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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 years of the deal, agrees to $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 The police find Arnold Johnson en route to his Palm Beach home after watching his A's play a spring training intrasquad game 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 a 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 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 At the owners' meeting in West Palm Beach, FL, the major leagues add their 13th and 14th expansion teams, officially granting franchises to Phoenix and Tampa Bay by a unanimous vote of 28-0. The new cities, selected over municipalities that included bids from Orlando and two by groups from Washington, DC, 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 Naimoli 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, which owned the rights to the nickname.
2005 Current and former big-league players and 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. Days later, the young entertainer will be asked back by the producers to replace contestant Mario Vazquez, 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 authorities remind the vice president of Cuba's National Institute of Sports 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 Yankee's third baseman, who will need a more extensive operation in the offseason, expects to return to the lineup in May.
2010 Amidst much hoopla, former San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg throws two scoreless innings against Detroit in his much anticipated first exhibition start for the Nationals this spring. The recipient of the Golden Spikes Award as the 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.

Amazon Stephen Strasburg Rookie Card
(2010 Topps Baseball #661)

2011 A helicopter airlifts Luis Salazar from just outside Champion Stadium in Kissimmee (FL) to Orlando Regional Medical Center after he is struck in the face by a line drive pulled into the dugout by Brian McCann's in the first inning of a Braves exhibition game. The 54-year-old minor league manager sustains a concussion and will lose his left eye due to 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 Williamsport's BB&T Ballpark, the second-oldest minor league ballpark in the United States, formerly known as Bowman Field when it opened in 1926, will host the first "MLB Little League Classic." The regular-season game between the Cardinals and Pirates on August 20, originally scheduled to be played at PNC Park, will occur in conjunction with the Little League World Series that will be taking place in nearby Howard J. Lamade Stadium.

20 Fact(s) Found