This Day In Baseball January 19
Baseball history on January 19 includes a total of 53 Major League baseball players born that day of the year, 26 Major League baseball players who died on that date, and 100 noteable other events. All on January 19 on this day in baseball.
Boston Beaneaters catcher Marty Bergen kills his wife and two children with an axe, then takes his own life. He was reportedly depressed by his son’s death the previous April, and had suffered symptoms of mental illness for several years. Billy Hamilton is the only Boston player to attend the backstop’s funeral.
Danny O’Connell and Hobie Landrith surprise the Senators’ front office when they both resign to pursue different business opportunities. The pair of coaches will be replaced by Rube Walker and Joe Pignatano, former major league catchers who played for the Dodgers with the team’s manager, Gil Hodges.
Ivan Rodriguez, avoiding salary arbitration, agrees to a contract worth $6.65 million to catch for the Rangers. ‘Pudge’ set the record for most doubles by a catcher with 44 last season, and the All-Star receiver also set the major league mark for at-bats by a backstop, with 639, surpassing Johnny Bench’s 621, established in 1970.
2000 – Major League Baseball owners vote to approve the $320 million sale of the Cleveland Indians to Larry Dolan and his family trusts. They also vote to give Commissioner Bud Selig power “without limitation” to ensure “there is an appropriate level of long-term competitive balance among the clubs.” He can override all of baseball’s rules, and even attempt to impose a salary cap if he thinks it necessary to reach an agreement with the players following the 2001 season.
Major league owners unanimously give the commissioner’s office sweeping new powers. Bud Selig, in order to restore competitive balance in baseball, will be allowed to block trades and redistribute the wealth, and, under the adopted new constitution, will also be able to fine teams up to two million dollars.
2005 – The Anaheim Angels trade outfielder Jose Guillen to the Washington Nationals for outfielder Juan Rivera and infielder Maicer Izturis. Guillen, who hit .294 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI in 2004, is now playing for his sixth team in his eight-year career. He was suspended by Anaheim after throwing a helmet during a tirade caused by being taken out for a pinch runner last September.
Baseball officials are cautiously expecting good news soon from the George W. Bush administration that would clear the way for Cuba to participate in the first World Baseball Classic. Meanwhile, Fidel Castro suggests the United States doesn’t want to play Cuba in the WBC. The U.S. Treasury Department last month denied MLB’s application for Cuba to play its scheduled first-round games in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. Later rounds are to be played on the U.S. mainland. The license is required under 45-year-old American sanctions against Cuba. The International Baseball Federation has said it will not sanction the tournament if Cuba isn’t allowed to play.
Major league baseball owners unanimously approve the November transaction in which Bob Castellini and two other Cincinnati businessmen bought control of the Reds from previous owner Carl Lindner. It is reported the trio, which includes investors Thomas Williams and William Williams Jr., acquired approximately 70 percent ownership of baseball’s oldest franchise, believed to be valued at an estimated $270 million.
Bill Werber, the oldest ex-major leaguer and last living teammate of Babe Ruth, dies at the age of 100. The former infielder, who played for the Yankees, Red Sox, A’s, Reds, and Giants, became the first player to appear in a televised game when he batted leadoff for Cincinnati in a contest played against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field on August 26, 1939.
2010 – Free agent catcher Bengie Molina re-signs for one year with the Giants in what is considered a surprise move, first because top catching prospect Buster Posey seems poised to play regularly for San Francisco, and also because the Mets had been expected to bring in Molina to be their starting catcher this season.
Dominican Republic authorities arrest Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona on charges of using a false identity as he leaves the United States consulate where he is applying for a visa. A police spokesman explains that Carmona’s real name is “Roberto Hernandez Heredia”, and that he is three years older than his listed age. The arrest is part of a joint operation with U.S. immigration authorities to curb visa fraud in the Caribbean country; the campaign earlier nabbed Marlins pitcher Leo Nunez on similar charges last September.
Ryan Braun, facing a 50-game suspension for showing abnormally high levels of testosterone in a PED test last season, pleads his case before a three-member panel in New York, NY. He strongly denies knowingly taking a banned substance. Ironically, Braun is in the “Big Apple” to receive his MVP Award at the annual dinner of the local chapter of the BBWAA, where he is to make his first statement since news of his positive test became public.
The Aguilas Cibaenas get a boost from its two Cuban players in a 5 – 4 win over Licey that takes them to the finals of the Dominican League. Raul Valdes pitches three solid innings in relief of starter Manauris Baez, while Yoenis Cespedes hits a run-scoring double, continuing his hot hitting since being allowed to join the team two weeks earlier. They will now face Escogido in the finals.
In the Dominican League finals, Ramon Santiago and Mauro Gomez lead the Leones del Escogido to an 8 – 5 win over the Aguilas Cibaenas. With the score tied at 5 in the 7th inning, Santiago doubles and Gomez drives him in with a single as the Leones go on to score three runs in the frame to take the win.
2016 – In settling a class action lawsuit filed by fans, Major League Baseball announces changes to its policy regarding the streaming of live games over the internet on MLB.TV. Fans will now be able to buy a package that covers their favorite team and that allows them to circumvent local blackouts, while the cost of the league-wide full package will be reduced by 15%. However, the settlement does not cover certain regional networks not owned by DirecTV, MLB’s principal broadcasting partner. The suit was filed because, while MLB.TV promised subscribers that they could watch all MLB games lives, local blackouts meant that in reality, fans who bought the package were often unable to follow the games of their local teams, a frustrating situation in markets where the local cable sports network is either not made available by every provider or is part of an expensive premium package.
The Reds announce that Pete Rose will become the 86th member of the team’s Hall of Fame when he is inducted in June. The Cincinnati native, who is banned from baseball for gambling on the sport, will be additionally honored by having his #14 uniform, which he wore from 1963-78 and from 1984-86, retired, and will have a statue of him dedicated at Great American Ball Park.