- Associated Press - Monday, December 30, 2019

Dec. 31

1973 - Third-ranked Notre Dame edges top-ranked Alabama 24-23 in the Sugar Bowl. Second-ranked Oklahoma was sitting out the bowl season.

1974 - Catfish Hunter, baseball’s first free agent, signs with the New York Yankees. He signs a five-year contract for a record $3.75 million.

1982 - Jockey Pat Day edges Angel Cordero Jr. by two races to capture leading rider honors. Day rides Dana’s Woof and Miltons Magic to victory during the evening program at Delta Downs for 399 wins for the year.

1988 - A blinding fog rolls in during the second quarter of the Chicago Bears’ 20-12 NFC semifinal victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field in Chicago. The fog obscures the game from most of the 65,534 fans present and a national television audience that could watch only ground-level shots.



1988 - Mario Lemieux becomes the first NHL player to score goals in five ways during the same game. Lemieux scores at even strength, on the power play, shorthanded, on a penalty shot and into an empty net. The five goals carry the Pittsburgh Penguins to an 8-6 victory against the New Jersey Devils.

1989 - Jockey Kent Desormeaux sets the world record for most number of wins in a single season. His 598th win is aboard 2-year-old East Royalty in the Inner Harbor Stakes at Laurel Racecourse.

2005 - Harness drivers Catello Manzi and Brian Spears each set single-season records. Manzi, 55, becomes the oldest harness driver to lead North America in victories (727), even without a win on the last day. Sears becomes the first driver to surpass $15 million ($15,085,991) in pursue earnings.

2013 - Johnny Manziel lives up to his nickname “Johnny Football,” leading 20 Texas A&M; to another comeback win, 52-48 over No. 22 Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Aggies are down 38-17 at halftime but with Manziel at the helm they come back in the highest-scoring game in the bowl’s history. The 2012 Heisman trophy winner throws four touchdown passes, completes 30 of 38 passes for 382 yards and runs for 73 yards and a touchdown.

2017 - The Cleveland Browns complete the second 0-16 season in NFL history with a 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go 0-16. Head coach Hue Jackson has a 1-31 record over two seasons.

2017 - The New England Patriots finish the regular season with to a 26-6 win over the New York Jets and clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The win clinches the seventh 13-win season for the Patriots (13-3), second in NFL history to San Francisco’s nine seasons. It’s also Bill Belichick’s 250th career regular-season win, moving him into a tie with Tom Landry for third all-time among head coaches.

2017 - The Buffalo Bills snap the longest current non-playoff streak in North American pro sports with a 22-16 victory at Miami and Cincinnati’s victory at Baltimore. The Bills hadn’t made the postseason since 1999.

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