On This Day

December 1951 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Dec 1 17th Heisman Trophy Award: Dick Kazmaier, Princeton (HB)
  • Dec 1 Legendary Australian cricket fast bowler Ray Lindwall takes his 100th Test wicket when he bowls West Indian spinner Sonny Ramadhin in the 2nd Test in Sydney; Australia wins by 7 wickets
  • Dec 2 Philadelphia Eagles set NFL record of 25 1st-downs rushing in 35-21 win over Washington Redskins at Griffith Stadium

Sports History

Dec 2 Future Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Don Hutson has his #14 jersey retired by the Green Bay Packers; first number retired in franchise history

  • Dec 2 16th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 25-7 in Birmingham

Sports History

Dec 11 Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball

  • Dec 22 Australia cricket all out 82 v West Indies at Adelaide
  • Dec 23 National Football League Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum: Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns, 24-17; first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game
  • Dec 25 West Indies wrap up 6 wicket defeat of Australia on first Christmas Day of Test cricket, the 3rd day of 3rd Test at the Adelaide Oval
  • Dec 28 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, White City, Sydney: Frank Sedgman outclasses Vic Seixas 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the deciding rubber as Australia beats US, 3-2 in Sydney to retain Cup

Birthdays in Sport

  • Dec 3 Rick Mears, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1979, 84, 88, 91; Indycar series/World Series champion 1979, 81-82), born in Wichita, Kansas
  • Dec 5 Tom Purtzer, American golfer (5 PGA Tour titles), born in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dec 6 Gerry Francis, English footballer and manager, born in Chiswick, London
  • Dec 9 Dragan Pantelić, Serbian soccer goalkeeper (19 caps Yugoslavia; Radnički Niš, Bordeaux), born in Loznica, Serbia (d. 2021)
  • Dec 11 Robert Cochran, American skier (Olympics 1972), born in Claremont, New Hampshire
  • Dec 12 Anatoly Alyabyev, Russian biathlete (Olympic gold USSR 20km individual, 4 × 7.5km relay 1980), born in Danilkovo, Russia (d. 2022)
  • Dec 14 Jan Timman, Dutch chess player, born in Amsterdam
  • Dec 15 Joe Jordan, Scottish soccer forward (52 caps; Leeds, Manchester United) and manager (Bristol City, Hearts, Stoke City), born in Cleland, Scotland
  • Dec 17 Tatyana Kazankina, USSR, middle distance runner (Olympic gold 1976)
  • Dec 22 Jan Stephenson, Australian golfer (3-time LPGA major winner; US Open 1983), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • Dec 24 John D'Acquisto, American baseball player, born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 28 Ken Pope, American NFL player, born in Galverton, Texas
  • Dec 28 Jacques Zimako, French soccer forward (13 caps; Saint-Étienne, Sochaux, Bastia), born in Lifou, New Caledonia (d. 2021)
  • Dec 29 Nancy Darsch, American women's basketball coach (Ohio State Uni; assistant coach US Olympic gold 1984, 96; NY Liberty, Washington Mystics), born in Plymouth, Massachusetts (d. 2020)
  • Dec 30 Doug Allder, English footballer
  • Dec 31 Michael Allen Bantom, American basketball player (Olympic silver 1972), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Weddings in Sport

Mickey Mantle

Dec 23 MLB centerfielder Mickey Mantle (20) weds author Merlyn Mantle (19) in Commerce, Oklahoma

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 5 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, American baseball outfielder, 1908-20 (Chicago White Sox, and two other teams; 1919 World Series "Black Sox" Scandal), dies from a heart attack at 64
  • Dec 8 Bobby Lowe, American baseball second baseman (first player to hit 4 HRs in one MLB game, 1894), dies at 86
  • Dec 31 H. Guy Bedwell, American thoroughbred trainer (North American champion in wins x 7; earnings 1918-19; first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton), dies at 76