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This Day in Baseball History
January 28th

16 Fact(s) Found
1949 Monte Irvin becomes the first African-American player, along with Ford Smith, a pitcher and outfielder, to sign with the Giants. Although the 29-year-old outfielder will play only five full seasons in the major leagues, the former Newark Eagles standout will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973, primarily for his outstanding play in the Negro Leagues with the Newark Eagles.
1953 The court finds embattled Cardinal owner Fred Saigh guilty of income tax evasion and sentences him to fifteen months in jail, where he'll serve only five months at the federal prison in Terre Haute before being given parole for good behavior. Under the pressure of losing his franchise, he enters a lucrative deal with a consortium that plans to move the team to Houston; Anheuser-Busch president Gussie Busch, however, persuades him to sell the team for less ($3.5 million), citing that civic pride was more important than financial gain.
1958 Detroit trades infielder Jim Finigan and $25,000 to the Giants for first baseman Gail Harris and utility man Ozzie Virgil, who becomes the first non-white to play for the Tigers. The 26-year-old Dominican will debut at third base for the Motor City team at Griffith Stadium on June 6, doubling in the top of the eighth in the team's 11-2 victory over Washington.
1958 Roy Campanella, driving home from his liquor store in Harlem, breaks his neck when his rented 1957 Chevrolet sedan hit a telephone pole in an early morning auto accident on Long Island. The 36-year-old Dodger catcher, who has won three MVP awards (1951, '53, '55), will remain paralyzed for the rest of his life.
1961 The International League Board of Directors votes to move the Montreal franchise to Syracuse, New York, where the former Dodger farm club will play as the Chiefs. The Canadian city holds a unique place in baseball history for being the home of the first major-league affiliate to break the so-called 'color barrier,' signing Jackie Robinson in 1945 to play with the Royals the following season.
1968 Former Senator and Tiger outfielder Goose Goslin, a career .316 hitter, and Kiki Cuyler, a .321 career hitter who won four stolen base crowns while running the bases for the Pirates and Cubs, are elected into the Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the Veterans Committee. Goslin believed his interview shared in Lawrence Ritter's 1966 book, The Glory of Their Times: The Story Of The Early Days Of Baseball Told By The Men Who Played It, paved the way for his enshrinement into Cooperstown.
1982 To make room for Cal Ripken, Jr., the Orioles trade third baseman Doug DeCinces and minor league southpaw Jeff Schneider to the Angels for outfielder Dan Ford. The Halos' new infielder, who had succeeded future Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson in Baltimore, will win the Silver Slugger Award this season.
1986 The Rangers sign 34-year-old free-agent catcher Darrell Porter to a one-year contract valued at $162,500. The bespectacled backup backstop from Missouri will hit .253 during his tenure in Texas, his last two years in the majors.
2005 Traded to the Mets yesterday, first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who caught and kept the ball used to make the final out, will lend his souvenir to his former club, who plans to encase it within a plaque, becoming part of the victory tour, which also features the World Series trophy. Boston claims the historic horsehide, which gave the Red Sox their first World championship in 86 years, belongs to the team.
2008 The Rays and James Shields (12-8, 3.85) finalize a four-year, $11.25 million deal, including options that could make the contract worth nearly $38 million over the next seven years. The 26-year-old right-hander was second in the big leagues in the strikeout-to-walk ratio - an impressive 184 to 36, trailing only CC Sabathia (209 to 37).
2009 Avoiding salary arbitration, the Angels and 28-year-old infielder Maicer Izturis come to terms on a one-year deal worth $1.6 million. The Halos' opening-day shortstop missed 61 games last season after tearing a ligament in his left thumb in August and straining his lower back in May, necessitating the first of his two stints on the disabled list.
2009 The Cubs swap utility infielder Ronny Cedeno and southpaw Garrett Olson to the Mariners for right-hander Aaron Heilman, making it the second trade for the 30-year-old right-hander this offseason. Seven weeks ago, the Mets dealt the much-maligned reliever to Seattle as part of a three-team trade that included the Indians.
2009 David Weathers decides to stay with Cincinnati after signing a one-year deal that guarantees the 39-year-old reliever $3.9 million. A member of the Reds' pitching staff for the past four seasons, the right-hander compiled a 4-6 record, posting a 3.25 ERA in 72 appearances from the bullpen last season.
2011 The Twins plan to remove the 14 pine trees behind the center-field wall that served as the batter's eye at Target Field. The evergreens, planted last season, likely to be relocated inside the newly opened ballpark, made it difficult for hitters to pick up the ball from the pitcher's hand due to their shadows cast during afternoon contests and the conifers' movement in the wind.


In an Oklahoma City ceremony, Cy Young Award recipient Dallas Keuchel receives the Warren Spahn Award, an honor given to baseball's top left-handed pitcher. The 28-year-old southpaw, who posted a 20-8 record along with an ERA of 2.48 for the Astros this season, is the first Oklahoman to collect the prestigious pitching prize named in honor of the crafty left-hander.

2022 🇺🇬On Twitter, the National Council of Sports in Uganda tweeted that right-hander Ben Serunkuma and catcher Umar Male signed with the Dodgers as free agents. The agreement makes the two players, assigned to the club's Dominican complex in Campo Las Palmas, the first Ugandans to play professionally for an MLB organization.

16 Fact(s) Found