David Beckham made his long-awaited Major League Soccer debut on this date in 2007 when he entered the Galaxy’s game against D.C. United in the 72nd minute before a sellout crowd of 46,686 on a rain-drenched evening at RFK Stadium in Washington.
As debuts went it was modest, but Beckham seemed satisfied that he had finally made it into a game after weeks of nursing what the British called a wonky left ankle.
The millionaire midfielder’s 20 or so minutes featured no clattering tackles, but he did produce a superlative pass for Landon Donavan to run onto and he did seem to settle a disorganized Galaxy midfield simply by his presence.
Beckham said after the Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat, “It’s not nice to disappoint people who have paid a lot of money to see the game, so I was thankful to actually get on the pitch.”
More memorable games and outstanding sports performances on Aug. 9 through the years:
1936 — Jesse Owens was the first American to win four Olympic gold medals when the United States set a world record in the 400-meter relay at the Summer Games in Berlin. The U.S. team’s time of 39.8 seconds lasted for 20 years. Owens also won gold in the 100-meter dash, the 200 and the long jump.
1960 — Ted Williams, 41, of the Boston Red Sox hit his 511th home run to tie Mel Ott for third place on the all-time list. Williams’ clout off Jim Perry of the Indians sailed over the right-field fence at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland. It was Williams’ 19th home run of the season, which would be his last in the major leagues.
1975 — Davey Lopes of the Dodgers stole his 32nd consecutive base without being caught in a 2-0 win over the New York Mets that broke Max Carey's 53-year-old major league record set in 1922. Lopes increased the mark to 38 steals when he stole six more before being caught Aug. 24. Lopes led the National League with 77 steals and had a league-high 63 the next season.
1981 — Larry Nelson beat Fuzzy Zoeller by four strokes to take the PGA Championship at the Atlantic Athletic Club in Duluth, Ga. Nelson, from Acworth, Ga., shot a seven-under-par 273, and the victory was the first of his three major championships. Nelson had a four-shot lead after 54 holes, and both he and Zoeller shot a 71 in the final round.
1984 — Daley Thompson of Britain won his second Olympic decathlon with a score 8,797 points in the Coliseum at the Los Angeles Summer Games. Daley’s score was one point less than the record held by Germany’s Jurgen Hingsen, but it was later adjusted by the IAAF to a world-record score of 8,847.
2008 — Mariel Zagunis led a U.S. sweep of the women's saber fencing for the first American medals of the Beijing Summer Games. Zagunis outpointed Sada Jacobson 15-8 to win the gold medal. Becca Ward defeated Sofiya Velikaya of Russia 15-14 to take the bronze.
2009 — Jennifer Song was the second woman to win two U.S. Golf Assn. championships in the same year when she beat Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta 3 and 1 in the U.S. Women's Amateur final at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis. Song, 19, who had just finished her freshman year at USC, won the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links in June. Pearl Sinn was the only other woman to win two USGA titles in a year, when she took the Amateur and Public Links in 1988.
2012 — Maggie Steffens scored five goals as the U.S. women's water polo team beat Spain 8-5 to win for the first time the Olympic tournament at the Summer Games in London. The Americans, who got a sterling performance from goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong, overpowered the young Spanish team at both ends of the pool.
2016 — Michael Phelps, 31, added to his Olympic record medal collection when he avenged a 2012 London Games loss to rival Chad le Clos of South Africa with a win in the 200-meter butterfly for his 20th career gold at the Summer Games at Rio de Janeiro, an event he first swam in the 2000 Olympics when he was 15. He later anchored the U.S.’s 800 freestyle relay team for his 21st gold.
SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press