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Today in Baseball History
December 12th

20 Fact(s) Found
1903 The Cardinals trade future Hall of Fame right-hander Mordecai Brown and catcher Jack O'Neill to the Cubs in exchange for backstop Larry McLean and Jack Taylor, a righty who will set the record for consecutive complete-games in one season next year with 39 when he compiles a 20-19 record for the Redbirds. Three-Finger Brown will post a 188-86 (.686) record, including six consecutive seasons of 20+ wins, during his ten-year tenure with Chicago.
1913 The Reds trade outfielder Bob Bescher to the Giants for shortstop Buck Herzog, who will become the player-manager of the team, replacing Joe Tinker in the Cincinnati dugout. In his 2+ plus seasons, the club's new skipper will compile a 165-226 (.422) record, never finishing higher than seventh-place in the eight-team circuit.
1930 The rules committee decides a ball which bounces into the stands will no longer be a home run, but will become a ground rule double. Estimating that major leaguers who played in the era prior to the rule change hit about two homers a year that bounced over the wall, Babe Ruth's career total would have been reduced by about 22 round-trippers.
1933 The A's swap their ace Lefty Grove, along with Rube Wallberg and Max Bishop to the Red Sox for Bob Kline, Rabbit Warstler, and $125,000. The 33 year-old future Hall of Fame southpaw continues to pitch well for his new team, compiling a 105-62 (.629) record and will lead the league with the best ERA four of the eight seasons he hurls for Boston.
1941 The Dodgers obtain Arky Vaughn from the Pirates for right-hander Luke Hamlin, 1B/OF Jimmy Wasdell, and catcher Babe Phelps. The future Hall of Fame infielder, who will have his stint in Brooklyn interrupted by WWII, plays four seasons for the club, compiling a .291 batting average.
1950 The owners vote to drop the bonus and high school rule, which was designed to prevent the wealthier clubs from buying up all of the available talent. The rule required all 'bonus' players had to stay on the major league roster one season in the minors.
1952 Peter J. McGovern becomes the president of the Little League, replacing Charles Durban, who resigned due to ill health. The organization, which started in 1939 with two leagues, has now grown to 1,800 in 48 states and international sites.

Amazon Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball

1966 The U.S. Supreme Court, by a vote of 4 to 3, refuses to review Wisconsin's suit to block the Braves' move to Atlanta. The team originally announced its intention to move to the Peach State for the 1965 season, but the injunction filed by the state in Wisconsin forced the club to stay put in Milwaukee for one final year.
1975 The Tigers trade pitcher Mickey Lolich and outfielder Billy Baldwin to the Mets in exchange for outfielder Rusty Staub and pitcher Bill Laxton. New York's new southpaw will post a 8-13 record, spending just one year in the Big Apple, while Detroit will enjoy a solid performance from their recently acquired flycatcher and DH, who will bat .275 during his three-plus seasons in the Motor City.
1979 Re-entry free agents second baseman Rennie Stennett, catcher Milt May, and outfielder Jim Wohlford sign with the Giants. The combined total of the contracts is nearly $5 million.
1998 After being given his last rites, Hall of Fame outfielder Joe DiMaggio appears to make a miraculous recovery, defying the doctors' dire predictions. In mid-January, the 'Yankee Clipper' is allowed to go home after a 99-day hospital stay, but will die at his home in Florida on March 8th after a long battle with lung cancer.
1998 Kevin Brown signing a seven-year deal with the Dodgers, becomes baseball's first 100+ million dollar man. The right-handed free agent, who posted an 18-7, record last season with the Padres, is the first major leaguer to earn an average salary of $15 million per season, much to the chagrin of the other owners.
2007 In a six-player deal, the Orioles trade former American League MVP Miguel Tejada to the Astros in exchange for pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton, and Dennis Sarfate, outfielder Luke Scott, and third baseman Michael Costanzo. The acquisition of the four-time All-Star shortstop is the latest move in a busy offseason for Houston, which includes signing free-agent second baseman Kaz Matsui and trading reliever Brad Lidge to the Phillies for Michael Bourn.
2007 Free-agent Aaron Rowand (.309, 27, 89) and the Giants agree to a $60-million, five-year deal. The 30 year-old Gold Glove center fielder is expected to bat fifth and will help fill the void in the outfield created by the departure of Barry Bonds.
2007 Paul Lo Duca and the Nationals agree to a $5 million, one-year deal which puts the former Mets catcher behind home plate for Washington. The free-agent backstop became expendable and much-needed in the same instance when New York traded Lastings Milledge to get the Nats starting catcher, Brian Schneider.
2008 The Yankees sign their second ace this week as the club reaches an agreement with free agent A.J. Burnett. The Bronx Bombers ink the former Blue Jays right-hander to an $82.5 million, five-year deal after giving CC Sabathia $161 million over seven years two days ago.
2008 The Pirates sign Ramon Vazquez, the only player with major league experience added to the club during the winter meetings, to a two-year deal worth $4 million. The versatile infielder played all four infield positions last season while compiling a career-high .290 batting average with the Rangers.
2008 The Mets, reeling from their second consecutive season-ending collapse, continue to overhaul their much-maligned bullpen, which had 29 blown saves in 72 chances (40%). Scott Schoeneweis joins Joe Smith and Aaron Heilman in becoming the latest New York reliever to be traded as the southpaw is dealt to the Diamondbacks for Connor Robertson, a right-hander acquired by Arizona in the Dan Haren deal.
2009 Brandon Lyon (6-5, 2.86) and the Astros finalize their $15 million, three-year deal. The Tigers' former right-handed reliever, who saved 26 games for Arizona in 2008, hopes to be the club's closer, but may be used in Houston as the set-up man to get to Matt Lindstrom.
2013 The Mariners land the most sought-after free agent when the team signs Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240-million contract, a value that equals Albert Pujols' deal with the Angels for the third largest in baseball history. The Yankees, the 32 year-old's former team who did not want to commit those kinds of dollars or years for their All-Star second baseman, recently inked outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury for $153 million (7 years) and catcher Brian McCann for $85 million (5 years).

20 Fact(s) Found