October 8, 1995: Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino broke a number of records throughout his career. On October 8, 1995, he broke Fran Tarkenton’s record for completed passes with the 3,687th pass of his career. Unfortunately for Marino and the Dolphins, the pass came during an overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
October 9, 1989: Art Shell made history on October 9, 1989, when he took the field as the head coach of the LA Raiders. Shell, who was promoted to HC earlier that week, became the first African American to coach an NFL team since Fritz Pollard served as a player-coach in the 1920s. The Raiders beat the New York Jets in NY 14-7, only their second win of the season.
October 10, 1920: On October 10, 1920, Elmer Smith of the Cleveland Indians hit the first ever World Series grand slam. Smith’s blast came early in the game, in the bottom of the first inning off of Brooklyn’s Burleigh Grimes. The Indians won the game 8-1 and won the series 5-2.
October 10, 1951: Yankee great Joe DiMaggio retired at the end of the 1951 season, and he went out on top of the world. DiMaggio doubled to right in his final at bat, and went 1-2 with two intentional walks in the World Series win over the cross-town rivals, the New York Giants. It was the Yankees 14th World Series and third in a row.
October 11, 1911: Major League Baseball announces league MVPs for the first time ever: Ty Cobb in the American League and Frank Schulte in the National League.
October 12, 1968: On October 12, 1968, Mexico City officially opened the 19th Olympic games. The games in Mexico City were controversial due to the city’s high altitude, which hurt those competing in endurance sports. It is of course well-known for Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ Black Power salute.
October 12, 1975: Jacqueline Hansen is known as one of the greatest female runners and was the first female to finish a marathon in under 2 hours and 40 minutes. In 1975, Hansen won the the Nike-Oregon Track Club Marathon in 2:38.19.
October 13, 1982: On October 13, 1982, the IOC Executive Committee approved the reinstatement of American athlete Jim Thorpe’s gold medals from the 1912 Olympics in Sweden. Thorpe won several gold medals, but they were taken away due to his amateur status. The IOC reinstated his medals nearly 30 years after Thrope’s death.
October 14, 1973: Willie Mays was 42 years old when he finally retired from Major League Baseball. The legend’s last game was Game 2 of the 1973 World Series, a game that needed 12 innings to be decided. His final hit came during the top of the 12th, a single to center field that scored Bud Harrelson.
October 14, 1978: This may be one of the most controversial calls in the history of the league, and more specifically of the World Series. During Game 4 of the 1978 world series between the Dodgers and the Yankees, New York had runners on first and second, and Lou Piniella hit a line drive to Bill Russell at shortstop. Russell dropped the ball, but stepped on the bag in time to get the out at second and threw to first, but the Yankees Reggie Jackson used his hip to deflect the throw and a run scored. New York won the game in 10 innings.
October 14, 1979: The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, scored his first of 894 career goals on October 14, 1979. Goal No. 1 came against the Vancouver Canucks, a game that ended in a 4-4 tie.
October 14, 2003: Heard of the “Steve Bartman incident”? It came up a lot last Fall and earlier this MLB season after the Cubs finally broke the curse and won the World Series. In 2003, Bartman was somewhat blamed for Chicago’s failure to make it to their first World Series for the first time since the 1940s, after Bartman interfered with a foul ball during Game 7. Moises Alou leapt to catch the ball, but Bartman didn’t notice Alou and also reached out to grab it – it got away from both of them. The Cubs blew their lead, lost the game, and a chance to play in the World Series, and many fans blamed Steve Bartman.
October 10, 1969 Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre was born in Gulfport, MS
October 10, 1974 Race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., born Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr., was born in Kannapolis, NC
October 10, 1984 Baseball player and two-time Silver Slugger Troy Tulowitzki, was born in Santa Clara, CA
October 11, 1961 Former NFL quarterback Steve Young was born in Salt Lake City, UT
October 12, 1970 Two-sport athlete Charlie Ward, who won the Heisman Trophy and played in the NBA was born in Thomasville, GA
October 13, 1962 Three-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame NFL Wide Receiver, Jerry Rice was born in Starkville, MS
October 13, 1973 Former NFL safety for the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos Brian Dawkins was born in Jacksonville, FL
October 13, 1977 NBA champion and ten-time All-Star Paul Pierce was born in Oakland, CA
October 13, 1978 Former NBA player Jermaine O’Neal was born in Columbia, SC
October 13, 1982 Five-time gold medalist swimmer Ian Thorpe was born in Sydney, Australia
We bid farewell to…
October 12, 1999 NBA legend, five-time MVP and all-time rebounds leader Wilt Chamberlain died on October 12, 1999 of congestive heart failure, he was 63 years old