At Keio University Stadium in Tokyo, the White Sox defeat the Giants, 9-4, as part of their world tour. Tomorrow, a combined squad will beat the Keio University team, 16-3, before the White Sox defeat the Giants again, 12-3.
Upholding the reserve clause, which states baseball is not interstate commerce nor subject to antitrust laws, a lawsuit that had awarded $264,000 damages to the Baltimore franchise in the Federal League is reversed by a court of appeals. The suit was originally initiated because the Baltimore Feds were left out in the settlement of the Federal League war, thwarting an effort to have a major league team in Baltimore.
The Giants select Mel Ott to replace Bill Terry as the team's skipper. The new manager spent all of his 22 years in the majors with the franchise, hitting 511 home runs during his Hall of Fame career.
Except for choosing the pitchers, major league baseball agrees to return the selection of the All-Star teams back to the fans.
In an effort to curb inter-league trading after June 15th, the American League approves a two-league waiver rule.
The Tigers trade first baseman Walt Dropo, outfielder Bob Nieman and pitcher Ted Gray to the White Sox in exchange for Ferris Fain and Jack Phillips.
The Reds trade Frank Thomas to the Cubs in exchange for reliever Bill Henry. The deal, which also includes Lou Jackson and Lee Walls coming to Cincinnati, gives the team a southpaw out off the bullpen who will save 17 games in the upcoming season.
The Indians trade fan-favorite Minnie Minoso with Dick Brown, Don Ferrarese and Jake Striker to the White Sox for Norm Cash, Bubba Phillips and John Romano. The 34 year-old 'Cuban Rocket' will play in every game for Chicago next season, leading the American League in hits (184) and stolen bases (13) while collecting a Gold Glove for his defensive play in left field.
The new Los Angeles American League franchise is awarded to Gene Autry, a well-known cowboy movie star who once turned down an opportunity to play in the minor leagues, and former football player Bob Reynolds for $350,000. After spending its inaugural season at LA's Wrigley Field and then playing the next three years at Dodger Stadium, the team will move to Anaheim, a short distance from L.A., and will be known as the California Angels (1965-1996), the Anaheim Angels (1997-2004) and then, to better market the team, will become known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2005.
Major League Baseball releases its official 1964 batting averages that confirms Twins' outfielder Tony Oliva, who finished the season hitting .323, is the first rookie to win a batting title. The recently crowned American League Rookie of the Year finished ahead of Orioles' third baseman Brooks Robinson (.317), who copped the circuit's Most Valuable Player Award.
William Eckert, sometimes referred to as the 'Unknown Solider', resigns as baseball commissioner. The former U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, who served as the game's fourth commissioner from 1965-68, will be replaced by Bowie Kuhn.
The Dodgers trade pitcher Claude Osteen and Dave Culpepper to the Astros for outfielder Jim Wynn.
The Brewers trade first baseman George Scott and outfielder Bernie Carbo to the Red Sox for Cecil Cooper. Cooper will become a dominant player during the early eighties, appearing in five All-Star games, batting over .300 in the first seven of his eleven years with Milwaukee.
The Mets and Reds swap relievers. Randy Myers goes to Cincinnati and fellow closer John Franco will finish games in New York.
Free-agent closer Jeff Reardon signs with the Red Sox. While in Boston, 'The Terminator', who will save 88 games during the three years with the team, becomes the all time leader with 342, breaking Rollie Fingers' previous record.
Outfielder Joe Carter is traded by the Indians to the Padres for Chris James, Sandy Alomar and Carlos Baerga.
The signature of Shoeless Joe Jackson, known not to read or write, is purchased for a record $23‚100 at New York's Leland's auction house, making the bid the highest amount ever paid for a 19th or 20th century ballplayer's autograph. The White Sox outfielder copied the inscription from one written out by his wife from an unknown document.
The Devil Rays start selling individual tickets to the general public for the team's inaugural season. The Opening Day game will sell out in 17 minutes.
Bud Selig tells the House Judiciary Committee that baseball owners, due to the current system, cannot be competitive and are losing money. The commissioner uses many statistics to make his case, including a team without a payroll in the top 25 percent has failed to win a single World Series game over the last seven years.
The MLB Players Association agrees to allow the Expos to play 22 of its home games in Puerto Rico. In an effort to increase overall attendance, the team will play three homestands at San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium, but still will host 59 contests at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
The Mets and Royals exchange right-handers with starter Brian Bannister going to Kansas City and reliever Ambiorix Burgos heading for the Big Apple. The son of former major league southpaw Floyd Bannister will place third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting, earning nine victories for the last-place club, and the 23 year-old Dominican will appear in only 17 games for New York, being derailed by injuries and off-the-field incidents.
At the Winter Meetings, the Blue Jays continue to keep their wallets open as the team agrees to a five-year, $55 million deal with A.J. Burnett (12-12, 3.44). The signing of the Marlin free agent, who many consider the best starter available on the market, comes on the heels of Toronto giving B.J. Ryan $47 million over five-years, making it the richest contract in baseball history.
Filling a two month managerial void, the Dodgers hire Grady Little as the team’s skipper. The former Red Sox manager, who compiled an outstanding 188-136 (.580) record in two seasons in Boston in 2002-03, is best remembered for not pulling a tiring Pedro Martinez during the eighth inning of ill-fated Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
Trevor Hoffman agrees to stay with the Padres, signing a $13.5 million, two-year contract which includes an option for 2008. The Tigers had courted the veteran closer, but could close the deal after San Diego improved its offer for the second year and made the accomplishments needed to trigger the option year a bit easier to reach.
The Dodgers and Andruw Jones (.222, 26, 94) reach a preliminary agreement on a $36.2 million, two-year deal, the fifth-highest average salary in the major leagues. The 30 year-old center fielder from Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles, has won ten consecutive Gold Gloves, but suffered through one of the worst offensive seasons in his 12 years of playing with the Braves.
The Red Sox complete their deal for Adrian Gonzalez by sending minor league right-hander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder Reymond Fuentes and a player to be named to San Diego for the All-Star first baseman. The left-handed slugger, who is expected to take advantage of the Green Monster's close proximity to home plate, is entering the last year of his contract, and the deal does not include a contract extension to stay in Boston.
A trade between two last-place teams sends Arizona slugger Mark Reynolds to the Orioles in exchange for right-handed relievers David Hernandez and Kam Mickolio. The O's new third baseman will bring much needed offense to Baltimore and San Diego's acquisition of the young pitchers will strengthen the team's bullpen for the late innings.
During baseball's Winter Meetings, the White Sox trade closer Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays in exchange for Nestor Molina, a 22 year-old right-handed prospect with a 27-7 minor league won-loss record and a 2.21 ERA overall. Toronto's new reliever, who recorded 30 saves in 36 opportunities with Chicago last season, will be an upgrade for the club, whose top closer in 2011 recorded only 17 saves.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America selects Bob Elliott as the recipient of the 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award for his "meritorious contributions to baseball writing." The Canadian writer, who has practiced his craft for the last 30 years, covered both the Expos and Blue Jays and is presently a columnist for the Toronto Sun.