On June 10, 1900 1900 – The New York Times publishes a letter to the editor from Joseph Mann regarding Cap Anson’s book A Ballplayers’s Career‚ reviewed a week earlier. Anson’s is the first autobiography by a major league player. According to Mann‚ Anson’s book credits him‚ while a pitcher at Princeton‚ as the first pitcher to throw the curve ball‚ and the pitcher writes to expand on that. He says it was he who should receive credit‚ not Candy Cummings or Charles Avery of Yale‚ who he beat 3 – 0 on May 29‚ 1875‚ allowing no hits. He relates that in 1874 the Philadelphia team played at Princeton and‚ before the game and between innings Candy Cummings would stand at home plate and throw overhand down to second base curving the ball. Cummings also pitched that day and Mann says that Candy’s catcher said that sometimes Candy’s pitches curved‚ but not always. Mann says that day he got “two base hits and three singles against Cummings” and that he saw no curves‚ but was intrigued by the throws to second base. Mann says he worked on the curve that fall and over the winter unveiling it that spring. Mann ends his letter with: “I think I’ve said enough to establish the fact that I was the one who initiated the movement and revolutionized the pitching department of baseball.” A Mr. Rankin will answer Mann’s claims with a September 26 letter citing newspaper accounts of Alphonse Martinand Candy Cummings throwing curves in 1870.
Veteran Eddie Plank, 41, hooks up with Washington’s Walter Johnson in a brilliant 11-inning duel, won 1 – 0 by Johnson. For Plank, this is the last game of his oustanding career, and he will announce his retirement in a week, citing stomach problems as the reason. Pitching for the hapless Browns doesn’t help as Plank’s 1.79 ERA this season results in just a 5 – 6 record.
August 6, 1917
Near the end of the Winter Meetings, the Royals sign Gil Meche to a five-year deal valued $55 million, which matches Mike Sweeney’s contract as the largest in franchise history. During his five years in the major leagues, all with the Mariners, the 28 year-old right-hander has compiled a 55-44 career record with an earned-run average of 4.65 in 147 games.
December 7, 2006
In an seven-player trade, the Giants swap southpaws Keith Comstock and Mark Davis, right-hander Mark Grant, and third baseman Chris Brown to the Padres for infielder/outfielder Kevin Mitchell and left-handers Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts. Mitchell, obtained by San Diego in an off-season blockbuster trade with the Mets, will be the NL’s Most Valuable Player in 1989, helping the Giants to capture the circuit’s pennant.
July 5, 1987
The finest game ever played in Keokuk‚ Iowa sees the Westerns battle the Boston Reds before losing‚ 6 – 4. A crowd of 300 is on hand. When the Reds get their share of the gate receipts – $13 – they elect to forfeit tomorrow’s match and head back to Chicago. A few more events like this and the short-lived Keokuk club packs it in June 16th.
June 10, 1875
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