On This Day

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 Spectator crush at Ibrox Park in Glasgow, Scotland as Rangers supporters leave the ground with home team 0-1 behind to Old Firm rivals Celtic; 66 deaths and more than 200 injuries; Rangers score late for 1-1

AFC Championship

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

  • 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 winning streak

Sports History

Jan 5 Body of former world heavyweight boxing champion Charles "Sonny" Liston (40) is found by his wife Geraldine at their Las Vegas home; he had been dead for an estimated 6 days; foul play suspected

NBA 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

Sports History

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

  • Jan 14 Cricketer John Snow takes 7-40 for England to beat Australia by 299 runs

World Record

Jan 16 Ard Schenk skates world record 1500m (1:58.7)

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

NHL All-Star Game

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

  • Jan 19 NHL Writers' Association renamed Professional Hockey Writers' Association
  • Jan 20 Ard Schenk skates world record 1000m (1:18.8)
  • 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 Stanford University first pick by New England Patriots
  • Jan 30 Dennis Lillee takes 5-84 in his 1st Test bowl, v England
  • Jan 30 UCLA starts 88 basketball game winning 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

Sports History

Feb 6 American astronaut Alan Shepard is 1st to hit a golf ball on the moon [1]

Hall of Fame

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

Sports History

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

Daytona 500

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

Sports History

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

Sports History

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

  • Feb 23 Boston Bruins begin 13 NHL game winning streak

PGA Championship

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

Sports History

Mar 6 Test Cricket debut of Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar versus West Indies at Port-of-Spain; 125 Tests, 10,122 runs @ 51.12; 34 Test centuries

Sinatra Snaps the Fight of the Century

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 the "Fight of the Century"

  • 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

Australian Men's 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

  • Mar 19 Philadelphia 76ers outscore Cincinnati Royals 90-80 in 2nd half enroute to a 147-127 victory
  • Mar 20 Boston Bruins win 13th straight NHL game
  • Mar 21 Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar scores first of his 34 Test Cricket centuries; 116 in drawn 3rd Test at Georgetown, Guyana
  • 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 free agency suit against baseball is upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [1]
  • 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 After smashing 124 in the 1st innings, Indian cricket opener Sunil Gavaskar makes 220 in 2nd innings in the drawn 5th Test against the West Indies in Port of Spain, Trinidad
  • 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 27 Curt Flood resigns Senators after 13 games & departs for Denmark
  • Apr 30 25th NBA Championship: Milwaukee beat Baltimore 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

Sports History

May 18 Stanley Cup Final, Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL: Henri Richard scores twice as Montreal Canadiens beat Chicago Black Hawks 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: Defending champion Al Unser Snr becomes first and only driver to win race on his birthday; leads for final 83 laps

Baseball Record

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

  • Jun 2 European Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London: Ajax beats Panathinaikos, 2-0; Dutch champions begin 3-year period of domination
  • Jun 3 Chic Cub Ken Holtzman 2nd no-hitter beats Cincinnati Reds, 1-0

Sports History

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

  • 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

French Open Men's Tennis

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

  • Jun 8 White Sox draft Danny Goodwin #1, he refuses to sign

LPGA Championship

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

  • Jun 16 Groningen soccer team forms in Groningen, Netherlands
  • 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 MLB Philadelphia Phillies Rick Wise no-hits Reds, and hits 2 HR's and 3 RBI in 4-0 win at Cincinnati
  • Jun 27 US Open Women's Golf, Kahwa GC: JoAnne Carner wins by 7 strokes from Kathy Whitworth

Sports History

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

Hall of Fame

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 Men's 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

Sports History

Jul 13 42nd MLB All Star Game, Tiger Stadium, Detroit, MI: AL beats NL, 6-4; MVP: Frank Robinson, Baltimore Orioles, OF

Sports History

Jul 18 58th Tour de France: Eddy Merckx of Belgium wins third straight Tour general classification as well as points and combination categories

  • Jul 30 38th NFL Chicago All Star Game: Baltimore 24, All Stars 17 (52,289)
  • Jul 31 4-time Eredivisie soccer champions Go Ahead from Dutch city of Deventer add 'Eagles' to famous name
  • 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

Baseball Record

Aug 10 Twins' Harmon Killebrew is 10th to amass 500 HRs, & adds his 501st

  • Aug 11 Harmon Killebrew hits HRs #500 & 501
  • Aug 15 Charles Lismont wins Helsinki marathon (2:13:09.0)

Sports History

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

Contract 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

  • 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

Sports History

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

US 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

  • 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 (for the first time), after 25 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings

US Open Women's Tennis

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

  • Sep 12 US Open Men's Tennis, Forest Hills, NY: American 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 New York City Marathon: inaugural women's race won by Beth Bonner in 2:55:22; 2nd men's race 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

Sports History

Sep 26 Jim Palmer is 4th Oriole to win at least 20 games this season

  • Sep 30 Last Washington Senator home game, Yanks win career 5th forfeit game Yanks trailing 4-2 in 9th with 2 outs, fans rush field
  • 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 11 60th Davis Cup: USA beats Romania in Charlotte (3-2)

Baseball Record

Oct 11 Baltimore 3B Brooks Robinson sets Baseball World Series record; reaches base 5 straight times in Orioles 11-3 win over Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 2 at Memorial Stadium

  • Oct 13 First ever Baseball World Series night game; Pittsburgh Pirates edge Baltimore Orioles, 4-3 in Game 4 at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh
  • Oct 17 Baseball World Series: Pittsburgh Pirates beat Baltimore Orioles, 2-1 at Memorial Stadium to claim championship. 4-3; MVP: Pirates outfielder Roberto Clemente
  • 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 10 Joe Torre wins NL MVP, Vida Blue wins AL MVP
  • 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

Television Premiere

Nov 30 Emmy and Peabody Award-winning TV movie "Brian's Song", about the friendship of Chicago Bears football teammates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers (based on Sayers' autobiography) premieres on ABC, starring James Caan and Billie Dee Williams

Baseball 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

  • Dec 2 Frank Robinson is traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 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 game in NFL history as Miami Dolphins beat KC Chiefs, 27-24 in 2OT in AFL playoff game; duration: 82 minutes and 40 seconds
  • 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

Football Awards

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)