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. As a 15-year old, the future Hall of Famer lost four toes on his left foot in a mining accident in Coalton, Illinois .
The Tigers trade first baseman Rudy York to the Red Sox for infielder Eddie Lake. Lake will replace Skeeter Webb at shortstop, having two solid defensive years with Detroit before a broken finger relegates him to a utility role on the team, and York's offensive output, which includes 119 RBIs, will help to propel Boston to the American League pennant.
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".
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 Pirate skipper will manage for two years in New York, he will never win a game at Yankee Stadium because the Bronx Bombers will play their home games at Shea due to renovations at the stadium.
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. Her contract will not be renewed at the end of the season.
University of Arizona standout Terry Franconia wins the Golden Spike 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 when he helped the Wildcats capture the National Championship.
While being driven to the airport by his brother Billy, Tony Conigliaro, four days shy of his 37th birthday, suffers a massive heart attack and shortly afterward lapses into a coma following a stroke. The former Red Sox outfielder, who had been in Boston to interview for a broadcasting job with the team, will remain unresponsive until his death in 1990.
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 if Arizona and the outfielder can come 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 if 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 they have 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 Yankees, will fill the void created in December when Cleveland traded Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati as part of a three-team trade.