On This Day

Events in Sport in 1939

  • Jan 1 25th Rose Bowl: #7 Southern California beats #3 Duke, 7-3

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 2 Bradman scores 107 South Australia v Victoria, his 4th consecutive century

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • Jan 2 5th Sugar Bowl: #1 TCU beats #6 Carnegie Tech, 15-7
  • Jan 2 5th Orange Bowl: #2 Tennessee beats #4 Oklahoma, 17-0
  • Jan 15 1st NFL All Star Game, Wrigley Field, Chicago: New York Giants beat All America All-Stars, 13-10
  • Jan 20 LPGA Titleholders Championship, Augusta CC: Patty Berg wins 3rd straight title by 2 strokes ahead of Dorothy Kirby

Hall of fameHall of Fame

Jan 24 Eddie Collins, Willie Keeler & George Sisler elected to Hall of Fame

Baseball Legend Eddie Collins
Baseball Legend
Eddie Collins

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Jan 25 Joe Louis KOs John Henry Lewis in 1 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis
  • Jan 28 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Emily Hood Westacott beats Nell Hall Hopman 6-1, 6-2 for her only Grand Slam singles title
  • Jan 28 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Australian John Bromwich wins his 1st Australian title; beats doubles partner Adrian Quist 6-4, 6-1, 6-3
  • Feb 17 Katwijk soccer team forms
  • Feb 23 Lou Thesz beats Everett Marshall in St Louis, to win National Boxing Association world heavyweight title for 2nd time
  • Mar 16 NHL record 10 goals in 1 period-NY Rangers (7), NY Americans (3) & a record 26 points in the 3rd period
  • Mar 18 England beats Scotland, 9-6 at Murrayfield, Edinburgh to force a share of the Home Nations Rugby Championship with Wales and Ireland
  • Mar 24 98th Grand National: Irish jockey Tim Hyde wins riding 100/8 shot Workman
  • Mar 27 1st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: U of Oregon beats Ohio State, 46-33; Ohio State forward Jimmy Hull is named tournament Most Outstanding Player

  • Mar 28 Renaissance Big 5 win 1st pro basketball championship

Sport awardUS Masters Golf

Apr 2 6th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Ralph Guldahl wins his only Masters title with a tournament record 279 (−9), 1 stroke ahead of runner-up Sam Snead

Golfer Sam Snead
Golfer
Sam Snead
  • Apr 8 ACV soccer team forms in Axes
  • Apr 16 Stanley Cup Final, Boston Garden, Boston, MA: Boston Bruins beat Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-1 for a 4-1 series win; first best-of-7 SC Final series
  • Apr 17 Joe Louis KOs Jack Roper in 1 for heavyweight boxing title
  • Apr 17 43rd Boston Marathon won by Ellison Brown in 2:28:51.8; his second victory in the event

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 20 Ted Williams' 1st hit (off of Yankee Red Ruffing) a double

Baseball Player Ted Williams
Baseball Player
Ted Williams

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Apr 30 Lou Gehrig sets a MLB record playing his 2,130th consecutive and final game for the New York Yankees.

Baseball Player Lou Gehrig
Baseball Player
Lou Gehrig
  • May 2 Lou Gehrig ends 2,130 consecutive game streak, Yanks beat Tigers 22-2
  • May 6 65th Kentucky Derby: James Stout aboard Johnstown wins in 2:03.4
  • May 13 64th Preakness: George Seabo aboard Challedon wins in 1:59.8
  • May 17 1st televised baseball game is broadcast on NBC, with Princeton defeating Columbia 2-1
  • May 25 Carl Storck becomes 2nd NFL president
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Wilbur Shaw wins in 4:20:47.412 (185.131 km/h)
  • Jun 1 1st boxing match to be televised, Lon Nova defeats Max Baer
  • Jun 1 1st night game at Phil's Shribe Park (Pirates 5, Phillies 2)
  • Jun 3 71st Belmont: James Stout riding Johnstown wins in 2:29.6
  • Jun 6 NY Giants beat Reds 17-3, with 5 HRs in 4th inning
  • Jun 7 Cleveland Indians sets AL record of 16 inning game without striking out, however lose game 5-4 to NY Yankees

Sport awardUS Golf Open

Jun 12 US Open Men's Golf, Philadelphia Cricket Club: Byron Nelson wins by 3 strokes from Craig Wood and 7 ahead of Denny Shute in a 36-hole playoff to claim the second of his 5 major titles

  • Jun 12 Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, NY

Sport awardTennis Open

Jun 17 44th Men's French Championships: Don McNeill beats Bobby Riggs (7-5, 6-0, 6-3)

Tennis Player and Three-Time Major Champion Bobby Riggs
Tennis Player and Three-Time Major Champion
Bobby Riggs
  • Jun 17 44th Women's French Championships: Simonne Mathieu beats Jadwiga Jedrzejowska (6-3, 8-6)
  • Jun 21 NY Yankees announce Lou Gehrig's retirement after doctors reveal he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Jun 23 Bronko Nagurski beats Lou Thesz in Houston, to win National Wrestling Association world heavyweight title

Hall of Fame American Football Player Bronko Nagurski
Hall of Fame American Football Player
Bronko Nagurski
  • Jun 27 Brooklyn Dodgers tie Boston Braves, 2-2, in 23 innings
  • Jun 27 Headley scores a cricket century in each innings v England at Lord's
  • Jun 28 Joe Louis TKOs Tony Galent in 4 for heavyweight boxing title
  • Jul 4 Red Sox 3rd baseman Jim Tabor hits record-tying 2 grand slams in one MLB game, 18-12 win v Phillies
  • Jul 4 Lou Gehrig is first MLB player to have his number (4) retired on his "Appreciation Day" at Yankee Stadium, makes iconic "luckiest man" speech
  • Jul 7 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Bobby Riggs beats fellow American Elwood Cooke 2-6, 8-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 for Wimbledon sweep, also won doubles & mixed doubles titles
  • Jul 7 British Open Golf, St Andrews: In the last Open played for 7 years, due to WWII, England's Dick Burton wins by 2 strokes from American Johnny Bulla

Sport awardTennis Open

Jul 8 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: American Alice Marble wins her only Wimbledon singles title beating Kay Stammers of England 6-2, 6-0

Tennis Champion Alice Marble
Tennis Champion
Alice Marble
  • Jul 9 A meeting of 6,000 Indians, held at the Indian Sports Ground in Johannesburg South Africa, launch the Passive Resistance Campaign against apartheid and racial policy in South Africa
  • Jul 11 7th All Star Baseball Game: AL wins 3-1 at Yankee Stadium, New York NY Yankee/AL maanager Joe McCarthy starts 6 Yankees
  • Jul 17 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Pomonok CC: 1938 Masters champion Henry Picard wins his 2nd major title defeating Byron Nelson with a birdie at the 37th hole
  • Jul 25 NY Yankee Atley Donald sets AL rookie record with 12 consecutive win
  • Jul 26 Yankee catcher Bill Dickey hits 3 consecutive HRs
  • Jul 30 Tour de France: Sylvère Maes of Belgium wins his 3rd title from Frenchman René Vietto
  • Aug 14 1st night games at Comiskey Park (White Sox 5, Browns 2)
  • Aug 15 First night game at baseball's Comiskey Park, Sox beat Browns 5-2
  • Aug 26 1st major league baseball telecast on W2XBS- Cincinnati Reds defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn
  • Aug 30 6th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: NY Giants 9, All-Stars 0 (81,456)
  • Aug 30 NY Yankee Atley Donald pitches a baseball a record 94.7 mph (152 kph)
  • Sep 1 Last day of 1st-class cricket in England before the declaration of war against Germany; great slow left-armer Hedley Verity finishes with amazing figures of 7 for 9 v Sussex to give Yorkshire the County Championship
  • Sep 5 34th Davis Cup: Australia beats USA in Haverford (3-2)
  • Sep 8 Indians Bob Feller, 20, is youngest pitcher to win 20 games
  • Sep 8 Yanks beat Red Sox 4-1 in 7, game called because of lightning
  • Sep 16 NY Yankees clinch their 11th & 4th successive pennant
  • Sep 17 59th U.S. Men's National Championship: Bobby Riggs beats Welby van Horn (6-4, 6-2, 6-4)
  • Sep 17 53rd U.S. Women's National Championship: Alice Marble beats Helen Jacobs (6-0, 8-10, 6-4)
  • Sep 20 Joe Louis KOs Bob Pastor in 11 for heavyweight boxing title
  • Sep 23 Cookie Lavagetto goes 6 for 6-Dodgers get 27 hits & beat Phillies 22-4
  • Sep 27 White Sox host 1st "day-night" doubleheader, lose to Cleve, 5-2 & 7-5
  • Sep 30 1st televised college football game (Fordham vs Waynesburg at NYC)
  • Sep 30 White Sox reliever Clint Brown sets record of 61st relief appearance
  • Oct 8 NY Yankees sweep Reds in 36th World Series, 4th straight WS win
  • Oct 22 NBC becomes first network to televise a pro football game; Brooklyn Dodgers beat Philadelphia Eagles, 23-14 at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 24 Joe DiMaggio wins AL MVP, Jimmie Foxx is runner-up

Baseball Player Joe DiMaggio
Baseball Player
Joe DiMaggio
  • Oct 29 NHL Babe Seibert Memorial Game: All-Stars beat Montreal 5-3
  • Nov 29 Cor Klint swims world record 200 m backstroke (2:38.8)
  • Dec 6 5th Heisman Trophy Award: Nile Kinnick, Iowa (HB)
  • Dec 7 Lou Gehrig, 36, is elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame
  • Dec 9 CFL Grey Cup, Landsdowne Park, Ottawa: Winnipeg Blue Bombers claim 2nd title; defeat Ottawa Rough Riders, 8-7
  • Dec 9 1940 NFL Draft: George Cafego from University of Tennessee first pick by Chicago Cardinals
  • Dec 10 National Football League Championship, Dairy Bowl, West Allis, Wisconsin: Green Bay Packers beat New York Giants, 27-0; Packers 5th title
  • Dec 16 Bradman scores 251* SA v NSW, 271 minutes, 38 fours 2 sixes
  • Dec 30 Bradman scores 267 South Australia v Vic, world record 34th double cricket century