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This Day in Sports History: August 12

This Day in Sports History: August 12

This Day in Sports History: August 12

The history of sports is both vast and rich, thanks to the existence of so many different ones and the longevity associated with them. With so much history to cull through, Athlon Sports wanted to offer the opportunity to look back and see what memorable things happened or milestones were reached on a specific date.

With that in mind, August 12 is a day in which auto racing's most famous track opened and baseball saw one of its biggest brawls. 

1904: William Renshaw died of epileptic convulsions in Swanage, England, at 43. Renshaw won 12 Wimbledon singles and doubles titles during his career, and his six straight singles titles from 1881-86 is still a record.

1909: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened and held its first motorsport event two days later. Today, it is the most revered racetrack in the world.

1964: Mickey Mantle hit a home run as both a right- and left-handed batter in a 7-3 New York Yankees win over the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee revoked South Africa's invitation to the 1964 Summer Olympics because of its racist apartheid policies. South Africa did not return to the Summer Games until 1992.

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1978: New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley suffered a devastating head injury when Oakland Raiders strong safety Jack Tatum hit him as he was stretching out for a pass. The hit broke Stingley's fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae, rendering him a quadriplegic. The type of hit was legal at the time but has since been banned by the NFL.

1982: Featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez died in a car wreck in Queretaro, Mexico, at 23. Sanchez was 44-1-1 at the time of his death, having won 22 straight fights.

1984: San Diego Padres pitcher Craig Lefferts hit Atlanta Braves pitcher Pascual Perez with a pitch causing a bench-clearing brawl at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Perez had beaned the Padres' Alan Wiggins on the first pitch of the game, which prompted San Diego to throw at him every time he came to the plate. A record 17 players were ejected in a 5-3 Atlanta win.  

2000: Evander Holyfield won the vacant WBA heavyweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over John Ruiz at the Paris Las Vegas, becoming the first person to win the heavyweight championship four times.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.