Apr. 16, 1949 - The Toronto Maple Leafs became the first team to win three straight Stanley Cup titles

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The 1949 Stanley Cup Final was a best-of-seven series between the Detroit Red Wings and the defending champion Toronto Maple Leafs, the second straight final series between Detroit and Toronto. The Maple Leafs won the series in four straight games to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup and eighth in the history of the franchise.

The Maple Leafs became the first NHL team to win the Cup in three straight seasons. The Leafs also won nine straight finals games. By defeating Detroit, Toronto won the Stanley Cup with a losing record. The only other team to win the Stanley Cup after finishing the regular season with a losing record was the 1938 Chicago Blackhawks.

Apr. 15, 1991 - Magic Johnson sets NBA record for career assists with 9,898

Fellow Lakers guard Michael Cooper said, “There have been times when [Johnson] has thrown passes and I wasn’t sure where he was going. Then one of our guys catches the ball and scores, and I run back up the floor convinced that he must’ve thrown it through somebody.”

In 905 NBA games, Lakers' Magic Johnson tallied 17,707 points, 6,559 rebounds, and 10,141 assists, translating to career averages of 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game, the highest assists per game average in NBA history (second highest is John Stockton with a career average of 10.5 assists per game). Johnson shares the single-game playoff record for assists (24), holds the Finals record for assists in a game (21), and has the most playoff assists (2,346). He holds the All-Star Game single-game record for assists (22), and the All-Star Game record for career assists (127). Johnson introduced a fast-paced style of basketball called “Showtime”, described as a mix of “no-look passes off the fastbreak, pin-point alley-oops from halfcourt, spinning feeds and overhand bullets under the basket through triple teams.”

Apr. 14, 1997 - Allen Iverson set an NBA rookie record by scoring 40 or more points in his fifth consecutive game

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Billed as “The Answer,” Allen Iverson arrived on the NBA scene and immediately became one of the league’s most exciting players. With unmatched quickness, Iverson wowed crowds at the new CoreStates Center with a spectacular crossover dribble and a seeming ability to score at-will. While he couldn’t save the Philadelphia 76ers from a disappointing 22-60 season, his play gave every indication that he is indeed the Answer to many of the Sixers’ struggles.

Iverson proved his worth under the national spotlight on All-Star Saturday, winning Most Valuable Player honors at the Schick Rookie Game. But the telltale sign of his explosiveness came in April, when he set an NBA rookie record by scoring 40 or more points in five consecutive games (breaking Wilt Chamberlain's record, set in the 1959-60 season with the Philadelphia Warriors), highlighted by a 50-point outburst against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 12. He was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year.

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Apr. 13, 1986 - Boston Celtics end the NBA season with a 40-1 home record

In 1985–86 the Boston Celtics fielded one of the best teams in NBA history. Under head coach K.C. Jones , the Celtics finished the regular season with a record of 67–15, going 40–1 at home (37–1 at the Boston Garden, 3–0 at the Hartford Civic Center). This team is generally considered to be the best of Larry Bird's career as he won his third consecutive MVP award after having arguably his finest season.

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Apr. 12, 1980 - Terry Fox embarked on his Marathon of Hope

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The Trek Across Canada began on April 12, 1980, when Terry Fox dipped his right leg in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s, Newfoundland, and filled two large bottles with ocean water. He intended to keep one as a souvenir and pour the other into the Pacific Ocean upon completing his journey at Victoria, British Columbia. Fox was supported on his run by Doug Alward, who drove the van and cooked meals.

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Apr. 11, 1989 - Ron Hextall became the first goalie in NHL history to score a goal in the playoffs

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Ron Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to score a goal by shooting the puck into the opponent’s empty net, against the Boston Bruins in the 1987–88 season. The following season, he became the first to score in the playoffs, by shooting the puck into the Washington Capitals’ empty net. His mobile style of play, in which he provided support to his defencemen by coming out of the goal area to play the puck was revolutionary, and inspired future generations of goaltenders, such as Martin Brodeur. He was also known for being one of the NHL’s most aggressive goaltenders: he was suspended for six or more games on three occasions, had more than 100 penalty minutes in each of his first three seasons, and set new records for the number of penalty minutes recorded by a goaltender in the NHL.

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Apr. 10, 1961 - South Africa’s Gary Player is the first foreign player to win the Masters tournament

Gary Player is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf. Over his career, Player accumulated an impressive nine major championships on the regular tour and six Champions Tour major championship victories, as well as three Senior British Open Championships on the European Senior Tour. At the age 29, Player won the 1965 U.S. Open and became the only non-American to win all four majors, known as the career Grand Slam. Player became only the third golfer in history to win the Grand Slam, following Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. Since then, only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have won the Grand Slam. Player has won 165 tournaments on six continents over six decades and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.

Apr. 9, 2005 - Forrest Griffin defeated Stephan Bonnar in the finals of UFC’ The Ultimate Fighter 1

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The first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality television show featured sixteen mixed martial artists divided into two weight classes: middleweight and light heavyweight. Coaches Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell were selected to mentor the contestants. Forrest Griffin, coached by Chuck Liddell, and Stephan Bonnar, coached by Randy Couture, met in the light heavyweight final.

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Apr. 8, 1974 - Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s home run record

As the 1974 season began, Hank Aaron's pursuit of the record caused a small controversy. The Atlanta Braves opened the season on the road in Cincinnati with a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. Braves management wanted him to break the record in Atlanta, and were therefore going to have Aaron sit out the first three games of the season. But Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn ruled that he had to play two games in the first series. He played two out of three, tying Babe Ruth’s record in his very first at bat — on his first swing of the season — off Reds pitcher Jack Billingham, but did not hit another home run in the series.

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Apr. 7, 1993 - 21 years ago, The Sandlot was released in theaters

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FOOOORRREEEEVVVEEEEEEERRRRR!

The Sandlot grossed $4 million in its opening weekend and a further $32 million through ticket sales. Figures for worldwide, VHS and DVD sales are estimated to be at $76 million. Since its release on both VHS and DVD, the film has become a cult favorite.

Do these names ring a bell? Scott “Scotty” Smalls, Benjamin Franklin “Benny the Jet” Rodriguez, Hamilton “Ham” Porter, Michael “Squints” Palledorous, Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan, Kenny DeNunez, Timmy Timmons, Tommy “Repeat” Timmons.

Apr. 6, 1987 - Sugar Ray Leonard wins the middleweight title from Marvin Hagler

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In what was promoted as “The Super Fight,” Sugar Ray Leonard took the middleweight title from Marvelous Marvin Hagler. The fight was named “Fight of the Year” and “Upset of the Year” by The Ring.

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Apr. 5, 1993 - Chris Webber calls timeout when Michigan has no timeouts left

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This was Michigan's second consecutive NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship game, Chris Webber called a time-out with 11 seconds left in the game when his team, down 73–71, did not have any remaining. This resulted in a technical foul that effectively clinched the game for North Carolina. The game marked the end of Webber’s acclaimed two-year collegiate basketball career.

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Apr. 4, 1986 - Wayne Gretzky sets NHL record with his 213th point of the season

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Wayne Gretzky won his seventh straight Hart Memorial Trophy and his sixth straight Art Ross trophy. During the 1985-86 season Gretzky scored 52 goals, and set records with 163 assists and 215 points. This was the fourth time in five years that Gretzky reached the 200 point plateau; no other player would reach the 200 point mark, although Mario Lemieux would garner 199 points in 76 games in 1989.

Apr. 3, 1988 - Mario Lemieux wins the NHL scoring title

Mario Lemieux's 168 points bested Wayne Gretzky, who had dominated the league as the top scorer for an amazing seven seasons.

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Apr. 2, 1931 - Jackie Mitchell became the first female in professional baseball, striking out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig

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When Jackie Mitchell learned how to walk her father took her to the baseball diamond and taught her the basics of the game. Her next door neighbor, Dazzy Vance, taught her to pitch and showed her his “drop ball”, a type of breaking ball. Later, Vance would pitch in the major leagues and eventually be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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