On This Day

January 1990 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Jan 1 Sports News Network begins operation on cable TV
  • Jan 1 76th Rose Bowl: #12 Southern California beats #3 Michigan, 17-10
  • Jan 1 56th Sugar Bowl: #2 Miami beats #7 Alabama, 33-25
  • Jan 1 19th Fiesta Bowl: #5 Florida State beats #6 Nebraska, 41-17
  • Jan 1 56th Orange Bowl: #4 Notre Dame beats #1 Colorado, 21-6

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 1 Hopman Cup Tennis, Perth: Arantxa Sánchez Vicario beats American Pam Shriver 6-3, 6-3 to clinch 2-1 win for Spain's first title

  • Jan 5 J Donald Crump appointed 8th Commissioner of CFL
  • Jan 9 Boston Celtics worst ever (6 pts in 2nd vs NJ Nets) & lose 87-78

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Jan 9 Jim Palmer & Joe Morgan elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

MLB Hall of Fame Infielder and Broadcaster Joe Morgan
MLB Hall of Fame Infielder and Broadcaster
Joe Morgan
Baseball Player Jim Palmer
Baseball Player
Jim Palmer
  • Jan 10 NCAA approves random drug testing for college football players
  • Jan 11 Bobby Knight becomes basketball's Big 10 winningest coach (229)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 11 Pat LaFontaine sets NY Islander record of scoring goals in 11 straight

NHL Star Pat LaFontaine
NHL Star
Pat LaFontaine

Sport awardAFC Championship

Jan 14 AFC Championship, Mile High Stadium, Denver: Denver Broncos beat Cleveland Browns 37-21

NFL Quarterback John Elway
NFL Quarterback
John Elway
  • Jan 14 NFC Championship, Candlestick Park, SF: San Francisco 49ers beat Los Angeles Rams, 30-3

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Jan 15 42 year old former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman stops Gerry Cooney in 2 rounds in Atlantic City in a non-title bout; Cooney's last fight

Boxing Champ George Foreman
Boxing Champ
George Foreman
  • Jan 15 In a shrewd move, Detroit Tigers sign 1st baseman Cecil Fielder who spent previous season in Japan; hits 51 homers this MLB season and becomes a premier power hitter for most of the 1990s

  • Jan 15 Golden State coach Don Nelson becomes 2nd man in NBA history to appear in 1,000 games both as a player and coach (joining Lenny Wilkens) as the Warriors lose to the Indiana Pacers, 144-105
  • Jan 15 In a bizarre twist in the NHL, Washington Capitals fire coach Brian Murray, who had been head coach since 1981; replace him with his brother Terry, who had been coaching in the minors
  • Jan 19 Police break up protests in Johannesburg against the cricket players defying a boycott on playing in apartheid South Africa

Sport awardNHL All-Star Game

Jan 21 41st NHL All-Star Game, Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA: Wales beats Campbell, 12-7; MVP: Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins, C

NHL Legend and Owner Mario Lemieux
NHL Legend and Owner
Mario Lemieux
  • Jan 21 Bob Goodenow succeeds Alan Eagleson as NHL players association executive director

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 21 John McEnroe becomes 1st ever player to be expelled from the Australian Open

Tennis Player John McEnroe
Tennis Player
John McEnroe
  • Jan 22 Will Clark, NL's MVP signs a $15M 4-year contract with SF Giants
  • Jan 23 Australian cricketer Dean Jones scores twin test tons vs. Pakistan at Adelaide Oval
  • Jan 24 LAs' Pat Riley becomes the 13th and fastest coach to reach the 500-victory plateau as the Lakers down the Indiana Pacers, 120-111; Riley (500-184) surpasses Don Nelson (500-317) to reach milestone
  • Jan 26 Boston Red Sox hires Elaine Weddington as asst GM (highest-ranking African American female in a major-league front office)

Sport awardAustralian Open Women's Tennis

Jan 27 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Steffi Graf beats American Mary Joe Fernández 6-3, 6-4 for her 3rd consecutive Australian singles crown

Tennis Player Steffi Graf
Tennis Player
Steffi Graf

Sport awardSuper Bowl

Jan 28 Super Bowl XXIV, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA: San Francisco 49ers beat Denver Broncos, 55-10; MVP: Joe Montana, SF, QB

NFL Quarterback Joe Montana
NFL Quarterback
Joe Montana
NFL Quarterback John Elway
NFL Quarterback
John Elway

Sport awardAustralian Men's Tennis Open

Jan 28 Australian Open Men's Tennis: American-based Czech star Ivan Lendl of wins 8th and last career Grand Slam title; beats Stefan Edberg 4-6, 7-6, 5-2; Edberg retires injured

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

Sports record brokenNHL Record

Jan 30 LA center Wayne Gretzky sets NHL record by scoring his 100th point of the season for the 11th straight season; milestone comes with an assist in a 5-2 Kings' win over visiting New Jersey Devils

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky
  • Jan 31 1st ever all-sports daily "National" begins publishing

Birthdays in Sport

  • Jan 3 Yoichiro Kakitani, Japanese soccer midfielder (18 caps; Cerezo Osaka), born in Osaka, Japan
  • Jan 4 Toni Kroos, German football player (Real Madrid, German national team), born in Greifswald, East Germany
  • Jan 7 Elene Gedevanishvili, Georgian figure skater, born in Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Jan 7 Gregor Schlierenzauer, Austrian ski jumper, born in Tyrol, Austria
  • Jan 10 Tao Li, Singaporean Olympic swimmer, born in Wuhan, China
  • Jan 12 Sergey Karjakin, Ukrainian chess player, born in Simferopol
  • Jan 15 Fernando Forestieri, Italian footballer, born in Rosario, Argentina
  • Jan 18 Gift Ngoepe, South African-born baseball player, 1st black African to play in Major League Baseball, born in Pietersburg, South Africa

Divorces in Sport


Broken heartDivorce of Interest

Jan 17 NFL coach Jimmy Johnson (46) divorces Linda Kay Cooper after 26 years of marriage

NFL Head Coach Jimmy Johnson
NFL Head Coach
Jimmy Johnson

Deaths in Sport

  • Jan 1 Joe Hardstaff Jr., English cricket batsman (23 Tests, 1,636 runs @ 46.74), dies at 78

Person of interestBronko Nagurski

Jan 7 Bronko Nagurski, Canadian-American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame fullback (Chicago Bears), dies at 81

Hall of Fame American Football Player Bronko Nagurski
Hall of Fame American Football Player
Bronko Nagurski
  • Jan 7 Horace Stoneham, baseball owner (Giants), dies at 86
  • Jan 7 Joseph Robbie, lawyer/NFL owner (Miami Dolphins), dies at 73
  • Jan 9 Spud Chandler, American baseball player (AL MVP 1943), dies at 82
  • Jan 26 Bob Gerard, British racing driver (b. 1914)