This Day In Baseball January 13
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Bob Forsch is born in Sacramento, CA. He pitches for the Astros in 1988 and 1989, compiling a 5-9 record. His older brother, Ken, pitched eleven seasons for Houston. Bob passed away from an aneurysm on November 3rd, 2011 at age 61 – within a week of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of Game 7 of the World Series.
1982 – Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson win election to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Aaron established a major league record with 755 home runs, while Robinson led the Baltimore Orioles to two World Championships and was named Most Valuable Player in both the American and National Leagues. Aaron falls nine votes shy of becoming the first-ever unanimous selection, and his 97.8 election percentage is second only to Ty Cobb’s 98.2 percent in the inaugural 1936 election. Robinson was also the first African-American manager in major league history.
The BBWAA elects Hank Aaron (Braves, Brewers) and Frank Robinson (Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels, Indians) to the Hall of Fame in the player’s first year of eligibility. Hammerin’ Hank, the all-time home run leader, falls just nine votes short of being the first player to be selected unanimously by the baseball writers.
1988 – Longtime National League star Steve Garvey announces his retirement. Garvey played a total of 19 major league seasons, batting .294 with 272 home runs. Also a slick-fielding first baseman, Garvey helped the San Diego Padres to reach the 1984 World Series and contributed to National League pennants for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974, when he was the National League MVP, 1977, 1978 and 1981, when they were World Champions.
1991 – While playing for the Oakland Raiders of the NFL, Bo Jackson suffers a career-threatening injury in an American Football Conference playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Originally diagnosed as a pulled thigh muscle, the Kansas City Royals learn of the severity of the injury just as spring begins. They will release Jackson shortly after, fearing that his baseball career is over, and he’ll sign with the Chicago White Sox.
Cuban defector Livan Hernandez agrees to a $4.5 million four-year deal, which includes a record $2.5 million bonus, to pitch for the Marlins. The 20 year-old right-hander, known as ‘El Duque,’ will post a mediocre 24-24 record during his four years with the club, but will play a pivotal role in the team’s 1997 World Championship, winning both of his World Series starts.
Marvin Miller, the former executive-director of the Major League Baseball Players Association who helped to forever change the nature of the player-owner relationship, receives the “Fuchs Award” from the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. The honor, named in for Judge Emil Fuchs who owned the hometown Boston Braves from 1929 through 1935, is given for “long and meritorious service to baseball.”
The owners unanimously approve the $223 million sale of the Milwaukee Brewers to Mark Attanasio, a Los Angeles investor. The purchase of the team, formerly owned by the family of Commissioner Bud Selig, ensures Milwaukee will keep its team due to a thirty-year lease to play in newly-built Miller Park.
The North Dakota House of Representatives approves a resolution proclaiming that native son Roger Maris should be elected to the Hall of Fame. The lawmakers’ action, which is sponsored by Rep. Andy Maragos, orders the Secretary of State to send a copy of the resolution to the 85 members of the baseball Veterans Committee, which includes the 60 living members enshrined in Cooperstown.
Under the watchful eye of national lawmakers, Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association agree in principle on a stricter steroid testing policy. The new program will randomly test players year-round, with first-time offenders suspended for 10 days and a fourth violation resulting in a one year ban for the offending player. The punishments will later be increased significantly.
Hoping to sway the veterans’ committee, North Dakota’s House of Representatives approves House Concurrent Resolution 3006proclaiming native son Roger Maris (Indians, A’s, Yankees, Cardinals) should gain election to the Hall of Fame. The lawmakers’ action, which was sponsored by Rep. Andy Maragos, orders the Secretary of State to send a copy of the resolution to the 85 members of the baseball veterans’ committee, which includes the 60 living members enshrined in Cooperstown.
The much-anticipated trial to determine if Angels owner Arte Moreno violated a ten year-old contract with Anaheim, in which the city claims to have lost $100 million in tourism and merchandising revenue, when the franchise’s name changed from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, begins in California’s Orange County. Some of the people in the crowded courtroom wear Angel-colored red T-shirts imprinted with the words, “We Are Not L.A.” to show their displeasure with the Halos’ new identity.
Preston Gomez, the Astros’ first minority manager, dies in Fullerton, CA at age 85. The Cuban native had been in failing health since being hit by a pickup truck while walking across the street nine months before. Gomez spent less than two years at the helm of the Astros, leading them to an 81-81 record in 1974 and a 47-80 record in 1975 before he was replaced by Bill Virdon. Gomez also managed the Padres and Cubs then served over 20 years as an assistant with the Angels.
Derek Lowe, 54-48 in 4 seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers, gets a four-year, $60 million deal with the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta makes another big signing of a free agent pitcher, inking Kenshin Kawakami to a three-year deal. Kawakami was the Sawamura Award winner and Central League MVP in 2004 and pitched for Japan in the 2008 Olympics, losing the Bronze Medal game to Team USA.
Appearing on Larry King Live, President George W. Bush makes it very clear he doesn’t have any interest in becoming baseball’s commissioner when Bud Selig leaves the post. The former owner of the Rangers, who leaves office in seven days, tells the CNN talk show host he isn’t looking to get back into the game in any capacity.
2011 – The Yankees ink their first free agent of the off-season, signing reliever Rafael Soriano to a three-year contract worth $35 million. While Soriano will be the set-up man for Mariano Rivera this year, he excelled as the Rays’ closer last season, and is expected to be in line to take over for the great Rivera when he eventually retires.
The Yankees trade two of their top young players, C/DH Jesus Montero and P Hector Noesi, to Seattle in return for Ps Michael Pineda and Vicente Campos, although the trade will only be finalized on January 23rd, after all four players pass physical exams. They also sign free agent P Hiroki Kuroda for one year for $10 million.
Two former Hiroshima Carp teammates are inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. 200-game winner Manabu Kitabeppu, a two-time Sawamura Award winner, is chosen. So is Tsunemi Tsuda, who saved 90 games in 10 years before he died of a brain tumor at age 32. They helped Hiroshima win the 1984 Japan Series.
The Astros complete a deal with the Pirates that had been rumored to be in the works for weeks, acquiring ace P Gerrit Cole in return for four players: Michael Feliz, Jason Martin, Colin Moran and Joe Musgrove. The Yankees were also rumored to be in the hunt for Cole, but it’s the defending World Series champions who land the prize catch.