The legendary Connie Mack died on February 8, 1956 at the age of 93. Mack had fallen and suffered a hip fracture a few months previously in October 1955, undergoing surgery on October 5 and missing the World Series that week for the first time ever. He remained wheelchair-bound from that point on. Officially, it was announced that Connie Mack died of “old age and complications from his hip surgery.”
On January 12, 1988, Pirates slugger Willie Stargell was the only player elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Stargell helped bring two world championships to Pittsburgh and was the National League’s co-MVP in 1979, as well as the World Series MVP that same year. Stargell was the 17th player to be elected to the Hall in his first year of eligibility.
Charles Stoneham, the owner of the New York Giants baseball team, passed away on January 6, 1936. Stoneham was the last remaining owner of the trio (along with John McGraw and Frank McQuade) that purchased the team in 1919. He passed the team on to his son, Horace Stoneham, upon his death. During his time as owner, Stoneham saw the Giants win the World Series in 1921, 1922 and 1933.
Don Larsen is perhaps best known for pitching the only post-season perfect game in Major League Baseball history, accomplishing the feat in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. He won the World Series MVP Award and Babe Ruth Award in recognition of his pitching during that postseason.
Larsen was born on August 7, 1929 in Michigan City, Indiana. He passed away in Hayden, Idaho yesterday, January 1, 2020 from of esophageal cancer.
Rest in peace.
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Don Larsen, who remained a welcome & familiar face at our annual Old-Timers’ Day celebrations. The Yankees organization extends its deepest condolences to Don’s family and friends during this difficult time. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/OgOdofzSTS
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) January 2, 2020
The Chicago Cubs went so long between World Series championships that, even after finally winning one, the pop culture references to their dry spell continue to haunt. This song is an example of just that. You know you’ve had a rough time of things when the likelihood of your winning again gets compared to the likelihood of the Canterbury Tales becoming a bestseller.
U.S. District Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis accepted the offer to become baseball’s first commissioner on November 12, 1920. The decision to hire a commissioner came in the wake of the 1919 World Series scandal, which involved eight White Sox players who were paid off by gamblers to throw the Series against Cincinnati. Landis would officially begin his new role in January 1921.
Congratulations to the Washington Nationals on winning their first World Series championship in franchise history! That certainly made for a thrilling Game 7.