This day in baseball

During an exhibition game against the University of Southern California on March 25, 1951, rookie Mickey Mantle hit a home run that traveled an estimated 650 feet. In addition to the monstrous homer, Mantle also collected a single, triple, and another homer.



This day in baseball: Luck of the draw

In 1966, University of Southern California pitcher Tom Seaver signed a contract with Atlanta’s Richmond farm team.  Baseball Commissioner William Eckert voided the contract, however, due to Seaver’s having played two exhibition games already with USC.  Unfortunately for Seaver, signing a professional contract also left him ineligible to play any longer at the collegiate level.  When Seaver’s father threatened a lawsuit on his son’s behalf, a special draft was held, in which three Major League teams offered to match Richmond’s $40,000 contract.  The Indians, Phillies, and Mets all participated in the draft, where one team would be drawn from a hat.  The Mets won Seaver’s contract, and on April 3, 1966, Tom Seaver signed with New York with a reported $50,000 bonus.

New York Mets Tom Seaver

Baseball: Closeup of New York Mets Tom Seaver (41) during game vs Atlanta Braves. Atlanta, GA 7/9/1975 MANDATORY CREDIT: Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated SetNumber: X19696 TK1