This Day In Baseball February 4
Events for February 4
Bowie Kuhn, a compromise candidate elected to an interim one-year term after the owners cannot overcome the stalemate between the NL’s strong support of Giants vice president Chub Feeney and the AL’s staunch choice of Yankee president Michael Burke, becomes baseball’s fifth commissioner, a position he will hold until 1984. The 42 year-old former National League attorney, a future Hall of Famer for the role he will play during a turbulent time in the game, replaces William Eckert, who was forced to resign after serving only three years of his seven-year term.
1969 – Attorney Bowie Kuhn is named commissioner, succeeding Spike Eckert. Kuhn receives a one-year contract paying him $100,000. Major league owners turned to Kuhn after failing to agree on either of two other candidates, Mike Burke of the New York Yankees and Chub Feeney of the San Francisco Giants. The early favorite, John McHale, took his name out of the running early, as he had accepted the job of President of the expansion Montreal Expos a short time before Eckert was ousted.
A dentist, who became partially blind after being struck attempting to catch a foul ball, is appealing his case in which he alleges the Phillies need to do more to protect fans. The case, dismissed by a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge citing that multiple warnings were made by the club, including public address announcements, text on the back of the ticket, and posted signs in the ballpark, will now be heard in the state’s Commonwealth Court.
A dentist, who became partially blind after being struck attempting to catch a foul ball, is appealing his case against the Philadelphia Phillies which alleges more needs to be done to protect fans. The case, dismissed by a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge citing multiple warnings were made by the club including public address announcements, text on the back of the ticket, and posted signs in the ballpark, will now be heard in the state’s Commonwealth Court.
In the Caribbean World Series, Alex Gonzalez, headed to the Boston Red Sox to be their new shortstop, hits a three-run home run off Jorge Sosa in the top of the 9th inning, lifting the Caracas Lions of Venezuela to an 11 – 9 victory over the Dominican Republic’s Licey Tigers. Venezuela overcomes deficits of 5 – 0 and 6 – 1 before Gonzalez’s blast. Closer Francisco Rodriguez pitches a scoreless 9th to complete the win. Venezuela, which has won all three of its games so far, hands the Dominican Republic’s representatives their first loss. Alex Cabrera also homers for the Lions and the Tigers hit five, including one apiece by Miguel Tejada and Jose Offerman. In the earlier game, Victor Rodriguez drives in the go-ahead run in the top of the 9th inning and the Carolina Giants of Puerto Rico beat Mexico’s Mazatlan Reindeer, 10 – 9, for their first victory in the Series. Mexico’s Mazatlan – last year’s champions – are winless in three games.
2008 – In the Caribbean Series, the Tigres del Licey upset the Aguilas Cibaeñas, who had manhandled them in the recent Dominican League finals. The two teams both enter the contest 2-0. Ramon Ortiz pitches a strong 6 2/3 innings to outduel Fabio Castro. In a matchup of 0-2 teams, the Tigres de Aragua beat the Yaquis de Obregón, 5 – 0, behind fine pitching from Giovanni Carrara and three relievers, while Luis Maza scores three runs.
Randy Ruiz drives in two runs as Mayaguez beats Hermosillo, 5 – 3, on Day 3 of the 2010 Caribbean Series, giving the team from Puerto Rico its first win of the tournament. In the other game played today, Escogido ups its record to a perfect 3-0 as they win the battle of the Lions, 3 – 2 over Caracas. Freddy Guzman is the hero for the Dominican Lions, as he steals home in the 7th to score the deciding run, one of three steals for him on the night. His heroics nullify a two-run homer by Oscar Salazar for the losers.
The Twins sign 2B Orlando Hudson to a one-year deal. Hudson won a Gold Glove with the Dodgers last year but became expendable after the team re-signed late-season acquisition Ron Belliard. The Nationals, who are also looking for a second-sacker, then settle on Adam Kennedy after seeing their first choice Hudson slip away.
In the 2011 Caribbean Series, Obregón and Toros del Este move to 2 and 1 with wins over Anzoátegui and Caguas, respectively. The Dominican League’s Toros win 4 – 3 in the opener with a three-run push in the 9th inning as Puerto Rican closer Saul Rivera fails to hold the lead, walking two men and allowing a triple to Esteban German, who then comes in to score the game-winner. In the second game, the Mexican Yaquis take advantage of four errors by their Venezuelan League rivals to take a 7 – 3 decision. Agustín Murillo, who has committed four errors of his own in the tournament so far, redeems himself by driving in three runs for the winners.
Long-time New York Yankees P Andy Pettitte announces his retirement at a press conference, after hesitating all off-season about whether to return to play another year in the Bronx. The Yankees have signed veterans Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia as potential replacements, but Pettitte’s decision still leaves a gaping hole in the team’s starting rotation.
2012 – In the 2012 Caribbean Series, Escogido moves to 3-0 with a 6 – 1 win over Puerto Rican representatives Mayagüez. Cuban hurler Raul Valdes gives up only 4 hits in 6 innings to claim the win. Mayaguez hurts its own cause with three costly errors. In the other contest, Mexico’s Yaquis de Obregón defeats Aragua, 4 – 2; Aragua falls to 0-3. Rolando Valdez is solid through 7 innings for the winners, and Karim Garcia breaks a 2 – 2 tie in the 7th when LF Cesar Suarez loses his fly ball in the sun, allowing Alfredo Amezaga and Barbaro Canizares to score.
In the 2013 Caribbean Series, winless Caguas stuns undefeated Escogido with a 6 – 4, 10-inning win. Rey Navarro has a two-run single in the 8th and a two-run homer off Jailen Peguero in the 10th after starting the Series 1 for 10. Saul Rivera then saves the game, retiring Hanley Ramirez, Ricardo Nanita and Miguel Tejada in order. In the other game, the Yaquis de Obregón get a combined shutout from Rolando Valdez and three relievers in a 2 -0 win over the Navegantes del Magallanes; a two-run homer by Alfredo Amezaga in the 1st off Austin Bibens-Dirkx provides all the game’s scoring.
The Diamondbacks announce the contracts of general manager Kevin Towers and skipper Kirk Gibson have been extended, but do not disclose the length and financial terms that were given. The extensions prevent the club’s brain trust from being lame ducks, with both men having just a year remaining on their current deal with Arizona, which they signed after the team’s 2011 National League West championship season.
In the 2014 Caribbean Series, Villa Clara finally wins, 2 – 1 over the Indios de Mayagüez. Eddie Rosario homers off Vicyohandri Odelín in the 1st and Ramon Castro doubles, but Odelín allows no more hits in a complete game victory. The Cuban runs come courtesy of three Puerto Rican errors, by Daniel Ortiz, Rey Navarro and Irving Falú, to hand Joel Pineiro a loss despite no earned runs. The nightcap is also a 2 – 1 affair with the host Navegantes del Magallanes topping Licey behind a five-man pitching effort, Tyson Brummett starting, Elvis Araujo getting the win and Jean Machi the save.
Sarah Hudek, daughter of former major leaguer, All-Star right-hander John Hudek, announces she has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Louisiana’s Bossier Parish Community College, making her one of the first females to ever compete at the collegiate level. The 5-foot-10, 150-pound teenage southpaw, whose fastball has been clocked at 82 mph, is as good as, or even better than, some of the males on the team, according to BPCC coach Aaron Vorachek.
Carlos Delgado, who enjoyed eight consecutive 30-homer seasons with the Blue Jays, while becoming the team’s all-time leader in home runs (336), RBIs (1,058), and runs (889) will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in June. The Class of 2015 will also feature former Canadian players Corey Koskie and Matt Stairs, longtime Montreal Expos skipper Felipe Alou, along with Toronto Sun columnist Bob Elliott, recipient of the 2012 Spink Award given by the National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
In the 2015 Caribbean Series, Pinar del Río wins its first game, 3 – 2, over Santurce in 10 innings in a battle of winless teams. Roel Santos drives in the winning run. In the other game, Anzoátegui defeats Gigantes del Cibao, 6 – 5, in a game that features lots of early fireworks. The Dominicans take a quick 2 – 0 lead, but Anzoátegui replies with 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st, thanks to a two-run double by Oscar Salazar. Cibao retakes the lead in the 2nd before Niuman Romero ties it with a homer and Balbino Fuenmayor drives in Alexi Amarista with a double for the game’s final run in the bottom of the 2nd.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame announces five new inductees: Matt Stairs (second all-time in homers and walks by a Canadian with 265 and 717 respectively and the all-time major league pinch-hit homer king), Corey Koskie (top 10 in career OBP, slugging and homers by a Canadian), Carlos Delgado (The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year with Toronto in 2000), Felipe Alou (former manager of the Montreal Expos in their 1990s heyday) and Bob Elliott (a sportswriter and author).
2016 – Aragua defeats Ciego de Ávila, 3 – 1, on the fourth day of the 2016 Caribbean Series, to guarantee a place in the next round. In the other game, Santurce defeats Escogido, 2 – 1, on a homer by Neftali Soto in the bottom of the 14th inning. The host Dominican squad falls to 0-3, like Ciego de Ávila, and the two will meet the following day to determine which of the two is eliminated from the competition.
2017 – Criollos de Caguas defeat Tigres del Licey, 10 – 2, on the third day of the 2017 Caribbean Series behind a homer and three RBIs by Rusney Castillo and a double and two RBIs by Ivan DeJesus Jr. The defeat means Licey is eliminated from further contention. In the other game, Tigres de Aragua defeat Alazanes de Granma, 8 – 3, as Freddy Galvis goes 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.
2018 – In the 2018 Caribbean Series, Aguilas Cibaenas finally snap the record-seting 11-game losing streak by teams representing the Dominican League with a 6 – 3 win over Criollos de Caguas. A two-run single by Edwin Espinal in the 1st sets the tone, then the Aguilas add three more runs in the 2nd and never look back. In the second game, Caribes de Anzoátegui compile 14 hits in defeating Tomateros de Culiacán, 6 – 4. Rafael Ortega leads off the game with a homer, but the game is still tied at 2 in the 7th when Niuman Romero drives in two runs with a single. Veteran slugger Chris Roberson hits a two-run shot for the Mexicans in the bottom of the 9th, but it’s too little, too late.
2019 – The 2019 Caribbean Series open in Ciudad de Panamá, having been moved from Barquisimeto, Lara, because of major political unrest in Venezuela. Undaunted, the Venezuelan League representatives, Cardenales de Lara defeat Jalisco of Mexico, 5 – 1 to complete the first day’s action, behind the pitching of Nestor Molina and a two-run homer in the 6th inning by Carlos Rivero, the survivor of a road accident that killed two of his teammates the previous December. In the tournament opener, Nestor Cortes pitches 5 strong innings to lead Estrellas Orientales, the Dominican League champions, over Santurce of Puerto Rico, 3 – 1.
1961 – Houston Sports Association announces an agreement with Apache Junction, AZ for spring training facilities beginning the following season. Geronimo Park, in the shadow of Superstition Mountain, serves as the spring home of the Colt .45s in their first two seasons and is remembered best for its desolation and rumored curses.