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This Day in Baseball History
February 21st

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14 Fact(s) Found
1931 The White Sox and Giants become the first major league clubs to play a night game. The Buffs Stadium (Houston, Texas) exhibition game lasts ten innings, with the teams collecting a total of 23 hits.
1931 The Dodgers arrive in Cuba to start a series of five inter-squad games. Brooklyn right-hander Dolf Luque, known as the Pride of Havana, will appear in the exhibitions scheduled for the spacious Tropical Stadium.
1945 Due to wartime travel restrictions, the Office of Defense Transportation has requests major league clubs to cut travel by twenty-five percent. Commissioner Ford Frick estimates the decision to cancel the All-Star game, which has taken place annually since its inception in 1933, will save 500,000 passenger miles.
1966 Emmett Ashford becomes the first black to be a major league umpire when the American League hires him. 'Ash,' known for his flashy style in the PCL, will spend five years in the bigs, working the 1967 All-Star game and the 1970 World Series, before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

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1968 The players and owners reach the first-ever collective basic agreement. The two-year CBA raises the minimum salary from $6,000 to $10,000, the first increase in two decades, and provides a new grievance arbitration procedure for labor disputes empowers the commissioner as the final arbiter.
1974 Tom Seaver becomes the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history when he signs a one-year contract for $172,000, a twenty-five percent increase from last season, to hurl for the Mets. The 29 year-old right-hander known as 'Tom Terrific' has posted a 135-76 record during his seven years in New York.
1980 The A's sign Billy Martin to a two-year, $250,000 deal to be Charlie Finley's fifteenth different manager in twenty years. During the three-year reign of 'Billy Ball,' the fiery 51 year-old skipper will compile a 215-218 record, winning a division title as the first-half leader of the 1981 strike-shortened season in the AL West.
1986 In defiance of the Reds' policy, Rollie Fingers refuses to cut off his trademark handlebar mustache and retires from baseball. The future Hall of Fame reliever, who leaves the game with 341 saves, had been offered a contract by Cincinnati's skipper Pete Rose after being released by the Brewers at the end of last season.

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1989 Reds manager Pete Rose meets with Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and Commissioner-elect Bart Giamatti to explain the allegations concerning his gambling habits. Major League Baseball will launch a full investigation into the matter next month, which will lead to "Charlie Hustle's" permanent ban from the game in August.
2000 Denying the acquisition of Ken Griffey, Jr. as the reason, the Reds announce the team has dropped its prohibition on earrings. Players have worn the jewelry in the Cincinnati clubhouse but weren't allowed to take the field wearing earwear.
2006 The National Baseball Hall of Fame selects gene Elston to receive the Ford C. Frick Award. During his 47 years in the broadcast booth, the former Astros announcer brought a no-nonsense approach to reporting the happenings on the diamond.

2008 Ryan Howard, who made $900,000 last season, gets a substantial raise by winning his salary arbitration case against the Phillies. The 28 year-old first baseman receives a $10 million award, tying Alfonso Soriano, who had sought $12 million and lost, for the highest amount ever given to a player in the process.
2009 In a decision which team general manager Neal Huntington calls easy, the Pirates pick up John Russell's contract option for this season. The sophomore skipper went 67-95 in his first season with the last-place Bucs.
2019 Manny Machado agrees to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres, making the 25 year-old infielder's deal the richest free-agent signing in baseball history. In two weeks, Bryce Harper's will surpass the all-time free-agent jackpot, when he signs a 13-year, $330 million commitment with the Phillies.

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14 Fact(s) Found