Baseball History for January 8th

<— January 7     January 9 —>


1862 Jim Donahue
1864 John Gilbert
1865 James Graham
1872 Chauncey Fisher
1883 Bob Ingersoll
1885 Bill Bartley
1886 Sam Lanford
1891 Bud Weiser
1894 Art Ewoldt
1895 Yank Deas
1901 Joe Benes
1903 Bob Clarke
1904 Porter Charleston
1909 Al Reiss
1915 Walker Cooper
1916 Joe Just
1919 Don White
1919 Jack McLaurin
1920 Bert Kuczynski

Born on January 8, 1920 in Port Richmond, Pennsylvania, a section of Philadelphia, where he was a two sport athlete at Northeast High School. Heading to the University of Pennsylvania, Bert was an end on the football team and a pitcher on the baseball team at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bert was drafted in the 19th round of the 1943 NFL Draft, as well as signed to a contract to pitch for Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics. With the United States at war, there were opportunities for young kids to play sports before they were drafted, and Kuczynski would pitch briefly for Philadelphia and play tight end for the Detroit Lions in 1943 – making him among the first to play both major league sports in the same season. Initially, an injured knee kept him out of the military, but after the football season, Kuczynski enlisted and served in the navy in administrative roles across the country while also playing baseball and football on camp squads. When the war ended, he played one more season in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles (his only catch that year was a 9-yard touchdown pass) and some minor league baseball, after which he put his education degrees to work.

He was a baseball and football coach at Catasauqua High School while he also taught social studies and ancient civilizations there. His football teams won two Lehigh Valley League titles with back to back perfect seasons. In 1988, he was selected to the Lehigh Valley Sports Hall of Fame.

Kuczynski passed to the next league on January 19, 1997 in Allentown, PA.

“Five to enter Lehigh Valley Hall of Fame,” Allentown Morning Call, September 30, 1988, C4.

1921 Herb Conyers
1921 Marv Rickert
1921 Jackie Tobin
1922 Ralph LaPointe
1923 Ray Flanigan
1926 Dick Lajeskie
1927 Jim Busby
1933 Willie Tasby
1934 Gene Freese
1935 Reno Bertoia
1936 John DeMerit
1937 Don Dillard
1940 Dick Kelley
1945 Jesus Hernaiz
1949 Wilbur Howard
1953 Bruce Sutter
1959 Ramon Romero
1959 Craig Gerber
1960 Julio Solano
1960 Randy Ready
1963 Shane Turner
1967 Matt Maysey
1967 Randy Nosek
1968 Brian Johnson
1968 Paul Carey
1969 Brian Boehringer
1971 Jason Giambi
1973 Mike Cameron
1975 Geremi Gonzalez
1976 Carl Pavano
1977 Dave Matranga
1981 Derek Thompson
1981 Jeff Francis
1981 Daniel Davidson
1984 Jeff Francoeur
1984 Kevin Whelan
1985 Matt LaPorta
1986 James Russell
1988 Jon Edwards
1991 Carlos Contreras
1992 Brevvic Valera
1993 Jeff Hoffman
1996 Chris Paddack
1998 Jhoan Duran
1998 Ken Waldichuk


1900 Henry Kessler
1919 Jim O’Rourke

The Orator died of pneumonia.

1924 Joseph Wiley

According to his PA death certificate, he died of fluid in the lungs and mitral valve stenosis – something likely caused by rheumatic fever.

1930 Charlie Flannigan

The two papers I saw had wire copy notes that the “Steamboat” Flanagan died after a long illness.  He had just turned 39 and his gravestone says he was an electrician in the navy. – “Old Ball Player Dies,” Santa Rosa Republican, January 9, 1930: 1.

1942 Harry Pearce

Pearce, 52, was an old Phillies second baseman, but he probably was a better soccer goalie. – “Harry Pearce, Old Phil Player, Dies,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 1942: 23.

1943 John Titus

Titus, the last of the handlebar mustache players (until Rollie Fingers, of course), suffered a stroke of sorts in September, 1942 and never recovered.  According to his death certificate, he suffered from arterial sclerosis and a cerebral hemorrhage took him to the next league.  – “‘Silent John’ Titus Dies at 66; Phils’ Fielder From 1903 to ’12,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 10, 1843, S-4.

1944 Harry Daubert

According to his MI death certificate, pneumonia took Daubert – who batted just one time for the Pirates in one game back in 1915 – at the age of 51.

1948 Howdy Caton

Speaking of Pirates at the end of the Honus Wagner era – Howdy Caton’s debut game was Wagner’s last game…  According to his SABR Bio (well written by a distant family member), Howdy Caton had a son and daughter by two different women (daughter by wife, later, after a divorce, a son by the wife of the man who owned the home in which Caton was a boarder).  The two kids never met each other.

James Caton died of a heart attack at 53. – “‘Howdy’ Caton Dies Suddenly At Home Here,” Zanesville Times Recorder, January 9, 1948: 1.

1952 Art Evans
1959 Harley Dillinger
1961 Schoolboy Rowe
1961 Ray Nelson
1980 Harvey Russell
1980 Herb Cobb
1987 Elmer Miller
1990 Fred McDaniel
1994 Harvey Haddix
1996 Dutch McCall
2001 Bert Hodges
2006 Merv Connors
2008 Steve Ridzik
2012 Glenn Cox
2017 Jackie Brown
2022 Don Dillard
2022 Eddie Basinski


1916 Percy Haughton, head baseball coach at Harvard, and Arthur Chamberlain Wise purchase the Boston Braves from James Gaffney for $600,000.


1918 New York traded Buck Herzog to the Boston Braves for Jesse Barnes and Larry Doyle.

1968 Pittsburgh signs amateur infielder Frank Taveras.

2001 Kansas City sent Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to Oakland as part of a three team deal… KC Got Roberto Hernandez from Tampa Bay, Oakland got Cory Lidle from Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay got Ben Grieve from Oakland, and the Royals got Angel Berroa and A.J. Hinch from Oakland. Of the three, Oakland made out like bandits.

2001 Chicago signed free agent hitter Harold Baines. The White Sox had to “unretire” Baines’ number. Again. This time, though, Baines was done as a hitter…

2004 Seattle sends Carlos Guillen to the Tigers for Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez.

2009 Milwaukee signs free agent reliever Trevor Hoffman.

2011 Tampa sends Matt Garza, Fernando Perez and Zac Rosscup to the Cubs for Chris Archer, Robinson Chirinos, Sam Fuld, Brandon Guyer, and Hak-Ju-Lee.

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