This day in sports: Wilt Chamberlain traded to the Lakers in 1968

John Scheibe
The Lakers acquired Wilt Chamberlain in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers on July 5, 1968.  (Ray Stubblebine / Associated Press)

Wilt Chamberlain, arguably the greatest offensive player in NBA history, was traded by the Philadelphia 76ers to the Lakers on this date in 1968 after the 76ers were unable to sign him to a new contract.

The story, which was reported on a Friday night out of Philadelphia by the Associated Press, said that Chamberlain had been traded for center Darrall Imhoff, guard Archie Clark, forward Jerry Chambers and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Chamberlain, who was in San Francisco on business, denied the report, saying, “There will be no trade involving me without my permission.” But he added, “I do like the West Coast and expect to wind up here.”

The transaction was made official on July 9 and an introductory news conference would follow two days later.

If the COVID-19 hadn’t postponed the baseball season, the Dodgers were scheduled Sunday to play the last of three games against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium. The Angels would have concluded a three-game series with the Braves at Atlanta.

Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sport performances on this date:

1947 — Eleven weeks after Jackie Robinson breaks into the major leagues with the Dodgers, Larry Doby pinch-hits for the Cleveland Indians to become the first Black player in the American League. Doby, batting for pitcher Brian Stephens in the seventh inning, strikes out as the Indians lose 6-5 to the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.

1952 — Maureen Connolly, 17, wins her first of three straight women's singles championships at Wimbledon when she beats Louise Brough 6-4, 6-3. Connolly is the second youngest woman to win the singles title at the All-England Club since Lottie Dod of England in 1887. Known as “Little Mo,” she is also the first woman to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same calendar year (1953). But in 1954 at 19, her competitive career ends when she suffers a serious leg injury in a horseback-riding accident.

1968 — Rod Laver wins the first Open-era Wimbledon championship when he defeats fellow Australian Tony Roche 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Prior to 1968, the Grand Slam tournaments were open only to amateurs. Laver, who had turned pro in 1962, would go on to become the first player since Fred Perry in 1934-1936 to win the men's title at the All-England Club three consecutive times.

1993 — Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics leads off both games of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians with a home run, the first player to do so in 80 years. In the first game at the Oakland Coliseum, Henderson goes deep off Paul Abbott in the first inning, and then Mark Clark in the second game. The Elias Sports Bureau says the last known player to accomplish this feat is Harry Hooper of the Boston Red Sox on May 30, 1913 against the Washington Senators.

1996 — Frankie Fredericks of Namibia and Brigham Young edges American Michael Johnson to win the men's 200-meter dash in 19.82 seconds at the Bislett Games at Oslo, Norway. Fredericks’s victory ends Johnson’s winning streak of 21 straight races.

2008 — Venus Williams collects her fifth Wimbledon women’s singles championship when she defeats younger sister Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4 in the final. Serena takes the first eight of nine points but Venus is the more composed player in the 1 hour 51 minute match that is played in a swirling wind.

2009 — Roger Federer wins his record 15th Grand Slam title when he outlasts Andy Roddick for his sixth Wimbledon championship in a marathon match. Federer serves 50 aces and overcomes the resilient Roddick in five sets 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 16-14 to break the record of major titles he shares with Pete Sampras. The victory elevates Federer to No. 1 in the ATP ranking, regaining the spot from Rafael Nadal for the first time since August 2008.

2012 — Harness racing driver Dave Palone breaks Herve Filion's North American record for career victories when he guides Herculotte Hanover to the winner’s circle in the eighth race at The Meadows in Washington, Pa. The win is the 15,181st of Palone's 30-year career.

2015 — The U.S. women’s soccer team wins its third World Cup and first since 1999 with a 5-2 victory over Japan at Vancouver. The Americans are propelled by a first-half hat trick by Carli Lloyd, who scores twice in the first five minutes. The third goal comes in the 16th minute and Lloyd’s spree is the fastest in World Cup history.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press

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