Baseball History for December 9th

<— DEC 08     DEC 10 —>

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1859 Lou Meyers

Only a major leaguer if you believe the 1884 Union League was a real major league – Meyers got in just two games, batting three times for the Cincinnati entry. He did walk once and later scored. His nickname was Crazy Horse, which is a pretty good handle for a guy who played just two games in a low level major league.

Meyers gets a mention in Nemec’s Major League Baseball Profiles not for his baseball prowess (he spent several years in the minors) but because of his tragic ending. After the death of his wife, a despondent Meyers chose strychnine to meet her in the next world in 1920.

1860 Al Hubbard

Went two for six with a pair of RBI and a pair of runs scored for Philadelphia in the American Association.

Hubbard was actually a well regarded player when he was a student at Yale. However, he really didn’t show much of an interest in playing professionally. His claim to fame, if fleeting, was that he formed the first professional all-Yale battery with his good friend Jack Jones in 1883. That remained the only time it happened until Craig Breslow pitched to Ryan Lavernway for the Red Sox in 2012, according to a Yale Bulldog release.

1863 Alexander Donoghue

Altoona native, played locally for about a decade, and got a brief run with the Phillies in 1891. He hit .318 (7 for 22) in six games.

1871 Joe Kelley

Hall of Fame outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles of the 1890s, but his career continued another decade after that. He managed, coached, scouted – a long baseball life.

When his major league days ended after the 1908 season, Kelley had a .318 career average, 2,220 hits, and 443 stolen bases. His prime, from 1893 to 1903, included five seasons of 100+ RBI and six more with 100+ runs scored – and eleven straight years clearing .300. In 1894, he batted .393 with a .502 OBP, 165 runs scored and 111 runs driven home.

Kelley, whose father-in-law owned much of the Baltimore Orioles of the American League in 1902, was one of the conspirators that destroyed that franchise, electing to ditch the team for the Cincinnati Reds.

Jimmy Keenan penned his biography for SABR.

1872 Oscar Purner

Purner had a brief career in baseball and a brief career living under a different name in Arizona.

1872 James Bentley “Cy” Seymour
1877 Bert Blue
1879 Mike Mitchell
1884 Enos Kirkpatrick
1887 Frances Montgomery “Tommy” Atkins
1888 Charles “Curly” Brown
1888 Fin Wilson
1889 Ed Fitzpatrick
1904 Adam Comorosky
1909 Bob Kline
1910 Steve Larkin
1914 Hank Camelli
1917 George Woodend
1918 Clarence Beers
1921 Chuck Kress
1924 Jerry Fahr
1928 Billy Klaus
1928 Joe DeMaestri
1930 Bob Hazle
1941 Darold Knowles
1943 Jim Merritt
1944 Del Unser
1946 Rick Bladt
1947 Jerry Cram
1948 George “Doc” Medich
1952 Bruce Boisclair
1956 Eric Wilkins
1957 Steve Christmas
1957 Ed Romero
1960 Juan Samuel
1961 Bruce Tanner
1963 Tom Magrann
1965 Joe Ausanio
1969 Mike Fyhrie
1970 Tony Tarasco
1971 Todd Van Poppel
1973 Tony Batista
1973 Chris Truby
1976 Chris Booker
1978 Jeff Duncan
1979 Eric Stults
1980 Fred Lewis
1987 Pedro Villarreal
1987 Adam Wilk

Cal State – Long Beach grad taken by the Tigers in the 2009 draft. Made it to the bigs in 2011 and 2012, making three starts and five relief appearances, but not a lasting impression (as a pitcher, that is – by all accounts, Wilk is a pretty cool guy). Bounced around AAA and independent ball for the last few years, including a tour of Korea in 2013, and hopes to land for 2017 after a pretty good year at AAA Durham in the Rays chain last year.

Wilk has his own foundation that helps provide baseball equipment to community and school baseball programs.

1987 Buddy Baumann
1987 Mat Latos

Latos is a starting pitcher and an artist specializing in tattoos.

Tall kid, born in Alexandria, VA but raised in South Florida. Drafted out of JUCO by the Padres he made it to the bigs in 2009 and had three good years. Traded to the Reds for Edinson Volquez and three prospects (Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger) and had three more good years. The last one, however, he was bothered by a sore knee and bone chips in his elbow – both requiring surgery.

A year before he would have been a free agent, the Marlins acquired him for minor leaguers Anthony DeSclafani and Chad Wallach, but he started the year dealing with his knee and never really got going. Traded to the Dodgers, he struggled even more and was released. The Angels gave him a one-week contract to finish the season.

The White Sox took a flyer on Latos in 2016, but gave up on him midway through the 2016 season after Latos struggled through May and June. Washington gave him a minor league deal, let him get in shape and brought him back for a few weeks at the end of the season.  He hasn’t pitched since 2017.

1990 Bruce Rondon

Venezuelan giant (6′ 3″, 275) with a triple digit fastball. Battled shoulder and forearm injuries and missed 2014 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Took a couple of years to get through rookie ball, but once he found his form, he raced up to the majors, appearing for the first time in 2013. It took him a season to find his form again, but he looks like a future closer based on his 2016 season.

Did you know that no Tigers pitcher had ever struck out the side on ten or fewer pitches until Rondon’s eighth inning against the Twins on 24 September 2013?

1991 Adam Engel
1993 Geoff Hartlieb
1994 Hunter Harvey

OBITUARIES:

1884 Pete Morris
1918 Walt Dickson
1920 George Browne
1921 Charlie Morton
1923 Bill Donovan
1930 Dave Rowe
1930 Andrew Bishop “Rube” Foster
1941 Ed Mars
1944 James Arthur “Swat” McCabe
1947 DeWitt Wiley “Bevo” LeBourveau
1950 Mickey Corcoran
1954 Bill McGowan
1955 Curt Walker
1958 Harry Porter “Rube” Vickers
1959 Ferd Eunick
1965 Branch Rickey
1975 Jeff Heath
1976 Wes Ferrell
1978 Dick Siebert
1980 Ted Olson
1982 Jimmy Adair
1999 Whitey Kurowski
2002 Johnny Lazor

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT!!!

1941 Bob Feller is the first major league player to enlist in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1936 Philadelphia sends Pinky Higgins to Boston for Billy Werber

1941 The Yankees send Tommy Holmes to the Braves for Buddy Hassett and Gene Moore, who were both players to be named later.

1953 Washington, apparently in need of Mickey McDermott and Tom Umphlett, deal Jackie Jensen to the Red Sox.

1959 The White Sox peddle Johnny Callison to Philadelphia for Gene Freese.

1965 Baltimore acquires “old” Frank Robinson from Cincinnati for Milt Pappas, Dick Simpson, and Jack Baldschun.

1975 Cleveland purchases Ray Fosse from Oakland.

1976 Atlanta gives up five players, $250,000, and the keys to the city to acquire Jeff Burroughs from the Texas Rangers.

1980 Chicago sends Bruce Sutter to the Cardinals for Leon Durham, Ken Reitz, and Ty Waller.

I don’t think people realize just how great the 1980 Cubs bullpen really was then. Sutter, Caudill, Tidrow, Lee Smith, Willie Hernandez and a couple of others. That’s loaded.

That same day, Pittsburgh sends Bert Blyleven and Manny Sanguillen to Cleveland for Gary Alexander, Bob Owchinko, Rafael Vasquez and Victor Cruz.

1981 New York gets Ken Griffey – the first one – for Freddie Toliver and Brian Ryder.

The real deal, though, was a three team trade that moved Bo Diaz to Philadelphia, Lonnie Smith to the Cardinals, and a few other guys around the horn in Cleveland, St. Louis, and Philadelphia.

1982 Not content with one big trade, the Phillies took Von Hays from Cleveland for Julio Franco, Manny Trillo, George Vukovich, Jerry Willard, and Jay Baller.

1992 Atlanta signs free agent Greg Maddux away from the Cubs.

2011 Florida signs free agent pitcher Mark Buehrle

2012 Tampa sends Wade Davis James Shields and a plus one to Kansas City for Mike Montgomery, Wil Myers and Patrick Leonard.

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