Baseball History on April 4

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1859 Joe Brown

Canadian-born pitcher – he made six starts for the Chicago White Stockings in 1884, winning four of six decisions.  Might have pitched in the American Association in 1885, but I can’t tell for sure.  If he did, his obituary didn’t mention it.

Less than three years after his last game, Brown died in Warren, PA of consumption.  He was 29.

1862 John McCloskey
1866 Jerry Kane
1866 Harry Taylor
1866 John Schulze
1878 Jake Volz

Volz pitched for three teams (all trips briefly) between 1901 and 1908 – and then his life was turned upside down by a jealous rage.  Read the bio…

1881 Bill Jackson
1883 Bill Hinchman
1883 John Hummel
1885 Bill Dam
1888 Bill Upham
1888 Tris Speaker

Only the greatest center fielder before Mantle and Mays.

1889 Dutch Lerchen
1893 Pete Kilduff
1897 Ray Miner
1900 Jule Mallonee
1903 Les Bartholomew
1910 Joe Bokina
1910 Joe Vosmik
1916 Willie Ramsdell
1916 Mickey Owen
1924 Gil Hodges

By all accounts a kind and intelligent man, fair to players and good with fans, and one of the key players on many good Dodger teams.  As a manager, he was equally successful and his life was cut way too short.

1927 Don Hasenmayer
1928 Frank Smith
1929 Tookie Gilbert
1933 Ted Wieand
1937 Al Kenders
1937 Gary Geiger
1941 Eddie Watt

One of the bullpen aces of the great Orioles teams in the 1970s.

1942 Jim Fregosi

If you set aside the fact that he did not provide to the Mets what Nolan Ryan did for the Angels, you have someone who for a few years was the best shortstop in the league, and who was bright and observant and successful as a manager.

His son (Jim, Jr.) is in baseball, but as a front office guy.  I remember him getting hired a couple of years ago by the Royals.

1942 Tom Fisher
1942 Ron Locke
1943 Mike Epstein
1947 Ray Fosse

I used to love catchers when I was a kid, and Fosse was one of my favorites.  Me – I was destined to be a second baseman or center fielder, but catchers were cool.

1948 Leon Hooten
1956 Tom Herr

One of the few guys to drive in 100 runs with 10 or fewer homers.

1959 Pete Hernandez
1960 John Lickert
1961 Brad Komminsk

For some reason, I thought he was older.  The Braves thought he would be as good as, say, Dale Murphy, but that didn’t happen because he struck out a whole lot.

1968 Jim Dedrick
1969 Carlos Reyes
1969 Mark Strittmatter
1972 Guillermo Garcia
1972 Jeff Sparks
1972 Matt Wagner
1975 Scott Rolen

A top flight third baseman whose back eventually gave out.  Cardinal fans – who would you rather have:  Ken Boyer or Scott Rolen?

1977 Eric Valent
1978 Jason Ellison
1981 Casey Daigle
1986 Louis Coleman
1987 Cameron Maybin

The best player received by the Marlins in the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers.  In a different world, his best years would not have been in San Diego and he might have been a star.

1987 Odrisamer Despaigne

The first major leaguer named Odrisamer…

1991 Martin Perez
1993 Miguel Almonte

OBITUARIES:

1902 Charlie Sweeney
1924 George Wood
1934 Dick Johnston
1941 Alex Jones
1945 Dick Cotter
1947 Jot Goar
1949 George Suggs
1962 Snooks Dowd
1966 Herb McQuaid
1969 Les Wilson
1969 Chuck Ward
1971 Carl Mays
1974 Danny Silva
1982 Mel Queen
1988 Jack Aragon
1988 Charlie Snell
1991 Johnny Moore
1999 Early Wynn
2004 George Bamberger
2008 Jerry Crider

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT!!!

1974 Hank Aaron homers off Reds starter Jack Billingham, his 714th, tying Babe Ruth’s career home run record.  Aaron’s blast plated Ralph Garr and Mike Lum, but the Reds came back to win, 7-6, in the bottom of the eleventh inning.

1994 Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes hits three homers off Dwight Gooden as the Cubs clobber the Mets on Opening Day.  Rhodes is the first NL player to open the season with three bombs.

2001 Hideo Nomo fires a no-hitter, beating the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.  Brian Daubach had two homers for the Red Sox, driving in all three runs, in the 3 – 0 whitewashing.  Nomo struck out 11 and walked three batters in earning his second no-hitter (one in each league!).

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1910 The Giants sent Buck Herzog and Bill Collins to Boston for Beals Becker.

1937 Detroit sells Al Simmons to Washington for $15,000.

1960 Chicago sends Earl Battey, Don Mincher, and $150,000 to Washington for slugger Roy Sievers.

1963 Pittsburgh sends Howie Goss to Houston for outfielder Manny Mota (Mota… Mota…  Mota…)

1978 Kansas City sells John Mayberry to the Toronto Blue Jays.

1987 Cleveland signs free agent pitcher Steve Carlton.

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