<< Yesterday

This Day in Baseball History
January 17th

28 Fact(s) Found
1888 Kansas City is admitted to the American Association to replace the Mets, who folded operations after the season. The Brooklyn Dodgers, interested in obtaining the services of several unemployed Metropolitans players, purchase the former New York AA team.
1915 According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the American League franchise will now be known as the Indians, replacing the nickname Naps - a change necessitated due to player-manager Napolean Lajoie's departure to the Philadelphia A's. After team owner Charles W. Somers asked the city's baseball writers for feedback from their readers, the scribes selected the new moniker to honor former Cleveland Spider player Louis Sockalexis, the first Native American to play in the major leagues.
1916 The Giants buy Benny Kauff, the Federal League's best player, from the Brooklyn Tip-Tops for $35,000. The 26-year-old center fielder's first three seasons with New York are solid, but the trash-talking fly chaser will never live up to his reputation as the 'Ty Cobb of the Feds.'

Amazon Benny Kauff Major League Baseball
Phenom and Outcast

1922 An appellate court denies Benny Kauff's appeal for reinstatement as a major league player. Due to the acquittal of the auto theft charges brought against him, the former Giant outfielder believed Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis should have reversed the decision to banish him from the game.
1970 Willie Mays is named the Player of the Decade for the sixties by the Sporting News. During the ten years, the 'Say Hey Kid' averaged 100 RBIs and 35 home runs per season while batting .300 for the Giants.

Amazon The Catch Willie Mays
2012 Hallmark Ornament

1970 The Yankees draft Fred Lynn in the third round of the January phase free-agent draft, but the El Monte High School senior chooses to attend USC on a football scholarship. The 17-year-old Californian, who will join the Trojan's baseball squad in his freshman year, becomes the first player in MLB history to win the MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season for the 1975 Red Sox.

1979 After resigning as the Rangers' general manager nine days ago, Danny O'Brien Sr. signs a contract to become the Mariners' president and CEO, a position he will hold for five years. Dan O'Brien Jr., his son, will also become a major league general manager, replacing the Reds' Jim Bowden in 2003.
1983 Bob Horner and the Braves come to terms on a $6 million, four-year deal, with an additional $400,000 in bonuses if he keeps his playing weight under control during the season. The agreement calls for the Atlanta third baseman to be weighed every Friday during home stands, and if the scale doesn't exceed 215 pounds, he will receive a $7,692.31 incentive per weigh-in.

Amazon 1983 Autographed Bob Horner Baseball Card
(Donruss #14 Diamond Kings)

1986 The Mets obtain second baseman Tim Teufel along with minor league prospect Pat Crosby from the Twins for outfielder Billy Beane and southpaw hurlers Bill Latham and Joe Klink. The 27-year-old infielder, who will spend six seasons with New York, plays a pivotal role, platooning with Wally Backman in the team's world championship this season.
1986 The Braves and Chief Noc-A-Homa, the team mascot who has become a huge fan favorite in Atlanta with spirited dances when the home team hits a homer, agree to end their 17-year association. Levi Walker, the third person to play the role for the franchise, is reportedly dissatisfied with his pay of $60 a game, and club officials were unhappy with the Georgia native's failure to attend seven scheduled appearances last year.

1994 Anaheim Stadium, farther from the Northridge Earthquake's epicenter than most of LA's area's sporting venues, becomes the only one to incur significant damage when the landmark "Big A" sign collapses into the stadium, severely damaging the scoreboard and giant replay screen. The home of Angels and NFL's Rams sustains $3.4 million in damages, an amount not covered because of the city's $6.25 million insurance deductible on the structure.

Big A Sign at Edison Field
Library of Congress - Carol M. Highsmith's America Project

2002 Commissioner Bud Selig indicates the Washington, D.C. area is a 'prime candidate' to get a team if a franchise relocates in the near future. The District had lost two major league teams when the original franchise shifted to Minnesota in 1961, becoming the Twins, and its replacement, the expansion Senators, moved to Texas a decade later as the Rangers.
2002 Avoiding arbitration, Darin Erstad (.258, 9, 63) and the Angels agree to a one-year contract worth $6.25 million. The first baseman/outfielder, who can be a free agent after the season, turned down a long-term deal from Anaheim last spring, estimated to be worth $50 million.
2002 Jermaine Dye agrees to a three-year extension worth $32 million to stay with the A's. Oakland is counting on the injured outfielder, who shattered his left tibia, fouling a ball off his leg just below the knee in Game 4 of the ALDS, to fill the void created by Jason Giambi's departure to New York.
2003 Avoiding arbitration, the Reds give Danny Graves (7-3, 3.19, 32 saves) a three-year deal. The team plans to add their former closer to the starting rotation this year after the 29-year-old right-hander posted a 1-0 record with a 1.89 ERA in his four appearances as a starter at the end of last season.
2003 Tony Riviera, the newly formed Canadian Baseball League chairman, nominates Pete Rose, the former first baseman/outfielder who collected his 4,000th career hit with the 1984 Montreal Expos for induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. 'Charlie Hustle' will fail to get elected, falling short of garnering the necessary 75 percent vote from the selection committee.
2003 Torii Hunter (.289, 29, 94) agrees to a surprising four-year, $32 million deal to stay with the Twins. Although the 27-year-old Gold Glove outfielder played a pivotal role for the AL West division winners, he didn't believe the small-market team would offer him a multi-year contract.
2005 With the Astros offering $13.5 million, Roger Clemens asks for $22 million in salary arbitration. The amount, which would make the 'Rocket' the richest paid hurler in big league history, surpasses the previous record amount submitted for arbitration of $18.5 million by Yankee Derek Jeter in 2001.
2005 Former major leaguer Raymond Lee Cunningham celebrates his 100th birthday. The oldest living player, who made his debut with the Cardinals in 1931, played 14 games over two seasons, hitting .154 in 26 plate appearances.

2006 At the 41st annual Red Smith Sports Award Banquet, Gaylord Perry receives the 2006 "Nice Guy" Award. The 67-year-old Hall of Famer, infamous for throwing a spitball, joins Kirby Puckett, Lou Brock, and Brooks Robinson as a recipient of this award.
2006 After delaying his decision to play in the World Baseball Classic, Alex Rodriguez announces he will be a member of the United States team. The Yankee All-Star third baseman had considered playing for the Dominican Republic, his parent's homeland.
2008 The Blue Jays ink Scott Downs (4-2, 2.17) to a $10 million, three-year deal. The southpaw tied for the American League lead in relief appearances last season with 81, half of his team's games.
2012 The Tigers announce that Victor Martinez (.330, 12, 103) will most likely miss next season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while working out last week. The anticipated absence of the 33-year-old DH, a four-time All-Star, will lead Detroit to sign free-agent Prince Fielder to a nine-year mega-deal worth $214 million.
2012 Left-handed starter Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79) and the Phillies come to terms on a $15 million, one-year contract. The southpaw's deal surpasses the highest previous amount offered to an arbitration-eligible player of $12.4 million that the Cubs paid Carlos Zambrano in 2007.
2012 Calling them the "greatest comeback team in the history of baseball," President Barack Obama welcomes the World Champion Cardinals to the White House. Albert Pujols, now an Angel after signing an extremely lucrative free-agent deal last month, and manager Tony La Russa, who retired at the end of the season, are noticeably absent from the East Room ceremony.

2012 Avoiding arbitration, the Red Sox and Jacoby Ellsbury come to terms on a one-year, $8.05 million non-guaranteed deal. The 28-year-old outfielder, the American League Comeback Player of the Year, finished second in AL Most Valuable Player balloting behind Tiger right-hander Justin Verlander, hit .321, belting 32 home runs, and driving in 105 runs for the last-place team.
2014 The Tigers come to terms with Max Scherzer on a one-year contract for $15,525,000, avoiding arbitration with the 29-year-old right-hander, who will be eligible for free agency after next season. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner posted a 21-3 record last season, along with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts, before earning two victories in the ALDS against Oakland for the AL Central Division champs.
2020 The Rockies announce the team plans to retire the jersey #33, honoring former outfielder Larry Walker, who spent parts of ten seasons with Colorado, hitting .334 along with 258 round-trippers for the club. The BBWAA will elect the 1997 National League MVP, a season he compiled a .366 batting average and slugged 49 home runs, to the Hall of Fame in a few days after the Canadian ballplayer appears on the ballot for the tenth and final time.

28 Fact(s) Found