Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball History Today: October 23rd

Usually, I take the events I compile for these posts and take the most recent and work back. Cannot do that today.

The most significant transaction in baseball history occurred on this date in 1945. Branch Rickey of the Dodgers announces the signing of Jackie Robinson. The signing of the 26-year-old Robinson would pave the way for integration in baseball. Robinson would spend one season in the minors before landing a spot on the Dodgers Opening Day roster in 1947.

The historical and social significance of Robinson’s signing still resounds today as teams honor Robinson every April 15 on Jackie Robinson Day by donning uniforms all with the number 42. With Mariano Rivera‘s retirement, no MLB player will ever have that number. Here’s more about Robinson’s legacy and impact on baseball.

In other events that happened on October 23rd…

Only one year ago, the Miami Marlins, one season after a name change (from Florida to Miami) and a new skipper, bring an end to the Ozzie Guillen era as Guillen is fired as manager. With three years and $7.5 million remaining on his contract, the Marlins front office was not only disturbed with the excessive payroll with little results (a last place finish in the NL East with a disappointing 69-93 record), but Guillen’s “antics”.

Guillen had infuriated the fanbase when an article emerged in which Guillen praised Fidel Castro. The Marlins manager also had run-ins with his “closer” Heath Bell (who would be traded to Arizona) and even had a confrontation with Nationals rookie phenom Bryce Harper.

Maybe the last straw came when Guillen noted that the only reason to see a Marlins game was due to the talent of Giancarlo Stanton.

1998 – The Los Angeles Dodgers hire Davey Johnson as the team’s manager. Despite success in three other stops which produced first place finishes or playoff appearances, Johnson was unable to do so in LA. Granted, he was there only two seasons.

1993 – Two words: Joe Carter

1974 – The Chicago Cubs trade the beloved Billy Williams to the Oakland Athletics. In exchange for the future Hall of Famer, the Cubs receive Manny Trillo, Darold Knowles and Bob Locker.

Notable Birthdays:

Jim Bunning (1931)
John Lackey (1978)

Tags: Brooklyn Dodgers Chicago Cubs Jackie Robinson Los Angeles Dodgers Miami Marlins Toronto Blue Jays

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