This Day in Sports History: May 23

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 23 is a day in which the Washington Nationals began one of the best turnarounds in baseball history and Billy Martin visited a prospect... in prison.

 

1954: Marvelous Marvin Hagler was born in Newark, New Jersey. He held the undisputed middleweight title for six years and seven months and finished his boxing career with a record of 52-3-2.

 

1973: Detroit Tigers manager Billy Martin visited Ron LeFlore at Jackson State Prison in Jackson, Michigan. LeFlore was serving a prison sentence for armed robbery, but had shown exceptional talent playing in an organized baseball league for inmates. Martin arranged a tryout for him, and he went on to be paroled and play nine seasons with the Tigers, Montreal Expos, and Chicago White Sox.

 

1991: Mickey Rourke won his first boxing match, a four-round unanimous decision over Steve Powell at War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

1999: San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan scored 33 points, snagged 14 rebounds, and made four assists in a 118-107 win to sweep the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals. The game was the Lakers' final one at the Great Western Forum.

 

2016: Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry scored 35 points and made five assists in a 105-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Air Canada Centre. The victory evened the Eastern Conference Finals at 2-2, but LeBron James and company won the next two games to advance to the NBA Finals.

 

2019: The New York Mets beat the Washington Nationals 6-4 at Citi Field to drop the Nats’ record to 19-31. Washington turned its season around and went on to win the World Series.

 

— 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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