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This Day in Baseball History
November 20th

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21 Fact(s) Found
1934 Eiji Sawamura strikes out nine batters over five innings, including Charlie Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx in succession during an exhibition game played against a team of visiting All-Star major leaguers at Shizuoka's Kusanagi Stadium. While becoming a national hero, the 17 year-old right-handed reliever's appearance against the American professionals leads to his expulsion from high school and the forfeiture of an opportunity to attend Keio University next semester.
1952 Commissioner Ford Frick states his belief that the Pacific Coast League will eventually reach major league status. The PCL is the only minor league in history to be given the "Open" classification, considered a step above the AAA level, limiting the rights of big-league clubs to draft players from its teams, and is perceived as a precursor to the circuit becoming a third major league.
1955 Carroll Hardy, the 49ers' third-round pick in this year's NFL Draft, enjoys his best day as a professional football player, catching two Y.A. Tittle touchdown passes in the team's 27-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Milwaukee County Stadium. The 22 year-old halfback will leave the gridiron after one season, signing with Red Sox where he will have the distinction to be the only player to ever pinch-hit for Boston legend Ted Williams.
1958 Jackie Jensen (.286, 35, 122), breaking New York's four-year stronghold on the award, is selected as the American League Most Valuable Player. The outcome is unexpected as the Red Sox fleet outfielder played on a non-contender, unlike runner-up Bob Turley, who pitched for the World Champion Yankees.

Amazon The Golden Boy: A Biography of Jackie Jensen

1967 Tom Seaver is named the National League's Rookie of the Year. The 22 year-old right-hander, who compiled a 16-13 record along with a 2.76 ERA for the last-place Mets, easily outdistances fellow righties Dick Hughes of St. Louis and Cincinnati's Gary Nolan for the freshman honor.
1969 The BBWAA selects Willie McCovey (.320, 45, 126) as the National League's Most Valuable Player. The Giants' first baseman edges Tom Seaver, who posted a 2.21 ERA with 208 strikeouts and a league-leading 25 wins for the World Champion Mets.
1985 Jim Leyland, who will become a mainstay in the Bucs' dugout for 11 seasons, replaces Chuck Tanner as the Pirates' manager. Pittsburgh finished in last place this season, compiling a woeful record of 57-104.
1987 Longtime-friend Jim Frey hires Don Zimmer, former skipper of the Padres, Red Sox, and Rangers, to manage the Cubs. In his last managerial stint, 'Popeye' will compile a 265-258 (.507) record during his three-plus-year tenure in Chicago.
1989 Robin Yount is selected by the BBWAA as the American League's Most Valuable Player, becoming the first American Leaguer from a sub .500 team to win the prestigious prize. The Milwaukee center fielder, who also won the award in 1982 as a shortstop, joins Hank Greenberg and Stan Musial as the third person to win the MVP twice, playing different positions.
1990 The Commissioner's Office suspends Roger Clemens for the first five games of the 1991 season and fines him $10,000 due to his unruly behavior toward the umpires in Game 4 of the ALCS. The right-hander ace, starting the deciding game in Boston's loss in the 1990 ALCS against the A's, was ejected in the second inning of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum contest by umpire Terry Cooney for his frequent and rapid use of foul language.

2001 Ichiro Suzuki becomes the second player in major league history to win the Most Valuable Player Award in the same year as being selected Rookie of the Year. The 28 year-old Mariner outfielder joins Red Sox freshman outfielder Fred Lynn, who accomplished the feat in 1975, as the only other rookie to win the MVP.
2004 U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduces a resolution congratulating the Red Sox on their recent World Championship, a four-game sweep of St. Louis. The team had never won the World Series during the lifetime of the 72 year-old legislator.

Text of Senate Resolution 482

2007 Jimmy Rollins becomes the fifth and second consecutive Phillies player to win the National League Most Valuable Player Award. The 5'8" Gold Glove shortstop, who narrowly edges Matt Holliday of the Rockies for the honor, joins Chuck Klein (1932), Jim Konstanty (1950), Mike Schmidt (1980, 1981, 1986), and Ryan Howard (2006) to win the MVP in the senior circuit playing in Philadelphia.
2007 Mike Lowell and the Red Sox finalize a $37.5 million, three-year contract. The 33 year-old third baseman, the World Series MVP, sought a four-year deal but chose to stay with the World Champions despite longer and more lucrative offers.
2008 The 35-year reign of George Steinbrenner as the Yankees boss officially ends when the MLB owners unanimously approve of his son taking control of the franchise. Hal Steinbrenner was appointed co-chairman of the team along with his brother Hank at the start of last season when it became evident their 78 year-old dad was gradually reducing his role as the owner of the storied franchise.
2008 Mike Mussina, a twenty-game winner last season, announces his retirement, ending an 18-year career with the Orioles and the Yankees. 'Moose,' who compiled a 270-153 record with a 3.68 ERA, left Baltimore after the 2000 season, signing an $88.5 million, six-year free-agent deal to play in the Bronx.
2009 Tim Lincecum becomes the eighth hurler in baseball history, joining Sandy Koufax, Denny McLain, Jim Palmer, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson, to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards. The Giants right-hander, receiving fewer first-place votes than the third runner-up Adam Wainwright, outpoints the Cardinals righty as well as runner-up Chris Carpenter, also a Redbird starter.
2012 The Blue Jays rehire 50 year-old John Gibbons to replace their manager John Farrell, who was released from his contract last month to become Boston's skipper. In the 605 games, he managed Toronto over parts of five seasons, compiling a 305-305 won-lost record from 2004-08.
2012 Jeremy Guthrie and the Royals come to terms on a $25 million, three-year deal that will keep the right-hander in Kansas City through 2015. The former Eagle Scout, obtained in a midseason trade from the Rockies for southpaw starter Jonathan Sanchez, compiled a 5-3 record along with a 3.16 ERA in 14 starts with his new team.
2012 The Rays announce the club has re-signed Joel Peralta to a $6 million, two-year deal that includes club options for 2015-17. The 36 year-old right-handed reliever, mainly in his role as the setup man for Fernando Rodney, posted a 2-6 record along with a 3.63 ERA and a career-high 84 strikeouts in his 76 appearances for Tampa Bay.
2013 The Tigers trade Prince Fielder to the Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler, who will fill the void created by the departure of free agent Omar Infante to Kansas City. Texas hopes their new southpaw-swinging slugger, who has blasted at least 30 home runs in six of the past seven seasons, will provide much-needed power to the team's lineup.

21 Fact(s) Found