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This Day in Baseball History
March 2nd

12 Fact(s) Found
1927 Babe Ruth becomes the highest paid player in major league history when the Yankees announce the Bambino will earn $70,000 per season for the next three years. The 'Sultan of Swat,' who had asked for $100,000, meets Colonel Jacob Ruppert at the owner's brewery in the Yorkville section of Manhattan to finalize the historic deal.
1966 Commissioner William Eckert, citing a rule that prohibits clubs from signing players during their collegiate season, voids the Braves' contract with USC standout Tom Seaver, who had signed with Atlanta for a $50,000 bonus a week earlier. The Mets will be awarded the future Hall of Famer's signing rights in a lottery that includes the Phillies and Indians, who also were willing to match the Braves' terms.

"When he punched Keith Hernandez in spring training last season, it was the only time that Darryl Strawberry hit the cutoff man." - STEVE WULF, Sports Illustrated journalist.

At a photo session, Mets' outfielder Darryl Strawberry throws a punch at Keith Hernandez, the team's no-nonsense All-Star first baseman. The spring training scuffle started over comments about salaries and results with the Straw walking out of camp.

1992 The highest-paid player tag now belongs to Ryne Sandberg, when the All-Star infielder signs a four-year contract extension worth 7.1 million dollars per season. The future Hall of Famer will unexpectedly retire during the season in 1994, walking away from nearly $15.8 million from the record deal he inked today.
1995 The Reds and Indians make the first-ever trade of replacement players. Barbaro Garbey and four others go to the Reds in return for 'future considerations'.
2001 Rusty Greer, now the Rangers' new leadoff hitter due to the A-Rod deal, signs a $21.8 million, three-year contract extension with Texas. The .307 career hitting outfielder could make as much $36 million with incentives and options.
2005 Wearing their regular-season home uniforms instead of the traditional batting-practice spring training jerseys, the Nationals in their first game ever beat the Mets in the exhibition opener at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida, 5-3. The first and last games the Expos played were also against Mets, before leaving Montreal for their new home in Washington D.C.
2005 In a Capitol Rotunda ceremony, with legislators from both the House and Senate and baseball commissioner Bud Selig in attendance, President George W. Bush awards the nation's highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, posthumously to Jackie Robinson's widow. Rachel, the widow of the courageous ball player, accepts the award for her late husband, who died in 1972.

2005 With hundreds of Red Sox Nation citizens in attendance on the south lawn, President George W. Bush praises the team spirit and winning style of the 2004 World Champions during a White House ceremony. Fall Classic hero and Bush supporter Curt Schilling gives the former owner of the Texas Rangers a white baseball jersey emblazoned with the forty-third Chief Executive's name and the number 43.
2007 Michael Young signs an $80 million, five-year contract extension offered by the Rangers. The deal, which keeps the three-time All-Star shortstop with Texas through the 2013 season, is the second-largest in franchise history, eclipsed only by the $252 million, 10-year deal Alex Rodriguez free-agent signing in December 2000.
2007 A chartered bus accident at Interstate 75 and Northside Drive in Atlanta kills five Bluffton University baseball players and the driver and his wife. The players, Zach Arend, David Betts, Scott Harmon, Cody Holp, and Tyler Williams, were en route to Sarasota, Florida, to play a twin bill with Eastern Mennonite University before heading to participate in the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers.
2012 In the first change to the MLB playoff structure since the introduction wild-card teams in 1995, a new one-game, a wild-card game between the teams with the best records in each league, who are not division winners, will become the initial round of the postseason. The new postseason system, which would have allowed the Red Sox and the Braves to avoid their historical collapses last season, increases the reward of a winning a division title but opens the door of the possibility of a third-place team winning the World Series.

12 Fact(s) Found