On This Day

January 1991 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Jan 1 77th Rose Bowl: #8 Washington beats #17 Iowa, 46-34
  • Jan 1 57th Sugar Bowl: #6 Tennessee beats Virginia, 23-22
  • Jan 1 20th Fiesta Bowl: #18 Louisville beats #25 Alabama, 34-7
  • Jan 1 57th Orange Bowl: #1 Colorado beats #5 Notre Dame, 10-9

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 3 Wayne Gretzky becomes fastest and youngest player in NHL history to score 700 goals (886 games at age 29 years, 342 days) in LA Kings’ 6-3 win over the NY Islanders at the Nassau Veteran Memorial Coliseum

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky
  • Jan 4 12 year old Chinese diver Fu Mingxia wins 10m platform gold medal at World Swimming Championships in Perth, Australia; youngest world champion in the history of any aquatic event
  • Jan 4 Hopman Cup Tennis, Perth: Goran Prpić beats American David Wheaton 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 for an unassailable 2-0 lead, (ends 2-1) and Yugoslavia's first title
  • Jan 5 Kevin Bradshaw of US Intl scores NCAA Div 1 record 72 pts
  • Jan 6 Portland Trail Blazers beat the Seattle SuperSonics, 114-111 before a sellout crowd at the Portland Memorial Coliseum; marks the Blazers' 600th consecutive sellout at home

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Jan 8 Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins & Rod Carew elected to Hall of Fame

Baseball Hall of Fame Infielder Rod Carew
Baseball Hall of Fame Infielder
Rod Carew
  • Jan 8 Rod Carew is 22nd player elected to Hall of Fame on 1st try
  • Jan 8 Tamas Darnyi swims world record 400m medley (4:12.36)

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Jan 9 Baseball officially bans Pete Rose from being elected to Hall of Fame for betting on baseball

MLB Player and Manager Pete Rose
MLB Player and Manager
Pete Rose
  • Jan 9 Dean Smith of NC is 6th to win 700 career coaching basketball games

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 9 Chicago's Michael Jordan scores a game-high 40 points to lead the Bulls to a 107-99 win over Philadelphia at the Spectrum; reaches the 15,000 point mark of his career

Basketball Superstar Michael Jordan
Basketball Superstar
Michael Jordan
  • Jan 11 Ben Johnson's 1st race after being stripped of his 1988 Olympic Gold medal for steroid use, he finishes 2nd

  • Jan 12 Largest crowd to watch Atlantic Coast Women's Basketball game (11,520)
  • Jan 12 Melvin Stewart swims world record 200 m butterfly (1:55.69)
  • Jan 13 Football fans of the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates clash in Orkney, South Africa leading to a riot and 42 deaths in the Oppenheimer Stadium disaster
  • Jan 15 Dean Jones (76) and Mark Taylor (71) lead Australia to 7 wicket win over New Zealand in cricket's World Series Cup 2nd Final in Melbourne; win series, 2-0
  • Jan 17 Andy Van Hellemond sets NHL record for most games worked by a referee when he appears in his 1,173rd regular season encounter as the St. Louis Blues host the Montreal Canadiens
  • Jan 18 WLAF's NY Knights become NY-NJ Knights

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 18 Longest tennis match at the Australian Open, Boris Becker beats Italy's Omar Camporese in 5 hours & 11 mins

Tennis Legend Boris Becker
Tennis Legend
Boris Becker
Tennis Player Omar Camporese
Tennis Player
Omar Camporese
  • Jan 19 42nd NHL All-Star Game, Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL: Campbell beats Wales, 11-5; Vincent Damphousse, Toronto Maple Leafs, C
  • Jan 20 AFC Championship, Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY: Buffalo Bills beat Los Angeles Raiders, 51-3
  • Jan 20 NFC Championship, Candlestick Park, SF: New York Giants beat San Francisco 49ers, 15-13
  • Jan 21 Sacramento's Dick Motta coaches in his 1,648th regular season game, a 97-94 Kings' victory over Houston; at the time an NBA record for the most regular-season coaching appearances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 25 St. Louis right wing Brett Hull scores twice in Blues' 9-4 win at Detroit, to give him 50 goals in 49 games; becomes 3rd player in NHL history with 50 goals in less than 50 games

NHL Legend Brett Hull
NHL Legend
Brett Hull
  • Jan 25 Mark Waugh scores ton in 1st Test Cricket innings, v England Adelaide
  • Jan 26 Houston guard Vernon Maxwell is 4th NBAer to score 30 pts in a quarter
  • Jan 26 Jan Stenerud becomes 1st pure placekicker to make NFL Hall of Fame

Sport awardAustralian Open Women's Tennis

Jan 26 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Monica Seles becomes the only Yugoslav player – male or female – to win a Grand Slam singles title; beats Jana Novotná 5-7, 6-3, 6-1

Tennis Player and Nine-Time Major Champion Monica Seles
Tennis Player and Nine-Time Major Champion
Monica Seles
Tennis Player & Wimbledon Champion Jana Novotna
Tennis Player & Wimbledon Champion
Jana Novotna
  • Jan 26 Houston guard Vernon Maxwell becomes 5th player in NBA history to score 30 points in a quarter in Rockets' 103-97 home win over Cleveland; joins Wilt Chamberlain, David Thompson, George Gervin & Michael Jordan
  • Jan 27 Super Bowl XXV, Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL: New York Giants beat Buffalo Bills, 20-19; MVP: Ottis Anderson, NY Giants, RB
  • Jan 27 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Boris Becker of Germany wins his 1st Australian title; beats Ivan Lendl 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
  • Jan 28 David Boon completes ninth Test century, 121 v England at Adelaide
  • Jan 31 Denver Nuggets Michael Adams becomes shortest NBAer to get a triple-double

Birthdays in Sport

  • Jan 1 Peter Burling, New Zealand sailor (Olympic gold 49er class 2016; helmsman America's Cup 2017; ISAF World Sailor of the Year 2015, 17), born in Tauranga, New Zealand
  • Jan 6 Nikola Saric, Danish footballer, born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Jan 7 Eden Hazard, Belgian football player (Chelsea, Belgian national team), born in La Louvière, Belgium
  • Jan 7 Caster Semenya, South African runner (Olympic Gold 2016), born near Polokwane, South Africa
  • Jan 19 Tommy Fleetwood, British golfer (US Open runner-up 2018; Ryder Cup 2018), born in Southport, England

Deaths in Sport

  • Jan 3 Luke Appling, American Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop, (7-time MLB All Star; AL batting champion 1936, 43; Chicago White Sox), dies of abdominal aortic aneurysm at 83
  • Jan 7 Joe Hicks, baseball coach, dies of cancer at 64
  • Jan 20 Bill Riordon, American tennis promotor (Jimmy Connors), dies
  • Jan 25 Hoot Evers, American MLB player, dies at 69

Person of interestRed Grange

Jan 28 Harold "Red" Grange, football's galloping ghost, dies of Parkinson's disease at 87

NFL Legend Red Grange
NFL Legend
Red Grange