1981 in Sport

Events in Sport

Events 1 - 100 of 207

  • Jan 1 67th Rose Bowl: #5 Michigan beats #16 Washington, 23-6
  • Jan 1 47th Sugar Bowl: #1 Georgia beats #7 Notre Dame, 17-10
  • Jan 1 47th Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma beats #2 Florida State, 18-17
  • Jan 3 Cleveland Cavaliers retire jersey # 34, Austin Carr
  • Jan 4 69th Men's Australian Open: Brian Teacher beats Kim Warwick (7-5, 7-6, 6-3)

Sport awardTennis Open

Jan 4 69th Women's Australian Open: Hana Mandlikova beats Wendy Turnbull (6-0, 7-5)

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Hana Mandlikova
  • Jan 11 AFC Championship Game: Oakland Raiders beat San Diego Chargers 34-27
  • Jan 11 NFC Championship Game: Philadelphia Eagles beat Dallas Cowboys 20-7

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 13 Islander's Mike Bossy's 15th career hat trick-4 goals

Ice Hockey Great Mike Bossy
Ice Hockey Great
Mike Bossy
  • Jan 15 Bob Gibson elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Boxer Leon Spinks is mugged, his assailants even take his gold teeth

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Leon Spinks
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Leon Spinks

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Ivan Lendl intentionally loses a match in Volvo Masters in order to avoid having to play Bjorn Borg

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 19 Muhammad Ali talks a despondent 21 year old out of committing suicide

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali
  • Jan 22 O A "Bum" Phillips becomes head coach of New Orleans Saints
  • Jan 23 Mike Bossy becomes 1st in NHL to score 50 goals in 50 games
  • Jan 23 Red Sox trade Fred Lynn to Angels for Frank Tanana & Joe Rudi
  • Jan 24 Islanders scored 5 power play goals against Nordiques
  • Jan 25 Super Bowl XV: Oakland Raiders beat Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10 in New Orleans Super Bowl MVP: Jim Plunkett, Oakland, QB
  • Jan 28 Olympic Glory tanker at Galveston Bay, Texas, spills 1 million gallons of oil in a ship collision
  • Jan 29 AL approves sale of White Sox to Jerry Reinsdorf & Eddie Einhorn for $20 million, & 80% of Mariners to George Argyros for $104 million
  • Feb 1 NFL Pro Bowl: NFC beats AFC 21-7
  • Feb 1 Sandra Palmer wins LPGA Whirlpool Golf Championship of Deer Creek
  • Feb 1 31st NBA All-Star Game: East beats West 123-120 at Richfield, Ohio
  • Feb 3 Australia beats NZ 3-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup
  • Feb 8 Sally Little wins LPGA Elizabeth Arden Golf Classic
  • Feb 10 33rd NHL All-Star Game: Campbell beat Wales 4-1 at LA
  • Feb 10 Dennis Lillee becomes Australian Cricket's top wicket-taker with 249
  • Feb 12 Arbitrator Goetz declares Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent
  • Feb 15 Joanne Carner wins LPGA S&H Golf Classic
  • Feb 22 Amy Alcott wins LPGA Bent Tree Ladies Golf Classic
  • Feb 25 NHL most penalized game; Bruins vs Northstars, 84 penalties (392 mins)
  • Feb 25 NY Islanders give up their most goals (11) vs Calgary Flames
  • Feb 25 Exec Board of Baseball Players' Association votes unanimously to strike on May 29 if the issue of free-agent compensation remains unresolved
  • Feb 26 84 penalties (406 mins) assessed for a brawl between NHL Minn & Bost
  • Feb 28 Calvin Murphy (Hou), sets NBA record with 78 consecutive free throws
  • Mar 1 Sally Little wins LPGA Olympia Gold Golf Classic
  • Mar 3 Isle's Mike Bossy 9th & final hat trick of season-4 goals
  • Mar 3 NY Islanders & Edmonton Oilers play to an 8-8 tie
  • Mar 6 Worlds Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Hartford won by Denise Biellmann
  • Mar 7 28th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: North Carolina beats Maryland, 61-60
  • Mar 7 22nd SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Ole Miss beats Georgia, 66-62

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Mar 8 Nancy Lopez wins LPGA Arizona Copper Golf Classic

LPGA Golfer Nancy Lopez
LPGA Golfer
Nancy Lopez
  • Mar 11 Johnny Mize & Rube Foster elected to baseball Hall of Fame
  • Mar 14 NCAA St Joseph's upsets top seed DePaul 49-48
  • Mar 15 Patty Hayes wins LPGA Sun City Golf Classic
  • Mar 17 FC Lisse, Dutch soccer team forms
  • Mar 18 Buffalo Sabres sets NHL record of 9 goals in 1 period (vs Toronto)
  • Mar 19 Buffalo Sabres beat Toronto Maple Leafs 14-4

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Mar 22 Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA Desert Inn Pro-Am Golf Tournament

LPGA Golfer Donna Caponi
LPGA Golfer
Donna Caponi
  • Mar 24 Bombay beat Delhi by innings & 46 to win Ranji Cricket Trophy

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Mar 29 Pat Bradley wins LPGA Women's Kemper Golf Open

LPGA Golfer Pat Bradley
LPGA Golfer
Pat Bradley

  • Mar 29 Tiina Lehtola ski jumps female record 110m
  • Mar 29 AIAW Women's Basketball Championship, Louisiana Tech beat Tennessee 79-59 in Eugene
  • Mar 30 43rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana beats North Carolina 63-50
  • Apr 4 135th Grand National: Bob Champion aboard Aldaniti wins
  • Apr 5 10th Colgate Dinah Shore Golf Championship won by Nancy Lopez
  • Apr 5 Philadelphia Flyers amass a record 2,621 penalty minutes
  • Apr 8 Islanders scored 9 goals against Toronto in playoffs
  • Apr 9 LA Dodgers Fernando Valenzuela's 1st start, beats Astros 2-0

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Apr 11 Larry Holmes beats Trevor Holmes in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

WBC Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes
WBC Heavyweight Champion
Larry Holmes

Sport awardGolf Major

Apr 12 45th Masters Golf Tournament: Tom Watson wins, shooting a 280

Golfer Tom Watson
Golfer
Tom Watson
  • Apr 12 Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA American Defender/WRAL Golf Classic
  • Apr 17 Isle Potvin's 3 playoff power-play goals tie NHL record vs Oilers
  • Apr 17 Ranger's Anders Hedberg is 2nd to score on a Stanley Cup penalty shot
  • Apr 18 Longest game in Professional Baseball: Pawtucket Red Sox tie Rochester Red Wings 2-2 in 32 innings (game resumed 23rd June)

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Apr 19 Beth Daniel wins LPGA Florida Lady Citrus Golf

LPGA Golfer Beth Daniel
LPGA Golfer
Beth Daniel
  • Apr 20 85th Boston Marathon: Toshihiko Seko of Japan 1st man in 2:09:26 and Allison Roe of New Zealand 1st woman in 2:26:46
  • Apr 22 Dodgers rookie Fernando Valenzuela tosses his 3rd shutout in 4 starts
  • Apr 24 Bill Shoemaker wins his 8,000th race, 2000 more than any other jockey
  • Apr 24 San Antonio blocks 20 Golden State shots to set NBA reg game record
  • Apr 26 Beth Solomon wins LPGA Birmingham Golf Classic
  • Apr 27 1st female soccer official is hired by NASL
  • Apr 29 Phillie Steve Carlton is 1st lefty to strike out 3,000 batters
  • Apr 29 1981 NFL Draft: George Rogers from University of South Carolina first pick by New Orleans Saints

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 1 Tennis player Billie Jean King acknowledges a lesbian relationship with Marilyn Barnett - becoming first prominent sportswoman to come out

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King
Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King
  • May 2 107th Kentucky Derby: Jorge Velasquez on Pleasant Colony wins in 2:02
  • May 3 Sally Little wins LPGA CPC Women's Golf International
  • May 10 Amy Alcott wins LPGA Lady Michelob Golf Tournament
  • May 10 Montreal Expo Charlie Lee no-hits SF Giants, 4-0
  • May 12 NY Islanders tie own record with two shorthanded playoff goals in a pd vs Minn
  • May 13 Dinamo Tbilisi wins 21st European Cup Winner's Cup against Carl Zeiss Jena of East Germany 2-1 in Düsseldorf
  • May 14 35th NBA Championship: Bost Celtics beat Houston Rockets, 4 games to 2
  • May 16 106th Preakness: Jorge Velasquez aboard Pleasant Colony wins in 1:54.6
  • May 16 Houston Astro Craig Reynolds hits 3 triples beating Cubs 6-1
  • May 17 Islanders score 5 power play goals against Flyers in a playoff

Sport awardGolf Tournament

May 17 Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Coca-Cola Golf Classic

LPGA Golfer Kathy Whitworth
LPGA Golfer
Kathy Whitworth
  • May 21 Stanley Cup: NY Islanders beat Minnesota North Stars, 4 games to 1
  • May 24 Bobby Unser wins, loses, & wins a controversial Indy 500
  • May 24 Kathy Hite wins LPGA Corning Golf Classic
  • May 25 Bobby Unser becomes 1st Indy 500 winner to be disqualified

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 25 Carl Yastrzemski is 4th to get 3,000 hits (Cobb, Musial & Aaron)

MLB Outfielder Carl Yastrzemski
MLB Outfielder
Carl Yastrzemski
  • May 27 Lenny Randle tries to blow a slow roller foul but umpire says no
  • May 27 25th European Cup: Liverpool beats Real Madrid 1-0 at Paris
  • May 30 LA Dodgers are quickest to get 1,000,000 attendence (22 games)
  • May 31 Cathy Reynolds wins LPGA Golden Lights Golf Championship

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 5 Astro's Nolan Ryan passes Early Wynn as all-time walk leader (1,777)

MLB Pitching Legend Nolan Ryan
MLB Pitching Legend
Nolan Ryan
  • Jun 6 113th Belmont: George Martens aboard Summing wins in 2:29
  • Jun 7 Sandra Post wins LPGA McDonald's Golf Classic

Sport awardTennis Open

Jun 7 80th Men's French Open: Bjorn Borg beats Ivan Lendl (6-1, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1)

Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl

Birthdays in Sport

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 414

  • Jan 1 Zsolt Baumgartner, Hungarian race car driver
  • Jan 1 Abdülkadir Koçak, Turkish boxer
  • Jan 2 Hanno Balitsch, German footballer
  • Jan 2 Maxi Rodríguez, Argentine footballer
  • Jan 2 Ryan Garko, American baseball player
  • Jan 2 Kirk Hinrich, American basketball player
  • Jan 3 Eli [Elisha] Manning, American football quarterback (NY Giants - MVP Super Bowls XLII, XLVI), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Jan 3 Chris Blais, California racecar driver
  • Jan 5 Corey Flynn, New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • Jan 6 Asante Samuel, National Football League Defensive Back
  • Jan 7 Alex Auld, Canadian ice hockey player
  • Jan 7 Marquis Daniels, American basketball player
  • Jan 8 Jeff Francis, Canadian baseball player
  • Jan 8 Xie Xingfang, Chinese badminton player
  • Jan 9 Euzebiusz Smolarek, Polish footballer
  • Jan 12 Dan Klecko, American football player
  • Jan 13 Reggie Brown, American football player
  • Jan 13 Darrell Rasner, American baseball player
  • Jan 15 El Hadji Diouf, Senegalese footballer
  • Jan 15 Sean Lamont, Scottish rugby union footballer
  • Jan 16 Bobby Zamora, English footballer
  • Jan 17 Warren Feeney, Northern Irish footballer
  • Jan 18 Khari Stephenson, Jamaican footballer
  • Jan 18 Olivier Rochus, Belgian tennis player
  • Jan 19 Asier Del Horno, Spanish footballer
  • Jan 19 Lucho González, Argentine footballer
  • Jan 20 Freddy Guzmán, Dominican baseball player
  • Jan 20 Owen Hargreaves, English international footballer
  • Jan 21 Ivan Ergić, Serbian footballer
  • Jan 21 Jamie Dalrymple, English cricketer
  • Jan 21 Dany Heatley, Canadian ice hockey player
  • Jan 22 Ibrahima Sonko, French footballer
  • Jan 23 Rob Friend, Canadian footballer
  • Jan 24 Travis Hanson, American baseball player
  • Jan 25 Francis Jeffers, English footballer
  • Jan 26 Juan Jose Haedo, Argentinian Cyclist
  • Jan 27 Alicia Molik, Australian tennis player
  • Jan 28 Rick Razzano, American football player
  • Jan 30 Dimitar Berbatov, Bulgarian footballer
  • Jan 30 Mathias Lauda, Austrian racing driver
  • Jan 30 Peter Crouch, English footballer
  • Jan 31 Julio Arca, Argentinian football player
  • Feb 1 Luis Lamá, Angolan footballer
  • Feb 1 Graeme Smith, South African cricketer
  • Feb 1 Rob Austin, British racing driver
  • Feb 2 Jason Kapono, American basketball player
  • Feb 3 Maurice Ross, Scottish footballer
  • Feb 4 Tom Mastny, Indonesian baseball player
  • Feb 4 Johan Van Summeren, Belgian cyclist
  • Feb 4 Ben Hendrickson, American baseball player
  • Feb 4 Jason Kapono, America professional basketball player
  • Feb 5 Loukas Vyntra, Greek football player
  • Feb 6 Ty Warren, National Football League defensive lineman
  • Feb 9 Joël Camathias, Swiss racing driver
  • Feb 10 Andrew Johnson, English footballer
  • Feb 11 Scot Thompson, American soccer player
  • Feb 13 Luisão, Brazilian footballer
  • Feb 13 Liam Miller, Irish footballer
  • Feb 13 Luke Ridnour, American basketball player
  • Feb 15 Diego Martínez, Mexican footballer
  • Feb 16 Jay Howard, British racing driver
  • Feb 16 Jerry Owens, American baseball player
  • Feb 16 Qyntel Woods, American basketball player
  • Feb 17 Donielle Thompson, Wheatridge CO, gymnast (World-bronze-95, Oly-96)
  • Feb 17 Lisa Skinner, Queensland Australia, gymnast (Olympics-96)
  • Feb 18 Andrei Kirilenko, Russian basketball player
  • Feb 18 Ivan Sproule, Irish footballer
  • Feb 18 Alex Rios, American baseball player
  • Feb 19 Gil Reyes, American boxer
  • Feb 19 Nicky Shorey, English footballer
  • Feb 20 Tony Hibbert, English footballer
  • Feb 22 Fredson Camara, Brazilian footballer
  • Feb 23 Gareth Barry, English footballer
  • Feb 23 Charles Tillman, American football player
  • Feb 24 Lleyton Hewitt, Australian tennis player
  • Feb 24 Mohammad Sami, Pakistani cricketer
  • Feb 25 Park Ji-Sung, South Korean footballer
  • Feb 26 Kertus Davis, American NASCAR driver
  • Feb 27 Elodie Ouédraogo, Belgian athlete
  • Feb 28 Brian Bannister, American baseball player
  • Feb 28 Florent Serra, French tennis player
  • Mar 1 Will Power, Australian racing driver
  • Mar 1 Brad Winchester, American ice hockey player
  • Mar 3 Dusty Dvoracek, American football player
  • Mar 3 Emmanuel Pappoe, Ghanaian footballer
  • Mar 5 Andreas Wiig, Norwegian snowboarder
  • Mar 5 Paul Martin, American ice hockey player
  • Mar 8 Michael Beauchamp, Australian footballer
  • Mar 9 Antonio Bryant, American football player
  • Mar 9 Anders Nøhr, Danish footballer
  • Mar 9 Clay Rapada, American baseball player
  • Mar 10 Samuel Eto'o, Cameroonian footballer
  • Mar 10 Efthimios Kouloucheris, Greek footballer
  • Mar 10 Steven Reid, English-born footballer
  • Mar 11 Lee Evans, American football player
  • Mar 14 Bobby Jenks, American baseball player
  • Mar 15 Mikael Forssell, Finnish footballer
  • Mar 16 Curtis Granderson, American baseball player
  • Mar 16 Yoav Ziv, Israeli footballer
  • Mar 16 Andrew Bree, Irish swimmer

Weddings in Sport


HeartWedding of Interest

Apr 9 NFL coach Bill Cowher (23) weds Kaye Young

NFL Head Coach Bill Cowher
NFL Head Coach
Bill Cowher

HeartWedding of Interest

Jul 1 NFL quarterback Joe Montana (25) weds second wife Cathleen Castillo

NFL Quarterback Joe Montana
NFL Quarterback
Joe Montana

HeartWedding of Interest

Sep 15 Professional boxer George Foreman (32) weds Sharon Goodson

Boxing Champ George Foreman
Boxing Champ
George Foreman

Deaths in Sport

  • Jan 17 Loukas Panourgias, Greek footballer (b. 1899)
  • Feb 5 Barend Barendse, Dutch sports reporter and actor (Zeskamp, Oebele), dies at 73
  • Feb 15 Jack Crapp, cricketer (7 Tests for England 1948-49, 319 runs), dies
  • Mar 6 George Geary, cricketer (14 Tests for England, 46 wickets), dies
  • Mar 14 Ken Barrington, cricketer (82 Tests for England, 6806 runs), dies
  • Mar 17 Paul Dean, American baseball player (b. 1913)
  • Mar 26 Tim Wall, cricketer (SA v NSW 1933 is Sheffield Shield record), dies
  • Mar 30 Noel Harford, cricketer (8 Tests for NZ 1955-58), dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 12 Joe Louis, [Brown bomber], US heavyweight boxing champion (1937-49), dies of cardiac arrest at 66

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis
  • Apr 16 Eric Hollies, cricketer (13 Tests for England, 44 wickets), dies
  • Apr 21 Harry Lee, cricketer (scored 18 & 1 in only Test for England), dies
  • Apr 28 Mickey "Toy Bulldog" Walker, welterweight champ (1922-26) dies at 79
  • May 8 Maurice Fernandes, cricket captain (WI in 1st Test win, 1930 v Eng), dies
  • May 9 C E "Nip" Pellew, cricketer (10 Tests 484 runs at 37), dies
  • May 9 Ralph Allen, English footballer (b. 1906)
  • May 25 Roy Brown, American boxer/rocker, dies of a heart attack at 55
  • May 30 Don Ashby, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1955)
  • Jun 3 Eric Dalton, South African cricketer (698 runs for South Africa at 31 72), dies at 74
  • Jun 28 Terry Fox, Canadian one-legged marathoner, dies of cancer at 22
  • Aug 14 Dudley Nourse, cricketer (34 Tests for South Africa, 2960 runs), dies
  • Aug 27 Valery Kharlamov, Soviet ice hockey player (b. 1948)
  • Aug 28 Béla Guttman, Hungarian footballer (b. 1900)
  • Aug 31 Victor Trumper Jr, cricketer (7 games for NSW, 74 runs 12 wkts), dies
  • Sep 9 Phiroz Edulji Palia, cricket (2 Tests for India, 29 runs & 0-13), dies
  • Sep 29 Bill Shankly, Scottish football manager (b. 1913)
  • Oct 4 Freddie Lindstrom, Major League Baseball Hall of famer (b. 1905)
  • Oct 15 Philip Fotheringham-Parker, British racing driver (b. 1907)
  • Nov 14 Robert Bradford, Northern Irish footballer (b. 1941)
  • Nov 22 Jack Fingleton, cricketer (18 Tests for Australia, 1189 runs), dies