"I think the Yankees are taking a gamble. While Ruth is undoubtedly the greatest hitter the game has ever seen, he is likewise one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men ever to put on a baseball uniform." - Henry Frazee, owner of the Red Soxdefending his trade of Babe Ruth to New York.
Harry Frazee defends selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees for cash by calling his former player "one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men ever to put on a baseball uniform." The Red Sox owner laments the popular player had become impossible to deal with, and the team could no longer put up with the Bambino’s eccentricities.
John McGraw, Charlie Comiskey, and Hugh Jennings are honored by the French Baseball Federation for their efforts of promoting America's national pastime in France. The trio are presented their medals during a tour of Europe by the Giants and White Sox.
Commissioner Judge Landis begins a three-day public hearing to investigate the allegation that the Tigers threw a four-game series to the 1917 White Sox. After summoning and listening to the oral testimony from thirty-five players and ex-players from the two teams, the game's first commissioner, acting as the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and jury, will decide to clear all charges a week later.
An early afternoon five-hour blaze destroys much of Fenway Park's newly-constructed concrete and steel left-field grandstand and center-field bleachers, that were built to replace the wooden structures in the 22 year-old ballpark. Tom Yawkey, the Red Sox's new owner, will have construction crews work overtime to rebuild the team's home in time for the season opener against Washington on April 17.
The Giants pay the largest amount ever paid for a single player when the team obtains Walker Cooper from the Cardinals for $175,000. The All-Star catcher will hit .276 during his 3+ seasons with New York.
Due to heavy financial losses, Rheingold Beer announces it will close its Brooklyn-based plant. As as a result, the brewery will be forced to end its 13-year relationship with the Mets as the team's primary radio-TV sponsor.
The BBWAA selects Vin Scully as the sixth recipient of the Ford Frick Award, an honor given for excellence in broadcasting the national pastime. The Dodger veteran announcer follows mentor Red Barber, Mel Allen, Bob Elson, Russ Hodges, and Ernie Harwell into the Hall of Fame.
The Mets trade Vince Coleman to the Royals along with $500,000, a sum that will make up the difference between the two salaries, reacquiring Kevin McReynolds. New York's co-owner Fred Wilpon had clearly indicated that Coleman would never wear his team's uniform again due to the outfielder's role in last season's firecracker incident at Dodger Stadium, that was reported to injure three fans in the Chavez Ravine parking lot.
Yogi Berra, after receiving an apology from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for his 1985 dismissal as the team's manager 16 games into the season, ends his self-exile from Yankee Stadium and the organization. The Bronx Bomber legend is expected to participate in future Opening Day and Old Timers' ceremonies.
The Cardinals, needing help due to the departures of Shawon Dunston and Eric Davis, sign their first free agents of the off-season. The four new Redbirds include outfielders Bobby Bonilla and Bernard Gilkey, along with infielders John Mabry, and Shane Andrews.
The Mariners ink Ichiro Suzuki to a three-year deal worth $14,088,000. The signing rights to the Japanese outfielder, winner of seven batting titles in Japan, were awarded to Seattle for approximately $13 million.
The plan to name a new ballpark in downtown Montreal Labatt Park dims as the Canadian brewery announces the ending of its 15-year sponsorship of the Expos. The company cites the lack of a local television contract and stalled stadium plans as factors in the decision.
Felipe Alou is named special assistant to Brian Sabean, general manager of the Giants. The team’s 72 year-old former manager (2003-06), handling both major league and minor League scouting assignments, will provide insights on personnel for the GM.
Carl Pohlad, believed by many to be the savior of major league baseball in Minnesota after buying the club in 1984, dies at the age of 93. Although the owner of the Twins' net worth was $3.6 billion, the franchise often had some of the lowest payrolls in baseball, including the World Champion teams of 1987 and 1991.
Pat Burrell agrees to a two-year deal reportedly worth $16 million with the Rays, his World Series foes last season. The 32 year-old outfielder, who spent his first nine seasons in the majors with the Phillies, will be granted free agency by Tampa Bay during the season next year, after hitting only .218 in 146 games for his new team.
According to reports, a preliminary agreement has been reached between the Cubs and free-agent outfielder Milton Bradley on a $30 million, three-year deal. The switch-hitting All-Star, who batted .321 and led the American League with a .436 on-base percentage, will fill the team's need for a left-handed presence in the middle of the lineup.
Troy Glaus and the Braves come to terms on a $1.75 million, one-year incentive-laden deal that will shift the four-time All-Star third baseman to first base. After arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder a year ago, the 33 year-old infielder appeared in only 14 games with St. Louis at the end of the season.
After 22 big league seasons, playing for the Expos (3-4), Mariners (130-74), Astros (10-1), Diamondbacks (118-62), Yankees (34-19), and the Giants (8-6), five-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson announces his retirement. The 6-foot-10 'Big Unit' finishes his no-miss Hall of Fame career, which includes a World Series Most Valuable Player award, a perfect game, and two no-hitters, with a record of 303-166 and as the all-time left-handed strikeout leader with 4,875.
Kelly Shoppach (.214, 12, 40) and the Rays come to terms on a $5.5 million, two-year contract that includes a club option for a third season at $3.2 million or a $300,000 buyout. The Rays obtained the 29 year-old backup catcher from the Indians last month for a player to be named, which turns out be right-hander Mitch Talbot.
In a deal intended to strengthen Philadelphia's bullpen, right-handed reliever Danys Baez (4-6, 4.02) and the Phillies come to terms on a $5.25 million, two-year contract. The 32 year-old former Baltimore closer will be used with Ryan Madson and J.C. Romero as a setup man, but could become an option to replace an unreliable Brad Lidge, who led the majors last season with 11 blown saves while compiling an 0-8 record along with a 7.21 ERA .
The Mets and R.A. Dickey agree to a one-year minor league deal reportedly worth $600,000 if the journeyman is added to the major league roster, along with the opportunity to earn $150,000 more in performance bonuses. The 35 year-old knuckleballer will become the first player in franchise history to win six of his first seven starts (6-0, 2.33 ERA).
After narrowly missing induction last year, Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are elected to the Hall of Fame by a wide margin. Right-hander Blyleven, who waited 14 years before getting the nod from the writers, and second baseman Alomar, considered a sure first-ballot inductee last year, will join executive Pat Gillick, broadcaster Dave Van Horne, and writer Bill Conlin in Cooperstown next July.
Adrian Beltre agrees to a $96 million, six-year deal with the Rangers, the reigning American League champs. The acquisition of the All-Star third baseman will make incumbent Michael Young the team's designated hitter, giving Texas a potent lineup and a much improved defense.
The Cubs trade Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins for right-hander Chris Volstad and cash. The 30 year-old right-hander will join fellow Venezuelan Ozzie Guillen, Miami's new manager, who has been publicly supportive during the hurler's troubled moments.