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Today in Baseball History
December 3rd

35 Fact(s) Found
1926 In a Chicago Tribune article detailing the team's business side, the Cubs causally reveal Weeghman Park will now be known as Wrigley Field, reflecting the club's ownership by William Wrigley, Junior. The steel-and-concrete ballpark, originally named for the previous owner Charles H. Weeghman, served as the home for the Federal League's Chicago Whales until the Cubs moved to the new venue after the clubs merged under his ownership when the Federal League team folded.
1933 For the second time, Connie Mack begins to dismantle a dynasty he has built, deciding to sell Mickey Cochrane to the Tigers for $100,000. Although the A's have won three American League pennants and two World Series titles, dating back to 1929, with the Great Depression looming, the Philadelphia owner needs cash in the face of a failing economy.
1956 The Tigers once again trade pitcher Virgil Trucks along with Ned Garver, Gene Host, Wayne Belardi, and $20,000 to the A's for Bill Harrington, Jack Crimian, Eddie Robinson, and Jim Finigan. In 1952, Detroit sent their 11-year right-handed veteran, Johnny Groth and Hal White, to the Browns for Owen Friend, Bob Nieman, and Jay Porter.
1960 The Indians deal outfielder Harvey Kuenn to the Giants for flycatcher Willie Kirkland and pitcher Johnny Antonelli. The 1958 American League batting champ, who hit .308 in his one year with the Tribe, came to Cleveland in the trade at the beginning of the season, which some fans believe started "the Curse of Rocky Colavito."
1962 On behalf of 300 retired major leaguers excluded from this year's pension increases, former Yankees shortstop Frank Crosetti and reserve catcher John Schulte, who played with five teams, bring suit to prevent any boost in payments that fail to include players from the past. J. Norman Lewis, their attorney, has indicated that many former stars have contributed their names and money to support the action.
1963 The Braves trade catcher Del Crandell and right-handers Bob Shaw and Bob Hendley to the Giants for outfielder Felipe Alou, backstop Ed Bailey, and southpaw Billy Hoeft. Forty years later, Alou will return to San Francisco to become the team's manager.
1968 After the dominance of pitching last season, the MLB Rules Committee makes changes, hoping to increase offensive output. The new mandates, which include decreasing the size of the strike zone and lowering the pitcher's mound height from 15 inches to 10 inches, will result in more run-scoring in both leagues during the upcoming campaign.
1968 The Cardinals have a busy day on the trading block, making deals with the Red Sox and Padres, sending infielder Dick Schofield to Boston for right-hander Gary Waslewski. In a separate trade, the Redbirds trade third baseman Ed Spiezio, outfielder Ron Davis, backstop Dan Breeden, and pitching prospect Phil Knuckles to San Diego for right-hander Dave Giusti.
1969 In one of the worst trades in franchise history, the Mets deal outfielder Amos Otis to the Royals for third baseman Joe Foy. The 22-year-old flycatcher will have an outstanding 14-year career with Kansas City, becoming a member of the team's hall of fame, while Foy will play just one season in New York, hitting a meager .236 in 99 games.
1971 The Cubs send 25-year-old right-hander Jim Colborn, Brock Davis, and Earl Stephenson to the Brewers for outfielder Jose Cardenal. Chicago's newest flycatcher will have a productive stay in the Windy City, batting .296 during his six-year tenure with the team.
1974 The White Sox obtain a player to be named later and cash from the Braves in exchange for Dick Allen, who refuses to report to Atlanta, citing he wants no part of playing in the South. After announcing his retirement, the 'Wampum Walloper' will play again in May, coaxed by the Phillies, his big-league team, to return to Philadelphia after missing spring training and the season's start.
1974 In a six-player deal, the Mets trade reliever Tug McGraw to the Phillies along with outfielders Don Hahn and Dave Schneck in exchange for outfielder Del Unser, pitcher Mac Scarce, and catcher John Stearns. The 'Ya Gotta Believe' closer will quickly become a fan-favorite in Philadelphia, helping the team win the World Series in 1980, the first in its 97-year history.
1993 The Phillies trade World Series goat, closer Mitch Williams, to the Astros for pitchers Doug Jones and Jeff Juden. The much-maligned closer, who posted a 20.25 ERA, losing twice in his three Fall Classic appearances, will be best remembered for giving up Joe Carter's dramatic walk-off home run that clinched the World Championship for Toronto.
2001 Although Enron has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the corporation is current on its payments and plans to keep its name on the Astros' new ballpark. According to team officials, the downtown stadium will remain Enron Field as long as Enron continues to exist and makes regular payments on its 30-year, $100 million commitment.
2003 Mike Lowell signs a four-year, $32 million deal with the Marlins. However, the All-Star third baseman's contract reverts to a one-year deal with a player option for 2005 if the teams fail to secure financing for a new ballpark by November 1st, 2004.
2003 The Phillies, uncertain of re-signing Kevin Millwood, trade right-handed reliever Carlos Silva, infielder Nick Punto, and a player to be named (Bobby Korecky) to the Twins for left-handed starter Eric Milton. The 28-year-old southpaw, who missed most of last season after knee surgery, should join the starting rotation, including Randy Wolf, Vicente Padilla, and Brett Myers.
2005 To replace Billy Wagner, who joined the Mets as a free agent earlier in the week, the Phillies sign right-hander Tom Gordon as the team's closer. The 38-year-old former Yankee set-up man agrees to an $18 million, three-year deal to hurl for the City of Brotherly Love.
2007 The Nationals add another young outfielder with considerable potential but a troubled past when the team acquires Elijah Dukes from the Rays for pitching prospect Glenn Gibson. Four days ago, the team traded Ryan Church and Brian Schneider for Lastings Milledge, who had a tumultuous tenure with the Mets.
2007 Dick Williams, who managed in Boston, Oakland, California, Montreal, San Diego, and Seattle, is elected into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Along with Bill McKechnie, another Hall of Famer, the fiery skipper is the only other manager to appear in the World Series with three different teams (1967 Red Sox, 1972-73 A's, 1984 Padres).
2007 Billy Southworth, who managed the Cardinals (1929, 1940-45) and the Braves (1946-51), is elected to the Veterans Committee's Hall of Fame. 'Billy the Kid' compiled a managerial record of 1,044-704 (.597), including four World Series appearances and two World Championships during his 13 years in the dugout.
2007 Baseball pioneer Walter O'Malley is elected posthumously to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee, garnering the minimum amount of votes necessary for induction. The Dodger owner was vilified in Brooklyn when he moved the beloved 'Bums' to LA after failing to reach a deal with city officials to keep the franchise in the Borough of Churches.
2007 Barney Dreyfuss, owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900 until he died in 1932, is elected by the Veterans Committee to the Hall of Fame. A German immigrant, who built Forbes Field, helped establish the structure for the first modern World Series in 1903 and played a pivotal role in defusing the animosity between the American and National Leagues.
2008 Reflecting the worldwide economic crisis, Rogers Communications, owner of the Blue Jays, announces corporate layoffs plans, which includes employees from the team's sales staff. The club cites a decline in advertising revenue as the reason for the staffing cuts.
2008 After being declined salary arbitration by the Cubs earlier in the week, Bobby Howry (7-5, 5.35) agrees to a $2.75M, one-year deal with the Giants. San Francisco plans to use the 35-year-old right-handed reliever as the club's primary setup man.
2008 Dustin Pedroia agrees to a $40.5 million, six-year contract extension, which could keep him in a Red Sox uniform through the 2014 season. The 25-year-old second baseman earned only $457,000 last season and has already won the Rookie of the Year award, an MVP, a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and a World Championship in his first two years in the major leagues.
2009 Placido Polanco agrees to an $18 million, three-year deal with the Phillies, the club that traded him to Detroit in 2005 to make room for a rookie named Chase Utley. The 34-year-old Gold Glove second baseman will play third base, filling the position vacated by Pedro Feliz, became a free agent after Philadelphia did not pick up his $5.5 million option.
2009 The A's trade right-handed pitcher Jeff Gray and prospects Matt Spencer and Ronny Morla to the Cubs for infielders Jake Fox and Aaron Miles, along with cash considerations. With Fox's addition to their lineup, Oakland gets a much-needed power boost from the right side of the plate.
2010 Former major league third baseman Ron Santo dies at the age of 70 in an Arizona hospital from bladder cancer and diabetes complications. Consider one of the best players in Cubs history, rejoined the team in 1990 as a WGN radio announcer, enamoring his listeners with his love of the game and gaining their admiration for his struggle to earn induction into the Hall of Fame, an honor he receives posthumously in 2012.
2011 Hoping to fill the void created when Jose Molina left as a free agent to join the Rays, the Blue Jays acquire veteran backstop Jeff Mathis from the Angels in exchange for left-hander Brad Mills. Mathis, known for his defensive skills and his ability to work with young pitchers, will back up starting catcher J.P. Arencibia.
2012 At the Winter Meetings in Nashville, MLB announces former Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert, longtime umpire Hank O'Day, and Deacon White, who debuted with the Cleveland Forest Citys in 1871 as a barehanded catcher, have been elected into the Hall of Fame by the pre-integration panel. The trio's selection gives the Cooperstown shrine precisely 300 members, a number that will not change when the BBWAA does not select any players next month for induction during the ceremonies in July.
2013 Brian McCann agrees to a five-year deal with the Yankees worth $85 million, the richest contract ever for a catcher acquired in free agency. The 29-year-old All-Star backstop spent his first nine years with the Braves, providing consistent offense and leadership for the very successful franchise.
2014 Nick Markakis (276, 14, 50) and the Braves agree on a four-year deal reportedly in the range of $45 million. The Orioles had declined the 31-year-old outfielder's $17.5 million mutual option for next season, making the two-time Gold Glover available as a free agent.
2014 The Original League field in Williamsport, the birthplace of Little League Baseball, is placed on the National Register. The site is where the youth league's founder Carl E. Stotz used newspapers as bases to determine the appropriate size of an infield for children a year before the organization's first game in 1939.
2015 New Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro selects veteran Indians executive Ross Atkins for the team’s general manager position and executive vice-president of baseball operations. The 42-year-old North Carolina native, a close friend of Shapiro from working with him in Cleveland, becomes the seventh GM in franchise history.
2018 The Mariners deal All-star second baseman Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, last season's major league leader in saves, and cash to the Mets for Gerson Bautista, Jay Bruce, Justin Dunn, Anthony Swarzak, and minor leaguer Jarred Kelenic. The trade doesn't fix New York's need to bolster their flailing bullpen when their new closer loses his role, finishing the season with 26 saves and seven blown opportunities.

35 Fact(s) Found