This Day In Baseball February 22
Baseball history on February 22 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.
Italy’s King Humbert is among the fans who witness the Chicagos beat the All-Americans, 3-2, outside of Rome at the Villa Borghese. Originally billed as the Spalding’s Australian Baseball Tour, the trip is expanded to include contests in Europe, much to the surprise of the captive players aboard ship en route to the Land Down Under.
As thousands cheer on both sides of the river, 48 year-old Senator legend Walter Johnson throws a silver dollar to the far side of the Rappahannock, believed to be a 386-foot toss. The Washington, D.C. Sesquicentennial celebration, which includes commemorating the 204th anniversary of George Washington’s birth, stages the event to duplicate the alleged feat that the young Virginian accomplished when he threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River.
1945 – At the major league meetings, the owners cancel the 1945 All-Star Game scheduled to be played at Boston’s Fenway Park on July 10th. Even after the cancellation, schedule-makers leave the dates of July 9, 10 and 11 open in case circumstances change, permitting the game. In place of the All-Star Game, eight simultaneous games pitting the National League vs. the American League are to be played. Seven are played, with the 8th being cancelled. Also approved is a rule change stating that a player needs 400 at bats to qualify for a batting title.
Tom Umberg, a California state assemblyman, introduces legislation which would require pro franchises to use disclaimers if they do not play the majority of home games in the location used in their name. With his “Truth in Sports Advertising Act”, the Anaheim Democrat is trying prevent the local team from changing its name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
2006 – The Los Angeles Dodgers announce the team has extended the contract of Vin Scully through 2008. The Hall of Fame broadcaster, considered by many to be the best announcer in history, is beginning his 57th year in the Dodger organization, which is believed to be the longest tenure of any on-air individual in sports history.
The Mets, who had not gone to arbitration with a player in 16 years, come out on the short end of the hearing when southpaw Oliver Perez (15-10, 3.56) gets a favorable decision in his case from arbitrators Steven Wolf, Robert Bailey, and Elizabeth Neumeier. The southpaw is awarded $6.5 million for this year, rather than the club’s offer of $4,725,000.
2012 – Two relievers find new homes in their bids to extend their careers. David Aardsma, the former Seattle Mariners closer who missed all of 2011 because of a hip problem and Tommy John surgery, signs a one-year deal with the Yankees, while the Angels ink 39-year-old Jason Isringhausen to a minor league deal.
2017 – Major League Baseball adopts a significant rule change, as part of a strategy to speed up the game: a pitcher will no longer need to throw four pitches deliberately outside the strike zone in order to issue an intentional walk, but instead the defensive team’s manager will simply need to signal his intention to the home plate umpire, who will immediately direct the batter to advance to first base. However, given that there is on average one intentional walk every 2.5 games, the change is expected to have only a minimal impact on playing time.
2019 – Newspapers in Montreal, QC report that a prospective ownership group led by Stephen Bronfman has proposed an innovative solution to resolve the chronic ballpark problems of the Tampa Bay Rays: have the team play a significant portion of its season in Montreal, without breaking its punitive lease on sub-par Tropicana Field which runs until 2027. The team could then move permanently to Montreal if it still cannot find a new home in the Tampa area.
1998 – Tornadoes pound the Kissimmee, FL area where the Astros spring training camp is based. The fields themselves suffer minor damage. A light tower is blown down, an astroturf field is ripped up and a batting cage is blown across the street and crumpled into a heap. Power is out and several nearby homes where the Astros were staying are damaged. Eight people die at a nearby RV park. The Astros donate money to the relief efforts.