1924 Boston Braves’ third baseman Tony Boeckel becomes the first major leaguer to be killed in an automobile accident when he dies from injuries received as a passenger yesterday in San Diego. Yankee outfielder Bob Meusel, also a passenger of the car driven by L.A. theater man Bob Albright, escapes without any serious injuries.
1950 The BBWAA does not select any players for the Hall of Fame this season with former Giants Mel Ott (69%) and Bill Terry (63%) being the top vote getters, but falling short on being named on 75% of the writers’ ballots that is required for induction. ‘Master Mel’ will get the nod next season, and ‘Memphis Bill’ will be enshrined in 1954.
1952 Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner officially retires after spending 39 years in the major leagues, 21 as a player with the Louisville Colonels and Pirates and another 18 years as a coach with Pittsburgh. The ‘Flying Dutchman’, who led the league in stolen bases for five seasons, won eight batting titles, the most in National League history until 1997, when the mark was tied by Tony Gwynn.
1953 Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia participate in a four-way trade that sends five players to new clubs. Joe Adcock (Reds) and Jim Pendleton (Dodgers) will now play for the Braves, Earl Torgeson (Braves) goes to the Phillies, Rocky Bridges (Dodgers) is now a Red, with Russ Meyer (Phillies) joining the Dodgers.
1967 Red Ruffing, the former Yankee pitcher who authored 273 major league wins, is selected to be in the Hall of Fame by getting the most votes on the second ballot made necessary as a result of the BBWAA failing to choose a player in January. Former Cardinal outfielder Joe Medwick also received 75% of the writer’s votes that is usually enough to be selected, but under the rules of this special run-off election only the top vote-getter gets the nod.
1989 Orel Hershiser becomes baseball’s first three-million dollar man when he signs a three-year $7.9 million contract with the Dodgers. The ‘Bulldog’ will earn $3,166,167 in 1991.
1996 General Mills announces a special edition of a Wheaties cereal box honoring the 75th Commemorative Year of the Negro Leagues that will feature superstars Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and ‘Cool Papa’ Bell. In 1934, Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig became the first athlete depicted on a box of the Breakfast of Champions. Wheaties cereal box honoring the 75th Commemorative Year of the Negro Leagues
2001 Yankee premier reliever Mariano Rivera (7-4, 2.85, 36 saves) signs a four-year approximately $40 million contract with the Bronx Bombers. The 31 year-old Panama native surpassed Dennis Eckersley’s major league record with 16 saves in postseason games.
2003 Although banned by major league baseball for a Cooperstown induction, Pete Rose becomes a member of the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame. ‘Charlie Hustle’ joins 1998 inductee Shoeless Joe Jackson, who is also banned from becoming a member of the Hall of Fame.
2004 After leaving the team in 2007 to join Texas as a free agent, Doug Glanville returns to Philadelphia when he signs a one-year contract with the team. The 31 year-old outfielder, who will retire at the end of the season after compiling a lifetime batting average of .277 during his nine-year tenure in the major leagues, leaves with a 293-game errorless streak intact.
2004 The Rangers trade Alex Rodriguez along with cash to the Yankees in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later, Joaquin Arias. The deal comes on the heels of the Red Sox’s inability to land the AL MVP in a swap with Texas for Manny Ramirez due to the players’ association’s objection because of the need to restructure A-Rod’s existing contract as a result of the tentative transaction.
2007 Baseball’s Playing Rules Committee approves several changes, making it the first time since 1996 that the rules of the game have been altered. A ten game suspension for a player who scuffs a baseball, elimination of tie games which must be halted (after the fifth inning) due to weather by resuming the game before the next scheduled start at the same ballpark, players may no longer go into a dugout to make a catch, and allowing pitchers to wear undistracting multicolored gloves are among new rules which will start this season.
2011 Rickie Weeks and the Brewers come to terms on a $38.5 million, four-year deal that includes a 2015 option based on plate appearances which could increase the total value of the contract to $50 million. The 28 year-old second baseman broke a franchise record last season with 754 trips to the plate, mostly as the team’s leadoff hitter.
2011 Speaking to reporters at the Phillies’ spring training complex, a tearful Dallas Green, former big league manager and senior adviser to general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., thanks everyone for their support after the shooting death of his granddaughter. Nine year-old Christina Taylor Green was one of six victims killed five weeks ago in a shooting rampage outside of a Tucson supermarket.
2013 After an appearance at a local winter festival, Guido’s costume, worn by one of the Brewers’ racing sausages, goes missing. A seven-foot Italian sausage impersonator will be seen later in the night frequenting bars in Milwaukee, signing autographs.