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Looking back: this week in sports history October 1-7


October 1, 1919: The 1919 World Series between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds is likely remembered for the wrong reason, it’s the year the Sox threw the World Series. Chicago was the heavy favorite before the series began, and there were rumors of a fixed series floating around. Eight Chicago players were paid to intentionally lose. The scandal broke a few months later. The series between the two began on October 1 with a 9-1 Cincinnati win.

October 1, 1961: Thirty-four years after Babe Ruth set the record for home runs in a single season at 60, another Yankee broke it. In his second season in the Bronx, Roger Maris set the new record of 61 HRs on October 1, 1961, the final game of the season. Maris and teammate Mickey Mantle were both chasing the record, but Mantle was injured after hitting 54 home runs, leaving Maris to chase no. 61 on his own.

October 1, 1975: You don’t have to be a boxing fan to know about the “Thrilla in Manila,” the famous bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. It was the third time the two met, and the fight ended with a TKO when Frazier’s trainer refused to let him continue fighting and go out for the 15th round.

October 1, 1977: In 1974 Brazilian soccer star Pele tried to retire, but it didn’t last long and he returned to the game as a member of the New York Cosmos. Three years later, on October 1, 1977, Pele played his final game, a friendly match between Santos and the Cosmos in front of 75,000 people, and finally retired for the second and last time.

pele last game

October 2, 1991: At only 22 years and three months old, on october 2, 1991, Steffi Graf became the youngest woman to tally 500 professional career wins with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Petra Langrova. Throughout her career, Graf won 22 Grand Slams.

October 2, 2016: After broadcasting 9,000 games over 67 years, the voice of the LA Dodgers, Vin Scully, broadcast the final game of his career on October 2, 2016. Scully stopped traveling with the team a few years prior, but made an exception and wrapped up his career with a game in San Francisco. Unfortunately for him, his final game was a 7-1 loss to the Giants.  

vin scully

October 3, 1976: Legendary outfield Hank Aaron played the final game of his 23-year major league career on October 3, 1976. The Brewers faced the Detroit Tigers, and after grounding out in his first two at bats, Aaron stepped up to the plate for his third and final AB in the sixth inning. With two men on base, Aaron managed a single, driving in a run, the 2,297th of his career, still a major league record.

October 5, 2001: On October 5, 2001, San Francisco’s Barry Bonds broke the single season home run record, hitting his 71st and 72nd home runs of the year. Mark McGwire’s record of 70 home runs stood for only three years until Bonds came along. Both home runs came against the Dodgers Chan Ho Park. He would hit one more home run that season, setting the new, and current, record at 73.

October 6, 1945: The Curse of the Billy Goat may have been broken, but it will be forever etched in baseball history. On October 6, 1945, the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, William Sianis, arrived at Game 4 of the World Series and purchased a ticket for his goat Murphy. Even though he had a ticket, Murphy the goat and his owner were turned away, prompting Sianis to announce that the Cubs will never win another World Series. The birth of the Curse of the Billy Goat.

October 6, 2010: On October 6, 2010, Roy Halladay made history, becoming only the second pitcher to toss a no-hitter in the postseason. The Phillies and Halladay beat the Reds 4-0  in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. The only other postseason no hitter ever tossed was Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game during the World Series.

October 7, 1916: This final score sounds more like a cricket game than football. On October 7, 1916, John Heisman’s Georgia Tech beat Cumberland 222-0. This may seem a bit obvious, but this score is the most lopsided in the history of college football.

October 7, 1984: Nearly two decades after Jim Brown set the all-time rushing record, Walter Payton became the new all-time leader. Payton rushed for 154 yards and wrapped up the game at Soldier Field with 12,400 yards for his career, just 88 yards more than Brown.

 

Notable birthdays

October 1, 1963 Major League Baseball slugger Mark McGwire was born in Pomona, CA

October 3, 1931 “Mr. Goalie” Glenn Hall was born in Humboldt, Canada

October 3, 1981 Soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimović was born in Malmö, Sweden

October 4, 1944 Former MLB manager and current Chief Baseball Officer for the Diamondbacks, Tony La Russa, was born in Tampa, FL

October 5, 1965 Hockey legend Mario Lemieux was born in Montreal, Canada

October 5, 1965 Former hockey star Patrick Roy, was born in Quebec City, Canada

October 5, 1972 Retired NBA player Grant Hill was born in Dallas, TX

October 6, 1973 Former WNBA star and current broadcaster (who was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame) Rebecca Lobo was born in Hartford, CT

October 7, 1985 Professional baseball player Evan Longoria was born in Downey, CA

 

We bid farewell to…

October 3, 1936 legendary football coach John Heisman died of pneumonia, he was 66 years old