On This Day

October 1968 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Oct 2 St. Louis pitcher Bob Gibson establishes a new Baseball World Series mark by striking out 17 batters as the Cardinals beat Detroit, 4-0 in Game 1 of the Fall Classic

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 2 1st time, 2 soon-to-be-named MVPs oppose each other Cards Bob Gibson beat Tigers Denny McLain 4-0

MLB Pitcher Denny McLain
MLB Pitcher
Denny McLain
  • Oct 10 Detroit Tigers beat St Louis Cards, 4 games to 3 in 65th World Series

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 11 MLB star Billy Martin named manager of the Minnesota Twins

Baseball Player and Manager Billy Martin
Baseball Player and Manager
Billy Martin
  • Oct 12 IXX Summer Olympic Games open at Mexico City, Mexico; first Olympics in Latin America
  • Oct 12 Enriqueta Basilio, Mexican track and field athlete becomes 1st woman to light Olympic flame at 19th Summer Olympics, in Mexico City, Mexico
  • Oct 14 In NL expansion draft, Expos & Padres choose 30 players each
  • Oct 14 Viorica Viscopoleanu of Romania sets world record 6.82m to win the women's long jump at the Mexico City Olympics; beats Sheila Sherwood of Great Britain by 0.14m
  • Oct 14 American sprinter Jim Hines runs a world record 9.95s to beat Lennox Miller of Jamaica and Charles Greene of the US, and win the 100m gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 15 Al Oerter of the US wins the men's discus in Olympic record 64.78m at the Mexico City Games; Oerter's unprecedented 4th consecutive Olympic discus title
  • Oct 15 Australian Ralph Doubell runs a world record 1:44.40 to beat Kenyan Wilson Kiprugut and win the men's 800m at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 15 British athlete David Hemery sets a world record 48.12s to beat Gerhard Hennige of West Germany and take the gold medal in the men's 400m hurdles at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 15 American sprinter Wyomia Tyus wins her second consecutive Olympic 100m title with a world record 11.08s; beats teammate Barbara Ferrell by 0.08s for the gold medal at the Mexico City Games

Olympic GamesBlack Power Salute

Oct 16 Americans Tommie Smith (gold 19.83 WR) and John Carlos (bronze) famously give the Black Power salute on the 200m medal podium during the Mexico City Olympics to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans

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Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium at 1968 Olympics
Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium at 1968 Olympics
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  • Oct 16 Milwaukee Bucks play their 1st game losing 89-84 to Chicago Bulls
  • Oct 16 Jim Dorey sets Toronto Maple Leaf penalty records (48 mins on 9 penalties in a game & 44 minutes on 7 penalties in a period)
  • Oct 16 American Bob Seagren, Claus Schiprowski of West Germany and East German Wolfgang Nordwig all record 5.40m in the final of the pole vault at the Mexico City Olympics; Seagren awarded gold on countback
  • Oct 17 Soviet athlete Viktor Saneev sets world record 17.39m to win the triple jump at the Mexico City Olympics; world record improved 5 times by 3 different athletes during competition

Sports record brokenWorld Record

Oct 17 US men's 4 x 100m freestyle relay team of Zac Zorn, Stephen Rerych, Ken Walsh & Mark Spitz swim world record 3:31.7 to outclass the Soviet Union & Australia and win the gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics

Swimmer Mark Spitz
Swimmer
Mark Spitz
  • Oct 17 Björn Ferm of Sweden beats Hungary's András Balczó by just 11 points to take the gold medal in the modern pentathlon at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 18 American long jumper Bob Beamon sets an incredible world record (8.90m, 29' 2½") in high altitude at the Mexico City Olympics; 0.55m (22") improvement over previous world record

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 18 US Olympic Committee suspends Tommie Smith and John Carlos for giving the Black Power salute to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans during Olympic medal ceremony

Track & Field athlete and Civil Rights Activist John Carlos
Track & Field athlete and Civil Rights Activist
John Carlos
Sprinter and Civil Rights Activist Tommie Smith
Sprinter and Civil Rights Activist
Tommie Smith
  • Oct 18 American swimmer Don Schollander anchors US 4 × 200m freestyle relay team to world record 7:52.1 and the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo; Schollander's 4th gold of the Games
  • Oct 18 American athletes sweep the medals in the men's 400m at the Mexico City Olympics; Lee Evans wins gold in world record 43.86s ahead of Larry James and Ron Freeman
  • Oct 18 Polish sprinter Irena Szewińska runs a world record 22.58s to beat Australian Raelene Boyle by 0.16s and win the 200m gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 18 A rare Australian 1-2 in track & field; Maureen Caird in Olympic record 10.39s beats teammate Pam Kilborn by 0.07s to win the 80m hurdles at the Mexico City Games
  • Oct 19 The West German crew beats Australia by just 0.9s to win the men's eights rowing gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 19 American swimmer Jan Henne in 1:00.0 leads American sweep of the women's 100m freestyle medals at the Mexico City Olympics; teammates Susan Pedersen & Linda Gustavson both swim 1:00.3 for minor medals
  • Oct 19 Australian swimmer Michael Wendon sets world record 52.2s to win the blue ribband men's 100m freestyle gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 19 New Zealand scores an upset victory in the men's coxed four rowing final at the Mexico City Olympics; beats favoured East German crew by 2.58s; first ever rowing gold medal for the Kiwis
  • Oct 20 Mamo Wolde wins 16th Olympic marathon (2:20:26.4)
  • Oct 20 Kenyan runner Kip Keino wins 1,500m gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics in 3:34.91 despite a severe gall bladder infection
  • Oct 20 American Dick Fosbury using his unconventional technique wins the men's high jump gold medal with 2.24m at the Mexico City Olympics; "Fosbury Flop" becomes accepted most efficient technique
  • Oct 20 American sprinter Jim Hines anchors US men's 4 x 100m relay team to win his second gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics; with teammates Charles Greene, Mel Pender & Ronnie Ray Smith sets world record 38.24s
  • Oct 20 US men's 4 x 400m relay team of Vincent Matthews, Ron Freeman, Larry James & Lee Evans runs world record 2:56.16; easily beats Kenya & West Germany into the minor medals at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 20 US women's 4 x 100m relay team sets world record 42.88s to win the gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics; Margaret Bailes, Barbara Ferrell, Mildrette Netter & Wyomia Tyus
  • Oct 20 Margitta Gummel of East Germany throws world record 19.61m to beat teammate Marita Lange by 0.83m and win the women's shot put gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 22 American swimmers sweep the medals in the women's 200m freestyle at the Mexico City Olympics; Debbie Meyer takes gold in Olympic record 2:10.5 ahead of teammates Jan Henne and Jane Barkman
  • Oct 23 American swimmer Kaye Hall sets a world record 1:06.2 to beat Canadian Elaine Tanner by 0.5s and win the 100m backstroke gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 24 16 year old American swimmer Debbie Meyer wins the inaugural women's 800m gold medal in 9:24.0 at the Mexico City Olympics; first swimmer to win 3 individual gold medals at a Games (200/400m)
  • Oct 24 Australian swimmer Michael Wendon wraps up the Mexico City Games sprint double when he wins the men's 200m freestyle gold medal in Olympic record 1:55.2
  • Oct 25 Longest Olympic field hockey game, The Netherlands beats Spain 1-0 in 2h25m (6 OT)
  • Oct 25 US men's basketball team beats Yugoslavia 65-50 to win the gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics; 7th straight basketball title for the Americans
  • Oct 25 Czech gymnast Věra Čáslavská wins the uneven bars and vault gold medals at the Mexico City Olympics; her 6th & 7th career gold medals and her 4th at these Games
  • Oct 25 American swimmer Claudia Kolb wraps up the women's individual medley double in Mexico City, winning the 400m I/M in Olympic record 5:08.5; she also won the 200m I/M in OR 2:24.7
  • Oct 25 East German swimmer Roland Matthes wins the 200m backstroke gold medal in Olympic record 2:09.6 at the Mexico City Games; wraps up backstroke double
  • Oct 26 The Soviet Union wraps up the volleyball double at the Mexico City Olympics; both men's & women's teams take gold at the end of their respective round-robin competitions

OlympicsOlympic Gold

Oct 26 Future world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman wins the Olympic heavyweight gold medal when the final against Jonas Čepulis (Soviet Union) is stopped in round 2 at the Mexico City Games

Boxing Champ George Foreman
Boxing Champ
George Foreman
  • Oct 26 Japanese gymnasts sweep the medals in the men's floor exercise competition at the Mexico City Olympics; Sawao Kato wins his 3rd gold of the Games ahead of teammates Akinori Nakayama and Takeshi Katō
  • Oct 26 Japanese gymnast Akinori Nakayama wins 3 individual gold medals on the one day (horizontal bar, rings & parallel bars) at the Mexico City Olympics; with team victory, 4 gold for the Games
  • Oct 26 Charlie Hickcox wins his 3rd gold medal of the Mexico City Olympics when he leads the US men's 4 x 100m medley relay team with teammates Don McKenzie, Doug Russell & Ken Walsh to world record 3:54.9
  • Oct 26 Striker Antal Dunai scores twice as Hungary outclasses Bulgaria 4-1 to take the men's football gold medal at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 26 Italian diver Klaus Dibiasi wins first of 3 consecutive men's 10m platform gold medals when he comfortably beats Álvaro Gaxiola of Mexico at the Mexico City Olympics
  • Oct 31 Milwaukee Bucks win their 1st game beating Detroit 138-118 (6th game)

Birthdays in Sport

  • Oct 1 Phil de Glanville, English rugby union centre and captain (38 caps; Bath RUFC), born in Loughborough, Leicestershire
  • Oct 2 Glen Wesley, Canadian NHL defenceman, coach and administrator (Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes), born in Red Deer, Alberta

Person of interestJana Novotna

Oct 2 Jana Novotná, Czech tennis player (Wimbledon 1998; WTA Tour C'ship 1997), born in Brno, Czech Republic (d. 2017)

Tennis Player & Wimbledon Champion Jana Novotna
Tennis Player & Wimbledon Champion
Jana Novotna
  • Oct 2 Mark Crear, American athlete (Olympic 110m hurdles silver 1996, bronze 2000), born in San Francisco, California
  • Oct 3 Greg Foster, American basketball center and coach (NBA C'ship 2001 LA Lakers), born in Oakland, California
  • Oct 5 Wayne Holdsworth, cricketer (NSW fast bowler, Australian tourist 1993)
  • Oct 7 Erick Anderson, American NFL linebacker (Washington Redskins), born in Long Beach, California
  • Oct 8 Frankie Smith, American NFL cornerback (Miami Dolphins, SF 49ers), born in Groesbeck, Texas
  • Oct 8 Ali Benarbia, Algerian footballer, born in Oran, Algeria
  • Oct 8 Zvonimir Boban, Croatian football player and Deputy Secretary General of FIFA, born in Imotski, Croatia
  • Oct 10 James Williams, American NFL linebacker (Atlanta Falcons, SF 49ers), born in Natchez, Mississippi
  • Oct 10 Bart Brentjens, Dutch mountain biker, born in Haelen, Netherlands
  • Oct 11 Claude Lapointe, Canadian NHL center (Calgary Flames), born in Lachine, Quebec, Canada
  • Oct 11 Cynthia Johnston, Canadian basketball forward (Olympics 1996), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • Oct 12 Charles Anthony, American CFL defensive back (Toronto Argonauts), born in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Oct 12 Leon Lett, American NFL defensive tackle and coach (Dallas Cowboys), born in Mobile, Alabama
  • Oct 12 Mike Trombley, American pitcher (Minnesota Twins), born in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Oct 12 Bill Auberlen, American race car driver, born in Redondo Beach, California
  • Oct 13 Julio Valera, MLB pitcher (KC Royals), born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
  • Oct 14 Dwayne Schintzius, NBA center (Indiana Pacers)
  • Oct 14 Gene Williams, NFL guard/tackle (Atlanta Falcons)
  • Oct 14 Rashid Latif, cricketer (Pakistani wicket-keeper)
  • Oct 14 Wanda Guyton, WNBA forward (Houston Comets)
  • Oct 14 Matthew Le Tissier, English footballer
  • Oct 15 George Koonce, American NFL linebacker (Green Bay Packers-Super Bowl 31), born in New Bern, North Carolina
  • Oct 15 Meredith Rainey, American 800m runner, born in Brooklyn, New York

Person of interestDidier Deschamps

Oct 15 Didier Deschamps, French footballer and coach (France: 2018 World Cup), born in Bayonne, France

Football Player and Coach Didier Deschamps
Football Player and Coach
Didier Deschamps
  • Oct 16 Scott Donie, Vicenza Italy, diver (Olympic 4th 1996)
  • Oct 17 Heather McDermid, rower (Olympics 1996), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • Oct 18 Denisa Szabova, Bratislava Czech, tennis star (1987 Futures-GER)
  • Oct 18 Michael Stich, German tennis star
  • Oct 18 Narendra Hirwani, Indian cricketer (16 wickets v WI on debut 1988), born in Gorakhpur, India
  • Oct 18 Stuart Law, cricketer (prolific Queensland batsman, Australia 1995)
  • Oct 20 Raymond Biggs, CFL linebacker (Calgary Stampeders)
  • Oct 22 Keith Osik, catcher (Pittsburgh Pirates), born in Port Jefferson, New York
  • Oct 22 Stephane Quintal, Boucherville, NHL defenseman (Montreal Canadiens)
  • Oct 22 Warry van Wattum, Dutch soccer player (Dordrecht '90, FC Groningen)
  • Oct 23 Bettina Fulco Villella, Mar Del Plata Arg, tennis star (1993 Futures)
  • Oct 23 Kendall Gammon, NFL center (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Oct 23 Kevin Henry, NFL defensive end (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Oct 24 Adrian Dale, South African cricketer (prolific Glamorgan & England A batsman), born in Germiston, Transvaal, South Africa
  • Oct 24 Francisco Claver, Spanish tennis star
  • Oct 24 Ken Ryan, American baseball pitcher (Philadelphia Phillies), born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
  • Oct 25 Corey Miller, American NFL linebacker (NY Giants), born in Pageland, South Carolina
  • Oct 26 Chris Oldham, American NFL cornerback (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Sacramento, California
  • Oct 26 Nico-Jan Hoogma, Dutch soccer player (FC Twente), born in Heerenveen, Netherlands
  • Oct 27 Antoinette Lucas, American field hockey midfielder (Olympics 1996), born in Crozier, Virginia
  • Oct 27 Vinny Samways, English footballer, born in Bethnal Green, London
  • Oct 28 Ernie Mills, NFL wide receiver (Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers)
  • Oct 28 Glenn Clear, soccer player (Vitesse)
  • Oct 28 Rodney Thomas, NFL running back (Houston Oilers), born in Trinity, TX, (d. 2014)
  • Oct 28 Shawna Molcak, Cardston Alberta, basketball guard (Olympics 1996)
  • Oct 28 Stan Thomas, NFL tackle (Houston Oilers)
  • Oct 28 Marc Lièvremont, French rugby union footballer and coach
  • Oct 29 Johann Olav Koss, speed skater (Olympics 3 gold-1994)
  • Oct 31 Antonio Davis, American NBA forward-center (Indiana Pacers), born in Oakland, California
  • Oct 31 Eddie Taubensee, American baseball catcher (Cincinnati Reds), born in Beeville, Texas

Weddings in Sport

  • Oct 26 Czech 7-time Olympic champion gymnast Věra Čáslavská (26) weds middle distance runner Josef Odložil (29) at the Mexico City Cathedral, Mexico City

Deaths in Sport

  • Oct 16 Ellis Kinder, American baseball player, dies at 54