This Day In Baseball January 12
On January 12 on this day in baseball history, there were over 100 notable events. There were 59 Birthdays, 21 Deaths, several cooperstown calls and much more all on January 12 on this Day In Baseball history.
1884 – In a five-inning game played on ice skates in Brooklyn, Chicago White Stockings ace pitcher Larry Corcoran leads his team of mostly amateurs to a 41 – 12 win over a team composed of mostly professionals. Corcoran’s team was assembled by veteran sportswriter Henry Chadwick. In four days, the pros will beat Corcoran and another group of amateurs, 16 – 8.
1983 – The Baseball Writers Association of America elects two players to the Hall of Fame: Juan Marichal, the winningest Latin American pitcher in major league history, who won 20 or more games six times and had an ERA of 2.50 or less six times, and Brooks Robinson, a winner of 16 straight Gold Gloves and hero of the 1970 World Series, who becomes the 14th player elected in his first year of eligibility.
1900 – Baltimore Orioles manager John McGraw threatens that if the National League drops the Orioles, which are controlled by the owners of the Brooklyn Superbas, he will form an American League team. Two weeks later the NL Circuit Committee recommends buying out Baltimore, Washington, Cleveland, and Louisville and going to an eight-team league. McGraw then organizes a Baltimore club in the AL.
The first official professional game is played in Venezuela, launching the newly-constituted four-team Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Venezuela. The league is composed of four teams: Cervecería Caracas, Magallanes, Vargas and Equipo Venezuela. The inaugural game is won by Magallanes over Equipo Venezuela, 5 – 2, behind the strong pitching from Alex Carrasquel, who gives up 11 hits in a complete game effort.
The Cubs name Charlie Grimm and Rube Walker to the team’s college of coaches, a plan which calls for a different coach to manage the team during each month of the season. The Cubs will finish with a 64-90 record, a slight improvement over the previous year, but the following season the team will post the worst mark (59-103) in franchise history, finishing in ninth place, six games behind the new Houston club in the expanded National League.
Detroit Tigers owner John Fetzer announces that the Tigers have signed a lease to build a $126 million domed stadium along the river in downtown Detroit. The complex will seat 52,000 for baseball, and 60,000 for football. Lawsuits, a failed bond issue, and the construction of the Silverdome in nearby Pontiac will eventually kill the idea.
1982 – In the January draft, the Blue Jays use the #1 pick on OF Kash Beauchamp and the Cubs follow by taking C Troy Afenir. But the Twins, picking third, take OF Kirby Puckett. Meanwhile, the Reds choose P Randy Myers in the first round while the Mets select OF Kal Daniels in the third round. The 433rd pick overall is OF John Cangelosi, taken by the White Sox.
1988 – Former Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Willie Stargell is the only player elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Stargell, leader of two World Championships in Pittsburgh and National League co-MVP in 1979 at age 39, becomes the 17th player to be elected in his first year of eligibility. Pitcher Jim Bunning falls four votes shy of the 321 needed for election in his 13th year on the ballot.
1999 – Setting an all-time record, the ball that Mark McGwire hit for his 70th home run is sold at an auction for $2.7 million by Guernsey’s Auction House in Manhattan. The buyer is later revealed to be Todd McFarlane, creator of the Spawn comic books series. The price tag surpasses the record $126,500 which bought a Babe Ruth home run ball last year.
2000 – The Milwaukee Brewers obtain pitchers Jaime Navarro and John Snyder from the Chicago White Sox for shortstop Jose Valentin and pitcher Cal Eldred. Navarro, the majors’ loss leader (43) the past three seasons, was disgruntled with the Sox. Valentin will compete with Mike Caruso for the SS job.
Less than three months since retiring, pitcher Roger Clemens returns to sign a $5 million-dollar, one-year contract with the Astros. The 41-year-old holds a record six Cy Young awards. Clemens cites his Houston home and his friendship with Yankee-turned-Astro teammate Andy Pettitte among his reasons for pitching another season. The deal includes a ten-year personal services contract to remain with the organization once he retires for good. Clemens winds up giving the Astros a season to remember.
Avoiding salary arbitration, catcher Paul Lo Duca signs a three-year, $18 million deal to remain with the Florida Marlins. Lo Duca was acquired by Florida, along with relief pitcher Guillermo Mota and outfielder Juan Encarnación, in a trading deadline blockbuster trade which sent starter Brad Penny, first baseman Hee Seop Choi and pitching prospect Bill Murphy to the Dodgers.
In a news conference at Dodger Stadium, general manager Paul DePodesta announces the team has signed former Red Sox starter Derek Lowe to a $36 million, four-year deal. Lowe, who has the second most wins over the past three years, is the first pitcher to win three deciding decisions in post-season history.
Rickey Henderson, in his first year of eligibility, and Jim Rice, in his final year on the ballot, are elected to the Hall of Fame. Henderson, who will enter the Cooperstown shrine as a member of the A’s, is the game’s all-time stolen base leader, and Rice, who spent his entire 16-year career with the Red Sox, compiled a .298 lifetime batting average and was considered one of the most dominant players in his era.
A devastating earthquake hits the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, located a few hundred miles off the coast of Florida. Major League Baseball quickly pledges $1 million to UNICEF to help with the relief effort. Teams like the New York Yankees and players such as Miguel Tejada also pledge their support. While Haiti is not a traditional source of players, unlike its neighbor to the east the Dominican Republic, there were 13 Haitian-born players in the minor leagues in 2009 and efforts are now directed to ascertain their well-being.
Shinichi Eto, Osamu Higashio and Masayuki Furuta are voted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. Eto was the first player to win batting titles in both the Central League and Pacific League, while Higashio was a two-time Pacific League MVP. Furuta was an amateur star who never played in the professional ranks. Missing by one vote for the second straight year is Hiromitsu Ochiai, the only three-time Triple Crown winner in Nippon Pro Baseball history.
The Marlins and the major league players’ union come to an understanding in which the team agrees to increase its payroll, an agreement which will end in 2012 when Florida’s new ballpark is scheduled to open. The small amount that the club spends on paying its players violates the revenue-sharing provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
Catcher Gustavo Molina breaks a 4 – 4, 10th-inning tie with a three-run homer as Anzoátegui defeats La Guaira in the Venezuelan League playoffs. Anzoátegui thus maintains its two-game lead over Aragua in the five-team round robin tournament to determine Venezuela’s representative in the 2012 Caribbean Series.
2014 – In the Cuban All-Star Game, the Oriente wins, 4-3. With the game 3-3 in the 8th, Alfredo Despaigne doubles off Leinier Rodríguez, advances on a grounder by Ariel Borrero and scores on a wild pitch by reliever Hector Mendoza. Carlos Juan Viera, last year’s losing hurler, gets the win, while Freddy Asiel Álvarez notches a save. Luis la O has two hits for the victors while Yulieski Gourriel and Alexander Malleta get that number for the losers.
2018 – The Blue Jays sign 3B Josh Donaldson to one-year deal worth $23 million. It is the largest salary ever given to a player eligible for salary arbitration, besting the $21.6 million given to Bryce Harper by the Nationals last May. Donaldson’s is not the only record-setting deal signed today: the Cubs offer 3B Kris Bryant $10.85 million, the most ever for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time. Other major deals involve NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon, who re-signs with the Rockies for $14 million, and 3B Manny Machado and Zach Britton who agree to contracts worth $16 million and $12 million respectively with the Orioles.