On January 26, 1990, Elaine Weddington Steward was promoted to assistant general manager for the Boston Red Sox. She had been working with the franchise since 1988 as an associate counsel. Her promotion in 1990 made her the highest-ranking black female executive in Major League Baseball.
Twenty-two-year-old Bob Feller signed a deal with the Indians on January 21, 1941 reportedly worth $30,000. This made Feller the highest paid pitcher in baseball history. The previous high salary for a single season of pitching had been $27,500 to Dazzy Vance and Lefty Grove.
On January 13, 1922, Buck Weaver applied for reinstatement to professional baseball. Weaver had been a member of the infamous 1919 Black Sox and one of eight players banned from baseball for his alleged involvement in the throwing of the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. This was one of six attempts by Weaver to get back into baseball, but he would remain banned from the sport for life.
In trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee referred to the Babe as “one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men ever to put on a baseball uniform.” In response to this, on January 7, 1920, Ruth commented to the Boston Evening Standard, “Frazee is not good enough to own any ball club, especially one in Boston.”
This piece is from an old musical comedy entitled The Umpire, which was a big success in 1905 Chicago, when baseball was particularly growing in popularity across the nation. The lyrics to this tune are by Will Hough and Frank Adams, and the music was written by Joseph Howard. I cannot seem to find any further information regarding the musical itself today, but this recording of “The Umpire Is A Most Unhappy Man” is quite amusing.
If you’d like to see the sheet music for the tune, you can click on this image:
The Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees on December 26, 1919 for $100,000 and guarantee a $300,000 loan, with Fenway Park as collateral. The sale would not go public until January, and would serve as the inception of the “Curse of the Bambino” on the Red Sox.
On December 19, 1954, Wally Moon of the St. Louis Cardinals was selected National League Rookie of the Year. Moon finished his first season in the big leagues with a .304 batting average, 12 home runs, and 76 RBIs. The twenty-four-year-old center fielder, who replaced Enos Slaughter in the St. Louis outfield, collected 17 of the 24 writers’ votes, winning easily over future Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Hank Aaron.