Today’s sports highlights in history provided


By Paul Montella - Associated Press



Today is Monday, March 20, the 79th day of 2017. There are 286 days left in the year. Spring arrives at 6:28 a.m. Eastern time.

Today’s sports highlights in history:

1887 — The International Association, the first minor league baseball association, is organized in Pittsburgh.

1951 — In the wake of the college point-shaving scandal, Long Island University drops basketball and all other intercollegiate sports. LIU revives basketball in 1957.

1971 — En route to a record 76-goal season, Boston’s Phil Esposito becomes the first player to score his 50th goal in February, but the Bruins lose to the Los Angeles Kings 5-4.

1972 — Larry Brown of the Denver Rockets set ABA records for assists in a game (23), half (18) and quarter (10) during a 146-123 win over the Pittsburgh Condors at Denver.

1974 — Gordie Howe, the NHL’s career scoring leader, comes out of retirement and signs a $1 million, four-year contract to play with the Houston Aeros of the WHA and his two sons, Mark and Marty.

1976 — Muhammad Ali beats Jean-Pierre Coopman with a fifth-round knockout at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in Puerto Rico to defend his world heavyweight title.

1988 — In Calgary, Alberta, Brian Boitano of the United States wins the men’s Olympic figure skating gold medal on a technical merit tiebreaker and nearly flawless free skating performance.

1993 — Julio Cesar Chavez records a fifth-round TKO over Greg Haugen in a WBC super lightweight title bout before a record crowd of 130,000 at Mexico City’s Aztec Stadium.

1994 — After 17 years and 279 races, Sterling Marlin wins his first race, the Daytona 500. Marlin barely holds off Ernie Irvan on the final lap.

1997 — Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia becomes the first man to break the 13-minute barrier in the 5,000 meters indoors, setting a world record of 12:59.04 in the DN Games.

1998 — Tara Lipinski, 15, becomes the youngest Olympic figure skating champion in history, jumping over fellow teen and U.S. teammate Michelle Kwan to take the gold. Lipinski was two months younger than Sonja Henie was in her 1928 victory.

2005 — Jeff Gordon grabs the lead from Dale Earnhardt Jr., then holds off Kurt Busch and Earnhardt in extra laps to win his third Daytona 500.

2006 — Tanith Belbin and partner Ben Agosto snap the U.S. medals drought in the Olympic figure skating dance competition with a silver. Belbin and Agosto win the first dance medal for the United States since the bronze won by Colleen O’Connor and James Millns in 1976.

2009 — Women’s ski jumping, making its debut at this year’s Nordic skiing world championships, is won by American Lindsey Van. Todd Lodwick wins the opening Nordic combined event to give the United States two golds in one day.

2011 — Twenty-year-old Trevor Bayne wins the Daytona 500 in only his second Sprint Cup start. Just one day after his birthday, Bayne holds off Carl Edwards by 0.118 seconds and becomes the youngest Daytona 500 winner.

2011 — Kobe Bryant wins his record-tying fourth All-Star game MVP award in front of his hometown fans, scoring 37 points and propelling the West to a 148-143 victory over the East in the NBA All-Star game.

2016 — Lindsey Vonn clinches a record 20th World Cup crystal globe title and surpassing Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark. It’s Vonn’s record eighth downhill title — adding to four overall globes plus five in super-G and three in combined. Sweden’s Stenmark held the previous record of 19 globes established from 1975 to 1984.

2016 — Jaromir Jagr scores twice to move into third place on the NHL career goals list and help the Florida Panthers beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Jagr’s first goal ties the score at 1-1 and ties Brett Hull for third with 741 goals. Only Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801) have more goals. The 44-year-old Jagr then scores his 20th of the season and No. 742 for his career to make it 3-1.

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By Paul Montella

Associated Press

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