This week in sports history (Oct. 13th-Oct. 19th)

October 13

Calvin Murphy and Dave Cowens make their debut

In 1970, two future Basketball Hall of Famers debuted. Guard Calvin Murphy debuted when he played for the San Diego Rockets in what ended up being an 111-96 loss in Chicago. He grew to be regarded as one of the best free-throw shooters in NBA history. Meanwhile, forward Dave Cowens was playing for the Boston Celtics in a 114-107 loss in New York. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame 21 years later.

October 14

Birth of the Baseball Writer Association of America

In 1908, a group of sports reporters who were upset over seating arrangements at the Baseball World Series formed a professional group that would become Baseball Writers Association of America. Today, they work to ensure proper working conditions in press boxes and clubhouses. They also make sure that its members have access to players and others in the game so their members’ reporting can be accurate, fair and complete.

October 15

Wayne Gretzky becomes NHL’s all time top scorer

In 1989, Wayne Gretzky officially passed Gordie Howe as the National Hockey League’s all time top scorer. He is one of the most decorated hockey players in the history of the NHL, setting records in both regular season and postseason play. He currently holds the record for most career regular season goals (894), assists (1,963), points (2,857) and hat-tricks (50).

October 16 

Tommie Smith and John Carlos give the Black Power Salute

In 1968, Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos famously gave the Black Power salute during the Mexico City Olympics to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans. During their medal ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, the two African-American athletes each raised a black-gloved fist during the playing of the U.S. national anthem. While on the podium, Smith and Carlos, who had won gold and bronze medals respectively in the 200-meter running event, turned to face the U.S. flag and kept their hands raised until the anthem had finished.

October 17

Irina Press wins gold at the Tokyo Olympics

In 1964, in the first ever Olympic women’s pentathlon, Irina Press of the Soviet Union set a world record of 5,246 points to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

October 18 

Football legend Forrest Gregg is born

In 1933, Forrest Gregg was born. He went on to be a Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman for 16 seasons in the National Football League. He was also a part of six NFL championships, five of them with the Green Bay Packers before closing out his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys with a win in Super Bowl VI. Gregg was later appointed head coach of three NFL teams (Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Packers) as well as two Canadian Football League teams (Toronto Argonauts and Shreveport Pirates).

October 19

Maurice Richard becomes first in NHL to score 500 goals

In 1957, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, part of the Montreal Canadiens, became the first member of the NHL to score 500 goals. He was also the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in one season. Richard retired in 1960 as the league’s all-time leader in goals with 544. He won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player in 1947, played in 13 All-Star Games and was named in 14 post-season NHL All-Star Teams. In 2017, Richard was also named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history.

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