Birthdays for December 7 — Johnny Bench, Larry Bird, Terrell Owens and More
Here are some of the people in the sports world celebrating birthdays on December 7:
Profession: Retired MLB Player
Best Known For: A 14-time All-Star catcher, Johnny Bench played with the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983. He was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1968 and its Most Valuable Player in 1970 and 1972. Bench was a member of the Reds’ ‘Big Red Machine’ teams that won the World Series in 1975 and 1976. He won 10 Gold Glove Awards for his defense behind the plate. A member of Major League Baseball’s All-Time Team, Bench was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
Profession: Retired NBA Player
Best Known For: A 12-time All-Star forward, Larry Bird played with the Boston Celtics from 1979 to 1992. He was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1980 and its Most Valuable Player in 1984, 1985 and 1986. Bird was on the Celtics’ team that won NBA titles in 1981, 1984 and 1986. An extremely accurate and clutch outside shooter, Bird was a three-time Three-point Shootout champion. Known for his friendly rivalry with Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bird first played against Johnson in the 1979 NCAA title game, while Bird was at Indiana State and Johnson was at Michigan State. Bird was named the college player of the year in 1979. Bird and Johnson joined Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and others on the 1992 U.S. national team — the ‘Dream Team’ — that won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Bird was induced into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. He coached the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000, winning Coach of the Year in 1998.
Profession: NHL Coach
Best Known For: Peter Laviolette is the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. He has been with the team since 2009, leading them to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. He was previously the head coach of the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes, winning a Stanley Cup championship in Carolina in 2006. Laviolette played pro hockey for 10 years and was a member of the 1988 and 1994 U.S. Olympic hockey teams.
Profession: Retired MLB Player
Best Known For: A two-time All-Star first baseman, Tino Martinez played for the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1990 to 2005. Martinez was on the Yankees’ teams that won the World Series in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. He was on the U.S. national team that won a gold medal in baseball at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
Profession: NFL Player
Best Known For: An audacious six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, Terrell Owens played for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals from 1996 to 2010. He was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team. Owens was often known for his touchdown celebrations — from autographing the football with a marker he hid in his sock to waving his arms in the middle of the field at Texas Stadium. In 2005 with Philadelphia, Owens threatened to hold out until his contract was renegotiated. Owens and agent Drew Rosenhaus created a media spectacle by doing sit-ups on the front lawn of his home during a suspension. Owens starred in a reality show about his life ‘The T.O. Show’ in 2009.