1930 – At the Polo Grounds, St. Louis Browns outfielder Red Badgro, playing for the NFL New York Giants, catches a touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers. It is the third TD catch of the season for Badgro, all from quarterback Benny Friedman. In 1981, Badgro will be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1943 – Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis rules that Philadelphia Phillies owner William D. Cox is permanently ineligible to hold office or be employed for having bet on his own team. The Carpenter family of Delaware will buy the Philadelphia club and Bob Carpenter, at age 28, will become president.
Commissioner Landis suspends William Cox indefinitely after the Phillies owner acknowledges making some “sentimental” bets on his team, not knowing it was against the rules. The gambling allegations first surfaced in July when the club’s recently fired manager, Bucky Harris, revealed he had evidence that his former boss was wagering on games played by Philadelphia.
1944 – Five groups totaling 23 players, managers, umpires and sportwriters visit war theaters as part of the United Service Organizations program. Included are Mel Ott, Dutch Leonard, Frankie Frisch, Bucky Walters, Harry Heilmann, Carl Hubbell, Freddie Fitzsimmons, Bill Summers, Beans Reardon, Johnny Lindell, Tuck Stainback, Steve O’Neill, Leo Durocher, Joe Medwick, Nick Etten, Dixie Walker, Paul Waner and Rip Sewell.
The BBWAA selects Dodger shortstop Maury Wills as the National League’s Most Valuable Player. The Gold Glove infielder stole a record 104 bases this season and served as a catalyst in the team’s 102 victories and their attempt to capture a pennant, an effort that fell short in a three-game playoff against San Francisco.
The New York Mets purchase future Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn from the Milwaukee Braves. In addition to serving on the club’s coaching staff, Spahn will post a 4-12 record in twenty appearances before being released. Spahn will then sign with the San Francisco Giants, his last major league team.
While visiting his wife’s family and scheduled to be the best man at a wedding later in the day, Joe Kennedy awakes and collapses in the bedroom at 1:00 am and dies unexpectedly. The 6’4″, 250-pound Blue Jays southpaw reliever, who signed with the club in September after being released by the Diamondbacks, also played for the A’s, Rockies, and Devil Rays during his seven-year career.
Joe Mauer (.365, 28, 96) becomes the fifth Twin to be named the American League’s Most Valuable Player, joining Zoilo Versalles (1965), Harmon Killebrew (1969), Rod Carew (1977), and Justin Morneau (2006). The slugging Gold Glove catcher, who missed the first month of the season with a back injury, receives 27 of 28 first-place votes cast by the BBWAA, and the St. Paul native easily outpoints Yankee teammates Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter.
The A’s deal right-handed starter Gio Gonzalez along with pitching prospect Robert Gilliam to the Nationals for southpaw Tommy Milone, catcher Derek Norris, right-hander Brad Peacock, and minor-league hurler A.J. Cole. Washington’s newest member of the rotation, after agreeing to a five-year, $42 million extension following the trade, will enjoy a spectacular first season in the nation’s capital, going 21-8 with an ERA of 2.89.
2015 – The Dodgers hire Dave Roberts as their new manager, to replace Don Mattingly. With the highest salary mass in the major leagues, the Dodgers take a chance on the first minority manager in team history, whose experience as a skipper consists of one game in an interim capacity with the Padres last season.
Ralph Branca, most famous for giving up the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” to Bobby Thomson while pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1951 three-game playoff, passes away in Rye, NY at the age of 90. Branca was an All-Star in his own right, and a twenty-game winner, but observers usually reduced his career to one unfortunate moment.
2017 – The Colombian national team wins Gold at the 2017 Bolivarian Games, their first Gold in baseball at the Bolivarian Games since 1973. Karl Triana got the win in the finale, a 6-4 victory for the hosts over defending champion Panama, and Jhon Romero saved it with two on in the 9th. Andy Otero took the defeat. In the Bronze Medal game, Venezuela tops El Salvador, 5-1, but it is their worst finish ever in baseball at the Bolivarian Games.
2001 – Bo Belinsky dies in Las Vegas, NV at age 64 of a heart attack. The colorful southpaw has a 3-9 record in Houston in 1967 while finding Houston’s nightlife not up to former stops in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. In later years, the noted playboy who romanced starlets in L.A., found sobriety and religion.
1994 – Montreal Expos president Claude Brochu blasts Jeff Bagwell’s new seven-year $47 million dollar contract, calling the move “a mistake” by owner Drayton McLane. The players strike is still ongoing and the move is seen as counterproductive to labor talks while McLane announces that, in spite of Bagwell’s new deal, he will be forced to cut payroll for the ballclub next season.
1976 – Pitcher Larry Dierker and infielder Jerry DaVanon are traded to St.Louis for catcher Joe Ferguson. For Dierker, it’s the beginning of the end of a stellar career. For Ferguson, it means another chance to be a starting catcher instead of an oufielder. He argues with manager Bill Virdon about blocking the plate but hits .243 with 23 homers and 83 RBIs in 1-1/2 seasons before being traded again.