This Day In Baseball January 9
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You Wish You Where Here Events for January 9
Baltimore’s defunct American League franchise is sold to Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $18,000 and will be relocated to New York to begin the season. The Manhattan team, who will play at Hilltop Park located in the northern part of the island borough, will be first known as the Highlanders before being officially renamed the Yankees in 1913.
The National Commission declares University of Michigan senior George Sisler a free agent after a two-year fight. Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss claimed rights to Sisler, who had signed a contract as a minor leaguer but never played pro ball. After graduating, Sisler will sign with the St. Louis Browns, managed by his former college coach, Branch Rickey.
The Giants sign Chinese-Hawaiian infielder William “Buck” Lai, to a major league contract. Lai had been signed by the Phillies in 1918 but never appeared in a game, and since then has played in the minors and for the semipro Brooklyn Bushwicks. Alas, he’ll be on the Giants for a month but never appear in a game.
1952 – The U.S. Marines announce they will recall Boston Red Sox star Ted Williams into active duty to serve in the Korean War. Williams will play briefly during the 1952 season but will not return to the Red Sox lineup on a full-time basis until late in 1953. As a pilot in Korea, Williams will fly 39 missions and will survive a crash-landing brought about by enemy fire.
In the first episode of Home Run Derby ever aired, Mickey Mantle overcomes an 8-2 deficit to beat Giants superstar Willie Mays, 9-8, when he goes deep in the bottom of the ninth at LA’s Wrigley Field. The ‘Say Hey Kid,’ who had hit four homers before the Yankee slugger stepped up to the plate, agrees to double their $500 side bet when he is ahead by five runs in the seventh, enabling his opponent to walk away with both the winning and losing share of the contest.
Ending two months of negotiations, the Twins of the American League agree on a $500,000 indemnity payment to the American Association for entering the minor league’s territory in Minnesota. The settlement paves the way for the team, formerly known as the Senators, to move from Washington, D.C., and play their home games in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area.
First baseman Bill Terry dies at the age of 92. Terry batted .341 over a 14-year tenure with the New York Giants, including a career-high .401 in 1930. Terry also served as the Giants’ manager for 10 seasons, leading the team to three consecutive pennants. He gained election to the Hall of Fame in 1954.
Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski are elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in their first year of eligibility. Bench and Yastrzemski, who faced each other in the classic 1975 World Series, each spent their entire careers (40 years combined) with one club (Cincinnati and Boston, respectively). Bench set new standards for catchers both offensively (348 home runs) and defensively (10 straight Gold Gloves). Yastrzemski hit 452 home runs, collected 3,308 hits, and won the 1967 Triple Crown. Bench is named on 96.4% of the ballots, making Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron the only players to ever receive a higher percentage of the vote.
The Montreal Expos agree to a one-year contract to telecast 55 games this season – 46 on Réseau des sports, 12 on The Sports Network, and three on both. The approximately $2 million pact with French-language RDS ends the year-long local television blackout imposed by owner Jeffrey Loria which resulted in the departure of Dave van Horne, a respected play-by-play announcer, and the loss of the team’s main sponsor, Labatt Brewery, which cited the lack of local TV rights as a factor in ending its 15-year relationship with the club.
The Expos agree to a one-year contract with RDS and TSN to telecast 55 games (46 on RDS, 12 on TSN, and three on both) this year. The approximately $2 million pact with French-language Reseau des Sports ends the year-long local television blackout which resulted in the departure of Dave Van Horne, a respected play-by-play announcer, and the loss of the team’s primary sponsor, Labatt Brewery, which cited the lack of local TV rights as a factor in ending its 15-year relationship with the club.
The Indians, to fill the void created by Manny Ramirez’s departure to Boston, sign Juan Gonzalez to a one-year, $10-million deal. The two-time American League MVP leaves the Tigers after hitting .289 with only 67 RBIs in a disappointing injury-plagued season, after turning down a $143 million, eight-year contract extension stay in Detroit last year.
Congressman John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan says Bud Selig should resign because he appeared to violate major league rules in a 1995 loan from a company controlled by the owner of the Minnesota Twins. Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat says the loan created an “irreparable conflict of interest” for Selig in his plan to fold two franchises, a proposal that most likely would include the Twins.” Selig rejects the suggestion saying, “The suggestions made in your letter are wholly unacceptable.”
Center fielder Carlos Beltran becomes the tenth $100 million player in major league history as the 27-year-old native of Puerto Rico agrees to a seven-year deal for $119 million with the New York Mets. The five-tool player, who had his market value increase in the postseason by helping the Houston Astros come within a win of the first World Series appearance in franchise history, goes to New York after Houston refuses to include a no-trade clause in their very attractive monetary offer to keep him on the club.
The Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Federation hands out its awards for 2009. Ryan Murphy, a two-way star for the Konica Minolta Pioniers, is named 2009 Hoofdklasse MVP while Steve Janssen is named Coach of the Year. Benjamin Dille is honored as 2009 Holland Series MVP while Björn Hato wins the Ron Fraser Award given to the top junior player in the Netherlands.
Barry Larkin, who spent his entire 19-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, is elected to the Hall of Fame with 86.4% of the vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America in his third year of eligibility. Larkin won the 1995 National League Most Valuable Player Award and was a 12-time All-Star, as well as the first shortstop to join the 30-30 club.
The Caribes de Anzoátegui explode for 19 hits in an emphatic 16 – 8 win over the Tigres de Aragua in the Venezuelan League playoffs. Gorkys Hernandez, with a homer, 2 runs and 2 RBI, and Alexi Amarista, with 4 hits, 2 runs and 4 RBI, lead the Caribes’ attack against Sergio Perez. Anzoátegui is now 6-1 and leads the five-team postseason tournament by 2 games.
For only the second time since 1971 (the other was in 1996), no one is elected in the BBWAA voting for the Hall of Fame. In what is dubbed the “steroids ballot”, because a number of leading contenders for induction are considered by many to be tainted by association with the steroids scandal of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Craig Biggio is the leading vote-getter in his first year of eligibility, with 68.2%, followed by Jack Morris, who is down to one final year of eligibility, with 67.7%, with 75% needed for election. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who would have been elected without a second thought were it not for the taint of steroids, finish well down in the ballot, as voters continue to give a clear message regarding their discomfort with players alleged to have used performance-enhancing drugs.
2019 – C Yasmani Grandal, who turned down a qualifying offer from the Dodgers worth $17.9 million, signs a one-year deal with the Brewers for $18.25 million. Ironically, Grandal suffered a public defensive meltdown against the Brew Crew in the 2018 NLCS, which kept him on the bench for most of the remainder of the 2018 Postseason.
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