The National League elects their secretary, John Heydler, to be the president of the circuit. The former umpire had briefly served in the post after Harry Pulliam's unexpected death in 1909.
The National League, spearheaded by the leadership of Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss, approves the banning of the spitball, allowing just the current spitballers presently throwing the pitch to use it under a "grandfather" clause. A year later the American League will adopt the same rule.
The American and National League agree to a permanent rotation system for the World Series. The new agreement calls for Game 1 and 2 to be played at one league's park, the next three at the other team's park, with the final two games (if necessary) back at the first venue. The Senior Circuit is granted the inaugural advantage in next season's Fall Classic.
The Philadelphia A's trade Jimmie Foxx and Johnny Marcum to the Red Sox for Gordon Rhodes, prospect George Savino, and $150,000. The future Hall of Fame slugger will play six years for Boston, including his third MVP season in 1938 in which he hit .349, slugged 50 home runs, and drove in 175 runs.
Similar to the National League, the Junior Circuit opts for a three-game playoff in case of a tie at the end of the regular season. Previously, a deadlock in the American League had been broken with a one-game winner-take-all format.
The Indians trade Luis Tiant and Stan Williams to the Twins for Dean Chance, Bob Miller, Graig Nettles, and Ted Uhlaender. None of the players in the deal will stay with their new clubs for more than two seasons, with the exception of Nettles, who spends three seasons with the Tribe before being traded to New York.
In one of the worst deals in franchise history, the Mets trade Nolan Ryan and three prospects to the Angels for six time All-Star third baseman Jim Fregosi. The fireballer from Texas will set the all-time strikeout record (5,714) and will become a member of the Hall of Fame, while their new 30 year-old infielder (.232, 5, 32) plays less than two full seasons in New York, providing little help for the team.
The American League votes unanimously to adopt the designated hitter rule on a trial basis for three years. The concept, that permits a team to designate a player to bat in place of the pitcher, will be implemented in some measure by most collegiate and professional leagues with the National League and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball's Central League being the notable exceptions.
The American League owners agree to let Bill Veeck back into baseball by allowing him to reacquire the White Sox when the maverick purchases the team from John Allyn for nearly $10 million. The Pale Hose new owner's second tenure in the Windy City will be best remembered for the infamous Disco Demolition Night promotion in 1979, which results in a riot and a forfeit to Detroit at Comiskey Park.
The Cardinals and Padres trade shortstops when Garry Templeton goes to San Diego along with outfielder Sixto Lezcano as Ozzie Smith and right-hander Steve Mura head for St. Louis. The trade, however, will not be finalized until Smith's salary with his new club is determined by an outside arbitrator two months later.
The Mets trade starter Mike Scott, who compiled a 14-27 record during his four years with the team, to the Astros in exchange for Danny Heep. After learning how to throw the split-finger fastball from Roger Craig, the right-hander becomes the ace of the staff, leading Houston to the post-season, throwing a no-hitter, and winning 110 out 191 decisions during his nine-year tenure with club.
The Expos trade catcher Gary Carter to the Mets for backstop Mike Fitzgerald, flycatcher Herm Winningham, third baseman Hubie Brooks, and right-hander Floyd Youmanns. The perennial All-Star will become an important part of the success New York will have during the rest of the decade.
Maniford Harper, known to his friends as Hack, is true to his word when he is buried in a Cub uniform, keeping to the arrangements that made him a central Illinois celebrity in 1980. The 75 year-old Washburn (IL) native's devotion to the team began in 1926 when as a polio-stricken 11-year-old, Chicago legend Hack Wilson, who was among several players visiting the local Shriners hospital, put his hand on the boy's shoulder and correctly predicted, 'Kid, stick it out. Someday you're gonna walk'.
The Giants send outfielder Kevin Mitchell and right-hander Mike Remlinger to the Mariners in exchange for three pitchers: Bill Swift‚ Mike Jackson‚ and Dave Burba. Mitchell won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1989.
After 24 years and 1,071 appearances, Dennis Eckersley, 44, who has pitched in more games than any other major leaguer, retires as an active player. 'Eck' is the first hurler to have both a 20-win season and a 50-save season in a career, a feat which will be also accomplished by John Smoltz in 2002.
Tampa Bay signs Blue Jays free-agent Jose Canseco to a one-year deal to play left field and as a designated hitter. The 34 year-old slugger will have a productive year, going deep 34 times and driving in 95 runs, but his performance doesn't enhance the Devil Rays' last place finish in the AL East.
The Mets complete a $37 million, three-year contract with free-agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez. The former Angels’ closer, who fills a big void in the New York bullpen due to Billy Wagner's injury, set a major league record last season, recording 62 saves.
In a 12-player, three-team trade, the Mets send much-maligned reliever Aaron Heilman, fan favorite Endy Chavez, southpaw Jason Vargas, and three minor leaguers to the Mariners for closer J.J. Putz, who will serve as the setup man for recently acquired Francisco Rodriguez, center fielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green. The Indians send outfield prospect Franklin Gutierrez to Seattle to get Mets side-slinging reliever Joe Smith and second baseman Luis Valbuena from the Mariners.
With the fourth richest deal in major league history, the most ever offered to a pitcher, the Yankees and free-agent CC Sabathia agree on a $161 million, seven-year contract, with an opt-out clause after three years. The 28 year-old right-hander’s $23 million average annual salary is just ahead of Johan Santana’s agreement inked in February with the Mets.
Nick Peters becomes the 60th winner of J.G. Taylor Spink Award, named for its first recipient and given annually by the BBWAA "for meritorious contributions to baseball writing." The San Francisco native covered the Giants for 47 years, a span (1961-2007) in which he reported on more Giants games than anyone in franchise history.
The Pirates sign Bobby Crosby (.231, 22, 64), the 2004 American League Rookie of the Year, to a $1 million, one-year contract. Last season, the 29 year-old versatile infielder played multiple games for the A's at all four infield positions.