1968: Toilia “Tony” Solaita from Nuuuli, Tutuila, became the first Samoan to play major league baseball in the U.S.
1980: Wallace Ali’ifua Rank became the first Samoan in the NBA when he was drafted by the San Diego Clippers in the 5th Round (99th overall).
1987: Konishiki Salevaa Atisanoe became the first American to achieve the rank of ozeki in Japan’s traditional wrestling sport of sumo.
July 1999: Musashimaru Fiamalu Penitani became the first Samoan and only the second foreign-born yokozuna or grand champion in the traditional Japanese wrestling sport of sumo.
The first player in the NFL from American Samoa was guard Tuufuli Uperesa who played two games in the 1971 season for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The first player in the NFL from Western Samoa was guard Al Lolotai who played 10 games in the 1945 season for the Washington Redskins.
January 24, 1982: Cincinnati Bengal’s quarterback Jack Thompson, the “Throwin’ Samoan,” became the first member of a Super Bowl team (XVI, but he did not play in the game).
San Francisco 49er Manu Tuiasosopo became the first Samoan to actually play in a Super Bowl game (1985). San Francisco 49ers’ center Jesse Sapolu was the first Samoan to play in two Super Bowl football games (1990); and Dallas Cowboy O-tackle Mark Tuinei was the first Samoan to play in three Super Bowls.