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This Day in Baseball History
March 9th

20 Fact(s) Found
1897 The Cleveland Spiders sign Penobscot Indian Louis Sockalexis. Although the former Holy Cross star plays only three seasons due to alcoholism, the fans admire his outstanding skills and refer to the team as the 'Indians'- in 1915 the name will become official.
1922 Rogers Hornsby, coveted by John McGraw of the Giants, signs a three-year contract with Cardinals' owner Sam Breadon. The 25 year-old second baseman, who will hit .404 over the three-year span of the deal, agrees to a salary of $18,500 per season, making him the highest paid player in National League history.
1943 The Dodgers trade first baseman Babe Dahlgren to the Phillies for outfielder Lloyd Waner and infielder Al Glossop. Philadelphia's new 31 year-old infielder will enjoy an all-star season during his only year in the City of Brotherly Love, hitting a solid .287 for the seventh-place team.
1948 Ted Williams accepts Babe Didrikson Zaharias' challenge to compete with her in a driving contest at a local range. The former Olympic track star, turned golf champion, playfully teases the Red Sox superstar, giving him pointers when the 'Kid' slices most of his drives as her shots go straight, and usually, longer.
1960 Returning to his Palm Beach home after watching his A's play a spring training intra-squad game, Arnold Johnson is found by police semi-conscious and slumped behind the wheel of his car. The 53 year-old club owner will die early tomorrow morning as the result of suffering cerebral hemorrhage.
1961 The Yankees announce the team will be leaving its spring training home in St. Petersburg to move to Fort Lauderdale by 1963. The Yankee owners also encourage the new yet unnamed National League New York franchise to play its home games at the Polo Grounds and not to consider Yankee Stadium.
1963 Songwriters Ruth Roberts and Bill Katz introduced the official Met theme song, Meet the Mets, to the public. The tune will be modernized in 1984, adding Long Island, New Jersey, Brooklyn, Queens, Uptown and Down, to the team's East side, West side geographical realm.

1979 Fearing legal consequences, Bowie Kuhn gives access to female reporters to enter major league locker rooms. The commissioner's unpopular ruling puts the players in an awkward position in their once all-male domain.
1994 After being hit in the groin by an errant pickoff throw from teammate Mitch Williams that breaks his protective cup, John Kruk will be diagnosed with testicular cancer. The Phillies first baseman/outfielder will make a full recovery after surgery.
1995 With a vote of 28-0, the major league owners admit two new teams, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The teams will be assigned leagues in January of 1997.
1995 Tampa Bay's new expansion team will be known as the Devil Rays, a name that will prove to be unpopular due to its un-Christian reference after being selected from more than 7,000 entries submitted by the public. The club's owner Vince Niamoli had preferred his team be called the Sting Rays, but he refused to pay the $35,000 needed to buy the trademark from a club in the Hawaiian Winter League, who owned the rights to the nickname.
2005 Current and former big league players as well as baseball executives are issued subpoenas to appear on March 17 by the House Committee on Government Reform. The eleven 'invitees' to the congressional hearing on steroid use include Sandy Alderson, Jose Canseco, Donald Fehr, Jason Giambi, Rob Manfred, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas, and Kevin Towers.
2005 Nikko Smith, Ozzie's son who made it to the third round of the American Idol semi-finals, is voted off the popular reality show. A few days later, the young entertainer will be asked back by the producers to replace Mario Vazquez, who withdrew from the competition, prompting judge Paula Abdul to call him "The Comeback Kid" after his performance of West Side Story's "One Hand, One Heart".

2006 At Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan a "Down with Fidel" sign, seen by millions of television viewers, including those watching the WBC contest in Cuba, creates an international incident. A Cuban official attending the game confronts the male sign-holder, but Puerto Rican police quickly intercede, taking Angel Iglesias to a nearby police station, where the vice president of Cuba's National Institute of Sports is reminded that Puerto Ricans enjoy the right to freedom of speech.
2009 Alex Rodriguez undergoes an 80-minute arthroscopic surgical procedure to repair torn cartilage in his right hip. The Yankees third baseman, who will need a more extensive operation in the offseason, expects to return to the lineup in May.
2010 Amidst much hoopla, Stephen Strasburg throws two scoreless innings against Detroit in his much anticipated first exhibition start for the Nationals this spring. The former San Diego State right-hander, the recipient of the Golden Spikes award as best amateur baseball player in the nation, was selected as the number one overall pick in last year's draft, signing a record $15.1 million, four-year deal with Washington.
2011 Luis Salazar is airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center after being struck in the face by a foul line drive hit by Brian McCann while standing in the dugout in the first inning of a Braves' exhibition game in Lake Buena Vista. The 54 year-old minor league manager sustains a concussion and will lose his left eye as a result of the injury.
2014 Barry Bonds returns to the Giants as a special spring training instructor for the young Giants' hitters, a role the organization believes will be of benefit to the club for years to come. The much-maligned former superstar, who played in his last major league game in 2007, has a ten-year personal services contract with San Francisco, which has yet to commence.
2017 Kris Bryant (.292, 39, 102), who made $652K in his rookie year, becomes the highest-paid second-year player when he comes to terms with the World Champion Cubs on a contract reportedly worth $1.05 million. The Chicago third baseman’s deal surpasses the previous record major league record of one million dollars, given to sophomore outfielder Mike Trout in 2014 by the Angels.

"Major League Baseball’s greatest responsibility is to ensure that today’s youth become active participants in our game as players and fans. The ‘MLB Little League Classic’ exemplifies our entire sport’s commitment to building a stronger connection between young people and the National Pastime" - ROB MANFRED, Commissioner of Baseball.

Major League Baseball announces the first "MLB Little League Classic" will be played between Cardinals and Pirates on August 20 at Williamsport’s BB&T Ballpark, the second-oldest minor league ballpark in the United States which was formerly known as Bowman Field when it opened 1926. The regular season game, originally scheduled to be played at PNC Park, will take place in conjunction with the Little League World Series that will be taking place in nearby Howard J. Lamade Stadium.

20 Fact(s) Found