Today in Sports History, Jan. 18-1996 – Baseball owners break with more than a century of tradition by unanimously approving interleague play in 1997
By The Associated Press=
1938 – Grover Cleveland Alexander is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His 90 shutouts is second on the all-time list to Walter Johnson and his 16 shutouts in 1916 is still the major league record.
1958 – Canadian born Willie O’Ree becomes the NHL’s first black player for the Boston Bruins.
1972 – The Lakers’ Jerry West, hits a last second, 20-foot jumper to lead the West team to a 112-110 NBA All-Star victory over the East, as he garners the MVP award.
1973 – Orlando Cepeda becomes the first player signed specifically to be a designated hitter. He signs with the Boston Red Sox one week after the designated hitter rule is approved.
1976 – Pittsburgh wins the Super Bowl for the second straight year. Terry Bradshaw’s 64-yard touchdown pass to Lynn Swann and Glen Edwards’ interception on the last play of the game gives the Steelers a 21-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Swann, with four receptions for 161 yards, is the game’s MVP.
1992 – Brett Hull scores two goals with the help of linemate Wayne Gretzky to lead the Campbell Conference to a 10-6 victory over the Wales Conference in the NHL All-Star game.
1996 – Baseball owners break with more than a century of tradition by unanimously approving interleague play in 1997.
2003 – Michelle Kwan wins her sixth straight title, and seventh overall, at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Michael Weiss, despite splattering on his quad lutz, two-footing a quad toe and not doing a triple axel the entire competition, gets his third U.S. men’s title.
2004 – The New England Patriots earn their second trip to the Super Bowl in three seasons by defeating the Indianapolis Colts 24-14 in the AFC championship game. The Philadelphia Eagles fall one win short of the Super Bowl for the third straight year as the Carolina Panthers post a 14-3 win.
2005 – Earl Boykins breaks the NBA record for points in an overtime, scoring 15 of Denver’s 21 points in the extra period as the Nuggets beat the Seattle SuperSonics 116-110. The 5-foot-5 guard, the league’s smallest player, broke the record of 14 overtime points set by Butch Carter of Indiana against Boston on March 20, 1984.
2011 – Kim Clijsters starts her Australian Open run with a 6-0, 6-0 romp of three-time Grand Slam finalist and former No. 1-ranked player Dinara Safina. It’s the first time a woman who was once the top-ranked player in the world had ever lost by that score.
2014 – The NBA fines Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $100,000 for confronting referees and using inappropriate language toward them after the Mavericks blew a 17-point lead in the final 5 minutes of a 129-127 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 15.
2015 – Russell Wilson hits Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard touchdown 3:19 into overtime to lift the Seattle Seahawks to an improbable 28-22 victory over Green Bay in the NFC championship game. Outplayed much of the game and plagued by five turnovers, the Seahawks trail 16-7 with 2:09 remaining.
2015 – Tom Brady throws for three touchdowns and LeGarrette Blount runs in three more to lead the New England Patriots into the Super Bowl with a 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
2016 – Duke, after dropping three of its last five games, fall out of The Associated Press women’s basketball poll after 312 straight weeks. The Blue Devils entered on Nov. 29, 1999. It’s the third longest streak in the history of the poll since the rankings began in 1976.
2017 – Baseball Hall of Fame adds Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez