This Day In Baseball January 31
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for January 31
1898 – Cap Anson is released after 19 years as first baseman/manager with the Chicago National League teams. Strong-minded Cap, with a record of 1,288 victories and five NL pennants, was enormously popular in Chicago. Former infielder Tom Burns takes over as manager of the teams which is now dubbed the “Orphans” by reporters.
1927 – National League President John Heydler rules that Rogers Hornsby cannot continue to both hold stock in the St. Louis Cardinals and play for the New York Giants. Seemingly oblivious, the Cards’ board of directors, meeting in St. Louis, votes stockholders a 10% dividend, earning Hornsby $2916 for his 1167 shares.
1950 – The Pittsburgh Pirates sign high school pitcher Paul Pettit for a record $100,000 after buying his contract from a film producer, who had signed him to an exclusive contract as an athlete/actor. Under Major League Baseball’s “high-school rule”, scouts are barred from doing so prior to graduation. Unfortunately, with an eventual 1-2 career mark, Pettit will prove not to be worth the trouble.
The Hall of Fame elects two new members: Harry Heilmann, with 203 votes, and Paul Waner with 195. Waner, a .333 career hitter, rapped out 3,152 hits and struck out just 376 times in 9,459 career at-bats. Heilmann was similarly skilled with the bat, winning four batting titles with the Detroit Tigers and finishing his career with a .342 average.
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