Branch Rickey signs a five-year deal with the Pirates to be the club's executive vice president and general manager. The 'Mahatma's' magic doesn't seem to work as the Bucs will compile a 269-501 record (.349) during his tenure in Pittsburgh.
Tiger Denny McLain (24-9, 2.80) and Oriole Mike Cuellar (23-11, 2.38) each receive ten votes from the BBWAA for being the best pitcher in the American League. It is the first time the results for the Cy Young Award have ended in a tie.
Mike Marshall becomes the first relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. The 'Iron Man' set major league records for relievers with innings pitched (206), game appearances (106), consecutive games (14), and games finished (83).
After having a career year with the Twins, reliever Bill Campbell becomes one of the first players to cash in on the new free-agent system. The Michigan native signs with the Red Sox for big money, a four-year, one-million dollar contract.
Willie Hernandez joins Rollie Fingers as the only other reliever to win the MVP award and the Cy Young Award in the same season. The Tiger closer had edged out fellow relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry for the top pitching prize a week ago.
The Reds trade right-handed pitcher Ted Power and shortstop Kurt Stillwell to the Royals for shortstop Angel Salazar and left-hander Danny Jackson. The southpaw, 9-18 for KC this year, will be the runner-up for the National League's Cy Young Award next season, compiling a 23-8 record along with a 2.73 ERA for Cincinnati.
For a second time, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America names Dusty Baker as the National League's Manager of the Year. The Giants skipper, who led his team to a surprising 90-72 record, was first honored in 1993, and will win the honor again in 2000.
Mariner closer Kazuhiro Sasaki (2-5, 3.16, 37 saves) becomes the second-oldest major leaguer to win rookie of the year honors when the 32 year-old captures the American League honor. Boston Braves rookie Sam Jethroe was 33 days older than the Japanese reliever when he won the National League award in 1950.
Denying it's a negotiating ploy, major league owners give commissioner Bud Selig the authority to "begin the process" of eliminating two 'to be announced' teams by a 28-2 vote. Donald Fehr, the Players Association executive director, calls the action of possibly eliminating the Expos, Twins, or Marlins most imprudent and unfortunate, and the worst manner in which to begin the process of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement.
Citing Dusty Baker's reluctance to stay with the organization, an unhappy general manager Brian Sabean announces the Giant skipper of the last ten years will not be back to manage in San Francisco next season. The National League pennant-winning skipper has supposedly expressed an interest in the Cubs and Mariners.
Randy Johnson wins his fifth Cy Young Award, the fourth consecutive with the Diamondbacks. The 39 year-old southpaw, with 24 victories, 334 strikeouts, and a 2.32 ERA, becomes the first National League hurler since Dwight Gooden in 1985 to win the pitching equivalent of the triple crown.
After refusing to remove his Dodgers hat at a City Council meeting, Charles Littleton is TASERed with 50,000 volts by Saginaw (MI) police. The 22 year-old Saginaw Valley State University student, attending the meeting to gain extra credit for a sociology class, became unruly, according to police, upon being asked to take off his baseball cap.
At their annual meeting, baseball's general managers vote 25-5 in favor of using instant replays on a limited basis. The proposal, which owners, players, and umpires will need to approve to make the use of video a reality, would be utilized only in determining home run calls in doubt due to possible fan interference, balls clearing the fence, and balls near or over the foul pole.
Curt Schilling agrees to terms to stay with the World Champion Red Sox. The $8 million, one-year deal includes an additional $5 million in bonuses, $3 million based on innings pitched, and another $2 million based on the right-hander's weight.
Breaking a tie with former Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson and veteran hurler Jim Kaat for the most in a career, Greg Maddux wins his 17th Gold Glove, an award given for fielding excellence, chosen by the managers and coaches in each league. The 41 year-old future Hall of Famer, now with the Padres, has been selected every year as the top fielding pitcher in the National League since 1990 with the exception of 2003, when Mike Hampton of the Braves won the honor.
The Diamondbacks exercise their $8.5 million option on the 2006 Cy Young Award winner, Brandon Webb. The 30 year-old right-handed starter, who underwent shoulder surgery in August, was shut down after pitching just four innings on Opening Day and did not take the mound again for the duration of the season.
The Dodger announce their new general will be Zaidi Farhan, the former Director of Baseball Operations and assistant GM of the A’s. The MIT graduate, the first Muslim to hold the position for any American professional sports franchise, joins the team’s overhauled front office, which also includes the recent hired Andrew Friedman as the president of baseball operations and Josh Byrnes as the senior vice president for baseball operations.