1952 January

1st Former major leaguer Hi Bithorn, 35, dies in mysterious circumstances in northern Mexico when he is shot by a policeman. The police say he was trying to sell his car, but Bithorn had $2,000 on him. A stadium in Puerto Rico will be named after Bithorn, who last pitched in the majors in 1947.

4th Ex-Reds pitcher Lee Grissom is acquitted of manslaughter charges stemming from a bar room fight on July 30, 1950 when he struck a 27-year-old truck driver. Grissom was 12–17 for the last-place Reds in 1937.

9th  As the Korean War drags on, the Marines give notice that they will recall Ted Williams to active duty. He’ll be recalled on May 1st.

16th  The U.S. Standardization Board clears the way for Stan Musial to get a salary increase to $85,000. Prior to this relaxation of the rules, there was a wage freeze in effect due to the Korean War. Under the new rules, a team is free to raise individual salaries, as long as they do not exceed a complicated formula, based on total team salaries for any one year, from 1946-50, plus 10 percent.

17th  Detroit owner Walter O. “Spike” Briggs dies at the age of 74 in Miami Beach. His son will succeed him in the presidency.

18th  The Chicago White Sox accept Vice President Charlie A. Comiskey, Jr.’s resignation. Comiskey’s request for more money was refused.

26th  Because of poor attendance, the Canadian-American League suspends operations for its 1952 season. This is one of 7 minor leagues that will not operate this year, dropping the total from 50 to 43. The Korean War military obligation is the primary reason.

31st  Harry Heilmann with 203 votes and Paul Waner with 195 become the newest members of the Hall of Fame. For Waner, it is his sixth try. The 3,000-hit players not

elected in their first year prior to Waner’s election were Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, and Napoleon Lajoie. Every other 3,000 hit player will make the Hall on their first try until Rafael Palmeiro is turned away in 2010.

The Phils settle their damage suit with former P Art Lopatka out of court. He contends that the Phils made him pitch with a fractured index finger, resulting in damage to his arm. He further contends that when he was no longer of use, the Phillies released him as damaged “goods” in 1947.

A U.S. federal jury awards Mexican owner Jorge Pasquel $35,000 for breach of contract by former Dodger star, Mickey Owen.