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On this day in sports history:
1887 – Jake Kilrain and Jim Smith fought in a bare knuckles fight which lasted 106 rounds and 2 hours and 30 minutes. The fight was ruled a draw and was halted due to darkness.
1917 – The first regular season games of the new National Hockey League (NHL) were played. Five teams made up the league Toronto Arenas, Ottawa Senators, Quebec Bulldogs, the Montreal Canadiens and the Montreal Wanderers. Quebec did not actually begin operations until two years later. Dave Ritchie (Montreal Wanderers) scored the first goal in NHL history.
1959 – Penn State’s Nittany Lions beat Alabama, 7-0, in the first Liberty Bowl football game.
1964 – ABC used an overhead camera for the first time. The event was the Liberty Bowl.
1979 – ESPN televised its first NHL game. The teams were the Washington Capitals and the Hartford Whales.
1984 – Wayne Gretzky, 23, of the Edmonton Oilers, became only the 18th player in the National Hockey League (NHL) to score more than 1,000 points. He did it in his 424th career game. The previous record was held by Guy Lafleur who did it in 720 games.
1984 – Scotty Bowman became the NHL’s all time winningest coach with his 691st victory.
1985 – Jan Stenerud announced his retirement from the NFL. The football kicker held the record for the most career field goals with 373.
1985 – ABC Sports announced that it was severing ties with Howard Cosell and released ‘The Mouth’ from all TV commitments. Cosell continued on ABC Radio for another five years.
1986 – Michael Sergio was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and fined $500. Sergio, a Mets fan, had parachuted into Shea Stadium during Game 6 of the World Series.
1988 – The NCAA placed the Oklahoma Sooners football program on probation for violations.
1989 – Larry Bird (Boston Celtics) began a NBA free throw streak of 71 games.
1990 – Bo Jackson (Los Angeles Raiders) became the first athlete to be chosen for All Star Games in two sports.
1991 – Pitcher Steve Howe (New York Yankees) was arrested for cocaine possession.
1999 – Orlando Brown (Cleveland Browns) was ejected from a game for pushing referee Jeff Triplette to the ground. Triplette had accidentally hit Brown in the eye with a weighted penalty flag.
2003 – The baseball that was deflected by a fan in the stands during a Chicago Cubs game was sold for $106,600 at auction. The foul ball appeared to be headed for the glove of left fielder Moises Alou in Game 6 of the National League Championship series. The Florida Marlins ended up winning the game 8-3. The Cubs then lost Game 7.