December 1981 in Sports History

Events in Sport

Sports History

Dec 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar passes Oscar Robertson (26,710) to become the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer behind Wilt Chamberlain; scores 14 points in 117-86 Lakers' win over Utah Jazz in Los Angeles

Sports History

Dec 2 Pitcher Fernando Valenzuela becomes 3rd consecutive LA Dodgers player to be named National League Rookie of the Year; Rick Sutcliffe 1979, Steve Howe 1980

  • Dec 5 47th Heisman Trophy Award: Marcus Allen, Southern Cal (RB)

Sports History

Dec 6 PGA Seniors' Championship Men's Golf, Turnberry Isle CC: Miller Barber wins his first of 5 Champions Tour major titles by 2 strokes from Arnold Palmer

  • Dec 6 Rob de Castella of Australia sets Marathon record at 2:08:18

Boxing Title Fight

Dec 11 Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali's 61st and last fight; loses to Trevor Berbick by unanimous decision in 10 rounds at Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Nassau, Bahamas

  • Dec 11 Wash Capitals biggest margin of victory (9) beating Toronto 11-2
  • Dec 13 70th Davis Cup: USA beats Argentina in Cincinnati (3-1)
  • Dec 20 Winnipeg left wing Doug Smail sets NHL record by scoring just 4 seconds into Jets' 5-4 win over the St Louis Blues; fastest goal from opening face-off to back of net in history; later tied by Bryan Trottier and Alex Mogilny
  • Dec 21 Cincinnati beats Bradley 75-73 in 7 OTs (NCAA record)
  • Dec 23 Geoffrey Boycott becomes leading run-scorer in Test Cricket with 8033
  • Dec 26 One of the great day's Test Cricket at the MCG Australia v West Indies
  • Dec 27 Lillee becomes the leading wicket-taker in test cricket with 310

Sports History

Dec 27 Oiler Wayne Gretzky becomes fastest NHLer to get 100 pts (38th game)

  • Dec 29 Ballon d'Or: German 1-2-3 with Bayern Munich forward Karl-Heinz Rummenigge taking title of Europe's best football player for the 2nd straight year; beats teammate Paul Breitner and Barcelona midfielder Bernd Schuster
  • Dec 30 Wayne Gretzky scores 5 goals and an assist in Edmonton's 7-5 win over Philadelphia; gives Gretzky 50 goals in 39 games, the fastest 50 in 50 in NHL history; also sets NHL record with 15-game assist streak

Birthdays in Sport

  • Dec 2 Danijel Pranjić, Croatian soccer wingback (58 caps; SC Heerenveen), born in Našice, Croatia
  • Dec 3 David Villa, Spanish soccer striker (98 caps; Valencia, Barcelona), born in Langreo, Spain
  • Dec 3 Edwin Valero, Venezuelan boxer (undefeated world champion WBA super featherweight 2006-08; WBC lightweight 2009-10), born in Bolero Alto, Mérida, Venezuela (d. 2010)
  • Dec 3 Ioannis Amanatidis, Greek soccer forward and coach (35 caps; Eintracht Frankfurt), born in Kozani, Greece
  • Dec 8 Jeremy Accardo, American baseball player, born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Dec 8 Philip Rivers, American NFL quarterback (San Diego, LA Chargers), born in Decatur, Alabama
  • Dec 9 Mardy Fish, American tennis player, born in Edina, Minnesota
  • Dec 10 Fábio Rochemback, Brazilian footballer
  • Dec 10 Ryan Pini, Papua New Guinea swimmer
  • Dec 11 Javier Saviola, Argentine footballer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Dec 12 Jeret Peterson, American aerial skier (Olympic silver 2010), born in Boise, Idaho
  • Dec 12 Pedro Ríos, Spanish footballer, born in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
  • Dec 12 Ronnie Brown, American football player, born in Rome, Georgia
  • Dec 12 Shane Costa, American baseball player, born in Visalia, California
  • Dec 12 Stephen Warnock, English footballer, born in Ormskirk, England
  • Dec 12 Yuvraj Singh, Indian cricket batsman (40 Tests, 3 x 100, HS 169; 304 ODIs, 14 x 100; Tournament Team ICC World Cup 2011), born in Chandigarh, India
  • Dec 14 Emilie Heymans, Canadian diver, born in Brussels, Belgium
  • Dec 14 Liam Lawrence, English footballer, born in Retford, England
  • Dec 14 Shaun Marcum, American baseball player, born in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Dec 15 Roman Pavlyuchenko, Russian soccer striker (51 caps; Spartak Moscow, Tottenham Hotspur, Lokomotiv Moscow), born in Mostovskoy, Russia
  • Dec 16 Gareth Williams, Scottish footballer
  • Dec 17 Emma Laaksonen, ice hockey defenseman (Finland, Olympics 1998)
  • Dec 20 James Shields, American baseball player, born in Santa Clarita, California
  • Dec 20 Roy Williams, American football player (Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys), born in Odessa, Texas
  • Dec 21 Cristian Zaccardo, Italian football player, born in Formigine, Italy
  • Dec 21 Sajid Mahmood, English cricket fast bowler (8 Tests, 20 wickets; Lancashire, WA, Essex), born in Bolton, England
  • Dec 23 Yuriorkis Gamboa, Cuban boxer, born in Guantánamo, Cuba
  • Dec 24 Justice Christopher, Nigerian soccer midfielder (11 caps; Antwerp FC, Trelleborg FF, Herfølge Boldklub), born in Jos, Nigeria (d. 2022)
  • Dec 25 Meena Lee, South Korean golfer (Canadian Open 2005), born in Jeonju, South Korea
  • Dec 28 Khalid Boulahrouz, Dutch soccer defender (35 caps; RKC Waalwijk, Hamburger SV, Chelsea, VfB Stuttgart), born in Maassluis, Netherlands
  • Dec 28 Mika Väyrynen, Finnish football player, born in Eskilstuna, Sweden
  • Dec 30 Ali Al Habsi, Omani footballer
  • Dec 30 Matt Ulrich, American football player
  • Dec 30 Michael Rodríguez, Costa Rican footballer
  • Dec 31 Jason Campbell, American football player, born in Laurel, Mississippi
  • Dec 31 Matthew Pavlich, Australian football player, born in Adelaide, Australia

Deaths in Sport

  • Dec 2 Hershy Kay, American composer (Olympic Hymn, A Chorus Line), dies at 62