NFL standout Cal Hubbard becomes an American League umpire. The former Green Bay Packers offensive tackle will become the only person to be enshrined at both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame.
With a new balk rule, the hitter now has an option after the call is made. If a player gets a hit, he can accept the outcome of the pitch, instead of being only limited to the advance of the base runner(s).
Ernie Banks (.304, 45, 143) wins his second consecutive MVP award. 'Mr Cub' garners 10 of the writers' 21 first-place votes, with Eddie Mathews (5) and Hank Aaron (2) of the Braves and Dodger Wally Moon (4) names found on top of the remaining ballots.
The Cardinals trade outfielder George Altman and pitcher Bill Wakefield to the Mets for veteran right-hander Roger Craig. Next season, the hard luck hurler, who has lost 20 games the last two years, will win Game 4 of the Fall Classic, beating the Yankees, for the World Champion Redbirds.
Al Lopez resigns as the manager of the White Sox. The future Hall of Fame skipper will briefly return to the Chicago dugout to manage 47 games in 1968 and another 17 games the following season, before retiring for good.
Japan's all-time home run hitter, Sadaharu Oh, retires from professional baseball. The Tokyo Yomiuri Giants' first baseman hit a record 868 home runs in his 22-year playing career.
Phillies infielder Scott Rolen, who led all freshman players in the National League in batting average (.283), home runs (21), and RBIs (92), is the unanimous choice for the circuit's Rookie of the Year Award. The third baseman, who did not qualify as a rookie last season by one at-bat after having his wrist broken when hit by a pitch, becomes the first Philadelphia player to win the award since Dick Allen copped the honor in 1964.
In Game 7 of a classic World Series, Arizona rallies for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, defeating the Yankees and their usually unbeatable closer, Mariano Rivera, 3-2. The four year-old Diamondbacks, the youngest franchise to win a Fall Classic, ends New York's string of three consecutive World Championships.
Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling are named co-MVPs of the World Series. The Diamondback hurlers are the first multiple winners since a trio of Dodgers (Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, and Steve Yeager) shared the award in 1981.
For the first time since 1985, two twenty-game winners start Game 7 of the World Series as Yankee pitcher Rogers Clemens (20-3) faces Curt Schilling (22-6) of the Diamondbacks at Bank One Ballpark in Arizona. Sixteen years ago Bret Saberhagen (20-6) of the Royals squared off against Cardinal hurler John Tudor (21-8) in the Fall Classic finale at Kauffman Stadium.
Eric Hinske (.279, 24, 84) wins the American League Rookie of the Year award. The 25 year-old Blue Jays third baseman receives 19 of 28 first-place votes cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America with Oriole starter Rodrigo Lopez getting the other nine first-place votes.
Colorado Rockies right-hander Jason Jennings (16-6, 4.52) becomes the first member of the Rockies to be selected by the BBWAA as the National League Rookie of the Year. The 24 year-old right-hander receives 27 first-place votes from the 32 writers participating in the balloting.
Former Yankee captain Don Mattingly is named as the Bronx Bombers' hitting coach, replacing Rick Down, who did not have his contract renewed last week. The 42 year-old, who retired due to back problems, will be a top candidate to replace Joe Torre as manager in 2005.
Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a plan committing $73 million in tax money toward a new major league ballpark for the Marlins. The World Champions, who have agreed to change their name to the Miami Marlins if the city builds the ballpark, want to begin playing in the $325 million new park in 2007, but still doesn't have a plan for raising $137 million needed as part of their commitment.
Charlie Manuel is named to replace Larry Bowa as the Phillies' manager. The former Cleveland skipper compiled a 220-190 (.537) record and won a division during his three years with the Tribe.
The Mets introduced Willie Randolph as the franchise's 18th manager. The long-time Yankee second baseman and third base coach becomes the first black to manage in New York.
The Yankees continue to makeover their coaching staff as southpaw Ron Guidry, a former three-time 20-game winner, is named to replace Mel Stottlemyre as the team’s pitching coach and former Red Sox skipper Joe Kerrigan joins the team as its bullpen coach. Earlier in the week, former big league managers Larry Bowa (third base coach), Lee Mazzilli (bench coach), and Tony Pena (first base coach) also are added to Joe Torre's staff.
Barack Obama, a long-time White Sox fan, is elected as the 44th president of the United States. The junior senator from Illinois, the first African-American to become the nation's commander-in-chief, is friendly with the team's general manager Kenny Williams, also a prominent member of Chicago’s black community.
In Game 6 of the Fall Classic, the Yankees captured their 27th World Championship, and their first since 2000 with a 7-3 decision over the Phillies, the defending champs. Hideki Matsui, New York's designated hitter, collects six RBIs, tying a World Series mark, and Andy Pettitte became the second pitcher to get the victory in all three postseason clinching games, joining Derek Lowe, who accomplished the feat with Boston in 2004.
Ryan Howard breaks KC outfielder Willie Wilson's record, established in the 1980 Fall Classic against Philadelphia, for the most strikeouts in a World Series. The Phillies' slugging first baseman, who was the NLCS MVP against LA, earns the dubious distinction when he whiffs in the eighth inning of Game 6, making it the 13th time he returned to the bench without putting the ball in play.
Instead of negotiating a new multiyear contract with their designated hitter, the Red Sox decide to exercise their $12.5 million option on 34 year-old David Ortiz for the upcoming season. 'Big Papi', who would have preferred a long-term contract, led Boston with 32 homers along with 102 RBIs.
Jim Thome returns to the Phillies, inking a $1.25 million, one-year contract with the team as a free agent. The 41 year-old slugger, who hit .256 with 15 homers that included his 600th career round-tripper with the Twins and the Indians last season, had successfully completed three seasons of his six-year $85 million deal in his first stint with the club before being traded to Chicago in 2005 for Aaron Rowand and two pitching prospects.
The Mets and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment announce the launch of a five-year multimedia marketing partnership. WOR (710 AM) will become the team's flagship radio station, replacing WFAN (660 AM), which will now be broadcasting Yankee games after carrying the Amazins’ for the past 26 years.