Events in Sport in 1981

  • Jan 1 67th Rose Bowl: #5 Michigan beats #16 Washington, 23-6
  • Jan 1 47th Sugar Bowl: #1 Georgia beats #7 Notre Dame, 17-10
  • Jan 1 47th Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma beats #2 Florida State, 18-17
  • Jan 3 Cleveland Cavaliers retire jersey # 34, Austin Carr
  • Jan 4 69th Men's Australian Open: Brian Teacher beats Kim Warwick (7-5, 7-6, 6-3)

Sport awardTennis Open

Jan 4 Women's Australian Open: Hana Mandlíková beats Wendy Turnbull 6-0, 7-5

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Hana Mandlikova
  • Jan 11 AFC Championship Game: Oakland Raiders beat San Diego Chargers 34-27
  • Jan 11 NFC Championship Game: Philadelphia Eagles beat Dallas Cowboys 20-7

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 13 Islander's Mike Bossy's 15th career hat trick-4 goals

Ice Hockey Great Mike Bossy
Ice Hockey Great
Mike Bossy
  • Jan 15 Bob Gibson elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Boxer Leon Spinks is mugged, his assailants even take his gold teeth

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Leon Spinks
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Leon Spinks

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 16 Ivan Lendl intentionally loses a match in Volvo Masters in order to avoid having to play Bjorn Borg

Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 19 Muhammad Ali talks a despondent 21 year old out of committing suicide

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali
  • Jan 22 O A "Bum" Phillips becomes head coach of New Orleans Saints
  • Jan 23 Mike Bossy becomes 1st in NHL to score 50 goals in 50 games
  • Jan 23 Red Sox trade Fred Lynn to Angels for Frank Tanana & Joe Rudi

  • Jan 24 Islanders scored 5 power play goals against Nordiques
  • Jan 25 Super Bowl XV, Louisiana Superdome: Oakland Raiders beat Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10; MVP: Jim Plunkett, Oakland, QB
  • Jan 29 AL approves sale of White Sox to Jerry Reinsdorf & Eddie Einhorn for $20 million, & 80% of Mariners to George Argyros for $104 million
  • Feb 1 NFL Pro Bowl: NFC beats AFC 21-7
  • Feb 1 Sandra Palmer wins LPGA Whirlpool Golf Championship of Deer Creek
  • Feb 1 31st NBA All-Star Game: East beats West 123-120 at Richfield, Ohio
  • Feb 3 Australia beats NZ 3-1 to win cricket's World Series Cup
  • Feb 8 Sally Little wins LPGA Elizabeth Arden Golf Classic
  • Feb 10 33rd NHL All-Star Game: Campbell beat Wales 4-1 at LA
  • Feb 10 Dennis Lillee becomes Australian Cricket's top wicket-taker with 249
  • Feb 12 Arbitrator Goetz declares Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent
  • Feb 15 23rd Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins (169.651 MPH)
  • Feb 22 Amy Alcott wins LPGA Bent Tree Ladies Golf Classic
  • Feb 25 NHL most penalized game; Bruins vs Northstars, 84 penalties (392 mins)
  • Feb 25 NY Islanders give up their most goals (11) vs Calgary Flames
  • Feb 25 Exec Board of Baseball Players' Association votes unanimously to strike on May 29 if the issue of free-agent compensation remains unresolved
  • Feb 26 84 penalties (406 mins) assessed for a brawl between NHL Minn & Bost
  • Feb 28 Calvin Murphy (Hou), sets NBA record with 78 consecutive free throws
  • Mar 1 Sally Little wins LPGA Olympia Gold Golf Classic
  • Mar 3 Isle's Mike Bossy 9th & final hat trick of season-4 goals
  • Mar 3 NY Islanders & Edmonton Oilers play to an 8-8 tie
  • Mar 5 Ice Dance Championship at Hartford won by Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean (GRB)
  • Mar 6 Worlds Ladies' Figure Skating Champ in Hartford won by Denise Biellmann
  • Mar 7 28th ACC Men's Basketball Tournament: North Carolina beats Maryland, 61-60
  • Mar 7 22nd SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Ole Miss beats Georgia, 66-62

  • Mar 11 Johnny Mize & Rube Foster elected to baseball Hall of Fame
  • Mar 14 NCAA St Joseph's upsets top seed DePaul 49-48
  • Mar 15 Patty Hayes wins LPGA Sun City Golf Classic
  • Mar 17 FC Lisse, Dutch soccer team forms
  • Mar 18 Buffalo Sabres sets NHL record of 9 goals in 1 period (vs Toronto)
  • Mar 19 Buffalo Sabres beat Toronto Maple Leafs 14-4

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Mar 22 Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA Desert Inn Pro-Am Golf Tournament

LPGA Golfer Donna Caponi
LPGA Golfer
Donna Caponi
  • Mar 24 Bombay beat Delhi by innings & 46 to win Ranji Cricket Trophy
  • Mar 29 Tiina Lehtola ski jumps female record 110m
  • Mar 29 AIAW Women's Basketball Championship, Louisiana Tech beat Tennessee 79-59 in Eugene
  • Mar 30 43rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Indiana beats North Carolina 63-50
  • Apr 4 135th Grand National: Bob Champion aboard Aldaniti wins

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 5 10th Colgate Dinah Shore Golf Championship won by Nancy Lopez

LPGA Golfer Nancy Lopez
LPGA Golfer
Nancy Lopez
  • Apr 5 Philadelphia Flyers amass a record 2,621 penalty minutes
  • Apr 8 Islanders scored 9 goals against Toronto in playoffs
  • Apr 9 LA Dodgers Fernando Valenzuela's 1st start, beats Astros 2-0

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Apr 11 Larry Holmes beats Trevor Holmes in 15 for heavyweight boxing title

WBC Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes
WBC Heavyweight Champion
Larry Holmes

Sport awardGolf Major

Apr 12 45th Masters Golf Tournament: Tom Watson wins, shooting a 280

Golfer Tom Watson
Golfer
Tom Watson
  • Apr 12 Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA American Defender/WRAL Golf Classic
  • Apr 17 Isle Potvin's 3 playoff power-play goals tie NHL record vs Oilers
  • Apr 17 Ranger's Anders Hedberg is 2nd to score on a Stanley Cup penalty shot
  • Apr 18 Longest game in Professional Baseball: Pawtucket Red Sox tie Rochester Red Wings 2-2 in 32 innings (game resumed 23rd June)

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Apr 19 Beth Daniel wins LPGA Florida Lady Citrus Golf

LPGA Golfer Beth Daniel
LPGA Golfer
Beth Daniel
  • Apr 19 Oakland A's runs record to 11-0
  • Apr 20 85th Boston Marathon: Toshihiko Seko of Japan 1st man in 2:09:26 and Allison Roe of New Zealand 1st woman in 2:26:46
  • Apr 22 Dodgers rookie Fernando Valenzuela tosses his 3rd shutout in 4 starts
  • Apr 24 Bill Shoemaker wins his 8,000th race, 2000 more than any other jockey
  • Apr 24 San Antonio blocks 20 Golden State shots to set NBA reg game record
  • Apr 26 Beth Solomon wins LPGA Birmingham Golf Classic
  • Apr 27 1st female soccer official is hired by NASL
  • Apr 29 Phillie Steve Carlton is 1st lefty to strike out 3,000 batters
  • Apr 29 NFL Draft: South Carolina running back George Rogers first pick by New Orleans Saints

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 1 Tennis player Billie Jean King acknowledges a lesbian relationship with Marilyn Barnett - becoming first prominent sportswoman to come out

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King
Tennis Legend
Billie Jean King
  • May 2 107th Kentucky Derby: Jorge Velásquez on Pleasant Colony wins in 2:02
  • May 3 Sally Little wins LPGA CPC Women's Golf International
  • May 10 Amy Alcott wins LPGA Lady Michelob Golf Tournament
  • May 10 Montreal Expo Charlie Lee no-hits SF Giants, 4-0
  • May 12 NY Islanders tie own record with two shorthanded playoff goals in a pd vs Minn
  • May 13 Dinamo Tbilisi wins 21st European Cup Winner's Cup against Carl Zeiss Jena of East Germany 2-1 in Düsseldorf
  • May 14 35th NBA Championship: Bost Celtics beat Houston Rockets, 4 games to 2
  • May 16 106th Preakness: Jorge Velásquez aboard Pleasant Colony wins in 1:54.6
  • May 16 Houston Astro Craig Reynolds hits 3 triples beating Cubs 6-1
  • May 17 Islanders score 5 power play goals against Flyers in a playoff
  • May 21 Stanley Cup: NY Islanders beat Minnesota North Stars, 4 games to 1
  • May 24 Bobby Unser wins, loses, & wins a controversial Indy 500
  • May 24 Kathy Hite wins LPGA Corning Golf Classic
  • May 25 Bobby Unser becomes 1st Indy 500 winner to be disqualified

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

May 25 Carl Yastrzemski is 4th to play 3,000 baseball games (Cobb, Musial & Aaron)

MLB Outfielder Carl Yastrzemski
MLB Outfielder
Carl Yastrzemski
  • May 27 Lenny Randle tries to blow a slow roller foul but umpire says no
  • May 27 25th European Cup: Liverpool beats Real Madrid 1-0 at Paris
  • May 30 LA Dodgers are quickest to get 1,000,000 attendence (22 games)
  • May 31 Cathy Reynolds wins LPGA Golden Lights Golf Championship

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 5 Astro's Nolan Ryan passes Early Wynn as all-time walk leader (1,777)

MLB Pitching Legend Nolan Ryan
MLB Pitching Legend
Nolan Ryan
  • Jun 6 113th Belmont: George Martens aboard Summing wins in 2:29
  • Jun 7 Sandra Post wins LPGA McDonald's Golf Classic

Sport awardTennis Open

Jun 7 Men's French Open: Björn Borg beats Ivan Lendl 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

Tennis Player Björn Borg
Tennis Player
Björn Borg
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
  • Jun 7 Women's French Open: Hana Mandlíková beats Sylvia Hanika 6-2, 6-4
  • Jun 8 Seattle Mariners draft Mike Moore #1

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Jun 10 Pete Rose ties Stan Musial's NL record of 3,630 hits

MLB Player and Manager Pete Rose
MLB Player and Manager
Pete Rose
MLB Legend Stan Musial
MLB Legend
Stan Musial
  • Jun 11 Mariners beat Orioles 8-2 at Kingdome, then players go on strike
  • Jun 12 Baseball players begin a 50 day strike, their 3rd strike
  • Jun 12 Larry Holmes TKOs Leon Spinks in 3 for WBC heavyweight boxing title
  • Jun 14 27th LPGA Championship won by Donna Caponi Young
  • Jun 18 Test cricket debut of Terry Alderman, v England at Trent Bridge
  • Jun 21 81st US Golf Open: David Graham shoots 273 at Merion GC in Ardmore Pa

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 22 John McEnroe exhibits a disgraceful act of misbehavior at Wimbledon

Tennis Player John McEnroe
Tennis Player
John McEnroe
  • Jun 23 Longest game in Professional Baseball: Pawtucket Red Sox finally beat Rochester Red Wings 3-2 in 33 innings (game began 18th April)

Sport awardTennis Open

Jul 3 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Chris Evert beats Hana Mandlíková 6-2, 6-2 for her third and final Wimbledon singles title

Tennis Legend Chris Evert
Tennis Legend
Chris Evert
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Hana Mandlikova

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 5 Canadian Open Golf (Peter Jackson Classic), Summerlea GC: Jan Stephenson of Australia wins by 1 shot from Pat Bradley & Nancy Lopez

LPGA Golfer Pat Bradley
LPGA Golfer
Pat Bradley
LPGA Golfer Nancy Lopez
LPGA Golfer
Nancy Lopez

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 7 England cricket captain Ian Botham resigned after no wins in 12 matches under his reign and a pair in the 2nd Test v Australia at Lord's

Cricketer Ian Botham
Cricketer
Ian Botham
  • Jul 12 Debbie Austin wins LPGA Mayflower Golf Classic
  • Jul 19 110th British Golf Open: Bill Rogers shoots a 276 at Royal St George
  • Jul 19 Donna Caponi Young wins LPGA WUI Golf Classic
  • Jul 19 68th Tour de France won by Bernard Hinault of France
  • Jul 25 Anti-apartheid protesters in Hamilton, New Zealand, force the cancellation of a rugby test between New Zealand's All Blacks and South Africa’s Springboks by invading the pitch during the game
  • Jul 26 36th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Pat Bradley
  • Jul 29 Anti-apartheid protesters against the Springbok rugby tour are confronted by police who use batons to stop them marching to South Africa’s Consul in New Zealand
  • Jul 31 42 day old, 2nd major league baseball strike ends
  • Aug 2 England cricket all-rounder Ian Botham takes 5 for 11 to end Australia's chase of 151 target, all out 121 for 29 run defeat in 4th Test at Edgbaston
  • Aug 9 52nd All Star Baseball Game: NL wins 5-4 at Municipal Stadium, Cleve

Sport awardGolf Major

Aug 9 PGA Championship, Atlanta Athletic Club: Larry Nelson wins by 4 strokes from Fuzzy Zoeller

Golfer and Three-Time Major Championship Winner Larry Nelson
Golfer and Three-Time Major Championship Winner
Larry Nelson
  • Aug 10 Pete Rose, 3,631 career hit, breaks Stan Musial's NL hit record
  • Aug 13 Mary Terstegge Meagher swims world record 200m butterfly (2:05.96)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 14 Phils Mike Schmidt hits his 300th career HR off NY Met Mike Scott

MLB Third Baseman Mike Schmidt
MLB Third Baseman
Mike Schmidt
  • Aug 15 Ian Botham scores a century in 86 balls v Australia at Old Trafford
  • Aug 15 Robin Leamy of US swims record 7.98 kph for 50 m
  • Aug 16 Highest score in World Cup soccer match (New Zealand-13, Fiji-0)
  • Aug 16 Jan Stephenson wins LPGA Mary Kay Golf Classic
  • Aug 16 Mary Terstegge Meagher swims world record 100m butterfly (57.93)
  • Aug 18 Football running back, Herschel Walker, of U of Georgia, takes out a Lloyd's of London insurance policy for $1 million
  • Aug 23 Beth Daniel wins LPGA World Championship of Women's Golf
  • Aug 29 28th Walker Cup: US wins 15-9
  • Aug 29 Phillies minor leaguer Jeff Stone steals pro baseball record 121st base en route to 122 (Spartanburg (South Atlantic League))
  • Aug 31 Dirk Wellham scores 103 on Test Cricket debut, v England at Lord's
  • Sep 1 Fast bowler Terry Alderman takes his 42nd wicket of the series on the last day of the 5th cricket Test vs England at The Oval; haul remains record by an Australian bowler in England; England wins series 3-1
  • Sep 1 Mike Brearley's last day as England cricket captain in 6th Test draw v Australia at The Oval; maintains his unbeaten record at home as England's 3-1 series win confirmed
  • Sep 3 Longest MLB game in Fenway Park history is suspended after 19 innings at Seattle Mariners 7, Boston Red Sox 7; Mariners win 8-7 in 20 the following morning
  • Sep 4 Longest MLB game at Fenway Park ends in 20 innings; Seattle Mariners beat Boston Red Sox, 8-7
  • Sep 6 Robert Granville "Bob" Lemon named NY Yankee manager for 2nd time
  • Sep 7 Cleveland Browns' Brian Sipe sets club record with 57 pass attempts
  • Sep 7 West Tampa Fl defeats Rich Va, 6-4 to win American Legion World Series
  • Sep 12 Red Sox rookie Bob Ojeda no-hits Yanks for 8 innings before Rick Cerone & Dave Winfield lead off 9th with back-to-back doubles

Sport awardTennis Open

Sep 12 US Open Women's Tennis: Tracy Austin wins her second US title; beats Martina Navratilova 1-6, 7-6, 7-6

Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova
  • Sep 13 Atlanta Falcons tie record of 31 points in 4th quarter (vs Green Bay)
  • Sep 13 Jan Stephenson wins LPGA United Virginia Bank Golf Classic
  • Sep 13 US Open Men's Tennis: John McEnroe wins third straight US title; beats Björn Borg 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 in Borg's last Grand Slam match

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 20 Ryder Cup Golf, Walton Heath GC: US wins 18½-9½; 6th and final Ryder Cup for Jack Nicklaus as a player; wins all 4 of his matches

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

Sep 21 Steve Carlton strikes out NL record 3,118th (Andre Dawson)

MLB Star Andre Dawson
MLB Star
Andre Dawson
  • Sep 21 Enterprise Radio (all sports) goes off the air

  • Sep 25 Nolan Ryan's 5th career no-hitter as Astros beat Dodgers 5-0
  • Sep 30 International Olympic Committee votes to award Seoul, South Korea as host of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games
  • Oct 2 17 year old gelding Behavin Jerry, the oldest winning racehorse in modern times, sets record for most career starts by a thoroughbred, 307
  • Oct 3 Milwaukee Brewers and Montreal Expos clinch their first-ever postseason appearances; Brewers beat Detroit, 2 - 1, for AL East title; Expos defeat NY Mets, 5 - 4, for NL East second playoff spot

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

Oct 3 After a year's inactivity, American boxer Mike Weaver outpoints countryman James 'Quick' Tillis in 15 rounds in Chicago to retain his WBA heavyweight title

WBA World Heavyweight Champion Mike Weaver
WBA World Heavyweight Champion
Mike Weaver
  • Oct 7 In 1st Eastern Division championship Yanks beat Brewers 5-3
  • Oct 8 USAC appeals panel restores disputed Indy 500 victory to Bobby Unser
  • Oct 11 Yanks beat Brewers 7-3 & win only Eastern Championship Series
  • Oct 15 MLB American League Championship: New York Yankees beat Oakland Athletics, 3 games to 0
  • Oct 17 Brazilian Nelson Piquet driving for Brabham finishes 5th in the season ending Caesars Palace Grand Prix in Las Vegas to clinch his first World Formula 1 Drivers title by 1 point from Carlos Reutemann
  • Oct 18 NY Giant Joe Danelo ties NFL record of 6 field goals in a game
  • Oct 19 LA Dodgers beat Montreal Expos for NL pennant
  • Oct 19 MLB National League Championship: Los Angeles Dodgers beat Montreal Expos, 3 games to 2
  • Oct 20 1st NBA game at Meadowlands Arena, NJ Nets lose to NY Knicks 103-99
  • Oct 25 11th NYC Women's Marathon won by Allison Roe in 2:25:29
  • Oct 25 12th NYC Marathon won by Alberto Salazar in 2:08:13
  • Oct 26 LA Dodgers beat NY Yankees, 4 games to 2 in 78th World Series
  • Oct 28 NY Yankee George Frazier loses 3 World Series games
  • Oct 29 Bill Giles becomes CEO of Philadelphia Phillies
  • Nov 3 Brewers reliever Rollie Fingers wins AL Cy Young Award
  • Nov 6 Larry Holmes TKOs Renaldo Snipes in 11 for heavyweight boxing title

Sport awardGolf Tournament

Nov 8 Patty Sheehan wins LPGA Mazda Japan Golf Classic

LPGA Golfer Patty Sheehan
LPGA Golfer
Patty Sheehan
  • Nov 12 Billy Martin named AL Manager of Year (Oakland A's)
  • Nov 17 NBA NY Knick Bill Cartwright, ties record of 19 of 19 free throws
  • Nov 18 Phillies 3rd baseman Mike Schmidt wins his 2nd consecutive NL MVP
  • Nov 20 Russian Anatoly Karpov retains world chess championship
  • Nov 22 69th CFL Grey Cup: Edmonton Eskimos defeats Ottawa Rough Riders, 26-23
  • Nov 22 31st NASCAR Sprint Cup: Darrell Waltrip wins
  • Nov 25 Rollie Fingers is 1st relief pitcher to win AL MVP
  • Nov 28 Bear Bryant wins his 315th game to out distance Almos Alonzo Stagg, becomes college football's winningest coach
  • Nov 28 46th Iron Bowl: Alabama beats Auburn 28-17 in Birmingham

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 30 NY Yankee Dave Righetti wins AL Rookie of Year Award

MLB Pitcher and Coach Dave Righetti
MLB Pitcher and Coach
Dave Righetti
  • Dec 2 Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers) wins NL Rookie of the Year
  • Dec 3 Beth Daniel and Tom Kite win LPGA J C Penney Golf Classic
  • Dec 5 47th Heisman Trophy Award: Marcus Allen, Southern Cal (RB)
  • Dec 6 Rob de Castella of Australia sets Marathon record at 2:08:18
  • Dec 11 Muhammad Ali's 61st & last fight, losing to Trevor Berbick
  • Dec 11 Wash Capitals biggest margin of victory (9) beating Toronto 11-2
  • Dec 13 70th Davis Cup: USA beats Argentina in Cincinnati (3-1)
  • Dec 20 Doug Smail (Winnipeg Jets) sets NHL record for fastest goal after opening faceoff at 5 seconds
  • Dec 21 Cincinnati beats Bradley 75-73 in 7 OTs (NCAA record)
  • Dec 23 Geoffrey Boycott becomes leading run-scorer in Test Cricket with 8033
  • Dec 26 One of the great day's Test Cricket at the MCG Australia v West Indies
  • Dec 27 Lillee becomes the leading wicket-taker in test cricket with 310

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 27 Oiler Wayne Gretzky becomes fastest NHLer to get 100 pts (38th game)

Ice Hockey Great Wayne Gretzky
Ice Hockey Great
Wayne Gretzky