Daily Archives: February 29th, 2012

The 10 greatest athletes born on Leap Day!

English: Montreal Canadiens locker room displa...

Henri Richard's locker at the Hockey Hall of Fame... Image via Wikipedia

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

Here’s a list you’ve probably never seen…

The greatest athletes born on February 29, Leap Day. Enjoy!

1. Henri Richard (born in 1936): “The Pocket Rocket,” Richard is a National Hockey League Hall of Famer (enshrined in 1979). He played 20 years for the Montreal Canadiens, playing in 1256 games and scoring 358 goals and handing out 185 assists. He won 11 Stanley Cups with Montreal.

2. Raisa Smetanina (born 1952): A Russian cross-country skier, Raisa was the first woman to win 10 medals in the Winter Olympics. She won gold twice in 1976, and once apiece in 1980 and 1992. She took part in five different Olympics.

3. Al Rosen (born in 1924): Rosen was the 1953 American League MVP and a four-time All-Star. He had 1063 career hits, 192 home runs and a career batting average of .285, playing his entire ten-year career (1947-56) with the Cleveland Indians. Was later an executive with the Yankees, Astros and Giants.

4. John Niland (born in 1944): Niland was the fifth overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1966 NFL draft. He spent nine seasons with the Cowboys as an offensive lineman. He was twice an all-pro selection and made the Pro Bowl six times.

5. Pepper Martin (born in 1904): A four-time All-Star and two-time World Champion, Martin played for the St. Louis Cardinals and starred in the 1931 World Series for the Cards. He had a career .298 batting average. He was selected the Male Athlete of the Year by the AP in 1931.

6. Bryce Paup (born in 1968): A linebacker, Paup spent five years with the Green Bay Packers and had stints with Buffalo, Minnesota and Jacksonville. He played in four Pro Bowls and was voted the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1995.

7. Chucky Brown (born in 1968): The lone NBA player, Brown had a 13-year career in the NBA playing for 12 different teams. He had 4125 career points and 2148 career rebounds. He was a member of the 1995 champion Houston Rockets team.

8. Cullen Jones (born 1984): The youngest member of the group, Jones is an Olympic swimmer who won gold as a member of the 4×100 freestyle relay in the 2008 Games. He is the second African American to hold or share a world record in swimming.

9. Simon Gagne (born in 1980): Gagne won hockey gold as a member of Team Canada in 2002. He was the 22nd overall pick in the 1998 NHL draft. Played the first 10 years of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers, twice winning the team’s MVP award.

10. Dick Wood (born in 1936): A quarterback with five different teams in the American Football League, Wood had 51 TD passes in his career. He was the first QB to ever throw a TD pass at Shea Stadium.

Can the Heat break NBA record of most consecutive wins by 10 points or more?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

Dwayne Wade shooting a free throw for the Miam...

Miami's Dwyane Wade... Image via Wikipedia

The Miami Heat went into the All-Star break with an eight-game winning streak. That streak, however, was also colored with eight victories that were each won by 10 points or more. The eight straight wins by 10 points or more by the Heat made them the 14th team in NBA history to accomplish this feat.

So the question becomes, can LeBron, Dwyane and the Miami gang break the record for most consecutive wins by 10 points or more… 10 straight games? To do it, they will have to win three straight games by double-figures on the road. After the break they face Portland on March 1, travel the next night to take on the Utah Jazz, and, if they win both of those games by 10 points or more, go for the record against the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Following are the teams which have won the most consecutive games by 10 points or more. In addition, I’ve also listed those teams which have won the most consecutive games by 15 or more points, 20 or more points, and 25 or more points.

Consecutive wins by 10+ points, Teams, Year

10: Washington, 1946… New Jersey, 2004… Houston, 2008.

9: Boston, 2007… Cleveland, 2008… Miami, 2010

8: NY Knicks, 1969… Milwaukee, 1971… Portland, 1990… LA Lakers, 1990… Chicago, 1996 (twice that year)… Detroit, 2004… Miami, 2012

Consecutive wins by 15+ points, Teams, Year

8: Detroit, 2004

6: Cleveland, 1989…. Phoenix, 1990

Consecutive wins by 20+ points, Teams, Year

5: Milwaukee, 1970… Portland, 1978

Consecutive wins by 25+ points, Teams, Year

4: Houston, 1993