1967 – While skiing at Lake Tahoe, Boston Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg tears the ligaments in his left knee. Lonborg, who posted a 22-9 record with 246 strikeouts and a 3.49 ERA and received the Cy Young Award, will pitch 12 more seasons in the major leagues, but will not again reach double digits in wins until 1971.
1969 – In a letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, traded St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood states his refusal to report to the Philadelphia Phillies citing he is not a piece of property to be sold. The MLB Players Association announces it supports Flood’s suit against baseball and will pay his legal fees.
“I do not feel that I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes.” – CURT FLOOD,responding to being traded to Philadelphia.In a letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, Curt Flood states his refusal to report to the Phillies after being traded by the Cardinals, citing he is not a piece of property to be sold. The MLB Players Association announces support for the outfielder’s suit against baseball and agrees to pay the legal fees for the case that will eventually be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a deal which prompts a Boston Red Sox official to call the New York Yankees an “evil empire”, Cuban defector Jose Contreras agrees to terms on a four-year contract with New York. Contreras, who was considered the top pitcher on Cuba’s national team, was declared a free agent after gaining residency in Nicaragua.
In a deal which prompts Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino to label the Yankees an evil empire, Cuban defector Jose Contreras reaches an agreement with New York. The 31 year-old right-hander, who was considered the top pitcher on Cuba’s national team, was declared a free-agent after gaining residency in Nicaragua.
2008 – One at-bat in a Cuban Serie Nacional game takes 85 minutes – without a rain delay or other interruption. Down 3 – 0 in the first, Sancti Spiritus manager Juan Castro summons veteran Dany Gonzalez from the bullpen to face David Remedios of the Industriales. Unfortunately, Gonzalez is ineligible to play because he is the one man on the Sancti Spiritus 27-man roster who is a “scratch” from today’s game. Industriales manager German Mesa comes onto the field before Gonzalez throws a pitch, protesting that Sancti Spiritus has violated the rules, as Gonzalez was required to pitch to one batter after coming into the game. To try to prevent a forfeit, Castro tells Gonzalez to stall for time in hopes of bad weather or some other event that would cancel the game before he has officially and illegally faced a batter. After almost an hour and a half, Castro finally allows Gonzalez to pitch to Remedios, who he fans on 3 pitches.
Former Detroit closer Fernando Rodney signs an $11 million, two-year contract with the Angels. The 32 year-old right-handed reliever, who saved 37 games with only one blown opportunity last season, is expected to compete with the team’s current closer Brian Fuentes, the major league leader in saves in 2009, for the coveted spot in the bullpen.
Ricky Nolasco, recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, has agreed to a $26.5 million, three-year deal to stay with the Marlins. The Florida right-hander, who has compiled a 54-39 record along with a 4.45 ERA during his five seasons with the Fish, will remain the team’s #2 starter behind Josh Johnson.
2013 – The Rakuten Golden Eagles have a change of mind, finally deciding to grant ace P Masahiro Tanaka’s wish to be posted in order to join a Major League Baseball team. A number of teams are expected to bid the maximum $20 million for the right to negotiate with the two-time Sawamura Award winner.
1969 – Curt Flood of the St. Louis Cardinals mails a letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn stating his refusal to report to the Philadelphia Phillies after being traded. He does not retire to void the trade, as Donn Clendenon did in refusing to play for the Astros. Flood’s letter is the beginning of the end for baseball’s reserve clause and the first salvo in the fight for free agency. While his decision cuts short a solid baseball career, every major leaguer owes a debt of gratitude to him for the rights as players they now enjoy.