By Ed Odeven
TOKYO (Sept. 2, 2019) — Sept. 2, we should know by now, is a significant day in sports history.
Several giants of the sports world got their start on this day.
Albert Spalding was born on this day in 1850. A baseball pitcher, ambassador and team executive, he oversaw the Chicago White Stockings and National League All-Stars’ epic world tour (14 nations, five continents) in 1889. He worked to clean up pro ball, getting rid of gambling and excessive drinking. He also ran the influential Spalding company. From PBS.org: “Retired from the game in 1876, Spalding and his brother, J. Walter Spalding, obtained the right to produce the official National League baseball, which they would continue to produce for the next 100 years. The same year they opened A. G. Spalding & Bros., the Chicago sporting goods store that would grow into a chain over the next 25 years.” What’s more, Spalding has been the NBA’s official ball supplier since 1983, decades after Albert Spalding’s death.
Nowadays, who else celebrates their birthday on Sept. 2?
Ex-MLB commissioner Peter Ueberroth (born in 1937). He also organized the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. “With his entrepreneur spirit, he made the 1984 Olympic Games the only privately financed Olympic Games in the modern-day history,” csq.com noted.
Glen Sather (1943), a longtime NHL coach and front-office executive. His tenure with the Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers included four Stanley Cup titles in the 1980s.
NFL legend Terry Bradshaw (1948). The former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, a future TV personality, helped guide the team to four Super Bowl titles in a six-season span (1974,’75,’78,’79).
Tennis icon Jimmy Connors (1952). The southpaw amassed 109 singles titles during his long, colorful career. He finished with an impressive 1,274-282 won-loss record.
NFL star Eric Dickerson (1960). While playing for the Los Angeles Rams in 1984, he rushed for a league-record 2,105 yards, a mark that still stands.
Boxer Lennox Lewis (1965). The 1988 Olympic gold medalist and former undisputed world champion triumphed in 41 of his 44 professional fights.
“Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple,” Barry Switzer once said.
Not those men.
These individuals made their mark on the sports world. Today’s the perfect time to remember them and their numerous accomplishments.