This Day In Baseball January 23
On January 23 on this day in baseball history, there were over 75 notable events. There were Over 58 Birthdays and 26 Deaths, all on January 23 on this Day In Baseball history.
Nineteenth century players Mickey Welch and Mike Kelly are selected by the Hall of Fame Special Veterans Committee for enshrinement in Cooperstown. ‘Smiling Mickey’, who posted a 307-210 (.594) during his 13 years in the National League, and ‘King Kelly’, baseball’s first matinee idol, will be joined Billy Evans, nicknamed ‘The Boy Umpire’, who, at age 22, became the youngest arbitrator in major league history.
1992 – Houston signs outfielder Pete Incaviglia and reliever Doug Jones as free agents. Jones would become the club MVP that season, leading the team with 11 wins and 36 saves with a 1.85 ERA. He either won or saved over half of Houston’s victories that year. Incaviglia wasn’t too bad either, hitting .266 with 11 homers in part-time duty while tying the club record with seven RBIs in a game against the Giants.
2005 – After signing 30-something veterans Turk Wendell and Dave Burba to spring contracts, the Astros really get “old school”, inking 44-year-old lefthander John Franco to a one-year $700,000 deal. The 21-year veteran comes to Houston in second place all-time for career saves (424) and appearances (1,088) but is released with a 0-1 record after 31 games.
A group headed by Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and including a number of prominent business people from the Dallas, TX-Ft. Worth area purchases the Texas Rangers from Tom Hicks for a price rumored to exceed $500 million. Ryan will continue as team President, while attorney Chuck Greenberg will be managing partner and Chief Executive Officer. The corporation will be known as Rangers Baseball Express, in honor of Ryan’s famed fastball. Because of complications caused by Hicks’s bankruptcy proceedings, the deal will not be finalized for another six months.
2011 – The Toros del Este take advantage of three costly errors by the Estrellas Orientales in the 7th inning to score all their runs, winning, 4 – 2, to claim a five-game sweep in their best-of-nine series for the Dominican League championship. Jairo Asencio is the winner, with Julio Manon getting the save, while Eulogio de la Cruz is charged with the loss.
The Blue Jays ink 44-year-old Omar Vizquel, the all-time major league leader in games played at shortstop, to a minor league contract that will have him compete with Mike McCoy and Luis Valbuena to be the Jays’ utility infielder. Meanwhile, the Orioles sign utility player Wilson Betemit to a one-year deal.
In the Venezuelan League finals, Magallanes win the opener, 5 – 2, over Lara. World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval opens the scoring by driving in Endy Chavez with a single in the 1st and collects another RBI in the 7th. Chavez and Juan Rivera add solo homers to make a winner of Carlos Zambrano; Ken Ray is tagged with the loss.
The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame inducts three candidates. Catcher Atsuya Furuta is the only player inducted, with over 2,000 hits, 1,000 runs, 1,000 RBI and two Central League MVP awards to his credit. The other inductees were noted for organizational efforts: Kazuo Hayashi had started Little League Baseball in Japan, while Ryohei Murayama had helped start the National High School Baseball Championship.
The Estrellas Orientales win their first Dominican League title in 51 years, defeating the Toros del Este 5 games to 1 in the finals. Nestor Cortes throws six shutout innings in Game 6, while Odrisamer Despaigne, Roman Mendez and Jumbo Diaz add one apiece. Jose Siri drives in two to lead a balance offense in a 4-0 win, while Paolo Espino takes the loss.