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January 03, 1923

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On January 3, 1923, the New York Yankees steal another standout player from the Boston Red Sox, acquiring pitcher Herb Pennock for three marginal players and $50,000 in cash. Known as “The Knight of Kenneth Square,” Pennock will win 19 games in 1923, 21 games in 1924, 23 games in 1926, and 19 games in 1927.

January 03, 1920

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On January 3, 1920, terms of the recent sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees are publicly revealed. Boston Red Sox’ owner Harry Frazee will receive $125,000 in cash and $300,000 in loans. The news draws the further wrath of angry Red Sox fans who are already upset that Frazee sold one of the team’s best players.

January 04, 1936

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On January 4, 1936, the Boston Red Sox acquire outfielder Doc Cramer and Eric “Boob” McNair from the Philadelphia A’s for Henry Johnson, Al Niemiec and $75,000. The transaction completes the December 10th trade that sent future Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx to the Red Sox.

January 05, 1957

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On January 5, 1957, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers officially announces his retirement, voiding a recent trade to the rival New York Giants. In December, the Dodgers had dealt Robinson to the Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000. Giants vice-president Charles Feeney had offered Robinson a $60,000 contract. Citing problems with his legs, Robinson decides to call it quits.

December 27, 1984

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On December 27, 1984, the New York Yankees sign free agent Ed Whitson to a five-year contract worth nearly $4.5 million. Whitson, who went 14-8 for the San Diego Padres, will regret his decision to play in the Bronx. In 1986, Whitson will struggle so badly at Yankee Stadium that manager Lou Piniella will refuse to use him in home games.

December 28, 1957

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On December 28, 1957, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds exchange well-known first basemen. The Pirates acquire slugger Ted Kluszewski, known for wearing cut-off sleeves to accommodate his bulging biceps. In exchange, the Bucs surrender Dee Fondy, who batted .313 in 1957 while splitting the season between the Pirates and the Chicago Cubs.

December 23, 1958

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On December 23, 1958, the Philadelphia Phillies acquire infielder Sparky Anderson from the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Rip Repulski and two other players. Anderson won’t do much as a player, but will win three World Championships as a manager.

December 23, 1905

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On December 23, 1905, the Philadelphia A’s sell veteran third baseman Lave Cross to the Washington Senators. Cross had spent the last five seasons with the A’s.

December 23, 1981

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On December 23, 1981, the New York Yankees sign outfielder-first baseman Dave Collins to a free agent contract. Collins, who stole 79 bases for the Cincinnati Reds in 1979, will end up a bust in New York and will be traded after one season.

December 23, 1995

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On December 23, 1995, the St. Louis Cardinals sign a pair of free agents: outfielder Ron Gant and pitcher Andy Benes. Gant hit 29 home runs and stole 23 bases for the Cincinnati Reds, and Benes won 11 games while splitting his season between San Diego and Seattle. Benes will join younger brother Alan in St. Louis’ rotation.
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