On This Day

December 1944 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Dec 2 10th Heisman Trophy Award: Les Horvath, Ohio State (QB)
  • Dec 3 Temporary merger of 2 NFL teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Cardinals, dissolves at finish of season; WWII ends before start of 1945 season, so both teams resume normal operations

NFL Championship

Dec 17 National Football League Championship, Polo Grounds, NYC: Green Bay Packers beat New York Giants, 14-7 for 6th and final league title under long-time coach Curly Lambeau

  • Dec 28 Former Wash 3rd baseman Buddy Lewis wins Distinguished Flying Cross

Sports History

Dec 28 Montreal right wing Maurice 'Rocket' Richard becomes first player in NHL history to score 8 points in one game with 5 goals and 3 assists in the Canadiens' 9-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings


Birthdays in Sport

  • Dec 4 François Migault, French auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1976 runner-up; 16 F1 GP), born in Le Mans, France (d. 2012)
  • Dec 15 Stan Bahnsen, American baseball pitcher (AL Rookie of the Year 1968, NY Yankees), born in Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Dec 17 Ference Bene, Hungarian record 12 soccer goals (Olympic gold 1964)

Steve Carlton

Dec 22 Steve Carlton, American MLB baseball pitcher, 1965-88, 4X Cy Young ('72, '77, '80, '82), Hall-of-Fame (St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and 4 other teams), born in Miami, Florida

  • Dec 24 Erhard Keller, German speed skater (Olympic gold 1968, 72 500m), born in Günzburg, Germany
  • Dec 25 Jairzinho, Brazilian soccer winger (81 caps; Botafogo FC 416 games) and manager (Gabon), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Dec 25 Sam Strahan, New Zealand rugby union lock (17 caps; Manawatū), born in Palmerston North, New Zealand (d. 2019)
  • Dec 29 Rodney Redmond, NZ cricketer (opener scored century in Test v Pak 1973), born in Whangarei, New Zealand

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 2 Eiji Sawamura, Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (first no-hitter in Japanese pro baseball 1936), dies in battle when his ship torpedoed, at 27
  • Dec 4 Roger Bresnahan, American Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, outfielder and manager (World Series 1905 NY Giants; St. Louis Cardinals; first shin guards and batting helmet), dies at 65
  • Dec 16 Don Meyer Basketball coach Northern State, Lipscomb, and Hamline