This Day In Baseball February 28
Baseball history on February 28 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.
1931 – Ban Johnson dies in St. Louis, at age 57. Johnson had served as the founder and first president of the American League from 1901 to 1927. He was a dynamic and dictatorial leader until subdued by the advent of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who took office as the first Baseball commissioner in January 1921. Johnson will gain election to the Hall of Fame in 1937.
1986 – In Major League Baseball’s sternest disciplinary move since the 1919 Black Sox were banished for life, Commissioner Peter Ueberroth gives seven players who were admitted drug users a choice of a year’s suspension without pay or heavy fines and career-long drug testing, along with 100 hours of drug-related community service. Joaquin Andújar, Dale Berra, Enos Cabell, Keith Hernandez, Jeffrey Leonard, Dave Parker, and Lonnie Smith will be fined 10 percent of their annual salaries to drug abuse programs. The commissioner also doles out lesser penalties to 14 other players for their use of drugs.
“In the end, I could not ignore Darryl’s past infractions and concluded that each of us must be held accountable for his or her actions. I am hopeful that he will use this time away from the game productively and will care for himself and his family.” – BUD SELIG,commissioner of baseball, commenting on his decision to suspend Darryl Strawberry. Yankee outfielder/DH Darryl Strawberry is suspended for one year after testing positive for cocaine last month. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig does not make any provision for an early return to the game of the eight-time All-Star from the suspension based on good behavior.
2002 – Major League Baseball announces it has rehired five umpires who had resigned during the 1999 season as part of the ill-fated strategy concocted by Richie Phillips and the Major League Umpires Association. They are Gary Darling, Bill Hohn, Larry Poncino, Larry Vanover and Joe West. Four other umpires, Drew Coble, Greg Kosc, Terry Tata, and Frank Pulli, are allowed to retire.
Wally Yonamine dies of cancer. Yonamine was the first American to play in Nippon Pro Baseball after World War II and later was the first American to manage in NPB. Yonamine was also the first Japanese-American to play in the National Football League, doing so in 1947, four years before he would become a pioneer in Japan.
2013 – Elvis Andrus adds his name to the list of baseball’s most bizarre injuries, as he is scratched from the Rangers’ line-up before a Cactus League game because of “sensivity and muscle soreness” in his left shoulder, the result of an elaborate tatoo commemorating his late father, reaching from the top of his shoulder to his biceps.
2016 – One of the last unsigned free agents on the market, Ian Desmond, finds at least a temporary home by signing a one-year deal with the Rangers for $8 million. It’s a major pay cut for Desmond, who turned down a $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Nationals before realizing the demand for his services was much less than he anticipated. However, he will make the best of a bad situation by earning an All-Star berth as a centerfielder for the Rangers.
2018 – Boston Red Sox owner John Henry officially petitions the city of Boston, MA to rename Yawkey Way, which is located just outside Fenway Park. The street was named after former owner and Hall of Fame member Tom Yawkey, but history has not been kind to its namesake’s memory, as he is widely blamed for delaying the integration of the team, making them the last major league franchise to have am African-American player in its line-up, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line.
1986 – Former Astros Joaquin Andujar, Enos Cabell and Jeff Leonard are among eleven players suspended by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth in the aftermath of the drug-dealing trial of Curtis Strong in Pittsburgh. Future Astro Dale Berra is also suspended. All the players agree to a stiff fine, community service and random drug tests in exchange for lifting the suspensions.
Major League Baseball Birthdays on **DATE**
Major League Baseball Deaths On **DATE**