1961 in sports
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1961 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
|Centuries:||19th century · 20th century · 21st century|
|Decades:||1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s|
|Years:||1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964|
- AFL Championship – Houston Oilers won 10-3 over the San Diego Chargers
- NFL Championship – Green Bay Packers won 37-0 over the New York Giants
- NCAA I-A Championship –
England[change | change source]
- January 16 – Mickey Mantle becomes the highest paid player in Major League Baseball by signing a contract that will pay him $75,000 per season.
- April 11 – The former Washington Senators play their first home game in Metropolitan Stadium as the Minnesota Twins
- July 13 – In his majors debut, Milwaukee Braves outfielder Mack Jones tied a post-1900 National League record by collecting three singles and a double in his first game.
- Roger Maris hits 61 home runs during the regular season, breaking Babe Ruth's mark of 60 that had stood since 1927
- October - World Series – New York Yankees win 4 games to 1 over the Cincinnati Reds. The series MVP is Whitey Ford of the Yankees.
- NCAA Men's Basketball Championship –
- Cincinnati wins 70-65 over Ohio St.
- NBA Finals|NBA Finals –
- June 3 in Los Angeles, California - Emile Griffith knocked out Gaspar Ortega in the 12th round to retain the Welterweight Championship
- August 1 – death of Adrie Voorting (aged 30), Dutch road bicycle and track cyclist
- Giro d'Italia won by Ercole Baldini of Italy
- Tour de France - Jacques Anquetil of France
- World Cycling Championship – Rik Van Looy of Belgium
- The World Figure Skating Championships in Prague are cancelled after the entire USA team of skaters, officials, leaders and chaperones are killed in a plane crash on 15 February en route to the competition.
- Among the dead are:
- Masters Tournament - Gary Player becomes the first international golfer to win the Masters.
- U.S. Open - Gene Littler
- British Open - Arnold Palmer
- PGA Championship - Jerry Barber
- PGA Tour money leader - Gary Player - $64,540
- Ryder Cup - United States wins 14½ to 9½ over Britain in team golf.
- Women's Western Open - Mary Lena Faulk
- LPGA Championship - Mickey Wright
- U.S. Women's Open - Mickey Wright
- Titleholders Championship - Mickey Wright
- LPGA Tour money leader - Mickey Wright - $22,236
- United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
- United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
- Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship –
- Pacers: Massacre
- Australia – Melbourne Cup won by Lord Fury
- Canada – Queen's Plate won by Blue Light
- France – Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe won by Molvedo
- Ireland – Irish Derby Stakes won by Your Highness
- English Triple Crown Races:
- United States Triple Crown Races:
- Art Ross Memorial Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
- Hart Memorial Trophy for the NHL's Most Valuable Player: Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion, Montreal Canadiens
- Stanley Cup – Chicago Black Hawks win 4 games to 2 over the Detroit Red Wings
- World Hockey Championship –
- NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship - University of Denver Pioneers defeat St. Lawrence University Saints 12-2 in Denver, CO
- Stock car racing –
- USAC Racing
- Formula One – Phil Hill (United States) wins World Drivers' Champion, driving for Ferrari.
- 24 hours of Le Mans – Olivier Gendebien / Phil Hill win, sharing a Ferrari 250TR
- Rally racing - the team of Maurice Martin / Roger Bateau win the Monte Carlo Rally driving a Panhard PL17
- Drag racing
- First European Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships held in Stockholm, Sweden. This event was the first organized international competition in the sport.
- August 13 – USA's Becky Collins breaks the world record in the women's 200m butterfly (long course) during a meet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 2:32.8.
- August 19 – US swimmer Carl Robie takes over the world record in the men's 200m butterfly (long course) from his compatriot Michael Troy at a meet in Los Angeles, California, clocking 2:12.6.
- Grand Slam in tennis men's results:
- Grand Slam in tennis women's results:
- Davis Cup – Australia won 5-0 over Italy in world tennis.
Awards[change | change source]
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year – Roger Maris, Major League Baseball
- Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year – Wilma Rudolph, Track and field