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The day before the championship, Villanova coach Rollie Massimino said that his team would need a perfect game to win. The Wildcats aren't perfect, but they come close. They connect on 22-of-28 field-goal attempts to set a Final Four record for field-goal percentage, converting 78.6 percent against a team that had held opponents to just 39 percent field-goal accuracy.
On April Fool's Day, the Hoyas find the joke is on them. The Wildcats' sharp shooting and smart playing enable them to upset their Big East rivals, 66-64, in Lexington, Ky.
In the second half, Villanova connects on 9-of-10 field-goal attempts. Their last basket comes with 2:37 left, a jumper by sophomore guard Harold Jensen (5-for-5) that gives the Wildcats the lead for good at 55-54.
Villanova center Ed Pinckney (5-of-7, 16 points) outplays three-time All-American Patrick Ewing, who is held to 14 points, with only two coming in the final 13 minutes. Pinckney is named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Seven pitches into the Reds-Expos game at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium, McSherry backs away from home plate, waves to the other umpires, takes a few labored steps away from the field and collapses. Efforts to revive him fail and 53 minutes later, he is pronounced dead at a Cincinnati hospital.
At the request of players on both teams, the game is postponed until tomorrow. "There are things way more important than baseball," Expos outfielder Rondell White says.
Reds owner Marge Schott disagrees with the decision to postpone.
"Why are they calling it?" she says. "Whose decision is it? Why can't they play with two umpires? I feel terrible. This is tragic for him and his family, but you don't do this to the fans. It's not fair to those who came from so far away. He's a baseball man. Wouldn't he want us to play?"
John McSherry dies at age 51 of a heart attack.
The amazing thing about Hondo's performance is that he gets his points strictly from the flow of the game.
"The only time we ran a specific play for him was the basket that broke 50," says Celtics coach Tom Heinsohn. A back-door pass from Dave Cowens on an inbounds play enables Havlicek to score an uncontested layup and gives him 52 points, one more than the Boston record of 51 set by Sam Jones.
Havlicek makes 24-of-36 field-goal attempts and is 6-of-6 from the foul line. He also has nine rebounds and six rebounds in playing all 48 minutes.
The Celtics captain scores the first eight points of the game. He has 30 at halftime and 43 after three periods. To the chagrin of the crowd, he goes scoreless in the first 5½ minutes of the fourth quarter. But then he breaks loose for 11 points in the last 6½ minutes.
Clarke, though, prevents the Bruins' combination of Esposito and Bobby Orr from finishing one-two for the fourth straight season. Orr scores 101 points, three behind Clarke.
This is the fourth scoring title in five years for the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Esposito. He will win his fifth and final scoring championship by scoring 145 points next season. He'll also score the most goals in the league the next two seasons, extending his streak to six straight years.
Plagued by foul trouble to its two All-Americans, Rebecca Lobo and Jen Rizzotti, 4½-point favorite UConn trails 38-32 at halftime and 43-34 early in the second half. But Lobo, the 6-foot-4 senior forward with the French braid and the determined demeanor, scores 14 of her game-high 17 points in the second half to spark Connecticut's rally.
Rizzotti puts UConn up for good at 63-61 with 1:51 left on a layup after going coast-to-coast. Then coach Geno Auriemma's team seals its second victory over Tennessee (34-3) in 10 weeks with seven free throws (three by Lobo).
Relieving in the first inning, her first batter is Babe Ruth, who swings from the heels and misses Mitchell's first two pitches. Then he takes the third pitch for strike three, flinging his bat in mock anger after he's called out. Lou Gehrig follows by also striking out, missing on three hefty swings. Tony Lazzeri walks, and then Mitchell is removed from the game.
The entire incident is more a publicity stunt than one for the record book. The Bambino and the Iron Horse pose for pictures with Mitchell.
Mitchell's contract with the Lookouts will soon be voided by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who regards baseball as too rough for women.
"What makes the MVP so difficult to believe," says the 23-year-old McAdoo, "is that I was a high school and college kid just a few years ago, and now all the players I heard about and read about think I'm the best, and that's an honor."
This is the 11th consecutive season a center wins the award. McAdoo will finish the season leading the NBA in scoring (34.5 points) for the second straight season. Appearing in all 82 games, he also will come in fourth in rebounding (14.1) and fifth in field-goal percentage (.512). The Braves will compile a 49-33 record, third best in the 18-team NBA.
Earlier in the season against Wisconsin, Robinson was in a similar position. But he missed two free throws with seven seconds left and Michigan lost. Tonight, Robinson, a 64 percent foul shooter, already has made 7-of-8 foul shots. Now, with a more significant game on the line, he sinks both freebies to give Michigan an 80-79 victory in Seattle's Kingdome.
This is Michigan's only NCAA championship and its coach is Steve Fisher, who had been promoted from an assistant just a couple of days before the tournament. Bill Frieder had accepted Arizona State's offer to become head coach.
It looks as if 10th-ranked Michigan will roll to an easy title when it leads by 12 points in the second half, but Seton Hall rallies behind John Morton, who scores 25 of his game-high 35 points after intermission. His three-pointer with 25 seconds left in the second half sends the game into overtime.
Michigan's Glen Rice, the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, scores 31 points to finish with 184, a tournament record.
The special drawing is held because Commissioner William Eckert had ruled Seaver's signing by the Braves' Richmond farm team, for a $40,000 bonus, was illegal. Atlanta had drafted Seaver. Eckert nullified the contract and fined Richmond $500 because USC already had started its season. Baseball rules say that a player can't be signed off a college campus once his team has started playing.
But N.C. State wins five games -- three by two points or less -- to reach tonight's final against Houston, winner of 26 straight with a running, flying, dunking attack. Using slowdown tactics, N.C. State takes a 33-25 halftime lead before Houston, with Akeem Olajuwon, goes on a 17-2 tear to grab a 44-37 edge. Clyde Drexler's two free throws give the Cougars a 52-46 lead with 3:19 left. It's their last points.
The final insult for Houston comes when Lorenzo Charles slams home Dereck Whittenburg's 32-foot air ball at the buzzer, giving N.C. State a stunning 54-52 victory in Albuquerque.
"Here they are all season, bragging about their dunks, calling themselves Phi Slama Jama," says NC State's Alvin Battle, "and they get one slama in the middle of the game, and we get one jama at the end. It's real ironic, isn't it?"
And when N.C. State becomes the first team to win the national title with double-digit losses, its emotional leader, coach Jim Valvano, rushes on to the court, looking for somebody to hug.
All three Gretzky assists come during Edmonton power plays; two on goals by Jari Kurri and one by Paul Coffey in the Oilers' 9-3 loss to the Flames in Calgary.
Gretzky will get an assist in Edmonton's 80th game to finish with still-standing NHL records of 215 points and 163 assists.
N.C. leads 73-71 when Webber, Michigan's All-American sophomore forward, rebounds Pat Sullivan's missed free throw with 20 seconds left. Webber travels, but no referee calls it. Given a second chance, he hurriedly dribbles across midcourt, stopping in front of Michigan's bench. Then he signals for a timeout with 11 seconds remaining.
The only problem is that the Wolverines are out of timeouts.
Donald Williams hits two free throws after the technical and another two after a foul, wrapping up the Tar Heels' 77-71 victory in the Superdome in New Orleans.
After the game, Webber sits chagrined and thoroughly miserable in the locker room. "I just called the timeout and that probably cost us the game," he says.
Webber's mistake overshadows N.C.'s comeback from a 67-63 deficit to a 72-67 lead with a minute left. Williams scores a game-high 25 points, including hitting 5-of-7 shots from three-point range, and is named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. He dedicates his performance to the ailing Jim Valvano, the former North Carolina State coach who first recruited him.
The entrance to the stands is more like that of some vast theater than of a stadium. The lobby of the entrance is more than 80 feet in diameter and is resplendent with its marble and glazed brick walls. Inclined runways have been installed instead of stairs. The seats are comfortable. The cost of the new ballpark: $750,000.
A capacity crowd of 30,000 turns out for the exhibition game against the Yankees. More than 5,000 howl in disappointment as they can't get in.
The Dodgers take a 2-0 lead, with Casey Stengel's homer accounting for one run, before the Yankees tie the game in the ninth. But the Dodgers score in the bottom of the inning to win, 3-2. It is reported that late at night Ebbets is still separating the $10 and $5 bills.
For most of the 12-round fight, he circles and counters, confusing and confounding Hagler, the aggressor. While the champ rallies in the last few rounds, it's not enough to overcome Leonard's big early lead and Sugar Ray wins the fight on a split decision. It's Hagler's first loss in 11 years and he takes exception with the decision.
"I can't believe it, man," Hagler says. "They stole my title. I feel in my heart I'm still the champion. I really hate the fact they took it away and gave it to Sugar Ray Leonard, of all people."
After raising his record to 34-1, Leonard says, "It was a good fight, a tough fight, but the best man won."
Asked by host Koppel about racial prejudice in baseball, the 70-year-old Campanis says, "No, I don't believe it's prejudice. I truly believe that (African-Americans) may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager."
Earlier in the show, Campanis had said, "Why aren't blacks good swimmers? They don't have buoyancy."
The next day, Hank Aaron, baseball's all-time home-run leader and an Atlanta Braves vice president, says, "I was shocked, and I think Mr. Campanis needs to apologize to every single black person in America for making comments like that. All that shows is how ignorant the man is."
Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley and Campanis will offer a joint apology for Campanis' remarks. O'Malley will say that Campanis' job isn't in jeopardy. But two days after "Nightline," O'Malley changes his mind and asks Campanis to resign. Campanis, who had been a teammate and supporter of Robinson, heeds the request.
Stokes was stricken with encephalitis following an injury in a game. While it left him bedridden most of the time, he managed to regain the ability to feed himself, write and type.
"You'll never know, meet or read about anybody as courageous as Maurice," says Jack Twyman, Stokes' guardian and former teammate. "I never heard the man complain in 12 years of lying on his back."
At 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, Stokes was the NBA's Rookie of the Year with Rochester in 1955-56. In his three seasons with the Royals, Stokes averaged 16.4 points and 17.3 rebounds. He was second-team all-league each year and played in three All-Star Games.
Howe's 801st NHL goal (15th this season) comes when he picks up a loose puck behind the Detroit goal, circles unchecked and beats goalie Rogie Vachon. He finishes his NHL career with 1,850 points, a record that will last until Wayne Gretzky breaks it in 1989.
After starring for the Red Wings, Howe played six seasons in the WHA, four with Houston and two with New England before coming back for a farewell season in the NHL. Including his 174 goals in the WHA, Howe scored 975 goals.
Nicklaus shoots an even-par 72 to finish at two-under 286, one stroke better than "Champagne Tony" Lema, who birdies the 18th. Two strokes behind at 288 are Julius Boros and Sam Snead. "Slammin' Sammy" had gone a stroke ahead of Nicklaus with a birdie on 15, but bogies on 16 and 18 cost the 50-year-old three-time Masters champ the lead.
On the final hole, Nicklaus knocks in a three-foot putt for the first of his six Masters titles. He tosses his hat wildly in celebration. Not only is he the youngest Masters champion (Tiger Woods will break this mark in 1997), but the hefty golfer also is the heaviest at 214 pounds.
Sarazen picks up another stroke and ties Craig Wood at the end of 72 holes. Tomorrow, in a 36-hole playoff, Sarazen will win easily, shooting a 71-73-144 to beat Wood by five strokes. Sarazen will win $1,500 for winning the second Masters.
With no spare goalie on the roster, Rangers coach Lester Patrick puts himself between the pipes after the Maroons refuse to allow the Rangers to use an NHL goalie who happened to be in the stands at the Montreal Forum. Patrick is 44 and long since retired. And while he did play some goal as a youth, most of his career was as a defenseman.
But Patrick stands up the challenge, saving 18 of the 19 shots the Maroons fire at him. The only goal he allows is scored by Stewart, with 5:40 left in the third period, and sends the game into overtime. After Patrick staves off two attacks by Montreal in OT, Frank Boucher's goal gives the Rangers a 2-1 victory and ties the series at one game each.
With Chabot out, the Rangers will sign Joe Miller, goalie for the last-place New York Americans, for the rest of the series. The Rangers will win two of the next three games, with Miller allowing just three goals, to take the Stanley Cup.
He received more than an estimated 3,000 letters a day, more than any American outside of politics. Unfortunately, much of it was hate mail, including death threats sent by racists. The year ended with Aaron at 713 homers.
Hammerin' Hank wasn't going to let the death threats or hate mail distract him from his quest. In his first at-bat of this season, he tied Babe's record in Cincinnati. The FBI investigated threats that if he hit No. 715, he wouldn't cross home plate alive. In Atlanta today, 53,775 fans -- the largest crowd in Braves history -- comes out to witness history. Aaron doesn't disappoint them.
In the fourth inning, on his first swing of the evening, he rips a fastball from Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Al Downing into the Braves bullpen, where it is caught by reliever Tom House. To everyone's relief, there are no shots fired from the crowd, nobody out to kill Aaron for besting Ruth: just cheers and adulation.
As Aaron rounds second base, two hippie college students appear and run alongside him. At home plate, he is mobbed by his teammates and his father, who has run onto the field. Baseball has a new home-run king.
They hold on by that score when four Bulls miss close-range shots in the final, frantic seconds.
"It's incredible," says guard Kenny Anderson, Charlotte's high scorer with 20 points. "We wanted to come up here and show a little pride and give them a game. Then we lucked up and won the thing."
The last time the Bulls had lost in the United Center was March 24, 1995, in Michael Jordan's first home game after coming out of his first retirement. They had won their last seven regular-season home games last year and all 37 this season.
Jordan scores 40 against the Hornets, but it's not enough. "Even Superman lost a fight," says Hornets center Matt Geiger.
But Palmer roars back. He picks up two shots on the 10th hole when he birdies and Player bogeys. It's the start of a streak of five birdies in seven holes for Palmer, who shoots an amazing 31 on the back nine. His 4-under-par 68 enables him to win the playoff by three strokes over Player (71) and nine over Dow Finsterwald (78).
Asked about Palmer's fantastic finish, Player says, "There just isn't any way you can beat that guy."
The victory is Palmer's third in the Masters. He will win it again in 1964.
The 260-acre stadium, built at a cost of $31.6 million, rises to a peak of 208 feet over second base. There are 4,596 plastic panels. Banks of red, orange, yellow and blue theater seats surround a field of artificial grass. The Yankees, the Houston Astros' opponent in tonight's exhibition game, are impressed. "Fantastic," says pitcher Jim Bouton. "No, indescribable. No, science fiction."
Because of the glare from the dome, the teams experiment with orange baseballs before a crowd of 47,876, including President Lyndon Johnson.
Yankees manager Johnny Keane puts Mickey Mantle in the leadoff spot so he can have the honor of being the first to bat in the Astrodome. Mantle singles on the second pitch from Dick Farrell. In the sixth inning, Mantle becomes the first to homer in the stadium. It's the Yankees' only run as they lose to the Astros, 2-1, on pinch-hitter Nellie Fox's run-scoring single in the 12th inning.
Gervin, playing later in the day in the Superdome, knows he needs 58 points to win the scoring crown. "My, oh my," Gervin says. "I haven't ever hit 58, but I'm going for them."
Amazingly, Gervin almost gets 58 by halftime. After missing his first five shots, the Ice Man gets hot, hitting 10 of his next 13. He scores 20 points in the first quarter and breaks Thompson's extremely short-lived record with 33 points in the second period, giving him 53 at halftime. He wins the scoring title on a 10-foot turnaround jumper with five minutes to go in the Spurs' 153-132 loss to the Jazz.
Gervin finishes with 63 points and an average of 27.22; Thompson averaged 27.15. Gervin shoots 23 of 49 from the field (Thompson goes 28 of 38) and both players are 17 of 20 from the foul line.
The game in Montreal is bitterly fought. Tempers flare in the third period as players on both teams dole out heavy body checks.
Montreal captain Toe Blake, playing despite an ailing back, scores the game-winner when he fires a high angle shot past Boston goalie Frank Brimsek at 11:06 of the third period. Murph Chamberlain and Dutch Hiller score insurance goals.
The volatile Snead, though, keeps his temper in check and responds with birdies on the next three holes. Another birdie on 18 gives him his second consecutive 67 and Snead wins his first of three Masters with a six-under-par 282. He's three strokes in front of runners-up Johnny Bulls and Lloyd Mangrum.
While Sammin' Sammy is perhaps the finest driver in the game, his putting would sometimes give him trouble. But not this weekend. With a new putter, the 36-year-old golfer tames the greens of Augusta.
"The Wandering Scotsman" doesn't allow a goal through three periods, but neither does Detroit's Wilf Cude. The game goes into a second overtime and midway through it, tiny Mush March beats Cude, who had stopped 53 shots, with his blast. After 90 minutes and five seconds, the Blackhawks win, 1-0, to gain their first Stanley Cup.
Gardiner, the first team all-NHL goalie three of the past four seasons, finishes with 39 saves. Two months later, he will be dead of a brain hemorrhage at 29.
They close out the best-of-five series with a 91-84 victory in the 69th Regiment Armory in New York. The Knicks, trailing by 20 points in the third quarter, rally to within 85-84 with 35 seconds left. But then Vern Mikkelsen hits a foul shot and George Mikan scores on a three-point play to clinch Minneapolis' triumph.
"This title is the sweetest of any of the five (in six years) we have won as Lakers," says Mikan.
In foul trouble much of the game, Mikan spends much of the game on the bench and scores just 14 points. His teammates pick up the slack, with four scoring in double figures, led by Jim Pollard's 17 points. Knicks guard Carl Braun is the game's high scorer with 19 points.
"I've never played golf like this before," says Nicklaus, who takes only 123 putts in the four rounds in winning his second Masters at the age of 25. "This was my best putting tournament."
Bobby Jones, the only Grand Slam winner and a founder of The Masters, says, "Jack plays the kind of game I was never permitted to play. He should be made to carry 135 pounds like a Goliath. I have seen many big fellows in my time, but they all had some weakness. Jack doesn't have any."
About the only person who doesn't seem impressed is the golfer whose record Nicklaus broke. Ben Hogan, who shot a 274 in 1953, says it is insignificant that his record is gone. "It's just another score," he says. "Somebody will break his (Nicklaus') record some day."
He's right. Thirty-two years later, Tiger Woods will shoot a 270 and win by 12 strokes.
The white shields are rather picturesque, in spite of their clumsiness, and the fans seem to like the new innovation. Bresnahan enjoys the benefits of his invention when a foul tip in the fifth inning raps the protectors sharply, saving him from being hurt.
In the game, with the Phillies leading 3-0 in the ninth inning, more than 1,000 fans in the crowd of 17,000 swarm the field. The players and umpires ask the fans to leave, but to no avail. Soon, hundreds more come on to the field. Umpire Bill Klem finally forfeits the game to the visiting Phillies by a 9-0 score.
Late in the first period, Joe Primeau scores from close range to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead. But the well-balanced, speedy Red Wings take the lead in the second period on shots by Ebbie Goodfellow and Marty Barry that elude goalie George Hainsworth. Barry, who was acquired from Boston in a trade before the season, was Detroit's leading scorer during the 48-game regular season with 40 points, including 21 goals.
Pete Kelly boosts Detroit's edge to 3-1 midway in the third period before Bill Thoms scores on a breakaway a minute later to close the gap with nine minutes left. With the crowd of 14,000 urging them on, the Maple Leafs continue to apply the pressure in search of the tying goal. But Detroit goalie Norman Smith is up to the challenge and preserves the Red Wings' first Stanley Cup.
Louis had been a well-liked champion. When someone called Louis "a credit to his race," sportswriter Jimmy Cannon responded, "Yes, Louis is a credit to his race -- the human race."
He also was a credit to boxing. His championship reign, from 1937 until he retired in 1949, is the longest of any title-holder in any division. With his powerful left jab, his destructive two-fisted attack that he released with accuracy at short range, and his capacity for finishing a wounded opponent, Louis defeated all 25 of his challengers, another record.
Louis will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at the request of President Ronald Reagan.
1989: Exactly eight years to the day later, another beloved former champion dies. Sugar Ray Robinson, suffering from Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, dies at age 67 in Culver City, Cal. Robinson's skills, resiliency and longevity in the ring were legendary. He was 85-0 as an amateur and then won his first 40 fights as a pro before losing to Jake LaMotta, whom he defeated in their five other bouts. Robinson, who was born Walker Smith Jr., was welterweight champ in the late forties and middleweight champ for a record five times in the fifties.
Many considered the sweet fighting Sugar Ray to be, pound-for-pound, the greatest fighter ever.
The 10 position players are the Athletics' Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Zack Wheat, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Mickey Cochrane and the Yankees' Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri and Earle Combs. They will combine for 2,700 homers, 15,083 RBI and 26,913 hits in their careers.
The three pitchers -- the Athletics' Lefty Grove (300) and the Yankees' Waite Hoyt (237) and Herb Pennock (240) -- will combine for 777 victories. And then there will be another 94 by Ruth.
Athletics manager Connie Mack (3,731) and Yankees' skipper Miller Huggins (1,413) will total 5,144 victories.
Before a crowd of 72,000 -- another 25,000 can't get in -- Hoyt outpitches Grove and the Yankees win, 8-3. Ruth goes 0-for-3, with two strikeouts, before being removed because he feels dizzy.
"I kept thinking all week, 'Through, washed up, huh?'" Nicklaus said. "I sizzled for a while."
But not like how he sizzles on the back nine in the final round today at Augusta National. Down by four strokes, he plays like the Golden Bear of another era. Driving awesomely long and putting deadly, he charges past the field with a brilliant 30 to shoot a 65 for the day and 279 for the tournament. He wins his sixth Masters green jacket by one stroke over Tom Kite (who misses a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole) and Greg Norman (who bogeys 18).
At 46, Nicklaus is the oldest to win the Masters.
1997: Exactly 11 years later, to the day, 21-year-old Tiger Woods becomes the youngest Masters winner. He also shatters several records with his astonishing performance in becoming the first African-American to win one of the four major championships.
His 69 today gives him a Masters record 18-under-par 270, breaking the mark of 271 shared by Nicklaus (1965) and Raymond Floyd (1976). His 12-stroke victory over runner-up Kite, a bridesmaid again, is the largest major championship victory margin in the 20th century, three better than the Masters record of nine set by Nicklaus in 1965.
"I've never played a whole tournament with my 'A' game, but this was pretty close, except for the first nine holes Thursday," Woods says.
About being the first of his race to win at Augusta, Woods says, "I wasn't the pioneer. Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder and Ted Rhodes played that role. I said a little prayer and said thanks to those guys. You are the ones who did it for me."
Oddly, the occasion is not marked by any special ceremony except for flashing the number 4,000 on the scoreboard in Montreal. Only Expos batting coach Billy DeMars, who was Rose's batting coach for three years in Philadelphia, runs on to the field to congratulate him.
Ty Cobb (4,191 hits) is the only other player with 4,000 hits. Rose doesn't expect any others to join their exclusive fraternity.
"The way they pay salaries today, most team can't even afford to pay guys for 20 years," Rose says. "And the way they're paying, who would even want to come up and play 20 years?"
It's been an eventful week for Rose. Two days ago he got married for the second time. Today's milestone game also is his first in Montreal with the Expos, who signed him after his release by the Phillies. And tomorrow he will turn 43.
Forward Tommy Heinsohn, the Rookie of the Year, scores 37 points before fouling out in the second OT. Fellow rookie Bill Russell grabs 32 rebounds and scores 19 points. Second-year forward Frank Ramsey, on loan from the Army, puts the Celtics ahead for good at 122-121 with a foul shot with 1:35 left and then increases the lead to three with a long hander 20 seconds later. He finishes with 16 points.
Boston's veteran starting backcourt of Bob Cousy (12 points) and Bill Sharman (nine) account for just 21 points.
The Hawks' Bob Pettit, who scores a game-high 39 points, sends the game into overtime with two foul shots with six seconds left in the fourth quarter. Heinsohn's layup with 15 seconds remaining in the first overtime puts Boston up 113-111, but the Hawks' Jack Coleman ties the game on a one-hander.
Before the game, Celtics coach Red Auerbach and Hawks owner Ben Kerner shake hands. Earlier in the series, Auerbach had punched Kerner after they got into a heated argument. The title is the first of 11 the Celtics will win in 13 seasons.
The act begins a rite of spring as many of Taft's successors -- both righties and lefties -- follow his lead.
Washington wins the game 3-0, with Johnson showing his arm is much stronger than the president's. Not being able to control his curve, he relies on his blazing fastball and holds the Athletics to one hit, a tainted double by Frank Chance.
The overflow crowd works against Johnson. The only hit comes when Doc Gessler stumbles over a boy who is trying to get out of the way in right-field. That night, a crest-fallen Gessler tells Johnson, "Walter, I'm awfully sorry I couldn't get that fly, for I wanted you to put them down without a hit."
The acrobatic 6-foot-5 forward hits on 22-of-46 field-goal attempts and 17-of-19 free throws in breaking the record of 56 points that Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain had set just three weeks ago.
Michael Jordan will score 63 points in a 1986 playoff game (though he will need two overtimes), but no player has ever surpassed Baylor's 61 points in the Finals.
Baylor's hottest period is the first when he scores 18 points. With 15 in the second quarter, he sets a playoff mark for most points in a half at 33. He scores 28 points in the second half. His last six take the Lakers from a 116-114 deficit into a 120-117 lead.
While the win gives the Lakers a 3-2 advantage in the series, the Celtics will come back to win Game 6 in L.A. and Game 7 in Boston to capture their fourth consecutive title.
The Canadiens, as they have all series, are without their fiery leader, Maurice Richard, who was suspended late in the season for striking a linesman.
Alex Delvecchio, who lost his job as center for high-scoring wings Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay at midseason because of his inability to score goals, notches two tonight to spark the Red Wings to a 3-1 victory and the Cup. Between Delvecchio's goals, Howe scores his ninth of the playoffs as he sets a postseason record with 20 points (in 11 games).
While Terry Sawchuk loses his shutout late in the third period, he is instrumental in the Red Wings duplicating their feat of last season, when they also won the Stanley Cup by beating the Canadiens in Game 7 in Detroit.
"It was the most eagerly anticipated debut in the annals of the national pastime," wrote Robert Lipsyte and Pete Levine in "Idols of the Game." "It represented both the dream and the fear of equal opportunity, and it would change forever the complexion of the game and the attitudes of Americans."
Robinson goes hitless in three at-bats against Boston Braves' right-hander Johnny Sain, but does score the winning run in the Dodgers' 5-3 victory. At first base, a new position for Robinson (he was a second baseman), he records 11 putouts without an error.
The crowd is 25,623, with a majority reportedly African-Americans who have come to see their new hero.
Bill Russell throws the ball in-bounds over the outstretched hands of Chamberlain. But the ball hits the guide wire supporting the backboard and the 76ers get the ball. With a chance at victory, Hal Greer tosses the ball in play.
John Havlicek leaps and slaps the ball to teammate Sam Jones, who dribbles out the clock. Havlicek's game-saving play is immortalized on radio by Boston announcer Johnny Most, who yells, "Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!"
Jones scores 37 points and Havlicek comes off the bench to get 26 as the Celtics win their ninth straight East title. Chamberlain (32 rebounds, 30 points) wins his personal battle with Russell (29 rebounds, 15 points). But, as usual, it is Russell who wins the war.
Sawchuk, the Vezina Trophy winner during the regular season, stops 26 shots in the Red Wings' 3-0 victory. In posting his second straight shutout at home, he allowed the Canadiens only two goals in the four games. He gave up just five goals in the eight games as he blanked the Toronto Maple Leafs twice at home in the semifinals.
Metro Prystai, who hadn't scored a goal in the first seven playoff games, gets two past Montreal goalie Gerry McNeil in Game 4. He also assists on the other Detroit goal.
"You've just seen the sweetest balanced team I've ever watched in my 35 years in hockey," says Detroit coach Jack Adams. The Red Wings dominated the playoffs the same way they did the regular season, when they accumulated 100 points in 70 games to finish 22 points ahead of runner-up Montreal.
It takes an outstanding play in the ninth inning by Indians second baseman Ray Mack to preserve Feller's first no-hitter. With two outs, Taft Wright rips a grounder to Mack's left. A fine stab knocks down the ball, and Mack picks it up and throws to first, getting Wright by a step.
Feller, who already has pitched three one-hitters, strikes out eight and walks five (four in the first three innings).
The Indians score the game's only run on Jeff Heath's single and catcher Rollie Hemsley's two-out triple in the fourth inning off Edgar Smith.
Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman embrace at halfcourt as the game ends and the Bulls (70-9) better the 1971-72 Lakers' record of 69-13. Afterward, in the locker room, Jordan attempts to downplay the significance of the Bulls' achievement.
"I'm glad it's over with," he says. "We didn't start out the season to win 70 games. We started out the season to win the championship, and that's still our motivation. It's going to take some time for this to sink in. I feel in the future, when we look back, 70 wins will mean a lot. If we win a championship, you'll see a much more enthusiastic party." He's right. The Bulls, who started 39-3, will finish the regular season 72-10 and then celebrate wildly after winning the championship, the first in their second three-peat of the '90s.
The Maple Leafs finished fourth in the six-team league during the regular season with a 22-25-13 record. Their 57 points were 18 less than the first-place Red Wings (34-19-7) accumulated. But after beating the second-place Boston Bruins in five games in the semifinals, the Leafs dominate the finals, with goalie Turk Broda allowing Detroit just five goals in four games.
The Red Wings' final goal, by Ted Lindsay with Gordie Howe assisting, gives Detroit an early 1-0 lead. Toronto's Ray Timgren ties the game midway through the second period and Cal Gardner makes it 2-1 before the period ends. Ray Bentley's goal late in the third period is the clincher as the Leafs sweep Detroit in the final for the second straight year.
This is the fifth Stanley Cup for the Leafs and their coach, Hap Day, in the '40s.
Hornung set an NFL record with 176 points in 1960 and was the league's MVP in 1961. Karras has been an all-league defensive tackle the past three years.
While Hornung says his bets were made with friends, for $100 or $200, Rozelle says the player bet as much as $500 on NFL games from 1959-61. Hornung is contrite after learning of the suspension. "I made a terrible mistake," he says. "I am truly sorry."
Rozelle says Karras made at least six bets of $50 or $100. Karras is bitter about the suspension.
Rozelle also fines five other Detroit Lions - Joe Schmidt, Wayne Walker, John Gordy, Gary Lowe and Sam Williams - $2,000 each for betting $50 on the Packers in the 1962 championship game against the Giants. Since the Packers covered the six-point spread in beating the Giants 16-7, the players are $1,950 losers.
Hornung and Karras will be reinstated after a year. Hornung will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
The towering drive soars way over the wall in left-center (which is 391 feet away), beyond the 55-foot high bleachers, then nicks a beer sign (which is 460 feet away) next to the football scoreboard. The ball caroms off to the right and flies out of sight.
A 10-year-old boy finds the ball in the street and Arthur Patterson of the Yankees' front-office staff gives him $5 for it. Patterson gives the ball to Mantle.
Later in the Yankees' 7-3 victory, Mantle also gets one of the longest bunt singles in history. From the left side, he drags a bunt that lands in front of second base and goes into center-field.
Some claim that Babe Ruth once hit a longer homer, but Clark Griffith, the Senators' 83-year-old president, says Mantle's drive went farther. "No doubt about it, that was the longest home run ever hit in the history of baseball," he says.
Dr. J, who is retiring after this season, wants to do something special in his last regular-season home game. He needs 36 points to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (36,474 points) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) in the exclusive 30,000-point club. Though there is one more game left after tonight, Erving wants to reach the milestone at home.
By halftime, he has 22 points. Then with 4:58 left in the third period, he hits a fadeaway jumper for points 29,999 and 30,000. The game is stopped as Erving is mobbed by his teammates and given the ball. Erving finishes with a season-high 38 in a 115-111 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
He has 18,340 points in 11 seasons with the 76ers and 11,662 during his five years in the ABA.
"This was a very different night," 76ers coach Matt Goukas says. "A salute, a send-off, and then Doc reaching his milestone. You'll probably never see another night like this in NBA history."
Starting out with sub-5:10 miles, the 25-year-old Benoit finishes in two hours, 22 minutes and 42 seconds, two minutes and 47 seconds better than the record set by Allison Roe in 1981 in New York and tied by Grete Waitz yesterday in London. Her closest competitor isn't even in the same zip code when Benoit finishes, winning by six minutes and 45 seconds.
Since World War II, 10 men have won the race in slower times than Benoit runs. This is Benoit's second Boston Marathon victory, and her time is almost 13 minutes faster than when she won four years ago.
"She's just a little thing, but look inside her and it's scary what you see," says her coach, Bob Sevene. "I keep calling her an animal. Her mother hates me for it, but I can't think of any better way to describe her."
Officially, it's Yankee Stadium. Unofficially, it's "The House That Ruth Built," nicknamed by sportswriter Fred Lieb. Appropriately enough, it's the Babe who baptizes the stadium with its first home run. His three-run homer in the third inning leads the Yankees to a 4-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
Before the game, Ruth is quoted as saying, "I'd give a year of my life if I can hit a home run in this first game in this new park."
Two men are arrested for scalping. One offers to sell his $1.10 grandstand ticket for $1.25 and another wants $1.50 for his ticket. Both men are unable to post $500 bail and spend the night in jail.
In tonight's Game 7, the Detroit Red Wings are less than 13 minutes away from winning the Stanley Cup before the Leafs rally. The Red Wings have a 1-0 lead, courtesy of Syd Howe's goal early in the second period. But just as the Red Wings couldn't hold their three games to none advantage in the series, they can't hold their one-goal edge in Game 7 in Toronto.
Sweeney Schriner is the Toronto hero. He scores with 12:14 left in the third period to tie the game and then two minutes later Pete Langelle scores to give the Leafs a 2-1 lead. Schriner scores again to clinch the 3-1 victory. The three previous Toronto victories were by scores of 4-3, 9-3 and 3-0.
Smith says attending a baseball game on Sunday is a most harmless diversion. "It is in no sense deteriorating to the moral fiber of the witness," he says. "Well-to-do people can and do on Sunday pursue their amusements with entire impunity and under the protection of the laws. Our golf courses are crowded, our highways are thronged with automobiles seeking on Sunday a change of scene and the beneficial effects resulting therefrom.
"The activities of a poor man along this line are necessarily restricted by the limit of his means. It comes, however, within the reasonable reach of many to enjoy a baseball game and to obtain the rest which comes from recreation by such an outdoor health giving amusement."
The bill also eliminates the prohibition against fishing on Sunday. Gov. Smith signs another bill permitting movies to be shown on Sunday.
1949: In a pregame ceremony in "The House That Ruth Built," the Yankees honor the Babe, who died last year. Ruth's widow Claire unveils a granite monument that is placed next to the ones honoring Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins in deep center-field in Yankee Stadium.
The inscription says: "George Herman 'Babe' Ruth. 1895-1948. A great ball player. A great man. A great American. Erected by the Yankees and the New York Baseball Writers, April 19, 1949."
New York Gov. Tom Dewey and Mayor Bill O'Dwyer participate in the ceremony, attended by 40,075 fans on opening day.
Afterwards, in Casey Stengel's debut as Yankees manager, Tom Heinrich shows he's as reliable as ever, hitting a solo homer with two outs in the ninth to give the Yankees a 3-2 victory over the Washington Senators.
An estimated crowd of 26,000 (24,384 paid) fills the new concrete ballpark in Detroit. Every seat is taken and thousands stand around the borders of the outfield, necessitating ground rules which limit the length of any hit to two bases. Ty Cobb stars for the Tigers, with two hits, two steals (including one of home) and two outstanding catches in center-field. The Tigers win 6-5 on pitcher George Mullin's run-scoring single in the 11th inning.
In Boston, the Red Sox finally get to play in Fenway after several rainouts. The estimated crowd of 27,000 sees the home team beat New York, 7-6, as Tris Speaker knocks in the winning run in the 11th.
1939: It's opening day at Yankee Stadium and this is the only game that Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig ever play against each other. It is the first major-league game for Williams, a 20-year-old playing right-field and batting sixth for Boston, and the 2,124th consecutive game for the Yankees' Gehrig.
Williams strikes out twice and goes 1-for-4 against Red Ruffing, who blanks Boston, 2-0. Williams' hit -- the first of 2,654 in his career -- is a double off the right-center bleacher wall.
Gehrig, batting fifth, is 0-for-4 against Lefty Grove, including a low liner that Williams catches with two runners on base. An ailing Gehrig will play only six more games before illness forces him to retire.
In the Bulls' first playoff game, he scores 49 points against the Boston Celtics. It's only a warm-up for today's heavenly performance. He scores a playoff-record 63 points in the Bulls' 135-131 double overtime loss in Boston Garden.
"He's God disguised as Michael Jordan," says Boston's Larry Bird.
In breaking the 24-year-old playoff record of 61 points set by Elgin Baylor, Jordan shoots 22-of-41 from the field and 19-of-21 from the foul line. He also has six assists and five rebounds in 53 minutes. His two free throws (points 53 and 54) with no time remaining in the fourth quarter send the game into overtime.
Jordan has a chance to win the game at the end of the first overtime, but misses a mid-range jump shot. "I'll remember that shot longer than my points," he says.
Jordan's final four points tie the game at 131 before Boston sub Jerry Sichting hits a game-winning jumper. Bird scores 36 with 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Today, in a remarkable display of pressure golf, Elder puts an end to the Masters' policy. With birdies on the final two holes of the Monsanto Open in Pensacola, Fla., Elder forces a playoff with Englishman Peter Oosterhuis at 10-under-par 274. And then on the fourth extra hole, he triumphs by sinking an 18-foot birdie putt.
Along with the first-place prize of $30,045 is an automatic berth in the previous elite, all-white, by-invitation-only Masters.
Immediately after winning, Elder struggles through a crowd of well-wishers and with tears streaming down his face, he telephones his wife Rose. "Baby, we did it. We finally did it, baby. We finally won."
Five times a tournament runner-up, the 38-year-old Elder leaves things up in the air about accepting the Masters invitation before clarifying the matter later in the day. "I will definitely play in the Masters," he says. "Tell Mr. Roberts (Clifford Roberts, the man who runs the tournament) I'll see him at the Masters."
Toronto defenseman Bill Barilko, known more for his body checks than goal scoring, ends the dramatic contest at 2:53 of overtime. His 20-foot slap shot eludes Canadiens goalie Gerry McNeil and gives the Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory and their fourth Stanley Cup in five years.
It is Barilko's last goal. A few months later the 24-year-old will be killed in a plane crash in northern Ontario.
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