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This Day in All Teams History
January 1st

15 Fact(s) Found
1923 Having promised his fans and former teammates he'd live to see 1923, Wee Willie Keeler dies on New Year's Day of that year due to heart failure. The diminutive fine-hitting Hall of Fame outfielder, who played for the National League's Superbas (Dodgers), Orioles, and Giants and the Highlanders (Yankees) of the American League, is credited with the baseball axiom, "Keep your eyes clear, and hit 'em where they ain't."
1927 The Robins announce outfielder Zack Wheat, after 18 consecutive seasons with the club, has been released. The future Hall of Famer, who led the National League in hitting in 1918 with a .335 batting average, will hit .324 in 88 games for Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's this season, finishing his career with a lifetime mark of .311.

Amazon Zack Wheat: The Life of the
Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer


"He could turn off a light switch and jump into bed before the room got dark." - SATCHEL PAIGE, quipping about the quickness of Cool Papa Bell.

Cienfuegos's third baseman Cool Papa Bell becomes the first player to hit three home runs in a professional game in Cuba, accomplishing the feat in a 15-11 victory over Havana at the spacious Alda Park. The speedy infielder hits the trio of homers, all inside-the-park round-trippers, off Oscar Levis, Cliff "Campanita" Bell, and Martin Dihigo.

1940 In a decision that foreshadows a significant blow to Detroit's farm system, Kenesaw Mountain Landis voids the last month's trade, which would have sent Tiger hurler George Coffman and second baseman Benny McCoy to the A's for outfielder Wally Moses. The commissioner declares McCoy a free agent because the team hid the infielder from other clubs, and baseball's first czar will also grant free agency to another 87 of the club's farmhands due to their concealment in the minor leagues.
1941 Babe Ruth spends $50,000 on defense bonds to support of the U.S. mobilization effort, the maximum allowed by law for one person. After the start of World War II, the retired Yankee legend will continue to support the military, making charity appearances promoting the purchase of U.S bonds.
1943 Josh Gibson, known as the 'Black Babe Ruth,' is admitted to St. Francis Hospital for a brief time after suffering a mental breakdown, being released to participate in spring training with the Homestead Grays in Hot Springs (AR). The power-hitting catcher is diagnosed with a brain tumor but elects not to have it removed, and as a consequence, suffers from headaches until his death in 1947 at the age of 35 years old.
1961 Tiger Stadium is the official new name for the Detroit ballpark at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull Avenues. The facility, which opened in 1912, was initially known as Navin Field, named for team owner Frank Navin, before becoming Briggs Stadium in 1938, reflecting the expansion efforts of Walter Briggs, who increased the yard's capacity to 53,000 under his ownership by double-decking the stands in left field.

1970 One-time New York batboy Chub Feeney begins his 16-year presidency of the National League, taking over for Warren Giles, who held the position for 18 years. The Dartmouth College graduate was Charles Stoneham's grandson, the Giants' late owner.
1974 Lee MacPhail takes over as American League president, succeeding the retiring Joe Cronin, serving in the role until 1984. MacPhail will join his dad, Larry, as a member of the Hall of Fame in 1998, becoming the only father-and-son pair to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

1977 At the age of 30, Milwaukee reliever Danny Frisella tragically dies in a dune buggy accident in Arizona. The right-hander, best known for his first six seasons with the Mets, compiled a 34-40 won-loss record, recorded 57 saves, and had an ERA of 3.37 during his ten-year major league tenure, including stints with the Braves, Padres, Cardinals, and the Brewers.

Amazon 1977 Danny Frisella Baseball Card (Topps #278 )

1979 Lorinda de Roulet replaces the very unpopular M. Donald Grant as the Mets' Chairman of the Board. The daughter of franchise founder Joan Payson became the first woman to direct the day-to-day operations of an MLB club when elected as the team president and named to its board of directors following her mother's death in 1975.
1982 Civic Center Busch Memorial Stadium, which replaced Sportsman's Park as the Cardinals' home in 1966, will now be known as Busch Stadium. The new moniker for the ballpark honors the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch, the team's owner, who championed the construction of a new stadium in St. Louis.
2008 The Dodgers celebrate their 50th year in Los Angeles by participating in the 119th annual Tournament of Roses Parade. The team's float features current and former players, organist Nancy Bea Hefley and Vin Scully, the club's broadcaster since 1950.

Amazon Los Angeles Dodgers 2008 Information Guide
(50th Anniversary 1958-2008)

2021 The Brewers' home ballpark will now be known as American Family Field, reflecting the insurance company's name as the venue's title sponsor. The County Stadium replacement, completed in 1971, was called Miller Park for twenty years after the team signed a $40 million deal for the naming rights with the Milwaukee brewery.

15 Fact(s) Found