1913 — Jim Thorpe gives up his track medals from the 1912 Olympic games as a result of his having been a professional. He had been paid $25 for playing in a semipro baseball game.
1951 — Jimmie Foxx and Mel Ott are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1955 — Joe DiMaggio is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1960 — Pete Rozelle is chosen the new commissioner of the National Football League.
1985 — Edmonton’s Wayne Gretzky scores his 50th goal in the 49th game of the season, a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
1986 — The Chicago Bears win their first NFL championship since 1963 by setting a Super Bowl-record for points scored in defeating the New England Patriots 46-10.
1991 — Houston guard Vernon Maxwell joins Wilt Chamberlain, David Thompson and George Gervin as the only players in NBA history to score 30 points or more in a quarter. Maxwell scores 30 of his career-high 51 points in the fourth period to help Houston beat Cleveland 103-97.
1992 — The Washington Redskins win their third Super Bowl in 10 years, beating the Buffalo Bills 37-24, putting the game away with 24 straight points after a scoreless first quarter.
1996 — Three years after she won her last Grand Slam title on the same Center Court, Monica Seles wins her fourth Australian Open crown. Seles beats Germany’s Anke Huber 6-4, 6-1 to claim her ninth major championship.
1997 — The Green Bay Packers, behind big plays, beat the New England Patriots 35-21 in the Super Bowl. Brett Favre finds Andre Rison for a 54-yard touchdown on the Packers’ second offensive play, then throws an 81-yard TD pass to Antonio Freeman in the second quarter. Desmond Howard, the first special teams MVP, scores on a 99-yard kickoff return to put away the Patriots.
2002 — Jennifer Capriati produces the greatest comeback in a Grand Slam final to overcome Martina Hingis and defend her Australian Open title. Capriati saved four match points before clinching a 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 victory over Hingis.
2007 — Mark Recchi scores two goals, including the 500th of his career, in Pittsburgh’s 4-3 shootout win over Dallas.
2008 — Mirai Nagasu becomes the second-youngest woman to win the title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. The 4-foot-11 14-year-old falls on her opening jump, a double axel, but lands six triple jumps, three in combination, in her program.
2013 — Victoria Azarenka wins her second consecutive Australian Open title, beating Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Mike and Bob Bryan become the most decorated doubles team in Grand Slam history by winning their 13th major title, beating Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling 6-3, 6-4 in 53 minutes.
2013 — Ashley Wagner became the first woman since Michelle Kwan in 2005 to win back-to-back titles in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
2013 — San Jose’s Patrick Marleau becomes the second player in NHL history to open a season with four straight multigoal games, striking twice on the power play in the first period of a 4-0 win over Colorado.
2014 — Stan Wawrinka holds off an injured Rafael Nadal to win his first Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory in the Australian Open final.
2014 — DeMarco Murray catches a 20-yard pass for a touchdown and Mike Tolbert plunges into the end zone for a 2-point conversion with less than 1 minute to give Jerry Rice team a 22-21 win over Deion Sanders team in the first schoolyard-style Pro Bowl.
2020 – LA Lakers basketball legend Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash in foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas, southern California; considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history
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