While the American League is known for its use of the designated hitter, they weren’t the first ones to ever have an interest in utilizing it. The Pacific Coast League once expressed an interest in implementing the allowance of a designated hitter even before the AL started using it. However, the PCL’s proposal to use the DH got rejected on March 31, 1961 by the Professional Baseball Rules Committee. The American League would begin using the DH in 1973.
Known in baseball as “Pudge,” Carlton Fisk played for both the Boston Red Sox (1969, 1971–1980) and Chicago White Sox (1981–1993). In 1972, he became the first player unanimously voted American League Rookie of the Year, though he is probably best known for “waving fair” his game-winning home run in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
This speech is the longest one I’ve listened to so far, but it’s worth the time. It’s not hard to get a glimpse of the kind of work ethic and character that Fisk possessed through this oration. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000.
The nickname “Cubs” in reference to the Chicago team first appeared in print on March 27, 1902. The Chicago Daily News printed a headline that day reading, “Manager of the Cubs is in Doubt Only on Two Positions.” While the name had existed for the team since 1890, the team was more commonly known as the Orphans, and had also been called the Colts and the White Stockings. The name Cubs would become the team’s official name in 1907.
Babe Ruth signed his 1933 contract with the Yankees on March 24th of that year. In the face of the Great Depression, Ruth found himself forced to take quite a pay cut from his previous year’s salary of $75,000.
Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert had initially proposed a $25,000 cut down to $50,000 for the year, which Ruth refused to signed. Nevertheless, the Babe reported to Spring Training hoping to work out a better deal for himself in the meantime.
Finally, however, Ruppert issued an ultimatum, telling Ruth that if he did not sign by March 29th, he would not be permitted to travel back north with the team. Ruth finally settled for a $52,000 contract, stating, “I expected a cut, but $25,000 is no cut, that’s an amputation.”
Lou Perini announced on March 13, 1953 that he would be seeking permission from the National League to move his franchise from Boston to Milwaukee. The Braves owner pointed to poor attendance as the reason for wanting to relocate the club. This date would come to be known as “Black Friday” in Boston.
On June 23, 1963, Mets outfielder Jimmy Piersall faced Phillies pitcher Dallas Green to lead off the top of the fifth. Piersall swung on Green’s offering and blasted what was career homer number 100.
To celebrate the milestone, Piersall then decided to take Duke Snider up on his clubhouse bet and ran around the bases backward. He completed his trip around the bases in the correct order: first, second, third, and home — he just faced backwards. Piersall essentially backpedaled all the way around the infield.
On March 8, 1913, John Powers founded the Federal League. Just a year previous, Powers had the Columbian League, which had failed before a game could even be played. The new Federal League established teams in Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Covington, Kentucky. The league did not abide by the National Agreement, earning it the nickname the “outlaw league,” which allowed it to recruit players from established clubs.