The following are the events that happened world-wide throughout the sport of baseball.
- 1898 - Cap Anson is released after 19 years as first baseman-manager with the Chicago National League teams. Strong-minded Cap, with a record of 1,288 victories and five NL pennants, was enormously popular in Chicago. Former infielder Tom Burns takes over for Chicago, who are now called the Orphans.
- 1919 - Future Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson is born to Jerry and Mallie Robinson in Cairo, Georgia. Robinson will become the first black player in 20th century major league history when he debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
- 1927 - National League President John Heydler rules that Rogers Hornsby cannot continue to both hold stock in the St. Louis Cardinals and play for the New York Giants. Seemingly oblivious, the Cards board of directors meeting in St. Louis, voted stockholders a 10% dividend, earning Hornsby $2916 for his 1167 shares.
- 1931 - Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks is born in Dallas, Texas. Banks will make his debut with the Chicago Cubs in 1953 and hit 512 home runs during a 19-year career.
- 1941 - Paul Waner, released by the Pittsburgh Pirates last December, signs with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Waner will play 11 games before moving to the Boston Braves, but he will return to Brooklyn in 1943.
- 1947 - Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan is born in Refugio, Texas. Ryan will make his major league debut in 1966 with the New York Mets, kicking off a major league record 27-year career. He will win 324 games with the Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers.
- 1950 - The Pittsburgh Pirates sign high school pitcher Paul Pettit for a record $100,000 after buying his contract from film producer Fred Stephani, who had signed him to an exclusive contract as an athlete/actor. Under MLB "high-school rule", scouts are barred from doing so prior to graduation. Unfortunately, with an eventual 1-2 career mark, Pettit will prove not to be worth the trouble.
- The Hall of Fame elects two new members: Harry Heilmann, with 203 votes, and Paul Waner with 195. Waner, a .333 career hitter, rapped out 3,152 hits and struck out just 376 times in 9,459 career at-bats. Heilmann was similarly skilled with the bat, winning four batting titles with the Detroit Tigers and finishing his career with a .342 average.
- A U.S. Federal Jury awards Mexican owner Jorge Pasquel $35,000 for breach of contract by former Brooklyn Dodgers star catcher Mickey Owen.
- 1953 - The New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and Boston Red Sox retaliate at Bill Veeck, forcing the St. Louis Browns to play afternoon games to avoid sharing TV revenues. Veeck takes his plan to the American League office to make them pay. The plan is rejected.
- Former major leaguer Buck Weaver dies at the age of 65. One of the eight members of the Black Sox to be banned for life, Weaver batted .324 in the 1919 World Series. Although Weaver maintained that he did not participate in the fix, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banished him for failing to report those players who had met with gamblers.
- The Cincinnati Reds send pitcher Jackie Collum to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Brooks Lawrence and a prospect. Lawrence, who finished the year at 5–1 after spending time in the minors, will open the 1956 season with 13 straight victories.
- Former major league star Joe Cronin succeeds Will Harridge as president of the American League. A Hall of Fame shortstop who played for the Pirates, Senators and Red Sox, Cronin batted .301 over a 20-year playing career. He signs a seven-year pact and will remain in office until his retirement in 1973.
- Caribbean countries agree to use native players in Winter Baseball, no matter how many years they have played in the United States.
- 1961 - Houston voters approve a bond to finance the construction of a luxury domed stadium, clearing the final hurdle standing between the city and Major League Baseball.
- 1962 - San Francisco Giants star Willie Mays signs the largest contract in major league baseball, reportedly $90,000 for the upcoming season. Mays will earn every penny in 1962, when he bats .304 with 49 home runs and 141 RBI and helps the Giants to the National League pennant. The Giants also sign former slugger Ralph Kiner, who joins Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy in the announcing booth.
- Pitcher Pud Galvin is chosen for Hall of Fame induction by the Special Veterans Committee. Galvin had 20 victories in ten out of 14 seasons and won 46 games in both 1883 and 1884 for the Buffalo Bisons of the National League.
- Masanori Murakami, the first Japanese player in the major leagues, says he will not return to the San Francisco Giants in 1965.
- The National Association approves the use of the Designated Hitter for the International, Eastern, Texas and New York-Pennsylvania leagues. The rules vary slightly for each league. The Texas League will be the first to use the DH, in April.
- The American and National leagues agree to try an experimental rule change in spring training using a designated pinch hitter, but they don't agree on the implementation. The AL tells the teams to use the DPH when they are the home team; the NL gives the home manager the choice of which rules to use, but the visiting manager has to agree. The NL had three rules: Rule A allows for a pinch-hitter to bat for the pitcher twice in a game with the pitcher remaining in the game. The pitcher could be used to bat for himself at anytime. An example is a pinch-hitter batting for the pitcher the first time and fourth time; the pitcher could bat the second at bat; another pinch-hitter could bat the third time. A pinch-hitter could play defensively, if he took the field the next half-inning after batting. The pitcher would bat in the replaced player's spot. Rule B is the DH rule that will eventually be the standard in the AL, except the player could not go in defensively later. Rule C allows for a pinch-runner only twice in a game for the pitcher or pinch-hitter in Rule A or DPH in Rule B. The PR can enter defensively at any time, even though he appeared twice as a runner. The Mets, Giants, and Cardinals say that they will not use the rules, and the Astros and Reds follow suit.
- 1971 - The Special Veterans Committee selects seven men for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame: former players Jake Beckley, Joe Kelley, Harry Hooper, Rube Marquard, Chick Hafey, and Dave Bancroft, as well as executive George Weiss.
- 1977 - Joe Sewell, Amos Rusie, and Al Lopez are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Sewell batted .312 over 14 seasons with the Indians and Yankees. Rusie won 246 games over nine seasons from 1889 to 1898. Lopez won four fielding titles in 19 years as a catcher, but it was his .584 winning percentage in 17 seasons as a manager that got him into Cooperstown.
- 1980 - The Houston Colt .45's sign free-agent second baseman Joe Morgan. Houston was the first major league team the two-time National League MVP played with before he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds and became a force in the Big Red Machine.
- 1992 - The Pittsburgh Pirates sign outfielder Barry Bonds to a one-year contract worth $4.7 million, the largest-ever one-year deal.
- 1994 - The California Angels sign free agent outfielder Bo Jackson to a one-year contract worth $1 million.
- 1996 - Ken Griffey, Jr. becomes the highest-paid major league player by signing a four-year, $34 million contract.
- 2000 - Atlanta Braves reliever John Rocker is suspended from baseball until May 1 by Commissioner Bud Selig for his racial and ethnic remarks in an article published in Sports Illustrated last month. Rocker is also fined an undisclosed amount and ordered to attend sensitivity training.
- 2001 - A story in The Wall Street Journal quotes players Monte Irvin, Sal Yvars and Al Gettel, three former members of the 1951 New York Giants, as admitting that they stole catchers' signs at the Polo Grounds to help the club overtake the 13 1/2-game lead of the Brooklyn Dodgers and win the National League pennant. Except for Yvars, all the participants will deny using the system during the three-game playoff with the Dodgers. According to WSJ report, Bobby Thomson, whose three-run, ninth-inning home run in Game Three of the National League playoffs won the pennant for the Giants, did not, however, steal a sign before hitting his historic home run. (*)
- 2002 - Philadelphia Phillies announcer Harry Kalas is voted the Ford C. Frick Award. Kalas will be inducted into the broadcasters' wing of the Hall of Fame on July 28.
- 2003 - In an effort to secure funding for a major re-design oft he 12-year old 'new' Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox announces the ballpark will now be known as U.S. Cellular Field. The 23-year deal with the wireless service provider, which will pay the White Sox $68 million, changes the name used for home by the Southsiders since 1910.
- 2005 - The Seattle Mariners sign relief pitcher Jeff Nelson to a minor league contract, his third stint with the club. The reliever previously pitched with the Mariners from 1992-1995 and again from 2001-2003. He is Seattle's all-time record holder for most games pitched with 383 and has a 23-20 record with the Mariners.
- ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast the World Baseball Classic, offering 16 live telecasts that include the semifinals on March 18 and the championship on March 20.
- Two players agreed to a one-year contracts and avoided a salary arbitration hearing: 2B/OF Jerry Hairston, Jr., with the Chicago Cubs, and reliever Travis Harper with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
- 1845 - Bob Ferguson, player and manager (d. 1894)
- 1861 - Al Buckenberger, manager (d. 1917)
- 1893 - George Burns, infielder (d. 1978)
- 1896 - Pinky Hargrave, catcher (d. 1942)
- 1896 - Charlie Robertson, pitcher (d. 1984)
- 1919 - Jackie Robinson, Hall of Fame infielder (d. 1972)
- 1929 - Duke Maas, pitcher (b. 1929)
- 1931 - Hank Aguirre, All-Star pitcher (d. 1994)
- 1931 - Ernie Banks, Hall of Fame infielder
- 1947 - Nolan Ryan, Hall of Fame pitcher
- 1949 - Jim Willoughby, pitcher
- 1949 - Fred Kendall, catcher
- 1955 - Ted Power, pitcher
- 1982 - Yuniesky Betancourt, infielder
- 1926 - Lou Bierbauer, infielder (b. 1865)
- 1942 - Henry Larkin, player and manager (b. 1860)
- 1942 - Ed Phelps, catcher (b. 1879)
- 1947 - Johnny Kling, catcher (b. 1875)
- 1956 - Buck Weaver, infielder (b. 1890)
- 1963 - Ossie Vitt, player and manager (b. 1890)
- 1966 - Pat Donahue, catcher (b. 1884)
- 1971 - Steve Yerkes, infielder (b. 1888)
- 1999 - Norm Zauchin, infielder (b. 1929)
- 2002 - Harry Chiti, catcher (b. 1932)
- 2005 - Bill Voiselle, All-Star pitcher (b. 1919)
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