Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day in Baseball History

It is Leap Day.  Since today only happens once every four years, one is curious if there has been any significant moments in baseball history.  The biggest news item happened back in 1972 when Hank Aaron signed then the richest deal in baseball with the Braves.  The contract was for 3 years/$600,000 and thus keeping him in the Braves uniform for his record breaking 715th home run in 1974.

There has a been a few deaths and about a dozen births of former Major League players.  I will elaborate on a couple Leap Day births.
1933 Goudey

"Pepper" Martin was a star outfielder and third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals (1928-1944).  His hustling style of play drew him comparisons to Ty Cobb and gave him the nickname Wild Horse of the Osage.  Due to his aggressive play and subsequent injuries, Martin never really fulfilled his potential.
Martin was a key member of the Cardinals' Gashouse Gang that won two World Series titles (1931 and 1934).  Martin has a MLB best career World Series batting average of .414.   Martin's other accomplishments include leading the league in stolen bases three times and playing in four All Star games.
1951 Bowman

Al Rosen was one of the top third basemen in the American League during his career (1947-56).  After serving in the Navy during World War II, Rosen began his MLB career with the Cleveland Indians.  The Cleveland Slugger led the league in home runs and runs batted in twice each.  Rosen played in four All Star games and won the AL MVP in 1953.  He also was a part of the last Indians World Series title in 1948.
After his playing day, Rosen worked in the front office.  His work as a General Manager for the San Francisco Giants led him to being named Executive of the Year in 1987.  To this day, Rosen is still the only person ever to win the MVP and Executive of the Year honors.

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