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1927      Babe Ruth becomes the highest-paid player in major league history when the Yankees announce he 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 prohibiting 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, resulting in 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      “Cleveland got the better of the deals. They didn’t get anybody.” – DAVEY JOHNSON, Reds’ manager.

The Indians send Mike Curtis, Barbaro Garbey, Lee Granger, and Dave Gray to the Reds for “future considerations.” The transaction, which helps Cincinnati add much-needed players to their roster, marks the first trade of replacement players during a baseball strike.

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 $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 Expos’ first and last games were against the Mets before leaving Montreal for their new home in Washington, D.C.

2005      In a Capitol Rotunda ceremony, with legislators from 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, 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 participating 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, which 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 to the possibility of a third-place team winning the World Series.

1919 — Newsy Lalonde of the Montreal Canadiens sets a Stanley Cup Playoff record by scoring five goals in a 6-3 win against the visiting Ottawa Senators. The record is matched four times.

1934 — Primo Carnera retains his world heavyweight title with a unanimous 15-round decision over Tommy Laughren in Miami.

1948 — Top-ranked NYU, the nation’s only unbeaten basketball team, is upset by Notre Dame 64-59 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. In a game with 17 lead changes, the Fighting Irish hold Dolph Schayes to nine points and Kevin O’Shea scores 18 for Notre Dame.

1955 — Allen Fieldhouse, home of the Kansas Jayhawks, hosts its first basketball game and the Jayhawks beat rival Kansas State 77-66.

1969 — Tuesdee Testa becomes the first female jockey to win a race at a major American Thoroughbred track when she rides Buz On to victory in the third race with at Santa Anita Park.

1973 — Robyn Smith becomes the first woman jockey to win a stakes race when she rides North Sea to victory in the Paumonok Handicap at Aqueduct Race Track in New York.

1981 — Calvin Murphy of the Houston Rockets misses a free throw in San Antonio, ending his NBA record consecutive free throw streak at 78.

1983 — Tamara McKinney becomes the first American woman skier to win the overall World Cup championship.

1987 — The Boston Celtics becomes the first NBA franchise to post 2,000 victories when they beat the Detroit Pistons 112-102.

1988 — Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers becomes the NHL’s all-time assist leader, breaking the longtime mark of Gordie Howe. In his ninth season, Gretzky picked up assist No. 1,050 in a game against the Los Angeles Kings.

1991 — Pat Day becomes the sixth jockey in history to earn $100 million in purses when he rides Wild Sierra to a second-place finish in the first race at Oaklawn Park.

1996 — Atlanta’s Lenny Wilkens becomes the first NBA coach to reach 1,000 career victories as the Hawks beat Cleveland 74-68.

1997 – Puerto Rican boxer Héctor Camacho stops Sugar Ray Leonard in 5th round in Atlantic City, NJ to retain IBC middleweight title; only time Leonard’s is KO’ed and sends him into permanent retirement

2000 — With 26-year-old rookie Dean Barker at Black Magic’s helm, New Zealand sails into America’s Cup history, becoming the first country other than the United States to defend the oldest trophy in sports.

2001 — Jackie Stiles of Southwest Missouri State becomes the NCAA career scoring leader in women’s basketball, running her career total to 3,133 points with 30 in Southwest Missouri State’s 94-59 victory over Creighton.

2014 — Jaromir Jagr becomes the seventh player to score 700 NHL goals during New Jersey Devils’ 6-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

2015 — Kiley McKinnon and Mac Bohonnon give the United States its first ever World Cup title double in aerials skiing. McKinnon becomes the first U.S. woman to win the World Cup since Nikki Stone in 1998, while Bohonnon was the first American men’s winner since Jeret “Speedy” Peterson in 2005.

1940 — American golfer Jimmy Demaret wins his third PGA Tour event within an 8-day span, taking the St. Petersburg Open by 1 stroke from Byron Nelson.

1940 — Detroit’s Cecil “Tiny” Thompson becomes first goaltender in NHL history to play 40 (or more) games for 12 straight seasons; milestone comes in a 3-1 Red Wings loss at Toronto.

1952 — Dick Button leads an unprecedented American sweep when he wins World Men’s Figure Skating Championship in Paris; beats compatriots James Grogan and Hayes Alan Jenkins for his 5th straight world title.

1956 — MLB’s Cleveland Indians franchise is sold for nearly $4m; former player and the team’s general manager Hank Greenberg is part of the new ownership group.

1964 — Cincinnati’s Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson combine for a rare 40-40 performance as the Royals beat host Philadelphia 76ers, 117-114; NBA MVP Robertson has 43 points; Rookie of the Year Lucas, 40 rebounds.

1972 — Future Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Hank Aaron becomes first player to earn $200,000 average annual salary; signs 3-year deal with Atlanta Braves after one of his best seasons – .327 average, 47 HRs and 118 RBIs.

1976 — American driver Richard Petty wins the only Winston Cup race run on Leap Day, taking the Carolina 500 at Rockingham by 2 laps over Darrell Waltrip.

1980 — Future Hockey Hall of Fame right wing Gordie Howe scores in the 3rd period to become first NHL player to score 800 career goals as Hartford Whalers beat St. Louis Blues, 3-0 at Springfield Civic Center.

1992 — Boston’s Ray Bourque becomes just the 3rd defenseman in NHL history to score 1,000 career points with a goal and 2 assists in the Bruins’ 5-5 tie with Washington Capitals at Boston Garden.

2020 — Watford beats Liverpool, 3-0 at Vicarage Road; first Reds loss since Manchester City January 2019; ends joint-longest winning streak (18) and second longest unbeaten run (44) in English top-flight football history.

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