Charles Ebbetts' plan of selecting minor league players at the annual draft in the inverse order of the final standings is finally adopted. The Dodgers' owner has been advocating this system for many years as a way to maintain a competitive balance in the National League.
Charlie Grimm and Verlon Walker are named to the Cubs' college of coaches, a plan which calls for a different coach to manage the team during each month of the season. The Cubs will finish with a 64–90 record, a slight improvement over the previous year, but the following season the team will post the worst mark (59–103) in franchise history, finishing in ninth place, six games behind the new Houston club in the expanded National League.
Tigers' owner John Fetzer announces the team has signed a lease to build a multi-sport stadium along the Detroit River. The $126 million proposal for the downtown domed complex will be doom due to a lack of funding, and the proximity of the Silverdome being built in nearby Pontiac, Michigan.
Gaylord Perry, eleven victories shy of 300 career wins, signs a one-year contract with Atlanta valued at $300,000. The 42 year-old future Hall of Famer will compile an 8-9 record while posting a 3.96 ERA for the fifth-place Braves.
Orioles legend and perennial Gold Glover Brooks Robinson becomes the 14th player to be elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The BBWAA also selects right-hander Juan Marichal, the former ace of the Giants and the all-time winningest pitcher from Latin America with 243 victories, in his third year of being on the ballot.
Willie Stargell, who played his entire 21-year career with the Pirates, is the only person elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. Blank ballots, sent and signed by nine writers wanting to emphasize the need for very exclusive selections, deny Jim Bunning entrance to Cooperstown when he receives less than the 75 percent needed for induction due to the votes which are counted, but do not name any players.
In his first year on the ballot, Steve Carlton, garnering 95.6% of the writer's votes, is the only player to be elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. 'Lefty', a 24-year veteran best known for his 15 seasons with the Phillies, won 329 games and collected four National League Cy Young Awards (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982).
The historic 70th home run ball hit by Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire on his last swing on the final day of the season is purchased at an auction by an anonymous bidder. The $3.05 million price tag far surpasses the previous record paid for a baseball, topping the $126,500 which was pent last year to obtain a ball that Babe Ruth hit for the first homer at Yankee Stadium.
At a Dodger Stadium news conference, general manager Paul DePodesta announces the team has signed right-hander Derek Lowe (14-12, 5.42) to a $36 million, four-year deal. The former Red Sox starter, who has the second most wins during the span of the past three seasons, is the first pitcher to win the deciding game in all three postseason series.
Paul Lo Duca (.286, 13, 80), avoiding salary arbitration, signs a three-year, $18 million deal to remain with the Marlins. The catcher was acquired by Florida, along with relief pitcher Guillermo Mota and outfielder Juan Encarnacion, in a trading deadline blockbuster swap which sent starter Brad Penny, first baseman Hee Seop Choi, and southpaw prospect Bill Murphy to the Dodgers.
According to reports, the Brewers have reached an agreement with free-agent Mike Cameron (.242 , 21, 78) on a $7 million, one-year deal contingent upon the outfielder passing a physical. The 34 year-old former Padres centerfielder will miss the first 25 games of the season with the Brew Crew due to testing positive for a banned substance for a second time.
Rickey Henderson, in his first year of eligibility, and Jim Rice, in his final year, on the ballot, are elected to the Hall of Fame. Henderson, who will enter the Cooperstown shrine as a member of the A's, is the game's all-time stolen base leader, and Rice, who spent his entire 16-year career with the Red Sox, compiled a .298 lifetime batting average and was considered one of the most dominant players in his era.
The Marlins and the major league players’ union come to an understanding in which the team agrees to increase its payroll, an agreement which will end in 2012 when Florida's new ballpark is scheduled to open. The small amount that the club spends on paying its players violates the revenue sharing provisions of the collective bargaining agreement.
The MLB owners vote to give commissioner Bud Selig a two-year contract extension, a deal that will keep him in the post until the end of 2014. The 77 year-old executive was appointed as an interim in September 1992, and then became the ninth commissioner of the game upon his election six years later.