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.