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This Day in Baseball History
December 21st

14 Fact(s) Found
1926 Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis dismisses claims by Dutch Leonard, Ty Cobb's former Tiger teammate, alleging the Georgia Peach and Indian outfielder Tris Speaker bet on a fixed game six years ago. The commissioner will declare the matter closed, with both future Hall of Famers getting a clean bill of health given their support from the public and the accuser's failure to defend his claim at last month's hearing.
1959 After Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh rejects the A's offer to deal Roger Maris for shortstop Dick Groat, Pittsburgh obtains Gino Cimoli and Tom Cheney from the Cardinals for right-hander Ron Kline. Maris, who goes to the Yankees, will enjoy the first of his two consecutive MVP years in New York, but Groat will play a vital role for the World Champion Bucs next season, and he will also be named the most valuable player of his league.
1960 Cub owner P.K. Wrigley announces the club will not have a manager next season but will instead use a college of coaches. The 'faculty' of head coaches for the upcoming campaign will include El Tappe, Charlie Grimm, Goldie Holt, Bobby Adams, Harry Craft, Rube Walker, Ripper Collins, and Vedie Himsl.
1978 Sports cartoonist Willard Mullin, the creator of the lovable caricature known as the 'Brooklyn Bum,' dies in Corpus Christi at the age of 76. The cartoon featured a low-brow, working-class character who would proudly represent the borough of Brooklyn, quickly becoming a favorite of the Dodger fans.
1995 After considering an attractive offer from the Orioles, David Cone re-signs with the Yankees as a free agent, inking a three-year deal worth $19.5 million. The 32 year-old 'hired hand' starts the season 4-1 with a 2.02 ERA before being diagnosed with an aneurysm in his right arm, resulting in being on the disabled list for most of the season.
1995 The Orioles sign Toronto free-agent Roberto Alomar to a three-year $18 million contract. The 27 year-old second baseman, selected as an All-Star all three seasons he is with the team, wins two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger award during his stay in Baltimore.
2000 Hoping to pick it up where his success started, 41 year-old outfielder Tim Raines agrees to a minor league contract with the Expos, the team he played for as a rookie in 1979. After retiring in Yankee camp during spring training with a .295 career batting average, he failed to make this year's U.S. Olympic team.
2002 After declining to exercise their club option to sign Mark Grace (.252, 7, 48), the Diamondbacks decide to retain the popular veteran first baseman. The lifetime .305 hitter agrees to a one-year deal, including a club option for the 2004 season.
2005 With the announcement Oakland will no longer sell tickets for the third deck of McAfee Coliseum, the A's home becomes the smallest park in the major leagues. The seating capacity, reduced from 44,073 to 34,179, is less than Fenway Park, recently increased to accommodate 38,805 denizens of Red Sox Nation.
2005 After trying to sign the All-Star outfielder twice as a free agent, the Giants finally acquire Steve Finley (.222, 12, 54) in a trade with the Angels, which sends third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo (.277, 2, 43) to Los Angeles. The veteran infielder appeared in only 109 games last season due to injuries.
2007 In an effort to replace LaTroy Hawkins' role in the bullpen, the Rockies sign free-agent Luis Vizcaino (8-2, 4.30) to a $7.5 million, two-year deal. The 33 year-old right-hander, who pitched for the Yankees last season, will be used as a middle-inning reliever by the National League champs.
2009 The Yankees are assessed with a luxury tax of $25.69 million for its spending in 2009. The World Series champion club is the only team to be penalized this year for crossing the salary threshold, as it has in all seven years since the collective bargaining agreement initiated the tax in 2002.
2009 Chip Caray, who left Turner Sports three weeks ago under a storm of criticism, says he has been hired to be the Braves play-by-play announcer on Fox Sports South and SportsSouth. The 44 year-old broadcaster, son of the late Atlanta broadcaster Skip Caray and grandson of fabled Harry Caray, is replacing ESPN-bound Jon Sciambi and is expected to call approximately 105 games next season.
2010 The Red Sox and Bobby Jenks agree to a two-year, $12 million deal bringing the former White Sox closer to Boston as a set-up man for Jonathan Papelbon. The two-time All-Star reliever, who did not pitch after saving both ends of a doubleheader against his new team in early September, saved 27 games for Chicago but lost his job at the end of the season when he struggled because of difficulties with his forearm.

14 Fact(s) Found