1887 – At Hot Springs, Arkansas, Albert Spalding meets with the Chicago White Stockings players and exacts from each man a pledge of total abstinence from drinking during the coming season. With the entire outfield gone from last year’s team and pitcher Jim McCormick holding out at home in New Jersey, the champion White Stockings will have to rely on young players.
The New York American League franchise announces the purchase of a ten-acre plot of land for $675,000, from the estate of William Waldorf Astor, will be used as the future site of Yankee Stadium. The club’s new ballpark, located on the west side of the Bronx, will sit directly across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds, the team’s current home for the past ten years as tenants to the Giants.
New York sportswriter and broadcaster Ford Frick is named the public relations director of the National League. In nine months, Frick will become the league’s President and will later become commissioner, succeeding Happy Chandler. Frick had previously played an instrumental role in promoting the birth of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
1951 – Gabby Street dies in Joplin, Missouri, at age of 67. Nicknamed “The Old Sarge”, he had a prolific baseball career as a catcher, manager, coach and play-by-play broadcaster. As a manager, Street led the St. Louis Cardinals to two National League championships and one World Championship in 1932.
Dodger owner Walter O’Malley, showing his support for the Wagner-Cashmore plan to build a $30-million downtown Brooklyn sports center, promises to buy four million dollars worth of bonds for the project. The proposed legislation, which will be passed and signed by New York Governor Averill Harriman in April, becomes irrelevant due to a lack of funding from the city’s Board of Estimates.
The Yankees sign free-agent Al Holland, a well-traveled reliever who saved five games for three different teams last season. The one-year contract has a clause that requires the 33 year-old southpaw, one of the players granted immunity in exchange for their testimony in the last year’s Pittsburgh cocaine trials, to submit to drug tests.
The New York Yankees acquire All-Star second baseman Chuck Knoblauch from the Minnesota Twins for pitcher Eric Milton, shortstop Cristian Guzman and minor leaguers Brian Buchanan and Danny Mota, plus $3 million in cash. Knoblauch will bat .265 with 17 home runs this season and help the Yankees to the World Championship.
2006 – Daniel Cabrera allows only one run and two hits in five innings, pitching the Dominican Republic’s Licey Tigers past Mexico’s Mazatlan, 3 – 1, in the 2006 Caribbean Series. In the second game, the Caracas Lions of Venezuela remain undefeated after five games with a 5 – 1 victory over Puerto Rico’s Carolina Giants. Home field advantage aside, Caracas is heavily favored in tomorrow’s decisive game against Licey.
The Rangers hire Nolan Ryan as team president during a pivotal point in club history, according to club president Tom Hicks. The 61 year-old Hall of Fame hurler, who retired with the Rangers in 1993 after playing a record 27 major league seasons, is introduced at The Ballpark in Arlington with much fanfare, including a video highlight package featuring many of the right-hander’s milestones.
The Tigres del Licey take their first loss of the 2008 Caribbean Series. After starting off the Series 4-0, they are stunned by the previously 0-4 Yaquis de Obregón in a 10-inning game. Licey holds a comfortable 4 – 1 lead entering the 9th but closer Carlos Marmol allows a single to Armando Rios. A Ronnie Belliard error puts Reggie Taylor on board and both runners come home on a triple by Carlos Valencia. Valencia scores on a Oscar Robles single to tie the score. In the bottom of the 9th, Licey gets runners on the corners but Nelson Figueroa comes in and retires Matt Tupman and Emilio Bonifacio to end the inning. Against Oneli Perez, Obregón gets two men on in the 10th for Robert Saucedo, the 2006 Mexican League home run king. Saucedo hits his second homer of the game to make it 7 – 4 and Figueroa finishes the game with a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th.
Escogido beats Hermosillo, 7 – 2, in the 2010 Caribbean Series. 3B Juan Francisco goes 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI and Kevin Barker hits a two-run homer to give the Dominican League representatives a 4-1 record. In the other game, Mayaguez beats Caracas, 7 – 1, as Danny Valencia and Jesus Feliciano hit home runs.
After five days, standings in the 2011 Caribbean Series are extremely tight, with two teams at 3 and 2, and the other two at 2 and 3, with one day of games remaining. Today, Caguas defeats Obregón, 7 – 6, as Juan Padilla is brilliant in 5 1/3 innings of work in relief of starter Kyler Newby to earn his second win of the tournament. In the second game, Anzoátegui blanks an exhausted Toros del Este team, which has barely had 13 hours of rest after losing its second extra-inning marathon of the Series last night. Manny Ayala pitches five scoreless innings to start the game and the Venezuelans go on to a 3 – 0 win.
An arbitration panel rules in favor of 27 year-old Anibal Sanchez (8-9, 3.67), awarding the Marlin right-hander with a record-breaking $8 million salary for this season. The decision, which puts aside the team’s counteroffer of $6.9 million, represents the largest amount ever given to a starting pitcher who went to arbitration.
Pedro Martinez throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the Dominican Republic’s representative, Escogido, takes on Aragua in the 2012 Caribbean Series. The Dominicans have already won the title, thanks to Mayaguez’s 4 – 3 win over Obregon in today’s first game, which means that no other team can finish with more than three wins while Escogido has won its first four games. Mayaguez wins when Luis Figueroa drives in Johnny Monell Jr. with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 9th. The second contest is thus meaningless, and Aragua blanks the new champions, 7 – 0, as Luis Jimenez and Hector Gimenez both homer and Yorman Bazardo pitches 6 scoreless innings.
In the other game in the 2013 Caribbean Series, the Leones del Escogido improve to 5-1 on the Series by topping Magallanes by a 4 – 2 margin, substitute Francisco Pena’s two-run homer in the 9th being the deciding blow. Julio Lugo, who has announced his retirement at the end of the tournament, also homers. Escogido’s players almost walk out before the game, unhappy about the bonuses promised by their club for playing the week-long tournament. They finally hit the field five minutes after the game’s scheduled starting time, barely avoiding a forfeit.
The Naranjeros de Hermosillo advance to the 2014 Caribbean Series finals with a 3 – 2 comeback win over the Tigres del Licey. Alfredo Aceves (Hermosillo) and Yuniesky Maya (Licey) each provide solid starts. Down 2 – 1 in the bottom of the 8th, Guillermo Mota walks Zelous Wheeler with the bases loaded to tie it. In the 9th, Yunesky Sanchez and Luis Fonseca single off Mota and Sebastián Valle hits a game-winning sacrifice fly.
2015 – Already eliminated from further contention in the 2015 Caribbean Series, host Santurce at least goes out on a positive note, defeating Gigantes del Cibao, 3 – 2, on a 9th-inning run as Daniel Ortiz triples in Ozzie Martinez. In the other game, Anzoátegui maintains its perfect record with a 4 – 2 win over Culiacan. Junior Guerra only allows an unearned run over five innings, but the win goes to reliever Amalio Diaz as Hassan Pena gets credit for the save. Oswaldo Arcia’s two-run homer in the 8th breaks the tie.
2016 – In the semifinals of the 2016 Caribbean Series, Mazatlan continues its perfect week with a 7 – 2 win over Ciego de Ávila. Yuniesky Betancourt drives in 4 runs and Hector Daniel Rodriguez is the winner. In the other semi-final game, Aragua walks all over Santurce, 13 -3. Jose Martinez hits a triple and homer and drives in four runs for the Venezuelans.
2017 – The semi-finals of the 2017 Caribbean Series are played in Culiacán, Sinaloa, and the host Águilas de Mexicali punch their tickets to the finals with a 1 – 0 win over Alazanes de Granma. Miguel Pena pitches 5 shutout innings and Jake Sanchez gets the save as Agustin Murillo singles in the only run of the game in the 5th. In the finals, they will face the Criollos de Caguas, who defeat the Tigres de Aragua, 9 – 6. David Vidal hits his third homer in five games and drives in three as the Puerto Rican League representatives take an early eight-run lead to cruise to victory. Aragua starter Mitch Lively gives up 4 runs while recording only two outs before being lifted.
With a 6 – 3 win over Criollos de Caguas, Alazanes de Granma end up with the best record in the first phase of the 2018 Caribbean Series, with 3 wins and 1 loss. Reliever Leandro Martinez pitches four scoreless innings and Raúl González hits a tie-breaking double in the 7th to lead the Cubans. In the other game, Tomateros de Culiacán, representing the host Mexican Pacific League, register their first and only win of the tournament, 8 – 1 over Aguilas Cibaenas. Sergio Mitre pitches 6 innings for the win, while Japhet Amador and Justin Greene hit homers.
2019 – The Toros de Herrera, representing host country Panama, win their second straight game at the 2019 Caribbean Series, defeating Santurce of Puerto Rico, 8 – 7. Trailing 6 – 1 after 6 innings, the Toros score 4 runs in the 7th and complete the comeback with 3 more in the 9th, highlighted by a two-run double by pinch-hitter Jilton Calderon. Manny Corpas records the save as Puerto Rico scores once in the bottom of the frame. In the opening game, the Cardenales de Lara of Venezuela also notch their second win, defeating Las Tunas of Cuba, 1 – 0, behind a strong pitching performance by Wilfredo Boscan who allows just 3 hits in 6 2/3 innings but leaves with the game still scoreless. Alejandro De Aza drives in the game’s only run with a sacrifice fly in the 7th, and reliever Alexis Rivero receives credit for the win.