It Happened On #83

I have never done sports related history so I’ll do it today

It happened on December 19 1986….Michael Sergio, who parachuted into Game Six of the 1986 World Series at Shea Stadium, is fined $500 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

On October 25, Sergio, a 37-year-old actor and Mets fan, landed on the infield with a “Let’s Go Mets” banner in the first inning of the sixth game between the Mets and the Boston Red Sox. Over 55,000 stadium spectators witnessed the sky diver’s arrival and cheered him on. Sergio, who was quickly removed from the field by police, claimed he was an experienced parachutist who made the jump to show support for the Mets

Prosecutors claimed that Sergio’s actions could have injured fans and players and interrupted air traffic from nearby LaGuardia Airport. They charged him with reckless endangerment and criminal trespassing. Sergio spent a night in jail and was released without bail. On October 27, the Mets came from behind to win the World Series

On December 10 of that year, Sergio, who claimed that several Mets players helped him get a lawyer, pled guilty to a criminal trespass charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping a more serious charge of reckless endangerment. On December 19, he was sentenced to community service and fined. However, Sergio was later held in contempt of court for refusing to reveal the name of the pilot who flew the plane from which he jumped. As a result, in May 1987, he was sentenced to six months in federal jail

Also on December 19 1917. on this day in 1917, four teams of the National Hockey League (NHL) play in the fledgling league’s first two games. At the time of its inception, the NHL was made up of five franchises: the Canadiens and the Wanderers (both of Montreal), the Ottawa Senators, the Quebec Bulldogs and the Toronto Arenas. The Montreal teams won two victories that first day, as the Canadiens beat Ottawa 7-4 and the Wanderers triumphed over Toronto 10-9.

The first professional ice hockey league was the International Pro Hockey League, founded in 1904 in Michigan. After it folded, two bigger leagues emerged in Canada: the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast League (PCL). In 1914, the two leagues played a championship series, and the winner was awarded the famous silver bowl donated for Canada’s amateur hockey leagues by Lord Stanley, the English governor general of Canada, in 1892. The NHA stopped operating during World War II, and after the war the five elite teams from Canada formed the NHL in its place. Despite that early defeat, Toronto went on to win the inaugural season. In March 1918, they defeated the PCL champions, the Vancouver Millionaires, three games to two for the Stanley Cup.

By 1926, the PCL had folded, and the 10 teams of the NHL divided into two divisions. The champions of each those two divisions–the Eastern and the Western Conference–now face each other at the end of each season in the Stanley Cup Championship.

Meanwhile, in Canada, on December 19 1984, Wayne Gretzky scores his 1,000th career point on an assist in a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings. He was 23.

Gretzky reached the mark in just his 424th regular season game, the fewest by any player in League history. Guy Lafleur held the old record, reaching the 1000 point mark in 720 games

Gretzky would go on to break Gordie Howe’s career record of 1,850 points in 1989

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