This Week in Sports History: Nov. 10-16

Story posted November 10, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew McLaughlin

While 2020 has been an unprecedented year by many standards, there’s always time to reminisce about the past, so here are some huge sports moments from the past that happened this week.

MLB

This week marks the anniversaries of several historic moments in the history of Major League Baseball. This week in history commemorates two Cy Young Award winners, Orel Hershiser on Nov. 10, 1988, and Roy Halladay on Nov. 11, 2003. Hershiser joined eight other pitchers as unanimous Cy Young Award winners.

Finally, on Nov. 13, 1979, the National League MVP was shared for the first time between New York Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez and Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Willie Stargell.

College Football

At the college football level, there are several pieces of sports lore that occurred this week. First, on Nov. 10, 1945, No. 1 Army throttled No. 2 Notre Dame for the second straight year, winning 48-0, but it would be the only winning streak Army would hold over the Fighting Irish in the entire history of the rivalry.

Speaking of the Fighting Irish, on Nov. 12, 1927, Notre Dame decided to switch their uniforms from the traditional blue to the green alternate uniforms that have become fan favorites.

In other uniform history, Nov. 13, 1875 marked the first college football game ever with uniforms, with Harvard defeating Yale by a score of 4-0 (yes, that was the actual score).

NFL

The NFL holds several anniversaries this week, including the signing of the first professional football player, Pudge Heffelfinger (fantastic name), on Thursday, as well as other notable events.

Nov. 10, 1957 also saw a then-record attendance (102,368) for a game in Los Angeles between the San Francisco 49ers and the Rams. On the same day in 1940, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers played a rare penalty-free game.

On Nov. 12, 1892, the aforementioned Heffelfinger accepted a $500 payment to play a single game for the Allegheny Athletic Association (AAA), who faced the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The same day also holds the anniversary of the 1953 ruling that allowed the NFL to black out TV home games on television, which angered millions of fans.

Wrapping up the NFL, this upcoming Friday marks the anniversary of Chicago Bears quarterback Sid Luckman setting the record for touchdown passes in a game in 1943 against the New York Giants.

NHL

Moving onto hockey, Nov. 10, 1985 serves as one of the darkest days in Philadelphia Flyers history. On that fateful fall evening, superstar goaltender Pelle Lindbergh tragically passed in a single-car drunk driving incident just five months after winning the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the league and leading the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final.

In more embarrassing remembrance, Tuesday is an opportunity to remind New York Rangers fans of the horrendous 1943-44 season, which saw the Rangers set a record of most games played without a win with 25 (0-21-4).

Thursday commemorates the opening of the historic Toronto Maple Leafs Gardens in 1931, which saw the Maple Leafs defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 in the opening game, as well as the New Jersey Devils’ first overtime game in franchise history in 1983; unfortunately, the Devils fell to the Calgary Flames 4-3.

NBA

Finally, the NBA has its fair share of memorable moments to celebrate this week. This upcoming Wednesday is the 60th anniversary of the first attendance record at the historic Madison Square Garden with 18,499 fans cheering on the Knicks.

Out in the Midwest, Nov. 12, 1970 was the night the Cleveland Cavaliers earned their first NBA victory by defeating the Portland Trail Blazers, but it was Cleveland’s 11th game in the league.

Nov. 13, 1964, this Friday, was the night Bob Pettit of the St. Louis Hawks (now the Atlanta Hawks) became the first NBA player to score 20,000 career points.

 

Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mem6936@psu.edu.