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This Day in Baseball History
January 23rd

16 Fact(s) Found
1958 The Red Sox trade outfielder Albie Pearson and first baseman Norm Zauchin to the Senators for shortstop Pete Runnels. En route to capturing the American League's batting crown in 1960 and 1962, Boston's newest infielder will compile a .320 batting during his five years with the team.
1962 The BBWAA elects Dodger infielder Jackie Robinson (77.5%) and Indians right-hander Bob Feller (93.8%) to the Baseball Hall of Fame, marking the first time in MLB history that the writers select two players in their first year on the ballot. The Veterans Committee previously chose center fielder Edd Roush, a lifetime .323 hitter during his 18 years as a major leaguer, and manager Bill McKechnie, who compiled a record of 1896-1723 (.524) in his 25-year tenure with five teams, to also be inducted into the Cooperstown shrine this summer.
1967 The Cardinals named their former standout Stan Musial, four years removed from the playing field, as the team's general manager, replacing Bob Howsam, who resigned to take a similar post with Cincinnati. Although his tenure will last only ten months, 'The Man,' who turned down the position shortly after he retired in 1963, will become the first GM to win a world championship in his first season on the job.
1968 Outfielder Joe Medwick, who captured the National League triple crown in 1937, is selected by the BBWAA to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. 'Ducky,' best known for his years with the Cardinals as a member of the Gashouse Gang, ended his 17-year career with a .324 batting average.
1973 The Hall of Fame Special Veterans Committee selects nineteenth-century players Mickey Welch and Mike Kelly for enshrinement in Cooperstown. 'Smiling Mickey,' who posted a 307-210 (.594) during his 13 years in the National League, and 'King Kelly,' baseball's first matinee idol, will be joined Billy Evans, nicknamed 'The Boy Umpire,' who, at age 22, became the youngest arbitrator in major league history.
1975 By the slimmest of margins, Ralph Kiner is elected into the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA, receiving 273 votes on the 362 ballots cast by the writers, just enough to reach the 75% needed to be selected. During his brief ten-year major league career, the former Pirates slugger led the National League in home runs for seven consecutive seasons, starting with his rookie campaign in 1946.

1979 In his first year of eligibility, Willie Mays is selected by the BBWAA as a member of the Hall of Fame, receiving 409 of the 432 (94.7%) ballots cast. The center fielder, a five-tool player known mostly for his 21-year tenure with the Giants, is the only player elected by the writers for induction this summer, but 23 scribes inexplicably leave the 'Say-Hey Kid' off their ballots.
1981 The Red Sox, due to a front office mistake, are forced to trade Fred Lynn, along with Steve Renko, to the Angels, for Jim Dorsey, Joe Rudi, and Frank Tanana. Boston had failed to mail their outfielder a new contract by the deadline, allowing the former Rookie of the Year to become a free agent.
2002 The Rangers avoid salary arbitration with 29-year-old Jeff Zimmerman, who saved 28 games for the team last season after replacing an injured Tim Crabtree when their closer agrees to a $10 million, three-year contract. Unfortunately, the right-hander will never throw another pitch in a major league game, suffering an injury in spring training that leads to three major surgeries on his elbow, including a pair of Tommy John surgeries.
2006 In a surprising move, the Reds fire Dan O'Brien with spring training scheduled to begin in a few weeks. Cincinnati's new owner, Bob Castellini, makes it clear the team's former GM's performance is not the reason for dismissal but that he wanted to place his 'own' person in the position.
2008 The Indians, avoiding salary arbitration, sign Rafael Betancourt (5-1, 1.47) to a $5.4 million, two-year deal. The 32-year-old right-handed reliever was used primarily last season as an eighth-inning set-up man for Cleveland's closer, Joe Borowski.
2008 Kevin Towers, the longest-tenured active major league general manager, gets a two-year contract extension from the Padres, which goes through the 2010 season. Although the club would not reveal financial details, the deal reportedly makes the 46-year-old one of the top five or six highest-paid G.M.s in the game.
2008 Troy Tulowitzki (.291, 24, 99 ) and the Rockies agree on a six-year, $31 million deal, including a club option for 2014. The National League champs' second baseman was the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award, narrowly outpointed (128-126) for the BBWAA honor by Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.
2008 To add experience for an unseasoned rotation, the Marlins sign 33-year-old southpaw Mark Hendrickson (4-8, 5.21) to a one-year, $1.5 million deal, which includes an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses. The 6-foot-9 former NBA player pitched for the Blue Jays, Devil Rays, and the Dodgers.
2010 Major League Baseball announces the Dodgers, who in 1993 became the first big league club to play in Taiwan, will return to the island in March to play a pair of exhibition games against a Chinese Professional Baseball League team. During their first trip, L.A. played a squad of Chinese All-Stars.
2010 Arbitration-eligible Hunter Pence (.282, 25, 72) signs a $3.5 million, one-year deal with the Astros. The 26-year-old All-Star outfielder with the rifle arm earned only $464,000 last year, his third season with Houston.

16 Fact(s) Found