On This Day

On This Day in Sport for April 20

Events in Sport


World's First Motor RaceWorld's First Motor Race

1887 Georges Bouton wins the world’s 1st motor race on a steam-powered quadricycle, a 'test' organised by French newspaper Le Velocipede

Read Article
Georges Bouton and Jules-Albert de Dion causing a stir and setting a record in 1887. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Georges Bouton and Jules-Albert de Dion causing a stir and setting a record in 1887. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Read Article
  • 1903 7th Boston Marathon won by Irishman John Lorden in 2:41:29.8
  • 1908 12th Boston Marathon won by Tom Morrissey in 2:25:43.2
  • 1908 Opening day of competition of the New South Wales Rugby League.
  • 1910 Cleveland Naps Addie Joss 2nd no-hitter, beats Chicago, 1-0
  • 1912 Fenway Park officially opens, Red Sox beat NY Highlanders 7-6 in 11
  • 1912 Tiger Stadium in Detroit opens, Tigers beat Cleveland Indians 6-5
  • 1914 18th Boston Marathon won by Canadian James Duffy in 2:25:01.2
  • 1916 Chicago Cubs play their 1st game at Weeghman Park (now Wrigley Field) and beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6
  • 1920 Phillies manager Gravvy Cravath puts himself in as pinch hitter, his 3- run homer beats NY Giants 3-0
  • 1925 29th Boston Marathon won by Charles Mellor in 2:33:00.6
  • 1931 35th Boston Marathon won by Jim Henigan in 2:46:45.8
  • 1931 British House of Commons agrees for sports play on Sunday
  • 1936 40th Boston Marathon won by Ellison Brown in 2:33:40.8

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1939 Ted Williams' 1st hit (off of Yankee Red Ruffing) a double

Baseball Player Ted Williams
Baseball Player
Ted Williams
  • 1941 Dodgers start to wear liners in their caps

  • 1942 46th Boston Marathon won by Joe Smith in 2:26:51.2

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Braves manager Casey Stengel is struck by a taxi, fractures a leg

Baseball Hall of Fame Manager Casey Stengel
Baseball Hall of Fame Manager
Casey Stengel
  • 1944 NFL legalizes coaching from bench
  • 1945 Cleveland Browns organization formed by Arthur "Mickey" McBride
  • 1946 1st baseball broadcast in Chicago, Cards vs Cubs
  • 1949 Jockey Bill Shoemaker wins his 1st race, in Albany, California
  • 1950 Balt's Memorial Stadium opens - Orioles of International League
  • 1953 57th Boston Marathon won by Keizo Yamada of Japan in 2:18:51
  • 1957 Yankee Bill Skowron becomes 3rd player to hit a ball out of Fenway
  • 1958 Stanley Cup Final, Boston Garden, Boston, MA: Montreal Canadiens' 3-peat; beat Boston Bruins, 5-3 for a 4-2 for series win
  • 1959 63rd Boston Marathon won by Eino Oksanen of Finland in 2:22:42
  • 1964 68th Boston Marathon won for second straight year by Aurele Vandendriessche of Belgium in 2:19:59

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1967 NY Met pitcher Tom Seaver wins his 1st game, helps beat Cubs, 6-1

Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher Tom Seaver
Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher
Tom Seaver
  • 1970 74th Boston Marathon: Englishman Ron Hill wins in 2:10:30 (US record): American Sara Mae Berman 1st woman for 2nd straight year in 3:05:07 (unsanctioned)
  • 1972 Kallicharran scores his 2nd Test century in his 2nd Test Cricket
  • 1981 85th Boston Marathon: Toshihiko Seko of Japan wins men's race in 2:09:26; Allison Roe of New Zealand takes women's title in 2:26:46
  • 1982 Atlanta Braves become 1st team to win 1st 12 games of the season
  • 1985 Carlos Lopes runs world record marathon (2:07:12)

Sports record brokenNBA Record

1986 Michael Jordan sets NBA playoff record with 63 points in a game

Basketball Superstar Michael Jordan
Basketball Superstar
Michael Jordan
  • 1987 91st Boston Marathon: Toshihiko Seko of Japan wins 2nd title in 2:11:50; Rosa Mota of Portugal claims women's event in 2:25:21; her first of 3 race victories

  • 1988 Baltimore Orioles set worst record to start a season 0-14 (will go 0-21)
  • 1988 NJ Devils 1st playoff hat trick-Eric Broten
  • 1988 Yanks HR 9,999 (D Winfield) 10,000 (C Washington) 10,001 (J Clarke)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 Pete Rose pleads guilty to hiding $300,000 in income

MLB Player and Manager Pete Rose
MLB Player and Manager
Pete Rose
  • 1990 8 2/3 inning perfect game pitched by Brian Holman of Oakland A's is spoiled by a home run hit by Ken Philips
  • 1991 Mark Lenzi is 1st diver to score 100 pts on a dive (101.85)
  • 1992 96th Boston Marathon: Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya repeats in 2:08:14 for his 3rd title; Olga Markova first Russian women's champion in 2:23:43
  • 1996 Chicago Bulls win record 72 games in a season
  • 1996 1996 NFL Draft: Keyshawn Johnson from USC first pick by New York Jets
  • 1997 1st baseball game in Hawaii, Cards beat Padres in doubleheader

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997 PGA Seniors' Championship Men’s Golf, PGA National GC: Defending champion Hale Irwin wins his second of 3 straight Senior PGA C’ships by streeting runners-up Dale Douglass and Jack Nicklaus by 12 strokes

  • 1997 Cubs beat NY Mets ending NL worst opening, lost 14 straight games

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997 Mark McGwire is 4th to HR on Detroit Tiger left field roof (others are Frank Howard, Harmon Killibrew, & Cecil Fielder)

MLB First Baseman Mark McGwire
MLB First Baseman
Mark McGwire
  • 1998 102nd Boston Marathon: Moses Tanui of Kenya wins men's title in 2:07:34; Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia wins back-to-back women's events in 2:23:21
  • 2002 NFL Draft: Fresno State quarterback David Carr first pick by Houston Texans
  • 2008 Danica Patrick driving for Andretti Green Racing wins the Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi; first female driver in history to win an IndyCar Series race
  • 2009 113th Boston Marathon: Deriba Merga of Ethiopia wins men's event in 2:08:42; Salina Kosgei of Kenya women's champion in 2:32:16
  • 2013 5 snowboarders are killed by an avalanche in Loveland Pass, Colorado
  • 2015 119th Boston Marathon: Lelisa Desisa Benti of Ethiopia wins men's race in 2:09:17; Caroline Rotich of Kenya women's champion in 2:24:55
  • 2018 Arsène Wenger announces he will leave London EPL club Arsenal after 22 years as manager
  • 2021 All six EPL clubs withdraw from the controversial European Super League just 3 days after it was announced - Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1851 Young Tom Morris, Scottish golfer (British Open 1868-70, 72), born in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland (d. 1875)
  • 1907 Miran Bakhsh, Pakistani cricketer (his one season of Test & 1st-class play 1954-55), born in Rawalpindi, British India (d. 1991)
  • 1912 David Townsend, English cricketer (3 Tests Eng v WI 1935), born in Norton, County Durham (d. 1997)
  • 1925 Ernie Stautner, German-American football player, born in Cham, Bavaria, Germany (d. 2006)
  • 1928 Johnny Gavin, Irish footballer, born in Limerick, Ireland (d. 2007)
  • 1930 Alan Oakman, English cricketer (England batsman against Australia 1956), born in Hastings, Sussex, England
  • 1935 Jon Arnett, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback (USC; 5 × Pro Bowl; LA Rams, Chicago Bears), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2021)
  • 1938 Bernard Malivoire, French cox pair (Olympic gold 1952), born in Bergerac, Dordogne (d. 1982)
  • 1938 Betty Cuthbert, Australian athlete, 100m/200m/400m dash (Olympic gold 1956, 64), born in Merrylands, New South Wales, Australia (d. 2017)
  • 1940 George Andrie, American NFL defensive end (5-time Pro Bowl), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan (d. 2018)
  • 1945 Steve Spurrier, American College Football Hall of Fame quarterback (Heisman Trophy 1966, Florida; NFL: SF 49ers) and coach (Florida, South Carolina; NFL: Washington Redskins), born in Miami Beach, Florida
  • 1946 Gordon Smiley, American racecar driver, born in Omaha, Nebraska (d. 1982)
  • 1952 Božidar Maljković, Serbian basketball coach and president of the Olympic Committee of Serbia, born in Otočac, Croatia
  • 1954 Peter Toohey, Australian cricketer (NSW & Australian batsman 1977-80), born in Blayney, Australia
  • 1954 Gilles Lupien, French Canadian ice hockey player, born in Lachute, Canada
  • 1957 Graeme Fowler, English cricketer (England left-handed opener early 80s), born in Accrington, Lancashire, England
  • 1958 Viacheslav Fetisov, Russian Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman (Olympic gold 1984, 88; Stanley Cup 1997-98, Detroit Red Wings), born in Moscow, Russia
  • 1960 Rodney Holman, American football tight end (Detroit Lions), born in Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • 1960 Debbie Flintoff-King, Australian athlete (Olympic gold 400m hurdles 1988), born in Melbourne, Australia

Person of interestDon Mattingly

1961 Don Mattingly, American MLB 1st baseman (NY Yankees/MVP 1985), born in Evansville, Indiana

MLB 1st Baseman Don Mattingly
MLB 1st Baseman
Don Mattingly
  • 1963 Mauricio Gugelmin, Brazilian racing driver, born in Joinville, Brazil
  • 1964 John Carney, American football placekicker (San Diego Chargers), born in Hartford, Connecticut
  • 1964 Paul Nobes, Australian cricketer (prolific opening batsman for Victoria & SA), born in Heidelberg West, Victoria, Australia
  • 1965 Jim Terrell, American sprint canoer (Olympics 1996), born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1967 Townsend Saunders, American freestyle wrestler (Olympic silver 1992, 96), born in White Sands, New Mexico
  • 1967 Raymond van Barneveld, Dutch darts player (PDC World C'ship 2007; BDO World C'ship 1998, 99, 2003, 05; Premier League 2014), born in The Hague, Netherlands
  • 1967 Alan McLoughlin, Irish soccer midfielder (42 caps Rep of Ireland; Swindon Town, Portsmouth), born in Manchester, England (d. 2021)
  • 1968 DeDee Nathan, American heptathlete, born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1969 Jan van Halst, Dutch soccer player (FC Twente), born in Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1971 Allan Houston, American basketball player (NY Knicks, Detroit Pistons), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1971 Chris Penn, NFL wide receiver (KC Chiefs, Chicago Bears), born in Lenapah, Oklahoma
  • 1971 Grant Smith, Australian field hockey forward (Olympics 1996), born in Canberra, Australia
  • 1971 John Senden, Australian golfer (2 PGA Tour titles), born in Brisbane, Queensland
  • 1971 Terry Smith, NFL wide receiver (Indianapolis Colts), born in Clemson, South Carolina
  • 1971 Yonel Jourdain, American NFL running back and kick returner (Buffalo Bills), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1972 Lê Huỳnh Đức, Vietnamese footballer, born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • 1973 Itula Mili, NFL tight end (Seattle Seahawks), born in Kahuku, Hawaii
  • 1973 Lamond Murray, American basketball forward (LA Clippers), born in Pasadena, California
  • 1973 Todd Hollandsworth, American baseball outfielder (LA Dodgers), born in Dayton, Ohio
  • 1974 Ben Holbrook, American rower (Olympics 1996), born in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
  • 1974 Kevin Sullivan, Canadian athlete, 1.5k runner (Olympics 1996), born in Brantford, Ontario
  • 1974 Paul Bradford, American football cornerback (San Diego Chargers), born in East Palo Alto, California
  • 1976 Lenka Němečková, Czech tennis star (1993 Futures-Maribor-SLO), born in Brno, Czechoslovakia
  • 1976 Shay Given, Irish footballer, born in Lifford, County Donegal, Ireland
  • 1977 Lisa Ervin, American figure skater (US Nationals-4th-1992), born in Charleston, West Virginia
  • 1997 Alexander Zverev, German tennis player (ATP Finals 2018; US Open 2020 runner-up), born in Hamburg, Germany

Weddings in Sport

  • 1991 Soviet Russian figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva (19) weds Soviet Russian figure skater Sergei Grinkov (24), in a state sanctioned ceremony

LoveWedding of Interest

2002 MLB Outfielder Carl Yastrzemski (62) weds Nancy Benson

MLB Outfielder Carl Yastrzemski
MLB Outfielder
Carl Yastrzemski

LoveWedding of Interest

2002 MLB player Mark McGwire (38) weds Stephanie Slemer (26) in Las Vegas, Nevada

MLB First Baseman Mark McGwire
MLB First Baseman
Mark McGwire

Deaths in Sport

  • 1908 Henry Chadwick, English-American baseball pioneer, developed 1st rule book, dies at 85
  • 1918 Reginald Harry Mybirgh Hands, cricketer (1 Test for SA), dies
  • 1925 Herbert Lawford, British tennis player (Wimbledon 1887; first exponent of topspin), dies at 73
  • 1964 Eddie Dyer, American baseball player, dies at 64
  • 1968 H.B. "Toby" Halicki, American filmmaker, stunt driver, and actor (Gone In 60 Seconds), killed shooting a stunt at 48
  • 1977 Len Johnson, cricketer (one Test for Australia, 3-66 & 3-8), dies
  • 1977 Wilmer Allison, American tennis player (US Nat C'ship 1935), dies at 72
  • 1982 Andy Sandham, English cricket batsman (14 Tests; 1st triple centurion 325 v WI 1930), dies at 91
  • 1992 Marjorie Gestring, American springboard diver (Olympic gold 1936), dies at 69
  • 1995 R E S Wyatt, cricketer (England capt 16 times), dies
  • 2003 Daijiro Kato, Japanese motorcycle racer (b. 1976)
  • 2013 Nosher Powell, English actor and boxer, dies at 84
  • 2014 Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, American boxer (famous murder conviction overturned after 19 years imprisonment), dies of prostate cancer at 76
  • 2015 Bob St. Clair "The Geek", American football player, dies at 84
  • 2020 Mike Curtis, American NFL linebacker (Super Bowl 1971; Pro Bowl 1968, 70, 71, 74; First-team All-Pro 1968, 69; Baltimore Colts), dies at 77