At a meeting held for the purpose of dismissing Ban Johnson, a new twelve-team National League format is agreed to by the owners of the eleven dissenting clubs and one of the five teams still loyal to the American League president. This revolutionary plan for a new senior circuit will be dismissed a few days later.
Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approve a referendum that will allow professional sports to be played on Sundays on a local option basis within the commonwealth. Braves' owner Judge Emil Fuch, after admitting to using $200,000 of his own funds, will plead nolo contendere to spending money to influence the outcome of the election, resulting in the team being fined $1,000 in Municipal Court.
After leading the league with 144 RBIs, Walt Dropo is selected as the American League's Rookie of the Year. The slugging first baseman is the first Red Sox player to win the award.
In one of the closest votes in history of the award, the Baseball Writers' Association of America name Yankees catcher Yogi Berra (.294, 27, 88) as the American League's Most Valuable Player. The Yankees catcher, who will also cop the honor in 1954 and 1955, edges out the Browns’ 20-game winner Ned Garver, who was told he had won the award by a representative from the BBWAA before a recount gave the Bronx Bomber backstop a slight edge.
The Mets obtain Art Shamsky from the Reds in exchange for infielder Bob Johnson, who will play only 16 games for his new team before being traded to Atlanta. New York's newest outfielder will hit 42 home runs playing in a part-time role during his four seasons with the team.
Hall of Fame skipper Bucky Harris dies on his 81st birthday in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1924, the 'Boy Wonder' became the player-manager for the Senators, winning a World Championship with Washington in his first year at the helm at the age of 27.
Dale Murphy (.302, 36, 121) joins Ernie Banks, Joe Morgan, and Mike Schmidt as one of the four players who have won the MVP award in consecutive seasons. The soft-spoken Braves' outfielder receives 21 of the 24 votes cast by the writers.
Darryl Strawberry, the Mets all-time home run leader (252), ends his eight-year turbulent tenure with New York. The slugging right fielder signs a five-year free-agent deal with his hometown Dodgers.
The U.S. House of Representatives passes H. Res. 269, calling for former White Sox outfielder ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson to be honored. Representative Jim DeMint (R-SC), who represents Jackson's hometown of Greenville, drafted the resolution to pay tribute to the local legend, who was banned from professional baseball due to his involvement in the 1919 Black Sox scandal and thus is ineligible from becoming a member of the Hall of Fame.
Jerry Manuel is selected by the BBWAA as the American League Manager of the Year. The White Sox skipper led his club to their first playoff appearance in seven years despite having the 21st lowest payroll of the 30 major league teams.
Jason Bay (.282, 26, 82) becomes the first Pirates player, as well as the first Canadian, to win the National League Rookie of the Year. The 26 year-old British Columbia native married his college girlfriend, Kristen, two days ago.
Receiving 27 of 28 first-place votes, Bobby Crosby (.239, 22, 64) wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award. The Oakland shortstop, who is the son of former big leaguer infielder Ed Crosby, joins Harry Byrd (1952), Jose Canseco (1986), Mark McGwire (1987), Walt Weiss (1988), and Ben Grieve (1998) as the sixth A’s freshman to be honored by the BBWAA.
Joining Dean Chance, Bartolo Colon becomes the second Angels' pitcher, the first in 41 years, to win the Cy Young Award. The 32 year-old Halo hurler from the Dominican Republic, who led the American League with 21 victories, is the only player named on every ballot.
In front of more than 7,000 fans packed into downtown Straub Park, Tampa Bay officially announces the team is changing its name from the Devil Rays to simply the Rays, revealing new uniforms that feature the colors of Columbia blue, Navy blue and gold with a bright yellow sunburst logo on the jerseys, that will replace the 11 year-old franchise’s original hues of green and blue and its insignia of a cartilaginous fish. Other options considered for names included the 'Aces', 'Bandits', 'Cannons', 'Dukes', 'Stripes', and the 'Nine', the personal favorite of team owner Stuart Sternberg.
Former Boston players Bill Lee, Mo Vaughn, Mike Greenwell, Wes Ferrell, Frank Sullivan, and Everett Scott, as well as former scout George Digby and former executive Ed Kenney Sr., are inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. The two memorable moments in franchise history, Ted Williams’ homer in his last at-bat, and Curt Schilling’s performance (bloody sock) in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, are also recognized for their special significance in Red Sox history.
The Brewers hire Willie Randolph as bench coach to work with the team's new manager Ken Macha. The 54 year-old former Mets manager compiled a 302-253 record during his 3+ years tenure in New York before being dismissed in June.
Jhonny Peralta and the Tigers come to terms on an $11.25 million, two-year contract keeping the shortstop in Detroit. The agreement solidifies the left side of the team's infield for the next couple years with the re-signing of third baseman Brandon Inge to a similar deal three weeks ago.
ESPN announces Jon Miller and Joe Morgan will no longer do Sunday Night Baseball, ending the pair's 21-year tenure behind the mike. Network executive vice president Norby Williamson thanked the Hall of Famers for their outstanding body of work, but did not name any replacements.
The Orioles announced the hiring of Dan Duquette as their executive vice president for baseball operations, replacing Andy MacPhail. The 53 year-old former Red Sox general manager (1994-2002), who inked a three-year deal with the Birds, takes over a franchise that has suffered through 14 successive losing seasons.