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Today in Baseball History
December 5th

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25 Fact(s) Found
1950 Mel Ott leaves the Giants' organization, signing a two-year pact to manage the Pacific Coast League's Oakland club. 'Marvelous Mel' will replace Chuck Dressen, who compiled a 222-165 (.572) record and captured last season's PCL championship during his two-year tenure with the Oaks.
1952 Figures reveal 1,493,632 fewer fans attended major league games last season, representing a 9.26% decrease from the previous season. The drop marks the second consecutive season in which attendance has declined, and the trend will continue next year.
1955 Ellis Kinder is selected off waivers by the Cardinals from the Boston Red Sox. During his eight seasons in Boston, the 41-year-old right-hander posted an 86-52 record with an earned run average of 3.28.
1955 Carl Stotz announces his plans to organize a rival baseball circuit for kids as an alternative to Little League. The Williamsport lumberyard clerk, considered the founder of the original Little League Baseball that started play in 1939, left the organization due to a lawsuit he filed when he disagreed with expanding the existing leagues.

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1957 In a deal mandated by owner Gussie Busch, the Cardinals obtain Curt Flood from the Reds, along with Joe Taylor, for Marty Kutyna, Willard Schmidt, and Ted Wieand. The trade proves beneficial when their new 19-year-old player becomes an All-Star Gold Glove center fielder and plays a pivotal role in the club's two worlds championships and an NL pennant during his 12-year reign in St. Louis.
1958 The Phillies, hoping to fill the National League void in the Big Apple caused by the departure of the Giants and Dodgers to the west coast, drop any plans for 1959 broadcasts into New York City. The team's reversal occurs when the Yankees threaten to air Bronx Bombers contests in Philadelphia.
1973 Veteran third baseman Ron Santo thwarts the Cubs' plan to trade him when he becomes the first player to invoke the new 10 and 5 rule. The team wanted to send their 33-year-old infielder to the Angels for two pitchers, but his 10+ years in the major leagues, including his 5+ seasons with Chicago, gave him the right to veto the deal.
1973 The Dodgers trade outfielder Willie Davis to Montreal for Mike Marshall. The reliever will win the Cy Young Award for LA next season, and Davis has a solid season, batting .295 in his one season with the Expos.
1975 Yogi Berra, fired unexpectedly after piloting the club as a first-year manager to a 99-63 record and an American League pennant in 1964, returns to the Yankees as a coach after an 11-year absence. The hiring of the team's former All-Star catcher and skipper to be Billy Martin's bench coach marks the first time in the history of the game the designation becomes a description for a member of the coaching staff.
1977 Bobby Bonds (.264, 37, 115), made expendable when the team signed Lyman Bostock, is dealt by the Angels with Thad Bosley and Richard Dotson to the White Sox for backstop Brian Downing, Dave Frost, and Chris Knapp. The trade helps both teams, with Bonds filling the void created by the departure of free agents Richie Zisk and Oscar Gamble, and California gets a much-needed first-string catcher who will become a mainstay behind the plate for the Halos for 13 seasons.
1978 The Indians deal Alfredo Griffin and prospect Phil Lansford to the Blue Jays for Victor Cruz. The Tribe's transaction will prove short-sighted when the 21-year-old shortstop wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award next season, and their newly-acquired right-hander posts a 3-9 record with a 4.23 ERA.
1978 After sixteen years with the Reds, 37-year-old Pete Rose signs a four-year, $3.2 million deal with the Phillies, becoming the game's highest-paid player. The Mets, Braves, Pirates, and Royals also pursued Charlie Hustle, who makes a major contribution to Philadelphia's three postseason appearances, including the 1980 World Championship, during his five-year tenure with the team.

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1984 The Yankees obtain Rickey Henderson and pitcher Bert Bradley from the A's for pitchers Jay Howell and Jose Rijo, outfielder Stan Javier, and two minor leaguers. The Bronx Bombers also trade catcher Rick Cerone to the Braves for right-hander Brian Fisher.
1990 Hoping to fill the void created by Darryl Strawberry's departure to LA as a free agent, the Mets make their first move into the free-agent market in 10 years when they sign Vince Coleman to a 4-year contract just shy of $12 million. The former St. Louis outfielder, who will spend time on the disabled list on five occasions during the next two seasons, will be hampered by injuries to his ribs and hamstrings during his stay with New York.
1990 Toronto trades first baseman Fred McGriff and shortstop Tony Fernandez to the Padres for second baseman Roberto Alomar and outfielder Joe Carter. The two new Blue Jays will play a vital role in the team's back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993.
1996 The player association executive committee unanimously approves the new collective bargaining agreement. The CBA's affirmative vote clears the path for interleague play and guarantees there will be no work stoppages for at least five years.
2001 New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announces he wants to complete new stadium deals for the Mets and Yankees before leaving office at the end of the month. Before the September 11 attacks, which dramatically changed the city's financial stature, the mayor believed an arrangement in which the city, the state, and the owners agreed to pay one-third of the new stadiums' cost might complete the negotiations with the teams.
2002 The Mets sign the much sought-after free-agent Tom Glavine to a three-year deal worth $35 million, with an option for an additional year that could increase the value of the contract to $42.5 million. The 36-year-old southpaw, who has compiled a 242-143 record along with a 3.37 ERA, will notch his 300th career win with New York in 2007.
2009 After trying seven shortstops since Nomar Garciaparra's 2004 trade to the Cubs, the Red Sox give Marco Scutaro an opportunity to play the position, inking the 34-year-old infielder to a two-year deal with a club option for 2012. The free agent, who hit a career-best .282 along with 12 homers and 60 RBIs for Toronto last season, will replace Alex Gonzalez, who left the Red Sox after Boston declined his $6 million option and recently signed with the Blue Jays.
2010 On the eve of the winter meetings, free-agent Jayson Werth (.296, 27, 85) and the Nationals come to terms on a $126 million, seven-year contract. The signing of the 31-year-old right-fielder, who has been a cog in Philadelphia's recent success, will help fill the void created by the departure of Adam Dunn, the team's former clean-up hitter, to the south side of Chicago.
2011 ESPN hires Terry Francona, recently fired by the Red Sox, as an analyst for its signature Sunday Night games and contributor to other studio shows, including SportsCenter. The former skipper will be replacing Bobby Valentine, recently hired to replace him in the Boston dugout.
2011 Ron Santo is elected to the Hall of Fame posthumously by the Golden Era Committee, receiving 15 of its possible 16 votes. The former Cubs' third baseman, who played in the 1960s and early '70s, compiled a .277 lifetime batting average, won five Gold Gloves, and was a member of nine All-Star teams during his 15-year tenure in Chicago, including a season on the South Side with the White Sox.
2014 Kevin Cash becomes the youngest current skipper in the big leagues when the Rays tweet that he will be replacing Joe Maddon, who recently signed to manage the Cubs. Tampa Bay selects the 37-year-old former Indians' bullpen coach over Don Wakamatsu, the current Royals bench coach and one-time Mariners manager.
2015 The organ, played by the legendary Nancy Faust at Old Comiskey Park and the U.S. Cellular Field for over 3,000 games, is purchased by Red Sox organist Josh Kantor, who grew up in Chicago listening to her renditions of Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The iconic instrument, used over 41 seasons, was put up for bid by the White Sox during their annual holiday charity auction at U.S. Cellular Field.

2019 The Reds ink Mike Moustakas, who hit .254 with 35 home runs and 87 RBI in 143 games for the Brewers last season, to a four-year, $64 million deal, making the left-handed slugger the team's richest free-agent signing in club history. Cincinnati hopes the three-time All-Star infielder will provide much-needed offense to a lineup that scored the fourth-fewest runs in the National League.

25 Fact(s) Found