Baseball History for April 16th

<— APRIL 15     APRIL 17 —>


1859 Steve Dignan
1866 Jim Devlin
1867 Piggy Ward
1870 Pop Swett
1874 Ira Belden
1880 Crese Heismann
1880 Phil Stremmel
1881 Gene Ford
1883 Ed Gagnier
1885 Bingo Bingham
1891 Ricardo Torres
1891 Charlie Meara
1892 Dutch Leonard
1900 Walt Schulz
1903 Paul Waner
1906 Tommy Sewell
1908 Babe Phelps
1916 Pete Suder
1922 John Gibbons
1925 Chris Vierira
1925 Alton Brown
1929 Ed Winceniak

A Cubs infield prospect from the early Ernie Banks era…  Born and raised in Chicago, too.  You can read about him here.

1938 Rich Rollins
1939 Bernie Allen
1940 Garry Roggenburk
1942 Jim Lonborg

If you watched Cheers on television, Sam Malone was a former Red Sox pitcher turned bar owner.  The photo behind the bar, supposedly of Sam, was that of Lonborg.

After his remarkable 1967 season, he was skiing and wrecked his knee and while he had a few good years, he was never that good again.

1943 Frank Fernandez
1944 Bob Montgomery

Fisk’s backup for many years, then a broadcaster for a long time.

1946 Sergio Robles
1953 Bruce Taylor
1953 Don Reynolds
1954 Bruce Robinson
1955 Bruce Bochy
1955 Rick Jones
1958 Rick Grapenthin
1960 Curt Young
1969 Fernando Vina
1969 Ken Takahashi
1971 Marc Sagmoen
1972 Antonio Alfonseca

Six fingered (both hands) reliever for the Marlins some time back now…  For a few years, he wasn’t half bad.

1975 Kelly Dransfeldt
1979 Justin Huisman
1979 Justin Wayne
1983 Tommy Manzella
1988 Shogo Akiyama
1990 Travis Shaw
1991 Nolan Arenado

This Rockies star is only the best third baseman in baseball right now (written in 2019).

1991 Paco Rodriguez

Paco RodriguezA Miami Beach kid drafted out of the University of Florida in 2012 and the first player of that draft to make the majors, Paco Rodriguez was a Dodgers reliever until 2015.  He actually served the team pretty well for a couple of years.  However, on two occasions he was left off of a playoff roster – once in 2013 after he lost his steam following a 76 appearance season and once in 2014 after he worked his way back.  Undaunted, he spent an off-season getting himself in better shape – only to have his elbow disobey him.  After missing the rest of 2015 and all of 2016, he’s tried to get back, trying independent ball and Mexican League ball.  I’ll be rooting for him.

Baxter, Kevin. “Keeping Up Appearances”, Los Angeles Times, 09 March 2014, Page 17. (Also photo by Allen J. Schaben of the Times.)

Baxter, Kevin. “Chewing Over It”, Los Angeles Times, 17 March 2015, Page 17.

“Dodgers’ Paco Rodriguez goes on 15-day DL:”, Desert Sun, 01 June 2015, Page C4.

1993 Keone Kela

Keone Kela

Kela’s photo is cropped from an AP photo appearing in the Honolulu Star Advertiser on 15 September 2015, Page C6.

Kela is a relief pitcher from Los Angeles taken by Texas in 2012 (after he passed on being drafted by Seattle in 2011) – now pitching in Pittsburgh.  Kela blew through the minors and has been a productive reliever, earning 24 saves in 2018 for Texas (and a 19-11 record) with a pretty good ERA and very good K to BB ratio.  The Austin-American Statesman called him, “…a hard thrower with good sinking action and a fearless attitude.”  (06 April 2017, Page C5.)

1993 Tyler Bashlor
1994 Albert Almora
1996 Packy Naughton
1997 Nivaldo Rodriguez


1893 John Fox
1907 Bill Zies
1910 Tom Loftus

Manager, owner, played for a while, too.  He was the first manager that got something out of Rube Waddell.  Loftus was the owner and manager of Columbus in 1898 who took Rube and got more than 25 wins out of him before Rube went back to the Pirates.  He also managed the 1901 Chicago Remnants, where Rube also played, but wasn’t the owner and therefore had less leeway in dealing with him.  Rube pitched well, but he eventually ran from the team over any number of issues.

1910 Bill Kienzle
1913 Jerry Harrington
1914 Podge Weihe
1916 Fred Mann
1916 Jim McTamany
1924 Buster Hoover
1931 Bucky Veil
1941 Howard Wakefield
1944 Pop Foster
1945 Chick Fewster
1948 Dick Kauffman
1953 Sam Gray
1955 Louis Graff
1956 George Puccinelli
1964 Gus Williams
1964 Charlie Case
1965 Chick Tolson
1967 Jim Tennant
1968 John Michaelson
1970 Mal Eason
1971 Ron Northey
1975 Frank Wayenberg
1980 Jerry Conway
1981 Effa Manley
1985 Benny Zientara
1989 Jocko Conlan
1989 Sam Wheeler
1991 Al Verdel
2001 Hank Riebe
2011 Stanley Glenn
2013 Jack Daniels
2015 Ollie Brown
2018 Ken Hottman
2019 Hardy Peterson


1929 Earl Averill is the first American Leaguer to hit a homer in his first major league at bat.

1935 Babe Ruth’s first game as a National Leaguer includes a homer off of Carl Hubbell.  His Braves win, 4 – 2.

1940 Bob Feller tosses an opening day no-hitter to beat the White Sox, 1 – 0.  I wrote about it here.

1948 WGN televises its first Cubs game with Jack Brickhouse behind the mic.

1972 Cubs rookie Burt Hooten no-hits the Phillies in his fourth career start, 4 – 0.

1978 Bob Forsch repeats Hooton’s trick, beating the Phillies, 5 – 0 without surrendering a hit.

1983 Steve Garvey passes Billy Williams – taking over the record for longest consecutive games played streak in the National League.  He makes it to 1207 before a dislocated thumb ends his run later that year.


1938 The Cubs acquire Dizzy Dean from the Cardinals for the low price of Curt Davis, Clyde Shoun, Tuck Stainback, and about $185,000.

1935 The Red Sox sign catcher/spy Moe Berg.

1971 Luis Tiant, looking for a gig, signs with the Atlanta Braves.


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