Colonel Jacob Ruppert and Colonel Tillinghast L. Huston buy the New York Yankees from Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $460,000. Ruppert, who owns a brewery, is thinking of renaming the team the Knickerbockers to promote his product, but is dissuaded by newspaper men.
Although the city doesn't have a major league franchise, the Story Quarry is selected as the site for the new Milwaukee County Stadium. Construction will begin in the Fall of next year in an attempt to attract a big league team which will happen in 1954 when the Braves leave Boston to play in Brew Town.
The Phillies send fan-favorite Richie Ashburn, the National League's top hitter in 1958, to the Cubs in exchange for infielders Alvin Dark and Jim Woods and right hander John Buzhardt. 'Whitey', a future Hall of Famer, will play center field and hit .291 batting leadoff for Chicago this season.
Ewing Kauffman becomes the owner of the new American League franchise in Kansas City to be eventually known as the Royals. Encouraged by his wife Muriel, the pharmaceutical magnate becomes an instrumental force in bringing a quality major league baseball experience to the Heart of America, after Charlie Finley's stormy departure to Oakland with the unpopular A's team .
At the age of twenty-seven, Tiger pitcher John Hiller suffers a heart attack. After missing the entire season this year, the 27-year old Canadian native will make a great comeback with the team in 1973 establishing a new American League record with 38 saves.
After the American League approves the new rule 8-4 and the National League vetoes the idea, all 24 owners approve the junior circuit's three-year experiment to use a designated hitter. Although the DH was his idea, A’s owner Charlie Finley votes against the concept because his brainchild of implementing a designated runner is nixed.
At the owners' meeting in Chicago, Bowie Kuhn, in addition to introducing the designated hitter and pinch runner concepts, shares with the press his idea of interleague play as a means for the American League to bridge the gap with its more popular NL rivals. The commissioner's limited plan, if accepted, would only take affect in cities with multiple teams within one geographic area.
In a trade which benefits both teams, the Dodgers deal first baseman/outfielder Bill Buckner and shortstop Ivan DeJesus to the Cubs for Rick Monday. After many productive seasons in Chicago, DeJesus and Buckner will be dealt in subsequent trades to the Phillies and Red Sox respectively for Ryne Sandberg (1982) and Dennis Eckersley (1984), both future Hall of Famers.
Taking over for Clyde King, Billy Martin will make his third appearance as the manager of the Yankees. The third time will prove not to be a charm when the fiery skipper is moved to the front office and is replaced in the dugout by Yogi Berra prior to the start of the 1985 season.
Former Red Sox and White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk and the 'Big Red Machine's first baseman Tony Perez are elected to the Hall of Fame. 'Pudge' is selected in his second year of eligibility and the Reds infielder from Ciego De Avila, Cuba makes it on his ninth try.
David Cone agrees to a one-year contract with the Red Sox. The former Cy Young Award winner could make between $4 million and $5 million with Boston, compared to the $500,000 guaranteed-offer made by the Yankees, if he makes the roster and pitches regularly during the season.
After a one-year experiment, the Orioles plan to return Camden Yards to its original dimensions by moving in the fences. The team, which hit only 58 homers at home - 44 less than in the previous season, said the fences are returning to their initial distances because the new configuration "adversely affected the viewing angle of the batter's eye."
The Diamondbacks trade recently acquired catcher Dioner Navarro and hurlers William Juarez, Danny Muegge and Beltran Perez to the Dodgers for 32-year old outfielder Shawn Green (.266, 28, 86). In an effort to rebound from last’s season’s 51-111 record, Arizona has also signed free-agent third baseman Troy Glaus and starting pitcher Russ Ortiz during the off season.
The Devil Rays make their first agreement with a Japanese player as 31-year right-hander relief pitcher Shinji Mori signs a $1.4 million, two-year contract to play in Tampa Bay. In 431 games, the former Seibu Lion reliever was 44-44 with 50 saves and a 3.39 ERA playing in Japan's Pacific League.
Jacobs Field, the home of the Indians since 1994, will now be called Progressive Field. The Tribe signs a 16-year naming rights agreement with the Cleveland based insurance company calling for an average annual payment of $3.6 million until the year 2023.
The Reds hire Walt Jocketty as a special adviser to chief executive Bob Castellini. The former Cardinals GM, who spent 13 season in the St. Louis front office, left after the Redbirds slumped to a third place finish (78-84) one year removed from a World Championship.
Mark McGwire, who broke Roger Maris’ single-season home run record in 1998, apologizes for his decade-long on-and-off use of performance-enhancing substances that started prior to the 1990 season. The former St. Louis and Oakland slugger, recently hired to be the Cardinals hitting coach, had been in a self-imposed exile since repeatedly telling a congressional committee in 2005, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” a remark which seriously hurt his popularity and irrevocablly damaged his reputation.
Former pitching great Greg Maddux, who started his major league career with the Cubs in 1986, is returning to the team as an assistant to general manager Jim Hendry. A sure first-ballot Hall of Famer, the 355-game winner's duties will include assisting the major league and minor league coaching staffs at spring training, evaluating talent, and developing minor league players.
With aspirations of being the Cubs' manager some day, Ryne Sandberrg agrees to replace Bobby Dickerson, who left for a position with Baltimore, as the skipper for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. The 50-year old Hall of Famer has managed in the Chicago farm system for the past three seasons, two with the Single-A Peoria Chiefs and one year with the Double-A Tennessee Smokies.
In a very significant deal for the struggling organization, according to the Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, the team signs starting pitcher Aroldis Chapman to a $30.25 million, six years contract. Cincinnati was the winning bidder for the services of the 21-year old southpaw fireballer from Cuba, who defected from his country last July while playing in the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands.