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Recap of the year 1956 in sports.

Auto Racing

  • NASCAR Championship - Buck Baker
  • The United States Auto Club (USAC) was founded to take over race sanctioning from the American Automobile Association (AAA).
  • USAC Racing:
    • Pat Flaherty won the Indianapolis 500
    • Jimmy Bryan won the season championship
  • Formula One Championship - Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina
  • 24 hours of Le Mans: the team of Ron Flockhart / Ninian Sanderson won, driving a Jaguar D-Type
  • Rally racing:
    • the team of Ronnie Adams / Frank Biggar won the Monte Carlo Rally driving a Jaguar Mk VII
  • Drag racing:
    • Art Arfons' Allison-powered "Green Monster #6" become the first member of Hot Rod Magazine's new 150-mph Club.
    • Melvin Heath won the NHRA "Top Fuel" Championship at the Nationals

Baseball

  • April 17: Luis Aparicio replaces fellow Venezuelan Chico Carrasquel as the White Sox' everyday shortstop. Aparicio, who played 10 seasons with the White Sox, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984 and had his #11 retired by the Sox in the same year.
  • July 14: Boston Red Sox lefty Mel Parnell pitches a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park, winning 4-0. It is only Parnell's third win against two losses and is the sixth straight loss for second-place Chicago. The no-hitter is the first for the Red Sox since 1923. Parnell will go 4-4 before a torn muscle in his pitching arm ends his career as the Red Sox' winningest southpaw.

Basketball

Boxing

  • March 19 - At age 48, Dutch boxer Bep van Klaveren contests his last match in Rotterdam.
  • April 27 - Rocky Marciano retires as the only undefeated Heavyweight Champion of the world with a perfect record (49-0).
  • November 30 , in Chicago, Illinois - Floyd Patterson knocks out Archie Moore in the 5th round to win the vacant World Heavyweight title.

Cycling

  • Giro d'Italia won by Charly Gaul of Luxembourg
  • Tour de France - Roger Walkowiak of France
  • World Cycling Championship: Rik Van Steenbergen of Belgium

Field Hockey

  • Olympic Games (Men's Competition) in Melbourne, Australia
    • Gold Medal: India
    • Silver Medal: Pakistan
    • Bronze Medal: West Germany

Figure Skating

  • World Figure Skating Championships:
    • Men's champion: Hayes Alan Jenkins, (United States)
    • Women's champion: Carol Heiss, (United States)
    • Pairs champions: Sissy Schwarz & Kurt Oppelt, (Austria)

Football (American)

Football (Australian Rules)

  • Victorian Football League
    • Melbourne wins the 60th VFL Premiership (Melbourne 17.19 (121) d Collingwood 6.12 (48))
    • Brownlow Medal awarded to Peter Box (Footscray)

Football (Canadian)

  • Grey Cup: Edmonton Eskimos win 50-27 over the Montreal Alouettes

Football (Rugby)

  • Test Series : New Zealand All Blacks defeat South African Springboks 3-1.

Football (soccer)

  • European Cup - Real Madrid beat Stade de Reims 4-3 in the very first final.

England

Golf

Men's Golf

  • Grand Slam of golf results:
    1. May - The Masters - Jack Burke, Jr.
    2. June - US Open - Cary Middlecoff
    3. July - British Open - Peter Thomson
    4. August - PGA Championship - Jack Burke
  • PGA tour's leading money winner for the year: Ted Kroll - $72,836

Women's Golf

  • US Women's Open - Kathy Cornelius
  • LPGA Championship - Marlene Hagge
  • Marlene Hagge: leading money winner on the LPGA tour, earning $20,235.

Thoroughbred Horse Racing

  • Australia - Melbourne Cup - Evening Peal
  • Canada - Queen's Plate - Canadian Champ
  • France - Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe - Ribot
  • Ireland - Irish Derby Stakes - Talgo
  • English Triple Crown Races:
    1. Two Thousand Guineas Stakes - Gilles de Retz
    2. Epsom Derby - Lavandin
    3. St. Leger Stakes - Cambremer
  • United States Triple Crown Races:
    1. Kentucky Derby - Needles
    2. Preakness Stakes - Fabius
    3. Belmont Stakes - Needles

Harness Racing

  • TheUnited States Pacing Triple Crown races is created with the addition of the Messenger Stakes.
    1. Cane Pace - Noble Adios
    2. Little Brown Jug - Noble Adios
    3. Messenger Stakes - Belle Acton
  • United States Trotting Triple Crown races:
    1. Hambletonian - The Intruder
    2. Yonkers Trot
    3. Kentucky Futurity
  • Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship:
    • Pacers: Gentleman John

Ice Hockey

  • Art Ross Memorial Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer during the regular season: Jean Beliveau, Montreal Canadiens
  • World Hockey Championship
    • Men's champion: Soviet Union defeated the United States

Skiing

  • Alpine Skiing
  • The men's Olympic Gold Medal:
    • Downhill: Toni Sailer, Austria
    • Slalom: Toni Sailer, Austria
    • Giant Slalom: Toni Sailer, Austria
  • The women's Olympic Gold Medal:
    • Downhill: Madeleine Berthod, Switzerland
    • Slalom: Renée Colliard, Switzerland
    • Giant Slalom: Ossi Reichert, West Germany
  • ISF World Championships:
    • Men's combined champion: Toni Sailer, Austria
    • Women's combined champion: Madeleine Berthod, Switzerland

Snooker

Tennis

  • Grand Slam in tennis men's results:
    1. Australian Open - Lew Hoad
    2. French Open - Lew Hoad
    3. Wimbledon championships - Lew Hoad
    4. US Open - Ken Rosewall
  • Grand Slam in tennis women's results:
    1. Australian Open - Mary Carter
    2. French Open - Althea Gibson
    3. Wimbledon championships - Shirley Fry
    4. US Open - Shirley Fry
  • Davis Cup Australia wins 5-0 over the United States in world tennis.

General sporting events

  • 1956 Summer Olympics takes place in Melbourne, Australia
    • Equestrian events take place in Stockholm, Sweden, due to Australian quarantine laws.
    • USSR wins the most medals (98), and the most gold medals (37).
  • 1956 Winter Olympics takes place in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
    • USSR wins the most medals (16), and the most gold medals (7).
  • Fred Davis retained the World Professional Snooker Championship

Births

  • January 1Vivien Mitchell, Irish field hockey goalkeeper
  • January 4Helen Cadman, English netballer
  • January 20John Naber, American swimmer
  • January 21Rafael Garralda, Spanish field hockey player
  • January 30Hipólito Ramos, Cuban boxer
  • February 9Hans Gildemeister, Chilean tennis player
  • February 14Dave Dravecky, American baseball player
  • March 3Zbigniew Boniek, Polish soccer player
  • March 18Lesley Murdoch, New Zealand field hockey player
  • March 18Ingemar Stenmark, Swedish alpine skiier
  • March 29Kurt Thomas, gymnast
  • April 11Gene Mayer, American tennis player
  • April 19Sue Barker, British television presenter and tennis player
  • May 9Frank Andersson, Swedish wrestler
  • May 17Sugar Ray Leonard, American boxer
  • May 20Tomáš Šmíd, Czech tennis player
  • June 5Nick Saviano, American tennis player
  • June 6Björn Borg, Swedish tennis player
  • June 11Joe Montana, American football player
  • June 27Heiner Dopp, German field hockey player
  • July 15Patricia McKillop, Zimbabwean field hockey player
  • July 20Mima Jaušovec, Slovenian tennis player
  • July 25Santiago Malgosa, Spanish field hockey player
  • August 22Paul Molitor, baseball Hall of Famer
  • September 7Jaime Zumalacárregui, Spanish field hockey player
  • September 11Brent Miskimmin, New Zealand field hockey player
  • September 14Ray Wilkins, English football player
  • September 19John Sadri, American tennis player
  • September 20Elisabeth Theurer, Austrian horse rider
  • October 18Martina Navratilova, Czech-born tennis player
  • October 31Thomas Rongen, Dutch soccer coach
  • November 13Bill Scanlon, American tennis player
  • November 18Warren Moon, American football player
  • December 5Patricia Davies, Zimbabwean field hockey player
  • December 7Larry Bird, US basketball player
  • December 14Hanni Wenzel, Liechtenstein alpine skier
  • December 26Susan Butcher, American sled dog racer
  • December 31Ahmed Salah, Djiboutian long-distance runner

Deaths

  • February 8 - Connie Mack, American baseball manager
  • March 2 - Fred Merkle, Major League Baseball player (1907-1926)
  • May 12 - Edgar Page, British field hockey player (b. 1884)
  • May 26 - Al Simmons, Major League Baseball player (1924-1944)
  • September 7 - C. B. Fry, England international cricketer and rugby player, long jump champion
  • September 22 - Jesse Tannehill, Major League Baseball pitcher (1894-1911)
  • October 16 - Jules Rimet, Frenc founding father of the Football World Cup
  • November 27 - Charlie Peete (27), MLB baseball player, St. Louis Cardinals, plane crash
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