinner (all-rounder for Ceylon, Notts)
  • Feb 16 Bobby Collins, Govanhill, Scotland, footballer (Celtic, 31 caps), (d. 2014)
  • Feb 17 Buddy Ryan, NFL coach (Philadelphia Eagles, Phoenix Cardinals), born in Frederick, Oklahoma (d. 2016)
  • Feb 18 Bob St. Clair "The Geek", American football player, born in San Francisco, California
  • Feb 24 Brian Close, cricketer (played for England between 1949 & 1976), born in Rawden, West Riding (d. 2015)
  • Feb 26 Ally MacLeod, Scottish footballer and manager (d. 2004)
  • Mar 4 Bob Johnson, American ice hockey coach (d. 1991)
  • Mar 6 Ed Whitlock, British-born runner, oldest person to run marathon under 4 hrs (at 85), born in London (d. 2017)
  • Mar 8 Neil Adcock, South African cricket fast bowler (26 Tests, 104 wickets @ 21.10), born in Cape Town, Western Cape (d. 2013)
  • Mar 23 Yevdokiya Mekshilo, Soviet skier (Olympic gold 1964), born in Gorno-Altaysk, Russia (d. 2013)
  • Mar 23 Yevgeni Grishin, Russian speed skater (4 Olympic gold 1956, 60), born in Tula, Russia (d. 2005)
  • Mar 24 Thelma Kalama, American 4 X 100m relay swimmer (Olympic gold 1948)
  • Mar 28 Anatoly Lein, Soviet-born American chess Grandmaster (1968), born in Leningrad, USSR (d. 2018)
  • Mar 31 Miller Barber, American golfer (11 PGA Tour; 3 US Senior Open titles), born in Shreveport, Louisiana (d. 2013)
  • Apr 3 Johnny Nicholls, English football player, born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire (d. 1995)
  • Apr 9 Bill Gilbert, sports author (They Also Served, Big E), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Apr 13 Daniel "Dan" Gurney, American race-car driver, coach and team owner (All American Racers), born in Port Jefferson, New York (d. 2018)
  • Apr 14 Paul Masnick, Canadian ice hockey player
  • Apr 17 John Bartlett, Australian tennis player (Davis Cup capt-Britain), born in Woonona, New South Wales
  • Apr 18 Klas Lestander, Swedish 20K biathlon (Olympic gold 1960), born in Arjeplog, Sweden
  • Apr 19 Alex Webster, American football coach (NY Giants), born in Kearney, New Jersey (d. 2012)
  • Apr 22 Bruce Dickson, Canadian ice hockey player (Olympic gold 1952), born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Person of interestWillie Mays

May 6 Willie Mays, American baseball centerfielder (Giants, NY Mets), "Say Hey Kid" (660 HRs, MVP 1954), born in Westfield, Alabama

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • May 15 Ken Venturi, American golfer, broadcaster (US Open 1964), born in San Francisco, California (d. 2013)
  • May 19 Bob Anderson, British racing driver (d. 1967)
  • May 20 Chiharu Igaya, Japan, slalom (Olympic silver 1956)
  • May 20 Ken Boyer, American baseball player (d. 1982)
  • May 28 Raymond Miquel, chairman (Scottish Sports Council)
  • Jun 2 Larry Jackson, baseball player
  • Jun 3 Lindy Remigino, American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1952), born in Elmhurst, Queens, New York (d. 2018)
  • Jun 9 Bill Virdon, 2nd baseman (St Louis Cards)/mgr (NY Yankees)
  • Jun 15 Bernice Gera, first woman umpire in US pro baseball, born in Ernest, Pennsylvania (d. 1992)
  • Jun 21 Enzo Maiorca, Italian freediver (17 world records), born in Syracuse, Sicily (d. 2016)
  • Jun 24 Billy Casper, American golfer (US Open 1959, 66; US Masters 1970), born in San Diego, California (d. 2015)
  • Jun 28 Junior Johnson, American NASCAR driver, born in Wilkes County, North Carolina
  • Jun 28 Lucien Victor, Belgian road racing cyclist, born in Oekene, Belgium (d. 1995)
  • Jul 4 Peter Richardson, British cricketer (England batsman mid-50's), born in Hereford, England (d. 2017)
  • Jul 4 Rick Casares, American NFL fullback (Chicago Bears), born in Tampa, Florida (d. 2013)
  • Jul 6 László Tábori, Hungarian middle/long distance runner (1,500m world record 1955), born in Košice, Slovakia (d. 2018)

Person of interestRoone Arledge

Jul 8 Roone Arledge, American President of ABC Sports (Monday Night Football), born in NYC, New York

Sports Broadcasting Pioneer and President of ABC Sports Roone Arledge
Sports Broadcasting Pioneer and President of ABC Sports
Roone Arledge
  • Jul 20 Tony Marsh, English racing driver
  • Jul 21 Gene Fullmer, American boxer (world middleweight champion), born in West Jordan, Utah (d. 2015)
  • Jul 23 Viktor Korchnoi, Russian-born chess grandmaster, born in Leningrad (d. 2016)
  • Jul 24 Éric Tabarly, French Navy officer and yachtsman, born in Nantes, France (d. 1998)
  • Jul 26 Takashi Ono, Japanese gymnast (Olympic gold 1956, 60), born in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, Japan
  • Jul 28 Johnny Martin, Australian cricket left-arm chinaman bowler (60's)
  • Jul 31 Nick Bollettieri, American tennis coach (Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Monica Seles), born in Pelham, New York
  • Aug 1 Trevor Goddard, South African cricketer (South African opening batsman & opening bowler), born in Durban, Natal, South Africa (d. 2016)
  • Aug 2 Eddie Fuller, South African cricketer (South African fast bowler in 7 Tests 1952-58), born in Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa (d. 2008)
  • Aug 2 Viliam Schrojf, Slovak footballer, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (d. 2007)
  • Aug 4 Narendra Tamhane, Indian cricket wicket-keeper (1950's), born in Bombay, India
  • Aug 9 Chuck Essegian, American MLB baseball player, born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Aug 13 Norman Read, New Zealand 50K walker (Olympic gold 1956), born in Portsmouth, England (d. 1944)
  • Aug 18 Dick White, English footballer, born in Scunthorpe, United Kingdom (d. 2002)
  • Aug 19 Bill Shoemaker, American Racing Hall of Fame jockey (8,833 career victories, Kentucky Derby 1955, 59, 65, 86), born in Fabens, Texas (d. 2003)
  • Aug 20 Don King, American boxing promoter best known for his association with Mike Tyson and for his unusual hairstyles, born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Aug 27 Sven Tumba, Swedish ice hockey center, football winger, golfer, course designer, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 2011)
  • Aug 27 Joe Cunningham, American baseball player

Person of interestJean Beliveau

Aug 31 Jean Marc Beliveau, Canadian NHL player (Montreal Canadiens, 10 Stanley Cups), born in Trois-Rivieres Quebec, (d. 2014)

NHL Legend Jean Beliveau
NHL Legend
Jean Beliveau
  • Sep 3 Dick Motta, American basketball coach (NBA Championship, Washington Bullets 1977-78), born in Midvale, Utah
  • Sep 7 Al McGuire, American basketball coach (Marquette), born in NYC, New York (d. 2001)
  • Sep 13 Marjorie Jackson, Australian sprinter (Olympic gold 1952) and 33rd Governor of South Australia, born in Coffs Harbour, Australia
  • Sep 23 Ruud van den Hende, sports reporter
  • Sep 26 Vijay Manjrekar, Indian cricketer (father of Sanjay, reliable Indian batsman), born in Bombay, India (d. 1983)

Person of interestGlenn Hall

Oct 3 Glenn Hall, National Hockey League goaltender (butterfly goalkeeping), born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan

NHL Goalie Glenn Hall
NHL Goalie
Glenn Hall
  • Oct 4 Basil D'Oliveira, cricketer (England all-rounder of late 60's)
  • Oct 13 Eddie Mathews, American hall of fame third baseman (Milwaukee Brave) who hit 512 home runs, born in Texarkana, Texas (d. 2001)
  • Oct 13 Raymond Kopa [Kopaszewski], French footballer 'the Napoleon of football', born in Noeux-les-Mines (d. 2017)

Person of interestMickey Mantle

Oct 20 Mickey Mantle, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (1956 Triple Crown, 20-time All Star), born in Spavinaw, Oklahoma (d. 1995)

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • Oct 21 Jim Parks, cricketer (England batsman-keeper in 46 Tests 1954-68)
  • Oct 23 Jim Bunning, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, politician (perfect game vs Mets 1965, Rep. Senator-Ky), born in Southgate, Kentucky (d. 2017)
  • Oct 25 Jimmy McIlroy, Irish footballer and football manager, born in Lambeg, Ireland
  • Nov 6 Peter Collins, English race car driver, born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England (d. 1958)
  • Nov 9 Tommy Greenhough, English cricketer (English leg-spinner in 4 Tests 1959-60), born in Rochdale, Lancashire (d. 2009)
  • Nov 9 Whitey Herzog, American baseball manager (St Louis Cardinals), born in New Athens, Illinois
  • Nov 23 Yevgeni Grischin, USSR, 500m/1500m speed skater (Olympic gold 1956, 60)
  • Nov 25 Dickie Jeeps, English rugby international/chairman Sports Council
  • Nov 26 Giuliana Chenal-Minuzzo, Italian downhill skier (Olympic bronze 1952)
  • Nov 29 André Noyelle, Belgian cyclist (d. 2003)

Person of interestBill Walsh

Nov 30 Bill Walsh, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (San Francisco 49ers), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2007)

American Football Coach Bill Walsh
American Football Coach
Bill Walsh
  • Dec 4 Alex Delvecchio, Canadian ice hockey player (Detroit Red Wings), born in Fort William, Ontario, Canada

Person of interestTom Brookshier

Dec 16 Tom Brookshier, American football player and sportscaster, born in Roswell, New Mexico (d. 2010)

NFL Sportscaster Tom Brookshier
NFL Sportscaster
Tom Brookshier
  • Dec 18 Noel McGregor, cricketer (batted in 25 Tests for NZ 1955-65)

Deaths in Sport

  • Jan 9 Wayne Munn, wrestler (b. 1896)
  • Mar 28 Ban Johnson, American baseball executive, founder and President of the American League, dies after a long illness at 67
  • Mar 31 Knute Rockne, American College Football Hall of Fame receiver, coach, (Notre Dame, 13 National titles), dies in a plane crash at 43
  • Apr 25 Bert Hopkins, Australian cricketer (20 Tests for Aust, 509 runs), dies at 56
  • Apr 30 Sammy Woods, Australian cricketer (3 Tests for Australia, 3 for England), dies at 64
  • May 5 Glen Kidston, British aviator and racing driver (b. 1899)
  • Jul 7 Johannes "Kodgee" Kotze, South African cricketer (South Africa 1902-07), dies at 51
  • Jul 16 Charles Studd, cricketer (5 Tests for England 1882-83), dies
  • Sep 5 John Thomson, football player who died in an accidental collision during a match (b. 1909)
  • Sep 20 Sam Morris, cricketer (one Test Aust v Eng 1884), dies
  • Oct 2 Thomas Johnstone Lipton, sportsman/merchant, dies
  • Oct 24 Murray Bisset, South African cricketer (South African wicket-keeper 1899 & 1910), dies at 55
  • Oct 26 Charles Comiskey, American baseball player, team owner and manager (Chicago White Sox), dies at 72
  • Nov 2 Harry Musgrove, cricketer (Test for Australia 1885), dies
  • Nov 6 Jack Chesbro, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (NY Highlanders - won 41 games 1904), dies of heart attack at 57