This Day in Sports History: April 20

Recapping events across the sports landscape that occurred on this day

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, April 20 is a day on which two of sports' most treasured venues opened and one of baseball's immortals reached an impressive milestone more than a half-century ago.

 

1884: Boxer Oliver Kirk was born in Beatrice, Nebraska. He won gold medals at both bantamweight and featherweight in the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis.

 

1897: Middleweight Billy Vernon, the "Haverstraw Brickmaker," died of injuries sustained in a knockout loss to Leslie Pierce in Athens, Pennsylvania.

 

1912: Navin Field, which would later be known as Tiger Stadium, opened in Detroit, and Fenway Park opened in Boston. Tiger Stadium was demolished in 2009 and Fenway Park is still in use today.

 

1916: The Chicago Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park, known today as Wrigley Field.

 

1925: Ernie Stautner was born in Cham, Germany. His family immigrated to the U.S. when he was three and Stautner went on to have a Hall of Fame career as a defensive tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 

1933: The Detroit Tigers committed four errors in a 3-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Cleveland Stadium.

 

1944: Former Washington Nationals centerfielder Elmer Gedeon's B-26 bomber was shot down over France. He was one of two Major League Baseball players to be killed serving in World War II.

 

1961: Don Mattingly was born in Evansville, Indiana. After recording 2,153 hits in 14 seasons with the New York Yankees, he has served as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and currently leads the Miami Marlins.

 

1966: Hank Aaron hits his 399th and 400th home runs in the Atlanta Braves' 8-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium.

 

1971: Allan Houston was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He went on to be an All-American at Tennessee and two-time All-Star with the New York Knicks.

 

1983: Bernard King scored 40 points in a 118-107 New York Knicks victory over the New Jersey Nets at Brendan Byrne Arena to take a 1-0 lead in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

 

1999: Wrestler "Ravishing" Rick Rude died of an accidental overdose of mixed medications in Alpharetta, Georgia.

 

2008: Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 in Motegi, Japan, becoming the first woman to win an Indy car race.

 

— 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.

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