This Day in Sports History: May 17

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, May 17 is a day in which David Wells pitched a perfect game and Jeff Gordon performed so well that his car was banned.

 

1925: Cleveland Indians centerfielder Tris Speaker hit a single off of Washington Senators pitcher Tom Zachary to record his 3,000th hit in a 2-1 loss at Cleveland's Dunn Field.

 

1964: The first Tim Hortons opened under the name "Tim Horton Donuts" in Hamilton, Ontario. The franchise, founded by NHL player Tim Horton, has more than 4,800 restaurants in 14 countries today.

 

1983: The New York Islanders beat Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 to win the Stanley Cup Finals in a sweep at Nassau Coliseum. This marked the Islanders' fourth straight Stanley Cup.

 

1987: Trying furiously to keep his lead over Bill Elliott, Dale Earnhardt nearly spun out into the grass, but maintained control and the lead as he went on to win The Winston (NASCAR's All-Star Race). The move is known amongst NASCAR fans as "The Pass in the Grass."

 

 

1991: Pittsburgh Penguins center Mario Lemieux skated through Minnesota North Stars defensemen Shawn Chambers and Neil Wilkinson, faked goalie Jon Casey into going left, and then backhanded the puck into the goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Penguins won the game 4-1 at the Civic Arena and clinched the Stanley Cup in six games.

 

 

1997: Jeff Gordon won The Winston at Charlotte Motor Speedway in an innovative Chevrolet Monte Carlo with a tyrannosaurus rex on the hood (the movie, "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" was a sponsor). The "T-Rex Car" was so dominant that NASCAR banned it after that one race.

 

1998: New York Yankees pitcher David Wells threw a perfect game in a 4-0 win over the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium.

 

2005: The Detroit Pistons went on a 30-4 run in the second and third quarters to beat the Indiana Pacers 86-67 at The Palace of Auburn Hills to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Pistons won the series in six games.

 

— 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.

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