On This Day

January 1981 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • 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 NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers retire jersey # 34, Austin Carr
  • Jan 3 Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell scores a masterly 204 v India in the 1st Test in Sydney; home side wins by an innings and 4 runs

Australian Open Women's Tennis

Jan 3 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Czech teenager Hana Mandlíková wins her 1st of 4 career Grand Slam singles titles; beats home favourite Wendy Turnbull 6-0, 7-5

Sports History

Jan 3 American golfer Johnny Miller wins the sport's first $1 million tournament when he beats Seve Ballesteros of Spain in a playoff in the inaugural Million Dollar World Challenge at Sun City, South Africa

  • Jan 4 Australian Open Men's Tennis: American Brian Teacher wins his first and only Grand Slam event; beats home favourite Kim Warwick 7-5, 7-6, 6-3
  • Jan 8 MLB Cincinnati Reds become last team to sign a free agent (Larry Biitner)
  • Jan 11 AFC Championship, Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego: Oakland Raiders beat San Diego Chargers, 34-27
  • Jan 11 NFC Championship, Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia: Philadelphia Eagles beat Dallas Cowboys, 20-7

NHL Record

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

  • Jan 15 Pitcher Bob Gibson is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility; after a stellar 17 year career, polls 337 votes from Baseball Writers Association of America

Sports History

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

Sports History

Jan 18 Swedish tennis star Björn Borg claims his second straight ATP Masters Grand Prix title with a 6–4, 6–2, 6–2 win over Ivan Lendl at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Sports History

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

  • 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 and Joe Rudi
  • Jan 24 Islanders scored 5 power play goals against Nordiques

Sports History

Jan 24 Kim Hughes scores 213 v India at Adelaide

  • Jan 25 Super Bowl XV, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA: Oakland Raiders beat Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10; MVP: Jim Plunkett, Oakland, QB
  • 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

Birthdays in Sport

  • Jan 1 Zsolt Baumgartner, Hungarian auto racer (German Formula Renault C'ship 1999), born in Debrecen, Hungary
  • Jan 2 Pedrie Wannenburg, South African rugby union flanker (20 Tests; Bulls, Ulster, Castres, Oyonnax), born in Nelspruit, South Africa (d. 2022)
  • Jan 2 Maxi Rodríguez, soccer midfielder (57 caps; Atlético Madrid, Newell's Old Boys), born in Rosario, Argentina

Eli Manning

Jan 3 Eli Manning, American NFL quarterback (MVP Super Bowls 2007, 11; Pro Bowl 2008, 11, 12, 15; NY Giants), born in New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Jan 3 Chris Blais, American off-road racing rider (Motorcycle San Felipe 250 2005; Dakar Rally 2007 3rd overall), born in Apple Valley, California
  • Jan 5 Corey Flynn, New Zealand rugby union hooker (15 caps; Canterbury Crusaders), born in Invercargill, New Zealand
  • Jan 6 Asante Samuel, National Football League Defensive Back, born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Jan 7 Alex Auld, Canadian ice hockey player, born in Cold Lake, Canada
  • Jan 7 Marquis Daniels, American basketball player, born in Jasper, Florida
  • Jan 8 Jeff Francis, Canadian baseball player, born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Jan 8 Xie Xingfang, Chinese badminton player, born in Guangzhou, China
  • Jan 9 Euzebiusz Smolarek, Polish footballer, born in Łódź, Poland
  • Jan 12 Dan Klecko, American football player, born in Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 13 Reggie Brown, American football player
  • Jan 13 Darrell Rasner, American baseball player
  • Jan 15 El Hadji Diouf, Senegalese footballer, born in Dakar, Senegal
  • Jan 15 Sean Lamont, Scottish rugby union footballer, born in Perth, United Kingdom
  • Jan 16 Bobby Zamora, English footballer, born in Barking, United Kingdom
  • Jan 17 Warren Feeney, Northern Irish footballer, born in Belfast, United Kingdom
  • Jan 18 Khari Stephenson, Jamaican footballer, born in Kingston, Jamaica
  • Jan 18 Olivier Rochus, Belgian tennis player, born in Namur, Belgium
  • Jan 19 Asier Del Horno, Spanish footballer, born in Barakaldo, Spain
  • Jan 19 Lucho González, Argentine footballer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Jan 20 Freddy Guzmán, Dominican baseball player, born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Jan 20 Owen Hargreaves, English football player & television pundit, born in Calgary, Canada
  • 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, born in Bignona, Senegal
  • Jan 23 Rob Friend, Canadian football player, born in Rosetown, Canada
  • Jan 23 Greg Smith, American UFC fighter, born in Vallejo, California
  • Jan 24 Travis Hanson, American baseball player, born in Seattle, Washington
  • Jan 25 Francis Jeffers, English footballer, born in Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Jan 27 Alicia Molik, Australian tennis player
  • Jan 28 Rick Razzano, American football player
  • Jan 30 Dimitar Berbatov, Bulgarian footballer, born in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
  • Jan 30 Mathias Lauda, Austrian racing driver, born in Salzburg, Austria
  • Jan 30 Peter Crouch, English footballer, born in Macclesfield, United Kingdom
  • Jan 31 Julio Arca, Argentinian football player, born in Quilmes, Argentina

Deaths in Sport

  • Jan 1 Ceferino Garcia, Filipino boxer (World Middleweight champion 1939-40), dies at 74
  • Jan 1 Mauri Rose, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1941, 47, 48), dies at 74
  • Jan 17 Loukas Panourgias, Greek footballer (b. 1899)