Mel Ott leaves the Giants' organization, signing a two-year pact to manage the Pacific Coast League's Oakland club. 'Marvelous Mel' will be replacing Charlie Dressen.
Figures reveal 1,493,632 fewer fans attended major league games last season, representing a 9.26% drop from the previous season. It is the second consecutive season that attendance has declined and the trend will also continue next year.
Ellis Kinder is selected off waivers by the Cardinals from the Boston Red Sox. During his eight seasons in Boston, the 41 year-old right-hander posted an 86-52 record with an earned run average of 3.28.
Carl Stotz announces his plans to organize a rival baseball circuit for kids as an alternative to Little League. The Williamsport lumberyard clerk, considered the founder of the original Little League Baseball that started play in 1939, left the organization due to a lawsuit he filed when he disagreed with the expansion of the existing leagues.
The Cardinals acquire Curt Flood from the Reds, along with Joe Taylor, in exchange for Marty Kutyna, Willard Schmidt, and Ted Wieand. The deal, one of the few ever mandated by team owner Gussie Busch, proves to be very beneficial for the Redbirds when their new 19 year-old player develops into an All-Star Gold Glove center fielder, who will play a pivotal role in the club capturing two world championships and a NL pennant during his 12-year reign in St. Louis.
The Phillies, hoping to fill the National League void in the Big Apple caused by the departure of the Giants and Dodgers to the west coast, drop any plans for 1959 broadcasts into New York City after the Yankees threaten to air Bronx Bombers contests in Philadelphia.
The Dodgers trade outfielder Willie Davis to Montreal for Mike Marshall. The reliever will win the Cy Young Award for LA next season, and Davis has a solid season, batting .295, in his one season with the Expos.
The Cubs' plan to trade their veteran third baseman Ron Santo is thwarted when he becomes the first player to invoke the new 10 and 5 rule. The team wanted to send their 33 year-old infielder to the Angels for two pitchers, but his 10+ years in the major leagues with 5+ being in Chicago gave him the right to veto the deal.
Yogi Berra, fired unexpectedly after piloting the club as a first-year manager to a 99-63 record and an American League pennant in 1964, returns to the Yankees as a coach after an 11-year absence. The hiring of the team's former All-Star catcher and skipper to be Billy Martin’s bench coach marks the first time in the history of the game that a such a designation has been given to a member of the coaching staff.
Bobby Bonds (.264, 37, 115), who was made expendable when the team signed Lyman Bostock, is dealt by the Angels with Thad Bosley and Richard Dotson to the White Sox in exchange for backstop Brian Downing, Dave Frost, and Chris Knapp. The trade is projected to be helpful to both teams as Bonds will help fill the power void created by the departure of Richie Zisk and Oscar Gamble to free agency, and California gets a badly needed first-string catcher with Downing, who will become a mainstay behind the plate for the Halos for 13 seasons.
After sixteen years with the Reds, Pete Rose signs a four-year, $3.2 million deal with the Phillies. Other teams which pursued 'Charlie Hustle' included the Mets, Braves, Pirates, and the Royals.
The Indians deal Alfredo Griffin along with prospect Phil Lansford to the Blue Jays for Victor Cruz. The Tribe's transaction will prove to be short-sighted when the 21 year-old shortstop wins the American League Rookie of Year Award next season, and their newly acquired right-hander posts a 3-9 record with a 4.23 ERA.
It's a busy day for the Yankees as the Bronx Bombers obtain base-stealing outfielder Rickey Henderson and pitcher Bert Bradley from the A's in exchange for pitchers Jay Howell and Jose Rijo, outfielder Stan Javier, and minor leaguers Tim Birtsas and Eric Plunk and also trade catcher Rick Cerone to the Braves for pitcher Brian Fisher.
Toronto trades first baseman Fred McGriff and shortstop Tony Fernandez to the Padres for second baseman Roberto Alomar and outfielder Joe Carter. The two new Blue Jays will both play a vital role in the team's back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993.
Hoping to fill the void created by Darryl Strawberry's departure to LA as a free agent, the Mets make their first move into the free-agent market in 10 years when they sign Vince Coleman to a 4-year contract just shy of $12 million. The former St. Louis outfielder, who will spend time on the disabled list on five occasions during the next two seasons, will be hampered by injuries to his ribs and hamstrings during his stay with New York.
The new collective bargaining agreement is unanimously approved by the player association executive committee, clearing the path for interleague play and guaranteeing no work stoppages until 2001.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announces he wants to complete new stadium deals for the Mets and Yankees before he leaves office at the end of the month. Before the September 11 attacks, which dramatically changed the city's financial stature, the mayor thought an arrangement in which the city, the state, and the owners agreed to pay one-third of the cost of the new stadiums might complete the negotiations with the teams.
The Mets sign the much sought after free-agent Tom Glavine to a three-year deal worth $35 million, with an option for an additional year that could increase the value of the contract to $42.5 million. The 36 year-old southpaw, who has compiled a 242-143 record along with a 3.37 ERA, will notch his 300th career win with New York in 2007.
After trying seven shortstops since Nomar Garciaparra was traded to the Cubs during the 2004 season, the Red Sox give Marco Scutaro an opportunity to play the position, inking the 34 year-old infielder to a two-year deal with a club option for 2012. The free-agent, who hit a career-best .282 along with 12 homers and 60 RBIs for Toronto last season, will replace Alex Gonzalez, who left the Red Sox after Boston declined his $6 million option and recently signed with the Blue Jays.
On the eve of the winter meetings, free-agent Jayson Werth (.296, 27, 85) and the Nationals come to terms on a $126 million, seven-year contract. The signing of the 31 year-old right-fielder, who has been a cog in Philadelphia's recent success, will help to fill the void created by the departure of Adam Dunn, the team's former clean-up hitter, to the south side of Chicago.
Ron Santo is elected to the Hall of Fame posthumously by the Golden Era Committee, receiving 15 of its possible 16 votes. The former Cubs' third baseman, who played in the 1960s and early ’70s, compiled a .277 lifetime batting average, won five Gold Gloves and was a member of nine All-Star teams during his 15-year tenure in Chicago, including a season on the South Side with the White Sox.
ESPN hires Terry Francona, fired as the Red Sox manager, to be the analyst for its signature Sunday Night games and to be a contributor on other studio shows, including SportsCenter. The former skipper will be replacing Bobby Valentine, who was recently hired to replace him in the Boston dugout.
The organ, played by the legendary Nancy Faust who entertained fans at both the Old Comiskey Park and the U.S. Cellular Field for more than 3,000 White Sox home games over 41 seasons, is purchased by Red Sox organist Josh Kantor, who grow up in Chicago listening to her renditions of Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The iconic instrument was put up for bid by the team during their annual holiday charity auction at U.S. Cellular Field.