Sept. 19, 1947 - Jackie Robinson became the first player to win Rookie of the Year

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A 28-year old in only his third professional season, Jackie Robinson played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a position he had never played before. He finished the season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers, with a batting average of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits (scoring 125 runs) including 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. Robinson led the league in sacrifice hits, with 28, and in stolen bases, with 29. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949). The rookie of the year award was renamed the Jackie Robinson Award in July 1987.

"Why waltz with a guy for 10 rounds if you can knock him out in one?" - Rocky Marciano

The Brockton Blockbuster.

Sept. 17, 1954 - Rocky Marciano knocked out Ezzard Charles to move his record to 47-0 and retain the heavyweight title

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Rocky Marciano fought consecutive bouts against former World Heavyweight Champion and light heavyweight legend Ezzard Charles, who became the only man to ever last fifteen rounds against Marciano. Marciano won the first fight on points and the second by an eighth-round knockout, moving his record to 47-0.

Marciano’s professional boxing career went from September 23, 1952, to April 27, 1956. He is the only person to hold the heavyweight title and go untied and undefeated throughout his career. Marciano defended his title six times, against Jersey Joe Walcott, Roland LaStarza, Ezzard Charles (twice), Don Cockell, and Archie Moore.

"By the time you know what to do, you’re too old to do it." - Ted Williams

Ain’t that a bitch.

"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.

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

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

Self motivation.

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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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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Sept. 7, 1979 - The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) made its debut

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ESPN made its debut live on the air with the first broadcast of ESPN Sports Center, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. The brainchild of Bill Rasmussen, the first ESPN broadcast included an introductory segment with Bill Rasmussen explaining the technology behind this new network, which today is the Total Sports Leader known worldwide.

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