Read 'em and leap

Harvey Pollack got his own bobblehead in 2004.
Harvey Pollack got his own bobblehead in 2004.
Posted: February 29, 2012

The Daily News would like to wish former Flyer Simon Gagne a happy birthday today. He turns 8.

Actually, Gagne is 32, but because he was born on a leap day, he hasn't had a chance to celebrate too many birthdays on his actual birth date.

With that absurdity in mind, here are a few other things that have occurred in the sporting world on Feb. 29 throughout the years.


* Asante Samuel was designated the starting left cornerback by Eagles coach Andy Reid, signaling Lito Sheppard's exit from the team.

* A grand jury testimony 5 years earlier was unsealed and revealed that San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds failed at least two performance-enhancing drug tests. At least one of the tests was performed in 2001 when Bonds hit 73 home runs.


* The first 5,000 fans received a Harvey Pollack bobblehead toy as the Sixers beat Minnesota, 81-74. Allen Iverson had someone call the Sixers to inform the team he would miss the game with a stomach ailment. Coach Chris Ford was enraged.

* The BCS decided to add a fifth game.

* Tiger Woods became the fastest golfer to 40 PGA Tour wins when he beat Davis Love to capture the Match Play Championship. It was Woods' 149th event. It took Jack Nicklaus 221 events to reach 40.


* St. Joe's (11-14) shocked fifth-ranked Temple, 62-59, in a Big 5 classic at the Palestra. Marvin O'Connor led the Hawks with 20.

* Allen Iverson shot 15-for-18 from the field and scored 35 points as the Sixers thumped the Mavericks, 106-87.

* Sparky Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.


* The Dallas Mavericks hit a then-NBA-record 18 three-pointers in a 137-120 win over the Denver Nuggets.


* Wilt Chamberlain was released from an Inglewood, Calif., hospital 3 days after checking in with an irregular heartbeat.

* Boston's Ray Bourque became the third defenseman to reach 1,000 career points when he had a goal and two assists in the Bruins' 5-5 tie with the Washington Capitals.


* Willis Reed agreed to a 3-year deal to become coach of the New Jersey Nets. "This is going to be a challenge," said Reed. He resigned about 18 months later after posting a 33-77 record.

* Mike Shanahan was introduced as head coach of the Raiders. "As I went into his character, as I went into his background, I found no flaw," said Raiders owner Al Davis. Shanahan's tenure lasted all of 20 games before Davis fired him.


* Behind 29 points from Andrew Toney, the Sixers beat the Jazz to end a four-game losing streak, the team's longest skid since 1979.

* The Flyers beat Edmonton, 5-3, holding Wayne Gretzky (who had 205 points that season) to two assists.


* Penn was stunned by Columbia, causing the Quakers to work extra hard for a share of the Ivy League title. Penn beat Princeton in a playoff to capture the conference title.

* John Chaney's Cheyney State Wolves lost to Hartwick in a Division II playoff game.

* Gordie Howe scored his 800th career goal.


* A fight between the Sonics' Willie Norwood and the 76ers' Doug Collins was all anyone talked about after the Sixers beat their visitors, 130-115. "If it'd been a hockey game, you might've seen a brawl," said Fred Carter, who led the Sixers with a game-high 33 points.

* Bobby Clarke scored twice during a five-goal second period to lead the two-time defending champion Flyers past the visiting California Seals, 6-1.


* A scheduled duel between Villanova's Marty Liquori, the world's No. 1 miler, and Jim Ryun, the first person ever to run a sub 4-minute mile, was nixed when Liquori withdrew because of a foot injury.

* Hank Aaron became the first player to break the $200,000 mark when he agreed to a 3-year, $600,000 contract with the Atlanta Braves.


* North Catholic coach Jack Friel reinstated his varsity 3 days after suspending them before a Catholic League playoff game. Friel benched 12 varsity players and instead suited up the junior varsity, which stunned Bishop McDevitt, 77-60, in one of the most memorable high school games in Philadelphia history. North, with the varsity back in uniform, would lose to O'Hara in the semifinals, 51-49, on a buzzer-beating tap by Lou Ferro.


* For the second consecutive leap day, Oscar Robertson scored 43, this time to lead the Cincinnati Royals past the host 76ers.


* Oscar Robertson scored 43 to help the University of Cincinnati roll over Tulsa, 110-64.

* Wilt Chamberlain was voted the NBA's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year, the first player to receive both awards in the same season.


* Neil Johnston (21 points) and Tom Gola (18 points) led the Philadelphia Warriors past the Rochester Royals, 86-81, in front of 3,120 fans at Lincoln High School.


* The Warriors' Paul Arizin scored a career-high 40 against the Bullets. Arizin won the first of his two scoring titles that season.

* Dick Button, 22, won his fifth straight world figure skating championship with a dazzling performance at Paris.


1904: Pepper Martin, major league baseball

1920: Arthur Franz, actor ("That Championship Season")

1924: Al Rosen, major league baseball

1936: Henri Richard, NHL

1940: Billy Turner, trainer for Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew

1944: John Niland, NFL

1960: Dan Daoust, NHL

1968: Bryce Paup, NFL (wrecked the Eagles' 1991 season by injuring Randall Cunningham); Chucky Brown, NBA

1976: Vonteego Cummings, NBA

1980: Simon Gagne, Flyers

1984: Cullen Jones, Olympic swimming gold medalist; Cam Ward, NHL

1988: Bobby Sanguinetti, AHL (Hurricanes farm system)

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