The first modern Olympics, held in Athens, Greece, in April 1896, featured the following sports: cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming (including diving, synchronized swimming, water polo), track and field, weight lifting, and wrestling.
The football conference that became the Big Ten, or the Western Conference, was formed in 1896 by the Universities of Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, along with Northwestern and Purdue universities. Iowa and Indiana joined in 1899 and Ohio State in 1912. The University of Chicago dropped out in 1946 after terminating its football […]
The 500-mile race in Indianapolis was first held on May 30, 1911, when Ray Harroun won in 6 hours, 42 minutes, 8 seconds. His average speed was 74.59 miles per hour.
Muhammad Ali defended the heavyweight boxing title 19 times-5 times in 1966 alone, 4 in 1976. But Ali doesn’t hold a candle to Joe Louis, who defended his title 25 times, with 7 fights in 1941.
The game on December 25, 1971, between the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs lasted 82 minutes and 40 seconds. It went into a second period of sudden death before Garo Yepremian kicked a field goal and won the game for the Dolphins, 27-24.
The frontier sport of gouging, imported from England, flourished in the Ohio River Valley around 1800. The object was to gouge out the opponent’s eye with a thumbnail. To compete effectively, you would have needed to let your thumbnail grow extra-long.
This phrase texas leaguer for a weak hit falling just over the heads of the infielders may first have been used to describe the hits of Arthur Sunday, a player from Texas. Another version is that the term was coined in Syracuse, New York, in 1886 by a pitcher who lost a game because of […]
Chris Evert popularized the two-fisted backhand, which she began using out of necessity when she was six years old. Beginning her professional career in 1972, Evert has won close to 150 women’s singles titles and more than 1,000 career matches.
The first baseball game played at night was at Crosley Field in Cincinnati on May 24, 1935. It was a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds beat the Phillies, 2-1.
The practice, which takes place before the home team comes to bat, became popular in 1860 because the number seven is considered lucky.
John L. Sullivan knocked out Jake Kilrain in the 75th round of the U.S. heavyweight championship at Rich-burg, Mississippi, on July 8, 1889. This was the last legal bare-knuckle fight. He claimed to have won the world’s championship with that victory, since Kilrain had previously fought a draw with the English champion. After that fight, […]
Although Wilt Chamberlain was not the first seven-foot-tall basketball player, he was the first to dispel the then common notion that big, tall men were awkward players. At 7 feet, 1 inch and 275 pounds, he signed with the Philadelphia Warriors on May 30, 1959. He scored 43 points and got 28 rebounds in his […]
Jack Broughton of Great Britain invented the boxing glove. The English bare-knuckle fighting champion for many years (beginning in 1734), Broughton also wrote the first set of boxing rules.
You need two teams with four players each and horses for all of them in a polo game. The aim is to drive a wooden ball down a grass field and between two goalposts.
Ty Cobb stole home 46 times during his 22-year career with the Detroit Tigers and holds the record for stealing home.
The New York Giants moved to San Francisco for the start of the 1958 season. The final game of the New York Giants at New York’s Polo Grounds was played against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The first publicly televised sporting event was a Japanese baseball game, broadcast on September 27, 1931. The Ushigome and Awazi Shichiku Higher Elementary Schools battled it out on the Tozuka Baseball Ground, watched by viewers on 8-by-5-inch screens.
Secretariat the horse raced for only 16 months in 1972 and 1973. In that time the chestnut stallion became the first horse in 25 years to win the Triple Crown, set record times in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, and won 16 of his 31 races. He was retired to stud in November […]
The Brooklyn Dodgers left Ebbets Field and moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 baseball season.
Usually made of vulcanized rubber, an ice hockey puck is 3 inches in diameter, 1 inch thick, and weighs 5.5 to 6 ounces.
The first All-Star baseball game was played on July 6, 1933, in Comiskey Park, Chicago, home of the White Sox. The American League won, 4-2.
The first Superbowl was held in 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers won, 35-10.
Bobby Jones has achieved the feat of winning the grand slam. He did so as an amateur, before the present-day tournament requirements were instituted. He won the British Amateur tournament in Scotland on May 31, 1930. Next, on June 20, 1930, he won the British Open in Holyoke, England, with a four-round total of 291. […]
The Navy won the first Army–Navy football game, 24-0. The game was played at West Point, New York, on November 29, 1890.
The first group, inducted in the 1936 Baseball Hall of Fame, consisted of Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner. Tyrus Raymond Cobb (1886-1961), “the Georgia Peach,” had played for the Detroit Tigers. Walter Perry Johnson (1887-1946) had pitched for the Washington Senators. Christopher Mathewson (1880-1925) had been a pitcher for […]