Leap Day Sports Makes Memories – February 29

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It only happens once every four years, but Leap Day sports have provided us with a ton of great memories. Will it happen again today? It’s February 29 and our sports schedule is chock full of events, any of which could provide us with a performance – or performances – that will be remembered for a long time. Leap Day sports has a habit of doing just that. 

Leap Day Sports Makes Memories - February 29
It’s a Leap Day sports party!

Just four years ago, Leap Day sports action saw Russell Westbrook and James Harden lead the Houston Rockets to an overtime win over Boston. How times have changed – and how they stay the same – in just four short years. Westbrook now comes off the bench for the Los Angeles Clippers where Harden is once again his teammate. What is our greatest Leap Day sports memory?

Hank Aaron Makes Leap Day Sports History

Since it is February, MLB is always in spring training when Leap Day occurs. Back in 1972, the legendary Hank Aaron signed a new contract with the Atlanta Braves. He became the first MLB player to ink a deal for $200,000 per season. 

Leap Day Sports Makes Memories - February 29
Aaron signed a record contract on Feb. 29, 1972

Aaron had been in the league for 17 years already and had 639 home runs. Over the next two seasons, Aaron would hit 74 homers and break the MLB career record for home runs. He would spend 21 seasons in MLB before retiring as the all-time home run leader. 

Almost 52 years later, Shohei Ohtani would sign a deal worth $700 million over 10 seasons. It wasn’t a Leap Day sports memory, but memorable nonetheless.

Leap Day Sports – NASCAR

There is another big NASCAR race this weekend – the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We’ll have coverage for you, but back in 1976 NASCAR ran the Carolina 500 on Feb. 29. At the age of 38, legendary driver Richard Petty chalked up his 178th career victory to give him a spot in Leap Day sports history.

Petty went on to win 22 more NASCAR races giving him an even 200 victories in his career. That is by far the most in history. Jeff Gordon is considered one of the best NASCAR drivers over the last decade or so. He had 93 wins.

Howe Scores No. 800

Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey himself, took the ice for the Hartford Whalers on Feb. 29, 1980. It was just one week after Team USA had pulled one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports. The Americans beat the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympic hockey tournament. 

Leap Day Sports Makes Memories - February 29
Howed scored his 800th career goal on Feb. 29, 1980

Howe’s Whalers hosted the St. Louis Blues. At 51 years of age, Howe was on the ice with his son Mark, who was also a Whaler. Howe would net his 800th career goal that day, adding to the lore of Leap Day sports. Mr. Hockey would score one more goal and retire that year with the NHL’s record for most goals. 

Howe’s record stood for only 14 years. Wayne Gretzky would score goal No. 802 in 1994 and retire with the record of 894, which still stands today. Washington Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin is second on the list with 838.

Who Will Make Leap Day Sports History Today

For a Thursday in February, there is enough Leap Day sports on the schedule to make some history. We’ve got the NBA and NHL serving up plenty of games. NCAA men’s and women’s basketball is on tap. Caitlin Clark made history last night, passing Lynette Woodard for the major college women’s scoring record.

Let’s take a look at today’s schedule.

  1. TNT doubleheader: It’s Thursday and that means TNT doubleheader in the NBA. Dallas plays at Boston in the early game. Luka Doncic plays against the best team in the league. That could set the tone for a Leap Day sports memory. Or, maybe it’s the Miami-Denver late game? The Heat have won five straight and Denver is the defending NBA champ. Either way, check the Sports Hub members’ area for winning NBA picks for tonight’s games.
  2. Hockey doubleheader: Not to be outdone, the NHL serves up a double with Carolina at Columbus in the early game on ESPN+/Hulu and Colorado at Chicago on ESPN. We probably won’t see a Leap Day sports memory like Howe’s 800th goal, but you never know. Our handicapper, Knup Sports, is up $915 over the last seven days on NHL picks. Just sayin’.
  1. Men’s college basketball: Could some Leap Day sports history be made on the college hardwood tonight? Fans will find three games involving teams ranked in the AP Top 25. All three are on the West Coast. No. 19 Washington State hosts USC in a Pac-12 game. No. 17 Saint Mary’s plays at Pepperdine and No. 23 Gonzaga is at San Francisco in West Coast Conference action.
  2. Don’t forget us: No. 1 South Carolina plays at Arkansas tonight. The Gamecocks are 27-0 overall, 14-0 in SEC play. An upset would surely make a Leap Day sports memory.
  3. World soccer: There isn’t a lot of soccer today around the world, but there is a match in the Copa del Rey between Athletic Club and Atletico Madrid. The New England Revolution play Independiente de la Chorrera in the Concacaf Champions Cup at Gillette Stadium tonight. There are a number of matches in the South American pro leagues tonight. 
  4. MLB Spring Training: There are 16 games on the spring training schedule for today. Corbin Burnes makes his debut as an Oriole today as Baltimore plays the Pittsburgh Pirates. 
  5. New PGA tournament starts: The Cognizant Classic gets underway today at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Rory McIlroy is the +700 favorite to win the event this year.
  6. Men’s & women’s tennis: We’ve reached the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on the ATP Tour. The men are also playing the Movistar Chile Open and the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Mexico. The women’s WTA tour continues with play in the Cymbiotika San Diego Open and the ATX Open in Austin, Texas.

Sports Hub Soccer Picks – Big Value

If you’ve never wagered on soccer, you might want to start. It’s a market with some different bets. Since draws are common in soccer, you can wager on the three-way moneyline. Our resident soccer expert, Geovanny Araya, did exactly that last night and went a perfect 4-0.

If you had tailed Geo’s predictions last night, you’d be $622 richer today! And our soccer guy is having himself quite a week. We’ll talk more about it below. It would be worth your while to check out Geo’s Leap Day sports picks which, of course, will be all on soccer.

Here’s what happened yesterday on my leaderboard.

Leap Day Sports Makes Memories - February 29
Geo beats the books again
  • The soccer guru: Geovanny is absolutely making bookies rethink their career choice. 4-0 and $622 earned yesterday…5-2 and $897 over the last three days. He’s having a killer week – 11-6 and $1392 added to the bankroll. That’s second on our 7-day leaderboard. Geo sits at the top of the 30-day overall leaderboard with $3024 earned this month. Outstanding!
  • When I’m 64: Remember the Beatles song? The Sas Insider might have yesterday when it cranked out 64 picks! Yes, 64! They won over 56 percent of those picks and took home $593. That’s a solid return. 
  • Sports Central: These guys have been offering their picks at Sports Hub since our launch. Yesterday, they went 4-0 and added $400 to the wallet. All four picks were on basketball games.
  • Sports Hub experts round out Top 5: Ben Miller returns to the Top 5 again and he is joined by James Acker, another handicapper you should recognize for his success here at Sports Hub. Ben is now unbeaten over the last two days. He went 3-0 ($300) yesterday after a 5-0 performance the day before. James also went 3-0 ($300) yesterday. He is 8-3 over the last three days.

More Soccer News, Luka on Fire

We always check the trending news here at Sports Hub. You never know when that one tidbit of information is going to make a difference at the ticket window. There is some big international soccer news and Luka Doncic had a big night last night on his birthday. Can he do it again to make some Leap Day sports history? We shall see.

Here’s a look at what’s trending.

  • Juventus star banned: Juventus and team France midfielder Paul Pogba has been banned from soccer for four years due to doping. Last September, Pogba tested positive for testosterone. 
  • Happy birthday: Yesterday was Dallas star Luka Doncic’s 25th birthday. He celebrated with his 11th triple-double of the season. Doncic had 30 points, 16 assists, and 11 rebounds as Dallas beat Toronto 136-125 last night. Unfortunately, Luka does not play tonight, so he won’t be able to make any Leap Day sports magic.
  • More Clark: Iowa’s Caitlin Clark continues her assault on college basketball records. Last night, No. 4 Iowa beat Minnesota 108-60. Clark scored 33 points and surpassed Kansas legend Lynette Woodard for the major college scoring record. Woodard scored 3,649 points in the final days of the old AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women), before women’s sports became part of the NCAA.
  • LeBron, Le-comeback: LeBron James led the Los Angeles Lakers back from a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to beat their city rivals, the Clippers, last night, 116-112. It was the biggest comeback in James’ 21-year NBA career. 

That’s gonna do it for today. Enjoy all the Leap Day sports activity. Get yourself on the right side of the action with our Sports Hub cappers. They’ll put you in a position to get more wins. Members can access the picks database all day long as our handicappers put their picks into the system. Non-members need to join to gain access. Hit that orange button at the top of the page or click on the chat below and one of our representatives will contact you.