<< Yesterday

Today in Baseball History
November 18th

35 Fact(s) Found
1886 The Pittsburgh Alleghenys leave the American Association to join the National League. After a few name changes, including the Innocents, the team will become known as the Pirates in 1891.
1914 The Cubs hire future Hall of Famer Roger Bresnahan to manage the team. The former Cardinal skipper will stay for just a year as Chicago finishes the season in fourth place with a 73-80 record.
1947 In the second of two deals between the clubs on consecutive days, St. Louis obtains Sam Dente, Clem Dreisewerd, Bill Sommers, and $65,000 from the Red Sox in exchange for Ellis Kinder and Billy Hitchcock. When the dust settles on the two-day, 13-player transaction, Boston ends up with two top-of-the-rotation hurlers, Kinder and Jack Kramer, and an All-Star offensive shortstop to hit behind Ted Williams, Vern Stephens, and the cash-deprived Browns, in addition to its four new players, receive a total of $375,000.
1949 Dodger second baseman Jackie Robinson (.342, 16, 124) becomes the first black player to win the MVP Award. Stan Musial, Ralph Kiner, and teammate Pee Wee Reese are the runners-ups in the BBWAA balloting.
1951 PCL's Los Angeles Angels infielder and future star of TV's The Rifleman, Chuck Connors, citing he wants to stay in California, becomes the first player to refuse to participate in the major league draft. The former Cub first baseman's desire not to leave the Pacific Coast League allows the minor leagues to ask for more money for big league talent.
1954 The A's hire Lou Boudreau to replace skipper Eddie Joost, who is given his unconditional release as a player-manager. During his three-year tenure in Kansas City, the future Hall of Famer will pilot the second-division club to a 151-260 record.
1959 Harry Craft is replaced by Bob Elliott as the A's manager. During his three-year stint in Kansas City, 'Wildfire' will compile a 162-196 (.453) record, finishing in seventh place each season in eight-team circuit.
1966 After finishing the Cy Young season with a 27-9 record and a league-leading 1.73 ERA, 30 year-old Sandy Koufax shocks the baseball world by announcing his retirement. The southpaw, who has thrown four no-hitters and set the single-season strikeout record last year with 382, cites his arthritic arm and the fear of permanent damage as the reason for placing himself on the voluntarily retired list.

1966 The Mets name Wes Westrum as the team's second manager in the franchise's brief history, replacing the legendary Casey Stengel who compiled a 175-404 (.302) record during his 3+ years with the expansion team. The new skipper had taken over the club's reins after the 'Old Perfessor' had fractured his hip in July.
1980 Royals' third baseman George Brett (.390, 24, 118), after batting nearly .400 all season, easily wins the American League's MVP Award. Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage, and Willie Wilson also received first-place votes.
1981 Dick Williams replaces Frank Howard as manager of the last-place Padres. The future Hall of Fame skipper, who has won three pennants and two World Series in the last 14 years as a major league pilot, will lead San Diego to a National League pennant in 1984.
1981 Mike Schmidt (.316, 31, 91) becomes the third player in National League history to win consecutive Most Valuable Player Awards. The Phillies slugging third baseman joins Ernie Banks (Cubs, 1958-59) and Joe Morgan (Reds, 1975-76) in winning the honor in back-to-back seasons.
1984 Dwight Gooden becomes the second consecutive Met player to be named the National League's Rookie of Year. The 19 year-old right-hander, who compiled a 17-9 record along with a 1.53 ERA and a league-leading 268 strikeouts, joins his teammate and close friend Darryl Strawberry to be honored the coveted freshman award.
1985 Pitching phenoms 20 year-old Dwight Gooden (Mets - NL) and 21 year-old Bret Saberhagen (Royals - AL) win the Cy Young Award. The right-handers become the youngest players in their respective leagues to win the coveted freshman pitching honor.
1986 Roger Clemens is selected as the American League's MVP, becoming the first pitcher to accomplish the feat since Vida Blue won the honor in 1971. The Red Sox right-hander, who also won this season's AL Cy Young Award, received 19 of the 28 first-place votes, with Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly and teammate Jim Rice listed on the top of the remaining nine ballots.
1987 Andre Dawson (.287, 49, 137) becomes the first major leaguer to win the MVP award playing for a last-place club. The Cubs outfielder easily outdistances runners-up shortstop Ozzie Smith and first baseman Jack Clark, both members of the Cardinals.
1987 George Bell (.308. 47, 134) is selected as the American League's Most Valuable Player, making the San Pedro de Macoris native the first Dominican to win the prestigious award. The Blue Jays' All-Star left fielder narrowly beat out Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell, who received 12 of the 28 first-place votes cast by the writers.
1991 President George H. W. Bush presents Red Sox legend Ted Williams, along with former First Lady Betty Ford and former House Speaker Thomas ''Tip'' O'Neill, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio (1977) and Dodger great Jackie Robinson (1984, posthumously) also honored with the highest civilian award in the United States.
1997 In the expansion draft, the Devil Rays select southpaw Tony Saunders from the Marlins as their first player. Tampa Bay also drafts right fielder Bobby Abreu, but quickly trades the future star to the Phillies for shortstop Kevin Stocker, who will struggle with the new franchise.
1998 In a close race, Juan Gonzalez wins the American League's Most Valuable Player award when he barely outpoints Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez, 290-287. The Rangers outfielder, also selected as the AL's MVP in 1996, becomes the first Latin American native to win the prestigious prize multiple times.
2000 The Mariners sign Orix Blue Wave's Ichiro Suzuki to a three-year deal making him the first Japanese position player in major league history. Seattle agrees to pay $13 million to his former team for the right to negotiate with Japan's best hitter.
2002 The Braves, Marlins, and the Rockies complete a three-team trade which sends starting pitcher Mike Hampton and outfielder Juan Pierre to Florida with backstop Charles Johnson, outfielder Preston Wilson, southpaw reliever Vic Darensbourg, and infield prospect Pablo Ozuna to the Colorado. The Marlins then sent Hampton to the Braves in exchange for righty reliever Tim Spooneybarger and pitching prospect Ryan Baker.
2004 Although the Expos may not know where they are playing next season (until the MLB approves the shifting the franchise to Washington, DC) or the team's new name, the former Montreal franchise will know who is the club's manager. After compiling a 233-253 record despite many restrictions and hardships, Frank Robinson will return to the helm for his fourth year as the skipper of this nomad ship.
2008 Joining Cal Ripken Jr. (Orioles - 1983) and Ryan Howard (Phillies - 2006), Dustin Pedroia (.326, 17, 83) becomes the third player in major league history to win the Most Valuable Player award a season after being selected as the Rookie of the Year. The scrappy Gold Glove second baseman, the tenth Red Sox player to earn the American League honor, received 16 of the 28 first-place votes to easily outdistance heavy-hitting Twins first baseman Justin Morneau (.300, 23, 129).
2008 Ryan Dempster (17-6, 2.96) and the Cubs agree to a $52 million, four-year deal. The 31 year-old right-handed starter had been the club's closer, saving 87 games in 102 chances during the 2005-07 seasons.
2008 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice introduces Ken Griffey, Jr. as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy, a position in which the future Hall of Famer will represent the "values of the United States, not the government of the United States." The free-agent outfielder, who played for the Reds and White Sox last season, joins Cal Ripken Jr. as a major leaguer serving his country in the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
2009 Jim Tracy is named the National League Manager of the Year, becoming just the second person to cop the honor after taking over a team during the season, joining Jack McKeon who also accomplished the feat with the 2003 Marlins. The 53 year-old skipper, who piloted the Rockies to the NL Wild Card from a 14.5 game deficit at the end of May, is rewarded by Colorado with a three-year contract.
2009 Mike Scioscia, who piloted the Angels to its third consecutive division title and sixth postseason appearance in the last eight year and guided Los Angeles past a myriad of injuries to key players, is named the AL Manager of the Year for the second time. The 50 year-old Angels skipper helped to ease the team's deep sorrow caused by the sudden death of 22 year-old starter Nick Adenhart, who died in a hit-and-run car accident just hours after pitching six shutout innings against Oakland for the Halos.
2010 Ron Gardenhire, a day after being selected as the American League Manager of the Year, accepts a two-year extension through the 2013 season from the Twins. The 53 year-old skipper has compiled a record of 803-656 (.550) record en route to winning six division during his nine-year tenure in Minnesota.
2010 Free-agent backstop John Buck signs a three-year, $18 million contract to catch for the Marlins, the team that sought his services a minute after free agency opened. The signing of the 30 year-old catcher, who enjoyed a career year with the Blue Jays, hitting .281 with 20 home runs, continues Florida's active participation in the early off-season, that also includes the acquisition of four relievers and an infielder.
2010 Despite an unspectacular 13-12 record, Felix Hernandez is named the American League Cy Young Award winner ahead of Tampa Bay's David Price (19-6) and New York's CC Sabathia (21-7). King Felix's league-leading 2.27 ERA and the lack of run support provided by the last-place Mariners made the Seattle ace an easy choice for the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who placed him first on 21 of the 28 ballots cast.
2011 The Cubs introduce Dale Sveum as the fifth-place team's new manager, replacing Mike Quade, the former skipper fired by Chicago's new GM Theo Epstein at the end of the season. The 52nd manager in franchise history, whose managerial experience consists of sixteen games as Milwaukee's interim skipper in 2008, is considered a no-nonsense baseball lifer who will stress the game's fundamentals while implementing "high standards of accountability" for the players.
2013 Tim Hudson agrees to a two-year deal, reportedly worth $23 million, to pitch for the Giants, joining a stellar rotation that includes Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, and Tim Lincecum. The 38 year-old right-hander compiled an 8-7 record with a 3.97 ERA last season for the Braves, before sustaining a season-ending ankle injury.
2014 The Mets announce the team is moving in sections of the Citi Field outfield wall, adjusting the distances from home plate to center and right field from three to 11 feet. According to New York's General Manager Sandy Alderson, the modifications are a refinement of previous changes made at the ballpark and will continue to be fair to both pitchers and hitters.
2014 Three-time All-Star backstop Russell Martin and the Blue Jays finalize a five-year, $82-million contract, the second-largest free-agent deal in franchise history. The acquisition of the 31 year-old Canadian-born catcher, who led the Pirates to playoff appearances for the past two seasons, signals Toronto intention of being a contender in the AL East next year.

35 Fact(s) Found