For a record price of $10,000, the Cubs, then known as the White Stockings, sell current National League batting champ and future Hall of Famer Mike King Kelly to the Beaneaters. The popular box office draw, who will earn his nickname King while playing in Boston, will continue to be productive, hitting .311 for a three-year span during his first tenure with the team.
The Chicago White Stockings National League club sells King Kelly to the Boston Beaneaters for the unheard-of sum of $10,000. With the contract and bonus, Kelly is dubbed a “$15,000 Beauty.” Kelly, who is often credited with popularizing the hit-and-run, will win election to the Hall of Fame in 1945.
The National Colored Base Ball League, the first attempt at a professional Negro League, is organized at a meeting in Baltimore, MD. Eight clubs are represented: Lord Baltimores (Baltimore), Resolutes (Boston, MA), Browns (Cincinnati, OH), Falls City (Louisville, KY), Gorhams (New York, NY), Pythians (Philadelphia, PA), Keystones (Pittsburgh, PA) and Capital City Club (Washington, DC). Two weeks after being launched, the league will fail from lack of attendance.
1917 – Dave Fultz, president of the Players Fraternity, calls off a strike set to begin within the week. One of demands of the union is to abolish the ten-day clause, in which a team ceases to pay an injured player after he has been out of action for ten days. Organized Baseball officially severs relations with the union, leaving the players without representation.
Braves president Bob Quinn retires, with his son, John, becoming the team’s general manager of the team following his father’s departure. The former owner of the Red Sox and Braves, whose grandson will also become a major league GM, will serve as president of the Baseball Hall of Fame from 1948 to 1951, resigning from the position after suffering two strokes.
“Anything that tends to break down the bulwarks of segregation must be forcibly met by this general assembly. We have a situation in Georgia which has come about because of a national situation. I am referring to the Negroes in organized baseball in this state. It is unfortunate that some few people would participate in the destruction of our institutions for a few dollars.” – GEORGIA STATE SENATOR LEON BUTTS, commenting on his bill that prohibits blacks from playing baseball with whites.Ten years after the integration of major league baseball, the Georgia Senate unanimously approves Leon Butts’ bill barring that prohibits blacks from playing baseball with whites except at religious gatherings. The Lumpkin legislator’s measures, which carries fines up to a $1000 and imprisonment for 60 days to a year for committing the misdemeanor, will directly impact the minor league spring training centers of the Braves and Cardinals, whose farmhands workout, respectively, in Waycross and Albany.
1957 – Some 10 years after Jackie Robinson broke the major league color barrier, the Georgia Senate unanimously approves a bill prohibiting blacks from playing baseball with white players, except at religious gatherings. The bill was put forth by Senator Leon Butts. At the time, Georgia does not have a major league team, but does have several minor league teams.
1976 – The Atlanta Braves send Valentine’s Day cards to their season-ticket holders and the media. The Braves finished in fifth place in 1975, 40 1/2 games behind the Cincinnati Reds. Atlanta will finish this season in last place, 32 games behind Cincinnati, but they are first in rhyming. Their card reads: “Rose is a Red Morgan’s one, too. They finished first, Like we wanted to. But last year’s behind us; We’re happy to say. Now we’re tied for first, Happy Valentine’s Day.”
The Ford C. Frick Award, named in memory of the former baseball commissioner who was a broadcaster, will be given to the Marlins’ radio announcer Rafael Ramirez during Hall of Fame induction ceremonies this summer. ‘Felo,’ who began his 56-year career broadcasting games in Cuba, has been in the Miami broadcast booth since the team’s inaugural season in 1993.
The Ford C. Frick Award, named in memory of the former commissioner who also was a broadcaster, will be given to Florida Marlins radio announcer Felo Ramirez during Hall of Fame induction ceremonies this summer. Ramirez, who began his 56-year career broadcasting games in Cuba, has been in the Miami broadcast booth since the team’s inaugural season in 1993.
For the first time at Wrigley Field, the Cubs will allow ads on the green doors located in the ivy in the left- and right-field bleachers, according to Jay Blunk, director of marketing and sales. Although the team has been approached by other companies, Under Armour, whose company spokesman is newly acquired outfielder Alfonso Soriano, is the “right fit” for the 7-by-12 foot signage featuring the performance apparel’s signature logo.
2016 – Australia wins the first of the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, needing to come back twice against South Africa. The final 12 – 5 score is somewhat deceptive as it was 6 – 5 going into the bottom of the 8th. Peter Moylan gets the win and Ryan Searle the save while Trent Oeltjen (3 for 4, 2 R, 2 RBI) and Trent D’Antonio (2 H, 2 BB, 3 RBI) lead the offense and Brad Harman and Allan de San Miguel both homer. Callan Pearce takes the loss for South Africa, while Kyle Botha hits a three-run homer and Gift Ngoepe also goes yard.
2017 – As pitchers and catchers begin to report for spring training, the Cardinals get some bad news: top pitching prospect Alex Reyes is diagnosed with a complete tear of his ulnar collateral ligament and will require Tommy John surgery, putting him out of action for the entire season. It’s also a loss for the Dominican Republic national team, which was counting on Reyes for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza appears before a court in San Diego, CA facing charges of possession and transportation of over 10 pounds of narcotics and using a false compartment to smuggle drugs. The charges stem from a traffic stop on February 9th, when police discovered the modification to the van he was driving, and obtained a search warrant to his home in Imperial Beach, CA, where approximately 40 pounds of what appears to be cocaine was seized. Loaiza pleads not guilty and is released after posting a $250,000 bail.
One of the worst school shootings in U.S. history takes place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, resulting in the deaths of 16 persons and numerous others wounded. One of the school’s most famous alumni, 1B Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, rushes to his alma mater to attempt to provide comfort to survivors.