Former professional baseball player Albert Spalding begins a sporting goods company with $800. The future Hall of Famer will become the manufacturer of the first official baseball as well as the tennis ball, basketball, golf ball, and football.
College basketball player Lou Boudreau is suspended by the University of Illinois for taking illegal payments from the Indians, but the 19 year-old hoopster will go on to have a 15-year Hall of Fame career in the big leagues as a player-manager for Cleveland and the Red Sox. In addition, as a broadcaster, he will be traded to the Cubs by radio station WGN to become the team's skipper.
At a meeting to determine new guidelines necessitated by the U.S. involvement in WWII, the major league owners vote to allow each club to play 14 night games, with the Senators allocated 21 due to the large number of government workers located in Washington, D.C. Metro area. The regulation includes a provision that no inning will start after 12:50 A.M. during the evening tilts.
During the New York Baseball Writers Association meeting in New York, Walter O’Malley passes a note to Cubs owner Phil Wrigley, who controls the territorial rights to LA, offering Brooklyn’s Texas League team in Fort Worth in return for the Cubs’ Los Angeles PCL minor league franchise. The swap of farm teams, which will announced on February 21, clears the path for the Dodgers to move to the City of Angels.
Charlie Finley douses an old school bus bearing the sign "the Kansas City-to-New York shuttle" with gasoline and sets it on fire in the left field parking lot of Municipal Stadium. As the vehicle becomes engulfed in flames, the new owner of the A's tells reporters the stunt symbolizes the end of the team sending talented young players to the Yankees in exchange for major leaguers well past their prime, a practice deeply resented by the Kansas City fans.
The special Veterans Committee selects second baseman Billy Herman (Cubs, Dodgers, Braves, and Pirates), skipper Bucky Harris (Senators, Tigers, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees) and outfielder Earl Averill (Indians, Tigers, and Braves) to the Hall of Fame. An outspoken Averill had informed his family to decline the honor if he was ever to be inducted posthumously; fortunately, he was enshrined in Cooperstown eight years before his passing.
The Hall of Fame's Special Committee on the Negro Leagues, which will be dissolved with its duties being turned over to the Veterans Committee selects two Cuban natives, choosing slugging shortstop John Henry "Pop" Lloyd and Martin Dihigo, who will also be honored in Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic for his outstanding accomplishments on the field that included playing all nine positions. Pop Lloyd ended his 27-year career with a batting average of .343, while building a reputation as the greatest shortstop in the history of the Negro Leagues
Under the financial reorganization of the club, F.J. 'Steve' O'Neill, a lifelong resident of Cleveland, becomes the principal owner of the Indians. The trucking magnate was once a limited partner of the Tribe, but sold his Indians interest in the team in 1973 to become part of George Steinbrenner's syndicate that bought the Yankees.
The Twins trade perennial All-Star and batting champ Rod Carew to the Angels for outfielders Ken Landreaux and Dave Engle and pitchers Paul Hartzell and Brad Havens. The future Hall of Famer will hit .314 during his seven seasons with the Halos.
Minor league catcher Angel Rodriguez is suspended for a year by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. The Alexandria backstop, who maintains his innocence, is being penalized for tipping off opposing Latin American batters in Spanish of the upcoming pitch about to be thrown in Carolina League contests.
The Expos trade top reliever Jeff Reardon and backstop Tom Nieto to the Twins for pitcher Neal Heaton, catcher Jeff Reed, and two minor leaguers. Minnesota's new closer will average nearly 35 saves each season during his three years with club, including 42 during his All-Star campaign in 1988.
Bill White is chosen to be the president of the National League, replacing Bart Giamatti, who is leaving the post to become the commissioner of baseball. The appointment makes the former major league first baseman and Yankee broadcaster the highest ranking black executive in professional sports.
Marge Schott is suspended for one year and fined $25,000 by a committee of her major league peers for bringing "disrepute and embarrassment" to the national pastime. The 64 year-old will also be required to attend and complete multi-cultural sensitivity training programs due the numerous racial and ethnic remarks she is alleged to have made as the owner of the Reds.
Jody Reed, after rejecting a three-year, $7.8 million offer to stay with the Dodgers, agrees to a minor-league contract for undisclosed terms with the Brewers. In November, LA pulled their offer to the 31 year-old infielder, who will now go to spring training with Milwaukee as a non-roster player.
The Yankees announce Brian Cashman will replace Bob Watson, who recently resigned as the team's general manager. During Watson's brief 2+ year tenure, the Bronx Bombers won their first World Series since 1978.
After 16 years of doing local telecasts, a surprised Tim McCarver is told by the Mets he will not be returning to the team's broadcast booth. The franchise's pitching legend Tom Seaver, who was in the television booth for the Yankees from 1989 to 1993, will replace the highly regarded, but outspoken 57 year-old broadcaster.
Yankee catcher Jorge Posada (.277, 22, 95) signs a five-year, $51 million contract with a club option for a sixth season. The 30 year-old Bronx Bomber backstop, with an average annual value of more than $10 million, is the second highest among major league catchers, trailing only the receiver Mike Piazza, who signed a seven-year, $91 million deal with the Mets in 1998 that averages $13 million annually.
Eli Manning leads the Giants to an upset victory over the previously undefeated Patriots, making it the second consecutive year a Manning has been the quarterback for the victorious NFL Super Bowl team. Eli and Peyton, who QBs for the Indianapolis Colts, join a select group brothers who have won world championship games in back-to-back years that include Liván (Marlins, 1997) and Orlando Hernández (1998, Yankees), Irish (Giants, 1922) and Bob Meusel (Yankees, 1923), and Bubba (Colts, 1970) and Tody Smith (Cowboys, 1971).
Oliver Perez agrees to a $36 million, three-year deal to stay with the Mets. The 29 year-old inconsistent southpaw, who has posted a 26-20 record with New York since being obtained from Pittsburgh during the 2006 season, will be part of the team's starting rotation.
Garrett Atkins (.286, 21, 99) avoids arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Rockies. The 29 year-old third baseman's $7.05 million contract makes him the second-highest paid player on the team, trailing only Todd Helton.
Justin Verlander (11-17, 4.84) agrees to a one-year contract worth $3,675,000 to stay with the Tigers, a dramatic increase from last season. The 2006 AL Rookie of the Year's original five-year contract, which slated the right-hander for a $600,000 salary in 2009, could be terminated if he had enough service time to become eligible for arbitration.
Rickie Weeks (.234, 14, 89) avoids arbitration with the Brewers, agreeing to a $2.45 million, one-year deal. The 26 year-old second baseman, who has been injury prone over his first five seasons with the Brew Crew, can earn more with performance bonuses based on plate appearances.
Casey Kotchman and the Mariners, who recently acquired the first baseman in a trade with Boston for Bill Hall, come to terms on a one-year deal worth $3,517,500. The 26 year-old slick-fielding infielder has not made an error in his last 1,584 chances, covering a span of 185 games.
In a SRO news conference at Yankee Stadium, Andy Pettitte becomes the first 'Core of Four' teammate, a group which includes shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada, and closer Mariano Rivera, to announce his retirement. The 38 year-old southpaw, who compiled a 240-138 record during his sixteen years in the major leagues, tells the reporters, "my body would get to where it needs to be, but my heart's not where it needs to be."
In a lawsuit unsealed at a Manhattan federal bankruptcy court, Mets' owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are named in a complaint brought by the trustee for the victims of Bernie Madoff that contends they used the profits from investing in the multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme to financially support their businesses, including their ownership of the major league club, in the face of repeated warnings that the investments might be fraudulent. The possible $1 billion settlement has created speculation in the sports and banking industries that the team will be sold to meet the financial obligation.
The Cubs and Matt Garza avoid arbitration when they agree to a one-year, $9.5 million deal. The 28 year-old right-hander posted a 10-10 record along with a 3.32 earned run average last year, his first season with the team.
In front of a home crowd of 87 fans, the California Institute of Technology baseball team snaps a 228-game losing streak, beating Pacifica in a non-conference game, 9-7. The Beavers, whose last victory occurred on Feb. 15, 2003, haven’t won a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest since 1988, a span of 463 contests.