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1927       Babe Ruth becomes the highest-paid player in major league history when the Yankees announce the Bambino will earn $70,000 per season for the next three years. The ‘Sultan of Swat,’ who had asked for $100,000, meets Colonel Jacob Ruppert at the owner’s brewery in the Yorkville section of Manhattan to finalize the historic deal.

1966       Commissioner William Eckert, citing a rule that prohibits clubs from signing players during their collegiate season, voids the Braves’ contract with USC standout Tom Seaver, who had signed with Atlanta for a $50,000 bonus a week earlier. The Mets will be awarded the future Hall of Famer’s signing rights in a lottery that includes the Phillies and Indians, who also were willing to match the Braves’ terms.

1989       “When he punched Keith Hernandez in spring training last season, it was the only time that Darryl Strawberry hit the cutoff man.” – STEVE WULF, Sports Illustrated journalist. At a photo session, Mets’ outfielder Darryl Strawberry throws a punch at Keith Hernandez, the team’s no-nonsense All-Star first baseman. The spring training scuffle started over comments about salaries and results with the Straw walking out of camp.

1992       The highest-paid player tag now belongs to Ryne Sandberg, when the All-Star infielder signs a four-year contract extension worth 7.1 million dollars per season. The future Hall of Famer will unexpectedly retire during the season in 1994, walking away from nearly $15.8 million from the record deal he inked today.

1995       The Reds and Indians make the first-ever trade of replacement players. Barbaro Garbey and four others go to the Reds in return for ‘future considerations.’

2001       Rusty Greer, now the Rangers’ new leadoff hitter due to the A-Rod deal, signs a $21.8 million, three-year contract extension with Texas. The .307 career hitting outfielder could make as much $36 million with incentives and options.

2005       Wearing their regular-season home uniforms instead of the traditional batting-practice spring training jerseys, the Nationals in their first game ever beat the Mets in the exhibition opener at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida, 5-3. The first and last games the Expos played were also against the Mets before leaving Montreal for their new home in Washington, D.C.

2005       In a Capitol Rotunda ceremony, with legislators from both the House and Senate and baseball commissioner Bud Selig in attendance, President George W. Bush awards the nation’s highest honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, posthumously to Jackie Robinson’s widow. Rachel, the widow of the courageous ballplayer, accepts the award for her late husband, who died in 1972.

2005       With hundreds of Red Sox Nation citizens in attendance on the south lawn, President George W. Bush praises the team spirit and winning style of the 2004 World Champions during a White House ceremony. Fall Classic hero and Bush supporter Curt Schilling gives the former owner of the Texas Rangers a white baseball jersey emblazoned with the forty-third Chief Executive’s name and the number 43.

2007       Michael Young signs an $80 million, five-year contract extension offered by the Rangers. The deal, which keeps the three-time All-Star shortstop with Texas through the 2013 season, is the second-largest in franchise history, eclipsed only by the $252 million, 10-year deal Alex Rodriguez free-agent signing in December 2000.

2007       A chartered bus accident at Interstate 75 and Northside Drive in Atlanta kills five Bluffton University baseball players and the driver and his wife. The players, Zach Arend, David Betts, Scott Harmon, Cody Holp, and Tyler Williams, were en route to Sarasota, Florida, to play a twin bill with Eastern Mennonite University before heading to participate in the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers.

2012       In the first change to the MLB playoff structure since the introduction of wild-card teams in 1995, a new one-game, a wild-card game between the teams with the best records in each league, who are not division winners, will become the initial round of the postseason. The new postseason system, which would have allowed the Red Sox and the Braves to avoid their historical collapses last season, increases the reward of winning a division title but opens the door of the possibility of a third-place team winning the World Series.


After a six-year hiatus, the Chicago Cubs managed to top the National League, despite making it there by the slimmest of margins. After a ninth-inning, 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates (who had led the National League for 2½ months) on September 28th, the Cubs managed to hold onto first place while winning the pennant by a mere two games. Rip Collins led the team in homers with thirteen, and outfielder Augie Galan topped the Cubs in runs batted in with sixty-nine. Stan Hack batted .320 and led the National League with sixteen stolen bases, and Carl Reynolds hit .302. Bill Lee and Clay Bryant were the staff pitching aces with twenty-two and nineteen victories. Dizzy Dean, who tried to come back too soon after his All-Star Game toe injury of 1937 and hurt his arm, had been obtained from the St. Louis Cardinals in April and won 7-of-8 decisions.

Their opponents, the 2x-defending champion Yankees were still dominating things on the American League side. This time five New Yorkers compiled RBI totals over ninety, and those five; Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, rookie Joe Gordon and Tommy Henrich had home run totals ranging from thirty-two to twenty-two. Red Ruffing led the American League in victories with twenty-one, followed in the rotation by Lefty Gomez (eighteen wins), Monte Pearson (sixteen wins) and Spud Chandler (fourteen wins). The result was a 9½ game lead over the Boston Red Sox for the American League pennant.

Bill Lee got the call for the Cubs in the Series opener and while the big right-hander pitched well, he did not pitch well enough to win. Bill Dickey went four-for-four against him; scoring a run and driving home another as the Yankees pulled ahead with a “predictable” 3-1 triumph. Nothing changed for Game 2 although the Cubs’ Dizzy Dean appeared in control almost till the end. He contained the Yankees for seven innings at Wrigley Field and had given up only three hits while leading the contest, 3-2. George Selkirk added the Yankees’ fourth hit as the leadoff man in the eighth, but two force-outs left Dean in a position to escape with one more out. Frankie Crosetti (who was on the bottom of the Yank’s home-run list with nine) stepped up with Myril Hoag leading off of first base. Swinging at the first pitch, the unlikely hero sent a shockwave through the stands with a bomb over the left-field wall. Dean and his teammates stood in disbelief and were unable to answer the call in the ninth as the Yankees held on for the 6-3 victory.

Ahead two-games-to-none with the Series shifting to Yankee Stadium, the New Yorkers seemed to be a lock. Game 3 and 4 were quick (and painful) as the home team’s momentum carried them to 5-2 and 8-3 finales that featured solid hitting by Crosetti who added a double, triple and four runs batted in to his stats. On a somber note, the ailing Lou Gehrig, went four-for-fourteen (all singles) for his last Series appearance. The Yankees had completed their fourth Series sweep in their last six appearances and became the first team to win the World Series in three consecutive years. The American Leaguers appeared unstoppable and most felt that the Cubs never had a chance.


Wilt Chamberlain set a National Basketball Association scoring record of 100 points tonight as the Philadelphia Warriors defeated the New York Knickerbockers, 169‚147. The combined score was an association record, too. Chamberlain topped many records with his awesome display. The 7-foot-1-inch Warrior center set a league record for field goals (36), free throws (28 of 32), most points for a quarter (31), and most points for a half (59).

Wilt said, “I wasnít even thinking of hitting 100, but after putting in nine straight free throws I was thinking about a foul-shooting record. It was my greatest game.” The 316 points by the two teams surpassed the record of 312 made in Bostonís victory over Minneapolis on Feb. 27, 1959, at Boston. The Celtics set a single-team record in that game, when they beat the Lakers, 173‚139.

The crowd of 4,124 shrieked, “Give it to Wilt, give it to Wilt,” as the Philadelphian scored again and again on his fall-away shots. The Warriors realized early that Chamberlain was hot. So they fed him the ball repeatedly. The Knicks tried to stall and then tried to mob Chamberlain with defense in an effort to slow his scoring. In the final period, Darrall Imhoff, who had been assigned to guard Chamberlain most of the night, fouled out. When Wilt hit 100, a few seconds before the end, the fans swarmed onto the court. The game was held up until they were removed.

The Warriors seemed determined to run away with the game, scrambling to a 19‚3 advantage. However, with Richie Guerin hitting, the Knicks drew closer and it was 79‚68 at the half. But Guerin, with 39 points, Cleveland Buckner (33) and Willie Naulls (31) couldnít overcome the lift given the Warriors by Wilt. Chamberlain had 25 rebounds.

Chamberlainís effort broke the league scoring record of 78 points, a mark he had set earlier this season. The recognized collegiate scoring record also is 100, set by Frank Selvy for Furman against Newberry in 1954. Selvy now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. Two over-100 efforts-by Paul Arizin of Villanova and Bevo Francis of Rio Grande (Ohio) College-are not recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association because they were made against juniorcollege teams.

Among records set tonight was one by the Knickerbockers. Their 147 points was the most ever scored by a losing team, topping the previous mark of 139 by Minneapolis against Boston in 1959.

That Wilt Chamberlain hit the 100- point mark at the Hershey Arena, a field house that seated 7,225, and not at Convention Hall in Philadelphia (9,200) testified to the N.B.A.ís attendance woes at the time. The N.B.A. was small-time in 1962. Teams farmed out some home games each year to remote outposts of their fan base.