July 29, 1996 - Carl Lewis, at age 35, won his fourth Olympic gold medal

By the time the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta rolled around, Carl Lewis was 35 years old. Though he was still admired around the world for his previous Olympic triumphs, he had barely managed to qualify for the U.S. team in the long jump and most experts believed he’d be lucky to medal, let alone win another gold. Going into the last of his three jumps, Lewis trailed Emmanuel Bangué of France and his leading jump of 26’ 10 ½” by two inches. Lewis took off cleanly after a smooth sprint and landed face down, but knowing instinctively that the jump had secured him first place, he quickly got to his feet and raised his arms in triumph. His mark of 27’ 10 ¾” was his longest in two years—a full foot ahead of Bangue—and good enough for his fourth consecutive gold in the long jump.

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July 28, 1999 - Barry Sanders of the Lions retired from the NFL at age 31

Barry Sanders left football healthy, having gained 15,269 rushing yards, 2,921 receiving yards, and 109 touchdowns (99 rushing and 10 receiving). He retired within striking distance of Walter Payton's career rushing mark of 16,726 yards. Only Payton and Emmitt Smith have rushed for more yards than Sanders.

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July 27, 1996 - Donovan Bailey sets world record for the Men’s 100 Meters with a time of 9.84

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The previous record was 9.85 held by Leroy Burrell of the United States. Donovan Bailey’s time of 9.84 in Atlanta was the 100 m world record from 1996 until 1999, when it was broken by Greene. The time also stood as the Commonwealth record from 1996 until 2005, when it was broken by Asafa Powell, and is the current Canadian record (shared with Bruny Surin since 1999). His Olympic record was broken by Usain Bolt at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

July 26, 1997 - Don Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Shula became head coach at age 33. He is the winningest coach in NFL history with a regular-season record: 328-156-6 (.676%), overall record: 347-173-6, (.665%). Shula led the Colts to seven straight winning records. In 26 years with Miami, he experienced only two seasons below .500. Shula coached in six Super Bowls, winning Super Bowls VII, VIII. He’s the only coach in NFL history to complete a 17-0 perfect season (1972). Before coaching, Shula played seven season as defensive back/halfback with Browns, Colts, and Redskins.

July 25, 1990 - Rosanne Barr butchered the US National Anthem

Barr’s off-key rendition of the National Anthem was at Jack V Murphy Stadium between games of a double header with San Diego Padres and the Cincinnati Reds. The Padres were in the middle of a disastrous season, but had just beaten the Reds by a score of 2-1 in the first game. Roseanne Barr botched the National Anthem, sardonically gestured spitting and grabbing a hypothetical cup.

A few weeks earlier Tom Werner and his ownership group had purchased the Padres. Werner was also an Executive Producer of the hit television show Roseanne. With it being “Working Women’s Night” at the ballpark, having Roseanne sing the Anthem must have seemed like a perfect match for Werner’s interests. She was booed and never asked to sing at a game again.

July 24, 1983 - The infamous Pine Tar incident with George Brett

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George Brett of the Kansas City Royals was ejected from a game against the New York Yankees for charging the home plate umpire after he ruled that Brett’s go-ahead, ninth inning home run off Rich Gossage would not count because there was too much pine tar on his bat. It is a legendary moment in baseball history and one of the most famous player-umpire arguments in the history of MLB.

July 23, 1995 - John Daly won the British Open at St Andrews

John Daly unexpectedly won the British Open in a playoff with Italian Costantino Rocca at St Andrews. As Rocca approached the final hole, he was one shot behind Daly who had already finished his round. Rocca’s long drive was only yards from the green, but his second shot resulted in a fluffed chip where he forgot to follow through. Rocca sank a 60 foot (18 metre) putt on the 18th at St Andrews to make the birdie he needed to force a playoff with Daly.

Daly easily defeated Rocca in the playoff finishing the four holes of the playoff at one under par, while Rocca finished three over par after hitting into the “Road Hole Bunker” and taking three shots to get out. Daly is the only eligible two-time major winner never selected to play in the Ryder Cup. This distinction is often used in quiz shows; in 2006, Scottish golfer Sam Torrance took over nine minutes to (correctly) answer this question on Britain’s longest-running game show A Question of Sport.

July 22, 1963 - Liston KOs Patterson in the first round to retain heavyweight title

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Sonny Liston became World Heavyweight Champion in 1962 by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round. The contract for their first fight stated that Patterson, if he should lose, had the right to a rematch within a year. It also dictated that Patterson and Liston would each get 30% of the gate and 20% of the closed circuit revenue.

Patterson and Liston had a rematch held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Liston again won by a knockout as he knocked Patterson down three times, with the three-knockdown rule being in effect. Patterson lasted four seconds longer than in the first bout. On August 21, 1963, the WBA voted to suspend any member state approving a contract with a return bout clause. The regulation was inspired by the contract Liston was forced to sign to get a title shot against Patterson. Delegates described it as the worst ever seen in the boxing business.

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July 21, 1989 - Mike Tyson TKOs Carl Williams in 1:33 of the first round

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The fight would only last 93 seconds, becoming Mike Tyson's second quickest title fight after his 91 second victory over Michael Spinks the previous year. Tyson and Williams began the fight trading punches with each other, though Tyson’s aggressiveness caused Williams to hold several times. About 76 seconds into the round, Williams attempted to hit Tyson with a left jab. Tyson countered and hit Williams with a left hook that sent Williams to the canvas. Though Williams was able to get back on his feet and was seemingly ready to continue the fight, referee Randy Neumann controversially stopped the fight and awarded Tyson the victory by technical knockout.

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July 20, 1976 - Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final home run

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Hank Aaron hit the home run off of Dick Drago of the California Angels in front of his home crowd at Milwaukee County Stadium. His first career home run occurred over 22 years earlier, on April 23, 1954.

Aaron’s home run record lasted for over 31 years, until Barry Bonds broke it in August of 2007. After breaking the record, Bonds would go on to hit only six more home runs in his career, setting the new record at 762.

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July 19, 1996 - Ali lit the opening flame at Summer Olympics

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Former U.S. boxing gold medalist, Muhammad Ali was also given a replacement gold medal for his boxing victory at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Ali had supposedly thrown his previous gold medal into the Ohio River after being refused entry into a restaurant. The United States would dominate the medal count, winning 44 gold medals (Russia was second with 26) and 101 total medals, beating second place Germany who finished with 65. However, it was the Canadians who stole the show in the two biggest events of the Olympics.

The men’s 100-meter race, which is widely considered the main event at any Summer Olympics, was won by Donovan Bailey in a world record time of 9.84 seconds. Bailey would also lead Canada to gold in the men’s 4 x 100 meter relay.

July 18, 1927 - Ty Cobb became the first player in MLB history to collect 4,000 hits

Cobb retired after the 1928 season with 4,191 hits, a record that will stand until Pete Rose breaks it in 1985.

Having played his first 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, it is only appropriate that Cobb, now playing his first year with the Philadelphia Athletics, gets his 4,000th hit at Detroit’s Navin Field. Cobb reached the 4,000 hit milestone with a double off former teammate Sam Gibson in the first inning of a 5-3 loss to the Tigers.

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July 17, 1994 - Brazil defeated Italy, 3-2, on penalty kicks to win the FIFA World Cup

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The 15th staging of the FIFA World Cup, was held in nine cities across the United States from 17 June to 17 July 1994. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on 4 July 1988. Brazil became the first nation to win four World Cup titles when they beat Italy 3–2 in a penalty shootout after the game ended 0–0 after extra-time, the first World Cup final to be decided on penalties.

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July 16, 1950 - Nearly 200,000 assemble at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro to see Uruguay vs. Brazil in World Cup final

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The largest crowd in sports history assembled as 199,854 people watched Uruguay vs. Brazil in the 1950 FIFA World Cup Final at Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil took the lead shortly after half-time through Friaça, but Juan Alberto “Pepe” Schiaffino equalized for Uruguay mid-way through the half before Alcides Ghiggia. hit the winning goal with just 11 minutes remaining in the match. The result is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in football history as Uruguay defeated Brazil 2 - 1. Uruguay also won the inaugural tournament back in 1930.

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July 15, 1999 - Barry Bonds is walked intentionally for a record 294th time

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The Career Intentional Walks record was re-established every year from 1955 until Hank Aaron retired in 1976, recording 293 Intentional Base on Balls (IBB). Barry Bonds broke the record in the 1999 season, then preceded to obliterate it by 395 walks over the remaining eight years of his career.

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