This Day In Baseball December 6
Baseball history on December 6 includes Major League baseball players born that day of the year, Major League baseball players who died on that date, baseball players who made their Major League debut on that date, and Major League baseball players who appeared in their final game that date.
1879 – The American College Baseball Association is founded in Springfield, MA. The six schools forming the group are Harvard‚ Yale‚ Princeton‚ Amherst‚ Dartmouth‚ and Brown‚ and they vote to exclude professional players from their teams. Yale‚ with the best team‚ will withdraw from the Association and only five teams will compete for the pennant in 1880. Princeton will win the 1880 season with a 6-2 record‚ though Yale will go 7-1. Yale will rejoin in 1881 and go 7-3‚ tops of the 6.
1920 – A lawsuit that awarded $264,000 in damages to the Baltimore Federal League club on April 12, 1919, is reversed by a court of appeals, which upholds the reserve clause and holds that baseball is not interstate commerce nor subject to antitrust laws. The original suit was initiated because the Baltimore Feds were not included in the settlement of the Federal League war. They wanted a major league team in Baltimore and did not receive satisfaction. The ruling will be upheld in 1922 by the U.S. Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice William Howard Taft.
A lawsuit that had awarded $264,000 damages to the Federal League’s Baltimore franchise is reversed by a court of appeals, upholding the reserve clause, which cites baseball is not interstate commerce nor subject to antitrust laws. The initiation of the legal action grew out of the Baltimore Feds being left out in the settlement of the Federal League war, thus thwarting an effort to have a major league team in the Charm City.
The Orioles conclude their second large trade in three weeks sending C Clint Courtney‚ SS Jim Brideweser‚ and P Bob Chakales to the White Sox for C Matt Batts‚ IF Fred Marsh‚ and P Don Johnson and Don Ferrarese. Courtney batted .270 in 397 at bats‚ and struck out an American League-low 7 times‚ the league’s lowest since Joe Sewell hung up his spikes in 1933.
Major League Baseball releases its official 1964 batting averages that confirms Twins’ outfielder Tony Oliva, who finished the season hitting .323, is the first rookie to win a batting title. The recently crowned American League Rookie of the Year finished ahead of Orioles’ third baseman Brooks Robinson (.317), who copped the circuit’s Most Valuable Player Award.
At Leland’s auction house in New York City‚ Shoeless Joe Jackson’s signature is sold for $23‚100‚ the most money ever paid for a 19th or 20th century signature. Jackson‚ who could not read or write‚ copied the signature from one written out by his wife. The signature‚ which was resold within hours‚ was cut from an unknown document.
The signature of Shoeless Joe Jackson, known not to read or write, is purchased for a record $23,100 at New York’s Leland’s auction house, making the bid the highest amount ever paid for a 19th or 20th-century ballplayer’s autograph. The White Sox outfielder copied the inscription from one written out by his wife from an unknown document.
2001 – Major League Baseball reportedly gives John Henry permission to sell the Florida Marlins to Montreal Expos owner Jeffrey Loria. The Expos are expected to be either contracted or taken over by Major League Baseball‚ which would buy the team from Loria in case contraction is aborted‚ leaving him an opportunity to own the Marlins.
The Indians send C Einar Diaz and P Ryan Drese to the Rangers in exchange for P Aaron Myette and 1B Travis Hafner. Indians GM Mark Shapiro denies that the trade is “Jim Thome-motivated.” In his last four minor league seasons‚ Hafner has averaged .316‚ 23 homers‚ and 93 RBIs. He will put up similar numbers in his first few years with the Indians.
In a cynical move‚ the Yankees offer the same two-year $4.6 million contract to three lefty relievers – Mike Stanton ‚ Mark Guthrie and Chris Hammond – and give each 15 minutes to decide. Hammond‚ 37‚ signs for $4.8 million over two years. Hammond‚ out of baseball for two years‚ had a remarkable season in 2002‚ posting a 0.95 ERA in 63 games and did not allow an earned run after June 28th. He is the third pitcher since 1900 to post a sub-one ERA while pitching 70+ innings. The veteran Stanton doesn’t bother to respond to the step-child treatment and‚ preferring to remain in the New York area‚ will sign a three-year contract with the Mets in a week.
Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year issue, featuring the 2004 Red Sox as the magazine’s choice for its prestigious honor, arrives on the newsstands today. Since its inception in 1954, SI annually has named an “athlete whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement,” making the World Champions the first team to earn the distinction in the 50-year history of the award.
Filling a two-month managerial void, the Dodgers hire Grady Little as the team’s skipper. The former Red Sox manager, who compiled an outstanding 188-136 (.580) record in two seasons in Boston in 2002-03, is best remembered for not pulling a tiring Pedro Martinez during the eighth inning of ill-fated Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
2009 – Ricardo Fraccari of Italy is elected President of the International Baseball Federation, succeeding Harvey Schiller, at the Federation’s annual meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. Fraccaro was previously the Vice-President of the European Baseball Confederation. He vows to pursue Dr. Schiller’s efforts to have baseball reinstated as an olympic sport. Also at the meetings, Justin Smoak of Team USA is named the IBAF Senior Athlete of the Year, in recognition of his performance at the 2009 Baseball World Cup.
The Orioles acquire 3B Mark Reynolds, renowned for both his homers and strikeouts, from the Diamondbacks for P David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio. In a related move, the D-Backs sign 3B Melvin Mora, formerly of Colorado, to a one-year deal; they also ink P J.J. Putz for two years, with the aim of installing him as their new closer.
A trade between two last-place teams sends Arizona slugger Mark Reynolds to the Orioles in exchange for right-handed relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio. The O’s new third baseman will bring much-needed offense to Baltimore, and San Diego’s acquisition of the young pitchers will strengthen the team’s bullpen for the late innings.
The Mets announce a number of moves at the annual Winter Meetings, held in Dallas, TX. First, they sign relievers Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco to free agent deals; the two were teammates in Toronto last season. Then, they trade OF Angel Pagan to San Francisco in return for yet another reliever – Ramon Ramirez – and OF Andres Torres.
During baseball’s Winter Meetings, the White Sox trade their closer Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays in exchange for Nestor Molina, a 22 year-old right-handed prospect with a 27-7 minor league won-loss record and a 2.21 ERA overall. Toronto’s new reliever, who recorded 30 saves in 36 opportunities with Chicago last season, will be an upgrade for the club, whose top closer in 2011 recorded only 17 saves.
It’s a big day of transactions for the Yankees. They lose two free agents, 2B Robinson Cano, who agrees to a ten-year deal with Seattle for $240 million, and OF Curtis Granderson, who moves across town to the Mets for four years at $60 million. To compensate, the Bronx Bombers ink OF Carlos Beltran for three years at $45 million, and 2B Kelly Johnson for one year.
2015 – The Italian Diamond Gala is held. Outfielder Roberto De Franceschi and executives Alberto De Carolis and Rino Zangheri are named to the Italian Baseball Hall of Fame. The Italian national team retires number 33, the number worn by 1950s legend Giulio Glorioso, who died this year. The MVP for 2015 goes to Giuseppe Mazzanti, who ties Claudio Liverziani as the only three-time winners. Alessandro Spera wins Umpire of the Year, Ennio Retrosi takes the Max Ott Award and Andrea Sellaroli is named top young player. Also, five MVPs are issued retroactively (Italy did not issue MVP Awards from 1983-1999), for the period 1995-1999: Roberto Bianchi in 1995, Francesco Casolari in 1996 and 1997, Federico Bassi in 1998 and David Sheldon in 1999.
The Red Sox acquire RP Tyler Thornburg from the Brewers for 1B/3B Travis Shaw and two prospects – Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington. Later in the day, the Red Sox pull off an even bigger trade, sending top prospect Yoan Moncada and three others – Luis Alexander Basabe, Victor Diaz and Michael Kopech – to the White Sox for ace starter Chris Sale. Finally, Boston completes a busy day by signing free agent 1B Mitch Moreland.
Claire Smith, one of the first women to be a beat writer covering major league baseball, is the first female winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, honoring meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Smith first covered the New York Yankees for the Hartford Courant in 1983 and later was the main baseball reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1998 to 2007.
The Athletics are dealt a blow in their search for a new ballpark to replace the decaying Oakland Coliseum as the Peralta Community College District’s board of directors orders the chancellor to put an end to discussions with the team about possibly ceding a 13-acre downtown property owned by the District next to Laney College that was the preferred site for construction of a new home. The team will now look at alternative sites that all come with major drawbacks.
2018 – José Castillo, 38, and Luis Valbuena, 33, are both killed in a car crash in their native Venezuela as they are driving home from a winter league game with the Cardenales de Lara. Their car, driven by teammate Carlos Rivero, who survives the accident, apparently hit a rock on the road, placed by bandits who then robbed the passengers.
2018 – An attempted car robbery turns deadly in Venezuela, costing two former Astros their lives when they are thrown from the vehicle they were passengers in. Dead are infielders Luis Valbuena (33), who played for Houston in 2015-16, and Jose Castillo (37) who played for the Astros in 2008. Four men were arrested with possessions of the players who were returning from a winter league game.
1975 – Houston deals catcher Milt May and pitchers Jim Crawford and Dave Roberts to Detroit for outfielder Leon Roberts and pitchers Mark Lemongello and Gene Pentz. It is primarily a cost-cutting move for the Astros although both May and Roberts are coming off disappointing seasons. Lemongello would author a 21-29 record over the next three seasons while Pentz would compile an 8-5 mark with seven saves in three years.
1945 – Jay Dahl is born in San Bernadino, CA. Signed at age 17 in June of 1963, Dahl starts the “All-Rookie” game for the Colt .45s three months later, allowing seven runs in 2-2/3rds innings. It is to be his only big league game. The lefthander dies on June 20, 1965 in an automobile accident in Salisbury, NC where the Astros have a farm club. His teammate, Gary Marshall, is permanently blinded in the wreck. A female passenger also dies.