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This day in sports: Hockey great Wayne Gretzky announces retirement

Wayne Gretzky led the Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final during his career as a player.
(Associated Press)

Introduced during a news conference as the greatest player ever, Wayne Gretzky announced on this date in 1999 that he would retire from hockey. His last game, the 1,487th of his unparalleled career, was played two days later for the New York Rangers against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The former King, who also played for the Edmonton Oilers and the St. Louis Blues, held or shared more than 60 NHL records and scored 1,017 goals in the regular season and playoffs. He led the Kings to the 1993 Stanley Cup Final against the Montreal Canadiens.

If it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodgers would have concluded a three-game series Thursday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.

A look at what happened on this day in sports history on March 28, including Teemu Selanne’s 70-goal season as a rookie with the Winnipeg Jets.

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

1940 — On a blustery 40-degree day in Chicago, Bob Feller, 21, pitches the only opening day no-hitter in baseball history. The 1-0 gem at Comiskey Park was the first of three career no-hit games for the Cleveland Indians ace. He also hurled 12 one-hitters.

1954 — The Detroit Red Wings edge the Canadiens 2-1 in overtime to win the Stanley Cup in seven games. Diminutive Tony Leswick, at 5 feet 6 and 160 pounds, scores the winning goal at 4:20 left. The stunned Canadians leave the ice without shaking hands with the Red Wings.

1987 — Michael Jordan scores 61 points in a 117-114 Chicago Bulls loss to the Atlanta Hawks and becomes the second player to surpass 3,000 points in a season. He joins Wilt Chamberlain, who accomplished the feat three times. Dominique Wilkins leads Atlanta with 34 points.

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1990 — Gelindo Bordin of Italy is the first Olympic men’s marathon champion to win the Boston Marathon. Bordin, who won the gold medal at Seoul in 1988, keeps a conservative pace and passes the leaders at the 21-mile mark.

1992 — Mike Gartner of the Rangers gets his 500th career assist in a 7-1 rout of the Penguins. Gartner, one of the last survivors of the World Hockey Assn., is the first NHL player to record his 500th assist, 500th goal, 1,000th point and play in his 1,000th game all in the same season.

1997 — The Chicago Cubs set the mark for worst start in National League history, extending a losing streak to 12 with a 4-0 loss to Colorado. The streak ends at 14 when the Cubs beat the N.Y. Mets in the second game of a doubleheader.

On March 23, 1994, Wayne Gretzky scored career goal No. 802, passing his idol Gordie Howe as the greatest goal scorer in NHL history.

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2003 — The Ducks beat Detroit 3-2 in overtime, making the Red Wings the first defending Stanley Cup champion in 51 years to be swept the following season in an opening series. Steve Rucchin scores at 6:53 of the extra period to give Anaheim, known then as the Mighty Ducks, the win.

2008 — Golden State finishes the season with a record of 48-34 after losing to the Seattle SuperSonics 126-121. The Warriors have more wins than any team that failed to make the playoffs since the NBA expanded to the 16-team format in 1984. Houston held the previous mark of 45 wins in 2000-01.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press


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