June 8 has been a day in sports history with some pretty significant things going on. There were four number one overall picks from the MLB, three Women’s French Open championships were decided, two NBA champions were crowned, a College World Series was crowned, an NHL legend played his final game, and the Dodgers made room to bring up a guy named Koufax.
Major League Baseball held its annual draft on this date four times, with another one to be added to that list tonight. In 1972, the San Diego Padres drafted Dave Roberts with the number one pick followed by the Cleveland Indians drafting Rick Manning with the next pick. In 1976, the Houston Astros drafted Floyd Bannister No. 1. Also, in 1976, Bobby Orr signed a five-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. In 1981, the Seattle Mariners drafted Mike Moore with the top selection of the draft. The Arizona Diamondbacks will have the top pick in tonight’s draft.
Louisiana State (LSU) won its first college baseball national championship when they knocked off Wichita State in 1991 to win the College World Series.
This wasn’t only a day of drafts in the MLB as the Los Angeles Dodgers optioned Tommy Lasorda to make room for Sandy Koufax, who is one of the best pitchers of all time. He won four World Series, including two where he won the World Series MVP. He was a three-time Cy Young Award winner, as well as the 1963 National League MVP. He was named to the MLB All-Century and All-Time teams. Not a bad deal for the Dodgers, who retired his No. 32 jersey.
The National Basketball Association saw the two most prestigious franchises win championships on this day. In 1982 the Los Angeles Lakers closed out the Philadelphia 76ers in the 6th game of the series to win the title. Four years later in 1986, Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics closed out the Houston Rockets, also in the 6th game.
In the tennis world, Christ Evert defeated Virginia Ruzici 6-0, 6-3 to win the 50th French Open championship in 1980. In 1996, Steffi Graf defeated A S Vicario 6-3, 6-7, 10-8. Two years ago in 2013, Serena Williams knocked off Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4. Williams also won the 2015 French Open two days ago, giving her three French Open championships for her career.
Hockey great Ray Bourque played his final game on this date in 2001, when he helped the Colorado Avalanche defeat the New Jersey Devils in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. He is the all-time leader in points, goals and assists by a defenseman. He won the Norris Trophy – the award for the league’s top defenseman – five times in his illustrious career. He played for the Avalanche and the Boston Bruins.