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.