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This Day in Baseball History
January 29th

20 Fact(s) Found
1936 The BBWAA and a special Veterans Committee made up of individuals with knowledge about players of the 19th century select Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson in the first Hall of Fame elections. Their enshrinement will have to wait until 1939 since the museum's construction in Cooperstown has not started.
1949 The Pirates purchase Murry Dickson from the Cardinals for $125,000. During his five-year tenure in Pittsburgh, the 31-year-old right-hander will have a 20-win season for the Bucs and post three 20-loss seasons for the hapless team.
1958 Three-time MVP Stan Musial inks the first six-figure contract in National League history when he signs a $100,000 deal with the Cardinals. The 37-year-old St. Louis legend, who won his seventh batting title, hitting .354 last season, clarifies that he would have signed for less, but the $20,000 increase is the reward the team thought he deserved.
1960 The family feud continues in Chicago when a court rules in favor of Charles Comiskey's sister, Dorothy Rigney, allowing her to sell her White Sox shares to Bill Veeck. Her younger sibling, known as Chuck, had brought suit to gain control of the club.
1961 Max Carey and the late Bill Hamilton are voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee, which considers players who have been out of the game for 30 years for induction. The former outfielders established stolen base records, with 'Sliding Billy' swiping 115 bases with the Phillies in 1891, and Carey, the National League career leader at the time of his selection, has purloined 738 bags during his 20-year career with the Pirates and Dodgers.
1967 The twelve-man Veterans Committee, chaired by former baseball commissioner Ford Frick, announces its selection of the late catcher and baseball executive Branch Rickey, best known for integrating the major leagues as the Dodgers' president and GM in 1947, and former Pirates outfielder Lloyd Waner as the 105th and 106th members of the Hall of Fame. Under the current rules, only two retired players for at least 20 years or more receive consideration in the annual selection of old-timers.
1971 The Pirates make a much-anticipated deal when they trade outfielder Matty Alou and southpaw reliever George Brunet to the Cardinals for righty Nelson Briles and outfielder Vic Davalillo, who collected 24 pinch-hits last year to establish a major league mark. The 32-year-old Alou compiled 200 hits last season but failed to hit .300 for the first time since joining the Bucs in 1966.
1981 Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn buy the White Sox from a group headed by Bill Veeck, the team's owner. A few weeks later, the new ownership proves it is serious about winning by signing coveted free-agent catcher Carlton Fisk to a five-year, $2.9 million deal.
1988 Kirk Gibson, one of seven players granted immediate free agency when an arbitrator ruled the owners had colluded to drive down salaries, signs a three-year, $4.5 million deal with the Dodgers. The former Tiger outfielder is the only player in the group to join a new team.
1989 Mets' first baseman Keith Hernandez becomes the all-time leader with 129 GW RBIs, and Orioles' first baseman Eddie Murray, the American League leader, with 117, due to the elimination of the game-winning RBI statistic. The defunct rule, first employed in 1980, was much maligned by many players because the stat did not truly reflect clutch performance.
1995 Deion Sanders' appearance with the NFL San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami makes the cornerback the first athlete to have played in a Super Bowl and a World Series. In 1992, 'Neon Deion' played left field for the Braves in the 1992 Fall Classic against the Toronto Blue Jays.
1999 Jimmy Key, citing shoulder injuries, retires from baseball, compiling a 186-117 (.684) record during his 15-year major league career. The 37-year-old five-time All-Star southpaw appeared in the playoffs with all his teams, including the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Orioles.
2002 The Astros sign Lance Berkman (.331, 34, 126) to a $10.5 million, three-year contract. The All-Star outfielder had 94 extra-base hits last season, the most ever by a switch-hitter in major league history, surpassing the previous mark of 87 shared by Ripper Collins (1934 Cardinals) and Chipper Jones (1999 Braves).
2006 In a surprising development, former Mets backstop Mike Piazza and the National League West champion Padres come to terms on a one-year, $2 million deal. The 37-year-old future Hall of Famer, who will be behind the plate for 90 to 100 games this season, in addition to playing some first base and DHing in interleague contests, was thought to be headed to an American League team to be a full-time designated hitter.
2008 Baseball announces the annual Hall of Fame Game, played since 1940, will end after the June 16th Cooperstown contest between the Cubs and Padres. With the 68-year tradition ending, no major league team will participate in exhibition games during the season.
2008 A conditional 4-for-1 trade with the Twins brings Johan Santana to the Mets for pitching prospects Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey, Deolis Guerra, and fleet-footed outfielder Carlos Gomez. New York has three days to come to terms with the two-time Cy Young Award winner, who has a no-trade clause and can veto the transaction if his new team cannot sign him.
2010 Joe Saunders agrees to a one-year, $3.7 million deal with the Angels, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for next month. The 28-year-old southpaw posted a 16-7 record last year and had compiled a 33-14 record for the Halos during the previous two seasons.
2018 After thoughtful and productive discussions between MLB and the Indians, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announces the team has agreed to remove the "Chief Wahoo" logo from their uniforms, beginning with the 2019 season. The bright red caricature of the Native American, long considered offensive, will continue to be available on merchandise for sale at the team's store.
2020 According to confirmed reports, the Astros have hired veteran skipper Dusty Baker to replace AJ Hinch, fired by owner Jim Crane, following MLB's findings that the team used electronics to steal signs in 2017 and again during the 2018 season. The 70-year-old three-time National League Manager of the Year becomes the oldest pilot in the major leagues, having compiled an 1863-1636 (.532) record over 22 seasons with the Giants, Cubs, Reds, and Nationals.
2021 The Phillies formally announce the team has re-signed their catcher J.T. Realmuto to a five-year contract, reportedly worth $115.5 million. The $23.1 million average annual value of the deal makes the 29-year-old the highest-paid backstop in baseball history, slightly surpassing the extension the Twins gave Joe Mauer in 2010 that averaged $23 million annually (eight-year, $184 million).

20 Fact(s) Found