This Week In Sports History! July 18th-24th

A look back at what stood out on this week in sports history.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Sports today is at its most popular. People across the land use today's increased access to follow not only their team, but every team that catches their eye. They do it out of love for the game, sure, but they also do it in the hopes of seeing something that will make history. They want to see that one defining moment that will stand out for years to come.

Speaking of defining moments, here are three that stood out over the years on this week.

Lance Armstrong Wins 7th Tour de France; July 24th 2005
Despite ongoing allegations against Armstrong concerning the use of performance enhancing drugs, Lance remains one of the most recognized athletes that never graced the big three of sports (football, baseball, basketball). Back in 1996, Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. The cancer was so imbedded in Armstrong that it had spread to his lungs and brain and doctors only gave him less than a 50% chance to survive.

After numerous dangerous surgeries and a severe course of chemotherapy that was designed not to damage his lungs, the cancer went into remission and Armstrong took up cycling again. He would go on to win an amazing 7 straight Tour de France races before retiring after his 7th.

Armstrong would come out of retirement in 2009 with the goal of another Tour de France win on his mind. Though he wouldn't win it, he did finish third overall.

David Cone Pitches Perfect Game; July 18th 1999
Perfection reared it's head for David Cone on this day in history as he pitched the 16th perfect game in MLB history against the Milwaukee Brewers. Acquired by the New York Yankees in 1995, Cone helped the Yankees to World Series wins in 1996 and 1998. He cemented his place in Yankee lore with an 88 pitch game that ended in perfection on a blistering 98 degree night.

Pumpsie Green is the First African American to Play for the Boston Red Sox; July 21th, 1959
Here's a little trivia for you; who was the last team in Major League Baseball to integrate? The answer to that is the Boston Red Sox who finally did it in 1959 with the addition of  Elijah Jerry "Pumpsie" Green. The Red Sox, who had opportunities to sign both Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson but was hesitant on hiring black players at the time, finally reversed their thoughts with Green.

Green didn't end up in the same league as Mays or Robinson; he would play only 5 seasons in the MLB and held a .246 average for his career, but he was a pioneer in his own right and was a vital contributor to the sport we have today.