Kentucky Sports Timeline

July 15, 1858, Louisville’s earliest box scores appeared in the Louisville Daily Democrat.  The “Louisville Base Ball Club” played on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.  The paper noted the club wore uniforms of blue cottonade pants, white flamed shirts with blue piping, dark blue caps and leather belts.
Baseball In Louisville by Anne Jewell

May 9, 1888, Tony “Icebox” Chamberlin became the first and only switch pitcher to win a game.  It was during Louisville Colonel's win over Kansas City 18-6.
Baseball In Louisville by Anne Jewell

September 27, 1892, the first Eclipse Baseball Park in Louisville caught fire.  The team built seats and a new fence within 48 hours so that the scheduled games would not be interrupted.
Baseball In Louisville by Anne Jewell

July 18, 1897, Honus Wagner began his illustrious major league career, in Louisville for the Colonels.
Baseball In Louisville by Anne Jewell

August 12, 1899, fire swept through the second Eclipse Park in Louisville.  It was said to have started by a lightning strike.
Baseball In Louisville by Anne Jewell


September 2, 1899, the last major league baseball game for Louisville and Kentucky took place at Eclipse Park.  Louisville beat Washington 25-4.
Baseball In Louisville by Anne Jewell

November 6, 1915, Kentucky shutout Louisville for the third consecutive time.  The game was held at Eclipse Park in Louisville.  


Four years into the rivalry, students at Louisville finally took note, according to the Nov. 16, 1915, edition of the Courier-Journal.


"A setting for the game will mark the beginning of a new era for the gridiron sport in this vicinity," the newspaper wrote.  "College football is coming into its own in Louisville.  For the first time in the short history of athletic games at the local institution the students have been aroused to the pitch that can come only with time.  The university has found itself, and a loyal body of hundreds of student supporters will cheer the Cardinals this afternoon in their efforts to defeat the Wildcats."

November 20, 1922, in the early morning hours, the third Eclipse Park burned to the ground.
Baseball In Louisville by Anne Jewell


October 14, 1922, Kentucky hosted Louisville, beating them 73 to 0.  The series record stood at 5-0.

January 1, 1951, the Kentucky Wildcats, led by Coach Bear Bryant, beat the Oklahoma Sooners 13-7 in the 17th Sugar Bowl, considered one of the biggest upsets in college football.  The game pitted Big Seven champion Oklahoma (ranked #1 in the Associated Press poll) against the Southeastern Conference champion Kentucky (ranked #7).  Oklahoma’s regular season record was 10-0; Kentucky’s was 10-1.  Oklahoma averaged 34.5 points per game and entered the game with a 31-game winning streak.  Only one team had scored more than twice in a game against Kentucky that season.  Walt Yowarsky was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.  His position was defensive tackle and recovered a fumble on the Oklahoma 22-yard line, leading to Kentucky’s first score: for a 7-0 Kentucky lead at the end of the first quarter.  He had played less than 5 minutes on defense during the regular season.


March 27, 1951, wins his 3rd NCAA title in Minneapolis.  Bill Spivey scored 22 points and an ailing Cliff Hagan sparked the Wildcats to their third NCAA title.  With a squad consisting of only six healthy players — Walt Hirsch was ineligible and an infected throat plagued Hagan — the Wildcats hardly looked like championship material as Kansas State broke out to a 20-12 lead.  It was then that Rupp inserted the ailing Hagan.  It was a move that may have proved the difference as the sophomore forward sparked a rally that saw UK cut the Kansas State lead to 29-27 at the half.  Led by Hagan and Spivey, who dominated the boards, UK outscored Kansas State 41-29 in the second half to complete the come-from-behind victory.  Most Outstanding Player: Bill Spivey - scored a game-high 22 points on nine field goals and four free throws.

March 16, 1979, The Board of Control of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association met at the Hyatt Regency, Lexington.  The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by President Jack Burkich. All Board members were present.  Commissioner Tom Mills, Assistant Commissioners Louis Stout and Billy V. Wise were present.  Conley Manning was present representing the State Department of Education and Darrell Wells represented the State School Boards Association.  The invocation was given by Glendon Ravenscraft.

April 14, 1984, Dale Wilson of London, set a Kentucky record by catching a Largemouth Bass that weighed 13 lbs. 10.4 ozs.  He caught it in Wood Creek Lake in Laurel County. 


August 12, 1984, Pee Wee Reese, from Ekron, was inducted in Baseball's Hall Of Fame.  His primary team was the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing shortstop.  His most significant action on a baseball field may have been before a game.  In 1947, the Dodgers visited Cincinnati, and the fans and opposing players were getting on rookie Jackie Robinson.  Reese calmly walked over to Robinson, put his arm around his teammate's shoulder, and chatted.  The gesture was a critical moment in both Robinson's career and for African Americans' being accepted in baseball and American society.  Earlier, Reese had refused to sign a petition circulating among Dodger teammates concerning Robinson's participation.  Jackie's widow, Rachel Robinson, said, "I thought it was a very supportive gesture, and very instinctive on Pee Wee's part.  You shouldn't forget that Pee Wee was the captain, and he led the way.  Pee Wee was more than a friend.  Pee Wee was a good man."


September 1, 1984, Mississippi Valley State passes for Division I-AA record 536 yards and nine touchdowns in 86-0 win over Kentucky State.  Jerry Rice catches 17 passes for 294 yards and five touchdowns.

April 1, 1996, Tony Delk tied a championship game record with seven 3-pointers and the Wildcats withstood a late Orangemen rally to win UK’s sixth national title before a capacity crowd of 19,229 in the Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands.  Delk, the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, canned seven of 12 3-pointers to lead the Cats with 24 points.  Kentucky strung together 25 consecutive wins, including a 16-0 mark in Southeastern Conference play, midway through the 1995-96 season and rolled to its sixth national championship and the first under head coach Rick Pitino. The dynamic duo of Tony Delk (17.8 ppg) and Antoine Walker (15.2 ppg) led the Wildcats’ team dubbed “The Untouchables” by Pitino.


August 4, 1996, James Paul David Bunning, from Southgate, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Jim Bunning, Bill Foster, Ned Hanlon and Earl Weaver made up the 58th induction class in Hall of Fame history.  Jim Bunning was a tough right-handed sidearm pitcher during his 17-year big league career, but the consistency was what he craved, once stating, “I am most proud of the fact I went through nearly 11 years without missing a start.  They wrote my name down, and I went to the post.” Bunning won 224 games, an eight-time All-Star, one 20-win season, but would win 19 games four times and one perfect game.  Besides throwing no-hitters in the American and National leagues, Bunning was also the second pitcher behind Hall of Famer Cy Young to win 100 games and collect 1,000 strikeouts in both circuits.  When Bunning retired, he was second on the all-time strikeouts list to Walter Johnson with 2,855.


August 31, 1996, Kentucky sets a then-Commonwealth Stadium record for largest attendance (59,384) as the Wildcats were defeated by the Louisville Cardinals 38-14.