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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July 14, 1968 - Hank Aaron hit his 500th career home run

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With 499 career home runs under his belt, Atlanta Braves slugger Hank Aaron hit a three-run shot in the third inning off Giants’ pitcher Mike McCormick. Aaron was mobbed at home plate by his teammates and presented with an award by Braves President Bill Bartholomay honoring him as the seventh man in baseball history to hit 500 home runs.

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(via athleticpoetics)

July 13, 1966 - Jim Brown retired at age 29 to pursue acting

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Jim Brown left the game as the NFL’s all-time leader in single-season and career rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns. Brown’s 1,863 rushing yards in the 1963 season remain a Cleveland franchise record. It is currently the oldest franchise record for rushing yards out of all 32 NFL teams. While others have compiled more prodigious statistics, when viewing Brown’s standing in the game his style of running must be considered along with statistical measures. He was very difficult to tackle (shown by his leading 5.2 yards per carry), often requiring more than one person to bring him down. Perhaps the most amazing feat is that Jim Brown accomplished these records despite never playing past 29 years of age. Brown’s 6 games with at least 4 touchdowns remains an NFL record.

July 12, 1996 - Jordan signed a one-year $30 million contract with the Chicago Bulls

This was the biggest single-season contract ever in American team sports. The one year contract suggested Michael Jordan may leave the Chicago Bulls after the 1996-97 season, or retire. Jordan rewarded the franchise by delivering its fifth league championship.

The following season, Jordan became the only NBA player to sign a contract worth over thirty million dollars in a season. During the 1997-98 season, Jordan earned $33,000,000. He also proved his worth by winning a sixth NBA title for the Chicago Bulls.

July 11, 1985 - Nolan Ryan became the first MLB pitcher to earn 4,000 strikeouts

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The Houston Astros capped the evening by winning a 12-inning war, 4-3, against the New York Mets to end New York’s 9 game win-streak. Nolan Ryan reached the magical 4,000 mark when former Astro Danny Heep swung and missed at a curveball in the dirt on an 0-and-2 count to lead off the sixth. The Astrodome crowd of 20,921 came to its feet after the first two strikes and cheered wildly when Ryan struck out Heep to write a memorable page of baseball history. Ironically, Ryan accomplished the feat against the same team that signed him as an eighth-round draft choice in 1965.

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July 10, 1989 - The Chicago Bulls named Phil Jackson as head coach to replace Doug Collins

Phil Jackson was hired as assistant coach, under Doug Collins, for the Chicago Bulls in 1987, and was promoted to head coach in 1989. It was around this time that he met Tex Winter and became a devotee of Winter’s triangle offense. Over nine seasons, Jackson coached the Bulls to six championships, winning three straight championships over separate three-year periods. The “three-peat” was the first since the Boston Celtics won eight titles in a row from 1959 through 1966.

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