On This Day

Deaths in Sport on January 1

  • 1905 Mabel Cahill, Irish tennis player (US National C'ship 1891-92), dies at 41
  • 1923 Willie Keeler, American Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder (highest career AB-per-strikeout ratio in MLB history), dies of tuberculosis at 50
  • 1944 Charles Turner, Australian cricket fast bowler (17 Tests; 101 wickets @ 16.53; fastest to 50 Test wickets), dies at 81
  • 1949 William H. Lewis, American College football center and coach (first African-American selected as an All-American; Harvard), dies of heart failure at 80
  • 1964 Alf Hall, South African cricket fast bowler (7 Tests, 40 wickets), dies at 67
  • 1967 Maurice Leyland, English cricket batsman (41 Tests, 2764 runs @ 46.06; Yorkshire 1920-46, 1,000+ runs in 17 consecutive seasons), dies at 66
  • 1968 Andy Oberlander, American College Football Hall of Fame halfback and coach (National C'ship 1954), dies at 62
  • 1969 Bruno Söderström, Swedish athlete (Olympic silver pole vault & bronze javelin 1906; bronze pole vault 1908; popularized bowling in Sweden), dies at 87
  • 1975 Ken Loeffler, American College and Basketball Hall of Fame coach (National Invitation Tournament 1952; NCAA Basketball Tournament 1954, La Salle Explorers), dies from a heart attack at 72
  • 1980 Frank Wykoff, American athlete (Olympic gold 4x100m relay 1928, 32, 36), dies at 70
  • 1981 Ceferino Garcia, Filipino boxer (World Middleweight champion 1939-40), dies at 74
  • 1981 Mauri Rose, American auto racer (Indianapolis 500 1941, 47-48), dies at 74
  • 1984 Ken Sitzberger, American diver & broadcaster (Olympic gold 3m springboard 1964), dies of a brain hemorrhage at 38
  • 1986 Bruce Norris, American Hockey Hall of Fame executive (owner Detroit Red Wings 1952-82), dies at 61
  • 1986 Marty Friedman, American Basketball Hall of Fame guard & coach (tied World C'ship series, New York Whirlwinds 1921), dies at 96
  • 1990 Joe Hardstaff Jr., English cricket batsman (23 Tests, 1,636 runs @ 46.74), dies at 78

  • 1992 M. J. Frankovich, American football player & film producer (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner), dies at 82
  • 1997 Graham Kersey, English cricket wicket-keeper, dies in car crash at 25
  • 1997 John Burgess, English rugby coach & administrator (England coach 1971-75; RFU President 1987-88), dies at 71

Person of interestHelen Wills Moody

1998 Helen Wills Moody, American tennis player (19 Grand Slam titles), dies of natural causes at 92

Tennis Player Helen Wills Moody
Tennis Player
Helen Wills Moody
  • 1998 Åke Seyffarth, Swedish speed skater (Olympic gold 10,000m 1948; WR 3,000 & 5,000m), dies at 78
  • 2003 Joe Foss, American fighter ace, football executive (Medal of Honor-1943; first commissioner American Football League) and politician, dies at 87
  • 2004 Harold Henning, South African golfer (2 PGA Tour titles; 3 senior PGA titles; World Cup 1965), dies at 69
  • 2006 Paul Lindblad, American baseball pitcher (World Series champion 1973-74, 78; Kansas City Athletics, Oakland Athletics), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 64
  • 2011 Billy Joe Patton, American golfer (Masters 1954 3rd; Walker Cup captain 1969), dies at 88
  • 2012 Bob Anderson, English fencer & film fight choreographer (Lord of the Rings, Die Another Day), dies at 90
  • 2012 Tommy Mont, American NFL quarterback & coach (Washington Redskins; DePauw University), dies of heart failure at 89
  • 2013 Christopher Martin-Jenkins, British cricket journalist & broadcaster (President MCC; BBC Radio), dies of cancer at 67
  • 2020 David Stern, American basketball executive (NBA commissioner 1984-2014; longest-tenured commissioner in history of major North American sports leagues), dies from a brain haemorrhage at 77
  • 2020 Don Larsen, American MLB pitcher (only perfect game in World Series history, Game 5 1956; World Series MVP 1956; NY Yankees), dies from esophageal cancer at 90
  • 2020 Carlos De León, Puerto Rican boxer (WBC cruiserweight champion (1980–82, 83–85, 86–88, 89–90), dies of a heart attack at 60
  • 2020 Doug Hart, American NFL defensive back (NFL champion 1965, 66, 67; Super Bowl 1967, 68; Green Bay Packers), dies at 80
  • 2020 Les Josephson, American football running back (NFL Pro Bowl 1967); Los Angeles Rams), dies at 77