1961 in sports
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1961 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.
|Years in sports:||1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964|
|Centuries:||19th century · 20th century · 21st century|
|Decades:||1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s|
|Years:||1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964|
- 1 American football
- 2 Association football
- 3 Australian rules football
- 4 Bandy
- 5 Baseball
- 6 Basketball
- 7 Boxing
- 8 Canadian football
- 9 Cycling
- 10 Figure skating
- 11 Golf
- 12 Harness racing
- 13 Horse racing
- 14 Ice hockey
- 15 Motorsport
- 16 Radiosport
- 17 Rugby league
- 18 Rugby union
- 19 Swimming
- 20 Tennis
- 21 Multi-sport events
- 22 Awards
- 23 References
- 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
- Rose Bowl (1960 season):
- The Ohio State Buckeyes boycott a trip to the Rose Bowl the following January resulting in student protests on campus.
- FA Cup final – Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Leicester City. Tottenham also were division 1 champions, making them the first British club to win the double.
- Victorian Football League
- The American League expands to 10 teams, adding the Los Angeles Angels and the new Washington Senators. The league schedule is expanded from 154 to 162 games.
- 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, establishing a record for the longer season. Babe Ruth's record of 60 still stood for the shorter season.
- 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 –
- The twelfth European basketball championship, Eurobasket 1961, is won by Soviet Union.
- June 3 in Los Angeles – 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
- UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race – 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 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 –
- Men's champion: Trail Smoke Eaters from Canada
- NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship – University of Denver Pioneers defeat St. Lawrence University Saints 12-2 in Denver, Colorado
- First European Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships held in Stockholm, Sweden. This event was the first organized international competition in the sport.
- 1961 New Zealand rugby league season
- 1960–61 Northern Rugby Football League season / 1961–62 Northern Rugby Football League season
- 1961 NSWRFL season
- August 13 – USA's Becky Collins breaks the world record in the women's 200m butterfly (long course) during a meet in Philadelphia – 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, clocking 2:12.6.
- Australian Men's Singles Championship – Roy Emerson (Australia) defeats Rod Laver (Australia) 1–6, 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
- Australian Women's Singles Championship – Margaret Smith Court (Australia) defeats Jan Lehane O'Neill (Australia) 6–1, 6–4
- Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship – Rod Laver (Australia) defeats Chuck McKinley (USA) 6–3, 6–1, 6–4
- Wimbledon Women's Singles Championship – Angela Mortimer Barrett (Great Britain) defeats Christine Truman Janes (Great Britain) 4–6, 6–4, 7–5
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year – Roger Maris, Major League Baseball
- Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year – Wilma Rudolph, Track and field