This Day In Baseball January 20
On January 20 on this day in baseball history, there were over 100 notable events. There were over 53 Birthdays and 27 Deaths all on January 20 on this Day In Baseball history.
Commissioner Landis bans boxing for all players following the brief boxing career of Chicago White Sox first baseman Art Shires. His challenge to slugger Hack Wilson purportedly prompts the ban. Shires fought several suspected bouts that resulted in his being suspended by the boxing commissions of 32 states but loses a desultory five-rounder to Chicago Bears center George “The Brute” Trafton. Shires did win a punch-out with Sox manager Lena Blackburne and two hotel detectives late last season.
1946 – In a classic pitching matchup played in the newly-constituted Venezuelan League, Alex Carrasquel of Magallanes beats Roy Welmaker and the Equipo Vargas club, 3 – 2, in 17 innings. In the six-and-a-half-hour marathon, Carrasquel is good enough to silence the bats of Roy Campanella and Sam Jethroe. Both pitchers go the distance in one of the greatest winter league matchups ever.
2000 – The 30 major league owners vote to give all their Internet rights to the Commissioner’s office. This decision allows for the creation of mlb.com, which will become a model of success for other professional sports leagues. Bud Selig will parcel out monies earned from the venture in equal amounts, creating an important new source of revenue for all teams.
2005 – Eric Gagné and the Los Angeles Dodgers agree to a $19 million, two-year deal. The 2003 National League Cy Young Award winner, who set a major league record with 84 consecutive saves from August, 2002 to July, 2004, made $5 million last year after arbitrators ruled in favor of the club’s offer over the $8 million request made by the Los Angeles closer.
With the encouragement of President George W. Bush, a former major league owner, baseball’s second application to the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to allow Cuba to play in the World Baseball Classic is approved. With the issues of potential espionage by Cuban spies accompanying the team and money going to the Castro government having been resolved, the Olympic champs will be one of the 16 teams to compete in the WBC.
Danny Graves, the only major leaguer born in Vietnam, travels to Quang Tri province just south of the DMZ, to dedicate the country’s first baseball field. Seventeen explosive devices were removed between home base and the outfield as the former soccer field was transformed into a diamond for the Le Loi High School, using money donated from Major League Baseball and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
In signings today, the Rays repatriate 1B Carlos Pena with a one-year contract; Pena played for Tampa Bay from 2007 to 2010 before spending last season with the Cubs. Also, the Rangers add OF/1B Brad Hawpe on a minor league contract and the Indians sign OF Ryan Spilborghs, also to a minor league contract.
2016 – To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the California League announces the California League Hall of Fame. The initial class is composed primarily of Hall of Fame players who appeared in the league, but does include some players who did star in the Cal League such as league hit record holder Vada Pinson, 2001 league MVP Xavier Nady and league co-founder Sam Lynn.