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The Sporting News from the Chronology
Nov 11, 2003 - SF general manager Brian Sabean is named Executive of the Year by The Sporting News.
Jun 3, 1997 - The annual June amateur draft features two brothers being drafted in the first round. Ignoring J.D. Drew's warnings about not drafting him unless they're ready to pay out the Phils take the FSU junior with the 2nd pick while the Indians take his brother Tim a high school senior with the 28th pick: it's the first time brothers have been picked in the same first round. In another first Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake VA has two players picked on the first round; Michael Cuddyer a SS by the Twins with the 9th pick and pitcher John Curtice by the Red Sox with the 17th pick. The number one pick overall is Rice University pitcher Matt Anderson by the Tigers who skip over J.D. Drew because of the anticipated cost. Anderson was the WAC Tournament MVP and the top pitching prospect in the Cape Cod League last summer. Drew The Sporting News College Player of the Year is the first Division I player in history to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in one season.
Jun 24, 1993 - Carlton Fisk of the White Sox plays his 2226 and final ML game surpassing Bob Boone's record of 2225 for most games caught. Fisk reluctantly retires with 3999 total bases the most ever for a catcher. The Sox will exacerbate Fisk's bitterness by refusing to allow him into the locker room after the Sox make the playoffs this year. When the Sox retire Fisk #72 in 1997 Fisk will request that Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Ron Schueler not be there for the ceremony and when he goes into Cooperstown he will wear a Red Sox cap. A clerical error about 3 games caught in 1981 in which Fisk relieved initially gives him a total of 2229 games caught. This error will appear on Fisk's Hall of Fame plaque when he is inducted the 5th edition of Total Baseball and the 1997 edition of The Sports Encyclopedia-Baseball. Other records books such as the final edition of The Baseball Encyclopedia the 1997 editions of The Sporting News Complete Baseball Record Book and the Elias Book of Baseball Records both correctly showed him with 2226 games caught lifetime. SABR historian Wayne McElreavy and others note the discrepancy and the plaque and subsequent editions of the record books have corrected the total to 2226.
Jun 7, 1986 - University of Arkansas's Jeff King The Sporting News college player of the year is the first choice in the June draft. The Pirates take the third baseman. U. of Texas P Gregg Swindell is the next pick by Cleveland. Neither will sign for 6 weeks but Swindell will be in the major leagues after going 2-1 in the minors. The Giants take UNLV's Matt Williams with the 3rd pick; Texas picking 4th selects Kevin Brown followed by high schooler Kent Mercker (Braves) Gary Sheffield (Brewers) and Brad Brink (Phillies). The Mets take Lee May Jr. with the #21 pick but the youngster will not perform like his dad and hit just 8 homers in 8 years in the minors. After being skipped over because scouts are convinced the Heisman Trophy winner is headed to the NFL Bo Jackson is taken in the 4th round by the Royals. Another draftee #10 Greg McMurtry by the Red Sox will skip baseball and play in the NFL. College Pitcher of the Year Mike Loynd is taken by Texas in the 7th Round. A total of 331 high schoolers are drafted the most since 1979 due mainly to the dissolution of the January draft.
Nov 29, 1975 - Two Orioles standouts‚ with a combined total of 24 Gold Glove Awards‚ are each honored for the last time. Brooks Robinson and Paul Blair are the two making swan songs on TSN's fielding team‚ while outfielders Garry Maddox and Fred Lynn each win the award for the first time.
Nov 21, 1970 - TSN announces the Gold Glove selections. White Sox SS Luis Aparicio wins the 9th and final honor of his career‚ while Mets OF Tommie Agee becomes the first non P to win it in each league. Aparicio has now won a gold glove in the 50s‚ 60s‚ and 70s.
Dec 7, 1962 - J. G. Taylor Spink‚ longtime publisher of The Sporting News‚ dies at age 74 in St. Louis.
Jun 18, 1960 - The Giants a big favorite to win the pennant in a preseason poll of writers taken by The Sporting News change managers replacing Bill Rigney with Tom Sheehan. Horace Stoneham's team is 33-25 and trails only Pittsburgh. At 66 years 2 months and 18 days Sheehan is the oldest rookie manager in ML history.
Oct 4, 1958 - The Sporting News names Washington OF Albie Pearson and Yankee P Ryne Duren as its AL Rookies of the Year; the Giants 1B Orlando Cepeda and P Carl Willey of the Braves as its NL Rookies of the Year.
Dec 8, 1955 - Dodger C Roy Campanella wins his third NL MVP, matching the record of Stan Musial. Campy just beats out teammate Duke Snider, 226-221, but a clerical error, discovered later by Sid Keener of The Sporting News, may have cost Snider a share of the award. Campy is named on all 24 ballots cast, while Duke is named on 23. But on the ballot that fails to mention Snider, Campy is listed twice—for 1st place and 6th place. If the ballot is invalidated, Snider wins; if the assumption is made that the writer made an error and meant to vote Snider in 6th place, the two teammates tie at 226 points apiece.
Nov 9, 1950 - The White Sox release Luke Appling who has been with the Sox since 1930 so he can become the manager of the Memphis Chicks (SA). He accepted the job with the Chicks on November 1. He'll be named minor league manager of the year by The Sporting News in 1952.
Nov 25, 1949 - Ted Williams‚ who lost the Triple Crown when his batting average was .0002 below that of George Kell‚ wins the MVP vote in a landslide‚ 272 points to 175. The favorite Phil Rizzuto‚ and Joe Page‚ finish 2nd and 3rd in the voting. In several days‚ Ken Smith‚ the executive secretary of the BBWAA will announce a change in policy‚ made at the request of Ford Frick‚ NL prexy. No longer will the newspapers be given the results of the MVP voting a week ahead of the announcement. Dan Daniels‚ writing in a front page article in TSN‚ will accuse a number of sports writers of using the advance knowledge to place bets. He says in NYC‚ nearly $500‚000 was bet on the results‚ with some bookies refusing to pay when they learned of the papers' early notice.
Oct 4, 1948 - In St. Louis Taylor Spink publisher of The Sporting News writes in a Baltimore newspaper that Baltimore will have an AL team within two years. "You can put a clothespin in this: Baltimore will be in the American League if not next year then surely in 1950."
Jul 7, 1948 - The Indians stun the baseball world by signing Satchel Paige fabulous veteran Negro League pitcher. The move is ridiculed by some as a Bill Veeck publicity stunt and A.G. Spink in The Sporting News editorializes "Veeck has gone too far in his quest for publicity. . . . To sign a hurler at Paige's age is to demean the standards of baseball in the big circuits." The 42-year-old Paige will answer the critics in tomorrow getting a relief decision in a 8-6 win over New York in a DH sweep. He will finish at 6-1. Paige is the oldest player to debut in the majors but not the first 40-year-old: Chuck Hostetler in 1944 was 40.
Nov 27, 1947 - Setting off a storm of controversy‚ Joe DiMaggio is named American League MVP by a single point over Ted Williams. Williams‚ the Triple Crown winner‚ receives 201 points‚ but is completely left off the ballot of one sportswriter. Williams‚ in his 1959 autobiography‚ accuses Mel Webb of being the villain: the Boston writer and Williams had feuded over the years. But another Boston writer‚ Harold Kaese‚ says that the 71-year-old Webb did not have a vote in 1947‚ and the culprit was a disgruntled midwest writer. A 10th-place vote would have given Williams the needed 2 points. DiMaggio receives 8 first place votes‚ Williams 3‚ Lou Boudreau‚ 1‚ Joe Page 7‚ George McQuinn 3 and Eddie Joost‚ who hit .206 with 110 strikeouts‚ receives 2. Williams is selected The Sporting News Player of the Year.
Sep 17, 1947 - Jackie Robinson is named Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News 2 weeks before the season is over. At the year's end he has hit .297 led the league in stolen bases and sacrifices. He has 14 bunt hits and in a game against the Cubs in June he scored from 1B on a sacrifice.
Apr 25, 1946 - The Sporting News notes: "A batted ball by Rigney Bueschen of Memphis hit a flying bat during the fourth inning of the April 25 tilt with New Orleans killing the winged mammal but the ball was deflected into the waiting hands of Pete Layden Pel outfielder.[and former All American football star at the University of Texas]." (noted by Willie Runquist)
Mar 8, 1945 - As noted by historian Bill Deane today's edition of The Sporting News has a column from Boston Post writer Jack Malaney a former president of the Baseball Writers' Association and future member of the Hall of Fame Veterans' Committee. He introduces what will come to be known as the "Jack Malaney Plan" proposing that each of the 16 major league teams play inter-league exhibition games on July 10 scheduled to minimize travel. The five cities that have teams in each league-Boston Chicago New York Philadelphia and St. Louis-would host games between the cross-town rivals while the others would play in cities en route to regularly-scheduled games. Proceeds from the games would be split between the American Red Cross and the National War Fund.
Nov 1, 1944 - The Sporting News selects Bobby Doerr as the MVP in the American League and Marty Marion as the MVP in the NL. Doerr was leading the AL in hitting (.325) and was third in RBIs when he entered the Army with a month to go in the season. Marion's selection as MVP will stand up and he will be the official MVP in the Senior circuit but Detroit's Hal Newhouser will be the official MVP in the American League.
Jul 1, 1943 - The Sporting News switches to a tabloid format from a standard metro layout as a means of saving newsprint.
Feb 24, 1943 - The Texas League announces it will quit for the duration of the war. The Cardinals with 260 farm players in the service will reduce farm clubs from 22 to 6. Only 9 minor leagues will start the 1943 season. Advertisements for players appear in The Sporting News.
Aug 6, 1942 - An editorial in The Sporting News argues for segregation on the diamond. The column states that members of each race "prefer to draw their talents from their own ranks and both groups know their crowd psychology and do not care to run the risk of damaging their own game."
Apr 2, 1942 - The Sporting News raises its price to 15 cents a copy $7 per year. For the first time in nearly 70 years there will be no Spalding or Reach guides. The Sporting News takes over the role. Its first edition has some improvements but also some flaws: Additional AL pitching records are missing and so is Lou Boudreau's entire batting record.
Apr 14, 1941 - With the only game scheduled in sweltering Washington writers for The Sporting News selecting Cincinnati to repeat in the NL and Cleveland to win the AL. Franklin Roosevelt tosses out the first ball and then the Yankees score single runs in the 1st 4th and 5th innings off Dutch Leonard to win 3-0. Mario Russo allows three hits and drives in a run with a double to win. Phil Rizzuto like Russo a graduate of New York's Richmond Hills High School is hitless in his debut but fields flawlessly.
Jul 14, 1940 - In the aftermath of the beanball wars Spalding advertises a batting helmet with ear flaps in The Sporting News. Players express no interest but next year Brooklyn will introduce a cap liner which some batters start to use.
Jun 20, 1940 - Boston loses a pair-and the 4 game series-to the Browns 2-1 and 11-4 and drops out of first place. The Indians take over 1st with a 12-1 drubbing of the Senators. The new issue of The Sporting News headlines "'I'll be Nice if I Can' says Vitt of Tribe Truce."
May 9, 1940 - The press reports the impending sale of the Yankees by the Ruppert estate to political bigwigs Jim Farley and Jesse Jones. The Sporting News declares the sale will be for $4 million. The imminent sale will resurface on the front page several times during the next year but it never happens.
Apr 29, 1938 - Bob Ray in his column in the LA Times says that Phillie player-manager Jimmie Wilson has hung up his "tools of ignorance" and will just be a bench manager. In fact Wilson will catch a few games over the next 3 years finishing with 6 for the Reds in the 1940 World Series. This is one of the earliest uses of the term for catcher's equipment. J.G. Taylor Spink column of April 1 1937 said that was the term Bill Dickey used in referring to his catching gear. On August 8 1940 The Sporting News will state that Jimmie Foxx was donning the 'tools of ignorance' for the Bosox.
Apr 28, 1938 - The Sporting News reports that the Pirates lead the NL with 9 players who attended college. There are 51 players in the NL who attended college with Frankie Frisch the only college man among the managers.
Jan 10, 1938 - Before a gathering of writers‚ players and executives in Baltimore‚ Jimmie Foxx, representing the American League‚ National Leaguer Chuck Klein‚ and Charlie Keller, representing the International League, participate in an extended batting practice with new balls the major leagues plan to use in the upcoming season. Dick Thompson of The Sporting News reports, ". . . regarding the dead ball‚ as adopted by the National League‚ and the lively ball‚ as retained by the American and International Leagues . . .the NL ball has a distinctly 'dead' sound coming off the bat‚ compared to the livelier AL ball."
Feb 11, 1915 - Today's issue of The Sporting News reports on Joe Jackson's speaking tour (as noted by Bill Deane): "One thing Joe tells them is how he turned down $60000 to play with the Feds for three years. 'It looked like a lot of money' he said 'but there are things in this world to be regarded above money-keeping faith with your friends for instance.' All of which goes to show that you don't have to know how to read and write to be a man of principle and conscience."
Dec 23, 1913 - The Sporting News reports that 15 men died from baseball injuries during the 1913 season according to a list compiled by J.R. Vickery of Chicago (as noted by R. J. Lesch). The only name given is that of J. Whetstone of New Orleans who suffered "a broken spine sustained in sliding to a base"; all other fatalities were the result of foul tips or pitched balls. The list "does not include a major league player or even a minor league athlete of sufficient experience in baseball to be widely known."
Oct 9, 1910 - Cobb meanwhile rather than risk his average sits out the last two games the Tigers beating the White Sox in the finale 2-1. Ban Johnson investigates and clears everyone concerned enabling Cobb to win the 3rd of 9 straight batting crowns. The embarrassed Chalmers Auto Company awards cars to both Ty and Nap. In 1981 The Sporting News uncovers an error-crediting a 2-for-3 game twice to Cobb-that if corrected would give the championship to Lajoie. But the commissioner's committee votes unanimously to leave history unchanged.
Jul 12, 1906 - The Reds sell star Cy Seymour to the New York Giants for $12000. Seymour was hitting just .257. Reds manager Ned Hanlon claims the move will strengthen the team a notion scoffed at in Pittsburgh. The Sporting News surmises "Will the lads in Cincinnati stand for the sale of Seymour? Wonder if the Pittsburg fans would stand for the sale of Wagner to the Chicago club? Do you think so gentle reader?"
Oct 10, 1904 - John McGraw issues a statement saying that he not president John Brush was responsible for refusing to play the AL winner in a post season series. The Sporting News will declare the Boston Americans champions by default.
Feb 28, 1903 - A columnist in The Sporting News suggests that a number be pinned to each player so that spectators will know immediately who is playing and "will not be obliged to yell out to reporters." Sometimes players are substituted for and "this change is not known for several innings." The writer also thinks it "is a good plan to prohibit building up the pitcher's box. The pitcher should deliver the ball from a level with the position taken by the batsman but if the box is built up he has a big advantage for he is pitching down. This was only a little fault at first but it has grown tremendously so that on some grounds the box is several inches higher than the rest of the diamond."
Aug 25, 1900 - Criticism of administration in the NL continues. The Sporting News offers the new AL some editorial encouragement: "An organization opposed to the National League will be welcome because it will mean the elevation of the game if it is successful."
Oct 5, 1895 - The Sporting News reports that "the final vote in the score card contest for the most popular player on the Philadelphia team was Thompson 6138....Thompson therefore gets the $150 silver cup." (as noted by John Odell).
Sep 30, 1893 - On the last day of the season St. Louis takes two from the NL champion Boston Beaneaters winning 17-6 and 16-4. In game 2 St. Louis rookie Duff Cooley goes 6-for-6 while teammate Frank Shugart scores 5 runs. It's a good day for Joe Quinn. In pre-game ceremonies the St. Louis second baseman is honored by The Sporting News as the most popular baseball player in America and receives a gold watch. The Aussie-born Quinn then collects 8 hits in the doubleheader the first player to accomplish that feat.
Apr 17, 1890 - A Players League is launched with each club run by an 8-man board of 4 players and 4 backers. Gate receipts will be divided evenly between the home and visiting teams. The first $10000 profit will go to the backers the next $10000 will be shared by all the players and anything over that will be divided between clubs and players. It all becomes academic; nobody will make anything andmany players will end the season with unpaid salaries owed to them. Criticized by Henry Chadwick editor of the Spalding Guide the PL is supported by The Sporting News and Sporting Life.
Jan 29, 1889 - Veteran Joe Hornung is released by Boston after 8 years with that club. According to The Sporting News "Ubbo's unruly tongue was the principal cause of his release."
Jun 11, 1887 - The Sporting News reports that "Jerry Reardon the St. Louis boy who fractured his right leg while running bases here is still on the disabled list."
Nov 6, 1886 - The Sporting News publishes the official NL averages which show King Kelly as the batting champ with a .388 average 17 points ahead of Cap Anson. The paper previously had printed its own stats showing Anson ahead .374 to .366. Also noted in TSN (by Bill Deane) that "Dundon the deaf and dumb pitcher of the Acid Iron Earths umpired a game at Mobile between the Acids and Mobiles on October 20. . . . He used the fingers of his right hand to indicate strikes the fingers of the left to call balls a shake of the head decided a man 'not out' and a wave of the hand meant out.'" The October 30 1886 issue of the New York Clipper concurred with the description saying "Dundon the deaf-mute pitcherumpired a game in Mobile Ala. and gave entire satisfaction."
Mar 17, 1886 - The Sporting News the weekly that will become "The Baseball Paper of the World" publishes its first issue.
May 8, 1878 - Providence CF Paul Hines pulls off a spectacular and perhaps unassisted triple play. With men on 2B and 3B and none out in the 8th inning Boston's Jack Burdock lines one over SS as both runners go. Hines racing in catches the ball at his shoe tops and keeps going to touch 3B. This retires the runner who started on 3B but did it retire the runner who started on 2B but had already rounded 3B? To make sure Hines throws back to Charley Sweasy to touch 2B. This touches off a lively debate over whether the triple play was unassisted or not a debate that still continues over a century later. In the May 4 1901 issue of The Sporting News publishes letters by four of the game's participants in which they all agree that Hines threw to 2B to complete the TP. Two of the letter writers are Sweasy the second baseman and E. B. Sutton the runner at 2B.
Dec 6, 1856 - Porters Spirit of the Times reports "The Knickerbocker-of all the clubs in existence this is the oldest. . . . The principal players in the club and who have usually composed their 'first nine' we deem to be De Bost who has never been surpassed as catcher a powerful batter though often put out from a tendency to raise the ball. Stevens a pitcher who sends the ball with exceeding velocity and he who strikes it fairly must be a fine batsman. It is questionable however whether his style of pitching is most successful many believing a slow ball curving near the bat to be most effective." This is one of the earliest notes about the curve ball (from a letter in The Sporting News May 14 1901 by a Mr. W. M. Rankin who came across the reference while researching sporting data for a history of Princeton College.)