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This Day in Baseball History
February 19th

15 Fact(s) Found
1935 Lou Gehrig signs a one-year deal with the Yankees for a reported $30,000, a seven thousand raise, but less than the $35,000 he had requested. Last season, the All-Star first baseman hit .363 with 49 homers and led the American League with 165 RBIs.
1942 Indian first baseman Hal Trosky tells the Des Moines Register he is leaving the team, citing his recurring migraine headaches, first experienced in 1938, as the reason for his early retirement. The 29 year-old good-hitting infielder, who will finish his 11-year career with a .302 batting average, will attempt a comeback with the White Sox in 1944.
1946 Danny Gardella becomes the first major league player to jump to the Mexican League. The outfielder goes south of the border, lured by a salary of $10,000, more than double the amount offered by the Giants.
1953 After being hit by enemy fire during a combat mission, Ted Williams safely crash-lands his Panther jet at the Suwon's K-13 Airbase in Korea, skidding along the airstrip for nearly a mile before coming to a stop. The midnight-blue F9F is a total wreck, but the Marine reservist, who quickly evacuates the burning aircraft, suffers only minor injuries.

Amazon Ted Williams At War


“....I have decided on the basis of facts developed at these conferences that Mr. McLain's involvement in 1967 bookmaking activities and his associations at that time leave me no alternative but to suspend him from all organized baseball activities pending the completion of my review of his situation." -BOWIE KUHN, commissioner of baseball announcing Denny McLain's suspension.

After a five-and-a-half-hour meeting with Denny McLain, the pitcher's lawyer, William Aiken, and baseball's security chief, Henry Fitzgibbon, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends the Tigers right-hander indefinitely for bookmaking and his associations at that time. The 1968 Cy Young Award recipient appeared voluntarily before a Federal grand jury in Detroit yesterday.

1977 The Rangers purchase Paul Lindblad from Oakland for $400,000. The left-handed reliever will appear in 42 games for Texas this season, posting a 4-5 record with an ERA of 4.20 for the second-place club.
1981 When the player-management panel is unable to reach a compromise, baseball implements a compensation plan that provides for the team signing a ranking free agent to give up a roster player and an amateur draft choice in return. The owners' move, seen by the players as undermining the value of free agency, will lead to a mid-season strike, forcing the cancellation of 713 games.
1983 Fernando Valenzuela becomes the first player to be awarded $1,000,000 via the arbitration process. The 22 year-old Mexican southpaw has compiled a career record of 34-20 during his three years with the Dodgers.
1987 After signing a contract as a free agent with the A's less than a month ago, 37 year-old Vida Blue unexpectedly retires from baseball. The veteran southpaw, who played a significant role in the A's consecutive world championships in 1972, 1973, and 1974, compiled a 209-161 record during his 17-year major league career, which also included stints with the Giants and Royals.
2002 The 37 year-old Jose Canseco (.258, 16, 49) signs a minor league contract with the lame duck Expos. The 17-year veteran, who was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1985 and its MVP a season later, is 38 homers shy of the coveted 500 mark.
2008 In a deal which includes a club option worth $10 million, sophomore Ian Kinsler (.286, 14, 55) signs a five-year, $22 million contract with the Rangers. With the signing of the 24 year-old second baseman and last season's contract extension for All-Star shortstop Michael Young, Texas has locked up the middle of their infield through 2013.
2009 Despite his poor performance last season, the Braves give Jeff Francoeur (.239, 11, 71) a significant raise over his previous salary of $460,000, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3,375,000 with the outfielder. The deal, a compromise between their two offers, comes just hours before a scheduled salary arbitration hearing in Arizona.
2010 The Nationals finalize a $2 million, one-year deal, that includes the opportunity to earn up to $3 million in performance-based bonuses, with former Yankee pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (1-6, 9.64 ERA). The 29 year-old right-hander, who hasn't been the same since injuring his foot running the bases in a 2008 interleague game against Houston, underwent shoulder surgery last July and is not expected to pitch in the first few months of the season.
2012 Before a 3-1 loss to the Devils at the Bell Centre, the NHL's Canadiens pay an emotional tribute to the late Gary Cater with a five-minute video set to The Eagles’ New Kid in Town. The players don No. 8 Carter jerseys during warmups, and the team's mascot Youppi!, who once represented the city's National League team, wears the Expos colors in place of his usual bleu-blanc-rouge (blue, white, and red), honoring the memory of the only Montreal player enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

2014 Avoiding arbitration, Homer Bailey (11-12, 3.49) and the Reds agree to a $105 million, six-year deal, including a $25 million mutual option for 2020. The 27 year-old starter from Texas, the author of two major league no-hitters, will continue to be part of Cincinnati's young rotation that includes Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, and southpaw Tony Cingrani, who are all under the age of 30.

15 Fact(s) Found