"I’m going to show you how great I am." - Muhammad Ali

The Greatest.

Sept. 15, 1978 - Ali defeated Spinks to become first boxer to win the heavyweight title three times

Leon Spinks made history on February 15, 1978, by beating Muhammad Ali on a 15-round decision in Las Vegas. Spinks won the world heavyweight title in his professional eighth fight, the shortest time in its history. Having sparred less than two dozen rounds in preparation for the fight, and coming in seriously out of shape by the opening bell, the aging Ali had expected an easy and lost the title by unanimous decision. It was one of the few occasions when Ali left the ring with a bruised and puffy face. Spinks’ victory over Ali was the peak of his career. He was the only man to take a title from Muhammad Ali in the ring. Ali’s other losses were non-title contests or bouts where Ali was the challenger.

A rematch followed shortly thereafter in New Orleans, which broke attendance records. Ali won a unanimous decision in an uninspiring fight, making him the first heavyweight champion to win the belt three times. Following his victory, Ali retired from boxing, only to make a brief comeback two years later. Ali, who once claimed he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” left the sport permanently in 1981.

"If your team is going to win, you need to play better than the other quarterback." - Peyton Manning

Simply the best.

Sept, 14, 2003 - Jamal Lewis set the then NFL record for yards gained in a single-game with 295

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Jamal Lewis broke the previous record of 278 single-game rushing yards held by Corey Dillon and finished the game with two touchdowns as the Baltimore Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns 33-13. Lewis would go on to log 2,066 yards for the season, second most at the time. Lewis was rewarded by being named NFL Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.

Lewis’s single-game rushing record was later broken by Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings on November 4, 2007, when he ran for 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers.

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"Hard work, dedication." - Floyd Mayweather

TBE

Sept. 13, 1996 - Charlie O’Brien is the first catcher to wear a hockey goalie-like catcher’s mask

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Charlie O’Brien was a solid defensive catcher and a modest right-handed batter. He is best remembered for pioneering the hockey-style catcher’s mask. He was playing with the Toronto Blue Jays when he invented this different style of mask.

After getting hit in his mask by two consecutive foul-tip balls in a game, O’Brien had the idea for a new catcher’s mask while he was watching a hockey game. He worked with Van Velden Mask Inc., of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to develop his idea. The new design, called the All-Star MVP, was approved in 1996 by Major League Baseball. In his 15-year career, O’Brien batted .221 with 56 home runs and 261 runs batted in. He was part of the 1995 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves.

"To be a champ, you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will." - Sugar Ray Robinson

Self motivation.

Sept. 12, 1951 - Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Randy Turpin to win back the belt in front of 61,370 spectators

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Two months after losing a 15-round decision to the surprisingly strong Randy Turpin, Sugar Ray Robinson requested and was granted a rematch on September 12. The Polo Grounds set a middleweight fight attendance record for the rematch. The crowd was filled with well-known personalities from U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur to stars of film and stage. Robinson, intent on avenging his loss, trained intensely for the rematch, refusing to take his opponent lightly.

From the first ring of the bell, the 31-year-old Robinson dictated the pace of the fight to his 23-year-old opponent, and won each of the first seven rounds decisively. In the eighth round, however, Robinson appeared to tire, and Turpin fought with a new intensity, hitting and hurting Robinson for the first time in the fight. In the ninth round, Turpin delivered numerous right hands to Robinson’s head, opening a cut over his left eye. Still, Robinson was able to wrest back control of the fight in the 10th, when he knocked Turpin down with a right to the jaw. When Turpin was ready to continue, Robinson, re-energized, unleashed an onslaught to his head and body. Two minutes and 52 seconds into the 10th round, referee Rudy Goldstein stopped the fight, and Robinson was showered with adulation from the adoring hometown crowd.

(via athleticpoetics)

"I’m just like everybody else. I have two arms, two legs and four thousand hits." - Pete Rose

No big difference.

Sept. 11, 1985 - Pete Rose hits a single to become MLB all-time hit leader with 4,192

With his 4,192nd career hit Cincinnati Reds player-manager Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s major league record for career hits. Rose was a folk hero in Cincinnati, a homegrown talent known as “Charlie Hustle” for his relentless work ethic.

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"Spirituality is recognizing the divine light that is within us all. It doesn’t belong to any particular religion; it belongs to everyone." - Muhammad Ali

Spiritual awakening.

Sept. 10, 1973 - Ali defeated Norton by split decision to win the heavyweight title

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This fight was the rematch of the stunning upset victory of Ken Norton over Muhammad Ali. Norton had a record of 30-1 with 23 knockouts and a lot of confidence going into this fight. Ali was in much better shape for this fight and had a healthy respect for Norton now. Ali had a ring record of 41-2 and was primed for a better performance to get his NABF title back. The title was secondary though, he wanted to prove he wasn’t washed up and come back in a big way. This second battle between the two legends would go down to the wire. Ali shows tremendous determination to win the last round and sneak the close split decision over the irrepressible Norton.

"Norton is a better fighter than any other fighter I’ve fought, except maybe Joe Frazier." - Ali, after the fight.

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"Pitching is the art of instilling fear." - Sandy Koufax

And Koufax is The Artist.

Sept. 9, 1965 - Sandy Koufax becomes first pitcher in baseball to pitch four no-hitters

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Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers, by retiring 27 consecutive batters without allowing any to reach base, became the sixth pitcher of the modern era, eighth overall, to throw a perfect game. The game was Koufax’s fourth no-hitter, breaking Bob Feller’s Major League record of three (and later broken by Nolan Ryan, in 1981). Koufax struck out 14 opposing batters, the most ever recorded in a perfect game, and matched only by San Francisco Giants pitcher, Matt Cain, on June 13, 2012.

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Sept. 8, 1998 - Mark McGwire hits 62nd home run of the year, breaks Roger Maris’ single-season record

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Mark McGwire hit a pitch by the Chicago Cubs' Steve Trachsel over the left field wall for his record-breaking 62nd home run, setting off huge celebrations at Busch Stadium. The fact that the game was against the Cubs meant that Sammy Sosa was able to congratulate McGwire personally on his achievement. Members of Roger Maris’ family were also present at the game. The ball was freely, albeit controversially, given to McGwire in a ceremony on the field by the stadium worker who found it. Members of Roger Maris’ family were also present at the game.The ball was freely, albeit controversially, given to McGwire in a ceremony on the field by the stadium worker who found it.

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