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This Day in Baseball History
December 20th

22 Fact(s) Found
1926 The World Champion Cardinals trade Rogers Hornsby to the Giants for Jimmy Ring and Frankie Frisch, who will play an integral role in the success of the Gas House Gang in the 1930's after being sent to St. Louis due to a falling out with New York's manager John McGraw. The trade gets complicated when the 'Rajah' refuses to sell his 1,167 shares of the team stock back to the Redbirds at the asking price.
1940 Connie Mack announces he has acquired the controlling interest in the A's, a team he has managed for the past 40 years, for a reported $42,000. The Philadelphia skipper, who will celebrate his 78th birthday in three days, had shared the ownership with the heirs of Benjamin Shibe, who started the franchise on a joint basis in 1901.
1973 American League president Joe Cronin, siding with Charlie Finley, rules the Yankees cannot sign A's manager Dick Williams. The Bronx Bombers, who will eventually hire Bill Virdon to manage the team, had announced a deal with the Oakland skipper two days earlier.
1978 Don Blasingame becomes the first American not of Japanese descent to be named as a manager of a Japanese team. The former major league second baseman will pilot the cellar-dwelling Hanshin Tigers to a fourth-place finish next season.
1980 The Brewers obtain future Cy Young winners Rollie Fingers [1981] and Pete Vuckovich [1982] in a six-player deal with the Cardinals, The Brew Crew sends pitcher Lary Sorensen, outfielder Sixto Lezcano, and minor league players Dave Green and Dave LaPointe to St. Louis.
1980 Unless contracts are tendered to certain veterans by today, the Basic Agreement requires the players must be allowed to become free agents. The Red Sox will miss the deadline, permitting All-Stars Fred Lynn and Carlton Fisk to be eligible for free agency.
2000 After trading their All-Star shortstop to the Mets last season, the Orioles get him back, agreeing to a two-year deal with free agent Mike Bordick. The move will send Melvin Mora, the player obtained from the Mets to replace Bordick, to the outfield, where he is a stronger defensive player.
2001 Last season's American League strikeout leader with 220, free agent Hideo Nomo (13-10, 4.50), inks a $13.75 million, two-year deal with the Dodgers. The former Red Sox right-hander was the National League Rookie of the Year when he broke into the majors with Los Angeles in 1995.
2001 The Jean Yawkey Trust announces all the partners have unanimously voted to sell 100 percent of the Red Sox, a family-owned business since 1933, to a group of investors led by Florida Marlins' owner John Henry, who also has a one-percent share of the Yankees and is Boston's managing partner-in-waiting. The price tag, rumored to be $600+ million, doubles the largest amount ever spent to buy a major league team.
2002 After rejecting salary arbitration from the Red Sox, Cliff Floyd (.288, 28, 79), agrees to a $26 million, four-year contract deal with the Mets. The 30 year-old outfielder played with the Marlins, Expos, and Red Sox last season.
2002 The Dodgers, hoping to fill the void after trading Eric Karros to the Cubs, reach an agreement with 39 year-old veteran first baseman Fred McGriff (.273, 30, 103) on a one-year deal. The 'Crime Dog', who has also played for the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays as well as the Cubs, is fourth among active players behind Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro with 478 career homers.
2004 Free agent Carl Pavano signs a four-year deal worth $39.95 million to pitch for the Yankees. The oft-injured Southington, CT right-hander, who won 18 games for the World Champion Marlins last season, will appear in only 26 games during his three years with the Bronx Bombers, posting a 9-8 record with a 5.00 ERA.
2005 The World Champions White Sox finalize the trade with the Diamondbacks which brings starter Javier Vazquez and $4 million dollars to the Windy City. The veteran right-hander Orlando Hernandez, along with reliever Luis Vizcaino, and minor league outfield prospect Chris Young, go to Arizona to complete the deal.
2007 Dontrelle Willis and the Tigers agree to a $29 million, three-year contract extension. Detroit obtained the affable southpaw, along with Miguel Cabrera, from the Marlins in a blockbuster trade at the winter meetings for six very talented prospects, including left-hander Andrew Miller and outfielder Cameron Maybin.
2007 The Mariners and right-hander Carlos Silva (13-14, 4.19) finalized a $48 million, four-year contract. The M's expect the 28 year-old free-agent, formerly with the Twins, to 'bring a quality arm to the starting rotation' and to be the workhorse of the pitching staff.
2007 Tadahito Iguchi (.267, 9, 43) and the Padres come to terms on a $3.85 million, one-year deal which could amount to more with performance-based bonuses. The former Phillies infielder will replace a slumping Marcus Giles at second base.
2007 Ron Mahay (3-0, 2.55) and the Royals finalize a two-year, $8 million deal. The 36 year-old southpaw reliever pitched a total of 67 innings for the Rangers and Braves last season.
2007 After his option is declined by the Brewers, Geoff Jenkins (.255, 21, 64) joins the Phillies, signing a two-year, $13 million contract as a free-agent. Milwaukee chose not to pay the 33 year-old outfielder $9 million to keep him with the Brew Crew.
2007 Boss, Jonathan Papelbon's bulldog, ate the ball used to record the final out of 2007 World Series, according to the Red Sox closer during an interview with the Hattiesburg American. Teammate Jason Varitek had given the ball to the reliever when Rockies pinch-hitter Seth Smith struck out to complete the Fall Classic sweep of Colorado.
2008 The Nationals sign a one-year contract with free-agent hurler Daniel Cabrera. The 27 year-old right-handed starter (8-10, 5.25 ERA), who was non-tendered by the Orioles earlier in the month after spending five seasons in Baltimore, has never lived up to his potential, given his live fastball and above-average curveball.
2009 Roy Halladay, who was traded by the Blue Jays to the Phillies last week in a complicated four-team deal, takes out a full-page ad in the Toronto Sun to thank everyone for their support during his 12-year tenure with the team. Using the newspaper advertisement, he tells the fans he felt "blessed" to have been part of the organization, and that the city will "forever have a special place" in his heart.
2011 The Mets announce that they are eliminating their minor league team in the Class A Gulf Coast League, a move that could save the cash-strapped team between $750,000 and $800,000. Although the elimination of a farm team may appear to be a desperate act for the financially troubled franchise, New York was one of only three clubs to have as many as nine minor league teams.

22 Fact(s) Found