Back in Time: December 9
Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson
Branch Rickey, 83, collapses and dies while giving a speech to an audience in Columbia, Mo. Rickey was responsible for breaking the color barrier in 1947 with the signing of Jackie Robinson. Rickey also implemented the concept of farm systems for the major leagues.
Rams RB Eric Dickerson rushes for 215 yards in a 27-16 victory over Houston, passing O.J. Simpson's single-season mark of 2,003 yards. Dickerson finished the year with 2,105 yards.
Jerry Sloan (right) is named head coach of the Utah Jazz, replacing Frank Layden (left), who resigned. Sloan's coaching tenure with the Jazz is the longest current term among head coaches in the NBA.
Kevin Johnson of Phoenix became the 13th NBA player to record 10 steals in a game, leading the Suns past the Bullets, 114-95.
Chicago's Michael Jordan becomes the NBA's third-leading scorer in a 100-82 win over New York, scoring 29 points to give him 27,432 points over 13 seasons. Jordan moves ahead of Moses Malone, who had scored 27,409 points in 19 seasons.
Gary Payton scores 35 points in a loss to Houston, becoming the all-time leading scorer in SuperSonics history. Payton passes "Downtown" Fred Brown's 14,018 points.
The Rockies announce the signing of free-agent starting pitcher Mike Hampton to the richest contract in baseball history, a $121 million, eight-year deal. The southpaw would compile a 21-28 during his two-year tenure with Colorado before going to the Braves in 2003.
Kazuo Matsui, a Japanese seven-time All-Star shortstop, agrees to a three-year, $20.1-million deal with the Mets.
The Big Eight's leading rusher and scorer in 1985 and '87 and a two-time First Team All-America, Thomas was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Born on this Day
Don King (1932, pictured) Al Kaline (1934) Deacon Jones (1938) Thomas O Kite, Jr. (1949) World B. Free (1953) Juan Samuel (1960) Ray Agnew (1967) Kurt Angle (1968) Brent Price (1968) Ramon Garcia (1969) Petr Nedved (1971) Todd Van Poppel (1971) Tony Batista (1973) Mardy Fish (1981)