The following are the events that happened world-wide throughout the sport of baseball.
- 1895 - Baseball officials discuss the possibility of reinstating the old pitcher's distance. They are dismayed by the explosion of offense, which resulted in "long drawn out and uninteresting contests…. Besides the brainy pitcher of former days would be given another chance to display his ability in the science of the game."
- 1919 - The St. Louis Cardinals name team president Branch Rickey as manager, replacing Jack Hendricks. Under Rickey’s leadership, the last-place Cardinals will improve only slightly in the standings, finishing seventh in 1919.
- 1930 Pitcher Carl Mays signs a contract with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, thus foregoing his major league career. In 1920, a Mays fastball had struck Ray Chapman in the head. The impact of the blow killed the Cleveland Indians’ shortstop.
- The Boston Braves release veteran pitcher Johnny Cooney. He had held out in 1930, insisting he could bat well enough to stay in baseball. After several years in the minors, Cooney will return to the National League as a Braves outfielder and be runner-up to NL batting champ Pete Reiser in 1940.
- The International League accepts the open draft imposed by the major leagues. Until this time the top minor leagues could control their players and refuse to sell them.
- Another Oakland Oaks star, Buzz Arlett, long coveted by ML teams and long withheld by Oakland, is sold to the Philadelphia Phillies.
- 1932 - Chicago Cubs owner William Wrigley dies at the age of 70 in Phoenix, Arizona. Wrigley had owned the team since 1919. Wrigley’s son Philip inherits controlling interest in both the Cubs and the minor league Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League, but will leave most of the daily operations to Cubs president William Veeck.
- 1951 - The Baseball Writers Association of America vote sluggers Mel Ott and Jimmie Foxx into the Hall of Fame. Ott hit .304 with 511 home runs and 1860 RBI, and managed the New York Giants from 1942 to 1948. Foxx was a .325 hitter with 534 home runs and 1922 RBI.
- 1952 - Because of poor attendance, the Canadian-American League suspends operations for its 1952 season. This is one of seven minor leagues that will not operate this year, dropping the total from 50 to 43. The Korean War military obligation is the primary reason.
- 1960 - Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Jensen announces his retirement, only months after enjoying one of his best seasons hitting 28 home runs, 112 RBI, and a .277 average. Jensen’s fear of flying plays a part in his decision to leave the game. In 1961, Jensen will return to the Red Sox before retiring once again.
- 1961 - The Cincinnati Reds send Joe Nuxhall to the Kansas City Athletics for pitchers John Tsitouris and John Briggs. Nuxhall first pitched for the Reds in 1944 when he was 15 years old.
- 1962 - New York Yankees outfielders Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle sign contracts with Columbia Pictures to appear in Safe at Home!, a movie that is to be shot during spring training. The movie will star Maris and Mantle as themselves and feature cameos by Whitey Ford and Ralph Houk. [ * ]
- 1963 - Major League Baseball’s Rules Committee increases the size of the strike zone. The zone will stretch from the top of the batter’s shoulders to the bottom of the knees. The committee hopes the return to the 1950s strike zone will result in a decrease in runs scored.
- 1983 - The Chicago White Sox trade pitchers Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar to their cross-town rivals Cubs for pitchers Dick Tidrow and Randy Martz, and infielders Pat Tabler and Scott Fletcher.
- 1989 - The tougher balk rules initiated last season are rescinded and are replaced by the pre-1988 rules.
- 1990 - The Boston Red Sox hire Elaine Weddington as their assistant general manager making her the highest ranking black female executive in major league baseball.
- 1995 - MLB players and owners are told by President Clinton to resume bargaining and reach an agreement by February 6.
- The June 8-10 (Arlington) and June 15-17 (Houston) interleague games between the Astros and Rangers will be known as the Lone Star Series. It will be first time ever the two Texan teams have ever played one another during the regular season.
- Free agent infielder Luis Alicea is signed by the Kansas City Royals.
- 2002 - The Seattle Mariners trade third baseman David Bell to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for infielder Desi Relaford. Bell became expendable when Seattle acquired Jeff Cirillo from the Colorado Rockies earlier in the off-season.
- 2005 - Free agent first baseman Carlos Delgado agrees with the Florida Marlins to a $52 million, four-year contract, which includes an option year making it potentially worth $64 million over five seasons. After failing to sign Delgado, the New York Mets quickly fill the void at first base by trading three prospects to the Boston Red Sox for Gold Glove Award winner Doug Mientkiewicz. The Red Sox, who acquired Mientkiewicz from Minnesota to solidify their defense, will use heavy hitting, light fielding Kevin Millar at first.
- Fidel Castro confirmed that his country would play in the World Baseball Classic in Cuba's first official reaction to the U.S. government's decision allowing the communist country to participate.
- Twice American League MVP Frank Thomas agreed a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics, and first baseman Ben Broussard avoided salary arbitration signing a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians.
- 1853 - Billy Barnie, manager (d. 1900)
- 1874 - Kaiser Wilhelm, pitcher (d. 1936)
- 1884 - Tubby Spencer, catcher (d. 1945)
- 1886 - Hick Cady, catcher (d. 1946)
- 1886 - Frank Owens, catcher (d. 1958)
- 1902 - Johnny Frederick, outfielder (d. 1977)
- 1904 - George Blaeholder, pitcher (d. 1947)
- 1906 - Charlie Gelbert, infielder (d. 1967)
- 1927 - Bob Nieman, outfielder (d. 1985)
- 1935 - Bob Uecker, catcher
- 1943 - César Gutiérrez, infielder (d. 2005)
- 1955 - Brian Doyle, infielder
- 1962 - Rick Schu, infielder
- 1967 - Jeff Branson, infielder
- 1967 - Tim Pugh, pitcher
- 1978 - Esteban German, infielder
- 1980 - Antonio Pérez, infielder
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