The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) voted, via mail, to select from major league players retired less than 25 years for the Hall of Fame class of 1950. On February 16 of that year, the organization ended up selecting no one for induction. The top vote-getters in the balloting were former Giants Mel Ott (69%) and Bill Terry (63%), however, this fell short of the 75% of the writers’ ballots required for induction. Ott would get elected the following season, and Terry entered the Hall of Fame in 1954.
On February 13, 1953, the Philadelphia Athletics renamed their stadium from Shibe Park to Connie Mack Stadium, in honor of the legendary manager. During his fifty-year career as manager for the A’s, Mack led the team to nine American League pennants, appearing in eight World Series and winning five World Championships.
Joe Morgan signed a one-year deal with the Giants on February 9, 1981 at the age of thirty-seven. He would go on to play the 1982 season with the Giants as well, winning the Silver Slugger award at second base for the National League.
The first five men elected into baseball’s new Hall of Fame on February 2, 1936 were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. The Hall of Fame was scheduled to open in Cooperstown, New York in 1939 as part of baseball’s celebration of its “centennial,” that is, the centennial based on the myth of Doubleday’s invention of the game.
Stan Musial became the first player signed to a six-figure contract in National League history on January 29, 1958 when he signed a $100,000 deal with the Cardinals. Musial had been willing to accept less, in spite of winning his seventh batting title by hitting .351 in 1957. The Cardinals, however, felt that he deserved the contract, which represented Musial’s first raise in seven years.
To replace the three-man National Commission, formerly governed by league presidents Ban Johnson and John Heydler and Reds owner Garry Herrmann, Kenesaw Mountain Landis became baseball’s first commissioner on January 21, 1921. After expressing initial reluctance, Landis accepted the job in November 1920 for seven years at a salary of $50,000, on condition he could remain on the federal bench.
The Washington Nationals, also known as the Statesmen, were admitted to the National League on January 16, 1886. The Nationals played its home games at the Swampoodle Grounds, going on to win only 28 games of the 120 games played in their first year. The team existed for only four years and compiled a record of 163-337, for a .326 winning percentage.