In front of a reported crowd of over 10,000 spectators, the champion Atlantics defeat the Charter Oak Club, 36-27 on a game played on frozen Litchfield Pond in South Brooklyn. The players, wearing ice skates, were permitted to glide pass the bases, which were painted on the frozen surface.
The first recorded version (Columbia Graphophone Grand, #9649) of the poem Casey at the Bat, vocalized by recording pioneer Russell Hunting, is released. The more well-known rendition of Earnest Thayer’s work, the one popularized by DeWolfe Hopper, will not be heard by the public until 1906.
Hall of Fame hurler John Clarkson, a 326-game winner, dies from pneumonia at the age of 47. The right-hander pitched for the Worcester Ruby Legs (1882), Chicago White Stockings (1884-1887), Boston Beaneaters (1888-1892), and the Cleveland Spiders (1892-1894).
The American League announces its plans to test automatic intentional walks during spring training. The concept will not be used in the major leagues, but will be implemented over time for use in some youth leagues and scholastic teams.
In memory of the Hall of Fame hurler who died last year, the Cy Young Memorial Award is established to honor the outstanding major league pitcher of the year. The first recipient will be Don Newcombe, who will post a 27-7 record along with an ERA of 3.06 for the Dodgers next season.
Although the top 13 vote-getters will eventually be inducted, the BBWAA doesn't elect a Hall of Fame candidate for the fifth time in 24 years. The fact no one receives the necessary 75 percent to be selected may be more of reflection of too many qualified candidates splintering the vote, rather than the lack of a player on the ballot deserving recognition.
Mayor Robert Wagner signs a bill that officially changes the name the of the stadium being constructed in Queens to William A. Shea Municipal Stadium, honoring the New York lawyer who was instrumental in obtaining a National League team for the Big Apple. The ballpark, formerly known as Flushing Meadows Stadium, will serve as the Mets home from 1964 to 2008.
Bowie Kuhn, a compromise candidate elected to an interim one-year term after the owners cannot overcome the stalemate between the NL's strong support of Giants vice president Chub Feeney and the AL's staunch choice of Yankee president Michael Burke, becomes baseball's fifth commissioner, a position he will hold until 1984. The 42 year-old former National League attorney, a future Hall of Famer for the role he will play during a turbulent time in the game, replaces William Eckert, who was forced to resign after serving only three years of his seven-year term.
Bob Gibson, appearing as a guest of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, shares with the nationwide audience, using carefully chosen words, that the Major League Baseball Players' Association has suggested that the union members consider striking prior to the start of the regular season. The Cardinals’ ace also reveals, in addition to seeking increased contributions by the owners to the players' pension and insurance funds, the MLBPA is seeking maintenance of the same and an ongoing percentage of the growing television revenues.
Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces former Negro League players will have a separate wing in the Hall of Fame. Due to the controversy the plan causes, the concept is quickly discarded, and the inclusion of the former black players into the regular Hall of Fame will continue to be a more fitting honor.
Federal judge John W. Oliver of the United States district court for Western Missouri upholds Peter Seitz's arbitration ruling which made Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally free agents. The Dodger and Expos pitchers challenged the reserve clause by playing, but not signing their contracts, contending they were now free to sign with another team for next season, negating the owners' belief that the one-year contracts were perpetually renewed.
The Yankees obtain third baseman Toby Harrah and minor leaguer Rick Brown from the Indians for Dan Boitano, rookie outfielder Otis Nixon, and minor leaguer Guy Elston. The team's new third baseman will hit just .217 in the one season he plays for the Bronx Bombers, but Nixon will go on to have a solid 17-year major league career, leaving the game in 1999 with a lifetime batting average of .270.
The St. Petersburg Pelicans defeat the Palm Beach Tropics to win the first Senior Professional Baseball Association Championship, 12-4. Former major leaguers Steve Kemp and Lamar Johnson go deep for the newly crowned champs.
The twelve Hall of Fame board of directors vote unanimously to accept the proposal presented last month by a special committee that excludes any player placed on the permanently ineligible list fromconsideration for enshrinement. The decision will prevent Pete Rose's name from being placed on the HOF ballot.
The Minnesota Supreme Court refuses to consider an appeal of an injunction that forces the Twins to fulfill their Metrodome lease in 2002. The decision puts an end of any possibility of contraction in major league baseball for this season.
The Cardinals and Albert Pujols, avoiding an arbitration hearing, agree to a $100 million, seven-year deal. The 24 year-old slugging first baseman/outfielder (.359, 43, 124) was the runner-up to Barry Bonds of the Giants in the National League's MVP voting.
The Cubs, needing to fill the void created by the departure of Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou, sign an arbitration-eligible Aramis Ramirez (.318, 36, 103) to an $8.95 million, one-year contract. The 26 year-old third baseman will be selected to the National League All-Star team this season.
A dentist, who became partially blind after being struck attempting to catch a foul ball, is appealing his case in which he alleges the Phillies need to do more to protect fans. The case, dismissed by a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge citing that multiple warnings were made by the club, including public address announcements, text on the back of the ticket, and posted signs in the ballpark, will now be heard in the state’s Commonwealth Court.
Curtis Granderson (.302, 23, 74) and the Tigers come to terms on a five-year contract which includes a club option for 2013 worth $30.25 million. The 26 year-old outfielder last season became the third player in major league history, joining Willie Mays and Frank Schulte, to swipe 20 bases, and hit at least 20 homers, 20 triples, and 20 doubles.
Brian Bannister and the Royals avoid salary arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal valued at $1,737,500. The right-hander, who was 9-16 with a 5.76 ERA in 32 starts for Kansas City in his sophomore season, placed third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2007 after being obtained from the Mets forfor Ambiorix Burgos.
Justin Verlander and the Tigers finalized an $80 million, five-year deal that keeps the talented hurler in the Motor City until 2014. The 26 year-old right-hander has compiled a 65-43 record along with a 3.92 ERA during his first four years in the major leagues, all with Detroit.
The Diamondbacks announce the contracts of general manager Kevin Towers and skipper Kirk Gibson have been extended, but do not disclose the length and financial terms that were given. The extensions prevent the club’s brain trust from being lame ducks, with both men having just a year remaining on their current deal with Arizona, which they signed after the team’s 2011 National League West championship season.
Sarah Hudek, daughter of former major leaguer, All-Star right-hander John Hudek, announces she has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Louisiana’s Bossier Parish Community College, making her one of the first females to ever compete at the collegiate level. The 5-foot-10, 150-pound teenage southpaw, whose fastball has been clocked at 82 mph, is as good as, or even better than, some of the males on the team, according to BPCC coach Aaron Vorachek.
Carlos Delgado, who enjoyed eight consecutive 30-homer seasons with the Blue Jays, while becoming the team's all-time leader in home runs (336), RBIs (1,058), and runs (889) will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in June. The Class of 2015 will also feature former Canadian players Corey Koskie and Matt Stairs, longtime Montreal Expos skipper Felipe Alou, along with Toronto Sun columnist Bob Elliott, recipient of the 2012 Spink Award given by the National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.