From BR Bullpen
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Events, births and deaths that occurred on December 27.
- 1874 - The first documented baseball game in Cuba takes place in a field known as Palmar de Junco, in the province of Matanzas. In the match, called after seven innings due to darkness, the Habana team defeated that of Matanzas with the unbalanced score of 51 to 9 runs.
- 1919 - One day after secretly working out a deal to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee says his team will deal any player except Harry Hooper. But Hooper will be sent to the Chicago White Sox after the 1920 season.
- 1939 - The New York Giants obtain infielder Mickey Witek from the Newark Bears in exchange for infielder Alex Kampouris, catcher Tom Padden and $40,000 in cash. New York has high hopes for Witek, who was named the 1939 Most Valuable Player in the International League.
- 1941 - The Boston Braves mascot, Chief Nokahoma, adopted today, is considered by many as an aberration of a Natchez Native American and misrepresented in Plains Indians headdress.
- 1955 - Tetsuya Yoneda, a high school prospect, is signed by the Hanshin Tigers amidst objections from the Hankyu Braves. Hankyu winds up with the future star hurler in the dispute
- 1967 - Boston Red Sox pitching star Jim Lonborg undergoes surgery on his left knee, four days after a skiing accident. Lonborg, who won a career-high 22 games for the Red Sox during their "Impossible Dream" season, will struggle to regain his pitching form.
- 1972 - Roberto Clemente's final home run comes on his final swing during a batting demonstration in front of "300 admiring kids during a baseball clinic at the town of Aguadilla," reports United Press International, according to whom Clemente hits "the fifth pitch about 350 feet out of left field at the local park." Clemente's fellow Pirate and fellow Puerto Rican Fernando Gonzalez is on hand and his recollections will later be recorded by Clemente biographer Kal Wagenheim: "That day in Aguadilla, he spent the whole afternoon under the sun – giving a clinic for the kids. At one point he was giving batting pointers, and there was a kid – about eighteen years old – pitching to him. The people in the stands kept yelling, 'Roberto, bet you can't hit a homer!' Finally, on the last pitch, he smacked the ball right out of the stadium. He gave the kid the bat as a souvenir, and somebody else got the ball. Afterward, they erected a small monument to mark the spot where the ball fell. I think that was the last time Roberto swung a bat, and he hit a home run."
- 1984 - Free agent pitcher Ed Whitson, who went 14-8 for the National League champion San Diego Padres, begins a nightmarish association with the New York Yankees by signing a five-year $4.4 million contract. By the middle of his second year with the club, Whitson gets so rattled in Yankee Stadium that manager Lou Piniella will refuse to use him in home games. He can only pitch on the road. The Yankees will ship him back to San Diego, where he will have four solid seasons.
- 1994 - The Chiba Lotte Marines of the Pacific League announce that Julio Franco, Pete Incaviglia and Eric Hillman have been signed to contracts. Incaviglia and Hillman will play for their countryman Bobby Valentine, who in 2005 will become the first foreign manager to win the Japan Series.
- 1995 - Hall of Fame umpire Al Barlick dies at the age of 80 in Springfield, Illinois. Known for his decisiveness and hustle, Barlick worked National League games from 1940 to 1972, and gained election to the Hall in 1989.
- After 21 years being heard on WABC, the New York Yankees will broadcast their spring training, regular-season and postseason games on all-news station WCBS-AM which is owned by Infinity Broadcasting. The five-year deal with the Yankees' YES Network, created earlier this year, is worth approximately $50 million.
- The New York Mets continue to stay busy this off-season, acquiring slugging first baseman Mo Vaughn from the Anaheim Angels in exchange for starter Kevin Appier and cash. Vaughn will join Roberto Alomar, Roger Cedeño, and Shawn Estes as the newest members of the Shea Squad.
- The San Diego Padres sign free agent relief pitcher Alan Embree to a one-year contract.
- 2002 - The Mets sign free agent shortstop Rey Sanchez to a contract.
- 2004 - Free agent OF Moises Alou, who hit .293 with 39 home runs and 106 RBI for the Chicago Cubs, is signed by the San Francisco Giants to a one-year contract with an option for a second year. It will be the second time Alou will be managed by his dad Felipe as he did playing with the Montreal Expos from 1992 to 1996.
- 2012 - OF Hideki Matsui announces his retirement at a press conference in New York, NY. He had hit .304 with 332 home runs as a three-time MVP during his prime in Japan, then added 175 homers, a World Series MVP awars and a .282 average winding down his career in the US.
- 2013 - The Angels sign veteran OF Raul Ibanez, a long-time nemesis at age 41, to a one-year contract.
- 1861 - Ervin Curtis, outfielder (d. 1945)
- 1862 - Ducky Hemp, outfielder (d. 1923)
- 1864 - Bill Bishop, pitcher (d. 1932)
- 1873 - Pete Lamer, catcher (d. 1931)
- 1873 - Tom Thomas, pitcher (d. 1942)
- 1876 - Charlie Carr, infielder (d. 1932)
- 1876 - Sam Woodruff, infielder (d. 1937)
- 1888 - George Textor, catcher (d. 1954)
- 1890 - Ernie Krueger, catcher (d. 1976)
- 1895 - Lee Ballanfant, umpire (d. 1987)
- 1897 - Jackie Tavener, infielder (d. 1969)
- 1904 - John Shea, pitcher (d. 1956)
- 1912 - Marlin Carter, Negro League infielder (d. 1993)
- 1912 - Jim Tobin, pitcher; All-Star (d. 1969)
- 1913 - Red Lynn, pitcher (d. 1977)
- 1916 - Charlie Brewster, infielder (d. 2000)
- 1917 - Herb Karpel, pitcher (d. 1995)
- 1920 - Dutch McCall, pitcher (d. 1996)
- 1922 - Connie Johnson, pitcher (d. 2004)
- 1927 - Silvano Sojat, Serie A1 umpire; Italian Baseball Hall of Fame
- 1930 - Norm Larker, infielder; All-Star (d. 2007)
- 1935 - Franco Ludovisi, Serie A1 pitcher and coach; Italian Baseball Hall of Fame
- 1937 - Bobby Klaus, infielder
- 1941 - Phil Gagliano, infielder
- 1942 - Byron Browne, outfielder
- 1943 - Roy White, outfielder; All-Star
- 1949 - Chico Escarrega, pitcher
- 1951 - Randy Bruns, minor league umpire
- 1952 - Mark Budaska, designated hitter
- 1952 - Craig Reynolds, infielder; All-Star
- 1955 - Gary Weiss, infielder
- 1962 - Mark Howie, minor league infielder (d. 2007)
- 1963 - Jim Leyritz, catcher
- 1965 - Tom Marsh, outfielder
- 1967 - Wes Grisham, minor league outfielder
- 1968 - Kevin O'Sullivan, college coach
- 1968 - Dean Palmer, infielder; All-Star
- 1972 - Mike Busby, pitcher
- 1973 - Raul Gonzalez, outfielder
- 1973 - Georgios Pipergias, Greek national team player
- 1974 - Nate Bland, pitcher
- 1975 - Jeff D'Amico, pitcher
- 1980 - Jason Repko, outfielder
- 1981 - David Aardsma, pitcher
- 1982 - Michael Bourn, outfielder; All-Star
- 1982 - Matt Campbell, minor league pitcher
- 1982 - Carlos Duran, minor league outfielder
- 1982 - Chris Gimenez, minor league player
- 1982 - Micah Schilling, minor league player
- 1982 - Teppei Tsuchiya, NPB outfielder
- 1983 - Cole Hamels, pitcher; All-Star
- 1986 - Steven Hensley, minor league pitcher
- 1986 - Stephen Shults, minor league infielder
- 1987 - Michael Bando, minor league infielder
- 1988 - Rick Porcello, pitcher
- 1988 - Addison Reed, pitcher
- 1991 - Kerlys Pérez, Venezuelan womens' national team pitcher
- 1992 - Stijn Janssens, First Division catcher
- 1898 - John Sneed, outfielder
- 1907 - Jim Andrews, outfielder (b. 1865)
- 1916 - Freeman Brown, manager (b. 1845)
- 1919 - Jerry Hurley, catcher (b. 1875)
- 1920 - Harvey Cushman, pitcher (b. 1877)
- 1928 - George Meister, infielder (b. 1854)
- 1932 - Andy Piercy, infielder (b. 1854)
- 1932 - Pop Schriver, catcher (b. 1865)
- 1933 - Fritz Buelow, catcher (b. 1876)
- 1945 - Gene Cocreham, pitcher (b. 1884)
- 1945 - Cy Swaim, pitcher (b. 1874)
- 1948 - Marv Peasley, pitcher (b. 1889)
- 1951 - Ernie Lindemann, pitcher (b. 1878)
- 1955 - Bill Byron, umpire (b. 1872)
- 1955 - Jim Fairbank, pitcher (b. 1881)
- 1956 - Hob Hiller, infielder (b. 1893)
- 1962 - Jake Flowers, infielder (b. 1902)
- 1964 - Art Phelan, infielder (b. 1887)
- 1965 - Bob Smith, pitcher (b. 1890)
- 1967 - Paul Lehner, outfielder (b. 1920)
- 1972 - Lester B. Pearson, politician; Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (b. 1897)
- 1975 - Lou Lowdermilk, pitcher (b. 1887)
- 1976 - Press Cruthers, infielder (b. 1890)
- 1982 - Harry Kingman, infielder (b. 1892)
- 1986 - Jack Wallaesa, infielder (b. 1919)
- 1995 - Al Barlick Hall of Famer (b. 1915)
- 1995 - Oscar Judd, pitcher; All-Star (b. 1908)
- 1996 - Gene Brabender, pitcher (b. 1941)
- 2001 - John Hoffman, catcher (b. 1943)
- 2003 - Ivan Calderon, outfielder; All-Star (b. 1962)
- 2004 - Ernest Groth, pitcher (b. 1922)