Baseball History for December 11th

<— DEC 10 DEC 12 —>


1840 Charlie Smith

In writing this, I’m probably not doing Smith’s life, especially his baseball life, enough justice.

Charles Smith was one of the pioneers of professional baseball in Brooklyn and New York. When the National Association first formed around 1858, Smith was already known in local circles and joined the Atlantics of Brooklyn. That team was one of the best teams in the country from then through the mid-1860s, and Smith was their regular third baseman. He continued to play until the National Association was deemed a “major league” in 1871, but by then Smith was a shell of his former self. That year, with the New York Mutuals, he was error prone – the crooked fingers gained from fifteen or more years of playing the hot corner had caught up with him. He could still hit a little, but whatever power he may have had was gone.

Anyway, after his days as a player he got involved with managing the estates of the wealthy folks of Great Neck. On the side, he took up training and raising hunting dogs – and was an expert hunter himself. Smith was still a hale man when he got sick in early November, 1897 – it was appendicitis and it killed him on November 15, 1897.

“Charlie Smith Dead,” Brooklyn Times, November 18, 1897: 2.

1854 Charles Gardner (Old Hoss) Radbourn

Hall of Famer, 300 game winner, took home 60 (or 59) wins in 1884 to get Providence a pennant, and was once captured on film in a team photo flipping the camera off. And he’s a great Twitter follow. (

1857 Ed Callahan
1858 Bill Mountjoy
1862 Frank Bell
1868 Tom Gettinger
1878 Gene Wright
1885 Art Wilson
1885 Fred Anderson
1886 Joe Riggert
1887 Charles Frederick (Petie) Behan
1888 Fred Toney
1890 Walt Meinert
1891 Erwin Renfer
1894 Lou Raymond
1896 Johnny Walker
1897 William Jennings Bryan (Slim) Harriss
1901 Elbert Andrews
1903 Ray Phelps
1905 Al Weston
1909 Jim Bivin
1910 George David (Slick) Coffman
1914 Bill Nicholson
1919 Merl Combs
1924 Hal Brown
1925 Dick Hoover
1926 Johnny Gray
1930 Johnny O’Brien
1930 Andy Varga
1930 Eddie O’Brien
1934 Lee Maye
1941 Damaso Blanco
1947 Greg Shanahan
1948 Gene Hiser
1949 Craig Caskey
1952 Rob Andrews
1954 Bob Sykes
1961 Mike Henneman
1961 Bob Sebra
1964 Thomas Howard
1965 Jay Bell
1965 Adam Peterson
1968 Derek Bell
1971 Willie Canate
1972 Frankie Rodriguez
1973 Andy Tracy
1975 Nate Field
1978 Jason Szuminski
1980 Joe Blanton
1984 Josh Butler
1992 Dalton Pompey
1993 Gabriel Guerrero


1902 Bill Hawke

Less than a decade after a broken wrist killed a promising pitching career, cancer took Hawke at just 32 years old in his Wilmington, DE home.

“Pitcher Hawke Dead,” Delaware Gazette and State Journal, December 18, 1902: 4.

1914 Harry Burrell

The Vermont native died in Omaha at 47. According to the author of Burrell’s SABR bio, he died of toxemia (blood poisoning). And, apparently he is a distant relative of former Ranger Pat Putnam.

I found an article noting Burrell’s death and his role on a famous Des Moines team that won 26 straight games and a pennant. The article says that only three guys on a team from 1896 were remaining – these are athletes and barely 14 years had passed. And almost all of them were dead?

“Des Moines Player of 1896 Team Dies,” Des Moines Register, December 13, 1914: 7.

1924 Moxie Hengel

I may have to write about him. The first thing I’d want to know is why is this guy listed as Moxie Hengel, when everything else that lists his last name spells it as Hengle, including his gravestone. And, his real first name is Emory, not Emery.

1929 Doc McMahon
1931 George Harper
1933 Pearce Chiles
1933 Harry Croft
1936 Moose Grimshaw
1939 Dallas Bradshaw
1954 Harry Courtney
1959 Doc Marshall
1959 Jim Bottomley
1966 Cliff Fannin
1974 Gordon Maltzberger
1978 Paul O’Dea
1991 Dick Kelley
1995 Woody Wheaton
2002 Bob Loane
2017 Manny Jimenez
2019 Ted Lepcio


1928 National League president John Heydler proposes the DH, but the American League isn’t on board.

1950 Happy Chandler’s contract is not renewed – time to look for a new commissioner of baseball.

1975 Bill Veeck, with investors in tow, purchases the White Sox.


This is a big day for big name deals! A huge day!!!

1906 Pittsburgh sends Ginger Beaumont, Claude Ritchey and Patsy Flaherty to Boston for Ed Abbaticchio.

1917 Chicago sends Pickles Dillhoefer, Mike Prendergast and $55,000 to Philadelphia for Pete Alexander and Bill Killefer.

1923 Cincinnati purchased Carl Mays from the Yankees.

1929 Pete Alexander is on the move again – this time the Cardinals send Alexander and Harry McCurdy to the Phillies for Homer Peel and Bob McGraw.

Meanwhile, the Athletics send Sammy Hale and tip money to the Browns for catcher Wally Schang.

1931 St. Louis sends Burleigh Grimes to the Cubs for Hack Wilson and Bud Teachout.

1941 The Giants send Johnny McCarthy, Ken O’Dea, Bill Lohrman and $50,000 to the Cardinals for Johnny Mize.

1946 The Yankees sign free agent outfielder Joe Medwick.

1951 The Giants sends Eddie Stankey to the Cardinals for Max Lanier and Chuck Diering.

1959 The Kansas City Athletics, long treated like a minor league affiliate of the Yankees, send Roger Maris, Joe DeMaestri, and Kent Hadley to the Yankees for Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern, and Marv Throneberry.

1973 The Cubs send Ron Santo, who wanted to stay in Chicago, to the White Sox for Steve Stone, Ken Frailing, Steve Swisher, and (later) Jim Kremmel.

1975 Pittsburgh gets Doc Medich from the Yankees but give up Dock Ellis, Ken Brett, and prospect Willie Randolph…

1976 The Yankees send Bobby Bonds to the Angels for Mickey Rivers and Ed Figueroa.

1986 San Diego sends Kevin McReynolds, Gene Walter and Adam Ging to the Mets for Kevin Mitchell, Stan Jefferson, Shawn Abner, Kevin Brown, and Kevin Armstrong.

1987 Three teams involved here – pay attention. Los Angeles sends Bob Welch and Matt Young to the Athletics, and Jack Savage to the Mets. Oakland sends Alfredo Griffin and Jay Howell to the Dodgers and Kevin Tapani and Wally Whitehurst to the Mets. New York only has to give up Jesse Orosco to the Dodgers.

1991 The Mets send Gregg Jeffries, Kevin McReynolds and Keith Miller to the Royals for Bret Saberhagen and Bill Pecota.

Also, Seattle sends Bill Swift, Dave Burba, and Michael Jackson to the Giants for Kevin Mitchell and Mike Remlinger.

2001 Cleveland sends Roberto Alomar, Mike Bacsic, and Danny Peoples to the Mets for Matt Lawton, Alex Escobar, Jerrod Riggan, and later Earl Snyder and Billy Traber.

2008 Seattle sends Luis Valbuena to Cleveland, and sends J.J. Putz, Jeremy Reed, and Sean Green to the Mets. The Mets send Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto, Aaron Heilman and Jason Vargas to Seattle. The Mets also sent Joe Smith to Cleveland. Cleveland only sends Franklin Gutierrez to Seattle.

2012 The third three-team trade… Arizona sends Matt Albers, Trevor Bauer, and Bryan Shaw to Cleveland. The Reds send Didi Gregorius to Arizona. Cincinnati also sends Drew Stubbs to Cleveland. Cleveland sends Tony Sipp and Lars Anderson to Arizona, and sends Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald to the Reds.

2014 Los Angeles sends Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas and cash to the Marlins for Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney and Enrique Hernandez.

Also, Detroit sends Rick Porcello to the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes, Gabe Speier, and Alex Wilson.

2017 Miami sends Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees for Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Jose Devers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s