This week in sports history (Sept. 8th – 14th)

September 8

Youngest champion of the U.S. Open Women’s Tennis

16-year-old Tracy Austin became the youngest U.S. champion of the U.S. Open Women’s Tennis on Sept. 8, 1979. Beating her opponent, Christine Evert, a tennis legend, with scores of 6-4 and 6-3, Austin won the women’s singles title. She then won the women’s singles title again in 1981 along with three Grand Slam titles. 


September 9

Jack Johnson retains heavyweight boxing title

In a 10-round fight against Al Kaufman, the taller and heavier opponent, Jack Johnson retained his heavyweight boxing title at the Coffroth’s Arena in San Francisco, CA on Sept. 9, 1909. Nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion at the height of the Jim Crow era.


September 10

Arnold Palmer is born

On Sept. 10, 1929, American golfer, Arnold Palmer, was born in Latrobe, PA. Regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic players in the sport’s history, Palmer won seven major titles and was U.S. Master in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964. While Palmer died in 2016, his name and legend live on through his most requested beverage combination, the “Arnold Palmer,” a beverage that combines iced tea and lemonade. 


September 11

Antwerps Sportpaleis opens

In Antwerp, Belgium, Europe’s largest indoor arena, Antwerps Sportpaleis, opened on Sept. 11, 1933. With a maximum capacity of 23,359 and 18,400 seats, Antwerps Sportpaleis, nicknamed the Sportpaleis, was renovated from 2010-2013 and is home to many sporting events as well as concerts, festivals and fairs. 


September 12

Paavo Nurmi runs world record

Nicknamed the “Flying Finn,” runner Paavo Nurmi ran the world record 5,000m in 14:35.4 time. Nurmi is famous for his distance running in the early 20th century having set 22 official world records and winning nine gold and three silver medals in his 12 events in the Olympic Games.


September 13

World Series broadcast rights sold to Ford

On Sept. 13, 1934, Federal Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first Commissioner of Baseball from 1920 until his death, sold the World Series broadcast rights to the Ford Motor Company for $100,000. The goal of Ford Motor Company with this deal was to put the World Series on the radio for more people to listen to the games. 


September 14

LeBron James marries Savannah Brinson

NBA player LeBron James married his longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson, a businesswoman and philanthropist,  on Sept. 14, 2013 at the Capella Chapel in San Diego, CA. At their wedding, the couple had a star-filled guest list and a performance by Beyonce and Jay-Z. The couple, who had met in high school, have three children — Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri.

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