1887 – In the American Association, the St. Louis Browns announce a trade that ships Bill Gleason and Curt Welch to the Philadelphia Athletics in exchange for Fred Mann, Chippy McGarr, and Jocko Milligan, plus $3,000. This is the first of a number of trades or sales, mostly to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms.
1889 – The National League issues its reply to the Players League manifesto. Claiming that the League saved baseball in 1876 and that under the reserve rules players’ salaries have “more than trebled,” the NL denounces the Brotherhood movement as “the efforts of certain overpaid players to again control [baseball] for their own aggrandizement… to its ultimate dishonor and disintegration.”
The Phillies become the first major league team to play in Wilmington, NC when they beat the International League’s Baltimore Orioles, 5-1, in front of nearly 2,000 fans at the city’s Sunset Park. After the Wilmington Baseball Stock company is formed in November and successfully raises money to improve the playing conditions at the local park, Philadelphia selects the Port City to be its spring training home for the next two seasons, departing after finishing their 1915 exhibition schedule, citing logistical problems.
1933 – Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Chuck Klein, who won the Triple Crown after hitting .368 with 28 home runs and 120 RBI, is sold to the Cubs for $125,000 and veterans Mark Koenig and Harvey Hendrick, and rookie Ted Kleinhans. Hendrick will play one year with the Phillies, while Koenig and Hendrick quickly go to the Reds. Klein, who also led the National League in hits (223), doubles (44), extra-base hits (79), total bases (365), slugging percentage (.602), on base percentage (.368) and OPS (1.025), and finished second in runs (102) and fourth in steals (15), is the only player in major league history to be traded after a Triple Crown season. Klein will have two-plus seasons at Wrigley Field before returning to Philadelphia in 1936.
1969 – Future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. is born in Donora, PA, the son of Ken Griffey, Sr., himself an All-Star outfielder who will not make his major league debut until 1973. The two will be the first father/son duo to play together in the major leagues, in 1990, but the younger Griffey will greatly surpass his father’s accomplishments, receiving a record-high percentage of the vote when elected to Cooperstown in 2016.
1970 – The Sporting News announces Gold Glove Award selections. Chicago White Sox shortstop Luis Aparicio wins the ninth and final honor of his career, while New York Mets outfielder Tommie Agee becomes the first position player to win it in each league. Aparicio has now won a gold glove in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, while Agee also won the honor with the White Sox during his 1966 Rookie of Year season.
1977 – Baltimore Orioles first baseman Eddie Murray is named American League Rookie of the Year. Murray garners 12 1/2 points to beat out runner-up Mitchell Page of the Oakland Athletics, who polled 9 1/2 votes. Murray will go on to a Hall of Fame career, while Page will never come close to matching his rookie numbers.
New York Mets outfielder Darryl Strawberry breaks the Los Angeles Dodgers’ four-year stronghold on the National League Rookie of the Year Award when he becomes the first non-Dodger to win the honor since Bob Horner in 1978. Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela and Steve Sax had been the previous winners.
The Montreal Expos may play approximately twenty-five percent of their home games (22 of 81) in San Juan, Puerto Rico next season. Away “home games” are not unprecedented as the Brooklyn Dodgers played seven games in Newark, NJ in 1956 and 1957, and the Chicago White Sox, filling a void when the Braves left, played nine games in Milwaukee, WI in 1968 and another 11 in 1969.
2005 – Catcher Kenji Johjima and the Seattle Mariners agree to a $16.5 million, three-year contract. Johjima, who was both a seven-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan, became a free agent after hitting .309 with 24 home runs and 57 RBI during a season cut short by two injuries. He is projected to become the first Japanese player to catch full-time in the major leagues. Infielder Lenn Sakata, a Japanese-American born in Honolulu, HI, served as third-string catcher for the 1983 World Champion Baltimore Orioles.
For the first time in its 27-year history, the Korea Baseball Organization has a trade rejected. The Woori Heroes had sent ace hurler Won-sam Jang to the Samsung Lions for Sung-hun Park and $2.1 million. The other six teams appealed, as Woori had agreed not to trade players for cash during its first five years in the league.
Japan’s baseball writers announce the major award winners for 2008. Alex Ramirez of the Yomiuri Giants is named Central League MVP after leading the loop in RBI and finishing second in home runs and slugging; he is the first foreigner to win in 7 years, since fellow Venezuelan Roberto Petagine. Hisashi Iwakuma becomes the first member of the Rakuten Golden Eagles to be named Pacific League MVP, after a 21-4 season; he is the third MVP from a 5th-place team in league history. No one had won 21 games in the CL or PL since 1985. Former Arizona Diamondbacks farmhand Tetsuya Yamaguchi is named Rookie of the Year in the CL.
Responding to the fans’ ire that little was done to commemorate the team’s past at Citi Field, the Mets announce the entrances now will be named for the persons who have had their number retired by the franchise, Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver, and Casey Stengel as well as naming the outfield bridge in honor of William Shea. Additionally, the venue will feature a team Hall of Fame and Museum, a display of full-color banners of Mets players in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, and the light poles in the parking lots will feature team logos.
Eleven years after resigning from his last managerial position, former Houston (1994-96) and Anaheim (1997-99) manager Terry Collins is selected to replace Jerry Manuel, the team’s former manager fired a day after the season ended. The 61 year-old new skipper, known in the past for alienating some of his players due to his old school approach, compiled a 444-434 won-loss record, finishing second five of his six years in the dugout.
The Tigers’ Justin Verlander adds the American League Most Valuable Player Award to the Cy Young Award he won a week ago after a dominating season in which he led Detroit to the AL Central title. He is the first pitcher to win the award in the AL since reliever Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and the first starting pitcher to do so since Roger Clemens in 1986. He secures 13 of 28 first-place votes to finish ahead of Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury, Toronto’s Jose Bautista and New York’s Curtis Granderson in a bunched-up vote.
The Pirates sign free agent IF Clint Barmes to a two-year deal, the Orioles ink IF Matt Antonelli and the Rangers add former Twins closer Joe Nathan for two years with an option for a third. That moves means that Neftali Feliz, the Rangers’ closer for the last two seasons, will move to the starting rotation in 2012.
According to Dutch police, Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death early this morning in Rotterdam. The 24 year-old Dutch player’s younger brother, Jason, is arrested for the killing but is released from custody, and eventually freed, because of a psychosis that had been induced in part by his use of marijuana was deemed responsible for the singular event with only a remote chance of any reoccurrence.
Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40) is named the American League’s Most Valuable Player, becoming the first starting pitcher to receive the award since in 1986 when Roger Clemens accomplished the feat. The Tiger right-hander, who won the A.L. Cy Young Award unanimously last week, received 13 of 28 first-place votes and a total of 280 points, besting Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who was listed first on four writers’ ballots and had 242 points.
Catcher Shinnosuke Abe of the Yomiuri Giants continues to clean up the hardware; after taking his 7th Best Nine and sharing the Matsutaro Shoriki Award, he wins the Central League MVP Award in a landslide. Abe led the Central League in average and RBI in 2012. The Pacific League MVP Award is also a runaway, going to Mitsuo Yoshikawa of the Nippon Ham Fighters, the ERA leader.
The Best Nine awards are given out in Nippon Pro Baseball. There are a record-tying seven first-time Pacific League winners, with all four infielders (Hideto Asamura, Kazuya Fujita, Daichi Suzuki, Casey McGehee), as well as Yuya Hasegawa, Michel Abreu and Sho Nakata all winning their first. In the Central League, Shinnosuke Abe picks up his 8th. Pacific League pitcher Masahiro Tanaka becomes the first unanimous winner in that league in 10 years and only the third PL pitcher ever, following Kazuhisa Inao (1958) and Hideyuki Awano (1989).
For the first time, the Salón de la Fama del Béisbol Venezolano fails to elect a modern player, as Leonel Carrion (72%) and Edwin Hurtado (70%), the leading vote-getters, fall shy of the 75% cutoff. The Historical Committee picks journalist Juan Vené and third baseman Dámaso Blanco. Blanco had played briefly in the majors in the 1970s but played 16 seasons in the Venezuelan League, where he was noted for his defense.
The Cuban national team wins Gold at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, romping past Nicaragua 9-3. Yadiel Hernández drives in 3 runs, while Yulieski Gourriel has two walks, two hits, two runs and a RBI to back the pitching of Freddy Asiel Alvarez. Carlos Teller takes the loss; it still matches Nicaragua’s best finish ever. In the Bronze Medal game, defending champion Dominican Republic crushes Puerto Rico 8-1 as Víctor Méndez drives in 3 and Henry Mateo has two runs and a RBI.
2015 – In the 2015 Premier 12 finale, South Korea routs Team USA 8 – 0. Keun-woo Jeong and Hyun-soo Kim (the Premier 12 MVP) each have 3 hits, Kim driving in 3 and Byung-ho Park hits a three-run homer off Brooks Pounders. Kwang-hyun Kim and four relievers combine on a five-hit shutout. Zack Segovia takes the loss after entering 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in the tournament. In the Bronze Medal game, host Japan has an 11 -1 mercy rule 7-inning win over Mexico as Tetsuto Yamada hits two of Japan’s five home runs and Shota Takeda, Tomoyuki Sugano and Yasuaki Yamasaki combine on a two-hitter.
2017 – The Commissioner’s office issues its ruling in the investigation of improprieties committed by the Atlanta Braves by willingly circumventing international signing rules from 2015 through 2017. Former General Manager John Coppolella receives a lifetime ban, and 12 prospects in the organization are declared free agents. The Braves are also forbidden from signing any prospect for a bonus of more than $10,000 in the 2019-20 signing period, their bonus pool will be cut by 50% the following year, and they will lose a third-round selection in the 2018 amateur draft while sanctions against other employees are expected to follow. The scam involved secretly diverting bonuses declared for certain prospects towards others governed by signing pool limits, in order to make it appear as if the team had not exceeded these limits.
1982 – Judge Roy Hofheinz dies in Houston at age 70 of a heart attack. A former state representative, Harris County Judge and Mayor of Houston before setting his sights on baseball, Hofheinz starts out owning just 1% of the Houston Sports Association but eventually retains control and builds other entities such as an amusement park, a hotel and an exhibition hall to his “Astrodomain”. Poor health and poor investments cause him to sell his ownership in 1975.