After the bankrupt team had been taken over by the National League, William D. Cox purchased the Philadelphia Phillies from the NL on February 18, 1943. At the age of 33, this made Cox the youngest owner in the league. However, evidence surfaced later that year that Cox had placed some bets on his own team. Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis launched an investigation, and Cox eventually admitted to making some “sentimental” bets on the Phillies. Landis responded by banning Cox from baseball on November 23, 1943.
The Chicago White Stockings sold National League batting champion and future Hall of Famer Mike Kelly to the Boston Beaneaters on February 14, 1887 for what was at that time a record $10,000. Kelly would earn the nickname “King” while in Boston, where he would hit .311 during this three-year span with the team.
On February 11, 1974, Twins pitcher Dick Woodson won the first arbitration ruling in baseball history after becoming the first player to invoke the new free agency clause. Woodson asked for and was awarded $29,000 (I’ve also seen $30,000 cited as the figure), over the Twins’ offer of $23,000.
On February 6, 1921, the New York Yankees announced the purchase of a ten-acre plot of land from the estate of William Waldorf Astor. The site, purchased for $675,000 and situated on the west side of the Bronx, would serve as the location of the new Yankee Stadium. Construction of the new ballpark began in May 1922, and the Yankees would play their first game in the new stadium on April 18, 1923.
After turning down an offer from the last-place Browns, Jim Thorpe signed with the New York Giants, the defending NL champs, on February 1, 1913. Thorpe, a Sac and Fox Nation native American, compiled a lifetime .252 batting average during his six seasons in the majors.
Monte Irvin and Ford Smith became the first African-American players to sign with the New York Giants on January 28, 1949. Irvin would only play five full seasons in the major leagues, but he is considered by many to be the best of the players who made the jump from the Negro Leagues to the majors. In 1973, Irvin was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, primarily for his play in the Negro Leagues.
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.