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This Day in Baseball History
March 8th

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15 Fact(s) Found
1900 The National League decides to downsize to eight teams for the upcoming season by eliminating the circuit's franchises in Baltimore, Cleveland, Louisville, and Washington. The remaining eight cities will stay the same for more than half a century until the Braves leave Boston, moving to Milwaukee in 1953.
1913 John Powers, the founder of last year's failed mid-western Columbian League, organizes the Federal League in Indianapolis. The upstart league will operate independently with franchises in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis, avoiding agreement with the National Commission.
1923 Commissioner Landis allows pitcher Rube Benton to return to the major leagues despite the left-hander admitting to having prior knowledge of the 1919 World Series fix. The 32-year-old southpaw, who spent 6+ seasons with the Giants before sitting out the 1922 campaign, returns to the Reds for three years, compiling a 30-29 record during his second tour with the team.


Rube Benton (1923)
Library of Congress - George Grantham Bain Collection

1930 Babe Ruth inks a two-year deal for $160,000 with the Yankees, keeping him the highest-paid player of all time. The team's general manager Ed Barrow predicts at the time that "No one will ever be paid more."
1941 'Losing Pitcher' Hugh Mulcahy of the Phillies becomes the first major league player drafted into the Armed Forces. The newest member of the 101st Artillery at Cape Cod's Camp Edwards had lost 22 games last season and 20 in 1938 to lead the National League in defeats both years.


Hugh Mulcahy
1940 Bowman Play Ball Card

1946 Tucson's Hi Corbett Field hosts the first spring training game played in Arizona. The Indians, behind the pitching of Bob Lemon, beat the Giants, 3-1, in the inaugural Cactus League contest.

Amazon Cactus League: Spring Training
(Images of America)

1947 In front of 5,000 fans at Havana's new Gran Estadio de La Habana, the Yankees lose to the Dodgers in extra innings, 1-0, with Snuffy Stirnweiss's tenth-inning single accounting for the Bronx Bombers' only hit. Pete Reiser's long double on a 3-2 pitch off Spec Shea scores Carl Furillo, giving Brooklyn the walk-off victory in Cuba.
1966 Before an intrasquad contest in St. Petersburg in a pregame ceremony, the Mets announce the election of their former manager Casey Stengel to the Hall of Fame. The 75-year-old 'Old Perfessor' benefitted from a new rule by the Baseball Writers Committee on Veterans that makes any manager, umpire, or executive 65 or older eligible for induction six months after retiring, bypassing the traditional five-year wait rule for players.

Amazon Stengel: His Life and Times by Robert W. Creamer

2001 In a press release, the Orioles announce Albert Belle "has been found to be disabled and unable to perform as a Major League baseball player," due to a degenerative right hip. The Orioles will place the 34-year-old outfielder on the 60-day disabled list, thus beginning the process which conforms to the procedure set forth by Major League Baseball in the case of a disabling and permanent injury to a player.
2006 A Canadian team made up mostly of minor leaguers stuns the baseball world by beating a highly-favored Team USA in the first round of the WBC, 8-6. Thanks to Adam Stern's inside-the-park homer, four RBIs, and a pair of sensational catches, with southpaw Adam Loewen, who keeps the American all-stars scoreless for 3.2 innings, helping the Canadians post their most significant victory in its national history of baseball.
2008 In hopes of a more lucrative deal in the future, Ryan Zimmerman inks a new one-year contract to play infield with the Nationals. After the third baseman homers and drives in four runs during a 12-10 split-squad victory over the Astros, he agrees to a $465,000 deal, slightly improving his present salary.
2011 The MLB names Kim Ng as their Senior Vice-President of baseball operations, making her the highest-ranking woman in the major leagues. The Dodger Assistant General Manager, a post she held since 2001, will report to Joe Torre, who had managed in LA during the last three years of her tenure.
2013 Allen Craig (.307, 22, 92) and the Cardinals agree to a five-year, $31 million contract extension valued at $43 million over six seasons. The 28-year-old first baseman played a vital role in the 2011 St. Louis World Championship, contributing three go-ahead RBIs, including a clutch eighth-inning line drive in Game 6 that sparked the start of an unforgettable Redbirds' rally.
2016 A meeting today (3/08) at 3:08 p.m at Clemens Field, with a .308 gate and a 308 right-field foul pole, a .309 suite, and a monument depicting a .309 batting average, will help solve a mystery surrounding a not so well-known resident, former National League first baseman Jake Beckley. The purpose of the gathering is to decide which number to use in commemorating the Hall of Fame infielder's batting average, .308 as listed by Baseball-Reference.com and many other resources or the .309, engraved on his plaque at Cooperstown.

2017

"When Moses Fleetwood Walker walked onto a field in Toledo, he did more than play a game. He was more than just an athlete. He did more than throw, catch, or hit. That day and every day he played, he started a conversation." - CRAIG BROWN, an adjunct professor at Kent State University.

By a vote of 93-1, the Ohio House passes Bill 59, setting aside October 7 each year in honor of Moses Fleetwood Walker, the first-openly African American to play under contract in the major leagues. In 1884, the bare-handed backstop caught for the American Association's Toledo Blue Stockings until a rib injury and the team's excessive payroll led to his release late in the season.


15 Fact(s) Found