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This Day in Baseball History
March 17th

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16 Fact(s) Found
1907 After yesterday's vicious attack on the groundskeeper's wife by his troubled outfielder, Tigers owner Frank Navin makes an all-out effort to trade Ty Cobb. Indian skipper Nap Lajoie turns down a straight swap for former league batting champ Elmer Flick, calling the 'Georgia Peach' a problem player, and Connie Mack of the A's, given his already strong outfield, shows only a passing interest.á
1936 Joe DiMaggio makes his Yankee debut in a big way. The 21 year-old future Hall of Fame outfielder collects four hits, including a triple, in an 8-7 exhibition loss to the Cardinals.
1940 At Plant Field in Tampa, a capacity crowd sees the National League beat the AL in an interleague exhibition all-star game. The charity contest, which is heard nationally on the Mutual Broadcasting System, raises over $20,000 to help feed, clothe, and house the non-combatant citizens of Finland, whose country was recently attacked in November by the Soviet Union.
1953 The Milwaukee County Board, which oversees County Stadium, tears up their three-year deal with its minor league team and offers the use of the ballpark to the Boston Braves at the reduced rate of $1,000 for the first two years. In exchange, the city would receive five percent of the gate receipts and the majority of the concession sales for the initial three seasons.
1953 The Braves' spring training game against the Yankees in Bradenton will prove to be the team's last full one representing the city of Boston. During the sixth inning of tomorrow's exhibition contest, the club learns the National League has approved its shift next month to Milwaukee, in contrast to the Junior Circuit that two days ago denied Bill Veeck permission to move his Browns to Baltimore, citing insurmountable problems due to the short amount of time left before Opening Day.
1965 Jackie Robinson continues to break barriers, becoming the first black to be a member of a national network broadcasting team when he signs on to announce games with ABC. The Hall of Fame infielder will make his Game of the Week debut next month at Fenway Park, teaming with Merle Harmon, the radio voice of the Milwaukee Braves.
1966 Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale play hardball when negotiating with the Dodgers. The duo signs movie contracts, showing they are serious about retiring from baseball if their salary demands are not met.
1969 The Braves trade Joe Torre, a spring training holdout publicly feuding with team GM Paul Richards, to the Cardinals for 1967 National League MVP Orlando Cepeda. The All-Star catcher/infielder will play six years in St. Louis, compiling a .308 batting average for the Redbirds that includes a major league-leading .363 in his 1971 MVP season.
1976 All clubs will comply within forty-eight hours to Commissioner Kuhn's orders to open spring training camps as soon as possible, abruptly ending the 17-day work stoppage. The lockout, initiated by the owners over their concerns about free agency and the free-entry draft, will not impact the start of the regular season.
1977 In a decision seen as one of the most influential and precedent-setting cases in the history of American jurisprudence in regards to professional sports, a federal court rules in favor of Bowie Kuhn's decision to void the 1976 sale of A's players by Charlie Finley. The Oakland owner sued the commissioner for illegal restraint of trade when his deals to send Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox for $2 million and Vida Blue to the Yankees for $1.5 million were invalidated "in the best interests of baseball."
1986 During a Cactus League contest, Carney Lansford is credited with an unusual two-run inside-the-park homer in the A's 5-3 victory over the Indians in Phoenix. The Oakland infielder is able to circle the bases in the fourth inning when Cleveland flychaser Mel Hall gets his shirt stuck on the outfield fence and is unable to untangle himself to pick up the ball, that is just barely out of his reach, while his teammate, shortstop Julio Franco, closest to the play, is so incapacitated with laughter he is unable to help.
1999 In a rare dismissal of a manager in spring training, the Blue Jays, after deciding he has lost all his credibility, fire Tim Johnson, replacing him with Jim Fregosi. In the offseason, the former Toronto skipper, after claiming he had seen combat in Vietnam, reveals he lied about his military service, causing many players on his team to lose all respect for him as their field boss.
2001 Joe Randa agrees to a two-year contract extension keeping him in Kansas City until the 2003 season. The Royals' third baseman batted .304 and knocked in 106 runs for the Royals in 155 games last season.
2005 During 11+ hours of the Committee on Government Reform hearing concerning major league player use of steroids, Mark McGwire refuses to talk about the past and does not deny taking performance enhancing drugs. Other players testifying included Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, and former big leaguer Jose Canseco, whose recent book prompted the congressional hearing.

2008 The Dodgers lose to the Astros, 12-10, in their last game at Dodgertown, the team's spring training home since 1948. Eighty-one year old Carl Erskine, who pitched the first game played at Holman Stadium 55 years ago, plays the national anthem on his harmonica prior to the contest.
2010 In a rare spring training ruling, major league baseball suspends a player as a result of an incident that occurs in an exhibition game. Cliff Lee, the Mariners' much-hyped acquisition, is fined and suspended for the first five games of the regular season after throwing a pitch over the head of Chris Snyder in a Catcus League contest against Arizona.

16 Fact(s) Found