Events in Sport in 1961

  • Jan 2 47th Rose Bowl: #6 Washington beats #1 Minnesota, 17-7
  • Jan 2 27th Sugar Bowl: #2 Mississippi beats Rice, 14-6
  • Jan 2 27th Orange Bowl: #5 Missouri beats #4 Navy, 21-14
  • Jan 7 1st NFL Playoff Bowl (runner-up bowl)-Detroit beats Cleveland 17-16
  • Jan 14 Chic Bear Willard Dewveall becomes 1st NFLer to join AFL
  • Jan 15 NFL Pro Bowl: West beats East 35-31
  • Jan 15 Suggs wins LPGA Sea Island Women's Golf Invitational Open
  • Jan 17 11th NBA All-Star Game: West beats East 153-131 at Syracuse, New York

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Jan 25 Louise Suggs wins LPGA Naples Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Golfer and Co-Founder of the LPGA Louise Suggs
Golfer and Co-Founder of the LPGA
Louise Suggs
  • Jan 27 49th Women's Australian Championships: Margaret Court beats Jan Lehane O'Neill (6-1, 6-4)

Sport awardTennis Open

Jan 27 49th Men's Australian Championships: Roy Emerson beats Rod Laver (1-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4)

Tennis Player Roy Emerson
Tennis Player
Roy Emerson
Tennis Player Rod Laver
Tennis Player
Rod Laver
  • Feb 1 Mackay & Kline hang on for 100 mins for cricket draw vs West Indies
  • Feb 10 AFL's LA Chargers move to San Diego

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 12 Celtic Bill Russell grabs 40 rebounds to beat Warriors 136-125

Basketball Player Bill Russell
Basketball Player
Bill Russell

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Feb 12 Mickey Wright wins LPGA St Petersburg Golf Open

LPGA Golfer Mickey Wright
LPGA Golfer
Mickey Wright
  • Feb 12 Mushtaq Mohammad scores 1st Test Cricket century at 17 yrs 82 days
  • Feb 14 Louise Suggs wins LPGA Royal Poinciana Golf Invitational
  • Feb 15 Australia beat West Indies 2-1 in one of best Test Cricket series ever
  • Feb 18 Henk van der Grift becomes world champion skater
  • Feb 19 Henk van der Grift (Neth) becomes world champ all-round skater
  • Feb 25 Niagara ends St Bonaventura's 99-game home basketball win streak
  • Mar 4 8th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: Wake Forest beats Duke, 96-81

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 9 Wilt Chamberlain of NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 67 points vs NY Knicks

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Mar 13 Floyd Patterson KOs Ingemar Johansson in 6 for heavyweight boxing title

Boxer and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson
Boxer and Undisputed Heavyweight Champion
Floyd Patterson
  • Mar 14 George Weiss becomes President of NY Mets
  • Mar 21 Art Modell purchases Cleveland Browns for then record ($3,925,000)
  • Mar 24 NY Senate approves $55M for a baseball stadium at Flushing Meadows
  • Mar 25 23rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Cin beats Ohio State 70-65 (OT)
  • Mar 25 3rd place game is one of the wildest contests in NCAA Tournament history as St Joseph's defeats Utah 127-120 in 4 overtimes
  • Mar 25 115th Grand National: Bobby Beasley aboard Nicolaus Silver wins
  • Mar 26 Louise Suggs wins LPGA Golden Circle of Golf Festival

Sport awardGolf Major

Apr 10 25th Masters Golf Tournament: Gary Player wins, shooting a 280

Golfer Gary Player
Golfer
Gary Player
  • Apr 10 New Washington Senators loses 1st regular-season game 4-3 to White Sox
  • Apr 11 15th NBA Championship: Bos Celtics beat St Louis Hawks, 4 games to 1

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 12 Douglas MacArthur declines offer to become baseball commissioner

US WWII General Douglas MacArthur
US WWII General
Douglas MacArthur
  • Apr 16 Louise Suggs wins LPGA Dallas Civitan Golf Open
  • Apr 16 Stanley Cup: Chicago Blackhawks beat Detroit Red Wings, 4 games to 2
  • Apr 19 65th Boston Marathon won by Eino Oksanen of Finland in 2:23:39
  • Apr 23 Mary Lena Faulk wins LPGA Babe Didrikson-Zaharias Golf Open

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Apr 26 Roger Maris hits 1st of 61 homers in 1961

American Baseball Player Roger Maris
American Baseball Player
Roger Maris
  • Apr 27 NFL officially recognizes Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio
  • Apr 28 Warren Spahn pitches 2nd no hitter at 41 beats SF Giants, 1-0
  • Apr 29 ABC's "Wide World of Sports" debuts
  • Apr 30 Mickey Wright wins LPGA Titleholders Golf Championship

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Apr 30 San Francisco Giant Willie Mays hits 4 HRs in a game

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • May 6 87th Kentucky Derby: John Sellers aboard Carry Back wins in 2:04
  • May 7 Ruth Jessen wins LPGA Peach Blossom Golf Open
  • May 9 Baltimore Oriole Jim Gentile hits 2 grand slams (9 RBIs) vs Minnesota Twins
  • May 14 Mickey Wright wins LPGA Columbus Golf Open

  • May 20 86th Preakness: Johnny Sellers aboard Carry Back wins in 1:57.6
  • May 27 Fiorentina of Italy win 1st European Cup Winner's Cup against Glasgow Rangers 4-2 in Florence (2nd leg)
  • May 27 Ralph Boston of US, sets then long jump record at 27' ½"
  • May 27 60th Men's French Championships: Manuel Santana beats Nicola Pietrangeli (4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2)
  • May 27 60th Women's French Championships: Ann Haydon beats Yola Ramirez (6-2, 6-1)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 30 Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt wins in 3:35:37.540 (223.908 km/h)

Racing Car Driver A. J. Foyt
Racing Car Driver
A. J. Foyt
  • May 31 6th European Cup: Benfica beats Barcelona 3-2 at Bern
  • Jun 3 93rd Belmont: Braulio Baeza aboard Sherluck wins in 2:29.2
  • Jun 4 Mary Lena Faulk wins LPGA Western Golf Open
  • Jun 8 Test Cricket debut of William Morris Lawry, v England at Edgbaston, 57

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Jun 8 Milwaukee sets record of 4 consecutive HRs (Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock & Frank Thomas)

Baseball Player Hank Aaron
Baseball Player
Hank Aaron
  • Jun 9 Ryne Duren sets AL record with 7 straight strikeouts against Red Sox
  • Jun 11 Mary Lena Faulk wins LPGA Triangle Round Robin Golf Tournament
  • Jun 11 Roger Maris hits 19th & 20th of 61 HRs
  • Jun 12 An ailing Bill Veeck sells his interest in White Sox to Arthur Allyn
  • Jun 17 61st US Golf Open: Gene Littler shoots a 281 at Oakland Hills Mich
  • Jun 18 Mary Lena Faulk wins LPGA Eastern Golf Open
  • Jun 19 NY Yankee Roger Maris hits his 25th of 61 HRs

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 23 Cubs Ernie Banks ends his 717 consecutive-games-played streak

MLB shortstop Ernie Banks
MLB shortstop
Ernie Banks
  • Jun 23 Phillies overcome 9-0, losing 11-2 they score 4 in 8th & 6 in 9th
  • Jun 25 Balt & California use a record 16 pitchers in a game (8 each) in 14 inns
  • Jun 29 Willie Mays is 4th major leaguer with 3 or more HRs twice in a season
  • Jul 1 16th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Mickey Wright
  • Jul 5 St Louis Cardinal Bill White hits 3 HRs & a double

Sport awardTennis Open

Jul 7 75th Wimbledon Men's Tennis: Rod Laver beats Chuck McKinley (63 61 64)

Tennis Player Rod Laver
Tennis Player
Rod Laver
Tennis Player Wimbledon Champion Chuck McKinley
Tennis Player Wimbledon Champion
Chuck McKinley
  • Jul 11 30th All Star Baseball Game: NL wins 5-4 in 10 at Candlestick Pk, SF

Sport awardGolf Major

Jul 15 90th British Golf Open: Arnold Palmer shoots a 284 at Royal Birkdale

  • Jul 16 Kathy Cornelius wins LPGA Tippecanoe Golf Open
  • Jul 16 Ralph Boston of US, sets then long jump record at 27' 2"
  • Jul 16 48th Tour de France won by Jacques Anquetil of France
  • Jul 17 Roger Maris loses a HR (of his 61) due to a rain-out in 5th

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Jul 23 Betsy Rawls wins LPGA Cosmopolitan Golf Open

LPGA Golfer Betsy Rawls
LPGA Golfer
Betsy Rawls
  • Jul 24 Roger Maris hits 4 home runs, in a doubleheader
  • Jul 25 Roger Maris hits home runs 37, 38, 39 & 40 in a doubleheader
  • Jul 29 Phillies lose 1st of 23 straight games
  • Jul 30 43rd PGA Championship: Jerry Barber shoots a 277 at Olympia Fields IL
  • Jul 30 Judy Kimball wins LPGA American Women's Golf Open
  • Jul 31 31st All Star Baseball Game: 1-1 tie ends by rain at Fenway, Boston

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 1 Cricketer Richie Benaud rips through England team for Aussie win at Old Trafford

Cricketer and Commentator Richie Benaud
Cricketer and Commentator
Richie Benaud
  • Aug 2 St Louis Cards (NFL) beat Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 36-7 in Toronto
  • Aug 4 28th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Philadelphia 28, All-Stars 14 (66,000)
  • Aug 5 Chicago Bears (NFL) beat Mont Alouettes (CFL) 34-16 in Montreal
  • Aug 6 Mickey Wright wins LPGA Waterloo Golf Open
  • Aug 8 Ham Tigercats (CFL) beat Buff Bills (NFL) 38-21 in Hamilton, Ontario
  • Aug 11 Warren Spahn records victory #300, beats Cubs 2-1
  • Aug 13 Louise Suggs wins LPGA Kansas City Golf Open
  • Aug 14 Philadelphia Phillies lose 17th straight game
  • Aug 20 Phillies set then dubious record of 23 straight loses, beat Braves
  • Aug 27 Mickey Wright wins LPGA Spokane Women's Golf Open

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Aug 30 Oriole Jack Fisher walks 12 LA Angels in a 9 inning game

MLB Pitcher Jack Fisher
MLB Pitcher
Jack Fisher

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 10 Mickey Mantle becomes 7th to hit HR # 400

Baseball Legend Mickey Mantle
Baseball Legend
Mickey Mantle
  • Sep 10 Italian Grand Prix, a crash causes the death of German driver Wolfgang von Trips and 13 spectators hit by his Ferrari.
  • Sep 10 81st U.S. Men's National Championship: Roy Emerson beats Rod Laver (7-5, 6-3, 6-2)

Sport awardTennis Open

Sep 10 75th U.S. Women's National Championship: Darlene Hard beats Ann Jones (6-3, 6-4)

Tennis Player Darlene Hard
Tennis Player
Darlene Hard

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Sep 15 61st US Golf Amateur Championship won by Jack Nicklaus

  • Sep 17 Minnesota Vikings' 1st NFL game (beat Chicago Bears 37-13)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 17 Fran Tarkenton plays his first NFL Game against the Chicago Bears, coming off the bench to lead the Vikings to a 37-13 victory, also becoming the only QB to throw four touchdown passes in his first career game

Quarterback Fran Tarkenton
Quarterback
Fran Tarkenton

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 4 Whitey Ford's 3rd straight World Series shutout

MLB Pitcher Whitey Ford
MLB Pitcher
Whitey Ford
  • Oct 7 15th NHL All-Star Game: All-Stars beat Chicago 3-1 at Chicago
  • Oct 8 Betsy Rawls wins LPGA Bill Brannin's Swing Parade Golf Tournament
  • Oct 8 12th Formula One WDC: Phil Hill wins by one point
  • Oct 9 NY Yankees beat Cincinnati Reds, 4 games to 1 in 58th World Series
  • Oct 9 Yank Whitey Ford breaks Ruth record of 29 2/3 consecutive inning
  • Oct 9 World Series scoreless pitching streak Yanks beat Reds 4 games to 1
  • Oct 10 Expansion draft to stock Houston Astros & NY Mets
  • Oct 14 14th Ryder Cup: US wins, 14½-9½ at Royal Lytham & St Annes, England
  • Oct 22 Louise Suggs wins LPGA San Antonio Golf Civitan
  • Oct 27 American Basketball League starts play
  • Oct 28 Ground broken for Municipal (Shea) Stadium for NY Mets
  • Oct 29 13th NASCAR Sprint Cup: Ned Jarrett wins
  • Nov 6 US government issues a stamp honoring 100th birthday of James Naismith (invented game of basketball - actually Canadian)
  • Nov 8 Whitey Ford is voted Cy Young Award winner over Warren Spahn
  • Nov 9 PGA eliminates caucasians only rule
  • Nov 15 Roger Maris is voted AL MVP
  • Nov 22 Frank Robinson is 1st to win MVPs in both major leagues

Sports record brokenNBA Record

Nov 22 St Louis Hawk Bob Pettit sets NBA record, hitting 19 of 19 free throws

NBA Forward Bob Pettit
NBA Forward
Bob Pettit

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 25 NBA's Bob Cousy becomes 2nd player to score 15,000 points

NBA Point Guard Bob Cousy
NBA Point Guard
Bob Cousy
  • Nov 26 Pro Baseball Rules Committee votes 8-1 against legalizing the spitball

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 27 Gordie Howe becomes 1st to play in 1,000 NHL games

Ice Hockey Legend Gordie Howe
Ice Hockey Legend
Gordie Howe
  • Nov 30 Billy Williams of the Cubs is voted NL Rookie of Year
  • Dec 2 26th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 34-0 in Birmingham
  • Dec 3 Anton Geesink becomes 1st non-Japanese judo world champion
  • Dec 4 Floyd Patterson KOs Tom McNeeley in 4 for heavyweight boxing title
  • Dec 4 Smallest NY Knick, 49th St Madison Square Garden crowd-1,300 (snowstorm)
  • Dec 4 1962 NFL Draft: Ernie Davis from University of Syracuse first pick by Washington Redskins
  • Dec 6 27th Heisman Trophy Award: Ernie Davis, Syracuse (HB) (1st African American to win)
  • Dec 8 Larry Costello scores 32 consecutive pts without a miss (NBA rec)
  • Dec 8 Wilt Chamberlain scores the 2nd highest total in the NBA - 78
  • Dec 18 For 2nd consecutive year, AP names Wilma Rudolph female athlete of year
  • Dec 18 Wilt Chamberlain of NBA Philadelphia Warriors scores 78 points vs LA
  • Dec 24 Houston Oilers beat San Diego Chargers 10-3 in AFL championship game
  • Dec 28 50th Davis Cup: Australia beats Italy in Melbourne (5-0)
  • Dec 31 Green Bay Packers shutout NY Giants 37-0 in NFL championship game