This Week in Sports History (10/22 – 10/29)

October 22

First baseball union formed


On Oct. 22, 1885, John Ward, best known for being the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the University of Tennessee, and several teammates secretly formed the Brotherhood of Professional Baseball Players, the first baseball union in history.


October 23

Jackie Robinson signs Montreal Royal contract


Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the MLB, signed a contract with the Montreal Royals on Oct. 23, 1945. However, it was not until April 18, 1946 that Robinson debuted with the Montreal Royals as second baseman. 


October 24

World’s first soccer club founded


In Yorkshire, England on Oct. 24, 1857, the world’s first ever soccer club, Sheffield Football Club, also known as Sheffield FC, was founded. Although the club was from Yorkshire, they are currently based in Dronfield, Derbyshire.


October 25

Colony of American Plymouth disallows sport on Christmas Day


On Oct. 25, 1621, Governor William Bradford, head of the colony of American Plymouth, disallowed sports to be played on Christmas Day, claiming Christmas Day should be celebrated in private and not out in public. Bradford went on to confiscate toys as well, proving to be a “real-life Grinch.” 


October 26

Football Association forms


Soccer was standardized on Oct. 26, 1863 when the first ever Football Association formed in England. The sport was then called “organized football,” which later would just become “football,” eventually leading to the term “soccer.” 


October 27

Serena Williams wins fourth season ending tennis title


In the 2013 WTA Championship final in Istanbul, Turkey, American tennis player, Serena Williams, won her fourth season ending tennis title, beating Li Na of China, who is now retired, with a score of 2–6, 6–3, 6–0. 


October 28

Bobby Orr scores his last NHL career goal


Canadian Ice Hockey legend, Bobby Orr, scored his last NHL career goal on Oct. 28, 1978. Orr played for the Boston Bruins for 10 seasons, and played his last game against the Detroit Red Wings. 


October 29

Muhammad Ali’s first professional fight


1960 marked the year that Cassius Clay Jr., who would later be better known as Muhammad Ali, fought his first professional fight against Tunney Hunsaker in Louisville, KY. Ali would win the fight on points in six rounds. 

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