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This Day in Baseball History
November 24th

23 Fact(s) Found
1870 On Thanksgiving Day, New York City baseball enthusiasts enjoy the official closing of the season with all the available fields packed with players on this day of gratitude. The New York Times reports if the weather is good, "the ball tossers will have a great deal of exciting sport."
1883 The American Association expands to a dozen teams, admitting the Brooklyn Atlantics, Indianapolis Hoosiers, Toledo Blue Stockings, and the Washington Nationals. The new clubs join existing franchises in New York (Metropolitans), Columbus (Buckeyes), Louisville (Eclipse), St. Louis (Browns), Cincinnati (Red Stockings), Baltimore (Orioles), Richmond (Virginians), and Pittsburgh (Alleghenys).
1948 National League president Ford Frick pays $350 for funeral services, including the cost of a coffin for the unclaimed body of Hack Wilson, who died alone and penniless yesterday in a Baltimore City Hospital from internal hemorrhages and a pulmonary condition. The 48-year-old former slugger, initially identified only as a white male, will be laid to rest at Rosedale Cemetery in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where he began his professional career playing in the Class D Blue Ridge League.
1953 At a gathering of stunned reporters in his office on Montague Street, Dodger owner Walter O'Malley announces replacing manager Chuck Dressen with Walter Alston, the future winner of seven pennants and four World Series during his 23-year tenure with the team. The leading candidate for the position was Pee Wee Reese, Brooklyn's fan-favorite shortstop.
1963 In the extreme cold, Bill Veeck, the former owner of the Phillies, Indians, Browns, and White Sox, along with his son Mike and a nephew, are among the 250,000 people who pay their respect to John F. Kennedy, lying in state in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Encouraged by the slain president's family to move to the front, the World War II vet declines the offer, insisting he is just an ordinary citizen and keeps his place in line for 15 hours with blood from his amputated leg soaking his trousers.
1964 The BBWAA selects Ken Boyer (.295, 24, 119) as the National League's MVP. The World Champion Cardinal third baseman easily outdistances Phillies right fielder Johnny Callison and teammate Bill White for the honor.
1971 Atlanta's slugger Earl Williams receives 18 of 24 first-place votes cast by the BBWAA to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. The Braves' 23-year-old catcher-infielder hit 33 home runs and drove in 87 runs for the third-place team this season.
1975 Former Phillies and Expos skipper Gene Mauch, who will replace the Twins' popular Frank Quilici in the dugout, becomes the first manager in franchise history to be given a multi-year contract, signing a three-year deal with an estimated annual salary of $70,000. The respected 50-year-old National League strategist will compile a 378-394 (.490) record during his five-year tenure with Minnesota.
1982 Orioles infielder Cal Ripken (.264, 28, 93) wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award. The Maryland native, whose consecutive game streak is in its infancy at 118 games, garners 24 of the writers' 28 first-place votes, easily outpointing runners-up Red Sox's third baseman Wade Boggs and Twins' first baseman Kent Hrbek.
1986 Receiving 23 of 24 first-place votes, Todd Worrell is selected as the National League's Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA. The 27-year- old Cardinals' reliever, a late-season call-up in 1985, led the Senior Circuit with 36 saves for the third-place club.
1986 The Twins announce interim manager Tom Kelly will be the club's skipper next season. The 35-year-old Graceville (MN) native, who replaced Ray Miller for 23 games at the end of the season, will compile a losing record (1140-1244) but wins two World Championships in a span of five seasons, 1987 and 1991, during his 16-year tenure as skipper.

Amazon Season of Dreams: The Minnesota Twins' Drive
to the 1991 World Championship

2000 The Mets' former closer John Franco signs a three-year pact as a set-up man to stay with his hometown team, giving up the opportunity to close for the Phillies. The 40-year-old Staten Island resident, who needs 59 saves to break Lee Smith's career record of 478, lost his closing job to Armando Benitez during the 1998 season.
2002 The Phillies, filling the void created when Scott Rolen was traded to the Cardinals last July, sign third baseman David Bell to a four-year, $17 million free-agent deal. The 30-year-old infielder, whose father (Buddy) and grandfather (Gus) were also major leaguers, played for the National League champion Giants last season after being traded by the Mariners during the spring.
2004 After guiding the Dodgers to their first title since 1995, the club signs Jim Tracy (356-292) to a two-year extension to manage the team. The 48-year-old skipper, who led Los Angeles to a 93-69 record last season, has had four consecutive winning seasons in the City of Angels.
2005 The Marlins cut their payroll when the team sends last season's premiere free agent Carlos Delgado (.301, 33, 115) and $7 million to the Mets for Mike Jacobs (10 homers in 100 at-bats), minor league infielder Grant Psomas and Yusmeiro Petit, a highly touted pitching prospect. In January, the free-agent first baseman left Toronto after 12 years of service to sign a four-year deal worth a reported $52 million to play for Florida.
2005 The Marlins begin carving away at their payroll on Thanksgiving night by completing the trade with the Red Sox, which sends 2003 World Series MVP hurler Josh Beckett, Gold Glove third baseman Mike Lowell, and set-up man Guillermo Mota to Boston. This deal, where the Fish receives four minor leaguers, including top shortstop prospect Hanley Ramirez, and trading Carlos Delgado to the Mets, will save the club $27 million next season.
2006 Carlos Lee, who turned down a four-year, $48 million offer from the Brewers, signs the richest contract in franchise history, agreeing to a six-year deal with the Astros worth $100 million. El Caballo, who split last season playing left field and DHing for the Brewers and Rangers, becomes the second player this off-season and the 12th overall in baseball history to sign a contract that reaches one-tenth of a billion dollars.
2007 New Mexico governor Bill Richardson admits the part of his bio that he had been picked by the Kansas City A's in the 1966 amateur baseball draft is untrue. An Albuquerque Journal investigation debunked the claim of the potential presidential candidate, who pitched for Tufts University, finding no evidence of the Guv ever being selected by any major league team.

Tufts Digital Collections and Archives

2008 As a result of being the top finishers among approximately 30,000 contestants in an Indian reality TV show called the "Million Dollar Arm," Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel sign free-agent deals to pitch for the Pirates, becoming the first players from India to sign a contract with a major league organization. The pair of 20-year-old cricket players, who had never thrown a baseball until earlier this year, will have a Disney movie made about their experience.

2009 Albert Pujols (.327, 47, 135), the writers' unanimous choice, wins his third National League MVP award, copping the honor for the second consecutive year. The Cardinals' first baseman joins Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, and Barry Bonds, who won the award seven times, becoming the Senior Circuit's fifth player selected three times as the recipient of the prestigious prize.
2010 The commissioner's office announces Vladimir Guerrero has won the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. The Rangers' DH, who hit .306, with 25 homers, along with 106 RBI for the American League Champions, beat out Boston's David Ortiz and Minnesota's Jim Thome for the honor.

2010 After designating him for assignment last week, the Pirates trade left-hander Zach Duke to the Diamondbacks for a player to be named later, right-hander Cesar Valdez. Beginning with an 8-2 mark, the 27-year-old southpaw has compiled a 37-68 record since his impressive debut with the Bucs in 2005.
2015 Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Willie Mays become the 10th and 11th major leaguers to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Barack Obama honored the baseball icons in a White House ceremony, praising the recently deceased Yankee catcher and the Giants superstar outfielder for inspiring generations of Americans.

23 Fact(s) Found