Clark Griffith becomes a club owner, along with William Richardson, and president when he buys a controlling interest in the Washington Senators. Unable to get financial help from the American League, he mortgages his ranch in Montana to secure the needed cash.
Amidst much public protest, the Indians fire their popular player-manager Lou Boudreau. The Harvey, Illinois native compiled a modest .529 winning percentage during his nine year tenure in the dugout.
Seventeen months after nearly being mortally wounded by an obsessed fan's rifle shot to the chest, Eddie Waitkus is named the Comeback Player of the Year by the Associated Press. The Phillies' infielder hit .284 this season and continued to be one of the best fielding first basemen in the league.
The Braves sign a twenty-five year lease to play in the newly constructed Atlanta Stadium and will play there until the team moves next door to Turner Field in 1997. The ballpark, which becomes officially known as Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1975, will affectionately be called the 'Launching Pad' due to the ease home runs were hit due to its location on foothills of the Appalachian Mountains being 1,000 feet above sea level.
Giants outfielder Willie Mays is named the National League’s Most Valuable Player, receiving 224 of the writers’ votes compared to 177 for Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax, who won 26 games with an ERA of 2.04, while striking a 382 batters to establish a modern major-league mark. The 34 year-old San Francisco slugger batted .312 and led the circuit with 52 home runs, and collected 112 RBI for his second-place club.
The Yankees trade southpaws Sparky Lyle, the 1977 Cy Young Award recipient, and Dave Rajsich along with righty Larry McCall, infielder Domingo Ramos, catcher Mike Heath and $400,000 to the Rangers for lefties Dave Righetti and Paul Mirabella, right-hander Mike Griffin and outfielder Juan Beniquez. The deal makes Yankee teammate Graig Nettles's in-season quip that the closer had gone "from Cy Young to sayonara" a reality.
Braves closer Steve Bedrosian narrowly edges Cubs right-hander Rick Sutcliffe by two points (57-55) to win the Cy Young award. 'Bedrock' is the third reliever in the National League to be selected by the BBWAA as the recipient of the prestigious pitching prize.
Dodgers' hurler Orel Hershiser (23-8, 2.26) becomes the ninth pitcher in National League history to win the Cy Young award unanimously as the 'Bulldog' receives all twenty-four first place votes from the sportswriters. The 29 year-old right-hander is the only player to win the Cy Young Award, the NLCS MVP Award, and the World Series MVP Award during the same season.
Dontrelle Willis (14-6, 3.30), the only player in either league listed on every ballot, wins the National League Rookie of the Year award. The 21 year-old Marlins starter is named first on 17 of the 32 ballots cast by the writers with Brewer outfielder Scott Podsednik (8) and Diamondback right-hander Brandon Webb (7) receiving the other first-place votes.
Bill Carrigan, skipper of the 1915-16 World Series champion teams, infielders Billy Goodman (1947-57) and Pete Runnels (1958-62), southpaw Bruce Hurst (1980-88), Pawtucket Red Sox owner Ben Mondor, and former GM Haywood Sullivan are inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. Also enshrined for their contributions to the team are Cooperstown Hall of Famers Wade Boggs (1982–1992), Jimmy Collins (1901-1907), and right-hander Dennis Eckersley (1978–1984).
After piloting the Rangers (89-73) to an 18 game improvement from the previous season, Buck Showalter wins his second American League Manager of the Year Award. The former Yankee manager also copped the honor in 1994.
The BBWAA selects Bobby Cox as the National League Manager of the Year. Although the team loses Greg Maddux, Gary Sheffield, Javy Lopez and Vinny Castilla to free agency, the Braves (96-58) still capture their 13th straight, and unexpected, division flag.
Chris Carpenter (21-5, 2.83) is elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America as the NL Cy Young award winner. The Cardinal right-hander, who has been sidelined with injuries during the past two seasons, outpoints Marlins southpaw Dontrelle Willis (22-10, 2.63), becoming the first Redbird to cop the honor since Bob Gibson was selected in 1970.
In the first big move of the off season, the Tigers trade three talented pitching prospects, Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett, to the Yankees for Gary Sheffield. The deal, which includes a two-year, $28 million contract extension through 2009, reunites the outfield slugger with his 1997 World Series champion Marlins general manager (Dave Dombrowski) and field manager (Jim Leyland).
Evan Longoria (.272, 27, 85), the unanimous choice of the BBWAA, wins the American League Rookie of the Year award. The Rays' slugging third baseman becomes the first player in franchise history to win a major postseason award.
Garnering 31 of 32 first-place votes, Cubs' freshman Geovany Soto (.285, 23, 86) wins the National League Rookie of the Year award. The 25-year old catcher becomes the first backstop to be selected since Mike Piazza won the honor playing for the Dodgers in 1993.
The A's acquire David DeJesus from the Royals for right-hander Vin Mazzaro and minor league southpaw prospect Justin Marks. The 30-year old corner outfielder missed the last two months of the season due to surgery on his right thumb.
For the first time since the glory days of the 'Big Red Machine', Cincinnati has more than one Gold Glove winner in a season when third baseman Scott Rolen, second baseman Brandon Phillips, and pitcher Bronson Arroyo are recognized for their fielding prowess. For four consecutive seasons, from 1974-77, catcher Johnny Bench, second baseman Joe Morgan, shortstop Dave Concepcion and center fielder Cesar Geronimo were routinely selected by the managers and coaches as the top defensive players in their positions.
At the age of 75, legendary Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus dies at his home after suffering a heart attack. The 2008 Ford C. Frick award recipient and Seattle's only representative in baseball's Hall of Fame, best known for trademark calls of "My Oh My" and "It will fly away", called all but 101 of the 5,385 games for 34 seasons that the team has played, including the very first pitch in franchise history thrown by Diego Segui in 1977.
The Nationals announce Davey Johnson will return for one more season as the team's manager. The 69 year-old skipper, who led Washington to their first NL East title with a franchise-high 98 victories, will become a consultant for the club in 2014.
R.A. Dickey receives the 21st annual Rotary Club of Denver's Branch Rickey Award, an honor given to just one of the 30 nominees selected from each major league team for their humanitarian service off the field. Prior to the start of the season, the Mets' 38 year-old knuckleballer climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, helping to raise more than $100,000 to help the Bombay Teen organization rescue young women from forced prostitution in India.