On this day in sport: Mets boss dies, Red Rum hat-trick, MLS strike over, India glory

By Sports Desk April 02, 2020

Today marks 25 years since Major League Baseball stars called off their strike, which had resulted in the previous year's World Series being scrapped.

It is also 38 years to the day since the New York Mets were left stunned by the death of one of the biggest names in baseball.

History was made on this day in England at Aintree in 1977, while India's cricketers and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney were both celebrating nine years ago.

Let's take a look back at April 2 in sporting history.

1972 - Baseball in shock as Mets manager Hodges dies

Gil Hodges had been a superstar with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, and rounded off his playing career with the just-founded New York Mets. An eight-time All-Star, as a coach he added to the two World Series with the Dodgers, Hodges famously reviving the Mets and leading them to a shock 1969 title triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. But Hodges died on April 2, 1972, at the age of just 47, when he suffered a heart attack following a round of golf in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was his second heart attack: a first came in Atlanta in September 1968, early in his career as manager of the Mets.

1977 - Red Rum wins third Grand National

Tommy Stack rode Red Rum to Aintree glory, as the Ireland-bred steeplechaser followed up 1973 and 1974 triumphs at the Liverpool course with an unprecedented third Grand National victory. The feat has never been matched, with Red Rum triumphing against the odds after second-placed finishes in 1975 and 1976. At the age of 12, Red Rum's third success went down as one of racing's most famous wins.

1995 - Baseball stars go back to work

From August 12 1994 until April 2 1995, there was no top-tier baseball in the United States, with MLB stars going on strike in a labour dispute that stemmed from salary-cap proposals that got players riled. The 1994-95 season was abandoned in September, and the strike lasted for 232 days until judge Sonia Sotomayor's injunction against team owners persuaded the players to go back to work.

2011 - India triumph, Rooney treble

India landed Cricket World Cup glory in front of their home fans in Mumbai when the hosts landed a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the final. Mahela Jayawardene made a century in Sri Lanka's 274-6 before India reached their target with 10 balls to spare, helped by 97 from Gautam Gambhir and 91 not out from MS Dhoni.

In London, on the same day, Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick as Manchester United came from 2-0 behind to defeat West Ham 4-2 at Upton Park in the Premier League, an important result as Alex Ferguson's team went on to win the title weeks later.

Related items

  • Kean is 'completely different' to Balotelli, says Chiellini Kean is 'completely different' to Balotelli, says Chiellini

    Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini insisted Everton forward Moise Kean was "completely different" to Mario Balotelli.

    Kean left the Serie A champions for Everton last year, with the Premier League side paying £25million (€27.5m) for the Italy forward.

    The 20-year-old had scored just once in 26 appearances for Everton before this season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and was dropped in November reportedly for a disciplinary breach.

    Kean was also condemned by Everton in April after an apparent breach of lockdown rules.

    Having previously criticised Brescia forward Balotelli, Chiellini said Kean was nothing like the former Inter and Manchester City man.

    "Balotelli only has the shot. There are those who now compare him with Moise Kean, a boy who appears rebellious and unmanageable, but is completely different from Mario," Chiellini wrote in Io, Giorgio.

    "Of course, in Juventus youth he was punished many times, but when he played in the first team he always showed himself very respectful towards the group.

    "Sometimes he does not hear the alarm and arrives late, but they are behaviours that can be changed without difficulty."

    Kean came through the youth system at Juventus, where he scored eight goals in 21 games before his departure.

  • Sancho makes a statement as Dortmund end difficult week on a high Sancho makes a statement as Dortmund end difficult week on a high

    A testing week for Borussia Dortmund ended on a positive note on Sunday.

    After the disappointment of losing to Bayern Munich in midweek, they took out their frustrations on Paderborn. The Bundesliga's bottom club were hit for six with Jadon Sancho the undisputed star of the show.

    The England international - centre of much transfer speculation amid reports of a return to the Premier League - registered a hat-trick to take his Bundesliga tally for the season to 17. In doing so, he helped his current employers pick up a victory that, for now, will silence some of their doubters.

    These were three much-needed points as well, and not just to boost morale after the midweek defeat to Bayern had seemingly dashed their Bundesliga title dream for another season and raised questions over Lucien Favre's suitability to lead the team beyond the current campaign. 

    Instead of being tucked in behind the leaders, Dortmund's Klassiker setback had them looking worryingly over their shoulder.

    Borussia Monchengladbach's 4-1 thrashing of Union Berlin on Sunday had pulled them into BVB's rear-view mirror, as they joined Bayer Leverkusen – 1-0 winners at Freiburg on Friday – on 56 points. RB Leipzig, meanwhile, can leapfrog the pair and reclaim third place by beating Cologne on Monday.

    With the chasing pack sensing an opportunity to attack a wounded rival, a win – any type of win – was all that mattered for Dortmund against opponents propping up the rest in the table. Still, they had drawn 3-3 against Paderborn in their previous meeting, while they were without the injured Erling Haaland. 

    The Norwegian's absence was keenly felt during a scoreless first 45 minutes, too. Thorgan Hazard was nominated to be the replacement up top, but no Haaland left Dortmund without a battering ram to knock down the door. Instead, they had to patiently pick at the lock, eventually opening Paderborn up. 

    Leopold Zingerle helped their cause admittedly, the hospitable goalkeeper gifting Hazard the chance to score the opener as he dropped a cross straight into the path of the Belgian.

    After that, however, it was all about Sancho. 

    The 20-year-old had not started a game since the resumption of a campaign held up by the coronavirus pandemic, a calf injury leading to cameo roles off the bench. In each of the three previous games his time on the field had increased, including playing all of the second half in the 1-0 defeat to Bayern. 

    Now, though, Favre was happy to give him top billing again. Even with the game long over as a contest, the Dortmund boss left Sancho out there to demonstrate just why he is so coveted by clubs in his homeland, suggesting there are no long-term concerns over his fitness for the remainder of the run-in. 

    He capitalised on the extended opportunity, sealing his hat-trick and with it a place in the Bundesliga history books.  

    A tap-in from Julian Brandt's square pass to double Dortmund’s advantage and was followed by revealing a shirt with the words "Justice for George Floyd" written across it, in reference to the black American who died while in Minneapolis police custody. 

    His second was a well-placed finish when teed up by Hazard, quickly ending Paderborn's comeback hopes after Uwe Hunemeier's penalty halved the deficit. Sancho's third, however, was the pick of the bunch.

    There was clearly still plenty left in the tank as proceedings drifted into added time, allowing him to race clear on the counter down Dortmund's right before clinically slotting the ball inside Zingerle's near post. 

    The treble makes him the youngest player to reach 30 goals in the competition’s long history. How many more he will add to that tally, considering the rumours surrounding his future, is unclear, but this was a day when he made a clear statement – and not just with his performance, either.

  • Sancho breaks English and Bundesliga records with Borussia Dortmund hat-trick Sancho breaks English and Bundesliga records with Borussia Dortmund hat-trick

    Jadon Sancho broke an English and a Bundesliga record on Sunday, as the Borussia Dortmund winger scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 rout of Paderborn.

    Sancho, who revealed a "justice for George Floyd" t-shirt after scoring his first goal in the 57th minute, put Dortmund 2-0 up following Thorgan Hazard's opener.

    It took the youngster onto 15 goals for the season, making him the first English player to register at least 15 goals and assists in a single season in one of Europe's top five leagues since the 1994-95 Premier League campaign, when Matt Le Tissier did so for Southampton.

    The winger also became the first player to achieve the feat in a Bundesliga campaign, since the start of detailed data collecting in 2004-05.

    Sancho was not done there, however, and drilled in a second in the 74th minute before rounding off the win - and his hat-trick - in stoppage time.

    Dortmund's victory moves them onto 60 points, four clear of Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, though seven adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.