1947 January

18th The Pirates buy 1B Hank Greenberg from the Tigers for a reported $25,000 to $35,000 (The Baseball Encyclopedia lists $75,000). The veteran Greenberg led the AL in HRs with 44 in 1946 and the Pirates will pair him with young slugger Ralph Kiner, the NL home run leader. Greenberg himself, in his 1989 autobiography with Ira Berkow, relates the following salary discussion with John Galbreath of the Pirates: “I (Greenberg) said, What am I going to get paid?”

“He said, ‘You’ll get paid whatever you want.’”

“I said I wanted $100,000, and he said, ‘You got it.’”

“I told Mr. Galbreath that since I was getting a salary of $75,000 from Detroit, I would like to get a salary of $40,000 from Pittsburgh, and I would like to buy $74,000 worth of stock in the Pittsburgh club. Then, at the end of the year, I wanted him to buy the stock back for $134,000, so I’d pay a capital gain tax on the $60,000 and income tax on the $40,000. He agreed to that, too.”

20th Famed Negro League slugger Josh Gibson, arguably the greatest slugger ever, dies of a brain tumor at age 35.

21st Bob Feller signs for “more than $80,000,” according to Cleveland owner Bill Veeck.

Dodger manager Leo Durocher marries actress Lorraine Day, after she obtains a Mexican divorce.

A rule change that allows voting only for players after 1921 produces 4 new Hall of Famers: Carl Hubbell, Frank Frisch, Mickey Cochrane, and Lefty Grove. Pie Traynor misses selection by 2 votes.

25th Five Evangeline League (Class D) players are made ineligible for allegedly betting on 1946 playoff games. The group includes P Bill Thomas (35-7 for Houma, LA, in 47 appearances), who is still the all-time win leader in the minors (with 383), 2 Houma teammates, and the Houma manager. Thomas protested, pointing out that he was 5-0 in the playoffs. He and Len Pecou will be reinstated in 1949. Thomas will win 26 games in 1950 for teams in the Evangeline and Rio Grande Valley leagues.