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This Day in Baseball History
March 21st

20 Fact(s) Found
1908 Detroit outfielder Ty Cobb signs for $4000, with an $800 bonus if he hits over .300. The 21-year-old 'Georgia Peach' will finish the season with a league-leading .324 batting average for the first-place Tigers.
1931 On a chilly night at Houston's (TX) Buffs Stadium, the White Sox and Giants become the first major league clubs to play a night game when they square off in an exhibition under 245-kilowatt lamps, according to reports, provided adequate lighting for the contest. The disappointing crowd of 2,500, due most likely to the cold weather, watch Chicago score five runs in the tenth frame to beat John McGraw's New York squad, 11-6.

(Ed Note: Our thanks to SoxNerd blogger David Marran for sharing his research, including the correct date the historic game occurred. -LP)

1936 The Reds trade first baseman Jim Bottomley for the Browns' utility player Johnny Burnett, who will never appear in a game for his new team. The former Cincinnati infielder plays two seasons with St. Louis, finishing his 16-year Hall of Fame career with a lifetime .310 batting average.
1943 The A's trade Bob Johnson to the Senators for Jimmy Pofahl and Bobby Estalella. Although the former Philadelphia fan-favorite will make the All-Star squad for his new team and receive consideration for the Most Valuable Player award, Washington will sell the outfielder to the Red Sox.
1957 The owners will receive 9.3 million dollars in revenue for the 1957 TV and radio rights. The breakdown includes $3.2 million for the World Series/All-Star contests, $1.26 million for two Saturday games of the week, and the remaining $4.84 million for local rights fees.
1959 The Indians trade Larry Doby to the Tigers for Tito Francona. The deal will be a great swap for the Tribe when their new outfielder hits .363, while Doby will play in just 16 games for Detroit.
1962 Before the spring training game against New York in Clearwater, the Phillies honor Robin Roberts, sold to the Yankees in the off-season, by retiring his uniform number 36, the familiar numerals he wore for 14 seasons with Philadelphia. The future Hall of Fame right-hander starts the exhibition game giving up four runs in three innings but gets credit for the win when the Bronx Bombers beat his former team, 13-10.
1965 In an exhibition game, Gary Kroll and Gordie Richardson combine to keep Pittsburgh hitless for nine innings in the Mets' 6-0 win in St. Petersburg. The first no-hitter thrown during the regular season in franchise history won't occur until 2012, when Johan Santana accomplishes the feat against St. Louis.
1966 In a spring training game in Houston's Astrodome, the Dodgers and Astros become the first major league teams to play on artificial grass. The material, which will become known as AstroTurf, was developed by Monsanto to overcome the team's inability to grow grass indoors.
1968 The new American League team in Kansas City announces its nickname. The expansion club, joining the circuit in 1969, will now be known as the "Royals," paying tribute to the Negro League Monarchs, a team playing in the City of Fountains from 1920 through 1965.
1973 In an exhibition game against the Mets, Fritz Peterson appears in his first game since going public about swapping families with Yankee teammate Mike Kekich. Many of the 4,320 fans at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg roundly boo the 31-year-old southpaw, but he goes the first five innings, picking up the win in the Bronx Bombers' 6-2 victory over their crosstown rivals.
1975 Georgia Tech blanks Earlham (IN), 41-0, setting the NCAA mark for the largest margin of victory. In 1999, Nebraska will break the record, equaled by West Chester (PA), with a 50-3 win over Chicago State at Buck Beltzer Stadium.
1978 In a surprise move, Padres manager Alvin Dark becomes the second manager ever fired during spring training after being told he was having difficulties communicating with his players. San Diego names the club's pitching coach, Roger Craig, as the interim skipper.
2002 The Phillies make public the one-day regular-season suspension of Larry Bowa imposed by Major League Baseball's vice president for on-field operations, Bob Watson. The action comes from the Philadelphia manager's "inappropriate conduct toward the umpire" when he became enraged with the home plate umpire over two close calls on checked swings during an exhibition game against the Indians on March 9.
2011 Citing a lack of velocity and command, Mets GM Sandy Alderson announces the release of 29-year-old southpaw Oliver Perez, who is still owed $12 million on his deal. The roster move marks the second time in four days that the team has cut a player with a significant contract, with second baseman Luis Castillo asked to leave despite his $6 million price tag.
2013 David Wright is named the Mets captain, joining John Franco, Keith Hernandez, and Gary Carter as the fourth player honored by the franchise. Like Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, the two other major leaguers currently with the title, the 30-year-old third baseman will not wear a "C" on his uniform.
2018 The Cleburne Railroaders' first baseman Rafael Palmeiro becomes the oldest player in professional baseball history to homer in a game when he goes deep against Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks starter Trey McNutt in the American Association independent team's 4-3 home loss at the Depot. The 53-year-old former major league All-Star batted sixth in the lineup, behind his 28-year-old son Patrick, who plays the corner infield spots for the second-year club.
2019 The Angels announce the signing of center fielder Mike Trout to a 12-year record-setting contract, making the biggest financial commitment to a player in North American team sports history. The Halos reportedly will pay the two-time American League Most Valuable Player more than $430 million, far surpassing the mega-deal Bryce Harper (13 yrs, $330 M) and the Phillies agreed on earlier in the month.
2019 After a 19-year eventual Hall of Fame career, Ichiro Suzuki announces his retirement, receiving an overwhelming ovation from the Japanese crowd at the sold-out Tokyo Dome. The 45-year-old three-time Silver Slugger, who holds the MLB mark for consecutive 200-hit seasons, left the Mariners’ 5-4 extra-inning victory over the A’s in the bottom of the eighth, standing alone on the field, soaking in the admiration of over 46,000 fans in the country he started playing professional baseball.

2021 Before an exhibition game at Surprise Stadium, the Royals announce catcher Salvador Perez has agreed to a four-year extension reportedly worth $82 million, setting a franchise record. The 30-year-old backstop's deal, with an average annual value of $20.5 million, easily surpasses the $72 million contract signed by outfielder Alex Gordon in 2014.

20 Fact(s) Found