On This Day

December 1980 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Dec 1 46th Heisman Trophy Award: George Rogers, South Carolina (RB)
  • Dec 3 Don Sutton, the winningest pitcher in Los Angeles Dodgers history, signs a 4-year contract with Houston; Astros career shortened by a patellar fracture; returns to Dodgers in 1988 after stints with 3 other MLB clubs
  • Dec 4 Islanders end 15 game undefeated streak (13-0-2) (Col Rockies)
  • Dec 7 69th Davis Cup: Czechoslovakia beats Italy in Prague (4-1)

Sports History

Dec 7 PGA Seniors' Championship Men's Golf, Turnberry Isle CC: Arnold Palmer wins with a birdie on the 1st playoff hole against Paul Harney

  • Dec 14 Minnesota Vikings pass for 456 yards against Cleveland Browns, winning 28-24
  • Dec 14 New Orleans Saints end 14 game losing streak, beat NY Jets 21-20

Sports History

Dec 15 NY Yankee Dave Winfield becomes highest-paid player, 10 years $15M

Film Release

Dec 19 "Raging Bull", directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro as boxer Jake LaMotta and Cathy Moriarty as his wife, is released in the United States

  • Dec 21 Harold Carmichael ends NFL streak of 127 consecutive game receptions
  • Dec 22 MLB St. Louis Cardinals release outfielder Bobby Bonds
  • Dec 26 10th Fiesta Bowl: #10 Penn State beats #11 Ohio State, 31-19
  • Dec 27 Calvin Murphy (Rockets) begins longest NBA free throw streak of 78

Football Awards

Dec 30 Ballon d'Or: Bayern Munich forward Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is named best European football player; beats German international teammate Bernd Schuster of FC Barcelona and Saint-Étienne midfielder Michel Platini

  • Dec 31 NY Islanders greatest shutout margin (9-0) vs Chicago Black Hawks

Birthdays in Sport

  • Dec 1 Mohammad Kaif, Indian cricket batsman (13 Tests, top score 148; 125 ODIs), born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Dec 1 Mubarak Hassan Shami, Qatari athlete (Vienna 2005, Prague 2006, Paris 2007 marathons), born in Baringo, Kenya
  • Dec 2 Adam Kreek, Canadian rower (Olympic gold eights 2008; World C'ship gold 2002-3, 07), born in London, Ontario
  • Dec 6 Steve Lovell, British footballer (Dundee), born in Amersham, England
  • Dec 6 Ehren Wassermann, American baseball player, born in Sylacauga, Alabama
  • Dec 7 John Terry, English soccer defender (78 caps; Chelsea), born in London, England
  • Dec 8 Brandt Snedeker, American golfer (US Masters 2008, British Open 2012 3rd), born in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Dec 9 Ryder Hesjedal, Canadian cyclist, born in Victoria, Canada
  • Dec 14 Didier Zokora, Ivorian footballer, born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast
  • Dec 17 Ryan Hunter-Reay, American race car driver
  • Dec 20 Ashley Cole, English footballer, born in Stepney, London
  • Dec 20 Fitz Hall, English footballer, born in Leytonstone, London
  • Dec 20 Tony [Anthony da Silva], French-born Portuguese footballer, born in Le Creusot, France
  • Dec 21 Royce Ring, American baseball player, born in La Mesa, California
  • Dec 23 Cody Ross, American baseball player, born in Portales, New Mexico
  • Dec 25 Locó [Manuel Armindo Morais Cange], Angolan soccer defender (40 caps; Primeiro de Agosto, Petro Atlético, Santos), born in Luanda, Angola
  • Dec 25 Marcus Trufant, American football cornerback (Pro Bowl 2007 Seattle Seahawks; Jacksonville Jaguars), born in Tacoma, Washington
  • Dec 27 Claudio Castagnoli, Swiss wrestler
  • Dec 28 Lomana LuaLua, Congolese football player, born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Dec 31 Richard "Richie" McCaw, New Zealand rugby player (All Blacks), born in Oamaru, New Zealand

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 4 Stanislawa Walasiewicz [Stella Walsh], Polish-born American athlete (Olympic gold 100m 1932), dies when shot during an armed robbery, at 69
  • Dec 14 Elston Howard, American baseball catcher (12 × MLB All-Star; 6 × World Series; AL MVP 1963; first African-American NY Yankee), dies from myocarditis at 59
  • Dec 28 Amir Elahi, Pakistani cricket spin bowler (1 Test India, 5 Tests Pakistan), at 72
  • Dec 31 Arthur Wellard, English cricket all-rounder (2 Tests, 7 wickets, BB 4/81; Somerset CCC), dies at 78
  • Dec 31 Bob Shawkey, American baseball pitcher (World Series 1923, 27; AL ERA leader 1920, New York Yankees), dies at 90