On This Day

On This Day in Sport for August 31

Events in Sport

  • 1881 1st US men's single tennis championships (Newport, Rhode Island)
  • 1891 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Newport R.I.: Defending champion Oliver Campbell beats Clarence Hobart 2-6, 7-5, 7-9, 6-1, 6-2; second of 3 straight titles
  • 1894 Phillies Billy Hamilton steals 7 bases
  • 1900 Dodgers' Brickyard Kennedy walks 6 straight Phillies
  • 1903 New York Giants future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Joe McGinnity wins his 3rd doubleheader of month, beating the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-1 and 9-2 at the Polo Grounds
  • 1904 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Newport, RI: Holcombe Ward beats William Clothier 10-8, 6-4, 9-7 for his lone major singles title
  • 1905 25th US National Championship Men's Tennis, Newport, RI: Beals Wright beats defending champion Holcombe Ward 6-2, 6-1, 11-9 for his lone major singles title
  • 1909 A J Reach Co patents cork-centered baseball
  • 1909 Swedish runner Thure Johansson runs world record marathon (2:40:34.2) in Stockholm
  • 1913 Soccer club PSV forms in Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • 1915 Chicago White Sox Jimmy Lavender no-hits NY Giants, 2-0
  • 1918 Boston Red Sox, win earliest AL pennent ever (season ended Sept 2)

Sports record brokenWorld Record

1924 Paavo Nurmi runs world record 10,000m (30:06.2)

Runner nicknamed the
Runner nicknamed the "Flying Finn"
Paavo Nurmi
  • 1934 1st NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Chicago Bears 0, All-Stars 0 (79,432)
  • 1935 Chicago White Sox Vern Kennedy no-hits Cleveland Indians, 5-0
  • 1938 5th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: All-Stars 28, Washington 16 (74,250)

  • 1947 NY Giants set season record for HRs by a club 183 (en route to 221)

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1950 Dodger Gil Hodges hits 4 HRs & a single in a game vs Braves

MLB First Baseman Gil Hodges
MLB First Baseman
Gil Hodges
  • 1954 Indians beat Yanks 6-1 for record tying 26 wins in August (1931 A's)
  • 1954 Cincinnati 1st baseman Ted Kluszewski hits 2 HRs in a 9-3 loss v Phillies; 1st Redleg to ever hit 40 MLB HRs, en route to season total 49
  • 1959 48th Davis Cup: Australia beats USA in New York (3-2)

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1959 Sandy Koufax breaks Dizzy Dean's NL mark of 18 strikeouts in a game

Baseball Pitcher Sandy Koufax
Baseball Pitcher
Sandy Koufax
  • 1960 US sweeps the medals in the shot put at the Rome Olympics; Bill Nieder wins gold with 19.68m ahead of countrymen Parry O'Brien and Dallas Long
  • 1966 Referee Leo Horn whistles his last soccer match (Ajax-Bulgaria)
  • 1968 68th US Golf Amateur Championship won by Bruce Fleisher
  • 1968 Gary Sobers becomes the first cricketer to hit 6 sixes in one over
  • 1970 59th Davis Cup: USA beats Germany in Cleveland (5-0)
  • 1971 Adrienne Beames runs female world record marathon (2:46:30)
  • 1972 Lasse Viren runs Olympic/world record 10,000m (27:38.4)

OlympicsOlympic Gold

1972 Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut wins balance beam & floor exercise gold medals at the Munich Olympics; follows gold in the teams all-round

Gymnast Olga Korbut
Olga Korbut

Sports record brokenWorld Record

1972 American super swimmer Mark Spitz wraps up the Olympic butterfly double with a world record 54.27 in the 100m in Munich, having already won the 200m in world record time 2:00.70

Swimmer Mark Spitz
Mark Spitz
  • 1972 American 4 x 200m freestyle relay team of John Kinsella, Fred Tyler, Steve Genter & Mark Spitz swim a world record 7:35.78 to beat West Germany for the gold medal at the Munich Olympics
  • 1972 Australian swimmer Gail Neall with a world record 5:02.97 wins the 400m individual medley gold medal at the Munich Olympics
  • 1979 In the battle of American teenage tennis prodigies, 16 year old Tracy Austin beats 14 year old Andrea Jaeger 6-2, 6-2 in the 2nd round at US Open
  • 1980 80th US Golf Amateur Championship won by Hal Sutton
  • 1981 Dirk Wellham scores 103 on Test Cricket debut, v England at Lord's
  • 1984 Pinklon Thomas beats Tim Witherspoon in 12 for heavyweight boxing title

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985 Ángel Cordero Jr. becomes 3rd jockey to ride horses earning over $100m

  • 1987 Curtis Strange sets golf's earning for year record ($697,385)
  • 1990 Dennis Eckersley saves his 40th game of the season

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 Baseball outfielders Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr. become the 1st father and son to play on same team (Seattle Mariners), the pair hit back-to-back singles in the first inning and both scored

Baseball Hall of Fame Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
Baseball Hall of Fame Outfielder
Ken Griffey Jr.
  • 1991 Houston QB David Klingler sets NCAA record with 6 touchdown passes in the 2nd quarter as the Cougars clobbered Louisiana Tech 73-3
  • 1993 Minnesota Twins beat Cleveland Indians 5-4 in 22 innings

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Pentium computer beats world chess champ Garry Kasparov

Chess Grandmaster and Political Activist Garry Kasparov
Chess Grandmaster and Political Activist
Garry Kasparov

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997 Don Mattingly's #23 is retired by NY Yankees

MLB 1st Baseman Don Mattingly
MLB 1st Baseman
Don Mattingly
  • 1997 Eddie George runs for 216 yards on 35 carries and scores a touchdown as the Oilers, playing their first NFL game in Tennessee, beat Oakland 24-21 in overtime at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1999 Dino Ciccarelli retires from the NHL

NHL Star Dino Ciccarelli
NHL Star
Dino Ciccarelli

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2003 The Tradition Senior Men's Golf, Reserve Vineyards & GC: Tom Watson wins his third of 6 Champions Tour majors by 1 stroke from Jim Ahern & Tom Kite

Golfer Tom Watson
Tom Watson
  • 2019 Minnesota Twins smash 6 HRs in 10-7 loss to the Tigers in Detroit; break MLB record by hitting 268th home run of the season

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1869 Gregor MacGregor, English cricket wicket-keeper (8 Tests 1890-93) and Scottish rugby union player, born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 1919)
  • 1877 Lizzie Arlington, American baseball pitcher (first woman to play professional men's baseball 1898 Reading Coal Heavers), born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania (d. 1919)
  • 1878 Frank Jarvis, American athlete (Olympic 100m Champion-1900), born in California, Pennsylvania (d. 1933)
  • 1889 A Provost Idell, father of modern volleyball
  • 1889 Bombardier Billy Wells [William Thomas Wells], English heavyweight boxer (Lonsdale Belt, 1911), born in London, England (d. 1967)
  • 1915 Pete Newell, American Basketball Hall of Fame coach (Uni of San Francisco, Michigan State Uni; NCAA Men's C'ship 1959, Cal Berkeley; Olympic gold 1960), born in Vancouver, Canada (d. 2008)

Person of interestJean Béliveau

1931 Jean Béliveau, Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame center (Hart Trophy 1956, 64; Art Ross Trophy 1956; Conn Smythe Trophy 1965; record 17 Stanley Cups), born in Trois-Rivieres Quebec (d. 2014)

NHL Legend Jean Béliveau
NHL Legend
Jean Béliveau

Person of interestFrank Robinson

1935 Frank Robinson, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder, manager (MVP 1961-NL and 1966-AL), born in Beaumont, TX (d. 2019)

MLB Hall of Fame Outfielder and Manager Frank Robinson
MLB Hall of Fame Outfielder and Manager
Frank Robinson
  • 1940 Alain Calmat, French figure skater (Olympic silver 1964)
  • 1942 Isao Aoki, Japanese golfer (World Matchplay C'ship 1978), born in Abiko, Chiba, Japan,
  • 1944 Clive Lloyd, West Indies cricket batsman, captain (110 Tests; 7,515 runs @ 46.67), born in Georgetown, British Guiana
  • 1948 Harald Ertl, Austrian racing driver (d. 1982)
  • 1948 Holger Osieck, German footballer and coach
  • 1953 Miguel Ángel Guerra, Argentine racing driver
  • 1954 Claudell Washington, American baseball outfielder (MLB All Star 1975, 84; World Series 1974; Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2020)
  • 1955 Edwin Corley Moses, Dayton, 400m hurdler (Olympic 2 gold/br-76, 84, 88)
  • 1957 Tom Candiotti, pitcher (LA Dodgers), born in Walnut Creek, California
  • 1957 Colm O'Rourke, Former Gaelic footballer and Current panelist
  • 1958 Serge Blanco, French rugby union footballer
  • 1960 Vali Ionescu, Romanian long jumper
  • 1962 Wanda Guenette, volleyballer (Olympics 1996), born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • 1963 Sonny Silooy, soccer player (Ajax)
  • 1965 Willie Watson, cricket pace bowler (NZ)
  • 1966 Jeff Frye, infielder (Boston Red Sox), born in Oakland, California
  • 1967 Diane Madl, Mountain Top PA, field hockey forward/midfielder (Olympics 1996)
  • 1967 Melanie Sullivan, Branford Ct, WPVA volleyballer (National-13th-1994)
  • 1968 Glenroy Gilbert, Trinidad, Canadian 4X100m sprinter (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1968 Hideo Nomo, pitcher (LA Dodgers), born in Osaka, Japan
  • 1968 Jennifer Azzi, Oak Ridge Tenn, basketball guard (Olympic gold 1996)
  • 1968 Jolene Watanabe, tennis star (1994 Futures-Evansville), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1969 Andrei Trefilov, Kirovo Russia, NHL goalie (Buffalo Sabres, Olympic silver 1998)
  • 1969 Javagal Srinath, cricketer (Indian right-arm pace bowler since 1991)
  • 1969 Nathan Minchey, pitcher (Boston Red Sox)
  • 1969 Victor Alexander, NBA forward/center (NY Knicks)
  • 1970 James Robinson, NBA guard (LA Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers)
  • 1970 Steve Nikataras, cricketer (left-arm pace bowler for NSW 1996-97)
  • 1970 Arie van Lent, Dutch-German footballer
  • 1971 Greg Jefferson, NFL defensive end (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • 1971 Mike Caldwell, NFL linebacker (Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals)
  • 1971 Pádraig Harrington, Irish golfer (British Open 2007-08, PGA C'ship 2008, Ryder Cup wins 2002, 04, 06, 10), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1973 Priest Lauderdale, NBA center (Denver Nuggets)
  • 1973 Reggie Geary, NBA guard (San Antonio Spurs)
  • 1973 Scott Niedermayer, Edmonton, NHL defenseman (NJ Devils)
  • 1974 Andrei Medvedev, tennis star (1991 French Open junior), born in Kiev, Ukraine
  • 1974 Jeremy O'day, CFL offensive linebacker (Toronto Argonauts)
  • 1975 Raleigh Roundtree, tackle (San Diego Chargers)
  • 1976 Roque Júnior, Brazilian footballer (World Cup 2002), born in Santa Rita do Sapucaí, Brazil
  • 1977 Ian Harte, Irish footballer
  • 1978 Philippe Christanval, French footballer
  • 1979 Ramón Santiago, Dominican baseball infielder, coach (only player in history to hit walk-off, grand slam home run in last MLB at-bat), born in Las Matas de Farfán, DR
  • 1981 Dwayne Peel, Welsh rugby union footballer
  • 1981 Steve Saviano, American ice hockey player
  • 1982 Lien Huyghebaert, Belgian athlete
  • 1982 José Reina, Spanish footballer
  • 1982 Michele Rugolo, Italian racing driver
  • 1982 Ian Crocker, American swimmer
  • 1982 Chris Duhon, American basketball player
  • 1982 Josh Kroeger, American baseball player
  • 1982 Alexei Mikhnov, Ukrainian-born ice hockey player
  • 1983 Larry Fitzgerald, American football player
  • 1984 Charl Schwartzel, South African golfer (US Masters 2011), born in Johannesburg, Gauteng
  • 1986 Feng Tianwei, Singaporean table tennis player
  • 1987 Petros Kravaritis, Greek footballer

Weddings in Sport

LoveWedding of Interest

1940 Football player and coach Vince Lombardi (27) weds Marie Planitz at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Bronx, New York

NFL Coach Vince Lombardi
NFL Coach
Vince Lombardi

Deaths in Sport

  • 1795 François-André Danican Philidor, French composer and chess champion, dies at 68

Person of interestRocky Marciano

1969 Rocky Marciano, American boxer (undefeated world heavyweight champion 1952-56), dies in a plane crash at 45

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Rocky Marciano
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Rocky Marciano
  • 1973 Stan Worthington, English cricket pace bowler (9 Tests 1930-36), dies
  • 1979 E J "Tiger" Smith, England cricket wicket-keeper, umpire (11 Tests), dies at 93
  • 1981 Victor Trumper Jr, Australian cricketer (7 games for NSW, 74 runs 12 wkts), dies at 67
  • 1990 Johnny Lindsay, cricketer (South African wicket-keeper 1947), dies
  • 1990 Nat (Sweetwater) Clifton, NY Knick, dies at 65 of a heart attack
  • 2006 Tom Delaney, British racing driver (b. 1911)
  • 2006 Mohamed Abdelwahab, Egyptian footballer (b. 1983)
  • 2007 Gay Brewer, American golfer (US Masters 1967), dies of lung cancer at 75
  • 2010 Laurent Fignon, French cyclist (1983 & 1984 Tour de France), dies of cancer at 50
  • 2011 Wade Belak, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1976)
  • 2020 John Thompson, American Basketball Hall of Fame center, coach and broadcaster (NBA C'ship 1965, 66, Boston Celtics; coach NCAA C'ship 1984, Georgetown), dies at 78
  • 2020 Nina Bocharova, Soviet-Ukrainian gymnast (Olympic gold balance beam, team 1952), dies at 95

Person of interestTom Seaver

2020 Tom Seaver, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (NY Mets; NL Cy Young Award 1969, 73, 75; 12 x MLB All Star), dies of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19 at 75 [1]

Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher Tom Seaver
Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher
Tom Seaver