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This Day in Sports History: May 8

This Day in Sports History: May 8

This Day in Sports History: May 8

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, May 8 is a day in which two NFL defensive legends were born and Willis Reed made one of the most dramatic entrances in NBA history.

1930: Doug Atkins was born in Humboldt, Tennessee. The Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end won a national championship at Tennessee in 1951 and NFL titles with the Cleveland Browns in 1954 and the Chicago Bears in 1963. Atkins was recently named to the NFL 100 All-Time Team.

1937: War Admiral won the Kentucky Derby. The son of Man o' War went on to win the Triple Crown.

1959: Ronnie Lott was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers and is widely considered to be one of the best defensive backs to ever play the game.

1968: Oakland Athletics pitcher Catfish Hunter completed a perfect game and drove in three runs in a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Twins at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

1970: After tearing a thigh muscle in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, New York Knicks center Willis Reed returned in dramatic fashion to face the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Seven at Madison Square Garden. Reed hit his first two shots and then focused on covering Wilt Chamberlain. He left the game with three minutes remaining in the first half and the Knicks won 113-99.

1978: Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler became the first climbers to summit Mount Everest without using supplemental oxygen.

1984: The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox faced each other at Comiskey Park. After the game was still tied at 3-3 after 17 innings, it was suspended at 1 a.m. until the following evening. When play resumed, the game went on for another eight innings until Harold Baines hit a walk-off home run to give the Sox a 7-6 win in the bottom of the 25th inning. The bat he used is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

2014: The 2014 NFL Draft began at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The Houston Texans took South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick and the Oakland Raiders picked Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack with the fifth. The St. Louis Rams selected Missouri defensive end Michael Sam in the seventh round, making him the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL.

— Compiled 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.