Ground is broken in Chicago for a modern concrete-and-steel stadium to replace the obsolete South Side Park. The Pale Hose will play their first game in their new home, originally known White Sox Park, on July 1, losing to the Browns, 2-0.
After Chief Meyers is waived by the Giants to the Robins, Brooklyn owners Ebbets and Haughton disagree on his status. A coin toss, won by Ebbets, decides the catcher will remain with the team.
The spitball, shineball, and emeryball are outlawed by the American and National League Joint Rules Committee. Seventeen pitchers, including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to legally throw a doctored pitch, are allowed to keep throwing the banned pitches until they retired.
The Yankees announced Bill White will join Phil Rizzuto and Frank Messer on the WPIX broadcast team, becoming the first black to do play-by-play regularly for a major-league baseball team. The former All-Star first baseman will stay in the booth for 18 seasons, leaving in 1989 to served as president of the National League.
The Mets agree to a $10 million, five-year deal with George Foster, completing the trade with the Reds which sent Jim Kern, Greg Harris and Alex Trevino to Cincinnati. During his four-and-half year tenure with the team, the perennial all-star outfielder proves to be a major offensive disappointment, and will be released outright during the 1986 season after he accuses the club of racism for benching him in favor of Kevin Mitchell, a fellow African-American.
After five months of discussion, the Mets and Keith Hernandez, who was eligible for free-agency at the end of the season, come to terms on an $8 million, five-year contract. The deal makes the first baseman the second-highest-paid player in franchise history, earning slightly less than George Foster's $10 million, five-year pact signed exactly two years ago.
After receiving a ‘hometown’ discount, the Reds trade pitchers Brett Tomko and Jake Meyer, center fielder Mike Cameron, and infielder Antonio Perez to the Mariners in exchange for the services of Ken Griffey, Jr. Cincinnati signs the 30-year old superstar outfielder to the richest package in baseball history, but the nine-year deal worth $116.5 million is considered quite a bargain in the current market.
Curt Schilling donates the blood-stained sock he wore in Game 2 of the World Series to the Hall of Fame. The sock presently is part of a Red Sox memorabilia tour, which also includes Derek Lowe's Game 4 jersey, Series MVP Manny Ramirez's bat used to tie a postseason record with a 17-game hitting streak, and Keith Foulke’s spikes worn as he threw the ball for the final out, as well as the ball itself on loan from Doug Mientkiewicz.
In his first public appearance, Yankee first baseman Jason Giambi apologizes to his teammates, Yankee fans and to baseball fans everywhere for letting them down last season. The All-Star first baseman, however, never uses the word steroids as he accepts full responsibility for the controversy.
Avoiding arbitration, Roy Oswalt (20-10, 3.49) and the Astros agree to a two-year, $16.9 million deal. The 27 year-old right-hander has posted a 63-27 (.700) record during his four-year tenure in Houston.
Although recently acquired Alfonso Soriano (.268, 36, 104) of the Nationals loses his salary arbitration case, the former Texas Rangers infielder sets a record for the highest salary ever awarded by the process. The All-Star second baseman, who is being asked to play the outfield in Washington, will receive $10 million (he asked for $12 million), surpassing the $8.2 million awarded to Andruw Jones in his successful 2001 arbitration hearing with the Braves.
The Rangers announce the signing of Andruw Jones to a minor League contract with an invitation to spring training. The ten-time Gold Glove center fielder, trying to restore his reputation after two horrendous seasons with the Dodgers, will try to join the crowded Texas outfield which includes David Murphy in left, Josh Hamilton in center, Nelson Cruz in right and Marlon Byrd slotted to get substantial playing time in all three positions.
Avoiding arbitration, Josh Hamilton agrees to a $24 million, two-year contract with the Rangers. The American League MVP, despite missing the last month of the regular season due to broken ribs, hit a major league best .359, along with 32 homers and 100 RBIs.