On This Day

Year 1961 in Sports History (Part 2)

Events in Sport

  • Sep 17 Minnesota Vikings' 1st NFL game (beat Chicago Bears 37-13)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 17 Fran Tarkenton plays his first NFL Game against the Chicago Bears, coming off the bench to lead the Vikings to a 37-13 victory, also becoming the only QB to throw four touchdown passes in his first career game

NFL Quarterback Fran Tarkenton
NFL Quarterback
Fran Tarkenton

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Sep 20 Roger Maris hits home run # 59 & barely misses # 60 in game 154 of the season. Yanks clinch pennant #26

Baseball Player Roger Maris
Baseball Player
Roger Maris

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Sep 27 Sandy Koufax sets NL strikeout season record at 269

Baseball Pitcher Sandy Koufax
Baseball Pitcher
Sandy Koufax
  • Oct 1 NY Yankees right-fielder Roger Maris becomes MLB’s all-time home run leader when he passes Babe Ruth's mark with No. 61 off Boston rookie Tracy Stallard in 1-0 win at Yankee Stadium

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 4 NY Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford records 3rd straight Baseball World Series shutout in Yankees 2-0 win v Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 at Yankee Stadium; NY wins series, 4-1

MLB Pitcher Whitey Ford
MLB Pitcher
Whitey Ford
  • Oct 7 15th NHL All-Star Game, Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL: All-Stars beat Chicago Black Hawks, 3-1
  • Oct 8 American Phil Hill's Ferrari team does not participate in season ending US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen having already clinched World Drivers Championship; English driver Innes Ireland wins Lotus' first ever Grand Prix
  • Oct 9 NY Yankees beat Cincinnati Reds, 4 games to 1 in 58th World Series
  • Oct 9 Yank Whitey Ford breaks Ruth record of 29 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings in the World Series
  • Oct 9 World Series scoreless pitching streak Yanks beat Reds 4 games to 1
  • Oct 10 Expansion draft to stock Houston Astros & NY Mets
  • Oct 14 Ryder Cup Golf, Royal Lytham & St Annes: Jerry Barber captains US to 14½-9½ win

Sport awardLPGA Championship

Oct 15 LPGA Championship Women's Golf, Stardust CC: Mickey Wright convincingly wins her 3rd LPGA title by 9 strokes from Louise Suggs

LPGA Golfer Mickey Wright
LPGA Golfer
Mickey Wright
Golfer and Co-Founder of the LPGA Louise Suggs
Golfer and Co-Founder of the LPGA
Louise Suggs
  • Oct 27 American Basketball League starts play

  • Oct 28 Ground broken for Municipal (Shea) Stadium for NY Mets
  • Oct 29 13th NASCAR Sprint Cup: Ned Jarrett wins
  • Nov 6 US government issues a stamp honoring 100th birthday of James Naismith (invented game of basketball - actually Canadian)
  • Nov 8 Whitey Ford is voted Cy Young Award winner over Warren Spahn
  • Nov 9 PGA eliminates caucasians only rule
  • Nov 15 Roger Maris is voted AL MVP

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 22 Frank Robinson, Cincinnati Reds outfielder, selected as NL MVP

MLB Hall of Fame Outfielder and Manager Frank Robinson
MLB Hall of Fame Outfielder and Manager
Frank Robinson

Sports record brokenNBA Record

Nov 22 St. Louis Hawk Bob Pettit sets NBA record, hitting 19 of 19 free throws

NBA Forward Bob Pettit
NBA Forward
Bob Pettit

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 25 NBA's Bob Cousy becomes 2nd player to score 15,000 points

NBA Point Guard Bob Cousy
NBA Point Guard
Bob Cousy
  • Nov 26 Pro Baseball Rules Committee votes 8-1 against legalizing the spitball

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 27 Gordie Howe becomes 1st to play in 1,000 NHL games

Ice Hockey Legend Gordie Howe
Ice Hockey Legend
Gordie Howe
  • Nov 30 Billy Williams of the Cubs is voted NL Rookie of Year
  • Dec 2 26th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 34-0 in Birmingham
  • Dec 2 CFL Grey Cup, CNE Stadium, Toronto: A 6th title for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers; beat Hamilton Tiger-Cats, 21-14
  • Dec 3 Dutchman Anton Geesink becomes 1st non-Japanese judo world champion

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Dec 4 Floyd Patterson KOs Tom McNeeley in 4 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxing Champion Floyd Patterson
Boxing Champion
Floyd Patterson
  • Dec 4 Smallest NY Knick, 49th St Madison Square Garden crowd-1,300 (snowstorm)
  • Dec 4 1962 NFL Draft: Ernie Davis from University of Syracuse first pick by Washington Redskins
  • Dec 6 27th Heisman Trophy Award: Ernie Davis, Syracuse (HB) (1st African American to win)
  • Dec 8 Larry Costello scores 32 consecutive pts without a miss (NBA rec)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 8 Wilt Chamberlain scores the 2nd highest total in the NBA - 78

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • Dec 10 Houston Oiler Billy Cannon gains record 373 yards against Titans
  • Dec 12 Ballon d'Or: Juventus' Argentine forward Omar Sívori wins award for best football player in Europe ahead of Spanish midfielder Luis Suárez and English forward Johnny Haynes
  • Dec 18 For 2nd consecutive year, AP names Wilma Rudolph female athlete of year
  • Dec 18 Wilt Chamberlain of NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 78 points vs LA
  • Dec 24 AFL Championship, Balboa Stadium, San Diego: Houston Oilers beat San Diego Chargers 10-3; Billy Cannon scores game's only TD
  • Dec 28 50th Davis Cup: Australia beats Italy in Melbourne (5-0)

Sport awardNFL Championship

Dec 31 National Football League Championship, City Stadium, Green Bay: Green Bay Packers shutout NY Giants 37-0; first of 5 NFL titles won in 7-season span by Packers and head coach, Vince Lombardi

NFL Coach Vince Lombardi
NFL Coach
Vince Lombardi

Birthdays in Sport

Birthdays 101 - 200 of 289

  • May 2 Peter Doohan, Australian professional tennis player, born in Newcastle, NSW (d. 2017)
  • May 3 Steve McClaren, English football manager, born in Fulford, York, England
  • May 4 Eugene Daniel, American football NFL center (Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • May 4 Luis Herrera, Colombian cyclist, born in Fusagasugá, Colombia
  • May 8 Riaz Poonawalla, cricketer (Indian 12th man/UAE bat 1994 ICC Trophy)
  • May 9 Rene Capo, Cuban half-heavyweight judoka (Olympics 1996), born in Pinal del Rio Cuba
  • May 10 Blyth Tait, New Zealand equestrian (Olympic gold Individual eventing 1996, bronze 1992), born in Whangārei, New Zealand
  • May 10 Randy Cunneyworth, Canadian NHL left wing (Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Whalers) and coach (Atlanta Thrashers, Montreal Canadiens), born in Etobicoke, Ontario
  • May 12 Thomas Dooley, German-American Soccer Player

Person of interestDennis Rodman

May 13 Dennis Rodman, NBA forward (Chicago Bulls), born in Trenton, New Jersey

Basketball Player Dennis Rodman
Basketball Player
Dennis Rodman
  • May 14 Alain Vigneault, Canadian ice hockey coach
  • May 16 Kevin Guidry, NFL tackle (Denver Broncos)
  • May 20 Vaughn Jefferis, New Zealand equestrian rider (World C'ship gold 1994, 98; Olympic bronze 1996), born in Huntly, New Zealand
  • May 23 Dave Babych, Edmonton, NHL defenseman (Vancouver Canucks)
  • May 23 Kevin Romine, baseball player
  • May 26 Stephen Pate, American golfer (6 PGA Tour titles, US Open 1988, US Masters 1990 3rd), born in Ventura, California
  • May 27 Jill Sterkel, US swimmer (Olympic bronze 1976, 84, 88)
  • May 27 John Lugbill, Wauseon Ohio, US canoeist/kayaker (Olympic-92)
  • Jun 1 John Huston, American golfer (US Masters 1990 3rd, 7 PGA Tour titles), born in Mt. Vernon, Illinois

Person of interestPaul Coffey

Jun 1 Paul Coffey, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame defenceman (Norris Trophy 1984–85, 1985–86, 1994–95; 14 x NHL All Star; Stanley Cup 1984, 85, 87-Edmonton, 1991-Pittsburgh), born in Weston, Ontario

NHL Star Paul Coffey
NHL Star
Paul Coffey
  • Jun 1 Werner Günthör, Swiss athlete (World C'ship gold, shot put 1987, 91, 93; Olympic bronze 1988), born in Uttwil, Switzerland
  • Jun 2 Kerry Junna-Saxby, Australian 10k walker (Olympics-15th-1992, 96)
  • Jun 3 Kevin Arnott, cricketer (Zimbabwe batsman, 101* v NZ 1992)
  • Jun 3 Peter Glen Vidmar, gymnast (Olympic-2 gold/silver-1984), born in Los Angeles, California
  • Jun 3 César Zabala, Paraguayan soccer defender (49 caps; Cerro Porteño), born in Luque, Paraguay (d. 2020)
  • Jun 5 Ramesh Krishnan, Indian tennis star (Davis Cup 1987), born in Chennai, India
  • Jun 6 Bill Bates, American football safety (Dallas Cowboys), born in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
  • Jun 6 Aldo Costa, Italian engineer and the Engineering Director of the Mercedes Formula One team, born in Parma, Italy
  • Jun 8 Kevin Gross, American baseball pitcher (Texas Rangers), born in Downey, California
  • Jun 12 Rod Latham, New Zealand cricketer (NZ opening batsman), born in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Jun 14 Grace Jackson, Jamaican 200m runner (Olympic silver 1988), born in St. Ann, Jamaica
  • Jun 14 Sam Perkins, American NBA forward and center (Seattle Supersonics), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Jun 15 Dave McAuley, Northern Irish boxer
  • Jun 16 Robbie Kerr, cricketer (Queensland opener 2 Tests for Australia 1985)
  • Jun 18 Andres Galarraga, Venezuelan infielder (Colorado Rockies), born in Caracas
  • Jun 20 Gary Varsho, baseball player
  • Jun 20 Karin Enke, German speed skater (3 Olympic gold 1980, 84), born in Dresden, Germany
  • Jun 22 Stephen Batchelor, British Olympic hockey player, born in Beare Green, Surrey
  • Jun 23 LaSalle Thompson, NBA forward/center (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Jun 24 Bernie Nicholls, Haliburton, NHL center (Chicago Blackhawks)
  • Jun 24 Natalya Shaposhnikova, USSR, sidehorse vaulter (Olympic gold 1980)
  • Jun 26 Greg LeMond, American professional road cyclist (Tour de France winner-1986, 1989, 1990), born in Lakewood, California
  • Jun 28 Jay Schroeder, NFL quarterback (Wash Redskins, LA Raiders), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Jun 28 Jeff Malone, NBA guard (Washington Bullets, Miami Heat), born in Mobile, Alabama
  • Jun 30 Karolyn Kirby, American beach volleyball player (Goodwill-gold-94), born in Brookline, Massachusetts

Person of interestCarl Lewis

Jul 1 Carl Lewis, American sprinter and long jumper (9 Olympic gold 1984, 88, 92, 96), born in Birmingham, Alabama

Olympic Sprinter and Long jumper Carl Lewis
Olympic Sprinter and Long jumper
Carl Lewis
  • Jul 1 Malcolm Elliott, British road cyclist (Tour of Britain 1988), born in Sheffield, England
  • Jul 2 Pat Dufficy, Westerly RI, female catcher (Colo Silver Bullets)
  • Jul 4 Connie Paraskevin-Young, American sprint cyclist (Olymp-br-88, 92, 96), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Jul 5 Zlatko Saračević, Croatian handball player (145 caps Yugoslavia, 75 Croatia; Olympic gold 1996 Croatia), born in Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina (d. 2021)
  • Jul 6 Benita Fitzgerald-Brown, American 100m hurdler (Olympic gold 1984), born in Warrenton, Virginia
  • Jul 13 Anders Jarryd, Lidkoping Sweden, tennis star
  • Jul 13 Stelios Manolas, Greek footballer and manager
  • Jul 19 Maria Filatova, Soviet gymnast (Olympic 1976, 80 Gold), born in Leninsk-Kuznetsky, Kemerovo Oblast, Russia
  • Jul 21 Don Wilson, CFL linebacker (BC Lions)
  • Jul 21 Henry Ellard, NFL wide receiver (Washington Redskins)
  • Jul 22 Calvin Fish, English racing driver
  • Jul 23 Antoine Carr, American NBA forward and center (Utah Jazz), born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Jul 24 Kerry Dixon, English footballer
  • Jul 26 Yolanda Chen, Russian triple jumper (indoor record), born in Moscow, Russia
  • Jul 26 Dimitris Saravakos, Greek footballer (Panathinaikos F.C), born in Athens, Greece
  • Jul 27 Ed Orgeron, American College football coach (NCAA National C'ship 2019, Louisiana State University), born in Larose, Louisiana
  • Jul 28 Alexander Kurlovitch, Soviet weightlifter, born in Grodno, Soviet Union
  • Jul 30 Reggie Roby, American NFL punter (Tampa Bay Bucs), born in Waterloo, Iowa
  • Jul 31 Chris Hinton, NFL guard (Minnesota Vikings)
  • Aug 1 Andrew Nicholson, New Zealand equestrian 3 day event (Olympics 1996), born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand
  • Aug 1 Brad Faxon Jr, American golfer (8 PGA Tour titles), born in Oceanport, New Jersey
  • Aug 1 Danny Blind, Dutch soccer star (Sparta/Ajax), born in Vlissingen, Netherlands
  • Aug 1 Mike Watkinson, English cricketer (England off-spinner all-rounder v WI 1995), born in Westhoughton, Lancashire
  • Aug 2 Ed West, American NFL tight end (Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons), born in Colbert County, Alabama
  • Aug 3 Ken Wark, Australian field hockey fullback (Olympic 4th/silver-88, 92, 96), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Aug 5 Athula Samarasekera, Sri Lankan cricketer and coach (Sri Lankan batsman), born in Galle, Sri Lanka
  • Aug 6 Earl Winfield, CFL receiver (Hamilton Tiger Cats)
  • Aug 6 Mary Lou, Daniels Chicago lL, tennis star
  • Aug 7 Walter Swinburn, English jockey (The Derby winner, 1981), born in Oxford, United Kingdom (d. 2016)
  • Aug 7 Yelena Davydova, Russian Canadian gymnast (Olympic gold 1980), born in Voronezh, Soviet Union
  • Aug 8 Bruce Matthews, American NFL guard/center (Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans), born in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Aug 9 Brad Gilbert, tennis star, born in Oakland, California
  • Aug 11 Craig Ehlo, NBA guard (Atlanta Hawks)
  • Aug 12 Mark Priest, New Zealand cricketer
  • Aug 13 Bettine Vriesekoop, Dutch table tennis star (European Championships gold 1982, 92), born in Hazerswoude, Netherlands
  • Aug 13 Neil Mallender, English cricketer (England pace bowler in two Tests 1992), born in Kirk Sandall, Yorkshire
  • Aug 14 Eddie Gilbert, American wrestler, born in Lexington, Tennessee (d. 1995)
  • Aug 15 Gary Kubiak, American football coach
  • Aug 16 Christian Okoye, American football player
  • Aug 17 Jamie Macoun, Canadian NHL defenceman (Toronto Maple Leafs), born in Newmarket, Ontario
  • Aug 19 Danuta Bartoszek, Pyrzyce Poland, Canadian marathoner (Olympics 1996)
  • Aug 21 Danny Sheaffer, American MLB catcher (St Louis Cardinals), born in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Aug 21 Lance Earl Deal, American hammer thrower (Olympic silver 1996), born in Riverton, Wyoming
  • Aug 21 V. B. Chandrasekhar, Indian cricketer, born in Chennai, India
  • Aug 22 John Kidd, American NFL punter (Miami Dolphins), born in Springfield, Illinois
  • Aug 26 Jeff Parrett, American pitcher (St Louis Cardinals), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Sep 2 Jeff Russell, American MLB pitcher (Texas Rangers), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Sep 2 Carlos Valderrama, Colombian footballer, born in Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Sep 4 Rizwan-uz-Zaman, Pakistani cricketer, born in Karachi, Pakistan
  • Sep 9 Jim Corsi, Newtonville MA, pitcher (Oakland A's)
  • Sep 12 Christiane Jolissaint, Swiss tennis star, born in Vevey, Switzerland

Person of interestDan Marino

Sep 15 Dan Marino, American College, Pro Football Halls of Fame quarterback (Miami Dolphins, 9-time Pro Bowl), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback Dan Marino
Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback
Dan Marino
  • Sep 16 Mark Parent, American baseball catcher (Detroit Tigers), born in Ashland, Oregon
  • Sep 17 Steve Clifford, American basketball head coach (Orlando Magic 2018-19; Charlotte Hornets 2013-18), born in Island Falls, Maine

Weddings in Sport


Deaths in Sport