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This day in sports: Dodgers’ Reggie Smith is hit with ice ball at Wrigley Field

Dodgers outfielder Reggie Smith socks one away from bullpen catcher Mark Cresse during the team’s opening workout in 1978.
Dodgers outfielder Reggie Smith socks one away from bullpen catcher Mark Cresse on Jan. 19, 1978, in Los Angeles during the team’s opening workout.
(Associated Press)

Dodgers right fielder Reggie Smith walks off the field and out of the game at Wrigley Field in Chicago on this date in 1980 after being hit with ice crushed into two paper cups and shaped into a ball.

In the sixth inning, Smith had recovered a golf ball thrown at him and, after giving it to home plate umpire John Kibler, tells Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda he will not remain on the field if thrown at again.

Smith, who once went into the stands at Wrigley to chase a fan, later is hit with the ice ball on the upper right arm after striking out to end the top of the seventh.

“I don’t have to take it,” Smith said. “And I won’t. This is the worst place for obscenities and for throwing things I’ve ever seen.”

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A look at some of the biggest moments in sports history to have occurred on May 8.

Other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1920 — Babe Ruth breaks his Major League record of 29 home runs in a season when he hits No. 30 in the second game of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, and the New York Yankees beat the St. Louis Browns 5-2. Ruth goes on to swat an astounding 54 home runs for the season. The closest player to him that season is George Sisler with 19 home runs.

1920 — The United States sweeps Australia in five straight matches to win the Davis Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, for the first time since 1913. The U.S. team is made up of Bill Tilden and Bill Johnston. Tilden and the U.S. would keep the Davis Cup title until the French wrest it away later in the decade.

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1938 — Paul Runyan wins the PGA Championship when he overwhelms Sam Snead 8 and 7 in the final round at Shawnee Country Club in Smithfield Township, Pa. Runyan’s margin of victory is the largest of the tournament’s match-play era. Snead, who eventually would win three PGA Championships, loses 28 of 29 holes against Runyan, who defeated Henry Picard 4-3 in a semifinal match.

1947 — Thomas Rocco Barbella, better known as Rocky Graziano, scores a technical knockout with a barrage of 30 punches against Tony Zale in the sixth round to win the world middleweight title at Chicago Stadium. Zale decks Graziano in the third round but the challenger rallies in the fifth and knocks the defending champion down twice before the fight is stopped.

1950 — Uruguay beats Brazil 2-1 to win soccer’s World Cup in front of 200,000 fans at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Uruguay ties the match in the 66th minute when Juan Schiaffino beats Brazilian goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa, and then takes the lead 13 minutes later on Alcides Gihggia’s goal that drains the energy out of the huge crowd.

1993 — Nick Faldo ties the best single round in 122 years of the British Open with a course-record 63 to give him a one-stroke lead over Bernhard Langer of Germany after the second round at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England. Faldo goes on to finish second behind Australian Greg Norman, who shoots a final-round 64 to win by two strokes.

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1995 — Annika Sorenstam of Sweden wins the U.S. Women’s Open by a stroke over Meg Mallon on the East Course of Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado Springs, Colo., for her first victory on the LPGA Tour. Sorenstam fires a two-under-par 68 after starting the final round five shots behind Mallon, the 54-hole leader. For Sorenstam, the win is the first of three U.S. Open titles and the first of 10 major titles.

2001 — Jacques Rogge, an urbane 59-year-old Belgian surgeon and Olympic sailor, is elected to succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch as president of the International Olympic Committee. Samarach, who held the world’s top sports post for 21 years, stepped down after a bribery scandal surfaced in 1998 that sullied the Salt Lake City Winter Games. Rogge pledges to protect the Olympic movement from “doping, corruption and violence.”

2006 — In only his ninth start as a professional, J.R. Todd of Lawrenceburg, Ind., is the first Black driver to win an NHRA Top Fuel race when he beats Tony Schumacher in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. Todd posts a winning time of 4.906 seconds for the quarter-mile final at a speed of 291.63 mph.

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2011 — Kyle Busch, 26, wins the Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., to become the third driver to win 100 races in NASCAR’s three national divisions. Busch, with 22 Cup Series victories and 29 Trucks Series wins, ties Mark Martin for first place in career Nationwide victories with 49. Richard Petty is the all-time leader with 200 wins, all at the Cup level, and David Pearson is second with 105.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press


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