On This Day

December 1968 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Dec 3 MLB Rules Committee adopts a series of changes designed to increase amount of offensive run production; decreases strike zone size and lowers height of pitcher's mound from 15" to 10"; changes are successful

Sports History

Dec 5 Future Hockey Hall of Fame center Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins scores 2 goals in his goaltender brother Tony's (also HOF) NHL debut for the Montreal Canadiens; 2-2 tie

  • Dec 6 Baseball dismisses Commissioner William Eckert after 3 years

Boxing Title Fight

Dec 10 Joe Frazier beats Oscar Bonavena in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

Sports History

Dec 12 Arthur Ashe becomes 1st black to be ranked #1 in tennis

NHL Record

Dec 14 Bobby Orr scores first career hat trick (vs Chicago Blackhawks)

  • Dec 24 Ballon d'Or: Manchester United's winger George Best wins award for best European football player ahead of teammate Bobby Charlton and Red Star Belgrade winger Dragan Džajić; first Northern Irish national to win the award
  • Dec 26 Bruin Ted Green sets NHL penalty record of 3 minors, 2 majors & 2 game misconducts in a game against NY Rangers in NY's Madison Square Garden
  • Dec 28 57th Davis Cup: USA beats Australia in Adelaide (4-1)
  • Dec 29 NFL Championship, Cleveland Municipal Stadium: Baltimore Colts shutout Cleveland Browns, 34-0

Sports History

Dec 29 AFL Championship, Shea Stadium, NYC: New York Jets beat Oakland Raiders 27-23; Joe Namath 3 TD passes sparks Jets to win

  • Dec 31 NY Jets win AFL championship

Birthdays in Sport

  • Dec 1 Anders Holmertz, Swedish swimmer (4 x Olympic silver 200m, 1 x bronze 400m 1988-96), born in Motala, Sweden
  • Dec 2 Darryl Kile, American baseball pitcher (MLB All-Star 1993, 97, 2000; no-hitter 1993; Houston Astros), born in Garden Grove, California (d. 2002)
  • Dec 2 Elna Reinach, South African tennis player (US Open mixed doubles [with Patrick Galbraith] 1994), born in Pretoria, South Africa
  • Dec 2 Jiri Dopita, Czech ice hockey center (World C'ship gold 1996, 2000-01; Philadelphia Flyers), born in Šumperk, Czech Republic
  • Dec 2 David Batty, English soccer midfielder (42 caps; Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United), born in Leeds, England
  • Dec 4 Mike Barrowman, American swimmer (Olympic gold 200m breaststroke 1992, World C'ship gold 1991), born in Costa Mesa, California
  • Dec 5 Rhett Hall, American NFL defensive tackle (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Morgan Hill, California
  • Dec 7 Keith Goganious, American NFL linebacker (Jacksonville Jaguars), born in Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Dec 7 Melissa Iverson, American rower (Olympics 1996), born in Anoka, Minnesota
  • Dec 7 Ricky Ervins, American NFL running back (SF 49ers), born in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Dec 7 Tom Myslinski, American NFL guard (Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Rome, New York
  • Dec 7 Mark Geyer, Australian rugby league footballer, born in Granville, Australia
  • Dec 8 Bill Johnson, American football defensive tackle (St Louis Rams), born in Minnesota
  • Dec 8 Mike Mussina, American baseball pitcher (5-time MLB All Star), Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 9 Bill Johnson, NFL defensive linebacker (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Dec 9 Brent Price, NBA guard (Houston Rockets, Washington Bullets)
  • Dec 9 Kurt Angle, American 220 lbs freestyle wrestler (Olympic gold 1996), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 10 Rob Davis, American NFL guard (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 11 Derek Bell, American baseball outfielder (Houston Astros), born in Tampa, Florida
  • Dec 11 Mark Dailey, American 1.5k runner, born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • Dec 12 Chris Walsh, American NFL wide receiver (Minnesota Vikings; sues NFL over head injuries 2011), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dec 12 Kurt Schulz, American football safety (Buffalo Bills), born in Wenatchee, Washington
  • Dec 12 Laurie Williams, West Indian cricketer (West Indian ODI all-rounder v NZ 1996), born in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica (d. 2002)
  • Dec 12 Ray Ethridge, American football wide receiver (Baltimore Ravens), born in San Diego, California
  • Dec 13 Carlos Hasselbaink, Dutch soccer player (VVV/FC Utrecht/Haarlem), born in Paramaribo, Suriname
  • Dec 13 Shaun Stafford, American tennis star (1992 Taipei), born in Ocala, Florida
  • Dec 14 Cees Marbus, Dutch soccer player (Go Ahead Eagles), born in Noordwijk, Netherlands
  • Dec 14 Jamie Crysdale, CFL corner (Calgary Stampeders), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • Dec 16 Darryll Lewis, American NFL cornerback, 1991-2001 (Houston/Tennessee Oilers, and 2 other teams), born in Bellflower, California
  • Dec 16 Wendy Doolan, Australian golfer (Evian Masters 2004), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • Dec 17 Curtis Pride, outfielder (Detroit Tigers), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Dec 17 Jeff[rey] Klepacki, Kearny NJ, rower (Olympics 1992, 96)
  • Dec 18 Aaron Craver, NFL running back (Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers)
  • Dec 19 Jennifer Devine, rower (Olympics 1996), born in Portland, Oregon
  • Dec 21 Anthony Lynn, NFL running back (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32), born in McKinney, Texas
  • Dec 22 Lauralee "Bug" Bell, American actress (Cricket-Young & Restless), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 24 Joe Scuderi, Australian cricketer (South Australian all-rounder), born in Ingham, Australia
  • Dec 24 Marleen Renders, Belgian athlete, born in Diest, Belgium
  • Dec 26 Darren Barber, Canadian rower (Olympics 1996), born in Victoria, British Columbia
  • Dec 27 Dean Palmer, infielder (Texas Rangers), born in Tallahassee, Florida
  • Dec 28 Darrick Brownlow, US NFL linebacker (Washington Redskins), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Dec 29 Darren Perry, American NFL free safety (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Chesapeake, Virginia
  • Dec 29 James Mouton, American baseball outfielder (Houston Astros), born in Denver, Colorado
  • Dec 30 Kevin Dahl, Regina, NHL defenseman (Calgary Flames)
  • Dec 30 Sean Higgins, NBA guard/forward (Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trailblazers)

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 12 Walter Robins, cricketer (19 Tests for England 64 wkts), dies
  • Dec 15 Jess Willard, American boxer (World heavyweight champion 1915-19), dies from heart failure at 86
  • Dec 18 Sir John Layton Jarvis, English thoroughbred race horse trainer (9 x British Classic Races; 3 x British flat racing Champion Trainer), dies at 80
  • Dec 31 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85