On This Day

January 1978 in Sports History

Events in Sport


Sport awardAFC Championship

Jan 1 AFC Championship, Mile High Stadium, Denver: Denver Broncos beat Oakland Raiders, 20-17

NFL Coach and Sportscaster John Madden
NFL Coach and Sportscaster
John Madden
  • Jan 1 NFC Championship, Texas Stadium, Irving: Dallas Cowboys beat Minnesota Vikings, 23-6
  • Jan 2 64th Rose Bowl: #13 Washington beats #4 Michigan, 27-20
  • Jan 2 44th Sugar Bowl: #3 Alabama beats #9 Ohio State, 35-6
  • Jan 2 44th Orange Bowl: #6 Arkansas beats #2 Oklahoma, 31-6
  • Jan 3 Indian cricket spin bowler B. S. Chandrasekhar becomes first in Test history to register identical figures in both innings (6 for 52) in Indian innings win over Australia in 3rd Test in Melbourne

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 8 American Jimmy Connors beats Björn Borg of Sweden 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 to win his first and only season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Legend Jimmy Connors
Tennis Legend
Jimmy Connors
Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg
  • Jan 15 Super Bowl XII, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA: Dallas Cowboys beat Denver Broncos, 27-10; MVP: Harvey Martin, Dallas, DE & Randy White, Dallas, DT
  • Jan 19 Eddie Mathews elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 21 Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán becomes undisputed world lightweight champion with a 12th-round TKO of Esteban De Jesus at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas; defends his WBA title for 12th time, also takes De Jesus’ WBC title

  • Jan 23 NFL Pro Bowl, Tampa Stadium: NFC beats AFC, 14-13; MVP: Walter Peyton, Chicago Bears, RB
  • Jan 24 31st NHL All-Star Game, Buffalo Municipal Auditorium, Buffalo, NY: Wales beats Campbell, 3-2 (OT); MVP: Billy Smith, NY Islanders, G
  • Jan 25 Padres trade pitcher Dave Tomlin & $125,000 to Rangers for Gaylord Perry (He wins 1978 Cy Young Award)
  • Jan 28 Ranger's Don Murdoch failed on 4th penalty shot against Islanders
  • Jan 29 JoAnne Carner wins Colgate Triple Crown Match-Play Golf Championship
  • Jan 30 Addie Joss & Larry MacPhail elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Birthdays in Sport

  • Jan 1 Philip Mulryne, Northern Irish soccer midfielder (27 caps; Norwich City) and Dominican friar and priest, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Jan 4 Dominik Hrbatý, Slovakian tennis player, born in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Jan 5 Franck Montagny, French Formula One driver, born in Feurs, France
  • Jan 6 Steve Hartsell, American pairs skater (with partner Danielle Hartsell), born in Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Jan 6 Casey Fossum, American baseball player, born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
  • Jan 7 Kevin Mench, American baseball player, born in Wilmington, Delaware
  • Jan 8 Boris Avrukh, Israeli chess grandmaster, born in Karaganda, Kazakhstan
  • Jan 9 Gennaro Gattuso, Italian footballer, born in Corigliano Calabro, Italy
  • Jan 9 Mathieu Garon, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Chandler, Canada
  • Jan 9 Chad Johnson, American football player, born in Miami, Florida
  • Jan 11 Michael Duff, Northern Irish footballer, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Jan 11 Emile Heskey, English footballer, born in Leicester, United Kingdom
  • Jan 12 Bonaventure Kalou, Ivorian footballer, born in Oumé, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Jan 12 Luis Ayala, Mexican baseball pitcher, born in Los Mochis, Mexico
  • Jan 14 Shawn Crawford, American sprinter, born in Van Wyck, South Carolina
  • Jan 15 Franco Pellizotti, Italian cyclist, born in Latisana, Italy
  • Jan 16 Alfredo Amézaga, Mexican baseball player, born in Ciudad Obregón, Mexico
  • Jan 18 Thor Hushovd, Norwegian former professional road bicycle racer widely considered the greatest Norwegian cyclist of all time, born in Grimstad, Norway
  • Jan 18 Brian Falkenborg, American baseball player, born in Newport Beach, California
  • Jan 20 Sonja Kesselschläger, German heptathlete, born in Finsterwalde, Germany
  • Jan 20 Allan Søgaard, Danish football player, born in Brædstrup, Denmark
  • Jan 21 Faris al-Sultan, German-Iraqi triathlete
  • Jan 21 Andrei Zyuzin, Russian ice hockey player
  • Jan 22 Chone Figgins, American baseball player, born in Leary, Georgia
  • Jan 25 Charlene Princess of Monaco [Charlene Wittstock], Zimbabwean South African born wife of Prince Albert II, and Olympic swimmer, born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia
  • Jan 25 Denis Menchov, Russian cyclist, born in Oryol, Russia
  • Jan 25 Jason Roberts, English-born footballer, born in London, United Kingdom
  • Jan 25 Derrick Turnbow, American baseball player, born in Union City, Tennessee
  • Jan 26 Estéban Germán, Dominican baseball player, born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Jan 26 Corina Morariu, American tennis player, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • Jan 27 Pete Laforest, Canadian baseball player
  • Jan 28 Gianluigi Buffon, Italian footballer
  • Jan 28 Papa Bouba Diop, Senegalese soccer midfielder (63 caps; Lens, Fulham, Portsmouth, West Ham Utd), born in Dakar, Senegal (d. 2020)
  • Jan 28 Jamie Carragher, English footballer
  • Jan 29 Martin Schmitt, German ski jumper, born in Villingen-Schwenningen, West Germany
  • Jan 29 Rob Bironas, American football player, born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • Jan 30 John Patterson, American baseball player, born in Orange, Texas
  • Jan 31 Fabián Caballero, Argentine footballer, born in Misiones Province, Argentina

Deaths in Sport

  • Jan 6 Burt Munro, New Zealand motorcycle racer, dies at 78 (b. 1899)
  • Jan 9 Eddie Gilbert, cricket (Aboriginal Qld quick got Don for a duck), dies
  • Jan 13 Joe McCarthy, American baseball manager (New York Yankees), dies at 96
  • Jan 14 Harold Abrahams, British athlete (Olympic gold & silver 1924), dies at 78
  • Jan 22 Herbert Sutcliffe, English cricketer (54 Tests for England 4555 runs), dies at 83
  • Jan 25 Tango Duke, dies in Australia at 42; oldest known thoroughbred horse