Recapping events that took place in the sports world 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, June 19 is the day in which two sports began and Isiah Thomas and LeBron James gave legendary NBA Finals performances.
1846: The "New York Nine" defeated the New York Knickerbockers 23-1 in Hoboken, N.J., in the first officially recorded baseball game in history.
1936: Max Schmeling knocked out Joe Louis in the 12th round at Yankee Stadium. The former heavyweight champion saw that Louis dropped his left hand after throwing a jab and took advantage of it with some haymakers. They met again in 1938 when Louis was the heavyweight champion, and he knocked Schmeling out in a little over two minutes.
1943: The NFL approved a merger between the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers because of the player shortage during World War II. The Steagles went 5-4-1 in their lone season of 1943. The next year, the Eagles fielded their own squad and the Steelers merged with the Chicago Cardinals for the 1944 season.
1949: Jim Roper won the first race sanctioned by the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) at the Charlotte Speedway. Glenn Dunaway initially won but was disqualified because his car had spread rear springs.
1958: USC beat Missouri 8-7 at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium to win the College World Series. The Trojans finished the season with a record of 28-3.
1984: The NBA Draft was held at New York's Felt Forum. The Houston Rockets selected Houston center Hakeem Olajuwon with the first pick, the Chicago Bulls took North Carolina guard Michael Jordan with the third, the Philadelphia 76ers snagged Auburn forward Charles Barkley with the fifth, and the Utah Jazz got Gonzaga guard John Stockton at No. 16.
1986: Len Bias died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by cocaine overdose at Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale, Maryland. The 22-year-old Maryland forward had been selected by the Boston Celtics with the second pick of the 1986 NBA Draft
1988: Detroit Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas scored 43 points and dished out eight assists on a severely sprained ankle in a 103-102 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at The Forum in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Although the Pistons lost, Thomas' performance is considered one of the more heroic in NBA history. The game tied the series at 3-3, and the Lakers won Game 7.
1999: Dallas Stars right wing Brett Hull scored the game-winning goal in triple overtime to beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 at the Marine Midland Arena in six games. The goal remains controversial because video replays showed that Hull's left skate was in the crease when he took the shot.
2005: Michael Schumacher won the XXXIV Foster's United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race is unique because only six of the 20 cars that entered the race actually competed. The other 14, which all were using Michelin tires, had several failures before the race and decided to stay in the pit area. Schumacher and the five competitors who raced used Bridgestone tires.
2016: LeBron James recorded a triple-double, scoring 27 points, snagging 11 rebounds, and making 11 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 93-89 at the Oracle Arena in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The Cavs became the first team to come back from being down 3-1 to win the NBA Finals and delivered the city of Cleveland its first championship in more than 40 years.
— 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.