Baseball History for January 5th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1855 George Newell
1861 John McGlone
1864 Bob Caruthers
1865 Ban Johnson
1870 Bill Dahlen
1875 Izzy Hoffman
1877 William Matthews
1879 Zaza Harvey
1880 Newt Hunter
1880 Dutch Jordan
1880 Jim Byrnes
1885 Art Fletcher
1888 Rube Foster
1890 Gene Madden
1890 Benny Kauff
1892 Chuck Wortman
1897 Art Delaney
1898 Riggs Stephenson
1899 Bill Hunnefield
1899 Bob Kinsella
1901 Luke Sewell
1908 Regis Leheny
1911 Ted Petoskey
1914 Jack Salveson
1914 Joe Grace
1918 Jack Kramer
1924 Fred Marsh
1928 Bob Oldis
1935 Earl Battey
1936 Daryl Robertson
1936 Bud Bloomfield
1942 Wally Wolf
1944 Tom Kelley
1944 Charlie Vinson
1947 Sandy Vance
1948 Bill Laxton
1948 Charlie Hough
1951 Bob Reece
1953 Jim Gantner
1954 John Littlefield
1957 Bob Dernier
1958 Ron Kittle
1959 Milt Thompson
1961 John Russell
1961 Henry Cotto
1961 Roger Samuelse F
1962 Danny Jackson
1963 Jeff Fassero
1963 John Davis
1965 Juan Nieves
1966 Steve Shifflett
1967 Chris Nabholz
1971 Jason Bates
1973 Ramon Tatis
1973 Fred Rath
1974 Damon Minor
1974 Ryan Minor
1974 Mark Redman
1976 Kevin Witt
1977 Eric Junge
1979 Ruben Quevedo
1981 Andy Cavazos
1982 Nori Aoki
1986 J. P. Arencibia
1989 Eduardo Escobar
1990 Jose Iglesias
1990 C. J. Cron
1992 A. J. Cole

OBITUARIES:

1936 Will Sawyer
1937 Ben Beville
1940 Charlie Kelly
1945 Bill Hobbs
1949 Ralph Edwards
1953 Pete Lapan
1953 Mike Cantwell
1954 Rabbit Maranville
1960 Clay Van Alstyne
1961 Fred Luderus
1962 Frank Snyder
1963 Rogers Hornsby
1965 Frank Manush
1969 Larry Pratt
1969 Tiny Osborne
1975 Don Wilson
1976 Ed Sperber
1976 Gene Elliott
1978 Snipe Conley
1979 George Washburn
1982 Neal Baker
1987 Dale Mitchell
1990 Bobby Balcena
1994 Jack Brittin
1996 Elmer Singleton
1997 Emil Roy
2004 Tug McGraw
2006 Rod Dedeaux
2014 Jerry Coleman
2016 Jay Ritchie

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1934 Fire destroys the left and centerfield grandstand and bleachers at Fenway Park – but the Sox were able to get the areas rebuilt in time for opening day.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

The end of the line for two players – Herb Pennock (1934) and Travis Jackson (1937) – two longtime New York stars were released.

1946 New York purchases Walker Cooper from the Cardinals for $175,000.

1946 Seattle agrees to send Earl Torgeson to the Boston Braves for two future players (TOny York, Bill Ramsey).

1983 In the trade that rhymes, Cincinnati sends Mike Vail to San Francisco for Rich Gale.

1984 The Yankees sign free agent pitcher Phil Niekro and the Cubs signed infielder/pinch hitter Richie Hebner.

1994 New York sends Vince Coleman to the Royals to reacquire Kevin McReynolds.

2001 New York signs amateur free agent Robinson Cano.

2001 Texas signs free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.

2016 Cleveland signs free agent hitter Mike Napoli.

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Baseball History on January 4th

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1847 Jimmy Williams
1856 Al Dwight
1858 Henry Oxley
1861 Rex Smith
1869 Tommy Corcoran
1877 Bob Spade
1883 Eddie Zimmerman
1884 Al Bridwell
1887 Klondike Smith
1888 Rex DeVogt
1890 Ossie Vitt
1892 Charlie Miller
1902 Ted Odenwald
1903 Alex Metzler
1906 Blondy Ryan
1908 George Selkirk
1911 Izzy Leon
1912 Joe Mack
1914 Herman Franks
1920 Walter Ockey
1925 Tom Gorman
1929 Corky Valentine
1930 Don McMahon
1933 Ramon Monzant
1940 Bart Shirley
1943 Larry Yellen
1944 Charlie Manuel
1944 Tito Fuentes
1947 Ken Reynolds
1949 Dennis Saunders
1960 Paul Gibson
1962 Jay Tibbs
1963 Trey Hillman
1963 Daryl Boston
1965 Kevin Wickander
1967 Clint Zavaras
1967 Ted Wood
1971 Chris Michalak
1976 Ted Lilly
1977 Brian O’Connor
1977 Walter Silva
1978 Chris Gissell
1978 Willie Martinez
1981 Jailen Peguero
1982 Jason Bourgeois
1984 John Raynor
1985 Scott Sizemore
1989 Kevin Pillar
1990 Raisel Iglesias
1992 Michael Lorenzen
1992 Kris Bryant

OBITUARIES

1893 Jim Halpin
1896 Tom Foley
1898 Charlie Byrne
1924 John Peters
1931 Roger Connor
1933 Hal Deviney
1938 Frank Sexton
1942 Herold Juul
1943 Jack Rafter
1948 Biff Schlitzer
1949 Joe Evers
1963 Sam Covington
1967 Estel Crabtree
1970 Brad Springer
1978 Joe Dawson
1979 Bobby Murray
1980 Foster Edwards
1986 Dave Morey
1987 Tony Rensa
1990 Bonnie Hollingsworth
1991 Eric Rodin
1994 Billy Sullivan
1995 Harry Gumbert
1995 Ralph Onis
2000 John Milner
2002 Adrian Zabala
2005 Jack Sanford
2008 Bill Ramsey
2014 Gabe Gabler
2015 Stu Miller

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN IT!!!

1898 Charles Ebbets takes over as president of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms following the death of Charles Byrne.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1902 Bill Dinneen jumps from Boston’s NL franchise to the AL franchise.

1918 The Cubs send Larry Doyle, Art Wilson and cash to the Braves for Lefty Tyler.

1988 Minnesota signs free agent catcher Brian Harper, while St. Louis signs free agent first baseman/third baseman Bob Horner.

1993 The White Sox ink free agent outfielder Ellis Burks.

2010 Boston signs free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.

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Baseball History for January 3

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1845 Bill Lennon
1856 Barney Gilligan
1874 Lou Mahaffey
1874 Roy Brashear
1883 Buck Hopkins
1884 Kirby White
1891 Charlie Harding
1891 John Dowd
1892 Roland Howell
1894 Tom Whelan
1894 John Fluhrer
1897 Pete Turgeon
1899 Buzz Arlett
1902 Jim McLaughlin
1903 Herb Bradley
1904 Bill Cissell
1906 Gus Suhr
1910 Frenchy Bordagaray
1912 Cliff Melton
1915 Sid Hudson
1916 Chico Hernandez
1919 Ed Sauer
1922 Virgil Stallcup
1923 John Andre
1926 Harry Fisher
1927 Chris Van Cuyk
1932 George Piktuzis
1941 John Sullivan
1943 Adrian Garrett
1943 Bob Gebhard
1944 Dick Colpaert
1946 Archie Reynolds
1949 Gary Lavelle
1949 Ike Brookens
1950 Bart Johnson
1958 Brian Allard
1960 Randy Hunt
1961 John Leister
1962 Darren Daulton
1964 Russ Swan
1964 Howard Hilton
1964 Luis Rivera
1965 Luis Sojo
1965 Mark Dewey
1967 Jimmy Rogers
1969 Cris Colon
1973 DaRond Stovall
1977 Zach Sorensen
1977 A. J. Burnett
1977 Mike Crudale
1978 Delvin James
1979 Carlos Maldonado
1979 Rosman Garcia
1979 Michael Restovich
1980 Brad Salmon
1990 Alex Meyer
1990 Mike Wright

OBITUARIES:

1917 Rynie Wolters
1919 Art Rico
1919 Al Schellhase
1929 Charlie Smith
1940 Mike Mahoney
1940 Park Swartzel
1943 Bid McPhee
1945 George Stone
1953 Joe Houser
1953 Chuck Workman
1966 Luther Bonin
1980 Bob Geary
1981 Lou Fette
1982 Hugo Klaerner
1986 Chico Hernandez
1991 Tom Baker
1991 Luke Appling
1992 George Meyer
1995 Jim Tyack
1995 Ollie Bejma
1995 Bob Darnell
1995 Mickey Haefner
1996 Connie Ryan
1998 Wayne Ambler
2001 Alex Sabo
2002 Al Smith
2003 Joe Ostrowski
2003 Jim Westlake
2004 Leon Wagner
2004 Taylor Duncan
2007 Bob Milliken
2010 Bobby Wilkins
2014 Larry Arndt

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1962 Construction begins on the Harris County Domed Stadium – later known as the Astrodome.

1973 George Steinbrenner, the Tampa Bay area ship builder, buys the New York Yankees from CBS.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1913 The Reds send Grover Lowdermilk to Louisville of the American Association in exchange for pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown.

1946 Detroit sends Rudy York to Boston for Eddie Lake.

1984 Oakland signs two amateur free agent outfielders: Felix Jose and Luis Polonia.

1985 California drafts Chuck Finley with the fourth pick of the first round in a the 1985 Supplementary Draft.

2001 Boston signs amateur free agent pitcher Anibel Sanchez.

2006 New York signs free agent outfielder Johnny Damon, who is forced to shave his beard…

2008 Oakland trades Nick Swisher to the White Sox for Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney, and Fautino De Los Santos.

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Baseball History for January 2

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1850 Frank Abercrombie
1853 Packy Dillon
1854 Sam Crane
1856 Jack Farrell
1857 Pat Murphy
1858 Jack Neagle
1863 Ed Keas
1871 Phil Saylor
1882 George Jackson
1885 Al Froehlich
1885 Jose Mendez
1885 William Askew (Chick) Autry
1886 Steve Melter
1888 Harry LaRoss
1891 Joe Lotz
1892 Merlin Kopp
1892 George Boehler
1892 Jack Kibble
1893 Jesse Altenburg
1894 Bill Wagner
1902 Nick Dumovich
1902 Ray Jacobs
1905 Arthur Carter (Pinky) Whitney
1905 Ralph (Red) Kress
1907 Ted Gullic
1909 Bobby Reis
1919 Bill Harman
1920 Cliff Dapper
1926 Stan Hollmig
1929 Ed Wolfe
1933 Bill Oster
1946 John Edward (Sonny) Ruberto
1951 Bill Madlock

I remember Mad Dog as the third baseman acquired by the Cubs for Fergie Jenkins – and a four-time NL Batting champ.  As soon as he asked for a big raise, the Cubs sent him to the Giants for Bobby Murcer (and others) and paid Murcer even more money than that which Madlock asked.

1951 Jim Essian

Catcher for the White Sox during the days of the South Side Hit Men – and probably spent the most time on a roster without actually playing in a game since the days of the Bonus Baby Rule in the 1950s.

1951 Royle Stillman
1952 Greg Heydeman
1963 Edgar Martinez
1963 David Cone
1964 Colby Ward
1965 Greg Swindell
1970 Royce Clayton
1971 Rick Greene
1972 Garrett Stephenson
1973 Mike Metcalfe
1975 Jeff Suppan
1977 Scott Proctor
1977 Hansel Izquierdo
1981 Ryan Garko
1983 J. D. Martin
1987 Dave Sappelt
1988 Aaron Barrett
1988 Eric Fornataro

OBITUARIES:

1909 Paddy Quinn
1928 Henry Fred (Hunkey) Hines
1929 Denny Lyons
1933 William J. (Kid) Gleason
1947 Joe Koukalik
1953 John (Harry) Atkinson
1959 Bert James
1960 Ken Gables
1965 Jim Stephens
1968 Tommy Warren
1972 Glenn Crawford
1974 Gordon Slade
1975 Jim Poole
1976 Jack Kraus
1977 Max Wilson
1978 Oscar Estrada
1980 Kenny Hogan
1980 George Lees
1986 Bob Finley
1986 Bill Veeck
1987 Julio Moreno
1987 Bill Upton
1990 Bill Beckmann
1994 Eddie Smith
1995 Don Elston
2003 Arthur Beauregard (Bud) Metheny
2004 Paul Hopkins
2008 Gerry Staley
2012 Howie Koplitz

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!

1912 Charles Ebbets purchases 4.5 acres of land in Brooklyn that will eventually be used for the construction of a new baseball stadium named, of course, after himself.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1919 To acquire Earl Smith from Rochester of the International League, the Giants send to Rochester Waite Hoyt, Jack Odgen, Joe Wilhoit, Jose Rodriguez, and recently acquired minor leaguer Bill Kelly.

1935 Brooklyn picks up Babe Phelps, who had been waived by the Cubs.

1992 Boston signs free agent pitcher Frank Viola.

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Baseball History for January 1

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1844 Harry Berthrong
1851 David Lenz
1854 Pete Morris
1855 Tom Mansell
1855 Bill McGunnigle

McGunnigle managed a pennant winner in Brooklyn in both the American Association (1889) and National League (1890).  He is credited with inventing the first (admittedly primitive) catcher’s mitt, and his methods as a manager were eventually mimicked by a player on his 1891 Pittsburgh Pirates squad.  Connie Mack would – like McGunnigle – wear a suit in the dugout and signal to players with his scorecard.

1855 Bill Sharsig
1857 Tim Keefe

Keefe won 342 games in three different leagues between 1880 and 1893 – and at four different pitching distances – eventually being added to the Hall of Fame in 1964.  Keefe also spent three years as a regular umpire in the National League, that after being asked to umpire more than a dozen games while still a player.

1858 Hugh Nicol

Nicol was a speedy utility player of the 1880s who was credited with a league leading 138 stolen bases while with Cincinnati in the American Association in 1887.

1865 Jeremiah (Miah) Murray
1868 Dave Zearfoss
1869 Frank Connaughton
1869 Jack Keenan
1870 Charles Leander (Bumpus) Jones

Jones was a minor league nomad of the 1890s who is most famous for throwing a no-hitter in his first major league start for Cincinnati.   Jones never really made it in the majors, but got enough chances because of that famous game.  His no-hitter may be the luckiest of them all.

1872 Malcolm MacDonald
1873 Tom Donovan
1874 Morris F. (Doc) Amole
1874 Virgil Lee (Ned) Garvin
1876 Harry Wilson
1876 Joe Martin
1880 Claude Rothgeb
1881 Jack (Rudy) Bell
1882 Howard Murphy
1882 Andy Bruckmiller
1884 Tom Downey
1891 Charlie Schmutz
1894 Laurence H. (Hack) Miller
1894 Frank Fuller
1897 (Vernon Monroe) Monty Swartz
1900 Al Stokes
1900 Teddy Kearns
1904 Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen not only hit .300 in his 13 year career, he later became the head coach of the Yale Baseball team, coaching two teams to the NCAA College World Series finals – teams that included future president George H.W. Bush.  As if that would be a good enough resume, Allen was the creator of the board game All Star Baseball.  Some of you may remember player disks and spinning the wheel to determine batting results…

1910 Charlie Devens
1911 Hank Greenberg

The Tiger great of the 1930s, who lost one season to a broken wrist and a few years to the war.  Plus, of course, he was playing second or third fiddle to Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx.

1912 Albert Thomas (Hiker) Moran
1919 Sherry Robertson
1921 Royce Lint
1924 Charlie Bishop
1924 Earl Torgeson

Torgeson was a bespectacled first baseman of the late 1940s and 1950s who played in two World Series (1948 Boston Braves, 1959 Chicago White Sox) and was a player-coach for the 1961 Yankees.  His batting stats are sort of a poor man’s Bobby Abreu – decent average, fair power, walks, and some stolen bases.  A biography of Torgeson in Baseball Players of the 1950s by Rich Marazzi and Len Fiorito is an interesting read if only it suggests that Toregson wasn’t always a fan friendly player…

1927 Carl Scheib
1931 Foster Castleman
1933 Gene Host
1942 Bill Bethea
1948 Rark Randall (Randy) Bobb
1953 Lynn Jones
1953 Joe Pittman
1955 Bob Owchinko
1955 Dewey LaMarr Hoyt

Hoyt won the 1983 AL Cy Young award mostly because he was a durable and accurate pitcher on a surprise division champ.  His career fell apart quickly – shed from the Sox to San Diego for Ozzie Guillen – because Hoyt had a fondness for marijuana and other drugs.

1969 Roberto Rivera
1970 Gary Wilson
1972 Rafael Roque
1974 Kevin Beirne
1975 Fernando Tatis

Tatis was the first player to hit two grand slams in the same inning, both off of Chan Ho Park, on April 23, 1999.   Here’s something about that game you may not remember – Tatis was later pulled in the eighth inning as part of a double-switch.

1984 Neil Wagner
1986 Nick Hagadone
1988 Dallas Keuchel

2015 AL Cy Young winner for the Astros, and a heck of a fine pitcher.

1989 Jarrett Parker
1990 Xavier Avery

OBITUARIES:

1904 George Radbourn
1916 Jake Drauby
1919 Gene Curtis
1921 George Winkleman
1923 Willie Keeler
1925 Hank Simon
1932 Tom Parrott
1949 Hans Rasmussen
1953 Doug McWeeny
1960 William Arthur (Tige) Stone
1966 Oscar Dugey
1967 John (Lindsay) Brown
1971 Joe Lotz
1971 Harry Rice
1974 Jimmy Smith
1977 Danny Frisella

Dune buggy accident – he tried to jump out as the vehicle started to roll but his foot got stuck.

1986 Bill Hall
1987 Ernie Maun
1990 Carmen Hill
1992 George Washington (Buck) Stanton
1999 Len Dondero
2000 Andy Spognardi
2004 John Stoneham
2006 Paul Lindblad
2007 Ernie Koy
2008 Chuck Daniel

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!

1941 Babe Ruth purchases $50,000 in US Defense Bonds, the most any one person could purchase at the time.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1894 In a particularly one-sided deal, Baltimore gets Baltimore trades Billy Shindle and George Treadway to Brooklyn for Dan Brouthers and Willie Keeler.  In the 1890s, the same ownership group controlled both Baltimore and Brooklyn and would keep all the good players on Baltimore.  So, while this is listed as a trade (and, on the surface, a really lopsided one at that), the truth is it was more a reorganization of talent.

1927 Brooklyn released an aging Zack Wheat.  Wheat signed with Philadelphia for the 1927 season and hit .324 in his only AL season.  He probably wasn’t finished as a ballplayer, but hung it up at the end of the 1927 season anyway.

2005 New York signs free agent first baseman Tino Martinez.

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Baseball History for December 30

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1851 Ed Caskin
1856 John Morrissey
1877 Charlie Miller
1878 Clarence Currie
1888 Ovid Nicholson

Nicholson got a brief tryout with the Pirates in 1912 and batted .455 in the few games he got to play.  Nicholson set a minor league record with 111 stolen bases in the 1912 season while with Frankfort thus earning his trip to Pittsburgh.  Despite playing well, Nicholson was returned to Louisville because the Pirates thought the raw kid was too small.

Nicholson married his wife, Nelle Donlea, whom he met while playing ball in Bedford, Indiana before heading off to World War I.  Then, he returned to his minor league nomadic life, playing and managing throughout the Midwest.  On a sad note, the Nicholsons lost their daughter, Donna Rose, to illness before her fifth birthday in 1926.   After that, the Nicholsons returned to Indiana to live among family and friends for the remainder of their lives.

1889 LaRue Kirby
1890 Jim Viox

Pirates second baseman at the end of the Honus Wagner era – spent most of his days in the Cincinnati area.

1892 Tom Connolly
1901 Dick Porter

His nickname is listed as both Wiggles and Twitchy…   Must have been a nervous fellow, huh?

1905 John Pomorski
1906 Ray Prim
1919 Pete Layden
1923 Harry Elliott
1929 Bill Taylor
1930 Milt Graff
1931 Frank Torre
1935 Sandy Koufax
1944 Jose Morales
1944 Bob Schroder
1945 Tom Murphy
1953 Steve Davis
1955 Keith MacWhorter
1967 Archie Corbin
1969 Steve Gajkowski
1970 Ben Blomdahl
1970 Bart Evans
1971 Travis Baptist
1973 Ralph Milliard
1975 Santiago Perez
1976 Brad Voyles
1976 A. J. Pierzynski
1977 Grant Balfour
1982 Jim Hoey
1985 Sean Gallagher
1988 Drew Rucinski
1988 Danny Burawa
1988 Bryce Brentz
1989 Erik Johnson

OBITUARIES:

1894 Jack McMahon

One of the last left-handed catchers.  McMahon’s demise was sad and quick.  In 1893, his middle and forefingers on his right hand were badly injured by an Amos Rusie pitch and there were fears that the fingers would need to be amputated.  He never played again.  The following spring, McMahon came down with what was thought to be Bright’s disease, but he appeared to be regaining health by the end of 1894 only to learn he had a kidney stone in his bladder.  He survived the surgery to remove it, but he was running a fever afterward and died at the age of 25.

1896 Dave Birdsall
1898 Bill Stearns
1903 Dan Leahy
1906 Henry Porter
1913 Joe Neale
1916 Reddy Mack
1934 George Henry
1946 Pat McGehee
1949 Doc Watson
1951 Bob Kinsella
1958 Glenn Spencer
1959 Lew Whistler
1962 Joe Boley
1963 Wilbur Good
1965 Jim Hickman
1968 Dick Marlowe
1974 Al Shaw
1980 Stuffy Stewart
1981 Josh Billings
1993 Tom Alston
1998 Jack Graham
2005 Bobby Stevens
2011 Ted Beard

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

No games or odd attractions to note…

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1943 Pittsburgh trades Babe Phelps to Philadelphia (NL) for Babe Dahlgren.  Phelps would never play in the majors again, but Dahlgren had three more decent seasons with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

1958 Los Angeles released Pee Wee Reese.

1970 Montreal acquires Ron Hunt from the Giants for Dave McDonald.

1995 The Yankees sign free agent pitcher Kenny Rogers.

2002 The Yankees sign free agent pitcher Roger Clements

2015 The Dodgers sign free agent pitcher Scott Kazmir.

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Baseball History for December 13

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1860 Leonidas Lee

Born Leonidas Pyrrhus Funkhouser – it appears that he was hiding his baseball ambitions from his father, or somebody, as he was still in college (not graduating until June, 1878) – and according to an alumni blog, returned to play his senior year for Princeton after he was given a tryout by St. Louis. Lee/Funkhouser was a Princeton kid who played but four games for the St. Louis Browns in 1877, getting five hits in eighteen at bats.

1868 Bill Everitt
1870 Ernest “Kid” Mohler
1873 Jack Taylor
1876 Charles “Rube” Kisinger
1877 Frank Hershey
1877 Leo Fishel
1878 Lyndon Earn “Mike” Welday
1882 Gene Good
1887 Frederick “Spec” Harkness
1889 Fritz Coumbe
1891 Bob Wright
1892 Ivan Bigler
1894 Stuart Louis “Larry” Jacobus
1896 Denny Williams
1899 William Herbert “Buckshot” May
1903 Al Smith
1904 Bill Windle
1909 Heber Hampton “Dick” Newsome
1913 Frank Joseph “Scat” Metha
1916 Lou Thuman
1916 Hank Majeski
1923 Larry Doby
1924 George Shuba
1926 Carl Erskine
1928 Joe Landrum
1929 Billy Loes
1931 Don Erickson
1931 Wycliffe Nathaniel “Bubba” Morton
1935 Joe Christopher
1935 Lindy McDaniel
1936 J. C. Martin
1937 Ron Taylor
1940 Nate Oliver
1942 Fergie Jenkins
1947 Dave Hamilton
1955 Paul Boris
1956 Dale Berra
1956 Jon Perlman
1960 Jeff Robinson
1964 Steve Wilson
1967 Mike Mordecai

Onetime Braves, Expos and Marlins infielder who currently handles minor league instruction for the Blue Jays.

You wouldn’t get this from his career record (.244 with 24 homers in ten seasons), but he was fearless at the plate and had a number of big hits.  His first career hit was a homer, and he used to get tons of key hits with the Marlins, including a post Bartman play double that buried the Cubs in Game Six of the 2003 World Series.

1969 Doug Saunders

Mets farmhand – spent forever with them before getting a short look with the club in 1993.  Must have been a great fielding infielder or a unique personality because, well, he couldn’t hit and wasn’t really a threat to run.

Not knowing any better, I bet he’s coaching somewhere and really good at it.

1971 Greg Mullins

North Florida kid – got signed as a free agent by the Brewers in 1995, snuck into the majors for two games totalling one inning in 1998.  He had one strikeout, one hit batter, one hit allowed, but no runs scored on him.  Then he retired.

1975 Matt LeCroy

Clemson grad – a catcher who could hit but over time lost his ability to throw…

He was initially drafted by the Mets in the second round of the 1994 draft, but he went to college.  When drafted in the first round by Minnesota in 1997, he jumped at the chance to play.

Could he hit?  Sure thing – 30 homers in the minors in 1999, 20 of then for Edmonton in 2001.  Brought to the majors, he hit .260 in 63 games in 2002 and .287 with 17 homers in 107 games for the Twins in 2003.  After six solid seasons as a hitter, he was signed by the Nationals where something changed – mostly his ability to throw – 57 of the last 63 runners who tried to steal a base were successful.  He didn’t enough chances to hit in Washington and was allowed to leave after the 2006 season.  The Twins took him back in 2007 but he saw little action.  His career ended with 60 homers in about 1500 career at bats, and a .260 batting average.

Lecroy wasn’t done with baseball, though – he became a minor league coach and manager in the Washington chain, and even spent a year with the Nationals as a pitching coach.

1976 Josh Fogg

A Florida kid – Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale and a Florida Gator – who was drafted by the White Sox in the third round back in 1998.

It took three years for Fogg to find his way to the big leagues, but before you knew it he was traded to the Pirates with Kip Wells for a couple of people that must have been better regarded prospects than they seem today (Lee Evans, Todd Ritchie).

For four years, he was a competent starter for some weaker Pirate teams, winning 10 – 12 games from 2002 to 2004 before falling off to a 6 – 11 5.13 mark in 2005.  Part of Fogg’s problem was a lack of any power – his career K/9 rate is under 5.  Still, he had two good years with the Rockies, winning 21 games over two seasons and even winning two playoff starts and getting a World Series start against Boston in 2007 (he was clobbered).  The Reds tried him in 2008 but by then he was likely damaged goods.  Fogg made just 14 starts for the Reds, resigned with Colorado where he pitched out of the pen (his most successful season, based on ERA), but was done soon after that.

1982 Ricky Nolasco

One time Cubs farm hand, he was shipped to the Marlins as one of three young arms for Juan Pierre.  The slider/curveballer came back from injury to have a stunning 2008 season, winning 15 games and pitching a career high 212.1 innings.  Though he continued winning, he was less effective – going from a solid number three type starter to an innings eating fourth or fifth starter.  In fact, he was demoted to AAA in 2010 to get his stuff together.

Since then, he’s pitched between 190 and 210 innings nearly every year since 2013, not always for the best of teams (Minnesota, Los Angeles Angels), but churning five or six innings most starts while getting swatted around to increasingly higher ERAs.  He’s still got a winning record, though – 108 – 103 after eleven seasons (279 starts).  And, I believe he remains the winningest pitcher in Marlins history as well as king of career Ks.

1987 Aneury Rodriguez

Good sized Dominican pitcher orignally developed by the Rockies and then Tampa Bay.  Rodriguez made the bigs in 2011 with the Astros at a time when they didn’t win a lot of games.  Rodriguez didn’t help (or wasn’t helped) – he went 1 – 6 in 43 games (eight starts) but showed some skill (fair control and a strikeout pitch).  It wasn’t good enough to keep him around – nor was a 6.60 ERA in the PCL in 2012 (Aneury made one start for Houston, and it was a good one, but that was it).  Given a chance to pitch in Korea he took it, but it didn’t save his career and with the exception of a couple of attempts to pitch in the Dominican winter leagues, he’s been out of baseball.

1989 Tyler Pastornicky

Blue Jays draft pick in 2008 right out of high school in his hometown of Bradenton.  Blessed with good speed, he was first noticed for swiping 51 bags for Low A Lansing (he was a Lug Nut!) before getting a promotion to Dunedin.  He was tossed in the trade that sent Yunel Escobar to Toronto from Atlanta and got to the big leagues with the Braves in 2012.

While his hitting has improved in the minors (he got to .314 in 2011 if you combine AA and AAA level play), it hasn’t kept him in the majors.  A knee injury that killed a couple of months of both the 2013 and 2014 seasons didn’t help, and although he was a productive AAA player in 2015 he’s being treated as organizational depth.  He was not an active player in 2016.

His dad, Cliff, was a third baseman for the Royals for two weeks in 1983.

OBITUARIES:

1904 Bob Murphy
1910 Dan McGann
1918 Frank Arellanes
1931 Al Schulz
1934 Doc Shanley
1941 Roy Witherup
1944 Lloyd Christenbury
1944 Welcome Gaston
1949 Orth Collins
1963 Joe Jaeger
1964 Hank Erickson
1969 Jack Kibble
1970 Chick Gandil
1970 George Baumgardner
1971 Mike Ryba
1981 Jack Snyder
1993 Billy Shantz
2000 Jake Jones
2004 Andre Rodgers

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!!!

1911 James Gaffney and John Montgomery Ward purchase the Boston NL franchise and name it the Braves, in part, because Gaffney is linked to Tammany Hall.

2007 The Mitchell Report is released, including the names of at least 89 MLB players who allegedly used PEDs.

TRANSACTION WIRE:

1906 Detroit purchases outfielder/first baseman Claude Rossman from Cleveland.

1907 The Giants send Frank Bowerman, George Browne, Bill Dahlen, Cecil Ferguson and Dan McGann to Boston for Al Bridwell, Fred Tenney, and Tom Needham.

1930 The Cards purchase George Sisler from the Braves.

1954 Brooklyn sends Billy Cox and Preacher Roe to the Orioles for two minor leaguers and $50,000.

1956 In a trade that really never happened, the Dodgers sent Jackie Robinson to the Giants, but Robinson never reported.

1969 Chicago sends Gary Peters and Don Pavletich to Boston for Garry Janeski.  That seems pretty lopsided, huh?

1974 A day my mother hated…  The Cubs released her favorite player, Carmen Fanzone.

1993 The Marlins sign Antonio Alfonseca, the six-fingered reliever, from Montreal in the Rule 5 draft.

1995 Pittsburgh unloads Jay Bell and Jeff King to the Royals for four players (including Joe Randa, who could play a little).  The Royals made out like bandits on that one…

1999 – The Marlins are busy – one winner, one loser.  After signing Johan Santana from Houston in the Rule 5 Draft, they send Santana to Minnesota for a minor leaguer and a seafood recipe.  Ouch.

On the other hand, they also picked up Brad Penny and Vlad Nunez from Arizona for Matt Mantai.

2001 The Mets add Roberto Alomar and Mike Bacsik (and a minor leaguer) for the low price of Matt Lawton, Alex Escobar, and three others – two of whom were added later.

2003 St. Louis sends J. D. Drew and Eli Marrero to Atlanta for Jason Marquis, Adam Wainwright, and Ray King.

2005 The Dodgers add Andre Ethier through a trade with Oakland, sending the As Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez.

Free Agent Signings!

1982 – Floyd Bannister (White Sox)
1996 – Roger Clemens (Toronto)
1999 – Greg Vaughn (Tampa Bay)
2004 – Roger Clemens (Houston)
2007 – Alex Rodriquez (New York Yankees)

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