This Day In Baseball January 5
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You Wish You Where Here Events for January 5
The Federal League sues organized baseball, claiming it to be an illegal trust and asking that it be dissolved and all contracts voided. The case is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, before Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. He will stall his decision, and peace will be declared at the end of the year, but another suit, brought by the owners of the Baltimore Terrapins franchise, will result in baseball receiving an exemption from antitrust laws. In the meantime, the FL shifts players to strengthen teams in key cities. Benny Kauff, the league’s answer to Ty Cobb, is moved from the Indianapolis Hoosiers to the Brooklyn Tip-Tops.
1916 – The National League, happy to be rid of fractious Chicago Cubs owner Charles W. Murphy, allows Charles H. Weeghman, owner of a restaurant chain and president of the Federal League’s Chicago Whales, to buy the Cubs for $500,000. By putting up $50,000, William Wrigley, Jr. becomes a minority stock holder. Whales manager Joe Tinker succeeds Roger Bresnahan, and the Cubs will play in the Federal League’s newly built ballpark on the North Side, soon to become known as Wrigley Field.
Commissioner Judge Landis begins a three-day public hearing to investigate the allegation that the Tigers threw a four-game series to the 1917 White Sox. After summoning and listening to the oral testimony from thirty-five players and ex-players from the two teams, the game’s first commissioner, acting as the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and jury, will decide to clear all charges a week later.
1943 – Teams agree to start the season later than usual and prepare to train in northern areas because of World War II. Resorts, armories, and university facilities are chosen for training sites. The Boston Red Sox go to Tufts University; the Brooklyn Dodgers will train at Bear Mountain, NY, and the New York Yankees try Atlantic City, NJ. In Chicago, the Cubs and White Sox agree to start the season later than usual and prepare to train in areas north of the so-called Eastman-Landis Line, named after Joseph Bartlett Eastman, head of the United States Department of Transportation, and Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis – an area East of the Mississippi river and North of the Ohio and Potomac rivers. Meanwhile, the St. Louis teams, the Browns and Cardinals are excluded, though they will train in Cape Girardeau, MO.
1946 – The New York Giants buy catcher Walker Cooper from the St. Louis Cardinals for $175,000. It is the largest amount ever paid for a single player. The Joe Cronin transaction in 1934 and the Dizzy Dean sale in 1938 were larger deals but also involved other players. Cooper was considered the best catcher in the game before his 1945 induction into the Navy following a salary dispute with the team.
Reggie Jackson is the lone player elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America to the Hall of Fame. Jackson, whose .262 lifetime batting average is the lowest of any outfielder in the Hall, receives 93.6 percent of the vote. His 563 career home runs make him a hit with voters in his first year of eligibility.
The Mets trade Vince Coleman to the Royals along with $500,000, a sum that will make up the difference between the two salaries, reacquiring Kevin McReynolds. New York’s co-owner Fred Wilpon had clearly indicated that Coleman would never wear his team’s uniform again due to the outfielder’s role in last season’s firecracker incident at Dodger Stadium, that was reported to injure three fans in the Chavez Ravine parking lot.
1998 – Don Sutton gets into the Hall of Fame on his fifth try. With 324 wins, Sutton had the most victories of any eligible pitcher not in the Hall. He reached the postseason with three different clubs (the Dodgers, Brewers and Angels), and struck out 3,574 batters in 23 seasons. Sutton receives 386 votes of the record 473 ballots cast for 81.6 percent. Tony Perez falls short with 355 votes, and Ron Santo, on the ballot for the 15th and final time, gains 204 votes.
In their first year of eligibility, George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Carlton Fisk finishes fourth in the voting, missing election by 43 votes. It is the only time since the first inductees were selected in 1939 that more than two first-timers have made it into Cooperstown in the same year.
Yogi Berra receives an apology from New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner about his dismissal as Yankees manager in 1985 after only 16 games. Berra says he will end his self-exile from Yankee Stadium and the organization. He is expected to participate in future Opening Day and old timers ceremonies.
Yogi Berra, after receiving an apology from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for his 1985 dismissal as the team’s manager 16 games into the season, ends his self-exile from Yankee Stadium and the organization. The Bronx Bomber legend is expected to participate in future Opening Day and Old Timers’ ceremonies.
The Texas Rangers complete their six-player trade with the San Diego Padres to acquire starting pitcher Adam Eaton. Texas also gets relief pitcher Akinori Otsuka and minor league catcher Billy Killian, sending pitcher Chris Young, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Terrmel Sledge to San Diego in a deal that will turn out to be outrageously in favor of the Padres.
According to reports, a preliminary agreement has been reached between the Cubs and free-agent outfielder Milton Bradley on a $30 million, three-year deal. The switch-hitting All-Star, who batted .321 and led the American League with a .436 on-base percentage, will fill the team’s need for a left-handed presence in the middle of the lineup.
Randy Johnson, who won his 300th game with the San Francisco Giants last season, announces his retirement, ending a 22-year career that began with the Montreal Expos in 1988. The 6’10” lefthander amassed 4875 strikeouts, the second-most in major league history after Nolan Ryan, and pitched both a no-hitter and a perfect game while winning five Cy Young Awards.
In a deal intended to strengthen Philadelphia’s bullpen, right-handed reliever Danys Baez (4-6, 4.02) and the Phillies come to terms on a $5.25 million, two-year contract. The 32 year-old former Baltimore closer will be used with Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero as a setup man but could become an option to replace an unreliable Brad Lidge, who led the majors last season with 11 blown saves while compiling an 0-8 record along with a 7.21 ERA.
Jeff Bagwell draws 41.7% of the vote in his first year on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, which sets off a debate about Bagwell’s credentials and suspicions of steroid use. Bagwell insists he’s never used them and no accuser has comes forward with any proof yet that doesn’t seem to be good enough for some writers who declare their opposition.
Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are voted into the Hall of Fame when the results of the 2011 Hall of Fame Election are announced. Alomar, twice a World Champion with the Toronto Blue Jays and a perennial Gold Glove winner at second base, makes it in his second year on the ballot. For workhorse pitcher Blyleven, it’s been harder. He started out at 17.5% in his first year of eligibility, and finally crossed the 75% threshold in his 14th year after a dedicated campaign on his behalf conducted through the internet. Once again, voters express their disgust with avowed steroid users, as Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, both members of the 500 home run club, finish well down on the ballot.
The Cubs trade P Carlos Zambrano to Miami in return for P Chris Volstad. Zambrano, who walked out on his team after a rough outing on August 12th, is considered a chronic malcontent in spite of his success over the years and the new regime in Chicago did not want to have to put up with his periodic tantrums. The Marlins are glad to take him, however, as new manager Ozzie Guillen is one of the Big Z’s closest friends and is convinced he can keep him focused on playing the game.
The Mariners sign Japanese P Hisashi Iwakuma to a one-year contract as a free agent. Iwakuma had gone through the posting system a year ago, but the 2008 Pacific League MVP failed to agree on a contract with the winning bidders, the Oakland A’s. For their part, the Yankees announce they have been unable to reach an agreement with SS Hiroyuki Nakajima, whose rights they secured through the posting system last month; Nakajima will return to play for the Seibu Lions this season.
The Cubs trade Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins for right-hander Chris Volstad and cash. The 30 year-old right-hander will join fellow Venezuelan Ozzie Guillen, Miami’s new manager, who has been publicly supportive during the combative hurler’s controversial moments, which have included firing a ball into the outfield and physically fighting with teammates.
2014 – Veteran player, manager, broadcaster and World War II and Korean War hero Jerry Coleman passes away at age 89. An infielder for the New York Yankees from 1949 to 1957, he spent 71 years in the game, acting as a broadcaster for the San Diego Padres since 1972 – except for one-year hiatus in 1980 when he managed the Friars.
2017 – In an embarrassing moment, manager Pat Kelly of the Tigres del Licey in the Venezuelan League comes to the mound to replace reliever Rafael Soriano in trying to protect a 2- – 0 lead in the 8th inning without realizing no one is warming up in the bullpen. He is forced to bring in a cold Leyson Septimo to the mound, who walks the first batter he faces as the Águilas del Zulia score five times in the inning and win the game, 5 – 2. Kelly’s bosses are not amused, as he is fired the next day.
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