On This Day in Sport for January 15

Events in Sport


Book releaseHistoric Publication

1892 Basketball rules first published in Triangle Magazine, written by James Naismith

Basketball Inventor James Naismith
Basketball Inventor
James Naismith

AgreementContract of Interest

1934 New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth, nearing end of illustrious career, signs a 1-year contract worth $35,000; represents a pay cut of $17,000 for "The Babe"

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
  • 1936 Horace Stoneham is elected president of New York Giants MLB franchise; succeeds late father, Charles; remains president for next 40 years, presiding over move to SF, before selling team in 1976
  • 1939 1st NFL All Star Game, Wrigley Field, Chicago: New York Giants beat All America All-Stars, 13-10
  • 1942 Chicago Cubs drop plans to install lights at Wrigley Field because of military's need for materials; takes 35 years before lights finally installed at the venerable ballpark

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942 US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sends his famed "Green Light Letter" to MLB Commissioner Judge Landis, encouraging baseball to continue playing during World War II

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1950 Red Wings' rookie goalie Terry Sawchuk records his first of 115 career NHL shutouts, as Detroit beats the New York Rangers, 1-0 at Madison Square Garden

NHL Legend Terry Sawchuk
NHL Legend
Terry Sawchuk
  • 1956 6th NFL Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 31-30; MVP: Ollie Matson, Baltimore Colts, RB
  • 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers extend their 5-year lease on Ebbets Field by signing a new 3-year lease with real estate developer Marvin Kratter; club moves to Los Angeles the next year

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

1957 7th NBA All-Star Game, Boston Garden: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 109-97; MVP: Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics, PG

NBA Point Guard Bob Cousy
NBA Point Guard
Bob Cousy
  • 1958 New York Yankees announce that 140 MLB games to be televised on WPIX TV this season in a deal worth over $1 million dollars

Sport awardNFL Pro Bowl

1961 11th NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: Western Conference beats Eastern Conference, 35-31; MVPs: Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts, QB; Sam Huff, NY Giants, LB

NFL Quarterback Johnny Unitas
NFL Quarterback
Johnny Unitas
  • 1962 50th Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Margaret Smith beats Jan Lehane O'Neill in the final for 3rd straight year 6-0, 6-2

Sport awardTennis Open

1962 50th Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Rod Laver takes the 1st leg of his 1st Grand Slam; beats fellow Queenslander Roy Emerson 8-6, 0-6, 6-4, 6-4

Tennis Player Rod Laver
Tennis Player
Rod Laver
Tennis Player Roy Emerson
Tennis Player
Roy Emerson
  • 1964 MLB executives vote to hold a free agent amateur draft, officially known as Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in NYC

AgreementContract of Interest

1964 San Francisco Giants make champion outfielder Willie Mays the highest-paid player in baseball when they sign him to a new $105,000 per season contract

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1965 One of the biggest trades in NBA history; San Francisco Warriors send Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer, Paul Neumann and cash

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • 1966 5th AFL All Star Game, Rice Stadium, Houston: All-Stars beat Buffalo Bills, 30-19: MVPs: Joe Namath, NY Jets, QB; Frank Buncom, LA Chargers, LB
  • 1967 Super Bowl I, LA Memorial Coliseum: Green Bay Packers beat KC Chiefs, 35-10; MVP: Bart Starr, Green Bay, QB
  • 1968 Minnesota North Stars forward Bill Masterton dies 2 days after suffering a head injury in a game against the Oakland Seals; the only death as a result of a game injury in NHL history

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1972 World heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier stops Terry Daniels in 4 rounds in New Orleans to retain his WBC and WBA titles

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Joe Frazier
  • 1974 24th NBA All-Star Game, Seattle Center Coliseum: Western Conference beats Eastern Conference, 134-123; MVP: Bob Lanier, Detroit Pistons, C
  • 1978 Super Bowl XII, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans: Dallas Cowboys beat Denver Broncos, 27-10; MVP: Harvey Martin, Dallas, DE & Randy White, Dallas, DT
  • 1981 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 Martina Navratilova’s 54-match winning streak ends when beaten by Hana Mandlíková 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in the final of the Virginia Slims of California tennis event in Oakland; after loss Navratilova wins next 74 matches for new record

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 John McEnroe reverses previous year's result with a 6–3, 6–4, 6–4 win over Ivan Lendl to claim his second season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title at Madison Square Garden, NYC

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 Champion Boston Celtics NBA forward Larry Bird is named Man of the Year by 'The Sporting News' and Athlete of the Year by 'Associated Press'; first time one athlete gains both distinctions

NBA Legend Larry Bird
NBA Legend
Larry Bird
  • 1988 NFL analyst Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder makes several questionable comments about African Americans during a lunchtime interview on CBS' NFL Today; fired the next day

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1990 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
  • 1990 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
  • 1991 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Lawrence Taylor announces his retirement from the NFL

Hall of Fame American Football Player Lawrence Taylor
Hall of Fame American Football Player
Lawrence Taylor
  • 1994 Dallas Mavericks drop a 104-87 decision to the San Antonio Spurs at Reunion Arena to set an unwanted NBA record with their 17th consecutive home defeat; break mark of 16 set by Orlando in 1990
  • 1995 AFC Championship, Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh: San Diego Chargers beat Pittsburgh Steelers, 17-13
  • 1995 NFC Championship, Candlestick Park, SF: San Francisco 49ers beat Dallas Cowboys, 38-28

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997 Controversial Chicago Bulls' forward Dennis Rodman kicks cameraman Eugene Amos in the groin during a game against Minnesota Timberwolves; ultimately pays Amos $200,000 settlement, and is suspended for 11 games without pay

Basketball Player Dennis Rodman
Basketball Player
Dennis Rodman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1998 Future Hockey Hall of Fame right wing Dino Ciccarelli finds his 5th NHL club; traded from Tampa Bay Lightning to Florida Panthers

NHL Star Dino Ciccarelli
NHL Star
Dino Ciccarelli

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1841 Lord Frederick Stanley, presenter of hockey's Stanley Cup
  • 1875 Tom Burke, American runner (d. 1929)
  • 1885 Grover Lowdermilk, American baseball player (d. 1968)
  • 1890 Tommy Fleming, American soccer player (d. 1965)
  • 1891 Ray Chapman, American baseball player (Cleveland Indians) and only MLB player to die from an injury received during a MLB game, born in Beaver Dam, Kentucky (d. 1920)
  • 1920 Steve Gromek, American baseball player, born in Hamtramck, Michigan (d. 2002)
  • 1925 Keith Bentley, international racing cyclist
  • 1932 Dean Smith, US actor & relay runner (Olympic gold 1952)
  • 1932 Lou Jones, American 4x400m relay runner (Olympic gold 1956), born in New Rochelle, New York (d. 2006)
  • 1938 Chuni Goswami, Indian footballer & cricketer, born in Kishoreganj District, Bangladesh
  • 1943 Mike Marshall, MLB pitcher (1974 Cy Young Award), born in Adrian, Michigan
  • 1949 Howard Allen Twitty, American PGA golfer (1979 BC Open), born in Phoenix, Arizona
  • 1949 Luis Alvarado, Puerto Rican baseball player, born in Lajas, Puerto Rico (d. 2001)
  • 1950 Marius Trésor, French footballer, born in Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe
  • 1953 Randy White, American NFL tackle (Dallas Cowboys), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1954 Nikos Sarganis, Greek footballer, born in Rafina, Greece
  • 1956 Paul Parker, English cricketer (one Test England v Australia 1981), born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
  • 1956 Vera Sosulya, Soviet tobogganist (Olympic gold 1980)
  • 1960 Tim Curtis, English cricketer (England righty batsman in 5 Tests 1988-89), born in Chislehurst, United Kingdom
  • 1963 Lijuan Geng, Chinese-Canadian tennis player (Olympics 1996), born in Hebei, China
  • 1963 Richard Nasheim, Canadian-Austrian hockey forward (Team Austria 1998), born in Regina, Canada
  • 1963 Yaro Dachniwsky, American team handball goalie (Olympics 1996), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1964 Cees van der de Linden, Dutch soccer player, born in Heelsum, Netherlands
  • 1964 Paula Schnurr, Canadian 1.5k runner (Olympics-8-92, 96), born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario
  • 1965 Michael Clemons, American CFL running back (Toronto Argonauts), born in Dunedin, Florida
  • 1965 Maurizio Fondriest, Italian cyclist, born in Cles, Italy
  • 1965 Bernard Hopkins, American boxer, born in Pennsylvania
  • 1966 Betsy Mitchell, American 100m backstroke swimmer, born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1967 Richard Blakey, English cricketer (England wicket-keeper in India 1993), born in Huddersfield, United Kingdom
  • 1967 Ted N Tryba, American PGA golfer (1995 Anheuser-Busch Golf), born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
  • 1968 Felton Spencer, American NBA center (SF Warriors), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1968 Laurie Fellner, American team handball goalie (Olympics 1992, 96), born in Appleton, Wisconsin
  • 1968 Steve McConaghy, Australian soling sailor (Olympics 1996)
  • 1969 Adam Burt, American NHL defenseman (Hartford Whalers), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1969 Delino DeShields, American baseball infielder (Montreal Expos, LA Dodgers), born in Seaford, Delaware
  • 1969 Leonard Wheeler, American NFL safety (Cin Bengals, Minnesota Vikings), born in Toccoa, Georgia
  • 1969 Marsha Miller, American WPVA volleyballer (National-17th-1995), born in Rochester, New York
  • 1969 Rob van Dijk, Dutch soccer player (Feyenoord), born in Voorhout, Netherlands
  • 1969 Rod de Highden, Australian 5k/10k/marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Melbourne, Australia
  • 1969 Siupeli Malamala, NFL offensive lineman (NY Jets), born in Tonga
  • 1970 Dan Landry, American volleyball opposite hitter (Olympics 1996), born in San Diego, California
  • 1970 Elroy Kromheer, Dutch soccer player (FC Volendam), born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 1970 Michele Granger, American softball pitcher (Olympic gold 1996), born in Anaheim, California
  • 1971 LeShon Johnson, American football running back (Arizona Cardinals), born in Haskell, Oklahoma
  • 1973 Daniel Nijhof, Dutch soccer player (FC Twente)
  • 1973 Randy Srochenski, CFL linebacker (Saskatchewan Roughriders), born in Regina, Canada
  • 1973 Essam El-Hadary, Egyptian footballer, born in Damietta Governorate, Egypt
  • 1974 Mike Minter, American football safety (Carolina Panthers), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1974 Ray King, American baseball player, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1975 Greg Loveridge, New Zealand cricketer (NZ leg-spinner, did not bowl v Zim 1996), born in Palmerston North, New Zealand

Person of interestMary Pierce

1975 Mary Pierce, French tennis player (Australian Open 1995, French Open 2000), born in Montreal, Canada

Tennis Player Mary Pierce
Tennis Player
Mary Pierce
  • 1976 Corey Chavous, American football player, born in Aiken, South Carolina
  • 1978 Franco Pellizotti, Italian cyclist, born in Latisana, Italy
  • 1979 Drew Brees, American football player (New Orleans Saints), born in Austin, Texas
  • 1979 Martin Petrov, Bulgarian footballer, born in Vratsa, Bulgaria
  • 1980 Matt Holliday, American baseball player, born in Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • 1981 El Hadji Diouf, Senegalese footballer, born in Dakar, Senegal
  • 1981 Sean Lamont, Scottish rugby union footballer, born in Perth, United Kingdom
  • 1982 Armando Galarraga, Venezuelan baseball player, born in Cumaná, Venezuela
  • 1983 Jermaine Pennant, English footballer, born in Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • 1983 Hugo Viana, Portuguese footballer, born in Barcelos, Portugal
  • 1984 Megan Jendrick, American swimmer, born in Tacoma, Washington
  • 1985 Kenneth Emil Petersen, Danish footballer, born in Solrød Strand, Denmark
  • 1986 Fred Davis, American football player, born in Toledo, Ohio
  • 1987 Greg Inglis, Australian rugby league player, born in Kempsey, Australia
  • 1987 David Knight, English footballer, born in Houghton-le-Spring, United Kingdom
  • 1990 Fernando Forestieri, Italian footballer, born in Rosario, Argentina

Weddings in Sport


HeartWedding of Interest

1953 Cricketer Richie Benaud (22) weds Marcia Lavender at the Wesley Church in Sydney, Australia

Cricketer and Commentator Richie Benaud
Cricketer and Commentator
Richie Benaud
  • 2011 PGA golfer Hunter Mahan (28) weds former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Kandi Harris in Dallas, Texas
  • 2013 "Gomer Pyle" actor Jim Nabors (82) weds retired performer Stan Cadwallader (64) at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle

Deaths in Sport

  • 1936 Henry Forster, cricket (Hants & Oxford U, Gov-Gen of Australia), dies
  • 1942 Melvin Winfield Sheppard, runner (Olympic gold 1908, 12), dies at 58
  • 1964 George Duncan, Scottish golfer (British Open 1920), dies at 80
  • 1968 Bill Masterson, Canadian American NHL player, first to be fatally injured during a game (Jan 13), dies at 29
  • 1968 Bill Masterton, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1938)
  • 1982 Red Smith, American sportscaster and columnist (Pulitzer 1976, Fight Talk), dies at 76
  • 1986 James H "Jim" Crowley, US football player (Notre Dame), dies at 83
  • 1989 Wilf Slack, English cricketer, dies while playing cricket in Gambia at 34
  • 1993 Henry Iba, basketball coach, dies at 88
  • 2002 Steve Gromek, American baseball player (b. 1920)
  • 2007 David Vanole, American soccer player (b. 1963)
  • 2011 Nat Lofthouse, English Footballer (b. 1925)
  • 2013 Chucho Castillo, Mexican bantamweight boxer (WBA, WBC, 1970), dies from a heart attack at 68
  • 2018 Cyrille Regis, English former footballer, dies of a heart attack at 59