» February 27, 1907: The Yankees acquire C Branch Rickey from the Browns in exchange for INF Joe Yeager. As noted by Lyle Spatz, Rickey will not play on Sundays, while new backstop Buelow will.
» June 28, 1907: The last place Washington Nationals steal a record 13 bases off C Branch Rickey in a 16-5 win over New York. Rickey, acquired last February from the Browns, is pressed into service despite a bad shoulder because of the injury to starter Red Kleinow. Rickey's first throw to 2B ends up in right field and the subsequent tosses are not much better. He almost nips Jim Delahanty on a steal of 3B. In his eight innings, relief pitcher Lew Brockett helps Washington with a deliberate windup. Only pitcher Tom Hughes and 2B Nig Perrine are steal-less, while Hal Chase swipes one for New York.
» September 6, 1913:
Browns interim manager Jimmy Austin is replaced by Branch Rickey. Austin took over for George Stovall (50-84).
» January 9, 1915: The National Commission declares University of Michigan senior George Sisler a free agent after a 2-year fight. The Pirates' owner Barney Dreyfuss claimed rights to Sisler, who had signed a contract as a minor but never played pro ball. After graduating, Sisler will sign with the St. Louis Browns, managed by his former college coach, Branch Rickey.
» January 4, 1916: The St. Louis Browns are the first of two ML franchises awarded to Federal League owners. Philip de Catesby Ball, ice-manufacturing tycoon and principal stockholder of the Feds' St. Louis Terriers, pays a reported $525,000 for the Browns and replaces manager Branch Rickey with his own Fielder Jones.
» May 8, 1922:
Sam Breadon buys controlling interest—72%—in the Cardinals. He and Branch Rickey, who owns the rest of the stock, will combine to create one of baseball's most successful operations. Breadon demotes Rickey to veep, but allows him to remain as field manager.
» August 8, 1922: The Giants Shufflin’ Phil Douglas is suspended and fined $100 by John McGraw. (Douglas, an alcoholic, and McGraw did not enjoy the best of relationships after McGraw forced Douglas to undergo a terrible treatment for alcoholism.) Douglas writes a letter to St. Louis Cardinals OF Les Mann, his former roommate at Chicago, offering to disappear if they make it worth his while, lest he help McGraw win the pennant. Mann turns the letter over to Branch Rickey, who relays it to Commissioner Landis. In Pittsburgh on the 16th, Douglas admits he wrote the letter, and Landis bars him from baseball for life. Sadly, when Douglas sobered up he asked Mann to destroy the letter, but Mann had already passed it on. Douglas was 11-4 at the time, with the lowest ERA on the club (2.63).
» May 30, 1925: Between games today, Rogers Hornsby is named manager of the Cardinals by Sam Breadon, replacing Branch Rickey, who remains as general manager. An angry Rickey will sell his shares in the team to Hornsby. St. Louis, in last place, drops two games to Pittsburgh, losing 4–1 in the morning and 15–5 in the P.M. contest, despite two homers by the new manager. Playing in front of an overflow crowd at spacious Forbes Field, the Pirates sets a modern National League record by stroking eight triples in the 2nd game; the Cards tally one for a combined record-tying nine triples. The normal rules about balls hit into the crowds being ground-rule doubles is expanded to make them triples today: eight of the three-baggers are ground-rule triples.
» September 11, 1932:
The Cardinals sign Branch Rickey to a 5-year contract as GM and director of the farm system.
» January 15, 1936: IRS figures for 1934 show Branch Rickey as the highest paid man in baseball at $49,470. Commissioner Landis had voluntarily taken a cut in 1933 from $65,000 to $40,000 because of the Depression.
» March 23, 1938: Judge Landis frees 74 Cardinal minor leaguers, among them Pete Reiser, in yet another attempt to halt the cover-up he perceived the farm system caused. Larry MacPhail makes a pact with Branch Rickey to take the unknown player and swap him back in the future, but Reiser's ability is too great to hide.
» November 1, 1942: Larry MacPhail enters the army. The Dodgers look
to St. Louis for leadership. After 2 decades in St.
Louis, Branch Rickey splits with owner Sam Breadon.
He will sign to become GM at Brooklyn.
» December 11, 1942: Cardinals GM Branch Rickey, possibly motivated by a clause in his contract that gives him 20% of the team's profits, trades slugger John Mize to the Giants for three players and $50,000. Yesterday he sold C/OF Don Padgett to Brooklyn for $30,000. Padgett will enter the Navy without playing a game for the Dodgers, and Brooklyn will try unsuccessfully to get their money back from Rickey.
» February 20, 1943: Phil Wrigley and Branch Rickey charter the All-American Girls Softball League. The league will operate around the Chicago area and is formed as a sports backup in case the government shuts down ML baseball. The league will later change its name and switch to hardball with a pitching distance of 40 feet and bases 68 feet apart.
» July 10, 1943:
Brooklyn scores 10 runs in the first and fourth innings as they whip the visiting Pirates 23-6. This follows a pregame attempted strike by the players following Leo Durocher's 3-game suspension of P Bobo Newsom for insubordination. Minutes before the game SS Arky Vaughan handed his uniform to Durocher and refused to play. Durocher called for volunteers to play, but by game time he had just a battery of Curt Davis and Bobby Bragan. Branch Rickey intervened, and Vaughan and the others agreed to play. Newsom, 9-4, will be traded to the Browns on July 15th.
» March 30, 1944: Branch Rickey suggests pooling of surplus players if ML 4F players are drafted for military service. Nothing comes of the suggestion.
» March 25, 1945: A group of blacks appears at the Dodger offices to ask for tryouts for aging Negro Leaguers P Terris McDuffie and 1B Dave Thomas. The two will work out for Branch Rickey in Brooklyn on April 7.
» August 13, 1945: Branch Rickey becomes the principal stockholder of the Dodgers. He and associates Walter O'Malley and John Smith acquire the 50 percent interest of the Ebbets estate for a reported price of $750,000.
» October 23, 1945:
Branch Rickey announces the signing of Jackie Robinson
by the Dodger organization.
» October 30, 1945:
Branch Rickey signs Jackie Robinson to a Montreal
(IL) contract for 1946. Black P John Wright also signs.
» April 1, 1947: Branch Rickey deflects pressure on Jackie Robinson by keeping him in Montreal, although it is clear the contending Dodgers can use the 1946 International League batting king.
» May 9, 1947:
In his first game outside of New York City, Jackie Robinson has two hits and scores twice in the Dodgers 6–5 loss to the Phillies. After the game, the Dodgers give their young first baseman a vote of confidence by selling Howie Schultz, Robby's back up, to the Phils for $50,000. Tomorrow, Branch Rickey announces he's giving up his attempts to pry Johnny Mize away from the Giants.
» December 11, 1947:
Branch Rickey announces that the Dodgers have signed an agreement with Bud Holman and the city of Vero Beach to rent 104 acres of a former pre-war municipal airport. They will pay $1 a year and take over the maintenance. In 1952 the Dodgers will sign a new 20-year lease for $1 a year, and on March 11, 1953, a new field will be named Holman Stadium.
» August 16, 1950: Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers denies news reports that Jackie Robinson, last year's MVP, will be traded. The latest tempest was started by the second baseman's comments after he was removed from the lineup on August 12th by Bert Shotton after making an error. "I wouldn't be surprised if I was traded," Jackie was quoted as saying.
» September 23, 1950: In what amounts to a political and monetary act of leverage, Brooklyn’s Branch Rickey offers to sell his 25 percent interest to real estate mogul William Zeckendorf.
» October 16, 1950: The Brooklyn Dodgers fail to renew Branch Rickey's contract as president.
» October 26, 1950:
Branch Rickey resigns as president of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Walter O'Malley succeeds him. Rickey sells his 25 percent interest in the club for a reported $1.05 million.
» November 6, 1950: Branch Rickey signs a 5-year contract as executive vice president/GM with the Pirates.
» November 20, 1950: Pirate GM Roy Hamey resigns to make way for Branch Rickey.
» November 28, 1950: Having ousted Branch Rickey, Walter O'Malley now fires Burt Shotton as manager. Oakland (PCL) manager Chuck Dressen is his replacement.
» October 23, 1951: Branch Rickey contends that the farm system saved baseball during the Depression. He asks Congress for legislation that will protect it from monopoly suits.
» October 25, 1955:
Baseball great Branch Rickey steps down as GM of the
Pirates and moves into an advisory role with the Pirates.
Joe L. Brown, son of the actor, replaces him.
» April 12, 1958:
On a recommendation from President Dwight D. Eisenhower,
a friend of Branch Rickey's, the Pirates sign Preston
Bruce, the son of the doorkeeper at the White House,
and send him to Lincoln (Western League).
» April 18, 1959: Branch Rickey becomes president of the Continental League. He appoints a committee to study problems associated with acquiring players.
» August 18, 1959:
Branch Rickey resigns as chairman of the Pirates to become president of the Continental League.
» October 21, 1959:
President Branch Rickey says that a Continental
League franchise will be awarded to Buffalo. Montreal,
Atlanta, and Dallas/Ft. Worth are still in the running
for the remaining 2 slots.
» December 8, 1959: American League President Joe Cronin reports that expansion plans are indefinite. Branch Rickey scores him for his indecisiveness.
» February 20, 1960: Branch Rickey meets with officials of the proposed Western Carolinas League about pooling talent for Continental League clubs.
» August 2, 1960: In an agreement with the major leagues, the Continental League abandons plans to join the American League and National League. Walter O'Malley, chairman of the NL Expansion Committee, says, "We immediately will recommend expansion and that we would like to do it in 1961." Braves owner Lou Perini proposes a compromise that four of the CL territories be admitted to the current majors in orderly expansion. Branch Rickey's group quickly accepts. The Continental League ends without playing a game.
» October 29, 1962: Branch Rickey rejoins the Cardinals as a senior consultant for player development.
» October 19, 1964:
Branch Rickey is fired from his $65,000 per year consulting job with the Cardinals.
» December 9, 1965:
While giving a speech in Columbus, MO, Branch Rickey collapses and dies a few days short of his 84th birthday. Player, manager, an extraordinary judge of baseball talent, and a shrewd trader, he became perhaps the game's most influential executive.
» January 29, 1967: Branch Rickey and Lloyd Waner are elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the Special Veterans Committee.