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This Day in Baseball History
March 16th

14 Fact(s) Found
1907 Ty Cobb quarrels with Bungy Cummings, a black groundskeeper who made a friendly gesture toward the Tiger outfielder. When the groundskeeper's wife intercedes, the 'Georgia Peach' reportedly chokes her, and according to Charlie Schmidt, he allegedly stopped the assault by knocking out his teammate.

(Ed. Note: There is speculation this often-told story may not be entirely accurate due to the lack of witnesses corroborating the attack other than Schmidt, who had other disagreements with Cobb during the past year. -LP)

1908 Pirates legend Honus Wagner comes out of retirement when Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss makes him the highest-paid player in the league, offering him $10,000 yearly. The 34-year-old shortstop earns his salary, leading the National League in batting average, hits, total bases, doubles, triples, RBIs, and stolen bases, completing the campaign that historian Bill James cites as the greatest single-season for any player in baseball history.

(Ed. Note: The salary incentive keeps the Flying Dutchman on the field until the middle of the 1917 season. -LP)

Amazon Honus Wagner: A Biography

1932 Due to the economic depression gripping the nation, Babe Ruth signs a deal for $75,000, a five-thousand pay cut from last season, and 25 percent of the Yankees exhibition games' net receipts. Legend has it the Bambino signed a blank contract, with the amount filled in later by Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert.

(Ed. Note: In 2019, the printed document sold at an auction for nearly $300,000. -LP)

1953 At the owners' meeting in Tampa (FL), the American League rejects Bill Veeck's request to shift the Browns to Baltimore, voting 6-2 to keep the failing franchise in St. Louis. The lack of support from his fellow owners, except for Charles Comiskey of the White Sox, is an effort to oust the independent-minded maverick from the Junior Circuit.
1961 The state of New York approves a bond issue for constructing a 55,000-seat stadium on the 1939-40 World's Fair site in the Flushing Meadow area of Queens. The Mets' future home will be named Shea Stadium, honoring attorney William Shea, who brought the National League back to New York.

Amazon Shea Stadium Remembered:
The Mets, the Jets, and Beatlemania

1994 Former major league starter Eric Show dies of an accidental drug overdose in his room at the Rancho L'Abri, a private rehab center in San Diego (CA). The 37-year-old right-hander finished his 11-year career with Oakland, pitching the first ten years with the Padres, where he established the franchise record for most career wins (100) when he left the team as a free agent in 1990.
2001 Slammin' Sammy Sosa signs a four-year contract extension keeping the Cub right fielder in the Windy City until 2006. The prolific home run hitter has averaged nearly sixty home runs (179 HRs/3 years) during the last three seasons.
2006 🇲🇽 At Angel Stadium in front of 38,284 enthusiastic fans, Oliver Perez and seven relievers combined to lead Mexico to a stunning defeat of Roger Clemens and the United States, 2-1. The second-round loss eliminates Team USA from the inaugural World Baseball Classic.
2006 Roy Halladay (12-4, 2.41) agrees to a $40 million, three-year contract extension, which could keep the 'Doc' with the Blue Jays through the 2010 season. The 2003 American League Cy Young winner's season was cut short after getting drilled by a line drive hit by Ranger Kevin Mench, resulting in a broken leg.

At the 5:00 p.m. EST airing of the show Daily News Live!, the Mets begin transmitting Sportsnet New York, which will become better known as SNY. The club modeled the team-owned network after similar regional cable television ventures by the Red Sox (NESN, 1984) and the Yankees (YES, 2002).
2010 The Red Sox announce that 19-year-old prospect Ryan Westmoreland has undergone a five-hour surgical procedure to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain. After leaving spring training earlier this month, the highly touted minor league outfielder received the diagnosis at Mass General.
2010 Former L.A. outfielder Willie Davis, the team leader in hits, extra-base hits, and runs, is fondly remembered by his family and friends, including many teammates, at a memorial service in Dodger Stadium. The 69-year-old, known as 3 Dog, was found dead in his home last week.
2015 The Grapefruit League game between the Phillies and Twins marks the first time two current Hall of Fame players have managed against each other. Minnesota manager Paul Molitor, enshrined in 2004, opposes Philadelphia skipper Ryne Sandberg, an inductee a season later.

2019 The Fix, a two-act opera inspired by the Black Sox scandal, premieres at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul (MN). The dramatic work composed by Joel Puckett portrays the century-old events surrounding the White Sox fix of the 1919 World Series against the Reds.

14 Fact(s) Found