The National League decides to downsize to eight teams for the upcoming season by eliminating the circuit's franchises in Baltimore, Cleveland, Louisville, and Washington. The remaining eight cities will stay the same for more than a half of a century until the Braves leave Boston, moving to Milwaukee in 1953.
In Indianapolis, John Powers, founder of last year's failed mid-western Columbian League, organizes the Federal League. To avoid the agreement of the National Commission, the upstart league will operate independently with franchises in Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.
Commissioner Landis allows pitcher Rube Benton, despite the left-hander admitting to having prior knowledge of the 1919 World Series fix, to return to the major leagues. The 32 year-old southpaw, who spent 6+ seasons with the Giants before sitting out the 1922 campaign, returns to the Reds for three years, compiling a 30-29 record during his second tour with the team.
Babe Ruth inks a two-year deal for $160,000 with the Yankees, keeping him the highest paid player of all time. The team's general manager Ed Barrow predicts at the time that, “No one will ever be paid more.”
'Losing Pitcher' Hugh Mulcahy of the Phillies becomes the first major league player to be drafted into the Armed Forces. The newest member of the 101st Artillery at Cape Cod's Camp Edwards had lost 22 games last season and 20 in 1938 to lead the National League in defeats both years.
The first spring training game ever to be played in Arizona takes place at Tucson’s Hi Corbett Field. The Indians, behind the pitching of Bob Lemon, beat the Giants, 3-1, in the inaugural Cactus League contest.
In front of 5,000 fans at Havana's new Gran Estadio de La Habanao, the Yankees lose to the Dodgers in extra innings, 1-0, with Snuffy Stirnweiss's tenth-inning single accounting for the Bronx Bombers' only hit. Pete Reiser's long double on a 3-2 pitch off Spec Shea scores Carl Furillo, giving Brooklyn the walk-off victory in Cuba.
Prior to an intrasquad contest in St. Petersburg in a pregame ceremony, the Mets announce former manager Casey Stengel had been elected to the Hall of Fame. The 75 year-young 'Old Perfessor' benefitted from a new rule by the Baseball Writers Committee on Veterans that makes any manager, umpire or executive past the age of 65 eligible to be elected to the Hall of Fame six months after retiring, bypassing the traditional five-year wait rule for players.
In a press release, the Orioles announce Albert Belle, "has been found to be totally disabled and unable to perform as a Major League baseball player," due to a degenerative right hip. The Orioles will place the 34 year-old outfielder on the 60-day disabled list, thus beginning the process which conforms to the procedure set forth by Major League Baseball in the case of a totally disabling and permanent injury to a player.
A Canadian team made up mostly of minor leaguers stuns the baseball world by beating a highly-favored Team USA in the first round of the WBC, 8-6. Thanks to center fielder Adam Stern, who hits an inside-the-park homer, collects four RBIs and makes a pair of sensational catches, and 21 year-old southpaw Adam Loewen, who gives up three hits and keeps the American all-stars scoreless for 3 2-3 innings, the Canadians post their biggest victory in its national history of baseball.
In hopes of a more lucrative deal in the future, Ryan Zimmerman inks a new one-year contract to play infield with the Nationals. After he homers and drives in four runs during a 12-10 split-squad victory over the Astros, the third baseman agrees to a $465,000 deal, slightly improving his present salary.
Kim Ng is named by MLB as the Senior Vice-President of its baseball operations, making her the highest-ranking woman in the major leagues. The Dodger Assistant General Manager, a post she held since 2001, will report to Joe Torre, who had managed in LA during the last three years of her tenure.
Allen Craig (.307, 22, 92) and the Cardinals agree to a $31 million, five-year deal valued at $43 million over six seasons. The 28 year-old first baseman played a key role in the 2011 St. Louis World Championship, contributing three go-ahead RBIs, including a clutch eighth-inning line drive in Game 6 that sparked the start of an unforgettable Redbirds' rally.