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1999

Wayne Gretzky plays his last game in the NHL

The final game of Gretzky's career was a 2–1 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in April 1999 in Madison Square Garden. Although the game involved two American teams, both national anthems were played, with the lyrics slightly adjusted to accommodate Gretzky's departure.

1995

Quarterback Joe Montana announces his retirement from football

Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. is a former American football quarterback who played in the NFL for 16 seasons. In April 1995, Montana announced his retirement before a huge crowd at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. The event was broadcast live on local television, and included speeches from John Madden, Eddie DeBartolo, Jr, and others.

1981

The longest professional baseball game is begun in Pawtucket, RI

The Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings, two teams from the Triple-A International League, played the longest game in professional baseball history. It lasted 33 innings, with 8 hours and 25 minutes of playing time. 32 innings were played April 18/19, 1981, at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and the final 33rd inning was played June 23, 1981. Pawtucket won the game, 3–2.

1966

Bill Russell becomes first African American coach in NBA history

Russell played in the wake of pioneers like Earl Lloyd or Chuck Cooper, and he was the first African American player to achieve superstar status in the NBA. He also served a three-season stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first African-American coach in North American pro sports and the first to win a world championship.

1942

Maple Leafs come back from 3-0 to win Stanley Cup

The 1942 Stanley Cup Finals was a best-of-seven series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. After losing the first three games, the Maple Leafs won the next four to win the series 4–3, winning their fourth Stanley Cup. It was the first Cup Final in history to go seven.

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