1919 January

3rd The Giants pick up catcher Earl Smith from Rochester for a stiff price: they send outfielders Joe Wilhoit and Bill Kelly, 1B Joe Rodriguez, and pitchers Jack Ogden and Waite Hoyt in exchange. Hoyt got into just one game for the Giants, but will develop into a Hall of Fame pitcher.

14th  John McGraw, Charles A. Stoneham, and Tammany politician Judge Francis X. McQuade buy controlling interest in the Giants from the John Brush estate. Having drawn just 265,000 fans in 1918, the club is sold at a bargain price. The three will spend many days in courtrooms fighting among themselves, and fending off government charges about Stoneham’s business practices.

17th Washington sends C Eddie Ainsmith and P George Dumont to the Red Sox for 2B Hal Janvrin and cash. The Red Sox then pack Ainsmith, P Slim Love (acquired a month earlier in the Ernie Shore trade with the Yankees), and Chick Shorten off to Detroit for infielder Ossie Vitt, who had been crowded out by Bobby Jones. Ainsmith will be stay just a short time in the Motor City before the Tigers waive him the Cardinals, who in turn will waive the hard-drinking backstop to Brooklyn in 1923. Needing a catcher Washington acquires the veteran Sam Agnew from the Red Sox. Agnew will play in 36 games for the Nationals before going to the San Francisco Seals (PCL) where he will play another 8 seasons.

21st  The Phils should’ve taken the car instead, The Cardinals trade Doug Baird, Stuffy Stewart and Gene Packard to the Phillies for Dixie Davis, Pickles Dilhoefer and Milt Stock. Baird makes it to July before he’s traded, Stewart will have a cup of coffee, in 1922, and Packard hits .137 before the tires come off. Stock will have 4 solid years with the Birds, and Dixie will spend 7 seasons in St. Louis—with the Browns.

26th  The Cardinals’ board of directors votes to pay off the contract of manager Jack Hendricks. Team president Branch Rickey assumes the managerial role as well, with no increase in salary.

30th  The Reds hire Pat Moran as manager when no word is received from manager Christy Mathewson, who is still in France. Moran will direct the Reds to their first NL pennant.

The Braves acquire INF Lena Blackburne from the Reds for OF Wally Rehg.

The Hal Chase trial begins in New York. Chase brought suit against Cincinnati for payment of salary due him while he was suspended in August 1918. He denies charges of throwing games.