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This day in sports: First American League designated hitter draws bases-loaded walk

New York Yankees designated hitter Ron Blomberg hits against the California Angels.
New York Yankees designated hitter Ron Blomberg hits against the California Angels during a game at Yankee Stadium on June 1, 1973.
(Harry Harris / Associated Press)

When Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees stepped into the batter’s box on this date in 1973 at Fenway Park in Boston, he made baseball history, and he didn’t have to hit, catch or throw the ball.

Blomberg was the American League’s first designated hitter and in that first at-bat he drew a bases-loaded walk against Luis Tiant. For the game, he had a hit and an RBI in three at-bats. Orlando Cepeda was the DH for Boston and although the Red Sox won 15-5, Cepeda drew a blank, going 0 for 6.

In games involving local teams that were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clippers were scheduled to play the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center on Monday. The Bulls had won Dec. 14 in Chicago, 109-106.

In baseball, the Dodgers were to open a four-games series in St. Louis against the Cardinals, and the Angels and Oakland A’s were set to play the first of three at Angel Stadium.

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Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1896 — The first modern Olympic Games open in Athens, and on the first day American James B. Connelly of South Boston wins the triple jump, known then as the hop, step and jump, to become the Games’ first gold medalist.

1947 — Jimmy Demaret wins the Masters for the second time, finishing two strokes ahead of Byron Nelson and amateur Frank Stranahan. The affable Texan puts himself in the Masters record book by being the first player to shoot all four rounds under par.

Athletes, entertainers and others have an alternative way to connect with fans thanks to their cellphone and Cameo, a social media company.
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1987 — Sugar Ray Leonard returns to boxing after a three-year layoff because of a detached retina and upsets Marvelous Marvin Hagler in a 12-round split decision at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Leonard moves up two weight classes to challenge Hagler for the middleweight title, and becomes the ring’s 10th triple champion.

2008 — Lorena Ochoa continues her dominance of women’s golf with a five-shot victory in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage, her second major title. She is the first player to win consecutive LPGA majors since Annika Sorenstam in 2005. Ochoa’s first came at the women’s British Open in 2007.

2008 — Graham Rahal, in his first IndyCar start, holds off veteran Helio Castroneves at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg to become the youngest winner in major open-wheel racing. At 19 years, 93 days, Rahal breaks the age record set two years earlier at Sonoma Raceway by Marco Andretti who was 19 years, 167 days old.

2010 — New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur gets his 600th career win with his second straight shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the Atlanta Thrashers. In his last four games, including this one, Brodeur faces 105 shots and allows only two goals.

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Former kicker Tom Dempsey has died at 73 from what his family describes as complications from COVID-19. Dempsey kicked an NFL-record 63-yard field goal in 1970.

2010 — Maya Moore scores 23 points to help Connecticut rally from a poor first half and beat Stanford 53-47 for its seventh national title and second straight undefeated season. Connecticut finishes at 39-0 and the win is its 78th in a row.

2015 — Duke’s talented freshman — Tyus Jones, Grayson Allen and Jahlil Okafor — turn a nine-point deficit into an eight-point lead with 1:22 left to eke out a 68-63 win over Wisconsin, and its fifth national title. Allen scores 16 points to keep Duke in it when Wisconsin looked like it would run away.

2017 — Charley Hoffman finishes with the largest first-round lead at Augusta National in 62 years by shooting a seven-under-par 65 in windy conditions for a four-shot advantage over William McGirt. It’s the largest since 1955, when Jack Burke Jr. opened with 67 and was four shots ahead of Julius Boros and Mike Souchak.

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Sources: The Times, Associated Press


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