On March 28, 1970, baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn announced the re-institution of fan balloting for the MLB All-Star Game. It would be the first time since 1957 that fans would get to vote on the eight position players, a practice that had been revoked after years of ballot stuffing. To prevent the problem from happening again, 26 million ballots were evenly distributed to 75,000 retail outlets and 150 minor and major league stadiums. Kuhn also announced that a special panel would determine whether ballot stuffing occurred in the voting.
The Yankees faced off against the NL expansion team Mets for the first time on March 22, 1962 for a spring training contest. Mets manager Casey Stengel, formerly the manager of the Yankees, set out determined to beat his old team. With the Mets leading 3-2 going into the ninth inning, Stengel sent his best pitchers to the mound. When the Yankees nevertheless managed to tie the score at 3-3, Stengel pinch hit veteran outfielder Richie Ashburn, who pulled off a ninth-inning pinch-hit single, giving the Mets a dramatic walk-off 4-3 victory at Al Lang Field in Florida.
The post of Commissioner of Baseball was offered to J. Edgar Hoover in March of 1951. However, in spite of being a fan of the game, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned down the job. Several owners had been dissatisfied with the direction of Commissioner A.B. “Happy” Chandler and hoped Hoover would bring the type of leadership they were looking for. Hoover opted, instead, to stay with the FBI until his death in 1972. Chandler would remain baseball commissioner until July 1951, and was eventually replaced by Ford Frick.
Marvin Miller was elected as the first full-time executive director of the Major League Players’ Association by the player representatives on March 5, 1966. Miller, who had served as assistant to the President of United Steelworkers, led the MLBPA until 1982, and under his direction, the players’ union became one of the strongest unions in the United States.
Here’s a cool, old school panoramic of a Yale-Princeton game, dated July 2, 1904, found in the Library of Congress collection. The photo was contributed by R.H. Rose & Son, and the game took place in Princeton, New Jersey. I tried to find a box score or other details about the game, but didn’t have any success in doing so. However, if you go to the photo link here, you can zoom in and pan around the photo. In doing so, you can get some cool views, like this one:
On February 19, 1935, Lou Gehrig signed a one-year deal with the New York Yankees for $30,000. The previous season, Gehrig hit .363, 49 homers, and led the American League with 165 RBIs.
This is an interesting infographic. A lot of these bits of trivia I already knew, though some were new to me. I do question the bit about Forbes Field — there seems to be a lot of debate over what actually qualifies for the title of “first field” in America. First stadium might have been more accurate phrasing, though that’s probably debatable, too.