On This Day

December 1973 in Sports History

Events in Sport

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Dec 1 Jack Nicklaus finishes at 13-under-par 275 to win the Walt Disney World Open by 1 stroke from Mason Rudolph; becomes the first player to reach $2 million in PGA Tour career earnings

  • Dec 1 38th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 35-0 in Birmingham

Sport awardDavis Cup

Dec 1 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Cleveland, Ohio: Rod Laver and John Newcombe beat American pair Stan Smith and Erik van Dillen 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to give Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead, (ends 5-0); 23rd Cup title for Australia

Tennis Player Rod Laver
Tennis Player
Rod Laver
  • Dec 2 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, Cleveland: After clinching a famous victory the previous day, Australians Rod Laver and John Newcombe finish a 5-0 rout of the US with wins over Stan Smith and Tom Gorman
  • Dec 2 Capital Centre (USAir Arena) opens in Landover Maryland; NBA's Washington Bullets beat Seattle SuperSonics, 98-96 in opening game; arena demolished 2002
  • Dec 5 Chicago Cubs Ron Santo becomes 1st baseball player to invoke 10-5 rule and veto his trade (with the California Angels)
  • Dec 6 NL votes to move San Diego Padres to Washington, D.C. (doesn't happen)
  • Dec 7 Orioles sell pitcher Eddie Watt to the Phillies
  • Dec 7 Phillies sell infielder-outfielder Cesar Tovar to the Texas Rangers
  • Dec 8 39th Heisman Trophy Award: John Cappelletti, Penn State (RB)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 8 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase wins his 3rd consecutive season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–3, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3 win over Dutchman Tom Okker in Boston, Massachusetts

Tennis Champion Ilie Năstase
Tennis Champion
Ilie Năstase
  • Dec 9 NFL St. Louis Cardinal Jim Bakken kicks 6 field goals vs Atlanta Falcons

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 10 First time since 1885, tennis has 2 top male players - Americans Stan Smith and Jimmy Connors

Tennis Legend Jimmy Connors
Tennis Legend
Jimmy Connors
  • Dec 11 NA Soccer League awards LA, San Francisco, Seattle & Vancouver franchises
  • Dec 12 Canada begins selling Olympic coins ($5 & $10 silver coins)
  • Dec 12 San Diego files anti-trust against NL (stopping Padres move to DC)

  • Dec 15 Sandy Hawley becomes 1st jockey to win 500 races in 1 year
  • Dec 15 Tennessee beats Temple 11-6 in low scoring NCAA basketball game

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 16 O.J. Simpson becomes 1st NFL running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a season

NFL Running Back and Convicted Criminal O.J. Simpson
NFL Running Back and Convicted Criminal
O.J. Simpson
  • Dec 18 Yanks sign Dick Williams as manager, overturned later by AL Pres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 20 AL president Joe Cronin refuses to allow Dick Williams to manage Yankees

Baseball Player and Manager Joe Cronin
Baseball Player and Manager
Joe Cronin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 20 Montreal Canadien Henri Richard scores his 1,000th NHL point

Ice Hockey Great Henri Richard
Ice Hockey Great
Henri Richard
  • Dec 21 3rd Fiesta Bowl: #10 Arizona State beats Pittsburgh, 28-7
  • Dec 25 Ballon d'Or: Ajax forward Johan Cruyff wins his second award for best European football player ahead of Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff and Bayern Munich striker Gerd Müller
  • Dec 27 LA Dodgers announce night games will start at 7:30 instead of 8

Sport awardAFC Championship

Dec 30 AFC Championship, Miami Orange Bowl: Miami Dolphins beat Oakland Raiders, 27-10

NFL Coach and Sportscaster John Madden
NFL Coach and Sportscaster
John Madden
  • Dec 30 NFC Championship, Texas Stadium, Irving: Minnesota Vikings beat Dallas Cowboys, 27-10
  • Dec 31 Johan Cruyff chosen European Football Player of theYear

Sport awardAustralian Open Women's Tennis

Dec 31 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley beats Chris Evert 7-6, 4-6, 6-0 for her first of 4 home singles titles

Tennis Legend Chris Evert
Tennis Legend
Chris Evert
  • Dec 31 40th Sugar Bowl: #3 Notre Dame beats #1 Alabama, 24-23

Birthdays in Sport

Person of interestMonica Seles

Dec 2 Monica Seles, Yugoslavian-American tennis player (9-time Grand Slam title champion), born in Novi Sad, Serbia

Tennis Player and Nine-Time Major Champion Monica Seles
Tennis Player and Nine-Time Major Champion
Monica Seles
  • Dec 2 Jan Ullrich, German road cyclist (Olympic gold road race 2000; Tour de France 1997; Vuelta a España 1999), born in Rostock, Germany
  • Dec 2 Graham Kavanagh, Irish soccer midfielder (16 caps, Rep of Ireland; Stoke City, Cardiff City), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • Dec 4 Corliss Williamson, American basketball forward (NBA C'ship 2004, Detroit Pistons; NBA 6th Man of the Year 2002; NCAA Final 4 MOP 1994), born in Russellville, Arkansas
  • Dec 4 Steven Menzies, Australian rugby league lock (13 Tests; NSW 20 games; Manly Sea Eagles), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Dec 5 Corissa Yasen, American WNBA forward and guard (Sacramento Monarchs), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Dec 6 Tim Kohn, American NFL guard and tackle (Oakland Raiders), born in Wadsworth, Illinois
  • Dec 7 Terrell Owens, American football wide receiver (San Francisco 49ers), born in Alexander City, Alabama
  • Dec 8 Mitch Jacoby, American football tight end (St Louis Rams), born in Port Washington, Wisconsin
  • Dec 8 Monty Montgomery, American football defensiveback (Indianapolis Colts), born in Gladewater, Texas
  • Dec 9 Tony Batista, Dominican baseball infielder (Oakland A's), born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
  • Dec 10 Bernard Holsey, defensive tackle (NY Giants)
  • Dec 10 Marcus Wall, CFL receiver (Montreal Alouettes)
  • Dec 10 Rusty LaRue, NBA guard (Chicago Bulls)
  • Dec 11 Erin Moorad, America pairs skater (with partner Richard Gillam), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • Dec 11 Luke Casserly, Australian soccer defender (Olyroos, Olympics 1996), born in Sydney, Australia
  • Dec 11 Ralph Intranuovo, NHL center (Edmonton Oilers), born in East York, Toronto, Ontario
  • Dec 12 Michael Di Venuto, Australian cricketer (exciting Tasmanian batsman), born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  • Dec 12 Reinard Wilson, American football linebacker (Cincinnati Bengals), born in Gainesville, Florida
  • Dec 12 Stanley Pritchett, American football running back (Miami Dolphins), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dec 12 Walter Otta, Argentine footballer (Blooming), born in Río Tercero, Argentina
  • Dec 13 Shandon Anderson, American NBA forward (Utah Jazz), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Dec 14 Eelco Wassenaar, American field hockey midfielder (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 15 Geoff Stewart, Australian rower (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 15 James Stewart, Australian rower (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 15 Mike Cherry, quarterback (NY Giants)
  • Dec 15 Mirko Ludemann, Weiwasser GER, NHL defenseman (Team Germany, Colorado)
  • Dec 15 Tammy Melinda Pearman, American soccer forward/defender (Olympics 1996), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Dec 16 Kristie Boogert, Rotterdam Neth, tennis star (1996 Paris)
  • Dec 17 Paula Radcliffe, English long-distance runner (marathon world record holder), born in Davenham, England
  • Dec 18 Jason Williams, Gonzales LA, baseball infielder (Olympic bronze 1996)
  • Dec 18 Keith Washington, NFL defensive end (Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens)
  • Dec 19 Kebu Stewart, NBA forward (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • Dec 19 Zulfiya Zabirova, Russian cyclist
  • Dec 20 Cory Stillman, Canadian NHL center (Calgary Flames), born in Peterborough, Canada
  • Dec 20 Jenny Boucek, WNBA guard (Cleveland Rockers), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Dec 20 Muadianvita Kazadi, American football linebacker (St Louis Rams), born in Zaire
  • Dec 21 Mike Alstott, American football fullback (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), born in Joliet, Illinois
  • Dec 22 Annie Pelletier, Canadian diver (Olympic bronze 1996), born in Montreal, Quebec
  • Dec 22 Jamel Williams, American football safety (Washington Redskins), born in Gary, Indiana
  • Dec 23 Tony Graziani, American football quarterback (Atlanta Falcons), born in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Dec 24 Eddie Pope, soccer defender (Olympic gold 1996), born in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Dec 25 Robbie Elliott, English footballer, born in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • Dec 26 Ryan Berube, American 800m freestyle relay (Olympic gold 1996), born in Tequesta, Florida
  • Dec 27 Bill Clay, Yokosuka Japan, US sprint cyclist (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 28 Bobby Taylor, NFL cornerback (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Houston, Texas
  • Dec 28 Garth John Da Silva, heavyweight boxer (Olympics 1996), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • Dec 29 Tomas Perez, Barquisimeto Venezuela, infielder (Toronto Blue Jays), born in Lara, Venezuela
  • Dec 29 Theo Epstein, American baseball executive and President of Baseball Operations, born in NYC, New York
  • Dec 30 Don Reid, NBA guard/forward (Detroit Pistons)
  • Dec 30 Robert Walker, Australian rower (Olympics 1996)
  • Dec 30 Ato Boldon, Trinidadian athlete
  • Dec 31 Curtis Myden, Canadian 200m/400m swimmer (Olympic 2 bronze-96), born in Calgary, Alberta
  • Dec 31 George Jones, American running back (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Dec 31 Hiroyuki Miura, Japanese hockey defenceman (Team Japan 1998, Montreal Canadiens), born in Hokkaido, Japan

Weddings in Sport

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 1 NFL running back Gale Sayers (30) weds second wife Ardythe Bullard

NFL Running Back Gale Sayers
NFL Running Back
Gale Sayers

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 4 NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle (47) weds activist Carrie Cooke

NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle
NFL Commissioner
Pete Rozelle

LoveWedding of Interest

Dec 31 MLB executive Tony La Russa (29) weds Elaine Coker

Baseball Manager Tony La Russa
Baseball Manager
Tony La Russa

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 2 Watson Washburn, American tennis player (runner-up Wimbledon doubles 1924, US Nationals 1921, 23; founder International Tennis Hall of Fame), dies at 79
  • Dec 16 Syd Barnes, cricketer (13 Tests for Australia 1938-48), dies
  • Dec 22 James Anderson, Australian tennis player (Australasian C'ship 1922, 24, 25), dies at 79
  • Dec 23 Arthur Richardson, Australian cricketer (9 Tests 1924-26), dies at 85