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This Day in Baseball History
February 4th

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19 Fact(s) Found
1861 Wearing ice skates, the champion Atlantics defeat the Charter Oak Club, 36-27 on a game played on frozen Litchfield Pond in South Brooklyn.
1893 The first recorded version of the poem Casey at the Bat, which is vocalized by Russell Hunting, is released. The more well-known rendition of Earnest Thayer’s work, the one popularized by DeWolfe Hopper, will not be heard by the public until 1906.
1909 Hall of Fame hurler John Clarkson, a 326-game winner, dies from pneumonia at the age of 47. The right-hander pitched for the Worcester Ruby Legs (1882), Chicago White Stockings (1884-1887), Boston Beaneaters (1888-1892), and Cleveland Spiders (1892-1894).
1956 During spring training, the American League plans to test automatic intentional walks. The concept will not be used in the major leagues, but will be implemented over time for use in some youth leagues and scholastic teams.
1956 In memory of the Hall of Fame hurler who died last year, the Cy Young Memorial Award is established to honor the outstanding major league pitcher of the year. The first recipient will be Don Newcombe, who will post a 27-7 record along with an ERA of 3.06 for the Dodgers next season.
1960 Although the top 13 vote-getters will eventually be inducted, the BBWAA doesn't elect a Hall of Fame candidate for the fifth time in 24 years. The fact no one receives the necessary 75 percent to be selected may be more of reflection of too many qualified candidates splintering the vote, rather than the lack of a player on the ballot deserving recognition.
1969 Bowie Kuhn is selected by the major league owners to be baseball's fifth commissioner, a position he will hold until 1984. The former National League attorney, a future Hall of Famer for the role he will play during a turbulent time in the game, replaces William Eckert.
1971 Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces former Negro League players will have a separate wing in the Hall of Fame. Due to the controversy the announcement causes, it is decided inclusion in the regular Hall of Fame is more fitting and is more of an honor for the former black players.
1976 Federal judge John W. Oliver of the United States district court for Western Missouri upholds Peter Seitz's arbitration ruling which made Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally free agents. The Dodger and Expos pitchers challenged the reserve clause by playing, but not signing their contracts contending they were now free to sign with another team for next season, negating the owners' belief that the one-year contracts were perpetually renewed.
1984 The Yankees obtain third baseman Toby Harrah and minor leaguer Rick Brown from the Indians for Dan Boitano, rookie outfielder Otis Nixon and minor leaguer Guy Elston. The team's new third baseman will hit just .217 in the one season he plays for the Bronx Bombers, but Nixon will go on to have a solid 17-year major league career leaving the game in 1999 with a lifetime batting average of .270.
1990 The St. Petersburg Pelicans defeat the Palm Beach Tropics to win the first Senior Professional Baseball Association Championship, 12-4. Former major leaguers Steve Kemp and Lamar Johnson go deep for the newly crowned champs.
1991 The Hall of Fame board of directors vote unanimously, 12-0, to accept the proposal presented last month by a special committee which excludes any player on the permanently ineligible list. The decision will ban Pete Rose's name from being placed on the HOF ballot.
2002 The Minnesota Supreme Court refuses to consider an appeal of an injunction that forces the Twins to fulfill their Metrodome lease in 2002. The decision puts an end for this season any possibility of contraction in major league baseball.
2004 Avoiding an arbitration hearing, the Cardinals and Albert Pujols (.359, 43, 124) agree to a $100 million, seven-year deal. The 24-year old slugging first baseman/outfielder was the runner-up to Barry Bonds of the Giants in the National League's MVP voting.
2005 Needing to fill the void created by the departure of Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou, the Cubs avoid arbitration signing Aramis Ramirez (.318, 36, 103) to an $8.95 million, one-year contract. The 26-year old third baseman will be selected to the National League All-star team this season.
2005 A dentist, who became partially blind after being struck attempting to catch a foul ball, is appealing his case in which he alleges the Phillies need to do more to protect fans. The case, dismissed by a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge citing that multiple warnings were made by the club, including public address announcements, text on the back of the ticket, and posted signs in the ballpark, will now be heard in the state’s Commonwealth Court.
2008 Curtis Granderson (.302, 23, 74) and the Tigers come to terms on a five-year contract which includes a club option for 2013 worth $30.25 million. Joining Willie Mays and Frank Schulte, the 26 year-old outfielder last season became the third player in major league history to swipe 20 bases, and hit at least 20 homers, 20 triples and 20 doubles.
2009 Brian Bannister and the Royals avoid salary arbitration agreeing to a one-year deal valued at $1,737,500. The right-hander, who was 9-16 with a 5.76 ERA in 32 starts for Kansas City in his sophomore season, placed third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2007 after being obtained from the Mets.
2010 Justin Verlander and the Tigers finalized an $80 million, five-year deal that keeps the talented hurler in the Motor City until 2014. The 26-year old right-hander has compiled a 65-43 record along with a 3.92 ERA during his first four years in the major leagues, all with Detroit.

19 Fact(s) Found