1943 The Texas League, as will most minor leagues, announces it will cease operations for the duration of World War II. The difficulty to travel and the lack of able-bodied men available to fill team rosters make suspending play a necessity.
1948 The White Sox trade Ed Lopat to the Yankees for Aaron Robinson, Bill Wight and Fred Bradley.
1966 University of Southern California pitcher Tom Seaver is signed by the Braves. The deal will later be voided, and the USC stand-out will be selected by the Mets in a special draft.
1977 The Oakland A’s trade Ron Fairly to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor leaguer Mike Weathers and cash. The Macon, Georgia native, who played with the Montreal Expos from 1969 to 1974, becomes the first major leaguer to appear with both Canadian teams.
1986 Eleven weeks after Padres executives attempt to buy out his contract, only to be thwarted by team owner Joan Kroc, Dick Williams resigns as manager of the Padres. The future Hall of Fame skipper, who captured a NL pennant in 1984 and compiled a 337-311 (.520) record during his four seasons in San Diego, will be replaced by Steve Boros.
1990 At the age of 45, former Red Sox fan favorite Tony Conigliaro dies of pneumonia and kidney failure. Hitting 32 home runs in 1965 at the age of 20, the Revere, MA native becomes the youngest player ever to lead the American League in home runs.
2003 In the wake of Steve Belcher’s death, Commissioner Bud Selig bans the use of ephedra in the minor leagues. Players on the current 40-man major league rosters, which would have included the 23 year-old Oriole pitcher who died last week, are not prohibited to use the substance because as union members they are already covered by the drug-testing rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, which bans only drugs of abuse and certain illegal steroids.
2010 A Kansas man, who sat six rows behind the third-base dugout, files a lawsuit against the Royals as a result of being hit in the eye by a hot dog thrown by Sluggerrr, the team’s mascot. The suit is seeking $25,000 in damages for injuries caused by the flying frank, which includes a detached retina and the development of cataracts in the left eye.


1921 Rabbit Maranville is traded by Brooklyn to the Pirates for Billy Southworth, Fred Nicholson, Walter Barbare, and $15,000 in cash. The future Hall of Fame shortstop will spend four of his 19 major league seasons playing for the Bucs, providing excellent defense for the team while compiling a .283 batting average.

1934 Brooklyn coach Casey Stengel signs a two-year deal to manage the Dodgers, replacing skipper Max Carey, who guided the sixth-place club to a 65-88 record last season. During the rookie skipper’s three-year tenure with the team, the Brooks will finish 43 games under .500.

1960 Twenty-eight months after the Dodgers play their last game in Brooklyn, the demolition of Ebbets Field finally begins. The National Anthem is sung by pop singer Lucy Monroe, and a wheel-chair bound Roy Campanella, the team’s former catcher, is given an urn of dirt from behind home plate.

1986 Although he loses his arbitration case, Boston third baseman Wade Boggs receives the largest amount ($1.35 million) ever awarded by this process. Last season’s AL batting champ had sought $1.85 million, but arbitrator Thomas Roberts rules in favor of the Red Sox, resulting in a drop of a half-million dollars for the infielder.

1987 Three days into spring training, Dick Howser’s attempted comeback after undergoing brain tumor surgery comes to an end when the frail-looking Royals manager finds he is physically too weak to continue. Third base coach Billy Gardner replaces the ill skipper, who will die three months later at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City.

1988 A committee of Chicago aldermen, facing the loss of the 1990 All-Star game and possible postseason games, allows the Cubs to play 18 night games at Wrigley Field, the last major league ballpark to be illuminated. In 1942, team owner P.K. Wrigley had planned to be among the first to install lights, but the idea was abandoned when the materials were needed for the war effort.

1990 Although the owners drop their arbitration and minimum salary proposals, spring training camps remain closed. Baseball’s seventh work stoppage in baseball will last 32 days, resulting in Opening Day being moved back a week and the over-all season extended by three days in order to accommodate the 162-game schedule.

1997 Ira Berkow’s front page story about Larry Doby appears in the Sunday New York Times. The article spurs much interest about the first black to play in the American League and many believe leads to the outfielder’s election to the Hall of Fame the following year.

2000 Cubs manager Don Baylor names four captains, including first baseman Mark Grace, right fielder Sammy Sosa, pitcher Kevin Tapani and reliever Rick Aguilera. The quartet will be the Cubs’ first captains since the 1960s and early 1970s, when Ron Santo held the position.

2006 Complaining about the lack of support from local baseball officials, Roberto Kelly resigns as manager of Panama’s team in the World Baseball Classic. The Giants spring training instructor believes some players were held back from participating in the WBC so they would play in the Panamanian championships.

2012 Avoiding a 50-game suspension, Ryan Braun becomes the first major league player to successfully challenge the results of a positive test. The panel that heard the appeal voted 2-1 in favor of the 28 year-old Brewer outfielder because the test collector kept the urine sample at home and stored it in his refrigerator for two days before sending the specimen to a Montreal laboratory for analysis.

2013 Jason Bay, who mutually agreed to terminate his contract with the Mets in November after three years of futility in New York, clouts a two-run homer in his first at-bat of spring training in the Mariners’ 8-6 exhibition victory over the Padres. The likable, but oft injured outfielder signed with Seattle in the offseason for $1 million, a far cry from the four-year, $66-million free-agent deal he inked when he left Boston for the Big Apple in 2009.

1931 The White Sox and Giants become the first major league teams to play a night game. The Buffs Stadium (Houston, Texas) exhibition game lasts ten innings with the teams collecting a total of 23 hits.

1931 The Dodgers arrive in Cuba to start a series of five inter-squad games. Brooklyn right-hander Dolf Luque, known as the Pride of Havana, will appear in the exhibitions scheduled to be played in spacious Tropical Stadium.

1945 Due to wartime travel restrictions, baseball decides to cancel the All-Star game. It is the only time the Midsummer Classic will not be played since the game’s inception in 1933.

1966 Emmett Ashford becomes the first black to be a major league umpire when he is hired by the American League. ‘Ash’, known for his flashy style in the PCL, will spend five years in the bigs, working the 1967 All-Star game and the 1970 World Series, before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

1968 The first-ever collective basic agreement is signed by the players and owners. The CBA increases the minimum salary to $10,000 and introduces a formal grievance procedure.

1974 Tom Seaver becomes the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history when he signs a contract for $172,000 per season to hurl for the Mets. ‘Tom Terrific’ has posted a 135-76 record during his seven years in New York.

1986 In defiance of the Reds’ policy, Rollie Fingers refuses to cut off his trademark handlebar mustache and retires from baseball. The future Hall of Fame reliever, who leaves the game with 341 saves, had been offered a contract by Cincinnati’s skipper Pete Rose after being released by the Brewers at the end of last season

1989 Reds manager Pete Rose meets with Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and Commissioner-elect Bart Giamatti to explain the allegations concerning his gambling habits. Major League Baseball will launch a full investigation into the matter next month which will lead to “Charlie Hustle’s” permanent ban from the game in August.

2000 Denying the acquisition of Ken Griffey, Jr. as the reason, the Reds announce the team has dropped its ban on earrings. Players have worn them in the clubhouse, but weren’t allowed on the field with them.

2006 Gene Elston is selected by the National Baseball Hall of Fame to receive the Ford C. Frick Award. During his 47 years in the broadcast booth, the former Astros announcer brought a no-nonsense approach to reporting the happenings on the diamond.

2008 Ryan Howard, who made $900,000 last season, gets a substantial raise by winning his salary arbitration case against the Phillies. The 28 year-old first baseman is awarded $10 million, tying Alfonso Soriano, who had sought $12 million and lost, for the highest amount ever given to a player in the process.

2009 In a decision which team general manager Neal Huntington calls easy, the Pirates pick up John Russell’s contract option for this season. The sophomore skipper went 67-95 in his first season with the last-place Bucs.

1923 After buying the club along with two partners for $300,000, Christy Mathewson becomes the president of the Boston Braves.

1929 The Red Sox announce the team will play its newly allowed Sunday games at Braves Field. Fenway Park is considered too close to a church.

1953 Pledging not to move the team from St. Louis, beer baron August A. Busch convinces the Board of Directors of Anheuser-Busch to purchase the Cardinals for $3.75 million.

1963 After leading the Giants to the pennant the previous season, Willie Mays becomes the highest paid player, signing a $100,000 contract.

1963 The Cubs officially put an end to their radical approach in using multiple field bosses during the course of the season when they hire Bob Kennedy as their only manager. With the “College of Coaches” system disbanded, the club will post an 82-80 record under their lone skipper.

1980 The era of ‘Billy Ball’ begins in Oakland when Billy Martin is hired as the manager of the A’s for $125,000. During his three-year tenure in the dugout, the fiery skipper will compile a 215-218 record and will win a division title as the first half leader in the AL West of the 1981 strike-shortened season.

1984 Pedro Guerrero becomes the highest paid Dodger when he signs a five-year, seven million dollar contract to play in Los Angeles.

1992 After Homer Simpson and his co-workers qualify the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant’s softball team for the league final, Mr. Montgomery Burns, the owner of the facility, hires nine professional MLB players, to win a $1 million bet with his against Shelbyville rival. Although he hits nine home runs, the southpaw-swinging Darryl Strawberry, the only major leaguer to actual participate in the game, after Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Don Mattingly, and Mike Scioscia are all sidelined after being involved in a series of bizarre pre-game accidents, will be replaced by Homer in the last inning, because Burns wants a righty to face the opponent’s left-hander.

2008 “My, oh my”, Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus is going into the Baseball Hall of Fame. On his 73rd birthday, the veteran announcer learns he is the recipient of the 2008 Ford C. Frick Award for broadcast excellence.

2009 Tom Glavine, with the most wins among active pitchers, agrees to a one-year, $1 million deal to stay with the Braves. The 42 year-old southpaw, who underwent surgery for a torn ligament in his left elbow, posted a 2-4 record with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts for Atlanta before being shut down for the season last August.

2009 Baltimore inks Brian Roberts to a four-year contract extension reported to be worth $40 million. Along with Nick Markakis, who recently signed a six-year, $66 million deal, the 31 year-old talented second basemen becomes the second home-grown Oriole player within a month to agree to a long term deal to stay with the last-place club.

2009 Avoiding arbitration, the Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman (.283, 14, 51) agree to a one-year, $3.3 million contract. The 24-year-old third baseman is Washington’s all-time leader in almost every offensive category, including homers, RBI, runs, and hits, as well as contests played, since the franchise relocated from Montreal four seasons ago.

Baseball History

1935 Lou Gehrig signs a one-year deal with the Yankees for $30,000. Last season, the All-Star first baseman hit .363 with 49 homers and led the American League with 165 RBIs.

1942 Twenty-nine year old infielder first baseman Hal Trosky tells the Des Moines Register he is leaving the Tribe, citing his recurring migraine headaches, first experienced in 1938, as the reason for his early retirement. The good hitting infielder, who will finish his 11-year career with a .302 batting average, will attempt a comeback with the White Sox in 1944.

1946 Danny Gardella becomes the first major league player to jump to the Mexican League. The outfielder goes south of the border, lured by a salary of $10,000, more than double the amount offered by the Giants.

1953 After being hit by enemy fire during a Korean combat mission, Ted Williams safely crash lands his Panther jet.

1970 Effective April 1st, Tiger pitcher Denny McLain is suspended for three months by Commissioner Kuhn for his alleged connection with bookmakers.

1977 The Rangers purchase Paul Lindblad from Oakland for $400,000. The left-handed reliever will appear in 42 games for Texas this season, posting a 4-5 record with an ERA of 4.20.

1981 When the player-management panel is unable to reach a compromise, baseball implements a compensation plan that provides for the team signing a ranking free agent to give up a roster player and an amateur draft choice in return. The owners’ move, seen by the players as undermining the value of free agency, will lead to a mid-season strike, forcing the cancellation of 713 games.

1983 Fernando Valenzuela becomes the first player to be awarded $1,000,000 via the arbitration process. The 22 year-old Mexican southpaw has compiled a career record of 34-20 during his three years with the Dodgers.

1987 After signing a contract as a free agent with the A’s less than a month ago, Vida Blue unexpectedly retires from baseball.

2002 The 37 year-old Jose Canseco (.258, 16, 49) signs a minor league contract with the lame duck Expos. The 17-year veteran, who was the 1985 American League Rookie of the Year in 1985 and its 1986 MVP, is 38 homers shy of the coveted 500 mark.

2008 In a deal which includes a club option worth $10 million, sophomore Ian Kinsler (.286, 14, 55) signs a five-year, $22 million contract with the Rangers. With the signing of the 24 year-old second baseman and last season’s contract extension for All-Star shortstop Michael Young, Texas has locked up the middle of their infield through 2013.

2009 Despite his poor performance last season, the Braves give Jeff Francoeur (.239, 11, 71) a big raise over his previous salary of $460,000, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3,375,000 with the outfielder. The deal, a compromise between their two offers, comes just hours prior to a scheduled salary arbitration hearing in Arizona.

2010 The Nationals finalize a $2 million, one-year deal, that includes the opportunity to earn up to $3 million in performance-based bonuses, with former Yankee pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (1-6, 9.64 ERA). The 29 year-old right-hander, who hasn’t been the same since injuring his foot running the bases in a 2008 interleague game against Houston, underwent shoulder surgery last July and is not expected to pitch in the first few months of the season.

2012 At the Bell Centre, Canadiens mascot Youppi! wears his jersey with the Expos colors in place of his usual bleu-blanc-rouge (blue, white, and red) to honor the memory of former major league catcher Gary Carter, who died this week as the result of a brain tumor. The 57 year-old Hall of Famer, the only player enshrined as an Expo, and Youppi! played key roles for the National League team before the franchise left Montreal to move to Washington, D.C. in 2005.

2014 Avoiding arbitration, Homer Bailey (11-12, 3.49) and the Reds agree to a $105 million, six-year deal, including a $25 million mutual option for 2020. The 27 year-old starter from Texas, the author of two major league no-hitters, will continue to be part of Cincinnati’s young rotation that includes Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and southpaw Tony Cingrani, who are all under the age of 30.

Baseball History

1943 New York entrepreneur William D. Cox purchases the bankrupt Phillies from the National League. The 33 year-old new owner will be banned from baseball in November by commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis when he admits to making some “sentimental” bets on his team during the season.

1954 In their first major trade since moving from St. Louis, the Orioles, formerly known as the Browns, exchange outfielders with the Senators, sending Roy Sievers to Washington for Gil Conan. Sievers will spend five solid seasons in the nation’s capital, making the All-Star squad twice, and Conan, playing less than two seasons in Baltimore, compiles a .266 batting average with three home runs, appearing in 155 games.

1960 Walter O’Malley completes the purchase of land just north of downtown Los Angeles as the site of a new ballpark for his transplanted Brooklyn club. The Dodger owner paid a reported $494,000 for the property at Chavez Ravine, believed to be worth $92,000 at the time.

1967 During a special softball exhibition game, pitcher Eddie Feigner strikes out six consecutive major leaguers, a group that includes five future Hall of Famers. The victims include Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Roberto Clemente and Maury Wills.

1998 Long time baseball announcer Harry Caray dies at the age of 84 after suffering a heart attack four days earlier while having Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife, Dutchie. The colorful “Mayor of Rush Street” started his career in 1945 with the Cardinals and also did play-by-play for the A’s, White Sox, and the Cubs during his 52 years in the broadcast booth
1999 The Blue Jays trade Roger Clemens to the Yankees for David Wells, Graeme Lloyd, and Homer Bush.

2005 After five months of captivity in a Venezuelan jungle surrounded by explosives to keep her from escaping, Ugueth Urbina’s mother, Maura Villarreal, is rescued during a daring eight-hour police raid. The kidnappers had demanded $6 million ransom from the Tigers’ relief pitcher for his mom’s freedom.

2009 After considering to play for Atlanta, a location which is closer to his family, Ken Griffey Jr. agrees to a one-year deal with the Seattle Mariners. The 39 year-old outfielder joins a list of superstars, Babe Ruth (Boston), Willie Mays (New York), and Hank Aaron (Milwaukee), to choose the city where they played with their first team as the place to end their major league career.

2009 At 11:25 a.m., the last remaining piece of Shea Stadium, the ramp to section 5, is demolished, marking the end of the New York ballpark where the Mets played for 44 years. The space will become a parking lot for the team’s new home, the $800-million Citi Field, which will open in April.

2011 The Orioles officially announce the signing of Vladimir Guerrero after the 36 year-old passed his physical. The team’s new everyday designated hitter, who batted .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs with the American League Champion Rangers last season, agrees to a one-year, $8 million deal to play in Baltimore.

2011 In the first game of the season, Garrett Wittels goes 0-for-4 against Southeastern Louisiana, leaving the Florida International University junior two games short of Robin Ventura’s Division l record of hitting in 58 consecutive games, established by the former major leaguer in 1987. The overall NCAA mark is 60 straight games, set by Damian Costantino playing for Division III Salve Regina from 2001-03.

1933 Four days after turning thirty years old and acquiring a very generous inheritance from his step-father, Tom Yawkey purchases the Red Sox from Robert Quinn for $1.2 million. The acquisition of the Boston American League franchise, which lasts for 44 years, the longest by a sole owner in baseball history, is prompted by former school classmate and Hall of Fame infielder Eddie Collins, who will serve as the team’s general manager until 1947.

1934 At the age of 60, John McGraw dies at New Rochelle Hospital, two weeks after entering the facility with optimistic reports about his recovery. The renowned Giants skipper, known as ‘Little Napoleon’ due to his style and stature, won ten pennants and three world championships during his 30 years as the team’s manager.

1965 The MLB owners refuse to raise the minimum salary requested by the players to $7,000 from the current $6,000, a level that is only $500 more since the first minimum salary was established 18 years ago. In 1968, thanks to the first-ever collective bargaining agreement in professional sport, the amount will be raised to $10,000, setting the tone for more rapid increases in the coming years.

1969 Baseball avoids the first work stoppage in its history when the owners agree to increase their contribution to the newly revised pension plan, which changes the players’ ability to qualify from five years to four with the minimum age being lowered from fifty to forty-five to receive benefits. Other improvements include the players agreeing to collect $5.45 million per year, retroactive to 1959, as well as a percentage of the revenue generated by televised games.

1972 Due to a salary impasse, the Cardinals trade 20-game winner Steve Carlton (20-9) to the last place Phillies for Rick Wise (17-14), who learns of the trade when Eddie Ferenz, the team’s traveling secretary, knocks on the all-star hurler’s condo door in Clearwater Beach early in the morning to inform the stunned pitcher of the spring training transaction. ‘Lefty’ will post a 27-10 record for Philadelphia and will win the National League Cy Young Award.

1973 The spring training lockout ends when the players’ union and the owners reach a three-year agreement. The new collective bargaining agreement establishes salary arbitration for players with two or more years of major league service, raises the minimum salary to $15‚000 and includes the new “10 and 5″ trade rule‚ that allows a player with ten years in the major leagues‚ in which the last five are with his current team‚ to block any trade involving him.

1981 At the White House, Ronald Reagan is presented with a season pass to all major league games by commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who expresses his hope the president will be able to attend a few games during the upcoming year. Ironically, the Executive Board of the Major League Baseball Players Association will vote unanimously in Tampa today to strike on May 29, if necessary, surprising the owners who thought the well-paid players wouldn’t risk a costly work stoppage.

1987 Commissioner Ueberroth bans former Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt from major league baseball for the 1987 season due to multiple drug-related incidents during the past year. The penalty will be reduced to sixty days, and the Padres will be ordered to reinstate the right-hander by an arbitrator.

1993 Resembling a marlin with arms and legs, ‘Billy’ is introduced as the mascot of the new National League franchise in Miami. Owner Wayne Huizenga selects the name partly because a dolphin is from the species of fish known as “billfish”, and it was different from typical baseball mascot names like Smasher.

1994 After a long campaign by Yankee fans, including owner George Steinbrenner, the Veterans Committee elects Phil Rizzuto to the Hall of Fame, along with the posthumous selection of Leo Durocher. The former infielder and current television broadcaster’s enshrinement, that causes much debate given the borderline career stats, became especially important to his supporters when Pee Wee Reese, a similar-styled shortstop of the rival crosstown Brooklyn Dodgers, was inducted in 1984.

2002 Diamondbacks’ third baseman Matt Williams breaks a bone in his left leg during a workout in spring training. Arizona will not issue a timetable for the return of their injured infielder, but the 36 year-old veteran will resume his duties at the hot corner after the All-Star break on July 11.

2002 The 84 year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster, Ernie Harwell, announces this season will be his last as the Tigers’ radio play-by-play announcer. During his 62-year career behind the mike, the winner of the 1981 Ford Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence had worked for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and Baltimore Orioles before moving to Detroit.
2003 Blue Jays’ World Series hero Joe Carter is selected for a June induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Pete Rose, who played 95 games for the Expos and collected his 4000th hit with Montreal, was one of the 46 nominees considered, but was not chosen by 75 per cent of the voters

2005 After winning an auction for its one-day naming rights, Kerry Konrad originally planned to change the Fleet Center’s name to honor Yankee captain Derek Jeter, but agrees to rename the Boston arena as the ‘Jimmy Fund Center’. The New York fan’s change of heart is prompted by a friend’s offer of an additional $6,275 for the childhood cancer charity, bringing the total amount to $8,600, reflecting the 86 years between Red Sox World Championships.

2008 Terry Francona signs a three-year contract extension that runs through 2011, and includes team options for 2012 and 2013, to continue as manager of the Red Sox. After an eighty-six year drought, the BoSox skipper has led the club to a pair of World Series titles in four seasons at the helm.

2010 The Rangers void Khalil Greene’s contract, announcing the reason for the action is a private matter, and is being done in the best interest of the ballplayer. The 30 year-old utility infielder, who missed 49 games with the Cardinals last season because of social anxiety, was unable to report to spring training last week as a result of his unidentified problem.

2012 On their Twitter account, the Mets send out an image of the patch the team will wear this season in memory of Gary Carter, who died earlier in the month of brain cancer at the age of 57. The black oval will feature the nickname of the former New York catcher, Kid, and his number 8.


Baseball History

1891 The American Association withdraws from the National Agreement, thus starting a war with the National League. The AA moves its Chicago team to Cincinnati to compete with the NL team.
1900 In lieu of unpaid alimony, Mary H. Vanderbeck takes possession of the American League franchise in Detroit. Her ex-husband George Vanderbeck, who decided to build Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull Avenues, the Tigers’ home the next 104 seasons, will later regain control of the team.
1916 During their annual meeting held at the Hotel Wolcott in New York, the American League owners endorse a new major league draft concept originally proposed by Dodger president Charles Ebbets. The approved plan, which is referred to the National Commission, will give second-division clubs the first pick of the available minor leaguers each season.
1937 The Yankees purchase Red Sox first baseman Babe Dahlgren, the player who replaces Lou Gehrig. During his 4-year tenure with the Bronx Bombers, the California native will compile a .248 batting average before being bought by the Braves prior to the 1941 season.
1943 Without notifying the team, Joe DiMaggio enlists in the United States Army Air Forces and will not play for the Yankees again until 1946. Although the Bronx Bomber outfielder asked for no special treatment, he will spend most of his time out of harm’s way playing baseball in America.
1964 White Sox shortstop Luke Appling is elected to the Hall of Fame. ‘Old Aches and Pains’ holds the single-season highest average for his position, hitting .388 in 1936.
1976 Future National League Cy Young Award winner Mike Scott pitches a perfect game for Pepperdine against California Lutheran University. The right-hander, who will throw a no-hitter as a major leaguer for the Astros, will be selected by the Mets in the second round in the June draft.
1987 Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly wins his $1.975 million arbitration case The award breaks the record for the largest sum ever given to a player, which was established just four days ago by Jack Morris.
1990 Herb Raybourn, the Yankee director of Latin American operations, signs amateur free-agent Mariano Rivera, an athletic 20 year-old who has an effortless pitching motion, but a less than average fastball, to a modest $3,000 contract. The future all-time major league saves leader has no formal training as a pitcher, having hurled for just the first time two weeks before being scouted at the team’s tryout camp in Panama City.
1995 Unwilling to be part of an inferior product placed on the field and as a show of support for his players, Tigers skipper Sparky Anderson is suspended without pay when he refuses to manage replacement players in spring training during the 1995 work stoppage. The popular pilot will resume his duties when the strike is resolved, but will ‘retire’, some believe not voluntarily, at the end of the season.
2003 Avoiding arbitration, the Braves and 36 year-old righty Greg Maddux (16-6, 2.62) agree to the largest one-year contract in major league history. The $14.75 million deal for the four-time Cy Young Award winner eclipses the $12 million given to David Cone by the Yankees in 2000.
2003 After his body temperature soars to 108 degrees, Orioles pitching prospect Steve Belcher dies of multi-organ failure following a spring training workout in Fort Lauderdale. Early speculation is the 23 year-old expectant father’s death may have been caused by ephedrine, the dietary supplement linked to heatstroke and heart attacks.
2006 White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen issues an apology for his comments published in Sports Illustrated criticizing Alex Rodriguez’s indecision concerning which country the Yankee All-star would represent in the World Baseball Classic. A-Rod, who was born in the United States, thought at first he would play for the Dominican Republic due to his parents’ heritage, then decided he was not going to play at all, before choosing to play for Team USA.
2007 In a poll conducted by his hometown newspaper, more than half of the respondents thought Carl Pavano would not bounce back with the Yankees this year. The reader poll, which was posted on site, revealed 54.5% believe the Yankee pitcher would not overcome his slow start with the team, while 45.5% stated he would have a comeback season.
2009 The Marlins announced a contract extension for manager Fredi Gonzalez through the end of 2011. The South Florida native, who became just the third skipper in franchise history to compile a winning campaign, guiding the club to an 84-77 record, was named The Sporting News Manager of the Year last season.
2011 Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays come to terms on a $64-million, five-year contract extension. The 30 year-old third baseman/outfielder, last season’s major league leader with 54 home runs, set a record for the largest increase in round-trippers for a single season in baseball history, hitting 41 more homers than his total of 13 in 2009.

1924 Boston Braves’ third baseman Tony Boeckel becomes the first major leaguer to be killed in an automobile accident when he dies from injuries received as a passenger yesterday in San Diego. Yankee outfielder Bob Meusel, also a passenger of the car driven by L.A. theater man Bob Albright, escapes without any serious injuries.

1950 The BBWAA does not select any players for the Hall of Fame this season with former Giants Mel Ott (69%) and Bill Terry (63%) being the top vote getters, but falling short on being named on 75% of the writers’ ballots that is required for induction. ‘Master Mel’ will get the nod next season, and ‘Memphis Bill’ will be enshrined in 1954.

1952 Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner officially retires after spending 39 years in the major leagues, 21 as a player with the Louisville Colonels and Pirates and another 18 years as a coach with Pittsburgh. The ‘Flying Dutchman’, who led the league in stolen bases for five seasons, won eight batting titles, the most in National League history until 1997, when the mark was tied by Tony Gwynn.

1953 Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia participate in a four-way trade that sends five players to new clubs. Joe Adcock (Reds) and Jim Pendleton (Dodgers) will now play for the Braves, Earl Torgeson (Braves) goes to the Phillies, Rocky Bridges (Dodgers) is now a Red, with Russ Meyer (Phillies) joining the Dodgers.

1967 Red Ruffing, the former Yankee pitcher who authored 273 major league wins, is selected to be in the Hall of Fame by getting the most votes on the second ballot made necessary as a result of the BBWAA failing to choose a player in January. Former Cardinal outfielder Joe Medwick also received 75% of the writer’s votes that is usually enough to be selected, but under the rules of this special run-off election only the top vote-getter gets the nod.

1989 Orel Hershiser becomes baseball’s first three-million dollar man when he signs a three-year $7.9 million contract with the Dodgers. The ‘Bulldog’ will earn $3,166,167 in 1991.

1996 General Mills announces a special edition of a Wheaties cereal box honoring the 75th Commemorative Year of the Negro Leagues that will feature superstars Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and ‘Cool Papa’ Bell. In 1934, Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig became the first athlete depicted on a box of the Breakfast of Champions. Wheaties cereal box honoring the 75th Commemorative Year of the Negro Leagues

2001 Yankee premier reliever Mariano Rivera (7-4, 2.85, 36 saves) signs a four-year approximately $40 million contract with the Bronx Bombers. The 31 year-old Panama native surpassed Dennis Eckersley’s major league record with 16 saves in postseason games.

2003 Although banned by major league baseball for a Cooperstown induction, Pete Rose becomes a member of the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame. ‘Charlie Hustle’ joins 1998 inductee Shoeless Joe Jackson, who is also banned from becoming a member of the Hall of Fame.

2004 After leaving the team in 2007 to join Texas as a free agent, Doug Glanville returns to Philadelphia when he signs a one-year contract with the team. The 31 year-old outfielder, who will retire at the end of the season after compiling a lifetime batting average of .277 during his nine-year tenure in the major leagues, leaves with a 293-game errorless streak intact.

2004 The Rangers trade Alex Rodriguez along with cash to the Yankees in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later, Joaquin Arias. The deal comes on the heels of the Red Sox’s inability to land the AL MVP in a swap with Texas for Manny Ramirez due to the players’ association’s objection because of the need to restructure A-Rod’s existing contract as a result of the tentative transaction.

2007 Baseball’s Playing Rules Committee approves several changes, making it the first time since 1996 that the rules of the game have been altered. A ten game suspension for a player who scuffs a baseball, elimination of tie games which must be halted (after the fifth inning) due to weather by resuming the game before the next scheduled start at the same ballpark, players may no longer go into a dugout to make a catch, and allowing pitchers to wear undistracting multicolored gloves are among new rules which will start this season.

2011 Rickie Weeks and the Brewers come to terms on a $38.5 million, four-year deal that includes a 2015 option based on plate appearances which could increase the total value of the contract to $50 million. The 28 year-old second baseman broke a franchise record last season with 754 trips to the plate, mostly as the team’s leadoff hitter.

2011 Speaking to reporters at the Phillies’ spring training complex, a tearful Dallas Green, former big league manager and senior adviser to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., thanks everyone for their support after the shooting death of his granddaughter. Nine year-old Christina Taylor Green was one of six victims killed five weeks ago in a shooting rampage outside of a Tucson supermarket.

2013 After an appearance at a local winter festival, Guido’s costume, worn by one of the Brewers’ racing sausages, goes missing. A seven-foot Italian sausage impersonator will be seen later in the night frequenting bars in Milwaukee, signing autographs.

Baseball History for February 15th

Be sure to check back out our previous posts for other dates in history.
The Yankees rename their spring training site in St. Petersburg Miller Huggins Field in honor of their late manager.

Radio broadcast rights are granted to Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati.

Hank Greenberg signs a Tiger contract for $60,000. Three days later he will marry New York department store heiress Coral Gimbel.

In a national poll, Phillies’ southpaw Steve Carlton beats out golf legend Jack Nicklaus to win the $15,000 diamond-studded gold buckled Hickok Belt, an award given to the top “Professional Athlete of the Year”. Last season’s National League Cy Young Award winner joins an elite list of a previous recipients that includes Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Jim Brown, Rocky Marciano, and Arnold Palmer.

A thirty-two day lockout begins as major league owners refuse to open spring training camp without reaching a new Basic Agreement with the players. The season will be delayed one week due to the lock-out.

After turning down the Mets’ offer of salary arbitration that at the very least would have been worth $2 to $3 million, Bobby Jones signs a one-year free agent deal with the Padres for only $625,000. The 31 year-old right-hander, 11-6 last year with New York, will lose 19 games for the Padres this season.

After the Dragons released him for an undisclosed payment, the Red Sox acquire Kevin Millar (.306, 16, 57) from the Marlins. The 31 year-old first baseman-outfielder, who had originally agreed to a two-year, $6.2 million deal to play in Japan, had a change of heart after at first rejecting Boston’s waiver claim for him made in January.

According to Adam Katz, Sammy Sosa’s agent, the 37 year-old slugger will probably retire eleven homers shy of becoming the fifth major leaguer to hit 600 round-trippers. Earlier, the Dominican outfielder rejected a non-guaranteed contract from the Nationals that included performance bonuses.

Former Dodgers starter Jeff Weaver (14-11, 4.22) agrees to a one-year contract with the other team with Los Angeles in its name. The deal for the last major player left on the free agent market is worth $8,325,000, and the 29 year-old right-hander can earn an additional $600,000 in performance bonuses for innings pitched and game starts with the Angels.

Ending more than two months of speculation about Barry Bonds’ deal with the Giants, the commissioner office approves the one-year contract worth $15.8 million. The 42 year-old slugger had reached a preliminary agreement with the team early in December, but finalizing the contract was delayed when language about promotional appearances and a clause was added, stating the Giants could void the deal if the outfielder was indicted due to the use of steroids.

The Yankees announce the team will wear black armbands on the left sleeve of their uniforms in memory of teammate Cory Lidle. The 34 year-old right-hander, along with flight instructor Tyler Stanger, died when their plane crashed into a 52-story high-rise apartment building in Manhattan on a rain-swept afternoon last October.

Stan Musial receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award in which the honorees are selected by the sitting president, from Barack Obama. The Cardinals’ legend, who benefitted from local grass-root efforts on his behalf, joins major leaguers Hank Aaron, Moe Berg, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente and Ted Williams, as a recipient of the most prestigious honor given to a United States civilian.

The Rays and Joe Maddon agree on a three-year contract extension that will keep the two-time American League Manager of the Year with Tampa through the 2015 season. During his six-year tenure with the club, the 58 year-old skipper has compiled a 495-477 (.509) record, leading the team to the postseason three times in the last four years, including an American League pennant in 2008.