Events in Sport in 1971

  • Jan 1 57th Rose Bowl: #12 Stanford beats #2 Ohio State, 27-17
  • Jan 1 37th Sugar Bowl: #4 Tennessee beats #11 Air Force, 34-13
  • Jan 1 37th Orange Bowl: #3 Nebraska beats #5 LSU, 17-12
  • Jan 2 A barrier collapses at Ibrox Park football ground at end of a soccer match in Glasgow Scotland, killing 66

Sport awardAFC Championship

Jan 3 1st AFC Championship, Memorial Stadium, Baltimore: Baltimore Colts beat Oakland Raiders, 27-17

NFL Coach and Sportscaster John Madden
NFL Coach and Sportscaster
John Madden
  • Jan 3 1st NFC Championship, Kezar Stadium, SF: Dallas Cowboys beat San Francisco 49ers, 17-10
  • Jan 5 Globetrotters lose 100-99 to NJ Reds, ending 2,495-game win streak

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 5 Body of US heavyweight Charles "Sonny" Liston (36) found; he had been dead for an estimated 6 days.

Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston
Boxer and World Heavyweight Champion
Sonny Liston

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

Jan 12 21st NBA All-Star Game, San Diego Sports Arena: West beats East, 108-107; MVP: Lenny Wilkens, Seattle SuperSonics, PG; oldest MVP in All-Star history (33); scores 21 points

NBA Point Guard and Coach Lenny Wilkens
NBA Point Guard and Coach
Lenny Wilkens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 13 In a high profile NHL trade, the Montreal Canadiens obtain future Hockey Hall of Fame left wing Frank Mahovlich from Detroit, in exchange for Bill Collins, Guy Charron and Mickey Redmond

NHL Legend Frank Mahovlich
NHL Legend
Frank Mahovlich
  • Jan 17 Super Bowl V, Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, FL: Baltimore Colts beat Dallas Cowboys, 16-13; MVP: Chuck Howley, Dallas, LB

Sport awardNHL All-Star Game

Jan 19 24th NHL All-Star Game, Boston Garden: Western Division beats Eastern Division, 2-1; MVP: Bobby Hull, Chicago, LW

NHL Legend Bobby Hull
NHL Legend
Bobby Hull
  • Jan 19 NHL Writers' Association renamed Professional Hockey Writers' Association
  • Jan 24 21st NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: NFC beats AFC, 27-6; MVPs: Fred Carr, Green Bay Packers, LB; Mel Renfro, Dallas Cowboys, CB
  • Jan 28 1971 NFL Draft: Jim Plunkett from University of Stanford first pick by New England Patriots
  • Jan 30 UCLA starts 88 basketball game win streak

  • Jan 31 Special Veterans Committee adds 6 former players and 1 executive to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Dave Bancroft, Jake Beckley, Chick Hafey, Harry Hooper, Joe Kelley, Rube Marquard and George Weiss
  • Jan 31 Dave Bancroft & George Weiss elected to baseball Hall of Fame
  • Feb 4 Baseball announces a special hall of fame wing for blacks
  • Feb 6 1st time a golf ball is hit on Moon (by Alan Shepard)
  • Feb 9 Satchel Paige becomes 1st negro-league player elected to baseball hall of fame
  • Feb 10 Bill White becomes 1st African American baseball announcer (NY Yankees)
  • Feb 11 Montreal Canadien John Believau scores his 500th NHL goal
  • Feb 12 Only Test Cricket for Ken Eastwood, who scored 5 & 0 Aust v England

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 13 US Vice President Spiro Agnew hits 2 tee shots into crowd while golfing, injuring 2

Vice President of the United States Spiro Agnew
Vice President of the United States
Spiro Agnew
  • Feb 14 13th Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins his 3rd Great American Race; goes on to win the inaugural Winston Cup title
  • Feb 17 England regains cricket Ashes with a 2-0 series win

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 20 Bruin Phil Esposito is NHL's quickest to score 50 goals in a season

NHL Star Phil Esposito
NHL Star
Phil Esposito

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 20 "Mr. Hockey," Gordie Howe scores a goal and adds 3 assists, including his 1,800th career NHL point, in 6-5 Red Wings' win over Buffalo in Detroit; Howe's 1,670th game

Ice Hockey Legend Gordie Howe
Ice Hockey Legend
Gordie Howe
  • Feb 23 Boston Bruins begin 13 NHL game win streak

Sport awardPGA Championship

Feb 28 PGA Championship, PGA National East: Jack Nicklaus leads wire-to-wire for his 2nd career grand slam; wins by 2 from Billy Casper

  • Mar 6 Test Cricket debut of Sunil Gavaskar, v West Indies at Port-of-Spain

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Mar 8 Joe Frazier ends Muhammad Ali's 31-fight winning streak at Madison Square Garden, NYC; retains heavyweight boxing title by unanimous points decision over 15 rounds in "Fight of the Century"

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali
  • Mar 8 Milwaukee Bucks win their 20th straight NBA game (team record)
  • Mar 13 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Margaret Court wins her 10th Australian singles title; beats fellow Australian Evonne Goolagong 2-6, 7-6, 7-5
  • Mar 13 18th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: South Carolina beats North Carolina, 52-51

Sport awardAustralian Tennis Open

Mar 14 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Ken Rosewall of Australia beats American defending champion Arthur Ashe 6-1, 7-5, 6-3; first man to win an Open era Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ken Rosewall
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ken Rosewall
Tennis Player Arthur Ashe
Tennis Player
Arthur Ashe
  • Mar 19 Philadelphia 76ers outscore Cincinnati Royals 90-8 in 1 half
  • Mar 20 Boston Bruins win 13th straight NHL game
  • Mar 21 Gavaskar scores 1st of his 34 Test Cricket tons, 116 at Georgetown
  • Mar 25 Boston Patriots become New England Patriots

  • Mar 27 33rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: UCLA beats Villanova, 68-62; UCLA's 5th consecutive title; Villanova later disqualified, ineligible player Howard Porter
  • Mar 27 Wales clinches its 17th Five Nations Rugby Championship, 6th Grand Slam and 12th Triple Crown with a 9-5 win over France at Stade Colombes, Paris
  • Apr 3 125th Grand National: John Cook aboard 28/1 chance Specify wins a close finish between the leading 5 in the final furlong
  • Apr 7 Dismissal of Curt Flood's suit against baseball is upheld by
  • Apr 10 Philadelphia Phillies open their new home, Veterans Stadium with a 4-1 win over the Montreal Expos; 55,352, largest ever crowd to watch a MLB game in Pennsylvania
  • Apr 11 35th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Charles Coody wins his only major title by 2 strokes ahead of runners-up Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus
  • Apr 19 75th Boston Marathon: Álvaro Mejía of Colombia wins in 2:18:45; American Sara Mae Berman 1st woman for 3rd straight year in 3:08:30 (unsanctioned)
  • Apr 30 25th NBA Championship: Milwaukee beat Balt Bullets in 4 games
  • May 1 97th Kentucky Derby: Gustavo Ávila wins aboard Canonero II (wins Preakness May 15)
  • May 9 Elizabeth Bonner runs female world record marathon (3:01:42)
  • May 11 Cleveland's pitcher Steve Dunning hits a grand slam off Oakland Athletics pitcher Diego Seguí
  • May 15 96th Preakness: Gustavo Avila aboard Canonero II wins in 1:54
  • May 18 4th ABA Championship: Utah Stars beat Kentucky Colonels, 4 games to 3
  • May 18 Stanley Cup Final, Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL: Frank Mahovlich scores twice as Montreal Canadiens beat Chicago Blackhawks, 4-2 for a 4-3 series victory
  • May 21 Chelsea win 11th European Cup Winner's Cup against Real Madrid 2-1 in Athens (replay)
  • May 27 23rd Walker Cup: Britain-Ireland, 13-11
  • May 29 Indianapolis 500: Al Unser wins in 3:10:11.545 (253.850 km/h)

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 30 Willie Mays hits his 638th HR, sets NL record of 1,950 runs scored

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays
  • Jun 2 15th European Cup: Ajax beats Panathinaikos 2-0 at London
  • Jun 3 Chic Cub Ken Holtzman 2nd no-hitter beats Cincinnati Reds, 1-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 3 Test Cricket debut of Imran Khan, v Englandl at Edgbaston (5, 0-36, 0-19)

Cricketer and Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan
Cricketer and Prime Minister of Pakistan
Imran Khan
  • Jun 4 Oakland A's beat Washington Senators, 5-3, in 21 innings
  • Jun 4 Pakistani cricketer Zaheer Abbas scores 274 vs England at Edgbaston in 544 minutes
  • Jun 5 103rd Belmont: Walter Blum aboard Pass Catcher wins in 2:30.6
  • Jun 5 French Open Women's Tennis: Evonne Goolagong wins her first career Grand Slam singles title; beats fellow Australian Helen Gourlay 6-3, 7-5
  • Jun 6 Willie Mays hits record 22nd & last extra inning HR

Sport awardTennis Open

Jun 6 French Open Men's Tennis: Defending champion Jan Kodeš of Czechoslovakia beats Ilie Năstase of Romania 8-6, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5

Tennis Champion Ilie Năstase
Tennis Champion
Ilie Năstase
  • Jun 8 White Sox draft Danny Goodwin #1, he refuses to sign

Sport awardLPGA Championship

Jun 13 LPGA Championship, Pleasant Valley CC: Kathy Whitworth wins by 4 strokes from Kathy Ahern

LPGA Golfer Kathy Whitworth
LPGA Golfer
Kathy Whitworth
  • Jun 16 Groningen soccer team forms in Groningen
  • Jun 21 US Open Men's Golf, Merion GC: Lee Trevino wins his 2nd Open by 3 strokes in a Monday 18-hole playoff with Jack Nicklaus
  • Jun 21 Indians Ken Harrelson retires from baseball to play pro golf
  • Jun 23 Phillies Rick Wise no-hits Cincinnati Reds, 4-0
  • Jun 27 US Open Women's Golf, Kahwa GC: JoAnne Carner wins by 7 strokes from Kathy Whitworth
  • Jun 28 Phillies' Rick Wise hits 2 HRs and no-hits Reds

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 28 US Supreme Court (8-0) overturns draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali
  • Jul 2 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Evonne Goolagong beats Margaret Court 6-4, 6-1 for the first of 2 Wimbledon singles titles
  • Jul 3 Wimbledon Men's Tennis: John Newcombe of Australia beats American Stan Smith 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 for his third and final Wimbledon singles title
  • Jul 7 MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces that Negro League players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame to be given full membership in the Museum
  • Jul 10 100th British Open Golf, Royal Birkdale: Lee Trevino wins the first of his consecutive Open Championships, a stroke ahead of Lu Liang-Huan of Taiwan
  • Jul 11 Phillies Deron Johnson 3 HRs caps his 4 in a row
  • Jul 13 42nd MLB All Star Game, Tiger Stadium, Detroit, MI: AL beats NL, 6-4; MVP: Frank Robinson, Baltimore Orioles, OF
  • Jul 18 58th Tour de France won by Eddy Merckx of Belgium
  • Jul 30 38th NFL Chicago All Star Game: Baltimore 24, All Stars 17 (52,289)
  • Jul 31 Deventer Soccer team Go Ahead Eagles forms
  • Aug 1 Richard Petty wins the Dixie 500 in Atlanta, Georgia to become the first NASCAR driver to win $1m in career earnings
  • Aug 9 Satchel Paige inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame
  • Aug 10 16 baseball researchers form Society for American Baseball Research
  • Aug 15 Charles Lismont wins Helsinki marathon (2:13:09.0)
  • Aug 15 Despite crashing out on lap 36, Scotsman Jackie Stewart clinches his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship at the Austrian Grand Prix at Österreichring; French Tyrrell driver François Cevert wins the race
  • Aug 26 Orioles' Don Buford struck out 5 times in a game

AgreementContract of Interest

Aug 26 Bobby Orr signs a five-year contract with the Boston Bruins worth one million dollars, the first million dollar contract in NHL history

Ice Hockey Legend Bobby Orr
Ice Hockey Legend
Bobby Orr
  • Aug 31 Adrienne Beames runs female world record marathon (2:46:30)
  • Sep 1 Australian John Newcombe becomes 1st male top-seed to lose in US Open 1st round when beaten by eventual finalist Jan Kodeš 6-2, 6-7, 6-7, 3,-6

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 1 The Pirates start what is believed to be first all-black line-up (including several Latinos) in MLB history‚ in 10 - 7 win v Phillies; includes future Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente & Willie Stargell

Baseball Player Roberto Clemente
Baseball Player
Roberto Clemente

Sport awardUS Men's Tennis Open

Sep 2 Teenage debutants Chris Evert & Jimmy Connors win their first matches at the US Open Tennis Championships at Forest Hills

Tennis Legend Chris Evert
Tennis Legend
Chris Evert
Tennis Legend Jimmy Connors
Tennis Legend
Jimmy Connors
  • Sep 5 Astros pitcher J R Richard debut, strikes out 15 Giants in a 5-3 win
  • Sep 5 NY Mets Don Hahn hits 1st inside the park homer at Phillies Vet
  • Sep 9 NHL great Gordie Howe retires

Sport awardTennis Open

Sep 11 US Open Women's Tennis: In an all-American final Billie Jean King beats doubles partner Rosemary Casals 6-4, 7-6

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King
Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King
Tennis Player Rosemary Casals
Tennis Player
Rosemary Casals
  • Sep 12 US Open Men's Tennis: Stan Smith wins first career Grand Slam event; beats Czech star Jan Kodeš 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6
  • Sep 14 Cleveland Indians & Washington Senators, play 20 innings
  • Sep 18 Ryder Cup Golf, Old Warson CC: US beats Europe, 18½-13½; after leading by 1 match, GB loses all Friday morning 4-ball matches to lose momentum
  • Sep 19 1st NYC Women's Marathon won by Beth Bonner in 2:55:22
  • Sep 19 2nd NYC Marathon won by Norman Higgins in 2:22:54
  • Sep 21 AL OKs Washington Senator move to Arlington (Texas Rangers)
  • Sep 24 Houston Astros beat San Diego Padres, 2-1, in 21 innings
  • Oct 3 American tennis star Billie Jean King becomes first female athlete to win $100,000 in prize money in a single year; wins the $4,000 Virginia Slams Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Oct 3 Scotsman Jackie Stewart finishes 5th in the season ending US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen to claim his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by 29 points from Swede Ronnie Peterson
  • Oct 6 MLB National League Championship: Pittsburgh Pirates beat San Francisco Giants, 3 games to 1

  • Oct 10 Rain washes out Game 2, 1st World Series postponement since 1962
  • Oct 11 60th Davis Cup: USA beats Romania in Charlotte (3-2)
  • Oct 13 1st World Series night game (Pittsburgh 4-Baltimore 3)
  • Oct 17 Pittsburgh Pirates beat Baltimore Orioles, 4 games to 3 in 68th World Series
  • Nov 2 Baltimore Orioles pitcher Pat Dobson no-hits the Yomiuri Giants, 2 - 0; first no-hitter in history of exhibition play between American and Japanese teams
  • Nov 5 NBA's LA Lakers starts a 33 game consecutive victory streak
  • Nov 20 21st NASCAR Sprint Cup: Richard Petty wins
  • Nov 21 NY Rangers scores a NHL record 8 goals in 1 period
  • Nov 23 Danny Murtaugh, manager of MLB world champions Pittsburgh Pirates, announces his retirement
  • Nov 24 Braves catcher-infielder Earl Williams, wins NL Rookie of Year
  • Nov 25 37th Heisman Trophy Award: Pat Sullivan, Auburn (QB)
  • Nov 27 36th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 31-7 in Birmingham
  • Nov 28 CFL Grey Cup, Empire Stadium, Vancouver: Calgary Stampeders beat Toronto Argonauts, 14-11 on a slick, rain-covered field
  • Nov 29 1st pro golf championship at Walt Disney World

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Dec 1 Chicago Cubs release longtime star and future Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, ending his 19-year MLB career; announce Banks will serve as a coach on manager Leo Durocher's staff; Banks finishes with 512 home runs and 1,636 RBI

MLB shortstop Ernie Banks
MLB shortstop
Ernie Banks
Baseball Player and Manager Leo Durocher
Baseball Player and Manager
Leo Durocher
  • Dec 12 Romanian tennis star Ilie Năstase finishes ATP Masters Grand Prix with a perfect 6-0 record to win the rich season ending event at the Coubertin Stadium, Paris
  • Dec 25 Longest NFL game (82m40s) as Dolphins beat Chiefs 27-24
  • Dec 26 Muhammad Ali finishes off German Jürgen Blin with a thundering right cross for a 7th-round knockout in a non-title heavyweight boxing contest in Zurich, Switzerland
  • Dec 27 1st Fiesta Bowl: #8 Arizona State beats Florida State, 45-38
  • Dec 28 Ballon d'Or: Ajax forward Johan Cruyff wins award for best European football player ahead of Inter forward Sandro Mazzola and Manchester United winger George Best; first Dutch national and Ajax player to win award
  • Dec 30 Long Island NHL franchise purchased (NY Islanders)