This Week in Detroit Sports History: October 24-30


October 25
On October 25, 1980, down by ten points entering the fourth quarter in Houston, the Pistons come back to beat the Rockets and end their 21-game losing streak. Detroit scores 37 points in the final quarter to win 112-109, with Kent Benson (20) and Keith Herron (20) the leading scorers.

October 26
On October 26, 1951, after a few tune-up fights in his comeback, Joe Louis faces heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. Louis is a shadow of his former self, losing to Marciano as he takes a beating that even the champion didn’t wish to administer. “The Brown Bomber” never fights again, retiring with a 69-3 record.

October 28
On October 28, 1970, the Detroit Pistons use a balanced scoring attack to beat the Baltimore Bullets 109-103 and improve to 9-0 on the season. Jimmy Walker scores 20, Dave Bing puts in 19, and rookie big man Bob Lanier scores 19 to lead Detroit to the win and their best start in franchise history.

On October 28, 1934, the Lions win their seventh straight game by a shutout, blanking the Cincinnati Reds, 38-0. The win improves the Lions record to 7-0 in their first season in Detroit. They will allow a touchdown in their next game, against Pittsburgh, but won’t lose their first game until week #11, when the Green Bay Packers beat them, 3-0.

October 29
On October 29, 1989, in just his eighth game in the NFL, Barry Sanders gains 184 yards on the ground in 30 carries in his first game against the Packers. Sanders also returns two kicks for 41 yards, the last time he’ll ever be used as a kick returner. The Lions lose to Green Bay, 23-20.

On October 29, 1947, Gordie Howe wears #9 for the Red Wings for the first time. Prior to that, the young center had wore #17, but he switched to #9 so he could have a lower berth bed on the train during road trips. At that time, lower sweater numbers got the larger and more comfortable beds on the trains.

October 30
On October 30, 1984, relief pitcher Willie Hernandez is named the winner of the Cy Young Award in the American League. The lefthander was 32-for 33 in save opportunities and pitched 140 1/3 innings to help lead the Detroit Tigers to a world championship.

On October 30, 1981, Isiah Thomas plays his first game for the Detroit Pistons. The #1 draft pick out of Indiana scores 31 points and helps lead the Pistons to a fourth quarter comeback to defeat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, 118-113.