1928 January

4th  The Yankees buy SS Lyn Lary and IF Jimmy Reese from Oakland (Pacific Coast League) for a reported $150,000.

5th  PCL owners agree to a split schedule beginning in 1928. Oakland, winners of 120 games in 1927, will finish 6th in the first half of the season, then move up to 4th. San Francisco will win the first half (58-34) and tie for the second half (62-37) with Sacramento.

9th The Giants sign Chinese-Hawaiian infielder William “Buck” Lai, to a major league contract. Lai had been signed by the Pirates in 1918 but never appeared in a game, and since then has played in the minors and for the semipro Brooklyn Bushwicks. Alas, he’ll be on the Giants for a month but never appear in a game (as noted by Bob Timmerman).

10th  After unsuccessful attempts to engineer a trade with Chicago, Cincinnati and Brooklyn, Giants owner Charles Stoneham announces “that in the best interests of the team” he has traded Rogers Hornsby to the Braves for a young catcher Shanty Hogan and journeyman OF Jimmy Welsh. Stoneham was not a fan of Hornsby abrasive style as fill-in manager for McGraw this past season, and thought that Hornsby welched on gambling debts. Hornsby was sued by a gambler, but in a civil case decided the previous December 21st in Missouri, where gambling is illegal, was found not liable.

14th  Alfred J. Reach, founder of the A. J. Reach sporting goods firm, dies at 87. Before 1860, he became the first ballplayer to receive a regular salary when he signed as a catcher with the Philadelphia Athletics for $25 a week.

25th  Tris Speaker, is released by Washington, and will sign up with the A’s.

29th  In Venezuela, the Crisfield (Maryland) Crabbers, 1927 champions of the Eastern Shore League (class D), play the inaugural game in the Estadio San Agustin, losing 3-1 to Santa Maria. Future major leaguer Paul Richards is in the lineup for the Crabbers. Crisfield will win tomorrow, 9-4, with Charles Lindbergh, in attendance. (as noted by Milton Jamail in Venezuelan Bust, Venezuelan Boom).