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 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

NHL 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

Boxing Title Fight

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

NFL 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

  • 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 Dick Button wins US skating title for 6th time
  • Feb 3 Largest purse to date in horse racing, $144,323, won by Great Circle

Sports History

Feb 9 St Louis Browns sign pitcher Satchel Paige, 45

Sports History

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

Sports History

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

  • Feb 18 3 City College of NY basketball players admit to accepting bribes
  • Feb 21 South Carolina House of Representatives urges "Shoeless Joe" Jackson be reinstated by Major League Baseball
  • 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 great English fast bowler Brian Statham, England v NZ at Christchurch; goes on to play 70 Tests, 252 wickets @ 24.84
  • 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

US 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

  • 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

Sports History

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

  • 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

Sports History

May 19 76th Preakness: Eddie Arcaro aboard Bold wins in 1:56.4

Sports History

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

  • 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 a Kurtis Kraft-Offenhauser that loses its brakes, suffers damaged exhaust pipe and broken shock absorber mounting
  • Jun 3 50th French Championships Men's Tennis: Jaroslav Drobný representing Egypt 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

Sports History

Jun 15 Joe Louis scored his last knock out victory

  • 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

Sports History

Jul 1 Cleveland Indians veteran hurler Bob Feller pitches his 3rd career no-hitter beating Detroit Tigers, 2-1

Sports History

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

PGA Championship

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

  • 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

Sports History

Jul 8 Yankee Joe DiMaggio and manager Casey Stengel feud after Stengel pulls DiMaggio out of game

  • Jul 10 18th All Star Baseball Game: NL wins 8-3 at Briggs Stadium, Detroit
  • Jul 12 NY Yankees pitcher Allie Reynolds throws no-hitter in Cleveland against the Indians, his former team, in a 1-0 win
  • 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.

Historic Publication

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

Boxing Title Fight

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

  • Jul 29 38th Tour de France won by Hugo Koblet of Switzerland

Sports History

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

  • Aug 11 First televised baseball game in colour on WCBS in New York City; Boston Braves beat Brooklyn Dodgers, 8-1
  • Aug 11 New York Giants (NFL) beat Ottawa Roughriders (CFL), 38-6 in Ottawa
  • Aug 11 NY Giants lose 4-0 to Philadelphia Phillies at the Polo Grounds, NYC to go 13½ games behind Brooklyn Dodgers; go on to win NL pennant with 98-59-0 record
  • 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 (St. Louis Browns) sends Eddie Gaedel, a 3'7" little person, to pinch-hit; he walked on four pitches.
  • Aug 22 Harlem Globetrotters play in Olympic Stadium, Berlin before 75,052
  • Aug 24 Bill Veeck's "Fans Managers' Night", Browns defeat A's 5-3; Browns coaches hold up placards for fans to vote on strategy options
  • 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 winning streak

US 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

US Open Women's Tennis

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

Sports History

Sep 11 Florence Chadwick becomes 1st woman to swim English Channel from England to France. It takes 16 hours & 19 minutes

  • Sep 13 St Louis Cards beat NY Giants 6-4 (rescheduled from 9/12) then at night lose to Boston Braves 2-0

US 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

  • Sep 16 US National League umpire Frank Dascoli clears the Dodgers bench, ejecting 15 players
  • Sep 20 MLB owners elect National League President Ford Frick as 3rd Baseball Commissioner for a 7-year term at a then massive $65,000 per annum
  • Sep 21 Emil Zatopek runs 15,000m in record 44 min, 54.6 sec
  • Sep 28 New York's Allie Reynolds' 2nd no-hitter of 1951, an 8-0 home victory over Boston Red Sox; Yankees clinch pennant #18
  • 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 at the Polo Grounds
  • Oct 3 CBS-TV airs the first coast-to-coast telecast of a prize fight; Australian light-heavyweight Dave Sands outpoints American Carl 'Bobo' Olson in 10 rounds at Chicago Stadium
  • 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

Sports History

Oct 10 Baseball World Series: two-time defending champion NY Yankees beat NY Giants, 4-3 at Yankee Stadium for 4-2 series victory; MVP: Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto

  • Oct 14 Det Lion Jack Christiansen returns 2 punts for touchdowns vs LA Rams

Boxing Title Fight

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

  • 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

Sports History

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

  • 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

Sports History

Nov 8 New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra wins 1st of his 3 MVP awards

  • 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 1st-class cricket debut of future great Pakistani batsman Hanif Mohammad; scores 26 in drawn tour match, 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

Sports History

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

  • 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 West Indies wrap up 6 wicket defeat of Australia on first Christmas Day of Test cricket, the 3rd day of 3rd Test at the Adelaide Oval
  • Dec 28 Davis Cup Men's Tennis, White City, Sydney: Frank Sedgman outclasses Vic Seixas 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the deciding rubber as Australia beats US, 3-2 in Sydney to retain Cup