The secret deal made on December 26 to sell Babe Ruth to New York for $125,000 (twice the amount ever paid previously for a player) is announced publicly. Harry Frazee, the cash-strapped owner of the Red Sox, also secures a $300,000 loan from the Yankees as part of the deal.
In a surprising move, Uncle Sam decides to draft 37 year-old Yankee right-hander Red Ruffing into the Army, where he will be assigned to non-combative duty, tossing baseballs and leading the troops physical fitness training. The future Hall of Famer lost four toes on his left foot in a mining accident in Coalton, Illinois as a 15 year-old.
The Tigers trade first baseman Rudy York to the Red Sox for infielder Eddie Lake, who will replace current shortstop Skeeter Webb with two solid defensive years before a broken finger relegates him to a utility role on the team. Boston's new first baseman offensive output, which includes 119 RBIs, will help to propel the club an American League pennant this season.
Frank 'Trader' Lane assumes the post as the Kansas City A's general manager and executive vice president. The former GM of the Indians will be best remembered by Cleveland fans for his controversial swap last season of popular outfielder Rocky Colavito to the Tigers in exchange for Harvey Kuenn.
Adjacent to Colt Stadium, where the Colt .45s will play the first three seasons of their existence, construction begins on the Harris County Domed Stadium. The ballpark, the first enclosed ‘outdoor sport’ venue, will become known as the Astrodome, and will be dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World".
"There is nothing in life quite so limited as being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner." - Yankees minority owner John McMullen
Heading a limited partnership that includes Lester Crown, John DeLorean, and Nelson Bunker Hunt, George Steinbrenner, a Tampa ship builder, purchases the Yankees from CBS. 'The Boss' will become a well-known owner due to his pursuit of expensive talent, well-publicized feuds with players and baseball's brass, and the frequent firing of GMs and managers.
The Yankees sign Bill Virdon as the team's manager. Although the former Pirates skipper will manage New York for two years, he will never win a game at Yankee Stadium because the club will play their home games at Shea Stadium while renovations are being made at Bronx ballpark.
Joining Harry Caray, Jimmy Piersall, and Lorn Brown in the White Sox broadcast booth, Mary Shane becomes the first female announcer to do play-by-play for a major league team on a regular basis. The contract of the hard-working pioneer, but inexperienced broadcaster, will not be renewed at the end of the season by owner Bill Veeck.
University of Arizona standout Terry Francona wins the Golden Spikes Award, an honor given to the nation's most outstanding amateur player by the U.S. Baseball Federation. The 21 year-old southpaw-swinging collegiate outfielder/first baseman, who was signed by the Expos, was selected by the NCAA as the College World Series MVP last season after helping the Wildcats capture the National Championship.
The Astros sign free-agent hurler Kent Bottenfield to a one-year contract. The 32 year-old right-hander, who started last season with the Angels after being traded by the Cardinals with Adam Kennedy for Jim Edmonds, will post a 2-5 record for Houston in his last season in the big leagues.
Bud Selig okays the trade which will send Shawn Green to the Diamondbacks, dependent on the team and the outfielder coming to terms on a contract extension within 72 hours. The commissioner’s approval is necessary because the Dodgers will pay $8 million to help offset Green’s current contract when the deal is finalized.
Commissioner Bud Selig approves the potential trade of Diamondback southpaw Randy Johnson to the Yankees in exchange for Javier Vazquez, Dioner Navarro, Brad Halsey, and $9 million. Arizona will likely include Navarro and much of the cash to the Dodgers to obtain Shawn Green, another deal approved today by the commissioner’s office.
Hoping to make the team appeal to a broader marketplace, the Angels announce the franchise will now be known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Officials from Anaheim likely will file a lawsuit to block the change, believing the new name violates the terms of the team's 33-year lease with the city.
Continuing to deal established players, the A's trade outfielder Nick Swisher, a fan favorite, to the White Sox for minor leaguer hurlers Gio Gonzalez and Fautino De Los Santos and fly chaser Ryan Sweeney. Two weeks ago, the club dealt front-line pitcher Dan Haren to the Diamondbacks for another threesome of promising prospects.
The Indians formally announce the team has signed free-agent Nick Swisher to a four-year deal, reported to be worth $56 million that also includes an additional $14 million option for a fifth season. The switch-hitting right fielder, who spent the past four seasons with the Yankees, will fill the void created in December when Cleveland traded Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati as part of a three-team trade.