Although teams routinely buy players from other teams, the Reds and Browns become the first clubs to make a trade. St. Louis deals outfielder Hugh Nicol, who will be credited with 138 stolen bases next season, to Cincinnati in exchange for backstop “Honest” Jack Boyle, a rookie with one game of major league experience, and more importantly $400.
Major League Baseball hires U.S. District Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis to be the game's first commissioner. The selection of the tough-minded jurist is seen as a move by the owners to restore the public's faith in the national pastime after being tarnished by the 1919 World Series scandal, a transgression that involved eight White Sox players who were paid off by professional gamblers to throw the Fall Classic against Cincinnati.
Giant manager John McGraw trades outfielders Casey Stengel and Bill Cunningham along with shortstop Dave Bancroft to the Braves for pitchers Joe Oeschger and Bill Southworth.
Unwilling to yield to the players' demands during the season, Alva Bradley finally fires Indian manager Oscar Vitt and replaces him with Roger Peckinpaugh. It is Peckinpaugh's second time as Cleveland's field boss.
Philadelphia A's hurler Bobby Shantz (24-7, 2.48) is named as American League MVP by the baseball writers. The 27 year-old southpaw, who is named first on 16 of the 20 writers' ballots, easily outdistances the runners-up Allie Reynolds and Mickey Mantle.
Fred Hutchinson replaces Harry Walker as the Cardinal manager. With the departure of 'the Hat', the National League for the first time in its history will not have a player-manager in the circuit.
Yankees right-hander Bob Turley, the World Series Most Valuable Player, wins the Cy Young Award, edging out runner-up Warren Spahn of Milwaukee by one vote. 'Bullet Bob' posted a 2.97 ERA while compiling a 21-7 record and won another two games for New York in the Fall Classic.
Red Sox right-hander Roger Clemens (24-4, 2.48) becomes only the second American League pitcher to unanimously win the Cy Young Award. Denny McLain was the first to accomplish the feat in 1968.
Blue Jays right-hander Pat Hentgen (20-10) edges New York's Andy Pettitte (20-8) for the American League Cy Young Award by the narrow margin of 110-104. Mariano Rivera, the Yankee southpaw's teammate, finishes third in the ballot, getting one first-place vote.
Albert Pujols (.329, 37, 130), after playing Class-A ball for one year, is named the National League Rookie of the Year by the BBWAA. The Cardinal freshman set NL rookie marks for RBIs (130), total bases (360), and extra-base hits (88) and fell one home run shy of tying the National League rookie record of 38 established by Frank Robinson in 1956 as a member of the Reds.
Although disappointed in not winning the award unanimously, Mariners outfielder Ichiro, who led the circuit in hitting, is named the American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Chris Assenheimer of the Elyria (Ohio) Chronicle-Telegram voted for CC Sabathia (17-4) as his top choice, citing the nine years of professional experience in Japan made Ichiro less of a rookie than 21 year-old Indian hurler.
Miguel Tejada, who receives 356 points from the Baseball Writers' Association of America, including 21 first-place votes of the 28 cast, is selected as the American League's Most Valuable Player. The A's shortstop joins countrymen Sammy Sosa and George Bell as Dominican Republic natives to win the award.
In the closest election since the current method was initiated in 1980 - 5 points for 1st, 3 points for second, 1 point for third, the Baseball Writers' Association of America selects Ryan Braun as the National League Rookie of the Year. By a margin of just two points, the Brewers' third baseman edges Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was listed first on more than half of the BBWAA ballots.
Dustin Pedroia (.317, 8, 50) becomes the sixth Red Sox player and the first to win the American League Rookie of the Year since Nomar Garciaparra was selected in 1997. The 5'9" second baseman, who is listed first on 24 of the 28 BBWAA ballots, easily outdistances Rays outfielder Delmon Young (.288, 13, 93).
Receiving 27 of the 28 first-place votes cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Joe Maddon easily wins the American League Manager of the Year award. The Rays skipper, who succeeded Lou Piniella in 2006, this year's NL's choice for the honor, led Tampa Bay to a pennant after the team posted the worst record (66-96) in baseball last season.
Lou Piniella wins the National League Manager of the Year award after leading the Cubs to the postseason for the second consecutive season. The fiery skipper also won the AL honor in 1995 and 2001 while managing in Seattle.
The A's acquire Matt Holliday (.321, 25, 88) from the Rockies in exchange for former Rookie-of-the Year reliever Huston Street, southpaw starter Greg Smith and highly touted outfield prospect Carlos Gonzalez. The 28 year-old All-Star left fielder, who can become a free agent at the end of the season, was unable to come to terms with Colorado on a long term contract.
In recognition of his contributions to the Boys & Girls Clubs in both Philadelphia and his native Hawaii, Shane Victorino, the recipient of the 2011 Branch Rickey Award, is inducted as the 20th member of the Baseball Humanitarians Hall of Fame. The Phillies' center fielder, through his foundation, has pledged more than $900,000 to renovate the 105 year-old Nicetown Boys & Girls Club, located in an impoverished section of Philadelphia, into the centerpiece of the organization's twelve facilities in the city.
Mike Trout (.326, 30, 83), the BBWAA's unanimous selection as the Rookie of the Year, surpasses Lou Whitaker (1978 Tigers) by three months and five days to become the youngest American League player to be honored with the award. The 21 year-old Angel center fielder joins Evan Longoria (2008 Rays), Nomar Garciaparra (1997 Red Sox), Derek Jeter (1996 Yankees), Tim Salmon (1993 Angels), Sandy Alomar Jr. (1990 Indians), Mark McGwire (1987 A's), and Carlton Fisk (1972 Red Sox) as the only other unanimous AL winners.
Bryce Harper becomes the second youngest player to be selected as the National League Rookie of the Year, being 24 days older than Doc Gooden when the Mets right-hander won the award in 1984. The 20 year-old center fielder is the first Nationals player to win a BBWAA postseason award since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005.
Clint Hurdle becomes the second Buc skipper, joining Jim Leyland (1990, ’92), to be selected as the National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA, after guiding the 94-68 Pirates to the Wild Card and their first winning season since 1992. The Pittsburgh pilot was named first on 25 of 30 writers' ballots, easily out-distancing runner-ups Don Mattingly of the Dodgers and the Braves' Fredi Gonzalez for the award.
Terry Francona, who never received a first-place vote for the award after guiding Boston to two World Championships in his eight seasons with the club, is named the American League’s Manager of the Year by the BBWAA. The Indian skipper, who helped the much-improved Wild Card Tribe reach the playoffs for the first time in six years, receives 15 of the 30 writers’ first-place votes, with John Farrell of the Red Sox finishing second, having his name on the top of a dozen ballots.