On This Day

Events in Sport on January 15

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1892 Basketball rules first published in Triangle Magazine, written by James Naismith

Basketball Inventor James Naismith
Basketball Inventor
James Naismith
  • 1895 Australian cricket spin bowler Albert Trott takes 8-43 on debut to end England's 2nd innings at 143 in 3rd Test in Adelaide; Australia wins by 382 in 4 days
  • 1930 Brilliant West Indian cricket batsman George Headley scores 157 of 176 on debut on the 4th day of the drawn 1st Test against England in Bridgetown, Barbados

AgreementContract of Interest

1934 New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth, nearing end of illustrious career, signs a 1-year contract worth $35,000; represents a pay cut of $17,000 for "The Babe"

Baseball Legend Babe Ruth
Baseball Legend
Babe Ruth
  • 1936 Horace Stoneham is elected president of New York Giants MLB franchise; succeeds late father, Charles; remains president for next 40 years, presiding over move to SF, before selling team in 1976
  • 1939 1st NFL All Star Game, Wrigley Field, Chicago: New York Giants beat All America All-Stars, 13-10
  • 1942 Chicago Cubs drop plans to install lights at Wrigley Field because of military's need for materials; takes 35 years before lights finally installed at the venerable ballpark

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942 US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sends his famed "Green Light Letter" to MLB Commissioner Judge Landis, encouraging baseball to continue playing during World War II

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1950 Red Wings' rookie goalie Terry Sawchuk records his first of 115 career NHL shutouts, as Detroit beats the New York Rangers, 1-0 at Madison Square Garden

NHL Legend Terry Sawchuk
NHL Legend
Terry Sawchuk
  • 1956 6th NFL Pro Bowl, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 31-30; MVP: Ollie Matson, Baltimore Colts, RB
  • 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers extend their 5-year lease on Ebbets Field by signing a new 3-year lease with real estate developer Marvin Kratter; club moves to Los Angeles the next year

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

1957 7th NBA All-Star Game, Boston Garden: East beats West, 109-97; MVP: Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics, PG

NBA Point Guard Bob Cousy
NBA Point Guard
Bob Cousy
  • 1958 New York Yankees announce that 140 MLB games to be televised on WPIX TV this season in a deal worth over $1 million dollars

Sport awardNFL Pro Bowl

1961 11th NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: Western Conference beats Eastern Conference, 35-31; MVPs: Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts, QB; Sam Huff, NY Giants, LB

NFL Quarterback Johnny Unitas
NFL Quarterback
Johnny Unitas
  • 1962 50th Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Margaret Smith beats Jan Lehane O'Neill in the final for 3rd straight year 6-0, 6-2

Sport awardAustralian Tennis Open

1962 50th Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Rod Laver takes the 1st leg of his 1st Grand Slam; beats fellow Queenslander Roy Emerson 8-6, 0-6, 6-4, 6-4

Tennis Player Rod Laver
Tennis Player
Rod Laver
Tennis Player Roy Emerson
Tennis Player
Roy Emerson

  • 1964 MLB executives vote to hold a free agent amateur draft, officially known as Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in NYC

AgreementContract of Interest

1964 San Francisco Giants make champion outfielder Willie Mays the highest-paid player in baseball when they sign him to a new $105,000 per season contract

MLB Legend Willie Mays
MLB Legend
Willie Mays

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1965 One of the biggest trades in NBA history; San Francisco Warriors send Wilt Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer, Paul Neumann and cash

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • 1966 5th AFL All Star Game, Rice Stadium, Houston: All-Stars beat Buffalo Bills, 30-19: MVPs: Joe Namath, NY Jets, QB; Frank Buncom, LA Chargers, LB
  • 1967 Super Bowl I, LA Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA: Green Bay Packers beat KC Chiefs, 35-10; MVP: Bart Starr, Green Bay, QB
  • 1968 Minnesota North Stars forward Bill Masterton dies 2 days after suffering a head injury in a game against the Oakland Seals; the only death as a result of a game injury in NHL history

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1972 World heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier stops Terry Daniels in 4 rounds in New Orleans to retain his WBC and WBA titles

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Joe Frazier
  • 1974 24th NBA All-Star Game, Seattle Center Coliseum: West beats East, 134-123; MVP: Bob Lanier, Detroit Pistons, C
  • 1978 Super Bowl XII, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA: Dallas Cowboys beat Denver Broncos, 27-10; MVP: Harvey Martin, Dallas, DE & Randy White, Dallas, DT
  • 1981 Pitcher Bob Gibson is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility; after a stellar 17 year career, polls 337 votes from Baseball Writers Association of America

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 Martina Navratilova’s 54-match winning streak ends when beaten by Hana Mandlíková 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 in the final of the Virginia Slims of California tennis event in Oakland; after loss Navratilova wins next 74 matches for new record

Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player and Four-Time Major Champion
Hana Mandlikova
Tennis Player Martina Navratilova
Tennis Player
Martina Navratilova

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 John McEnroe reverses previous year's result with a 6–3, 6–4, 6–4 win over Ivan Lendl to claim his second season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis title at Madison Square Garden, NYC

Tennis Player John McEnroe
Tennis Player
John McEnroe
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion Ivan Lendl
Tennis Player and Eight-Time Major Champion
Ivan Lendl
  • 1985 Mike Gatting (207) and Graeme Fowler (201) become first pair of England batsmen to complete double centuries in the same innings during 9-wicket 4th cricket Test win against India at Madras

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 Montreal's rookie goaltender Patrick Roy records his first of 66 career NHL shutouts, in the Canadiens' 4-0 win against the Winnipeg Jets at the Forum

NHL Goalie and Coach Patrick Roy
NHL Goalie and Coach
Patrick Roy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 Champion Boston Celtics NBA forward Larry Bird is named Man of the Year by 'The Sporting News' and Athlete of the Year by 'Associated Press'; first time one athlete gains both distinctions

NBA Legend Larry Bird
NBA Legend
Larry Bird
  • 1988 NFL analyst Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder makes several questionable comments about African Americans during a lunchtime interview on CBS' NFL Today; fired the next day
  • 1988 19-year-old Indian cricket leg-spinner Narenda Hirwani records best bowling figures on debut in Test history; captures 16-136 in 255 run 4th Test win v West Indies in Madras; Hirwani takes 8 wickets in each innings

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1990 42 year old former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman stops Gerry Cooney in 2 rounds in Atlantic City in a non-title bout; Cooney's last fight

Boxing Champ George Foreman
Boxing Champ
George Foreman
  • 1990 In a shrewd move, Detroit Tigers sign 1st baseman Cecil Fielder who spent previous season in Japan; hits 51 homers this MLB season and becomes a premier power hitter for most of the 1990s
  • 1990 Golden State coach Don Nelson becomes 2nd man in NBA history to appear in 1,000 games both as a player and coach (joining Lenny Wilkens) as the Warriors lose to the Indiana Pacers, 144-105
  • 1990 In a bizarre twist in the NHL, Washington Capitals fire coach Brian Murray, who had been head coach since 1981; replace him with his brother Terry, who had been coaching in the minors
  • 1991 Dean Jones (76) and Mark Taylor (71) lead Australia to 7 wicket win over New Zealand in cricket's World Series Cup 2nd Final in Melbourne; win series, 2-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1994 Lawrence Taylor announces his retirement from the NFL

Hall of Fame American Football Player Lawrence Taylor
Hall of Fame American Football Player
Lawrence Taylor
  • 1994 Dallas Mavericks drop a 104-87 decision to the San Antonio Spurs at Reunion Arena to set an unwanted NBA record with their 17th consecutive home defeat; break mark of 16 set by Orlando in 1990
  • 1995 AFC Championship, Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh: San Diego Chargers beat Pittsburgh Steelers, 17-13
  • 1995 NFC Championship, Candlestick Park, SF: San Francisco 49ers beat Dallas Cowboys, 38-28

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1997 Controversial Chicago Bulls' forward Dennis Rodman kicks cameraman Eugene Amos in the groin during a game against Minnesota Timberwolves; ultimately pays Amos $200,000 settlement, and is suspended for 11 games without pay

Basketball Player Dennis Rodman
Basketball Player
Dennis Rodman
  • 1997 Seattle's Sam Perkins ties Jeff Hornacek's NBA single-game record by connecting on 8 straight 3-point field goals during Sonics' 122-78 win over visiting Toronto; Seattle also sets an NBA steals record with 27
  • 1997 San Francisco head coach George Seifert announces his resignation after 8 highly-successful NFL seasons with the 49ers: winningest coach in team history at 108-35; 2 Super Bowl titles

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1998 Future Hockey Hall of Fame right wing Dino Ciccarelli finds his 5th NHL club; traded from Tampa Bay Lightning to Florida Panthers

NHL Star Dino Ciccarelli
NHL Star
Dino Ciccarelli
  • 1998 Australian schoolboy Ian Thorpe becomes youngest ever male to become a world swimming champion when he wins 400m freestyle aged 15 years, 3 months in Perth; also wins event at 2001 & 2003 World Championships
  • 2000 Utah's Jerry Sloan becomes 12th coach in NBA history to reach the 700-victory plateau when the Jazz defeat the LA Clippers, 112-75 at the Delta Center, Salt Lake City
  • 2014 LA Dodgers sign pitcher Clayton Kershaw to the biggest deal in baseball history, a 7-year, $215 million package averaging $30.7 million per season