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.
Charlie O. 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 Cuban natives Martin Dihigo and slugging shortstop John Henry "Pop" Lloyd. Dihigo, who played all nine positions, will also be honored in Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.
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.
For the second time, minor league catcher Angel Rodriguez is suspended from organized baseball for tipping off opposing Latin American batters of the upcoming pitch about to be thrown.
The Expos trade top reliever Jeff Reardon and catcher Tom Nieto to the Twins for pitcher Neal Heaton, catcher Jeff Reed and two minor leaguers.
Bill White is chosen to be the president of the National League, replacing Bart Giametti, 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.
After rejecting a three-year, $7.8 million offer to stay with the Dodgers, Jody Reed 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 replace recently resigned general manager Bob Watson with Brian Cashman. In 1996, during Watson's brief tenure, the Bronx Bombers win their first World Series since 1978.
After 16 years of doing local telecasts, the Mets do not ask Tim McCarver to return to the broadcast booth. Tom Seaver will replace the highly regarded broadcaster and will assume other duties within the organization.
Yankee catcher Jorge Posada (.277, 22, 95) signs a five-year contract with the club. Terms are not announced, but the Bronx Bomber backstop was asking for $7.75 million in arbitration which would make the 30-year-old the second best paid receiver in baseball history.
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 LivŠn (Marlins, 1997) and Orlando HernŠndez (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, havenít won a league game since 1988, a span of 463 contests.