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This day in sports: Sports Illustrated makes its debut in 1954

Eddie Mathews of the Milwaukee Braves is pictured at spring training in Bradenton, Fla., in March 1956.
The Milwaukee Braves’ Eddie Mathews, shown above in 1956, was on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s first issue in 1954.
(Harry Harris / Associated Press)

The first issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, with a price of 25 cents, was published on this date in 1954. The cover featured a photo by Mark Kauffman at a game played June 9 between the Milwaukee Braves and the visiting New York Giants before a large crowd at County Stadium.

The photo showed Braves star Eddie Mathews swinging at a pitch with catcher Wes Westrum and umpire Augie Donatelli in the image.

There was no story on Mathews and the Braves in the magazine itself, and longtime editor Walter Bingham said he suspected the photo was chosen because of the good crowd in the background.

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A look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on Aug. 16 through the years:

1924 — Helen Wills Moody beat Molla Bjurstedt Mallory for the second consecutive year 6-1, 6-3 to win the singles title at the U.S. Lawn Tennis Assn. championships, now known as the U.S. Open, at Forest Hills, N.Y. Wills Moody, at age 17 from Berkeley, Calif., topped Bjurstedt Mallory 6-2, 6-1 in 1923 to post the first of her seven U.S. singles titles. Wills Moody, considered the first American-born woman to achieve international celebrity as an athlete, won 19 Grand Slam singles titles in her career.

1947 — Ralph Kiner hit three home runs in successive at-bats and became the first Pirate to accomplish the feat when Pittsburgh beat the St. Louis Cardinals 12-7 at Forbes Field. Kiner also had five runs batted in, four runs scored and two walks. Ten home runs were hit in the game. The Pirates hit seven, with Hank Greenberg and Billy Cox adding two each.

1950 — Hank Thompson hit two inside-the-park home runs as the Giants routed the Dodgers 16-7 at the spacious Polo Grounds in New York. Thompson’s first home run came off Brooklyn pitcher Carl Erskine in the first inning with two on and one out, and the second was hit to center field in the seventh inning off Dan Bankhead. Gil Hodges hit two home runs over the fence for the Dodgers off Sal Maglie.

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Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and special-teams coordinator John Bonamego are cancer survivors but don’t have reservations about coaching this season.

1976 — Dave Stockton edged Raymond Floyd and Don January by a stroke and won his second PGA Championship. Stockton sank a par-saving 15-foot putt on the 72nd hole to finish at one-over-par 281 on the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Stockton won his first PGA title exactly six years earlier in 1970 when he beat Arnold Palmer and Bob Murphy by two strokes at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

1989 — Tom Drees pitched his third no-hitter of the season for the Pacific Coast League’s Vancouver Canadiens in a 5-0 victory over the Las Vegas Stars in a seven-inning doubleheader game. Drees was the first pitcher in the PCL or the major leagues to throw three no-hitters in a season. His first gem was May 23 against the Calgary Cannons, and the second came in his next start, a seven-inning game against the Edmonton Trappers. Johnny Vander Meer pitched back-to-back no-hitters for the Cincinnati Reds in 1938.

1998 — Jeff Gordon became the seventh driver in modern NASCAR history to win four straight races when he came from behind to take the Pepsi 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Gordon’s run started July 26 when he won the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. It continued Aug. 1 with a victory in the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and kept going Aug. 9 at Watkins Glen, N.Y., where he won the Bud at the Glen.

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Marco Andretti led the way in a Honda rout Saturday on the first day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying.

2009 — Usain Bolt of Jamaica stunned the crowd at Olympic Stadium in Berlin when he shattered the 100-meter dash record at the world championships in 9.58 seconds. The mark bettered his own record of 9.69 that he set at the Beijing Summer Olympics a year earlier. Tyson Gay finished a few strides behind Bolt in second place in 9.71, the fastest non-winning time in the event.

2015 — Brooke Henderson of Canada won the Cambia Portland (Ore.) Classic by eight strokes and became the third-youngest champion in LPGA Tour history at 17 years 11 months 6 days. Henderson shot a final-round three-under 69 at the Columbia Edgewater Golf Club to finish at 21-under 267. Lydia Ko set the age record when she won the 2012 Canadian Women’s Open as an amateur at 15 years 4 months and 2 days.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press


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