On This Day

Events in Sport in 1931

  • Jan 1 17th Rose Bowl: Alabama beats Washington State, 24-0
  • Jan 3 Montreal Maroons centre Nels Stewart scores fastest 2 goals in NHL history with a pair 4 seconds apart in a 5-3 win over Boston Bruins at Montreal Arena
  • Jan 5 1st woman to purchase a baseball team Lucille Thomas purchases Topeka franchise in the Western League

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Australian cricket batting prodigy Don Bradman scores 223 v West Indies in 3rd Test in Brisbane; most runs scored by a player in a Test match in Australia in one day

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • Feb 4 National League adopts a deader baseball
  • Feb 5 Malcolm Campbell sets world land speed record speed of 246.08 mph driving his famous Blue Bird car at Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Feb 15 Spring training site of NY Yankees in St Petersburg is renamed Miller Huggins Field in honor of the team's late manager
  • Feb 17 1st telecast of a sporting event in Japan (baseball)
  • Feb 21 Chicago White Sox & NY Giants play 1st exhibition night game
  • Feb 28 Canadian Rugby Union adopts the forward pass
  • Mar 4 Don Bradman is bowled for a rare first ball duck by Herman Griffith (4-50) on the last day of 5th cricket Test vs West Indies in Sydney; Windies win by 31 runs but lose series to Australia, 4-1
  • Mar 8 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Coral McInnes Buttsworth beats Marjorie Cox Crawford 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
  • Mar 8 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Jack Crawford wins 1st of 4 Australian titles; beats fellow Australian Harry Hopman 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
  • Mar 21 US Ladies' Figure Skating championship won by Maribel Vinson
  • Mar 21 US Men's Figure Skating championship won by Roger Turner
  • Mar 27 John McGraw says night baseball will not catch on

  • Mar 27 90th Grand National: 9 year old Grakle, at odds of 100/6 and ridden by jockey Bob Lyall wins by 1.5 lengths from 1929 winner Gregalach
  • Apr 1 Jackie Mitchell becomes the second female (after Lizzie Arlington 1898) in organised baseball when she signs with the Chattanooga Lookouts Baseball Club

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Apr 2 17-year old girl Jackie Mitchell strikes out New York Yankees stars Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition baseball game at Engel Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Baseball Player Lou Gehrig
Baseball Player
Lou Gehrig

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 9 Chicago Cy Wentworth beats Montreal Canadiens at 13:50 of 6th period

NHL Goalie George Hainsworth
NHL Goalie
George Hainsworth
  • Apr 12 Joe McCarthy debuts as NY Yankee manager
  • Apr 14 Stanley Cup Final, Montreal Forum, Montreal, Quebec: Montreal Canadiens beat Chicago Blackhawks, 2-0 for a 3-2 series win; Canadiens' back-to-back Championships
  • Apr 20 35th Boston Marathon won by Jim Henigan in 2:46:45.8
  • Apr 20 British House of Commons agrees for sports play on Sunday
  • Apr 26 Lou Gehrig hits a HR but is called out for passing a runner, mistake costs him AL home run crown; he & Babe Ruth tie for season
  • Apr 28 Program for woman athletes approved for 1932 Olympics track & field
  • Apr 29 Cleveland Indians pitcher Wes Ferrell no-hits St Louis Browns, 9-0
  • May 9 56th Preakness: George Ellis aboard Mate wins in 1:59
  • May 10 Golf ball size hail falls in Burlington, New Jersey
  • May 16 57th Kentucky Derby: Charley Kurtsinger on Twenty Grand wins 2:01.8

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 30 Phillies Chuck Klein homers off Ben Cantwell (Braves) in both ends DH

Baseball Hall of Fame Right Fielder Chuck Klein
Baseball Hall of Fame Right Fielder
Chuck Klein
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Louis Schneider wins in 5:10:27.948 (155.509 km/h)
  • May 31 French Championships Men's Tennis: Jean Borotra wins his only home title; beats fellow Frenchman Christian Boussus 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4

Sport awardFrench Open Women's Tennis

May 31 French Championship Women's Tennis: Cilly Aussem of Germany beats England's Betty Nuthall 8-6, 6-1 for the first of 2 major titles in 1931

Tennis Player Betty Nuthall
Tennis Player
Betty Nuthall
  • Jun 5 British Open Men's Golf, Carnoustie: American based Scotsman Tommy Armour outlasts José Jurado of Argentina by 1 stroke to win his only Open title and his 3rd and final major championship
  • Jun 6 NY Yankees turn triple-play but lose 7-5 to Cleveland Indians

  • Jun 13 63rd Belmont: Charley Kurtsinger aboard Twenty Grand wins in 2:29.6

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 15 Eddie Collins & Harry Heilmann retire from baseball

Baseball Legend Eddie Collins
Baseball Legend
Eddie Collins

Sport awardRyder Cup

Jun 27 Ryder Cup Golf, Scioto CC: Walter Hagen captains his 2nd victorious American team; US wins, 9-3

Golfer Walter Hagen
Golfer
Walter Hagen
  • Jul 1 Cleveland Municipal Stadium (MLB: Indians, NFL: Browns, 78,189 capacity) opens; demolished 1996
  • Jul 3 German boxer Max Schmeling beats American Young Stribling by TKO in 15 in Cleveland in his first heavyweight title defence; first major fight broadcast live on national radio
  • Jul 3 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: In the first ever all-German final, Cilly Aussem beats Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling 6-2, 7-5
  • Jul 4 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Sidney Wood Jr beats fellow American Frank Shields in a walkover - ankle injury
  • Jul 6 US Open Golf, Inverness Club, Ohio: Billy Burke wins by 1 stroke from George Von Elm in a second 36-hole playoff; longest playoff in tournament history
  • Jul 11 NY Giants beat Phillies 23-8
  • Jul 12 45,715 fans in 35,000 seat Sportsman Park St Louis, help cause many ground ruled doubles, 11 in 1st game & 21 in 2nd game for 32
  • Jul 23 France announces it can't afford to send a team to 1932 LA Olympics

Sports record brokenWorld Record

Jul 24 Paavo Nurmi runs world record 2 mile (8:59.6)

Runner nicknamed the
Runner nicknamed the "Flying Finn"
Paavo Nurmi
  • Jul 26 LPGA Western Open Women's Golf, Midlothian CC: June Beebe beats Mrs. Melvin Jones, 3 & 2 for golf's only major title
  • Jul 26 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Paris, France: Henri Cochet beats Fred Perry 6-4, 1-6, 9-7, 6-3 to give France 3-2 win over Great Britain and 5th straight title
  • Jul 26 25th Tour de France won by Antonin Magne of France
  • Jul 28 White Sox score 11 in 8th to beat Yankees 14-12
  • Aug 8 Washington Senators pitcher Bobby Burke no-hits Boston Red Sox, 5-0 at Griffith Stadium, Washington D. C.
  • Aug 13 Cincinnati Red Tony Cuccinello goes 6 for 6
  • Aug 15 Spakenburg soccer team forms
  • Aug 18 Lou Gehrig hitless in Detroit, his 1,000th consecutively played game

Sport awardUS Open Women's Tennis

Aug 20 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Helen Wills Moody beats Eileen Bennett Whittingstall of England 6-4, 6-1 for her 7th and final US singles title

Tennis Player Helen Wills Moody
Tennis Player
Helen Wills Moody

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Aug 21 Yankees slugger Babe Ruth becomes the first MLB player to hit 600 career home runs as NY defeats St. Louis Browns, 11-7 at Sportsman's Park

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
  • Sep 1 Future Baseball Hall of Fame 1st baseman Lou Gehrig hits his 3rd grand slam in 4 days & 6th homer in consecutive games in NY Yankees' 5-1 win v Boston Red Sox
  • Sep 10 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Ellsworth Vines beats George Lott 7-9, 6-3, 9-7, 7-5 for his first of 2 straight US singles titles
  • Sep 16 St Louis Cards repeat as NL champions with a 6-3 win over Phillies
  • Sep 17 Red Sox Earl Webb sets record with 65 en route to 67 doubles

Sport awardPGA Championship

Sep 19 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Wannamoisett CC: 20 year old American Tom Creavy beats Denny Shute, 2 & 1 in the final for his lone major title

Golfer Denny Shute
Golfer
Denny Shute
  • Sep 19 Lefty Grove wins his 30th game of season over White Sox, 2-1
  • Sep 20 MLB's Lou Gehrig's 4 RBIs break his old RBI mark of 175 en route to 184
  • Sep 24 Round-robin playoff among NYC's 3 major league teams, to raise money for unemployed, concludes with Brooklyn losing to both Giants & Yanks
  • Sep 27 MLB's Lou Gehrig completes his 6th straight season, playing in every game (.3486) Jim Bottomley (.3481)
  • Sep 27 Closest NL batting race ends St. Louis Cardinals Chick Hafey's .34889 beats N.Y. Giants Bill Terry's .34861 [1]
  • Oct 1 Philadelphia Athletics seek 3rd straight World Series baseball title; beat St. Louis Cardinals, 6-2 in opener at Sportsman's Park; lose series, 4-3
  • Oct 10 St Louis Cards beat Philadelphia A's, 4 games to 3 in 28th World Series
  • Oct 27 Chuhei Numbu of Japan, sets then long jump record at 26' 2½"
  • Oct 29 Lefty Grove, A's pitcher who won 31 games, is named the AL's MVP
  • Nov 12 Maple Leaf Gardens opens in Toronto - Chic Blackhawks beat Leafs, 2-1
  • Nov 28 Australian cricket master batsman Don Bradman scores 226 in his first Test appearance v South Africa in 1st Test in Brisbane
  • Dec 5 CFL Grey Cup, Molson Stadium, Montreal: Montreal AAA Winged Wheelers shutout Regina Roughriders, 22-0 for their first title
  • Dec 7 After scoring 226 in 1st Test in Brisbane, Don Bradman belts 219 for NSW against the visiting South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground
  • Dec 9 Baseball cuts squad from 25 to 23 players & NL continues to prohibit uniform numbers
  • Dec 13 National Football League Championship: Green Bay Packers (12-2-0) win 3rd straight first past the post title