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On This Day in Sports - March 22

By Jake Beardslee · March 22, 2024

From the breathtaking feats that redefined the limits of human endurance to the memorable clashes that captured the hearts of millions, each day carves its own niche in the rich tapestry of sports history.

Join us as we dive into the exhilarating world of sports, celebrating the moments of triumph, the instances of heartbreak, and the unwavering spirit of competition that have defined the careers of athletes across generations.

So, lace up your sneakers, and prepare to relive the legendary performances and moments in sports that took place on this day, March 22.  Unsplash

Montreal's Triumph on Ice

On March 22, 1894, a thrilling 3-team challenge at Victoria Rink in Montreal, Quebec, the Montreal Hockey Club clinched victory over Ottawa HC with a score of 3-1, capturing the 1894 Stanley Cup.  Notman?/Wikimedia

Marathon Pioneer

On March 22, 1896, Charilaos Vasilakos of Greece etched his name in history by winning the first modern marathon in 3 hours and 18 minutes during the Panhellenic Games.  Burton Holmes, published 1901, book title The Burton Holmes Lectures (Volume 3)/Wikimedia

Kentucky's Basketball Feat

On March 22, 1958, the 20th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship saw Kentucky emerge victorious against Seattle, 84-72, with Seattle's Elgin Baylor earning the title of tournament MOP.  University of Kentucky/Wikimedia

Ali's Knockout Punch

On March 22, 1967, Muhammad Ali defended his heavyweight boxing title with a powerful knockout of Zora Folley in the seventh round, solidifying his legendary status.  Anefo/Wikimedia

UCLA's Basketball Dynasty

On March 22, 1969, the 31st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship witnessed UCLA's historic three-peat, beating Purdue 92-72, with Lew Alcindor earning the Most Outstanding Player title for the third consecutive year.  Malcolm W. Emmons/Wikimedia

Abebe Bikila's Tragic Turn

On March 22, 1969, Ethiopian marathon legend Abebe Bikila was paralyzed in an auto accident.  Unknown (ANSA, Italy)/Wikimedia

Kareem's MVP Season

On March 22, 1972, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was named NBA MVP, a testament to his skill, leadership, and impact on the court.  Frank Bryan/Wikimedia

Yankees-Red Sox Trade

On March 22, 1972, in a noteworthy MLB move, the Yankees traded Danny Cater to the Red Sox for Sparky Lyle, stirring the ongoing rivalry.  New York Yankees via

Trottier's Record-Setting Start

On March 22, 1984, Bryan Trottier of the Islanders matched an NHL record by scoring just 5 seconds into a game, showcasing his incredible skill and quickness.  Horge/Wikimedia

Boxing's Heavyweight Unification

On March 22, 1986, HBO's Heavyweight World Series tournament launched, heralding a new chapter in boxing history with fierce competition and legendary matchups.  HBOportugu├¬s: HBO/Wikimedia

Ice Skating Champions

On March 22, 1986, Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov of the USSR captivated the world by winning the Ice Pairs World Championship at Geneva with their flawless performances.  Post of Azerbaijan/Wikimedia

Berbick's Boxing Upset

On March 22, 1986, Trevor Berbick delivered a surprising unanimous decision victory over Pinklon Thomas in Las Vegas, claiming the WBC heavyweight title and shocking the boxing world.  Lance Rothwell/Wikimedia

Pete Rozelle's Retirement

On March 22, 1989, after 29 years of leadership, Pete Rozelle announced his retirement as NFL commissioner.  Desert Sun/Wikimedia

Umpires' Exhibition Boycott

On March 22, 1990, Major League Baseball umpires declared a boycott of exhibition games, emphasizing their crucial role in the sport and calling attention to their working conditions.  Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA/Wikimedia

Alain Bernard's World Record Splash

On March 22, 2008, French swimmer Alain Bernard set a new world record in the 100m freestyle long course with a time of 47.50 seconds at the European LC Championships, cementing his place in swimming history.  Michiel Jelijs from Groningen, The Netherlands/Wikimedia