Aug. 22, 1989 - Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher in MLB to get 5,000 strike outs

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A fan favorite, Nolan Ryan was 42 years old and a 21-year major league veteran in 1989, but continued to deliver consistently powerful pitching. He was 14-7 coming into the game on August 22, with 219 strikeouts, and needed just six more to reach the 5,000-strikout milestone. Rickey Henderson led off the top of the fifth inning with Ryan sitting on 4,999. Henderson, as he did so often in his long career—he retired as the all-time walks leader—worked the count full, fouling off two pitches at a 3-2 count before swinging at and missing a low, 96-mile-per-hour fastball. After the game, Henderson told The New York Times, ”It was an honor to be the 5,000th. As Davey Lopes says, ‘If he ain’t struck you out, you ain’t nobody.’ ”

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"I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time." - Michael Phelps

Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.

Aug. 21, 2004 - Michael Phelps wins eighth medal at Summer Olympics in Greece

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Michael Phelps left Athens with six gold and two bronze medals. His eight total medals tied him with Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin for the most medals ever won by a competitor at a single Olympic Games.

Since then, Phelps has become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. In Beijing in 2008, he broke Mark Spitz's record by winning eight gold medals. After his performance in London in 2012, he now has 22 medals, including 18 gold medals.

Aug. 20, 1938 - Lou Gehrig hit his 23rd, and last, grand slam

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Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez hit 23 career grand slams, the most by any player in Major League Baseball history. Meanwhile, Don Mattingly set the one-season record with six grand slams in 1987 – remarkably, the only grand slams of his major league career. Travis Hafner tied Mattingly’s Major League record in 2006.

Did you know that eleven of Lou Gehrig’s legendary twenty-three grand slams were hit in Yankee Stadium — including the first of his Major League career?

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Aug. 17, 1938 - Henry Armstrong is the first boxer to hold titles in three weight classes at the same time

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A world boxing champion, Henry Armstrong is universally regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time by many boxing critics and fellow professionals. In 2007, The Ring ranked Armstrong as the second-greatest fighter of the last 80 years. Bert Sugar also ranked Armstrong as the second-greatest fighter of all time.

He was a boxer who not only was a member of the exclusive group of fighters that have won boxing championships in three or more different divisions (at a time when there were only 8 universally recognized World Titles), but also has the distinction of being the only boxer to hold three world championships (lightweight, welterweight and featherweight) at the same time. He also defended the Welterweight Championship more times than any other fighter.

"I know what I can do so it doesn’t bother me what other people think or their opinion on the situation." - Usain Bolt

Believe in yourself.

Aug. 16, 2008 - Usain Bolt ran the 100 meters in a world-record 9.69 seconds

In the Olympic 100 m final, Usain Bolt broke new ground, winning in 9.69 s (unofficially 9.683 s) with a reaction time of 0.165 s. This was an improvement upon his own world record, and he was well ahead of second-place finisher Richard Thompson, who finished in 9.89 s. Not only was the record set without a favourable wind (+0.0 m/s), but he also visibly slowed down to celebrate before he finished and his shoelace was untied.

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Aug. 15, 1993 - Nolan Ryan of the Rangers recorded his 324th, and final, career win

Before the 1993 season, Nolan Ryan announced his retirement, effective at the end of that season. In his final victory Ryan pitched seven innings and gave up just one run as the Rangers defeated the Indians 4-1.

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Aug. 14, 1987 - Mark McGwire sets MLB rookie record with his 39th HR

Mark McGwire's two-run home run in the sixth inning landed in the left-field seats and gave the 23-year-old first baseman sole possession of the mark previously held by Wally Berger of the Boston Braves in 1930 and Frank Robinson of the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. McGwire completed his rookie year with 49 home runs.

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Aug. 12, 1974 - Nolan Ryan of the Angels struck out 19 Red Sox

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That year Nolan Ryan twice struck out 19 batters, tying Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton for the single-game record for a nine-inning game. Roger Clemens would become the first pitcher with a 20-strikeout game in 1986.

"I really felt everything was going right tonight," Ryan said. "I think I got better as the game went on. I don’t think I thought about the record until about the eight or ninth inning.”

Aug. 11, 1984 - Carl Lewis won his fourth gold medal of the Summer Olympics

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Carl Lewis and his agent Joe Douglas frequently discussed his wish to match Jesse Owens’ feat of winning four gold medals at a single Olympic Games and to “cash in” afterward with the lucrative endorsement deals which surely would follow.

Lewis started his quest to match Owens with a convincing win in the 100m, running 9.99 s. In his next event, the long jump, Lewis won with relative ease. His third gold medal came in the 200 m, where he again won handily in a time of 19.80 s, a new Olympic record and the third fastest time in history. Finally, he won his fourth gold when the 4 × 100 m relay team he anchored finished in a time of 37.83 s, a new world record eclipsing the record he helped set the year before at the World Championships.

Aug. 7, 2007 - Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run to break the all-time career HR record, held by Hank Aaron

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The pitch came on a 3-2 count, when Barry Bonds hit a 435 foot home run, his 756th, into the right-center field bleachers breaking the all-time career home run record, formerly held by Hank Aaron. The fan who ended up with the ball, 22-year-old Matt Murphy from Queens, New York (and a Mets fan), was promptly protected and escorted away from the mayhem by a group of San Francisco police officers. After Bonds finished his home run trot, a ten-minute delay followed, including a brief video by Aaron congratulating Bonds on breaking the record Aaron had held for 33 years, and expressing the hope that “the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams.” Bonds made an impromptu emotional statement on the field, with Willie Mays, his godfather, at his side and thanked his teammates, family and his late father. Bonds sat out the rest of the game and was replaced in left field.

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Aug. 6, 1972 - Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record for HRs with one team

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Hank Aaron's second homer (#661) of the day was a 10th inning blast which enabled the Atlanta Braves to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 4-3. On February 29, 1972, Aaron signed a three-year deal with the Atlanta Braves that payed him $200,000 per year, making him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball at the time.

During the strike-shortened season of 1972, Aaron tied and then surpassed Willie Mays for second place on the career home run list. Aaron also knocked in the 2,000th run of his career and hit a home run in the first All-Star game played in Atlanta. As the year came to a close, Aaron broke Stan Musial’s major league record for total bases (6,134). He finished the 1972 season with 673 home runs.

Aug. 2, 1992 - Jackie Joyner-Kersee is the first woman to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the heptathlon

Two years after winning the 1987 world championships in the long jump and the heptathlon, Jackie Joyner-Kersee won gold in both events at the Seoul Olympics. Her 7,291 points set a new world record for the heptathlon and her jump of 24’3 ” was a new Olympic best.

Four years later, Joyner-Kersee entered the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona the heavy favorite to win heptathlon gold. Now a seasoned veteran of the circuit, she led the field for the entire event. On August 2, the second day of competition, Joyner-Kersee started the day with a long jump of 23’3 “, good for first place. Prior to her final jump, though, she was run into while sprinting next to her rival Sabine Braun of Germany. Braun had defeated an injured Joyner-Kersee at the 1991 world championships, and the bump was later deemed “psychological warfare” by Bob Kersee. It was no matter to Joyner-Kersee, though: She overcame a poor finish in the shot-put by finishing the 800 meters in a respectable 2:11, which gave her a total of 7,044 points and the gold medal. It was only the seventh time that a woman had scored 7,000 points in the heptathlon, and the sixth time Joyner-Kersee had broken the barrier.

Aug. 1, 1996 - Michael Johnson won the gold medal for running the 200 m in 19.32 s

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Michael Johnson ran 19.66 seconds in the 200 m at the U.S. Olympic Trials, breaking Pietro Mennea’s record of 19.72 seconds, which had stood for 17 years. With that performance he qualified to run at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and prepared to attempt to win both the 200 meters and 400 meters events, a feat never before achieved by a male athlete.

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