In June 1978, Bullets owner Abe Pollin celebrated alongside Barry Silberman, dressed as the operatic fat lady. (AP file photo)

As you may have heard, California Chrome won the Preakness Stakes, meaning that the horse is two-thirds of the way toward a Triple Crown. You also may have heard that this hasn’t happened since 1978, when Affirmed accomplished the trick — but you should be prepared to hear that plenty more over the next couple of weeks.

With that in mind, here are five other noteworthy feats in sports that haven’t happened since 1978:

Washington’s NBA franchise winning a championship

During the Wizards’ recent playoff run, much was made of how this was the deepest into the postseason the team had gone since 1979. But you have to go back one more year, to 1978, to find an instance of the franchise actually going all the way to a title. Led by Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes, and then known as the Bullets, the team toppled Seattle in seven games, giving Washington its first professional sports championship since  the 1942 Redskins.


Muhammad Ali reacts after his world heavyweight championship victory over Leon Spinks on September 15, 1978 in New Orleans Superdome. (AFP/Getty Images)

Muhammad Ali winning a heavyweight title

Leon Spinks had scored a shocking upset in February of 1978, beating Ali for the crown as a very inexperienced fighter. The two met up again in September, and it would be the last moment of glory for Ali in the ring. He methodically wore down Spinks to take back his title, in the process becoming the first three-time heavyweight champion. Ali would retire a few months later, only to briefly re-emerge for fights (and losses) against Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick.


Cincinnati’s Pete Rose gets a floral arrangement reading “44” in red roses from an unidentified Atlanta Fulton County Stadium worker after he singled in the sixth inning to keep his 44-game hitting streak going. (Associated Press)

An MLB player having a 40-game hitting streak

Pete Rose was the last major league to go at least 40 consecutive games with at least one base hit. Between June 14, 1978, and July 31, Rose managed a hitting streak of 44 games, which set a modern National League record. The longest streak anyone has had since then was 39, by Milwaukee’s Paul Molitor in 1987. Joe DiMaggio, of course, set the all-time record of 56 for the Yankees in 1941.


The Islanders’ Bryan Trottier, foreground, raises his stick to signify the Isles sixth goal against the Minnesota North Stars in Uniondale, New York, March 27, 1978. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

An NHL player scoring six points in one period

On Dec. 23, 1978, the Islanders’ Bryan Trottier went on a 20-minute binge to put his name in the NHL record book. Against the hated Rangers, Trottier spent the second period piling up four goals and two assists, giving him an unprecedented six points. Not surprisingly, the Islanders beat the Rangers, 9-4, and Trottier would go on to lead the league in scoring that season.

Someone breaking the official water speed record

Aussie Ken Warby set this mark on Oct. 8, 1978, going 317.6 mph at Blowering Dam in New South Wales, in a jet-powered boat called “Spirit of Australia.” No one has clocked a faster official time since then; sadly, at least two people have died trying.