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This Day in All Teams History
December 31st

13 Fact(s) Found
1878 The reported sale of eight million bats takes place in the United States. With a population estimated at approximately 48 million, an average of one out of every six Americans owns a bat.
1897 At the age of 38, Charles H. Ebbets gains controlling interest of the Dodgers with an eighty percent share of the Brooklyn team. Under his ownership, which will last until his death in 1925, the team will post a mediocre 1914-2088 (.478) record but will win four National League Championships during the next 27 seasons.

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1954 Pirates rookie Roberto Clemente has three spinal discs jarred when a drunk driver broadsides him, running a red light traveling at 60-mph. The car accident will cause the 21-year-old outfielder to have recurrent lower back pain for the remainder of his career.
1962 The State of Ohio drops its suit against the Reds' change in ownership when Bill DeWitt declares in writing the team will stay in Cincinnati for the next ten years. Although the new owner claims never having plans to move the team, the state began legal procedures when suspicion abounded after he obtained the team for below market value from the Crosley Foundation.
1966 After fifteen years with the Braves, Eddie Mathews, along with Sandy Alomar, Sr. and Arnie Umbach, is traded to the Astros in exchange for outfielder Dave Nicholson and RHP Bob Bruce. The future Hall of Fame third baseman is the only person to play for the Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta Braves.

1972 Roberto Clemente tragically dies when the four-engine DC-7 plane he chartered to bring much-needed supplies to the victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake crashes in the Atlantic Ocean after taking off from the coast of Isla Verde. Manny Sanguillen will be the only Pirates player not to attend the memorial service, traveling to Puerto Rico to dive into the waters in a futile attempt to recover his teammate's body.
1974 After being wooed by the Pirates, Dodgers, Expos, Giants, Royals, and the Indians, 28-year-old free-agent Catfish Hunter signs with the Yankees, ending an unprecedented bidding war. The former A's ace, author of 88 victories and 4-0 Fall Classic record during the past four seasons, inks a five-year, $3.75 million contract (three times more than any other players) to pitch for the Bronx Bombers.
1990 A snowmobile accident near his ranch in Baker (OR) seriously injures A's third baseman Carney Lansford. The 33-year-old All-Star infielder, who suffered severe ligament damage in his left knee due to the mishap, will appear in only five games next season.
2004 After the Devil Rays decline his 2005 $8 million contract option, Tino Martinez (.262, 23, 76) signs a one-year, $3 million contract to rejoin the Yankees. The popular 37-year-old first baseman, acquired as insurance in the event Jason Giambi's (the player who replaced him) health continues to fail, played in the Bronx from 1996-2001.
2008 The Angels agree to a two-year, $17.5 million deal with free-agent Brian Fuentes. The 33 -year-old left-handed reliever, who had 30 saves for the Rockies last season, will replace Francisco Rodriguez as the closer for the American League West champions.
2008 Deciding not to shift shortstop Jhonny Peralta to third with Asdrubal Cabrera moving from second to short, the Indians acquire Mark DeRosa from the Cubs to be their everyday third baseman. To get the 33-year-old infielder, the Tribe sends minor league pitching prospects Jeff Stevens, Chris Archer, and John Gaub to Chicago.
2009 The Cubs agree to a $15 million, three-year deal with Texas free-agent Marlon Byrd (.283, 20, 89) to fill the void in the outfield created when the trade to Seattle of the agitated Milton Bradley. Chicago's new outfielder will patrol centerfield, replacing Kosuke Fukudome, who will move over to right field.
2009 The Red Sox, after trying seven regular shortstops since trading Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs in 2004, sign Marco Scutaro to a deal that guarantees the 34-year-old infielder to a $12.5 million, two-year deal to fill the void. The former utility player with the Mets and A's had a career year last season for the Blue Jays after becoming the team's everyday shortstop.

13 Fact(s) Found