Brandon Stokley in 2000

The Ravens defeated San Diego, 24-3, at PSINet Stadium to clinch a postseason berth for the first time. Trent Dilfer threw touchdown passes to Brandon Stokley, pictured, and Qadry Ismail. (Baltimore Sun file photo / December 10, 2000)

Dec. 10, 2000: "One word. Two syllables. Playoff. It feels real good," tight end Shannon Sharpe says after the Ravens defeat San Diego, 24-3, at PSINet Stadium to clinch a postseason berth for the first time. Trent Dilfer throws touchdown passes to Brandon Stokley and Qadry Ismail, and Baltimore forces five turnovers by the Chargers.

Dec. 13, 1986: Though stricken with brain cancer, Gus "Honeycomb" Johnson attends a ceremony during a sold-out Bullets game at the Capital Centre in which the team retires his No. 25 jersey on his 48th birthday. "This is something I've never had a hard time doing —talking. God speed to all of you," says Johnson, a five-time All-Star forward who played nine years in Baltimore. He dies four months later and is inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

Dec. 13, 1980: Led by 6-foot-4 center Tori Harrison, undefeated Towson Catholic defeats Mount Hebron's defending state Class C basketball champions, 52-42. Harrison totals 18 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots as the Owlettes (5-0) end the Vikings' 22-game winning streak.

Dec. 11, 1973: Dunbar's top-ranked basketball team wins its 37th straight game, 98-60, at Southern for new coach Archie Lewis. Skip Wise (18 points) and Larry Gibson (16 points, 24 rebounds, 17 blocked shots) lead the Poets.

Dec. 13, 1964: The Colts set two NFL records in a fog-shrouded 45-17 win over the Washington Redskins at Memorial Stadium. Five receptions give Raymond Berry 506 for his career, breaking the mark of 503 set by Bill Howton, most recently of the Dallas Cowboys. And Lenny Moore's two touchdowns give him 20 for the year, eclipsing the record of 19 set by Jim Taylor of the Green Bay Packers.

Dec. 12, 1956: Nick Shuk, 26, Maryland's leading jockey for the past five years, rides five winners in the first six races at Pimlico Race Course.

Dec. 11, 1950: It's a bittersweet week at Mount St. Mary's, which christens its 2,500-seat Memorial Gymnasium with an 87-62 loss to Georgetown. Two days later, the Emmitsburg school announces that it is dropping football after going 6-23 the past three seasons.

Dec. 9, 1941: Released by the Boston Red Sox at his request, Lefty Grove of Lonaconing in Allegany County retires from baseball with 300 major league victories and an additional 108 with the minor league Orioles. Grove is inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1947.

Birthday

Dec. 14, 1975: Rodrigo Lopez, the Orioles' starting pitcher on Opening Day in 2003, 2005 and 2006. In three of his five years here, he led the team in victories. In 2006, he led the American League in losses (18).

mike.klingaman@baltsun.com