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This Day in Baseball History
December 11th

27 Fact(s) Found
1928 In an effort to speed up the game and add more offense, National League president John Heydler proposes the concept of a designated batter for the pitcher. The American League opposes the idea, and the NL withdraws the proposal before Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis is asked to break the deadlock.
1941 The Giants trade hurler Bill Lohrman, catcher James O'Dea, first baseman Johnny McCarthy, and $50,000 to the Cardinals to obtain first baseman Johnny Mize. The Giants' new infielder, despite missing three years due to WWII, will spend five productive seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the team, hitting .299 and averaging more than 100 RBIs per season.
1950 A. B. 'Happy' Chandler's contract as commissioner is not to be renewed for a second term when he receives only nine of the twelve owners' votes needed. The former Senator from Kentucky, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982 due to his lasting contributions to the game, is given credit for helping to integrate the majors, putting six umpires on the field during the World Series, and establishing the players' pension fund in 1947, with the $475,000 made by selling the rights to broadcast the World Series on the radio.

"I can no longer produce for my ballclub, my manager, my teammates, and my fans the sort of baseball their loyalty to me deserves." - Joe DiMaggio

At the Yankees' Fifth Avenue suite in the Squibb Tower, a tearful Joe DiMaggio, two weeks after his 37th birthday, announces to the press his decision to retire from baseball. The Bronx Bomber outfielder, claiming he "no longer has it" due to age and injuries, ends his thirteen-year career with a lifetime .325 BA and 361 home runs, rejecting owner Dan Topping's $100,000 offer to play next season.
1952 The Pirates name Fred Haney to be the team's manager, replacing Billy Meyer. The Bucs will finish in last place each season, compiling a dismal 163-299 (.353) record during their new skipper's three-year tenure in Pittsburgh.
1954 The Phillies purchase Connie Mack Stadium for $1,675,000 from Arnold Johnson, the A's new owner who acquired the ballpark as part of his purchase of the American League team. The Phils, who had been paying a minimal amount of rent to share the park with their Junior Circuit rivals, are now the sole occupants with the relocation of the Athletics to Kansas City and will play in the aging downtown facility for another 15 years before they move to Veterans Stadium in 1971.
1956 A major league player association is formed with Bob Feller, a future Hall of Fame hurler with the Indians, being named its first president. The labor organization, one of many attempts by the players to form a union, will prove to be very successful a decade later when Marvin Miller is hired to be the MLBPA's first executive director in 1966.
1959 After their offer to deal Roger Maris for Dick Groat is rejected by the Pirates, the A's, who had been prohibited by the league from trading the slugging outfielder to the Yankees for 18 months after obtaining him from the Indians on June, 15, 1958, send the right-fielder and two other players to New York in exchange for Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern, and Marv Throneberry. The year-and-a-half moratorium on the potential trade was put in place to alleviate the perception that Kansas City was serving as a 'big league' farm club for the Bronx Bombers.
1962 The Red Sox trade Tracy Stallard, Pumpsie Green, and a player to be named later (Al Moran) to the Mets in exchange for Felix Mantilla. Stallard, best known for throwing the pitch to Roger Maris for the record-breaking 61st home run, will become a twenty-game loser for New York in 1964.
1968 The Angels trade two catchers, Ed Kirkpatrick and Dennis Paepke, to the Kansas City A's for Hoyt Wilhelm. The right-handed knuckleballer, who will be traded to Atlanta in September, will post a 5-7 record along with 10 saves while compiling a respectable ERA of 2.47 during his five months with the Halos.
1973 After being the first player to invoke the new 10 and 5 rule to avoid being dealt to the Angels, Ron Santo agrees to be traded to the southside of Chicago to play for the rival White Sox. In return for the 33 year-old infielder, who will play just one season with the Pale Hose before retiring, the Cubs receive Jim Kremmel (the player to be named later), Ken Frailing, Steve Stone, and Steve Swisher.
1975 In a busy day of trading, the Yankees acquire pitchers Dock Ellis and Ken Brett, and second baseman Willie Randolph from the Pirates for hurler Doc Medich. In a separate deal with the Angels, the Bronx Bombers trade Bobby Bonds for outfielder Mickey Rivers and pitcher Ed Figueroa.
1975 The Chicago White Sox announce Bill Veeck, along with a group of 40+ investors has purchased the team, saving the cash-strapped franchise from being shifted to another city. John H. Johnson, the publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, becomes the first black to hold an ownership stake in a major league team.
1981 Despite having mediocre results with the team last season, 37 year-old Joe Morgan is re-signed by the Giants. The veteran second baseman will win the Silver Slugger award next season, compiling a .289 batting average.
1986 The Mets trade Kevin Mitchell, a rookie who played six positions for the eventual world champs, along with prospects Stan Jefferson and Shawn Abner, and two additional minor leaguers to the Padres for outfielder Kevin McReynolds, southpaw Gene Walter, and a minor leaguer. Mitchell will be traded to San Francisco during the season, and in two years, the San Diego native will become the National League's Most Valuable Player playing for the Giants.
1987 The A's obtain Jesse Orosco from the Mets and then trades the southpaw reliever along with shortstop Alfredo Griffin and right-hander Jay Howell to the Dodgers for pitchers Matt Young, Bob Welch, and Jack Savage. New York gets Savage as well as right-hand hurlers Wally Whitehurst and Kevin Tapani from Oakland to complete the three-team, eight-player deal.
1991 The Royals deal right-hander Bret Saberhagen and utility player Bill Pecota to the Mets for Gregg Jefferies, Kevin McReynolds, and Keith Miller. The two-time Cy Young Award winner will post only a 3-5 record in his first season with New York, compiling a 29-27 record during his 3+ seasons with the team.
2000 The Astros and Tigers complete a six-player trade with outfielder Roger Cedeno, catcher Mitch Meluskey, and right-hander Chris Holt going to Detroit and catcher Brad Ausmus, relievers Doug Brocail and Nelson Cruz headed for Houston.
2001 The Mets trade southpaw Billy Traber and outfielders Matt Lawton and Alex Escobar to the Indians for superstar second baseman Roberto Alomar along with prospect Danny Peoples and left-hander Mike Bacsik. The Gold Glove infielder, the centerpiece of the deal, will be a major bust in Flushing, hitting just .265 and playing uninspired defense for New York before being shipped to the White Sox in the middle of the 2003 season.
2007 After declining offers from the Yomiuri Giants and his former team, the Chunichi Dragons, Kosuke Fukudome comes to terms with the Cubs on a four-year deal reported to be worth $48 million. The 30 year-old Japanese outfielder, also sought by the Padres, White Sox, Giants, and Rangers, compiled a .305 batting average during his 13-year tenure in Japan's Central League.
2008 The Red Sox unveil their new, but familiar "Hanging Sox" logo. Originally sewn on uniforms in 1931, the pair of red socks will now appear on most of the club's letterhead and signs, diminishing the use of the circular trademark which contain the words "Boston Red Sox".
2009 The Rays obtain Rafael Soriano (27 saves, 2.97) from Atlanta, agreeing to a $7.25 million, one-year deal with the reliever to complete the transaction. The Braves, who get right-hander Jesse Chavez from Tampa Bay in the trade, recently bolstered their bullpen with Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, making the 29 year-old right-hander expendable.
2009 Clearly stating he wants to be an everyday player on a winning team, Ivan Rodriguez agrees to a $6 million, two-year deal with the Nationals, the worst team in baseball last season. The 38 year-old catcher will share playing time and his experience with Jesus Flores, Washington's young up-and-coming backstop.
2009 Free-agent Jason Kendall signs a $6 million, two-year deal to become the Royals' everyday catcher. The 35 year-old savvy backstop, a lifetime .290 hitter, batted only .241 with only two home runs and 43 RBIs with Milwaukee last season.
2010 Rays free-agent Carl Crawford agrees to a seven-year, $142-million deal with the Red Sox. The 29 year-old outfielder's tenure in Boston will be brief when he plays only two disappointing injury-plagued seasons with the team before being traded to the Dodgers as part of a blockbuster trade.

"He was a guy who was a class act and he meant more to the city than the players. When he walked down the street people knew him. He’s more recognizable than any player that’s been here." - KEN GRIFFEY, JR., former Mariners superstar speaking of Dave Niehaus in a video message played at a Safeco Field tribute to the late broadcaster.

The Mariners honor Dave Niehaus, the team's long-time broadcaster, who died suddenly last month, with a Safeco Field ceremony that is attended by his family, team officials, former players, and thousands of fans. The Hall of Fame announcer, a fixture in the Seattle booth since the franchise's first pitch in 1977, is eulogized Rick Rizzs, who becomes overwhelmed with emotion reminiscing about his broadcast partner for 25 years.

2014 The Marlins make a blockbuster trade with the Dodgers, acquiring speedster Dee Gordon, right-hander Dan Haren, infielder Miguel Rojas, and cash considerations in exchange for Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, Enrique Hernandez, and their top southpaw prospect Andrew Heaney, who will be dealt later in the day by his new team to the Angels for Howie Kendrick. The addition of Gordon, who led the National League with 64 stolen bases last season, gives Miami a bona fide leadoff hitter while improving their defense at second base.

27 Fact(s) Found