This day in sports: Giants’ Willie Mays breaks skid with four homers

San Francisco outfielder Willie Mays poses for a photo in 1968.
(Associated Press)

Willie Mays, the Say Hey Kid, broke out of a two-game 0-7 skid when he hit four home runs on this date in 1961 in the San Francisco Giants’ 14-4 rout of the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium.

Mays drove in eight runs after he connected twice off Braves starter Lew Burdette and once each off of relievers Seth Morehead and Don McMahon.

At the time, he was the seventh player in the modern era and ninth overall to hit four round-trippers in a game. He finished his Hall of Fame career with 660, and is currently No. 5 on the all-time home run list.


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

A look at what happened today, March 21, in sports history.

March 21, 2020

1971 — The Milwaukee Bucks are the second team to notch a four-game sweep in the NBA Finals when they beat the Bullets 118-106 at Baltimore. Oscar Robertson scores 30 points and Kareem Abdul-Abdul-Jabbar adds 27 for Milwaukee. Veteran big man Wes Unseld grabs 23 rebounds for Baltimore.

1975 — Larry O’Brien is hired as the NBA’s third commissioner, following J. Walter Kennedy (1963-1975) and Maurice Podoloff (1946-1963). O’Brien, a former political advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, holds the position until 1984.

1976 — Muhammad Ali wins a unanimous 15-round decision over Jimmy Young at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md. Young, 27, gives Ali a tougher fight than most expect when he becomes the aggressor in the late rounds, but Ali fights him off to keep his heavyweight title.

1992 — The Detroit Red Wings and the Vancouver Canucks are the ninth and 10th teams in NHL history to rebound from 3-1 deficits to win Stanley Cup playoff series. The Red Wings beat the Minnesota North Stars 5-2 in the Norris Division, and the Canucks knock off the Winnipeg Jets 5-0 in the Smythe.


1993 — At 19, Monica Seles, the world’s top-ranked women’s tennis player, is stabbed during a changeover in her match against Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria in Hamburg, Germany. Guenter Parche, 38, a self-described fan of Steffi Graf, reaches over a court-side railing and sticks a knife into Seles that makes a deep slit between her shoulder blades. The trauma of the incident forces Seles to miss the rest of the 1993 season.

2005 — James Toney outpoints John Ruiz to win the WBA heavyweight title in New York. Toney, a former champion at three other weights, wins his third heavyweight bout to become the third one-time middleweight champion to take boxing’s top crown.

2009 — Derrick Rose scores 28 points and blocks Rajon Rondo’s potential winner as the Chicago Bulls hold on for a 128-127 triple-overtime win over the Boston Celtics to force a Game 7 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Ray Allen scores a career playoff-high 51 points for the Celtics, while tying the NBA playoff record with nine three-point shots.

A look at what happened on April 29 in sports history including the debut of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports”.

April 29, 2020

2010 — Tiger Woods matches the worst nine-hole score of his career when he shoots a 43 on the back nine to finish seven-over par 79 and miss the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship. Woods finishes at nine-over par 153, the highest 36-hole total of his career. It’s the sixth time he misses a cut.

2014 Anze Kopitar scores the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and Jonathan Quick has 39 saves when the Kings make a historic comeback from three games down by beating the San Jose Sharks 5-1 in Game 7 of their first-round Stanley Cup series. The Kings are the fourth NHL team to win a seven-game series after losing the first three games.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press