June Moments

Updated: October 18, 2005, 6:39 PM ET

June 1
Golf
1986:
When Pat Bradley bogies the 17th hole and Patty Sheehan birdies the 18th, the two are tied for the LPGA Championship lead. Bradley, though, can avoid a playoff if she makes a 12-foot birdie putt on 18.

Shaking off her doubts, Bradley says to herself, "My day is not over. I can still end it right here."

She does, draining the putt to give her a 68 on the day and an 11-under-par 277 for the tournament. She tosses her visor, raises her putter and dances around the green.

The victory at the Jack Nicklaus Sports Center in Mason, Ohio, is a historical milestone as it makes Bradley the first woman to win all four majors. She had won the Canadian Open in 1980 and 1985, the U.S. Open in 1981 and the Dinah Shore this year.

NBA
1979:
Washington defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in seven games in last year's Finals, and before this year's rematch, Bullets forward Elvin Hayes said that he liked being a part of history. He was referring to the possibility of the Bullets becoming the first team since the 1968-69 Boston Celtics to win back-to-back titles.

Tonight, though, it's the Sonics who make history. For the first time, the city of Seattle has a champion in a major professional sport. After the Sonics beat the Bullets 97-93 in Game 5, Seattle forward John Johnson says, "How does Elvin like that history?"

Gus Williams scores 23 points, including eight in the final 3:25, and averages 28.6 for the series. His backcourt mate, defensive stopper Dennis Johnson, scores 21 -- including seven in the last 6:45 -- and is named the Finals MVP.

"This is what everybody wants," says coach Lenny Wilkens, who took a faceless cast of overachievers and blended them. "You know how many guys come through this league and never even get involved in a championship?"


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June 2
Baseball
1925:
Lou Gehrig replaces regular first baseman Wally Pipp in the Yankees' lineup. Batting sixth, he gets two singles and a double in his first three at-bats as the Yankees beat the Senators, 8-5. Nobody knows it, but not until 1939 will Gehrig miss another game.

Gehrig will play in a record 2,130 consecutive games. Today's game is the second in the streak as he pinch-hit yesterday.

1941: Exactly 16 years to the day after he became the regular first baseman, the Iron Horse dies of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a rare disease that will soon bear his name. The disease was chronic, and for the last month Gehrig had been confined to his home in Riverdale, N.Y.

Until his illness became more serious Gehrig went to his office regularly to perform his duties as a member of the New York City Parole Commission, a post he has held for a year and a half following his retirement from baseball.

Lou Gehrig was 37.


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June 3
NBA
1992:
Michael Jordan made just 27 of 100 from 3-point range during the regular season and only 5 of 16 in the previous 16 playoff games. But in the first half of the opening game of the Finals, the Chicago Bulls superstar puts on an out-of-this world long-range exhibition.

Jordan sets a Finals record by hitting six 3-pointers (in nine attempts) in the half against Portland. After hitting one bomb, he looks over to courtside, smiles, and lifts his shoulders in a playful shrug. "I was in a zone," Jordan says. "The threes felt like free throws."

"He was playing H-O-R-S-E out on the perimeter," Trail Blazer guard Danny Ainge says. Jordan sets another Finals record with 35 points in the half, making 14 of 21 field-goal attempts in 19 minutes.

In the second half of the Bulls' 122-89 victory, Jordan takes just six more shots (missing his only 3-point attempt) and scores four points in 15 minutes to finish with 39 points. He also has 11 assists.

Baseball
1932:
Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig makes history, becoming the first player in the 20th century to hit four homers in a game. The Iron Horse connects on his first four plate appearances, with his drives in the first and fifth innings going into the stands in left-center and his blasts in the fourth and seventh going over the right-field wall in Philadelphia. The first homer is a two-run shot and the other three are solo.

George Earnshaw gives up the first three homers and Roy Mahaffey the fourth as Gehrig ties Ty Cobb's American League record of 16 total bases. In the Yankees' 20-13 victory over the Athletics, they set a major league mark with 50 total bases.

Gehrig has two more chances to become the first player ever to hit five homers in a game (Bobby Lowe and Ed Delahanty had four in the 19th century). In the eighth inning, he grounds out and in the ninth, his deep drive to center is caught by Al Simmons.

1932: While Gehrig's feat is the lead story in the sports pages of The New York Times, another sport story runs on the newspaper's first page: the resignation of Giants manager John McGraw.

Citing ill health, which has prevented him from giving his full time and attention to the team, the 59-year-old McGraw quits after asking the team's star first baseman, Bill Terry, to become player-manager. "When I agreed and he finally decided to resign, he looked like a man who had a 40-pound weight lifted from his head," Terry says.

McGraw's resignation comes a month and a half shy of his 30th anniversary as the Giants skipper. He won 10 pennants and three World Series in his tenure. His record with the Giants is 2,583-1,790. Including his 2-year stint as manager of the Baltimore Orioles, his lifetime record is 2,763-1,948.


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June 4
Track & Field
1987:
The longest winning streak in the history of a running event is over. The reign ends in Spain.

For the first time in nine years, nine months and nine days, Edwin Moses loses a 400-meter hurdles race, halting his streak of consecutive victories at 122 (107 finals and 15 preliminaries). Beating him in Madrid is Danny Harris, who runs a career-best 47.56, .13 seconds faster than Moses. The two had not raced against each other in three years, since Harris won the silver medal while Moses took the gold at the 1984 Olympics.

In today's race, the 21-year-old Harris, a three-time NCAA intermediate hurdles champion at Iowa State, takes the lead at the fifth hurdle and stays in front. Moses, who hits the final hurdle, is not a gracious loser.

"I hit the 10th hurdle and that really cost me the race," Moses says after running a lap of honor. "He was very lucky to win. I lost because I'm not in great shape right now. I ran a good race and the guy that beat me is 10 years younger and ran the race of his life."

Pro basketball
1976:
It is likely the greatest game in NBA history, the triple-overtime thriller between the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns in the fifth game of the finals. John Havlicek has a chance to win it in regulation for the Celtics, but he makes only one of two free throws with 19 seconds left and the game goes into OT.

It is the second overtime that makes this game really special. Incredibly, seven points are scored in the final five seconds. Curtis Perry's jumper puts the Suns up 110-109, but then Havlicek banks in a lunging jumper. The crowd at Boston Garden storms the court, thinking the game is over.

But the referees put a second back on the clock. When they do, a fan attacks Richie Powers, one of the officials. Rather than taking the ball out from under the Boston basket, guard Paul Westphal shrewdly calls a timeout for the Suns, knowing they don't have any left. This results in a technical, which Jo Jo White converts for a 112-110 lead. But now the Suns can take the ball out at half court.

The strategy works as Garfield Heard takes the inbounds pass and beats the buzzer with a high arching jumper from beyond the top of the key, with Don Nelson's hand in his face.

In the third overtime, substitute Glenn McDonald, playing only because Paul Silas fouled out, scores six points as the Celtics break a 118-118 tie and earn a 128-126 victory.

Baseball
1949:
After graduating from high school last month, 17-year-old Mickey Mantle signs with the New York Yankees -- in scout Tom Greenwade's 1947 Oldsmobile -- for a reported $1,100 bonus.

Mantle had been a star shortstop for Commerce (Okla.) High School and the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids of the Junior Cardinal League. He batted .431 for the Whiz Kids last summer.

An all-around athlete, Mantle was selected for the all-district high school football team last fall and was the second highest scorer on the basketball team in the winter.


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June 5
Track and field
1964:
Jim Ryun, a competitive distance runner for only two years, becomes the first high school runner to break four minutes in the mile. The 17-year-old sensation from Wichita East High School runs a 3:59 in the Compton (California) Relays.

Dyrol Burleson wins in 3:57.4 in a race, which for the first time ever, the first eight finishers better four minutes.

Ryun is tied for second after 440 yards, but he's bumped heading into the 660-yard turn. Tripped, he breaks stride and falls back from fifth to eighth. Wearing the blue and gold of the Wichita Kiwanis Track Club, Ryun moves up to seventh with 200 yards left before he is overtaken and finishes eighth.

Ryun says the bumping incident frightened him. "It hurt me mentally," he says. "I have been bumped before and fell down once, but this time I was just scared."

After signing autographs for 10 minutes, Ryun smiles and says, "I felt like I ran a good race. I hit our (his and his coach's) goal right on the button and I feel great."

Baseball
1989:
At a cost of $500 million Canadian, Toronto unveils its newest wonder. SkyDome is a 50,000-seat multi-purpose stadium, complete with Hard Rock CafT, huge hotel and McDonald's. The sky is overcast as the day starts, but by late afternoon the sun is shining and the retractable roof is rolled back for tonight's Brewers-Blue Jays game.

Construction crews worked around the clock for the opening, and a lot is unfinished. There is no batting practice because of work being done to the outfield fence.

Still, the contest has a postseason atmosphere as both teams line up for the pregame introductions and Canadian star Anne Murray sings the national anthems of Canada and the United States.

The first pitch at the SkyDome is a strike by Jimmy Key to Paul Molitor at 7:46 p.m. The ball is removed from play and will be sent to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The Blue Jays lose 5-3, with Milwaukee's Glenn Braggs breaking a 2-2 tie with a two-run homer in the fourth inning.


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June 6
Basketball
1946:
A new professional basketball league is born, when a group of entrepreneurs, many of them arena owners, form the Basketball Association of America. The league hands out 13 franchises -- New York, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. Louis, Toronto and Washington.

There already are two other pro basketball leagues: the National Basketball League, which is composed of Midwestern teams, and the East Coast American Basketball League.

For the most part, BAA games will use college rules. Three exceptions are that the new pro game will last 48 minutes instead of 40, zone defenses are outlawed and players will be allowed six personal fouls instead of five before fouling out.

When the initial season starts that fall, there will be only 11 teams as Buffalo and Indianapolis will drop out.

Baseball
1992:
Eddie Murray drives in two runs for the New York Mets to pass Mickey Mantle and become baseball's all-time RBI leader among switch-hitters.

Murray ties the Mick's record with a sacrifice fly off Denny Neagle in the first inning and claims the mark for himself with a run-scoring single off Dennis Lamp in the Mets' 15-1 pasting of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Murray breaks out champagne in the clubhouse to celebrate his accomplishment and says the road to 1,510 RBI hadn't been exactly easy. "When you look at how many home runs Mantle had," says Murray, who has hit 404 homers to Mantle's 536, "I guess it shows I did a lot more scratching."


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June 7
Horse racing
1941:
Faced with only three challengers after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, Whirlaway has a cakewalk in capturing the Belmont and becoming the fifth Triple Crown winner.

A slow half-mile pace causes jockey Eddie Arcaro to suddenly send Whirlaway dashing to the front, a reversal of tactics from his previous races.

"I turned to the other jockeys, when we were bunched up there as we came out of the first turn," Arcaro says, "and I said to them, 'The hell with this, fellows. I'm leaving.'

"Once we got clear there wasn't the slightest doubt in my mind. I just leaned over and told Whirly, 'Let's get running.' That's what he did. He came right through without drawing even one deep breath."

Whirlaway wins by an easy three lengths. He's clocked at a pedestrian 2:31 for the 1 miles, the slowest in the Belmont in eight years. As the 1-4 favorite, he pays $2.50 to win.


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June 8
Pro football
1966:
Professional football's heated money war is over. The 47-year-old National Football League and the 7-year-old American Football League agree to merge into a single league of at least 26 teams in 25 cities in 1970.

The unified schedule won't take place until 1970 because of the separate multi-million dollar television contracts. The AFL's five-year, $36-million contract with NBC will expire at the end of the 1969 season. Meanwhile, the 15-team NFL and nine-team AFL will retain their separate identities.

Changes under the new plan include a world championship game in January 1967 between the 1966 champions of each league. There also will be exhibition games between the leagues starting in 1967 as well as a common draft of college players.

NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle will head the unified league.

Baseball
1968:
Walter Johnson's consecutive scoreless streak of 55 2/3 innings has lasted for 55 years. After pitching shutouts in his past six starts, Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale breaks the record tonight.

Drysdale's streak reaches 58 2/3 innings before the Philadelphia Phillies score. Ironically, the streak is snapped by a player who will knock in only one run this year. Pinch-hitter Howie Bedell, just purchased from the minors, hits a sacrifice fly, sending Tony Taylor home in the fifth.

Drysdale allows runs the next two innings before being relieved in the Dodgers' 5-3 victory. "I wanted the record so bad, but I'm glad it's over," Drysdale says. "I could feel myself go blah when the run scored. I just let down emotionally. I'm sure it was the mental strain."

After Drysdale breaks the record in the third inning, Phillies manager Gene Mauch accuses the pitcher of using a foreign substance and umpire Augie Donatelli examines Drysdale's left wrist and hair. He warns Drysdale not to touch the back of his head with his right hand or he would be ejected.

NBA
1986:
Having lost only once all season at Boston Garden, it is expected the Celtics will wrap up their third championship of the 80s today. With Larry Bird at the top of his game, the Celtics deliver.

Bird turns the parquet floor into his personal stage with his third triple-double of the playoffs and second of the Finals. In winning his second Finals MVP, he scores 29 points, grabs 11 rebounds and has 12 assists in leading the Celtics to a 114-97 pounding of the Houston Rockets in Game 6.

"Larry Bird," says Boston coach K.C. Jones, "is where he wants to be. He has reached the pinnacle of basketball."

"I saw him take on five guys by himself," said Houston's Jim Petersen. "He's the best. At times, he doesn't seem to need teammates."

The Celtics are giddy in the locker room, acting more like teenagers who have won a high school title. "And we get $45,000, too," says guard Danny Ainge, slapping high fives with everyone. "Pow. We get $45,000, too."


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June 9
Horse racing
1973:
Only four other horses oppose Secretariat at the Belmont for it's expected that the 1-10 favorite will win. What isn't expected is the performance by Big Red.

In the most demanding test of his young life, Secretariat rushes to the lead. He is soon challenged by Sham, who had finished second to Secretariat in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. They race the half mile in 46 1/5, a suicide pace for a mile-and-a-half race.

But then Secretariat, with Ron Turcotte aboard, begins pulling away as he runs the mile in a stunning 1:34 1/5. The chestnut colt reaches the mile and a quarter in 1:59, faster than he ran in setting the Kentucky Derby record.

Alone, Secretariat isn't racing against other horses, but against the clock, against history. When he finishes the last quarter in an astonishing 25 seconds, there isn't another horse in the same zip code. He wins by an amazing 31 lengths over Twice a Prince.

"You couldn't find the other horses with two pairs of binoculars," says columnist Charlie Hatton.

In winning the Triple Crown before a crowd of 69,138, Secretariat sets a world-record of 2:24, breaking Gallant Man's Belmont mark by an incredible 2 3/5 seconds.

"He's the greatest horse that has yet developed in this century," says Holly Hughes, the senior trainer of America who saw Man o' War run and saddled the 1916 Kentucky Derby winner. "Yes, he's the Horse of the Century."

Baseball
1914:
With 2,999 hits, it looks like Honus Wagner reaches a milestone in the fourth inning. He beats out a hard grounder to Phillies shortstop Sherwood Magee, who doesn't field the ball cleanly. The crowd in Philadelphia cheers wildly, believing it has seen Wagner's 3,000th hit.

But the official scorer, Stony McGinn, rules it an error. He argues that No. 3,000 should be one of which Wagner should not need to be ashamed.

That comes five innings later, in the ninth inning of the Pirates' 3-1 loss, when the Pittsburgh shortstop lashes a long double to left. The fans give the Fling Dutchman another loud ovation.

Wagner is the first player in the 20th century to reach 3,000 hits. (Cap Anson got 3,000 in the 19th century.) Wagner will retire after the 1917 season with 3,430 hits.

NBA
1987:
The two players who led the NBA resurgence in the '80s are right where they want to be in the closing stages of Game 4 of the Finals: with the ball in their hands.

Trailing by one with 12 seconds left, Larry Bird drills a 3-point shot from the left corner to give the Celtics a 106-104 lead in Boston Garden. Then it's Magic Johnson's turn. With the Lakers down one after a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar foul shot, Magic calmly moves from left to right across the key and sinks a "junior, junior sky hook," he says. His running 12-foot shot gives Los Angeles a 107-106 edge with two seconds left.

"The release felt pretty good," Magic says. "But I never watched it. I'll have to see it some other time."

Bird has one more shot. Somehow, the Lakers leave him free and Bird has an eminently makeable shot from the left baseline. The ball hits the rim and bounds away. "I was floating to the left when I took it," Bird says, "but I was sure I was on target."

The victory gives the Lakers a 3-1 lead. They will win the title in six games.


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June 10
Horse racing
1978:
Once more, it's Affirmed and Alydar dueling down the stretch. Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby by 1 lengths, the Preakness by a nose.

For the last half-mile in the 1-mile Belmont, the two go head to head. "We got in the front, by maybe a head, at the 3/16th pole," says Alydar jockey Jorge Velasquez. "I thought, maybe today would be different ... until very late."

With Steve Cauthen whipping Affirmed with his left hand, while Velasquez whipped Alydar with his right, the two are dead even with a 1/16th of a mile to go. Affirmed pokes his nose ahead in front five strides from the finish, and keeps inching ahead. He wins by a neck. It's Affirmed's seventh victory in nine meetings with his worthy rival.

Affirmed becomes the 11th Triple Crown winner and, for the first time, there are successive winners (Seattle Slew won last year). As the 3-5 favorite, Affirmed pays $3.20 to win.

Baseball
1997:
Kevin Brown is not a man who lights up a ballpark with his smile. The Florida Marlins ace grimaces more than he laughs.

In his last two starts, he had a right to frown, being pounded for 13 runs in 12 innings. Today, before an intimate gathering of 10,257 in San Francisco, Brown sticks it to the Giants at the former 'Stick. He is absolutely brilliant in no-hitting San Francisco, 9-0. And when it's over, Brown pumps his fist, throws his hands joyously in the air and, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, "bellows like a foghorn on the Golden Gate."

Catcher Charles Johnson is the first at the mob scene on the mound. "It was excellent, just to see him smile," Johnson says. "He doesn't smile that much. I know it was a great feeling."

With his sinker sinking the Giants, Brown throws 68 of his 99 pitches for strikes as he barely misses a perfect game. He retires the first 23 batters before a 1-2 pitch lightly skims Marvin Benard's right knee in the eighth inning. Then he retires the final four batters to complete his gem.


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June 11
Golf
1950:
Just 16 months after being involved in an auto accident that almost took his life and had doctors questioning whether he would walk again, Ben Hogan is on the threshold of winning the U.S. Open. It is only his seventh tournament since his brush with death.

He could have won yesterday at the Merion Golf Club, outside Philadelphia, needing only to play the final four holes in 1-over par. But wearied by having to play 36 holes in one day for the first time since the accident, he bogeys 15 and 17 for a 7-over-par 287 and has to settle for being part of today's three-man playoff.

Rejuvenated by two baths and a good night's sleep, Hogan shoots a 1-under 69 to finish four strokes ahead of Lloyd Mangrum and six ahead of George Fazio. His victory is made easier when Mangrum is penalized two strokes for picking up and blowing a bug off his ball on the 16th green. Hogan's putting, which had been inconsistent in the first four rounds, is solid. Though he makes only one putt longer than seven feet -- a 50-footer for a birdie two on 17 that seals his triumph -- he doesn't three-putt as he wins his second U.S. Open.

Baseball
1990:
At 43, Nolan Ryan still can bring it. The Texas Ranger fireballer, who was 0-3 with an 8.86 ERA in his previous five starts, becomes the oldest pitcher to throw a no-hitter as he tames the Oakland Athletics 5-0.

"It comes so late in my career that it makes it extra special," Ryan says.

It's Ryan's sixth no-hitter, extending his major-league record (he will retire with seven). He is the first to pitch no-hitters for three teams (the California Angels and Houston Astros were the others). He strikes out 14 (the 201st time he reaches double figures) and walks two in pitching his 59th shutout.

"I was concerned with my back problems and I said, 'Well, I'll just go seven innings,'" Ryan says. "Then I got through seven, and I decided I'm not going to give in to it. I just need six more outs."

After he gets them, he's carried off the field by his teammates as the Oakland crowd continues to chant, "Nolan! Nolan!," as it had over the last several innings.


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June 12
NBA
1991:
Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson had motivated his team all season by showing them the 1973 championship ring he won as a member of the Knicks. Today, the Bulls earn their own rings.

They win their first championship with a 108-101 victory over the Lakers in Game 5, their third straight triumph in the Forum at Inglewood, Calif. Finals MVP Michael Jordan leads the way with 30 points and 10 assists, and John Paxson scores 10 of his 20 points after the Lakers tie the game at 93.

"(This championship) means so much," says Jordan, in tears as he talks to a national television audience. "Not just for me, but for this team and this city. It was a seven-year struggle. It's the most proud day I've ever had."

In the locker room, the Bulls go wild. "I've never seen a celebration like this," says Jackson, drenched in champagne and the warmth of success. "I was with the Knicks in '70 and '73, and there was never anything like this. This has been a poised team and they just lost it."

But never on the court.

Baseball
1939:
To celebrate what it considers the 100th anniversary of baseball, the sport dedicates the opening of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. N.Y.

After commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis finishes his speech, 10 of the 11 living members of the Hall are introduced to the excited crowd of 10,000. Connie Mack is introduced first and he's followed by Honus Wagner, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, George Sisler, Eddie Collins, Grover Cleveland Alexander and Babe Ruth. Each Hall of Famer gives a short speech.

"I'd feel glad to be the batboy for a team like this," Collins says.

The missing living member is Ty Cobb, who arrives late, saying he had been ill with indigestion and had stopped off at a hospital.

The 14 deceased members are Christy Mathewson, Wee Willie Keeler, Cap Anson, Morgan Buckley, Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, Charles Comiskey, William Cummings, Buck Ewing, Ban Johnson, John McGraw, Hoss Radbourne, A.G. Spalding and George Wright.


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June 13
Baseball
1948:
At Yankee Stadium's "Silver Anniversary Day," the Bronx Bombers bring back the 1923 team that opened the ballpark and won the Yankees' first world championship. At the pregame ceremony, the Yankees retire Babe Ruth's uniform number. Never again will a Yankee ever wear No. 3. The uniform will be sent to the Hall of Fame.

Ruth carries a bat to home plate as the crowd of 49,641 sings "Auld Lang Syne" to him. In a raspy voice, the Babe, who is suffering from throat cancer, gives a speech that tugs at the hearts of all. He says how happy he is to be present, how proud he is to have been the first to homer in Yankee Stadium and how glad he is to be reunited with his former teammates again.

It is the Babe's last appearance at Yankee Stadium. He will die two months later.

1912: Christy Mathewson, the New York Giants' brilliant right-hander, is the first pitcher to win 300 games all in the 20th century. He reaches the milestone with a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs at New York's Brush Stadium.

The victory doesn't come easy as Tommy Leach leads off the Cubs' ninth with a triple. But Leach, the tying run, never reaches home. The 31-year-old Mathewson retires Ward Miller on a comebacker, strikes out Vic Saier, and then leaps to grab Johnny Evers' smash and throws him out.

Mathewson joined the Giants in 1900, but didn't win a game in six appearances that season. From 1901 through 1914, Mathewson will win at least 20 games 13 times, including four seasons of at least 30 wins. He will retire in 1916 with 363 victories.


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June 14
Hockey
1994:
The longest championship drought in the NHL comes to an end when the New York Rangers hold off the Vancouver Canucks, 3-2, in Game 7 to win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. A fan in Madison Square Garden holds up a sign that reads, "Now I Can Die in Peace."

No longer will the Rangers and their tortured fans have to suffer the "1940" chants, reminding them of their last previous Stanley Cup triumph.

After taking a 3-1 lead in this year's series, the Rangers slipped and the Canucks rallied to force Game 7. The hockey fans of New York gear up for yet another disappointment. But before tonight's game, Rangers captain Mark Messier talks with coach Mike Keenan about "ghosts and dragons." He tells Keenan, "You can't be afraid to slay the dragon."

The Rangers' top players make sure the team is not denied. Goals by Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Messier, along with clutch goaltending by Mike Richter, enable the Rangers to slay the dragon and set off a wild celebration.

Leetch finishes first in playoff scoring with 34 points -- only the second defenseman ever to top this category (Calgary's Al MacInnis was the first) -- and is awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. He is the first American-born player to receive the honor.

Baseball
1949:
Eddie Waitkus of the Philadelphia Phillies is not a natural, but he's good enough to be leading National League first basemen in balloting for the All-Star Game. However, the former Chicago Cub has the misfortune of being stalked by a deranged fan who is obsessed by him.

Shortly before midnight, Ruth Steinhagen, a 19-year-old typist, lures Waitkus to her hotel room in Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel, where the Phillies are staying. After the 29-year-old bachelor walks past her into the room, Steinhagen shoots him in the chest with a .22 caliber rifle.

Steinhagen, a 6-foot brunette, tells the state attorney, "I'm not really sorry. I'm sorry Eddie has to suffer so. I'm sorry it had to be him. But I had to shoot somebody. Only in that way could I relieve the nervous tension I've been under the last two years. The shooting has relieved that tension."

Steinhagen will be judged insane. Surgery will save Waitkus' life and he will return to baseball next year. He will retire after the 1955 season with a .285 average for his 11-year career. Bernard Malamud will immortalize the shooting incident in his novel, "The Natural," which will later become a successful movie starring Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs.


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June 15
Baseball
1938:
A crowd of 38,748 comes to Ebbets Field to witness history -- the first major league night game ever played in New York. But much to their joy, they see an even bigger piece of history take place.

Johnny Vander Meer, the Cincinnati Reds' 23-year-old left-hander, no-hits the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the only pitcher to ever throw consecutive no-hitters. Four days ago, he had held the Boston Bees hitless.

In the 6-0 victory over the Dodgers, the hard-throwing Vander Meer strikes out seven and walks eight. Three of the passes come with one out in the ninth, but Vander Meer, with the Brooklyn fans cheering him on, escapes the jam. He gets speedy Ernie Koy to ground to third baseman Lew Riggs, who throws home for the force to preserve the shutout, and retires pesky Leo Durocher on a fly to short center.

"This time I knew I had a no-hitter," says Vander Meer, who is from nearby Midland Park, N.J. "Against the Bees, I didn't know I hadn't given a hit until it was all over. I really didn't begin to think I had a chance to pitch two in a row until the seventh inning, though. Nobody on the bench said a word to me. Didn't want to put a whammy on me, I guess.

"It's pretty hard to believe yet what I did. No, I don't think the lights helped me very much. I had pretty good stuff tonight."


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June 16
Basketball
1996:
Though Michael Jordan already had won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, achieving No. 4 today is especially meaningful. It is his first since returning from his "retirement" and the first since his father was murdered in 1993.

The Bulls, who set an NBA record by going 72-10 in the regular season, defeat the Seattle SuperSonics, 87-75, in Game 6 and Jordan becomes the first player to win the Finals MVP four times.

"Who would have ever written this season?" says an emotional Jordan, thinking about his father. "Who could have predicted this? It happened on Father's Day, which made it even more special to me."

In his first season with the Bulls, Dennis Rodman is again a terror on the boards in the clincher, with 19 rebounds, including tying a Finals single-game record with 11 offensive rebounds. "Everybody thought I would come in and tear the organization up," Rodman says. "There are a lot of things about me that people don't know. I'm a competitor. I stepped up and did the job, and I'm proud of it."

Baseball
1996:
Mel Allen, the passionate Alabaman who became the voice of the Yankees, dies at age 83 at his home in Greenwich, Conn. Allen, who had open heart surgery seven years ago, had been ill for the past year.

Educated as a lawyer, Allen became a broadcaster. He did it all, from the World Series (20 times) to college football and boxing. He was best known for his work with the Yankees. Early in the 1939 season, he was hired to call Yankees' and Giants' home games on radio and did both teams through 1942. After serving three years in the U.S. Army during World War II, he signed an exclusive deal with the Yankees in 1946, later adding television to his radio duties.

His trademark phrases were "How about that!" and "Ballantine Blast," the latter combining the team's beer sponsor with a home run. He stayed with the Yankees until he was fired after the 1964 season. Team owner George Steinbrenner brought him back in 1978 to call 40 Yankees games on cable each year until 1985. From 1977 almost to his death, Allen was the voice of the syndicated program, "This Week in Baseball."

"Mel Allen meant as much to Yankee tradition as legends like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle," Steinbrenner said. "He was the voice of the Yankees."

Allen and Red Barber were the first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame's broadcasting pantheon -- How about that!


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June 17
Golf
1962:
The king of golf, playing on his home turf, can't hold back the advances of his young challenger. In a playoff for the U.S. Open at the Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club, about 40 miles from Arnold Palmer's hometown of Latrobe, Arnie's Army watches its hero lose by three strokes to 22-year-old Jack Nicklaus.

Nicklaus quickly takes command, grabbing a four-stroke advantage after six holes. But when Palmer puts on one of his patented charges, birdieing nine, 11 and 12, the difference is down to a stroke. But Nicklaus maintains his composure and finishes with a par-71, while Palmer comes in at 74.

Not only does Nicklaus outdrive Palmer, he also continues to outputt him. Nicklaus, considered the best young golfer since Bobby Jones, doesn't three-putt today and only does so once for the entire 90 holes. Palmer three-putts three times to run his tournament total to 10.

"I never play conservatively," Nicklaus says. "You only lose that way." In winning his first professional tournament (Nicklaus turned pro the previous November), he becomes the youngest U.S. Open winner since Jones in 1923. He will win the tournament three more times.

Baseball
1960:
Just two weeks ago, 41-year-old Ted Williams was considering retiring. "I was awfully close to quitting," the Boston Red Sox slugger says. "I had a bad cold, was feeling bad and I wasn't hitting good. Then I hit a couple against the wind and I decided to stay with it."

Tonight, Williams is delighted with his decision to continue. The Splendid Splinter becomes the fourth player to reach 500 home runs with his drive over the left-center-field fence in Cleveland off Wynn Hawkins. When he arrives at home plate, he has a big grin. His teammates enthusiastically greet him when he comes into the dugout.

"Sure, the homer was a thrill," Williams says. "It was one of my goals. If this were August, I might retire. But now I want to play out the year if I can."

The two-run homer, Williams' eighth of the season in just 15 starts, gives the Red Sox a 3-1 victory. He will hit 29 homers, in just 310 at-bats, and retire at the end of the season with 521 homers.


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June 18
Boxing
1941:
Billy Conn, the former light-heavyweight champ, gives up 25 pounds to Joe Louis, but he doesn't give up anything else. In front of a crowd of 54,487 at the Polo Grounds -- some of whom paid $25 for a ringside ticket -- Billy is no con man in the ring, but the real deal.

The 174-pound Conn uses his quick jab to outbox the heavyweight champion; he also shows he can punch, especially in the 12th round when he hurts Louis. With three rounds left, Conn is ahead 7-5 and 7-4-1 on two officials' cards and tied on the other. In his corner, his handlers instruct him to box with caution.

In the opposite corner, Louis is told that he's losing. "I was hoping that he'd lose his head pretty quick," Louis said after the fight, "because I knew I was losing the title. They told me if I was going to win I had to knock him out."

Conn doesn't heed his corner's advice. He tries to slug it out with Louis, going for the knockout in the 13th round. But it is Louis who delivers the telling blows. A left followed by a hard right finally sends Conn to the canvas. With two seconds left in the round, Conn is counted out.

"What's the sense of being Irish," Conn says, "if you can't be dumb?"

Baseball
1907:
New York Giants catcher Roger Bresnahan is beaned by Cincinnati's Andy Coakley in the third inning. He's unconscious on the field before he's carried to the clubhouse, where four physicians work on him before he regains consciousness.

According to a newspaper story, Bresnahan asks for a priest, and one in the grandstand is sent to him. After the game, Bresnahan is sent to a hospital, though Giants manager John McGraw says the injury is not serious and that reports from the ballpark are exaggerated.

While recuperating in the hospital, Bresnahan, who on Opening Day became the first to openly wear shin guards, will invent the batting helmet. However, it will not be until 1971 that the helmet will become mandatory.


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June 19
Pro basketball
1984:
Drafting third, the Chicago Bulls want a big center. Specifically, they'd like to obtain the University of Houston's Akeem Olajuwon. But the Houston Rockets select the 7-foot center with the No. 1 pick.

Then the Portland Trail Blazers choose another center, 7-foot-1 Sam Bowie of Kentucky. Chicago's stuck with Michael Jordan. "We wish he were seven feet, but he's not," Bulls general manager Rod Thorn says. "There just wasn't a center available. What can you do?

"If we had our choice between Bowie and Jordan, we would still have taken Jordan. But Olajuwon was the big prize. (Jordan) is a very good offensive player. But he's not an overpowering offensive player."

Jordan will go on to win 10 NBA scoring titles and, in the '90s, lead the Bulls to six championships.

Baseball
1972:
Curt Flood loses in his challenge to baseball's reserve clause when the Supreme Court rules that baseball, and only baseball, remains exempt from anti-trust laws. But though the court rules 5-3 against Flood, it urges Congress to resolve the problem and, in doing so, opens the door to free agency.

Today's ruling upholds the reserve clause that binds a player to the club that holds his contract. The decision, delivered by Justice Harry Blackmun, bypasses the merits of the reserve system and stresses the Court's refusal to overturn previous rulings (1922 and 1953). It acknowledges that baseball's special status is an "aberration" and an "anomaly," but reaffirms the position taken in prior cases that it is up to Congress to remedy the situation with legislation.

After being traded from St. Louis to Philadelphia following the 1969 season, Flood had sued for $3 million in damages, claiming that the reserve clause had prevented him from playing for any other club. A trial in 1970 resulted in a lower court decision that the merits of the case need not be considered because of prior Supreme Court decisions that made baseball exempt from anti-trust laws.


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June 20
Golf
1982:
Having finished his round, Jack Nicklaus watches on television as Tom Watson, whom he's tied for the lead with, hits his two-iron tee shot into the heavy greenside rough on the par-three 17th hole of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. "I knew I had no worse than a tie," Nicklaus says. "There was no way in the world he could save par there so I figured he'd have to birdie 18 just to get into a playoff."

Watson is thinking differently as surveys the challenge, a cut-shot wedge out of deep grass, 16 feet downhill to the pin on a green sloping away from him. When his caddy tells him to get it close, Watson replies, "I'm not going to get it close. I'm going to make it."

Watson's confidence is justified when he slices the ball and pops it in the air. It hits the fringe and, amazingly, rolls hard into the cup for one of the greatest shots in golfing history. The birdie gives him a one-shot lead and another birdie on 18 gives Watson his first U.S. Open, his 282 beating Nicklaus by two strokes.

"If you took 100 balls and pitched them by hand from there, you couldn't do any better," says British Open champ Bill Rogers, who is paired with Watson.

"Make it a 1,000 balls," Nicklaus says when told of Rogers' comment.

And when Watson finishes, Nicklaus is the first to offer his congratulations. "You're something else," he tells Watson. "I'm proud of you."


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June 21
Track and field
1963:
Bob Hayes, a sturdy running back/sprinter from Florida A&M, runs 9.1 seconds in the 100-yard dash not once but twice at the AAU national track and field championships in St. Louis.

However, only Hayes' performance in the semifinals is allowed to stand as a world record. That's because the wind was 7.75 miles per hour in the final, above the allowable 4.473 mph for record consideration.

Running with his elbows out and his knees uncommonly high, the thick-shouldered, thick-muscled Hayes bolts into the lead at the start of the semifinal. The 20-year-old senior-to-be turns it up another gear in the middle 50 yards and breaks the world record of 9.2 seconds set by America's Frank Budd in 1961 and tied by Canada's Harry Jerome (twice) in 1962.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Hayes wins the AAU final for the second straight year. He will go on to win the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the 1964 Olympics and then become a Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys.

Baseball
1964:
On Father's Day, Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Jim Bunning finds the Mets perfect victims as he becomes the first National Leaguer this century to throw a perfect game. He also is the first to pitch no-hitters in both the National and American Leagues.

Bunning's perfecto is aided by a brilliant fielding play by second baseman Tony Taylor, who makes a diving stop of Jesse Gonder's drive into the hole and throws out Gonder in the fifth inning of the 6-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Mets hit only four balls into the outfield off Bunning, who goes to three balls on just two batters. He strikes out 10, including pinch-hitter John Stephenson for the final out as the crowd of 32,026 at Shea Stadium gives him a standing ovation. "I knew I had a no-hitter after the fifth inning and you hate to blow one of those things," says Bunning, who pitched one for the Detroit Tigers in 1958.

Bunning's perfect game is the first in the regular season in 42 years, since Charley Robertson of the Chicago White Sox pitched one in 1922. (The Yankees' Don Larsen hurled one in the 1956 World Series).


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June 22
Boxing
1938:
Two years after suffering his first defeat, Joe Louis seeks to exact his revenge on Max Schmeling. But the fight is for more than the heavyweight championship, more than two individuals competing. It is built into a battle of two ideologies.

In one corner is Schmeling, representing Hitler (though Schmeling isn't a Nazi) and everything fascism stands for. In the other corner is the champion Louis, representing the U.S. and everything democracy means. Louis was invited to the White House, where President Franklin Roosevelt felt the champ's biceps and told him. "Joe, we need muscles like yours to beat Germany."

There are reports of messages to Schmeling from Hitler warning him that he had better win for the glory of the Third Reich. Hitler hailed him as a paragon of Teutonic manhood, and telephoned him personally before he left the dressing room.

Schmeling isn't gone from the room long. Before some 70,000 fans at Yankee Stadium, Louis pulverizes the reluctant Aryan figurehead, knocking him to the canvas three times. Just 124 seconds into the fight, Schmeling lays broken on the canvas, counted out, as Louis wins one for himself and for America.

Baseball
1962:
With two hits in the same inning, Stan Musial cracks another major career record, passing Ty Cobb for most total bases. The 41-year-old St. Louis Cardinal cleanup hitter ties Cobb's record of 5,863 with a home run in the second inning in Philadelphia. Later in the six-run inning, The Man delivers a two-run single off Dallas Green for the record breaker.

Musial has another single in the first game of the doubleheader and gets another single in the nightcap. He has 5,866 total bases -- 452 homers, 174 triples, 701 doubles and 2,134 singles.

"For some reason I never paid much attention to that record," Musial says. "But my friends tell me it will eventually be the one I will prize the most."

This is Musial's 21st year in the majors. Cobb set his record in 24 years with the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics.

Musial will finish his career in 1963 with 6,134 total bases, and at the end of the 20th century it will stand as the second highest in history, trailing only Hank Aaron's 6,856.

Pro basketball
1994:
In the first season after the first retirement of Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon steps forward as the most dominant player in the game. Drafted two spots before Jordan in 1984, Olajuwon pulls off a Jordan triple, winning regular-season and Finals MVPs as well as leading his team to the title.

For the first time in history, a Houston team is a world champion when the Rockets defeat the visiting Knicks, 90-84, in Game 7. The 7-foot Olajuwon rises to the occasion -- 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists -- and gains the title that eluded him at the University of Houston and for his first nine seasons with the Rockets.

"Finally," he says.

While Olajuwon is the cornerstone of the Rockets, John Starks throws up brick after brick for the Knicks in Game 7, finishing 2-for-18 from the field, including missing all 11 of his three-point attempts. "I blame myself," Starks says. "To have a bad game in this situation is inexcusable."

This is only the second seven-game Finals to have every game decided by fewer than 10 points (1955 was the other time) and the first one since 1954 in which neither team scored 100 points in any game.


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June 23
Golf
1922:
Walter Hagen once considered signing with the Philadelphia Phillies, but after winning the 1914 U.S. Open, he decided to continue his golf career. At the British Open in Sandwich, England, Hagen is the leader after two rounds, but shoots a disappointing 43 on the back nine in the morning. His third-round 79 drops him into a three-way tie for third, two strokes off the lead at 228.

Hagen rebounds in the afternoon, shooting a 72 to finish at 300, and is the leader. Jim Barnes and George Duncan have a chance to tie him on the 18th hole, but both miss their putts and wind up a stroke behind at 301.

The 29-year-old Hagen, a native of Rochester, N.Y., is the first American-born winner of the British Open. He will win the tournament three more times in the 1920s.


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June 24
Horse racing
1952:
Eddie Arcaro has already ridden five Kentucky Derby winners, including Triple Crown champions Whirlaway and Citation. Today, before a crowd of 11,712 at Arlington Park in Chicago, he becomes the first American-born jockey to ride 3,000 winners.

The 36-year-old Arcaro, who has been riding professionally since he was 15, gets No. 2,999 aboard Invigorator, a two-year-old colt, in the second race. Arcaro doesn't wait long for his historic victory, achieving it in the next race aboard Ascent, a two-year-old filly who pays $4.40 to win.

Arcaro has ridden 15,327 mounts, including six today. He is the world's leading jockey in money earned by his mounts ($12,265,455).

While two jockeys, Johnny Longden and Gordon Richards, have won more than 4,000 races, they were born in England.

Baseball
1947:
In his first two months in the majors, Jackie Robinson already has shown that he's a bold baserunner. Tonight, he gives further evidence of his daring when he steals home for the first time as a Brooklyn Dodger.

With the score tied 2-2 in the fifth inning, Robinson takes advantage of Pirates left-hander Fritz Ostermueller using a full windup. He streaks for the plate and makes it with a long slide under catcher Dixie Howell's tag. It's the winning run in the Dodgers' 4-2 victory in Pittsburgh.

Robinson will steal home 18 more times in the regular season in his 10-year career with the Dodgers.


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June 25
Tennis
1969:
It was played in near darkness yesterday and in brilliant sunlight today. And when it is over, Pancho Gonzales, long past his prime at age 41, is the winner of perhaps the most memorable match of his storied career.

In the longest match in Wimbledon history, both in terms of time (five hours and 12 minutes) and games (112), Gonzales saves seven match points in his first-round competition against 25-year-old Charlie Pasarell and triumphs, 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9.

The first two sets, which take two hours and 20 minutes, were completed last night and Gonzales had raged in protest for having to play in the darkness, saying he could not see the ball properly. He does better in the sunlight.

In the fifth set, Gonzales falls behind love-40 on his serve at both 4-5 and 5-6. He wins both games. Though weary and not chasing after balls that he might not reach, he continues to hold serve. Finally, in the 19th game, he breaks Pasarell's serve at love. And when he holds his own serve at love, Gonzales is an exhausted winner.

He shuffles off to the locker room, head up. The cheers reverberate around the court and follow him in. "I'm a little tired," he says.

Baseball
1968:
Bobby Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hits a grand slam in his first major league game, the first player to accomplish the feat in the 20th century.

Bonds, who had been leading the Pacific Coast League with a .367 average when he was called up yesterday, starts in right field and is batting seventh against the Los Angeles Dodgers. After grounding out and being hit by a pitch in his first two plate appearances, the 22-year-old Bonds makes history with his slam over the left-field fence at Candlestick Park off reliever John Purdin in the sixth inning of the Giants' 9-0 victory.

"I had three grand slams in a month at Phoenix, and this is the fourth one in six times (at the plate) this season," says Bonds.

He is the first player to belt a grand slam in his major league debut in 70 years. In 1898, William Duggleby of the Philadelphia Phillies accomplished the feat in his very first at-bat.


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June 26
Boxing
1959:
Swedish challenger Ingemar Johansson insisted he had a powerful right hand, though he refused to display it before reporters in training sessions. Tonight at Yankee Stadium, Johansson shows he wasn't lying. He displays the hammer of Thor in his right hand, much to the chagrin of heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson.

In the third round, a booming right stuns Patterson, knocking him to the canvas. Patterson staggers to his feet at the count of > nine, but six more times the 196-pound Johansson decks the dazed 182-pound champ. Finally, after the seventh knockdown, referee Ruby Goldstein stops the fight at 2:03 of the round and peace-loving Sweden has its first heavyweight champ in the 26-year-old native of Goteborg.

"It was a bolt out of the blue," says Cus D'Amato, Patterson's trainer, about the first knockdown punch. "Floyd never saw it > coming, so he can't describe it. But I did. It hit him flush and high on the face."

Patterson has more success in his next two fights with Johansson, knocking out the Swede both times.

Baseball
1944:
Baseball supports the war effort with an unusual exhibition game at the Polo Grounds. Presented by the War Bond Sports committee in connection with the Fifth War Loan, the game among the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees swells New York's quota in the current bond drive by $56.5 million.

The crowd of 50,000 contributes $5.5 million to attend, while the Bond Clothing Co. pays $1 million in bonds for an autographed program. The overwhelming majority of the money comes from the city of New York, with Mayor Fiorello La Guardia purchasing $50 million worth of bonds.

As for the game, each team bats six times, plays defense six times, and watches six times in the nine-inning game. It takes a professor of mathematics at Columbia to figure out how to accomplish this. The Dodgers win the three-cornered game with five runs, while the Yankees score one run and the Giants are shut out.


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June 27
Boxing
1988:
It takes two seconds longer for the singing of the national anthem than it does for Mike Tyson to knock out Michael Spinks. In the battle of unbeaten fighters, just 91 seconds is all Tyson needs to retain his heavyweight crown in Atlantic City.

"When I came into the ring, I could see the fear," Tyson says after running his record to 35-0 with his 16th first-round KO. "And I knew it was going to be a first-round knockout."

There's no feeling-out process. Tyson comes out looking for the quick KO. A right to Spinks' head followed by a left hook drops Spinks to his knees. The challenger rises, but doesn't stay on his feet for long. A left hook and then a devastating right sends Spinks to the canvas again and ends the fight.

"Since I was 12, I was groomed for this," Tyson says. "Not just physically, but intellectually, too. To handle the pressure that comes with boxing."

While Spinks can't handle Tyson, he has no trouble dealing with his $13 million payday -- or $142,857 a second.

Baseball
1989:
Two years after Al Campanis made a fool of himself on "Nightline," baseball history is made when Frank Robinson's Baltimore Orioles defeat Cito Gaston's Toronto Blue Jays 16-6 in the first major-league game to pit two black managers.

"It's very sad that it's taken so long," says Robinson. "There has been significant progress in minority hiring, but there's still a long way to go in management positions. ... When there are four or five black managers, then it won't be a big deal."

Gaston says, "It's great to be a part of history. But it's (also) just another game. Without a doubt it's important. But I didn't wake up this morning thinking about it."


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June 28
Boxing
1997:
After not being able to beat up Evander Holyfield in their first fight, Mike Tyson tries to eat him up this time, doing his best Hannibal Lecter imitation.

Late in the third round in the bout in Las Vegas, Tyson gets Holyfield in a clinch, rolls his head up and above Holyfield's shoulder, and spits out his mouthpiece. Then, to the amazement of all, he takes a chunk of Holyfield's right ear before spitting it out.

After referee Mills Lane penalizes Tyson two points, he lets the fight continue. In another clinch, Tyson gives the public more food for thought when he takes a chomp of Holyfield's left ear. Lane disqualifies Tyson.

Holyfield undergoes a 20-minute procedure to have his right ear repaired. A ring attendant had brought almost an inch of the ear to Holyfield's handlers after the bout.

Before going to the hospital, Holyfield says, "It doesn't show no courage to foul to get out of the fight. Fear causes people to do the easy thing, the quickest thing. I'm the man and he can't handle me. This individual can not handle that I did it before. He lost his cool."

Wrote Jim Murray in the Los Angeles Times, "(Tyson) is one disturbed young man. He should not be allowed to fight again. Unless it is against a hungry grizzly.

"It had to be seen to be disbelieved. We've all heard of a 'hungry' fighter. But never one who tried to eat his opponent."

Baseball
1907:
New York Yankees catcher Branch Rickey does not have one of his better games, allowing a 20th-century-record 13 stolen bases in a 16-5 Washington victory.

"The Washingtons went on a baserunning spree -- waxed merry over a jag of pilfered bases," reported The Washington Post. "Rickey threw so poorly to bases that all a man had to do to put through a steal was to start. The Washingtons soon discovered that as a thrower Rickey was many chips shy, and they paused in their travels merely long enough to get breath."

"My arm was numb," Rickey says, "and I was helpless to do anything."

Thirty-eight years later Rickey will make history in a more positive way when he integrates baseball by signing Jackie Robinson.


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June 29
Baseball
1990:
Upon learning that Oakland's Dave Stewart no-hit Toronto earlier in the evening, the Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela says, "Maybe we'll see another no-hitter." Valenzuela pitches as well as he predicts, no-hitting the Cardinals.

It is the only time in the modern baseball era that two no-hitters have been pitched on the same day.

Both veteran pitchers had been struggling coming into their games, losing five of their last six starts. In the SkyDome, Stewart begins shakily, walking the first two batters before retiring 26 straight. After issuing his third walk he retires Tony Fernandez to complete the 5-0 victory.

The only ball that comes close to being a hit is Fernandez's grounder in the fourth, but first baseman Mark McGwire darts to his right, goes to his knees as he backhands the ball and flips to Stewart covering first.

"He looked a lot like Nolan (Ryan) the last few innings," says Athletics manager Tony La Russa. "Those great ones, when they smell it -- damn, they turn it up."

Out in Los Angeles, Valenzuela also smells it. His toughest batter is the first one, Vince Coleman, who is barely thrown out by Alfredo Griffin after grounding deep to short. Valenzuela ends the 6-0 gem by getting former teammate Pedro Guerrero to ground into a double play, with the ball deflecting off his glove to second baseman Juan Samuel.

1905: Archie "Moonlight" Graham, who will be made famous in the movie "Field of Dreams," makes his only appearance in the major leagues. He's a late-inning defensive replacement in right-field for the New York Giants in an 11-1 victory over Brooklyn.

Graham will play minor league baseball from 1906-08 before going to medical school. Then he will settle in the small town of Chisholm, Minn., spending the remaining six decades of his life as a general physician.

Canadian author W.P. Kinsella inserts him in his novel "Shoeless Joe," which becomes the movie "Field of Dreams," with Burt Lancaster portraying Graham. The book and movie pay homage to Moonlight's love of baseball and years as Chisholm's beloved doctor. He represents some kind of sainted American ideal of self-sacrifice, the man who quietly works for all that's good.


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June 30
Baseball
1934:
After being beaned in an exhibition game yesterday in Norfolk, Va., Lou Gehrig's consecutive game streak of 1,414 is in jeopardy. But when X-rays this morning fail to disclose any serious injury, Gehrig ignores advice that he take a day off. With a mania for extending his streak, the Iron Horse starts at first base for the Yankees against the Senators.

Despite a slight headache, Gehrig wallops three triples, one to each field, in helping the Yankees take a 4-1 lead after 4 1/2 innings in Washington. In the bottom of the fifth, rookie pitcher Johnny Murphy walks the first two Senators and goes to 2-2 on Joe Cronin, but that's as far as the game gets.

Heavy winds and a severe rainstorm force the game to be postponed, nullifying Gehrig's three triples and, temporarily, Game No. 1,415 in his streak.


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