March 20 This Day in Baseball . . .
1937 - Josh Gibson and Judy Johnson‚ two future Hall of Famers‚ are traded to the Homestead Grays for two journeyman players and $2‚500. The transaction is called the biggest deal in Negro baseball history.
1973: Roberto Clemente becomes the first Hispanic American to gain election to the Hall of Fame. The Baseball Writers Association of Americaannounces the results of a special ballot, with Clemente receiving 393 of 424 votes. Clemente died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve. In light of his tragic death, the Hall's Board of Directors waived the five-year waiting period that is normally required before a player is eligible for election. A 12-time All-Star, Clemente batted .317 and won a dozen Gold Gloves over an 18-year career, and batted .362 in World Series play. Named National League MVP in 1966, he was voted the outstanding player in the 1971 World Series, when the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles in seven games.
1984 - Hall of Fame pitcher Stan Coveleski dies in South Bend, Indiana, at the age of 94. Coveleski pitched for the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators and New York Yankees over a 14-season career, winning 215 games, which included five 20-win seasons.
Excerpt from Coveleski's biography - Using a fluttering spitball that dove sharply and broke inside on lefties and righties, Stan Coveleski helped two unlikely teams to the World Series. He won three games in the 1920 Series — the first championship for Cleveland, and in 1925 he helped the Senators to the World Series in his first year with that club, winning 20 games. He consistently topped 275 innings pitched and was a valuable pitcher well into his mid-thirties. Coveleski learned the spitter while in the minors in 1913-1915, earning a permanent spot in the big leagues in 1916 when the Indians bought his contract. A longtime resident of South Bend, Indiana, the ballfield in that college town bears his name.He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969. Read the rest of his biography
1989 - The commissioner's office announces that Reds manager Pete Rose is under investigation for unnamed "serious allegations."
2006: Scoring four runs in the first inning with only one ball hit out of the infield and four more in the ninth without an extra-base hit, Japandefeats Cuba, 10 - 6, to win the first World Baseball Classic. A sellout crowd of 42,696 packs PETCO Park for the finale to the 2 1/2-week tournament that fulfilled the expectations of its organizers. Starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who defeated Cuba in the 2004 Olympics, earns his third victory and is named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Cuba's Ormari Romero also comes in 2-0, but retires only one of four batters before being yanked in favor of Vicyohandri Odelin in the first inning.