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Today in Baseball History
October 31st

21 Fact(s) Found
1931 The Cardinals release right-hander Burleigh Grimes, the last legal spitballer. Ol' Stubblebeard will finish his 19-year Hall of Fame career with a 270-212 record along with an ERA of 3.53.
1953 After touring Japan with the Giants, Commissioner Ford Frick compares the level of Japanese play to that of Class A of the American minors. The Americans will finish the 14-game schedule against various Japanese teams with a 12-1-1 record, including nine consecutive victories at the start of the series.
1957 Yogi Berra says the team returned fine money to players involved in the Copacabana fight. A group of Yankees, including Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and Bill Skowron, gathered at the New York popular nightspot to celebrate Billy Martin's 29th birthday in May when the infamous altercation occurred with a group of patrons, resulting in unwanted newspaper headlines for the storied franchise.
1960 The Giants trade infielder Andre Rodgers to Milwaukee for Alvin Dark. San Francisco obtains their former team captain not to be a player but rather to be the team's new manager for the upcoming season.
1967 As the overwhelming choice of 23 of the 24 experts surveyed, Dick Williams is selected as the United Press International's American League Manager of the Year. The 38 year-old skipper guided the underdog Red Sox to a pennant, emerging on top from a fierce four-team pennant race that went down to the last day of the season.
1972 In a seven-player trade, Don Money is dealt by the Phillies along with Bill Champion and John Vukovich to the Brewers in exchange for Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, Ken Sanders, and Earl Stephenson. The 25 year-old versatile infielder will spend over a decade with Milwaukee, becoming a four-time All-Star.
1972 Gaylord Perry (24-16,1.92) of the Indians edges Wilbur Wood (24-17, 2.51) for the American League Cy Young Award. Although the future Hall of Fame hurler receives only 9 of the 24 first-place votes, the North Carolina native still out points the White Sox starter, 64-58.

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1979 Mike Flanagan (23-9, 3.08) wins the Cy Young Award, easily outdistancing New York's Tommy John (21-9, 2.97). The Orioles' southpaw receives 26 of the 27 first-place votes cast by the writers.
2001 For the first time since Philadelphia A's Mule Haas hit a game-tying two-run homer in Game 5 of the 1929 World Series, a team comes from behind to tie a Fall Classic game in the ninth and goes on to win in extra innings. Tino Martinez sends the game into overtime with a two-out homer off Diamondbacks' closer Byung-Hyun Kim and Derek Jeter, dubbed Mr. November, wins it after the stroke of midnight with a full count two-out round-tripper giving the Bronx Bombers a 3-2 victory and knots the series at two games apiece.
2005 On Halloween night, former Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein, on the night of his resignation, eludes the media parked outside Fenway Park disguised in a gorilla suit. At a future charity event, the hairy costume will be auctioned and will make $11,000 for the Jimmy Fund and Theo's Foundation, To Be Named Later.
2006 Joining Don Mattingly (Yankees, 1987), Cal Ripken Jr. (Orioles, 1991), Frank Thomas (White Sox, 1995), Jeff Bagwell (Astros, 1995), and Manny Ramirez (Red Sox, 2002), Cardinal first baseman Albert Pujols becomes the sixth player to get a perfect score (100) in the annual player rankings. The Elias Sports Bureau rating, which was created as part of the settlement of the 1981 strike to determine compensation for the loss of a free agent, takes into account a player's plate appearances, batting average, on-base percentage, home runs, and RBIs compared to others playing the same position during the two past seasons.
2006 The Astros announce the club will not exercise their option on first baseman Jeff Bagwell for the 2007 season. 'BagPipes' is the all-time franchise leader in home runs, RBIs, and walks.
2008 The Mets waste no time in exercising their $12 million option on Carlos Delgado. After a well-publicized slow start, which strained the relationship with his then-manager Willie Randolph, the 36 year-old first baseman batted .313, blasted 24 homers, and drove in 70 runs during the last three months of the season playing for new skipper Jerry Manuel.
2009 Alex Rodriguez's Game 3 fly ball in the right-field corner of Citizens Bank Park becomes the subject of the first instant replay call in World Series history. The Yankee third baseman's hit, initially ruled a double, is changed by the umpires to a home run after the replay clearly shows the ball going over the fence before striking a television camera and bouncing back to the field.

2010 For the first time in major league history, two former presidents attend the same World Series game when George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush are both at Rangers Ballpark for Game 4 of the Fall Classic. Before the contest against San Francisco, the elder Bush, a former first baseman at Yale, stands close by when his son, the former controlling owner of the Texas franchise, throws the ceremonial first pitch.

2010 In Game 4, southpaw Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey become the first rookie battery to start a World Series game since Spec Shea and Yogi Berra appeared together in the first game of the 1947 series. The freshmen do not disappoint when the 21 year-old freshman hurler becomes the fourth youngest to post a Fall Classic victory, limiting the Rangers to three hits while throwing eight strong innings, and the San Francisco backstop contributing to the Giants' 4-0 win in Arlington with an eighth-inning home run.
2011 Although offered approximately $4.5 million for a three-year extension, four times the amount of his previous salary, Theo Epstein decides to leave the BoSox after being the youngest general manager to lead a team to a World Championship. The split with team president Larry Lucchino, who hired the 18 year-old Yale undergraduate as an Oriole intern, gave him a position with the Padres before bringing the 'Boy Wonder' to Boston, takes the Red Sox Nation by surprise.
2011 The World Champion Cardinals announced that Tony La Russa, the team's manager for the past 16 seasons, has decided to retire. The 67 year-old skipper, who is only 35 games behind John McGraw on the all-time list for second place for games won, compiled a 2,728-2,365 (.536) managerial record during his 33 seasons with the White Sox, A's, and St. Louis.

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2011 The Mets announce on their Twitter page that the team is planning to move the left- and right-field fences at Citi Field closer to home plate by as much as 12 feet and lower the home-run line to eight feet. The Amazins, who have hit the fewest home runs at home of any major league team since moving into their new ballpark in 2009, will see the number of round-trippers dramatically increase when the new dimensions result in 21 additional homers for the team and 24 more for opponents
2013 The Nationals name Diamondback coach Matt Williams as their sixth manager in team history, replacing Davey Johnson, who previously announced his retirement. The job will be the 47 year-old former All-Star third baseman's first major league managerial stint.

"We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe." - THEO EPSTEIN, explaining manager Rick Renteria's dismissal.

Theo Epstein dismisses first-year manager Rick Renteria (73-89) with two years remaining on his contract. The GM believes his skipper "deserved to come back for another season," but replaces him with field boss Joe Maddon, a free-agent available after leading the low-payroll Rays to the postseason four times in his nine-year tenure with Tampa Bay.

21 Fact(s) Found