Sept. 2, 1965 - Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs hit his 400th career home run

Ernie Banks promptly blasted the ball into the bleachers at Wrigley Field like he had so many times before. The three-run home off Curt Simmons was No. 400 for Banks, making him only the 11th player to join that club at the time – and only the second African American to do so, along with “The Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays. Banks finished the season with 28 home runs, 107 RBI’s, a .265 batting average, and played in the All-Star Game.

"If you quit once, it’s so much easier to quit the second, third, fourth time." - Michael Chang

Don’t make it a habit.

Sept. 1, 1987 - Aged 15, Michael Chang became the youngest male to win a US Open tennis match

Michael Chang first came to the tennis world’s attention as an outstanding junior player who set numerous “youngest-ever” records. He won his first national title, the USTA Junior Hard Court singles, at the age of 12. At 13, he won the Fiesta Bowl 16s. Two years later, aged 15, Chang won the USTA Boys 18s Hardcourts and the Boys 18s Nationals, and became the youngest player to win a main draw match at the US Open when he defeated Paul McNamee in four sets in the first round. A month later he reached the semifinals at Scottsdale, Arizona to become the youngest player to reach the semifinal stage of a top-level professional tournament. He won his first top-level singles title in 1988 at San Francisco, aged 16 years and 7 months. He became the youngest male player to win a Grand Slam singles title when he won the French Open in 1989 at the age of 17 years and 4 months.

"My dad taught me that there’s three parts: There’s hitting, there’s defense, and there’s baserunning. And as long as you keep those three separated, you’re going to be a good player. I mean, you can’t take your defense on the bases, you can’t take your hitting to the field, and you can’t take your baserunning at the plate. But defense, is number one." - Ken Griffey Jr.

Defense is numero uno.

Aug. 31, 1990 - Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. play together for the Seattle Mariners

In their first game together Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. hit back-to-back singles in the first inning and would later come around to score.

Ken Jr. was selected with the first overall pick in the 1987 amateur draft and it did not take him long to make it to the Majors. Less than two years later, at the age of 19, Griffey found himself as the starting center fielder for the Seattle Mariners. Meanwhile, his father was in the twilight of his career and had been released by the Cincinnati Reds, leading to his signing with the Mariners. The Griffey’s would end up playing a total of 51 games together before Ken Sr. retired in May of 1991 at the age of 41.

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"My father made me who I am. He gave me a basketball and told me to play with the ball, sleep with the ball, dream with the ball. Just don’t take it to school. I used it as a pillow, and it never gave me a stiff neck." - Shaquille O’Neal

Hoop dreams.

Aug. 30, 1991 - Mike Powell set the world record for long jump

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At the 1991 World Championships in Athletics (Tokyo), Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon's almost 23-year-old long jump world record by 5 cm (2 inches), leaping 8.95 m (29 ft 4¼ in). The world record still stands, making Powell the fourth person since 1900 to hold the record for over 20 years. His feat earned him the James E. Sullivan Award and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 1991. He also holds the longest non-legal jump of 8.99 m (29 ft 5¾ in) (wind-aided +4.4) set at high altitude in Sestriere, Italy in 1992.

"Dr. King was in my mind and heart when I raised my fist on that podium." - John Carlos

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

Aug. 29, 1974 - Moses Malone is the first ball player drafted from high school

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Moses Malone was immediately signed by the Utah Stars. He became an instant success, averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds per game in his rookie season. He played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) until the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. He then played 19 successful seasons with 7 NBA teams. He won the NBA championship, along with the Finals Most Valuable Player Award, with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983. His other achievements include 3 Most Valuable Player Awards, 12 consecutive All-Star Game selections, 8 All-NBA Team selections and 6 rebounding titles. He has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named in the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list announced at the league’s 50th anniversary in 1996.

"Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string." - Pelé

Enthusiasm is contagious :)

Aug. 28, 1977 - Pelé played in his final non-exhibition game as Cosmos defeated Sounders, 2-1, for NASL championship

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The game was an offensive slugfest, with the teams combining for 55 shots (29 Cosmos, 26 Sounders). Although Pelé did not score in the New York Cosmos’ 2-1 Soccer Bowl win over the Seattle Sounders, it was his day all the same. After the final whistle blew and the trophy was presented, it was Pele that the new champions hoisted onto their shoulders and carried off to the cheers of a standing-room crowd of 41,270 at Civic Stadium.

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(via athleticpoetics)

"If my uniform doesn’t get dirty, I haven’t done anything in the baseball game." - Rickey Henderson

Get down and dirty.

Aug. 27, 1982 - Rickey Henderson set the MLB record with his 119th stolen base

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Rickey Henderson's 119th stolen base of the season, breaks Lou Brock's record set in 1974. That season Henderson set a major league single season record by stealing 130 bases, a total which has not been approached since. He stole 84 bases by the All-Star break; no player has stolen as many as 84 bases in an entire season since 1988, when Henderson himself stole 93. Henderson’s 130 steals outpaced nine of the American League’s 14 teams that season.

"Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity." - Michael Johnson

Seize the opportunity.

Aug. 26, 1999 - Michael Johnson sets 400m World Record with 43.18 seconds

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Michael Johnson breaks Butch Reynolds' 11 year standing 400m world record of 43.29 by running 43.18 at the 1999 Seville World Champs which still stands as the world record today.

Johnson formerly held the world and Olympic record in the 200 m, and the world record in the indoor 400 m. He also currently holds the world’s best time at the 300 m. His 200 m time of 19.32 at the 1996 Summer Olympics stood as the record for over 12 years. Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest long sprinters in the history of track and field. Johnson’s stiff upright running stance and very short steps defied the conventional wisdom that a high knee lift was essential for maximum speed.

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