Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro League star to be selected to the Hall of Fame. The right-hander, the oldest player in the majors to make his big league debut, became a legend during his professional career, which lasted from the 1920s until 1965, playing in several different Negro Leagues and with the Indians, Browns, and A's.
The Hall of Fame Special Committee on the Negro Leagues selects Oscar Charleston, considered by baseball historian Bill James to be the fourth best ball player of all time. The outfielder made The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.
The late Yankee catcher Thurman Munson is inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame of Kent State University. The young college outfielder was taught to play backstop by Hal Schoonover, a coach and benefactor of the Golden Flashes baseball program.
At the age of thirty-seven, Joe Morgan inks a one-year deal with the Giants. The future Hall of Famer will play an additional season in San Francisco, winning the Silver Slugger award for being the best offensive second baseman in the National League.
After vetoing a trade to Oakland, two-time all-star Dusty Baker is waived by the Dodgers. The 35-year old outfielder will sign as a free agent, hitting .294 in 100 games, with the Giants, before ending his career with the A's, the team he had refused to play for when dealt last season.
The A's sign a one-year deal with free agent Don Baylor. The 39 year-old designated hitter will appear in 92 games, hitting .220 for the American League champs before retiring at the end of the season.
After 13 months of negotiations, Derek Jeter and the Yankees finalize a $189 million, 10-year contract. The deal makes the all-star shortstop second only to Alex Rodriquez ($252 million/10 years) as the highest paid player in the history of the sport.
The Cubs trade reliever Kyle Farnsworth (4-5, 4.73) and a player to be named to the Tigers in exchange for pitcher Roberto Novoa (1-1, 5.09) and minor leaguers, Scott Moore and Bo Flowers. Farnsworth’s inconsistency out of the bullpen last season made him very unpopular with the Wrigley Field fans.
Deliberating for a little more than four hours, a jury rules the Angels did not breach a contract with the city of Anaheim when the ball club changed its name. Thirteen months ago the team known as the Anaheim Angels became the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, prompting the city where it plays to file a lawsuit, claiming the change in name amounted to at least $100 million in lost revenue.
Prior to performing in a benefit concert in Connecticut, Bernie Williams shares with reporters that he plans to decline the Yankees’ invitation to attend spring training on a minor league contract. The guitar-playing outfielder added he has been working out, but is doubtful about playing for the Bronx Bombers this season.
After auditioning for about two-thirds of the teams in the major leagues last month and considering offers from four clubs, Keith Foulke comes out of retirement, signing a $700,000, one-year contract with the A's. The 35-year-old reliever, best known for throwing the last pitch in the 2004 World Championship for the victorious Red Sox, retired prior to the 2007 season after signing a deal with the indians.
Two days after the story breaks on SI.com, Alex Rodriguez admits to and then apologizes for his use of performance-enhancing drugs when he played shortstop for the Rangers from 2001 to 2003. In an exclusive interview conducted on ESPN, the Yankees superstar acknowledges using performance-enhancing drugs hoping to fulfill the expectations after signing a record 10-year, $252 million contract with Texas.
Greg Gagne is selected to be the twenty-second member of the Twins Hall of Fame. During his ten-year tenure with the team, which included the World Championship seasons of 1987 and 1991, the light-hitting shortstop was best known for his defensive prowess, but he will also be remembered for hitting two inside-the-park home runs in the same game in 1986.
Nelson Cruz and the AL champion Rangers come to terms on a $16 million, two-year deal to keep ALCS MVP in Texas. The agreement avoids an arbitration hearing that had been scheduled to take place next week.