On This Day

Events in Sport in 1951

  • Jan 1 37th Rose Bowl: #9 Michigan beats #5 California, 14-6
  • Jan 1 17th Sugar Bowl: #7 Kentucky beats #1 Oklahoma, 13-7
  • Jan 1 17th Orange Bowl: #10 Clemson beats #15 Miami (FL), 15-14
  • Jan 3 Fred Wilt wins AAU Sullivan Memorial Trophy (US athlete of 1950)
  • Jan 6 Indianapolis Olympians beat Rochester Royals, 75-73 in NBA-record 6 overtimes; also the longest game in NBA history
  • Jan 9 Washington Capitals NBA club folds

Sports record brokenNHL Record

Jan 10 Maurice Richard scores his 16th career hat trick in the Montreal Canadiens' 3-0 win over NY Rangers to bring his career total to 274 goals; passes Howie Morenz as NHL's #2 all-time leading goal scorer

Ice Hockey Player Maurice Richard
Ice Hockey Player
Maurice Richard

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Jan 12 Ezzard Charles TKOs Lee Oma in 10 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Ezzard Charles
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Ezzard Charles

Sport awardNFL Pro Bowl

Jan 14 1st NFL Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: American Conference beats National Conference, 28-27; MVP: Otto Graham, Cleveland Browns, QB

NFL Quarterback Otto Graham
NFL Quarterback
Otto Graham
  • Jan 18 NFL rules tackles, guards & centers ineligible for forward pass
  • Jan 18 NFL takes control of failing Baltimore Colts
  • Jan 18 1951 NFL Draft: Kyle Rote from SMU first pick by New York Giants
  • Jan 26 Mel Ott & Jimmie Foxx elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Jan 31 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Nancye Wynne Bolton beats Thelma Coyne Long 6-1, 7-5 for her 6th and last Australian singles crown
  • Jan 31 Australian Championships: American Dick Savitt wins his only Australian title; beats Ken McGregor of Australia 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
  • Feb 3 Largest purse to date in horse racing, $144,323, won by Great Circle

  • Feb 9 St Louis Browns sign pitcher Satchel Paige, 45

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 14 Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Jake LaMotta & takes middleweight title

Middle/welterweight championship boxer Sugar Ray Robinson
Middle/welterweight championship boxer
Sugar Ray Robinson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 17 Detroit right wing Gordie Howe scores his 100th career NHL goal and adds an assist in a 2-1 Red Wings' victory away to the Montreal Canadiens

Ice Hockey Legend Gordie Howe
Ice Hockey Legend
Gordie Howe
  • Feb 18 3 City College of NY basketball players admit to accepting bribes
  • Mar 2 1st NBA All-Star Game, Boston Garden: East beats West, 111-94; MVP: Ed Macauley, Boston Celtics, G
  • Mar 3 Bill Mikvy (Temple) scores NCAA basketball record 73 pts
  • Mar 7 Ezzard Charles beats Jersey Joe Walcott in 15 for 2nd time to win National Boxing Association world heavyweight title
  • Mar 10 Ireland clinches their 7th Five Nations Rugby Championship with a 3-3 draw against Wales at the National Stadium, Cardiff
  • Mar 17 Test Cricket debut of Brian Statham, England v NZ at Christchurch
  • Mar 18 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Pat O'Sullivan wins her only major title by 2 strokes from fellow amateur Beverly Hanson
  • Mar 27 13th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Kentucky beats Kansas, 68-58; Wildcats' 3rd title; 16-team field is introduced

Sport awardUS Masters Golf

Apr 7 15th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Ben Hogan wins the first of his 2 Masters titles, 2 strokes ahead of runner-up Skee Riegel

Golfer Ben Hogan
Golfer
Ben Hogan
  • Apr 7 105th Grand National: John Bullock wins aboard 40/1 shot Nickel Coin; of 36 runners, only 3 complete the course
  • Apr 16 55th Boston Marathon won by Shigeki Tanaka of Japan in 2:27:45

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 17 NY Yankee Mickey Mantle's 1st game, he goes 1 for 4

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • Apr 21 NBA Championship: Rochester Royals beat New York Knicks, 79-75 to take series 4 games to 3; first Finals appearance for both teams
  • Apr 21 Stanley Cup Final, Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON: Toronto Maple Leafs beat Montreal Canadiens, 3-2 for a 4-1 series victory
  • May 1 Future Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Mickey Mantle hits first career home run in 8-3 win v White Sox in Chicago; Minnie Minoso homers in Sox debut
  • May 3 Gil McDougald ties major league record with 6 RBIs in 1 inning
  • May 3 NY Yankee Gil McDougald is 5th to get 6 RBIs in an inning (9th)
  • May 5 77th Kentucky Derby: Conn McCreary aboard Count Turf wins in 2:02.6
  • May 6 Pitts Pirate Cliff Chambers no-hits Boston Brave, 3-0
  • May 7 International Olympic committee allows Russia to participate in 1952 Olympics
  • May 19 76th Preakness: Eddie Arcaro aboard Bold wins in 1:56.4

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 25 NY Giant Willie Mays 1st major league game (goes 0 for 5)

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays

  • May 28 After going 0-for-12, Willie Mays connects for his 1st major league home run
  • May 30 Ezzard Charles beats Joey Maxim in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • May 30 Indianapolis 500: Lee Wallard wins in 3:57:38.103 (203.170 km/h)
  • Jun 3 50th Men's French Championships: Jaroslav Drobny beats Eric Sturgess (6-3, 6-3, 6-3)
  • Jun 3 50th French Championships Women's Tennis: Shirley Fry beats fellow American Doris Hart 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 for her only French singles title
  • Jun 4 Pirate's' Gus Bell hits for cycle helps beat Phillies 12-4

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 15 Joe Louis scored his last knock out victory

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis
  • Jun 16 US Open Men's Golf, Oakland Hills CC: Ben Hogan wins his second consecutive US Open title, 2 strokes ahead of runner-up Clayton Heafner.
  • Jun 16 83rd Belmont: David Gorman aboard Counterpoint wins in 2:29
  • Jun 20 Cleveland Indian Bobby Avila hits 3 HRs, double & single vs Red Sox
  • Jun 21 LPGA Western Open Women's Golf, Whitemarsh Valley CC: Patty Berg defeats Pat O'Sullivan, 2-up in the final
  • Jul 1 Cleveland Indians veteran hurler Bob Feller pitches his 3rd career no-hitter beating Detroit Tigers, 2-1
  • Jul 2 Bill Veeck buys St Louis Browns from Bill & Charlie DeWitt; after 1953 season sells franchise to Clarence Miles, team moves to Baltimore (Orioles)
  • Jul 2 Worcestershire cricket wicket-keeper Hugo Yarnold makes a record 6 stumpings in an innings in a 1st-class match vs Scotland at Dundee

Sport awardPGA Championship

Jul 3 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Oakmont GC: Sam Snead beats Walter Burkemo, 7 & 6 for his 3rd PGA C'ship title

Golfer Sam Snead
Golfer
Sam Snead
  • Jul 6 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: American Dick Savitt wins his only Wimbledon title beating Ken McGregor of Australia 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
  • Jul 6 British Open Men's Golf, Royal Portrush GC: Englishman Max Faulkner wins by 2 strokes from Antonio Cerdá of Argentina
  • Jul 7 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Doris Hart outclasses fellow American Shirley Fry 6-1, 6-0 for her only Wimbledon singles title

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 8 Yankee Joe DiMaggio and manager Casey Stengel feud

Baseball Player Joe DiMaggio
Baseball Player
Joe DiMaggio
  • Jul 10 18th All Star Baseball Game: NL wins 8-3 at Briggs Stadium, Detroit
  • Jul 12 NY Yankees Allie Reynolds no-hits Cleveland Indians, 8-0
  • Jul 14 1st color telecast of a sporting event (CBS-horse race)
  • Jul 14 In his last race, 1948 Triple Crown champion Citation wins the Hollywood Gold Cup by 4 lengths, to become American racing's first millionaire horse.

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Jul 16 Novel "Catcher in Rye" by J. D. Salinger published by Little Brown and Company

Novelist J. D. Salinger
Novelist
J. D. Salinger

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 18 Jersey Joe Walcott at 37 becomes oldest to win heavyweight champion

World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jersey Joe
  • Jul 29 38th Tour de France won by Hugo Koblet of Switzerland

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 30 Ty Cobb testifies before the Emanuel Celler committee, denying that the reserve clause makes peons of baseball players

MLB Legend Ty Cobb
MLB Legend
Ty Cobb
  • Aug 11 1st televised baseball game in color, on WCBS in New York City (Boston Braves beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 8-1)
  • Aug 11 NY Giants (NFL) beat Ottawa Roughriders (CFL) 38-6 in Ottawa
  • Aug 11 NY Giants lose to go 13½ games behind Bkln Dodgers, later win the pennant
  • Aug 17 18th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Cleveland 33, All-Stars 0 (92,180)
  • Aug 18 Cricket 1st-class debut of Raymond Illingworth
  • Aug 19 Bill Veeck (Cleveland Indians) sends Eddie Gaedel, a 3'7" little person, to pinch-hit
  • Aug 22 Harlem Globetrotters play in Olympic Stadium, Berlin before 75,052
  • Aug 25 Cleveland Indians win 16th straight home game
  • Aug 28 Braves sell pitcher Johnny Sain to the Yankees for $50,000
  • Aug 28 Pirates snap NY Giants 16 game win streak

Sport awardUS Men's Tennis Open

Sep 5 US National Championship Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Frank Sedgman of Australia beats American Vic Seixas 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 for his first of 2 straight US singles crowns

Tennis Player Vic Seixas
Tennis Player
Vic Seixas
  • Sep 5 US National Championship Women's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: Maureen Connolly wins her 1st of 9 Grand Slam singles titles; beats fellow American Shirley Fry 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
  • Sep 13 St Louis Cards beat NY Giants 6-4 (rescheduled from 9/12) then at night lose to Boston Braves 2-0

Sport awardUS Women's Golf Open

Sep 16 US Open Women's Golf, Druid Hills GC: Betsy Rawls wins first of her 8 major titles, 5 strokes ahead of runner-up Louise Suggs

LPGA Golfer Betsy Rawls
LPGA Golfer
Betsy Rawls
Golfer and Co-Founder of the LPGA Louise Suggs
Golfer and Co-Founder of the LPGA
Louise Suggs
  • Sep 16 US National League umpire Frank Dascoli clears the Dodgers bench, ejecting 15 players
  • Sep 28 Norm Van Brocklin of Rams passes for NFL record 554 yards
  • Oct 3 Shot Heard 'Round the World': Bobby Thomson hits 3-run homer off Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers, bottom 9th inning, 1 out, to give New York Giants dramatic 5-4 playoff win and NL pennant
  • Oct 3 CBS-TV airs the first coast-to-coast telecast of a prize fight; Australian light-heavyweight Dave Sands outpoints Carl 'Bobo' Olson in 10 rounds at Chicago Stadium
  • Oct 8 Ford C Frick replaces Happy Chandler as 3rd commissioner of baseball Warren C Giles becomes president of baseball's National League
  • Oct 9 5th NHL All-Star Game, Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto: 1st Team ties 2nd Team, 2-2; first year format - 1st v 2nd All-Star Teams, with additional players
  • Oct 9 Gil McDougald's World Series grand slam helps Yanks beat Giants 13-1
  • Oct 10 Yanks beat Giants 4 games to 2 in World Series, DiMaggio's final game
  • Oct 14 Det Lion Jack Christiansen returns 2 punts for touchdowns vs LA Rams

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 26 Future world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano defeats former champion Joe Louis by TKO in the 8th round at Madison Square Garden

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Rocky Marciano
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Rocky Marciano
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Joe Louis
  • Oct 28 Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina wins Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by taking out the Spanish Grand Prix at Pedralbes in an Alpha Romeo; wins by 6 points from Alberto Ascari of Italy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 1 Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella wins first of his 3 National League MVP awards

MLB Catcher Roy Campanella
MLB Catcher
Roy Campanella
  • Nov 4 Ryder Cup Golf, Pinehurst Resort: US wins 9½-2½; Sam Snead playing captain for US; Arthur Lacey non-playing GB skipper
  • Nov 4 NY Giants & NY Yanks score back-to-back TDs on kickoff returns
  • Nov 4 Vijay Merchant scores 154 v England in his last Test Cricket innings

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 8 NY Yankee Catcher Yogi Berra wins 1st of his 3 MVP awards

MLB Catcher and Manager Yogi Berra
MLB Catcher and Manager
Yogi Berra
  • Nov 13 Lefty O'Doul's all-stars, including Joe DiMaggio and Billy Martin, lose 3-1 to Pacific League all-star team (Japan)
  • Nov 15 Cricket 1st-class debut of Hanif Mohammad, Pakistan XI v MCC, Lahore
  • Nov 15 NY Yankee Gil McDougald wins AL Rookie of Year
  • Nov 18 Former Cubs 1st baseman & future TV star of Rifleman Chuck Connors is 1st player to oppose the major league draft
  • Nov 19 Roy Campanella named NL MVP on his 30th birthday
  • Nov 24 CFL Grey Cup, Varsity Stadium, Toronto: Ottawa Rough Riders claim their 4th Championship with 21-14 win over Saskatchewan Roughriders
  • Nov 25 Cleveland Browns penalized a record 209 yards against Chicago Bears
  • Nov 25 3rd NASCAR Sprint Cup: Herb Thomas wins
  • Nov 25 Cleveland halfback Dub Jones ties the NFL record for most touchdowns in a game crossing for 6 in Browns 42-21 win v Chicago Bears at Cleveland Stadium
  • Dec 1 17th Heisman Trophy Award: Dick Kazmaier, Princeton (HB)
  • Dec 1 Legendary Australian cricket fast bowler Ray Lindwall takes his 100th Test wicket when he bowls West Indian spinner Sonny Ramadhin in the 2nd Test in Sydney; Australia wins by 7 wickets
  • Dec 2 Philadelphia Eagles set NFL record of 25 1st-downs rushing in 35-21 win over Washington Redskins at Griffith Stadium

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 2 Future Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Don Hutson's has his #14 jersey retired by the Green Bay Packers; first number retired in the history of the franchise

First NFL Wide Receiver in History Don Hutson
First NFL Wide Receiver in History
Don Hutson
  • Dec 2 16th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 25-7 in Birmingham
  • Dec 11 Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball
  • Dec 22 Australia cricket all out 82 v West Indies at Adelaide
  • Dec 23 National Football League Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum: Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns, 24-17; first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game
  • Dec 25 1st Christmas Day in test cricket, Aust v WI at Adelaide
  • Dec 25 West Indies defeat Australia by 6 wkts on 3rd day of 3rd Test Cricket
  • Dec 27 40th Davis Cup: Australia beats USA in Sydney (3-2)