Looking back: This week in sports history December 10-16

December 10, 1919: On December 10, 1919, the NL voted to ban the use of spitballs by all new pitchers. Only 17 pitchers were identified as pitchers who could continue throwing spitballs.

December 10, 1992: The NHL announces new franchises in Anaheim and Miami that will begin playing in the league during the 1994-1995 season. Anaheim’s expansion team was awarded to Disney, who capitalized on the success of the movie “The Mighty Ducks,” giving the team the same nickname.

December 10, 2005: Southern California running back, Reggie Bush, beat out Texas QB Vince Young and his own QB Matt Leinart, to win the 2005 Heisman Trophy. However Bush would later forfeit the trophy after his 2005 campaign was vacated and USC was sanctioned due to improper benefits that Bush and basketball player OJ Mayo received.

December 10, 2016: Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson won the 82nd Heisman Trophy, becoming the youngest player to ever win the Heisman and marking the first time a Louisville player won the award, he was 19 years old. He threw for 3543 yards and 30 touchdowns.

December 11, 1951: On December 11, 1951, Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio announced he is retiring from baseball after 13 seasons in the Bronx. He was a 13-time All Star, won three MVP awards, two batting titles and nine World Series titles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame four years later, in 1955.

December 11, 1981: The greatest ever, Muhammad Ali, enters the ring for the last time. His 61st and last fight took place in 1981, when Ali faced Trevor Berbick. The fight was pretty even for seven rounds, but Berbick dominated the final three and won by unanimous verdict after the tenth round.

December 11, 1985: On December 11, 1985, the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks combined for 21 goals, tying the NHL record for most goals in a game. The two teams combined for 62 points, 36 for the Oilers (with 12 goals) and 26 points by Chicago (with nine goals).

December 12, 1965: Running back Gale Sayers tied an NFL record on December 12, 1965. The Chicago Bears running back scored six touchdowns, tying the league record, during a game against the San Francisco 49ers while playing at infamous Wrigley Field in Chicago. He scored four rushing touchdowns, one receiving touchdown and another return.

December 12, 1968: On December 12, 1968, tennis legend Arthur Ashe became the first black, male player to be ranked No. 1 by the US Lawn Tennis Association. It came at the end of a year of firsts for Ashe, who that year also became the first black player to represent the US at the Davis Cup and helped lead the team to a 4-1 victory of Australia.

December 13, 1956: MLB legend and trailblazer Jackie Robinson could have been a Giant. The legendary baseball player was traded to New York on December 13, 1956, a year before the team moved out west. The Dodgers agreed to send Robinson to the Giants for $35,000 and pitcher Dick Littlefield. Unfortunately for the Giants, Robinson opted to retire instead, and in a letter to the organization said it had nothing to do with the trade.

December 13, 1996: On December 13, 1996, free agent Roger Clemens signed with the Toronto Blue Jays for four years, $40 million. But Clemens played only two years in Toronto, winning the Cy Young award both seasons, with a combined 41-13 record and 2.33 ERA.

December 14, 1968: Bobby Orr scored ten hat tricks during his 12 seasons in the NHL. His first career hat trick came on December 14, 1968, his third season in the league. The 20-year-old scored twice in the first period and once in the second. More than 50 hats were tossed on the ice in celebration.

December 15, 1997: On December 15, 1997, the San Francisco Giants officially retired Joe Montana’s No. 16 jersey. Steve Young, Jerry Rice and Brent Jones came to honor Montana, who played 13 seasons in the Bay Area. Montana is a four-time Super Bowl Champion and two-time MVP.  

December 16, 1967: Wilt Chamberlain has had plenty of memorable performances. On December 16, 1967, the Philadelphia 76er scored 68 points in a game against the Chicago Bulls, adding another 34 rebounds. Four other members of the 76ers scored in double figures, and Philadelphia won 143-123.

December 16, 1972: In 1972, the Miami Dolphins became the league’s first perfect team. On December 16, 1972, the Dolphins beat the Baltimore Bullets 16-0 during the last game of the season, improving their record to 14-0 and becoming the first team in NFL history to finish the season undefeated. Miami would go on to beat the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl.

December 16, 1973: On December 16, 1973, OJ Simpson became the first NFL player to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season. During the last game of the season against the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills running back rushed for 200 yards, putting his total for the season at 2,003, a new record.


Notable birthdays

December 14, 1939 The first African American football player to win the Heisman Trophy, Ernie  Davis, was born in New Salem-Buffington, PA

December 14, 1988 French NBA player for the Charlotte Hornets, Nicolas Batum, was born in Lisieux, France

December 16, 1982 Former NFL safety Antrel Rolle was born in Homestead, FL


We bid farewell to…

December 10, 1946 Legendary pitcher and manager Walter Johnson died of a brain tumour at the age of 59

December 14, 1985 MLB legend and home run hitter Roger Maris died of cancer, he was 51 years old