This day in sports: ABC’s ‘Wide World of Sports’ debuts

ABC debuted the anthology series “Wide World of Sports” on this date in 1961 with Jim McKay as host.
(Associated Press)

ABC introduced its new sports anthology series “Wide World of Sports” on this date in 1961, with host Jim McKay broadcasting from track and field’s Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

Each week, the show produced by Roone Arledge would open with a signature montage of sporting events that included Slovenia ski jumper Vinko Bogataj’s wipeout on the takeoff ramp, with McKay’s famed voiceover, “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports … the thrill of victory … and the agony of defeat … the human drama of athletic competition. … This is ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.”

The series aired for 37 years, mostly on Saturday afternoons, until it was canceled in 1998.


On Wednesday, baseball games that were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic included an interleague game between the Minnesota Twins and the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, and the Angels’ second of two games at Seattle against the Mariners.

A look at what happened today in sports history, including cheating Rosie Ruiz’s ‘fast one’ at the 1980 Boston Marathon.

April 21, 2020

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

1970 — Lakers guard Jerry West makes a 60-foot shot at the buzzer to tie the score in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the New York Knicks at The Forum. The basket counts as two points because there is no three-point rule. In overtime, West misses five shots from the field and the Knicks outscore the Lakers 9-6 for a 111-108 win.

1990 — The Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 104-100 to give coach Pat Riley his 100th career playoff win, breaking Red Auerbach’s record of 99. Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon blocks 10 shots, which ties the NBA playoff record set by Utah’s Mark Eaton in 1985 against the Rockets.

1994 — Kirk Rueter of Montreal is the first big league pitcher since the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 to start his career with a 10-0 record when the Expos beat the San Diego Padres 3-1. Rueter finishes the 1993 season at 8-0, and is 2-0 in April of the strike-shortened ’94 season.


2000 — In a bout billed as “Two Big,” Lennox Lewis at 247 pounds knocks down Michael Grant, 250, three times in the first round and finishes him off with a knockout at 2:53 of the second at New York to retain his World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation heavyweight titles. The combined weight of 497 pounds makes it the heaviest title fight ever.

2005 — In a matchup of 300-game winners, Greg Maddux gets the best of Roger Clemens in the Chicago Cubs’ 3-2 win over the Astros at Houston. Maddux gives up two runs in six innings, and the victory is his 306th. The loss is Clemens’ fourth attempt at notching win No. 330.

2007 — Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has an unassisted triple play in the seventh inning of the Rockies’ 9-7 win over the Atlanta Braves. It’s the 13th unassisted triple play in big league history and the first since 2003. Tulowitzki snares a line drive off the bat of Chipper Jones, steps on second base to double up Kelly Johnson and then tags out Edgar Renteria between first and second for the third out.

A look at what happened today in sports history including Milwaukee Braves’ Warren Spahn’s second career no-hitter five days after his 40th birthday.

April 28, 2020

2007 — Guard Steve Nash has 23 assists, one shy of the NBA playoff record shared by Magic Johnson and John Stockton, to help the Phoenix Suns to a 113-100 victory over the Lakers in Game 4 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Nash’s effort helps Phoenix take a 3-1 lead in the series.

2014 — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announces at a news conference that Donald Sterling is banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments he makes in an audio recording. The Clippers’ owner, 80, is also fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA’s constitution.

2015 — In what is believed to be the first major league game played without fans in attendance, Chris Davis hits a three-run homer in a six-run first inning and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox 8-2. The gates at Camden Yards are locked because of concern for fan safety after rioting in Baltimore.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press