The Senators name Clyde Milan to replace George McBride, who guided Washington to a fourth-place finish with an 80-73 record in his only season as a big league skipper. The teamís new player-manager, an outfielder with the club since 1907, will see his sixth-place club finish 16 games under .500 during his final year in baseball.
Former Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio and actress Marilyn Monroe elope and get married at City Hall in San Francisco. The couple, who had captivated the nation with their romance, will split up in less than a year.
The White Sox trade shortstop Luis Aparicio and outfielder Al Smith to the Orioles for knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm, who during his six seasons in the Windy City will post a 41-33 record along with 98 saves while compiling a minuscule ERA of 1.92. Baltimore also obtains outfielder Dave Nicholson, former Rookie of the Year Ron Hansen, and Pete Ward in the deal.
After seeing his upstart team win the World Series three months ago, Mets general manager Johnny Murphy dies after suffering a massive heart attack. The 61 year-old baseball executive, who was a talented reliever for the Yankees in the 1930's and early 40's, will be succeeded by Bob Scheffing, the team's special assignment scout.
WTCG-TV owner Ted Turner obtains 100% of the Atlanta Braves for $12 million. 'Captain Ted' purchases the club to provide sport programming for his local channel 17, but when the FCC permits the station to use a satellite late in 1976 to broadcast shows on cable networks, the franchise, now available to be viewed by millions of subscribers, will become known as America's Team.
Frank Robinson is named manager of the Giants, replacing Dave Bristol, who was dismissed by Bob Lurie at the winter baseball meetings in Dallas last month. Robinson becomes the first black skipper in the National League after having the distinction of being the first in baseball history when he managed the Indians in 1975.
The BBWAA elects hurler Catfish Hunter and outfielder Billy Williams (Cubs, A's) to the Hall of Fame. The right-hander, an ace with the A's and Yankees, became one of the game's first big money free agents, and the Chicago flychaser established a National League record by playing in 1,117 consecutive games.
The Astros trade James Mouton to the Padres in exchange for hurler Sean Bergman. The right-hander will post a 12-9 record in Houston, and the Friars' new outfielder will hit a meager .190 in his only season in San Diego.
The Cardinals trade third baseman Fernando Tatis and right-hander Britt Reames to the Expos for right-handed starter Dustin Hermanson and left-hander closer Steve Kline. The Redbirds' new southpaw reliever will appear in more than half of the team's games next season, posting a 3-3 record along with nine saves in his league-leading 89 trips to the mound.
Barry Bonds, stating his heart has always been in San Francisco, avoids arbitration by agreeing to a five-year, $90 million deal with the Giants. The contract also calls for a 10-year personal services commitment at the end of the 37 year-old left fielder's playing days.
The Dodgers, in an attempt to buy time as closer Eric Gagne recovers from elbow surgery, trade right-hander Edwin Jackson and prospect lefty Chuck Tiffany to the Devil Rays to obtain All-Star penmen Danys Baez and Lance Carter as well as a minor league player to be named. Baez, who saved 41 games for Tampa Bay last season, will be the teamís closer until Gagne is ready to return.
According to an anonymous team official, the Blue Jays avoid arbitration by coming to terms with Lyle Overbay (.312, 22, 92). The 29 year-old first baseman agrees to a four-year deal worth $24 million to stay in Toronto.
The Cardinals and Blue Jays swap their All-Star third basemen as Scott Rolen (.265, 8, 62) goes north of the border, and Troy Glaus (.262, 20, 58) heads to the Gateway to the West. Rolen, known not to be a fan of Tony La Russa, his former manager, joins one-time teammate David Eckstein on the left side of the diamond in Toronto.
In an effort to replace Andruw Jones, their former Glove Glover in centerfield, the Braves acquire Mark Kotsay from the rebuilding A's in exchange for reliever Joey Devine and a minor league pitching prospect. Additionally, Atlanta will pick up approximately $5 million of their new outfielder's $7.35 million salary.
The Angels avoid arbitration when the team agrees to a $5,775,000, one-year deal with Chone Figgins, the club's versatile switch-hitter. The 30 year-old, who led the team with 34 stolen bases last season, has played mostly third base, but has also been employed at second, shortstop, and in the outfield by Halos' skipper Mike Scioscia.
Adam LaRoche, reportedly turning down a more lucrative two-year deal with the Giants, finalizes a one-year contract with the Diamondbacks that guarantees the first baseman $6 million for next season. The 30 year-old corner infielder played for Atlanta, Boston, and Pittsburgh last year, compiling a .277 batting average with 25 homers along with 83 RBIs.
The Yankees deal Jesus Montero, considered to be the top catching prospect in the major leagues, to the Mariners to obtain Michael Pineda, a promising 22 year-old starting pitcher. The trade adds an All-Star right-hander, who posted a 9-10 record along with an ERA of 3.03, averaging nearly a strikeout per frame in 171 innings of work last season in Seattle, to the Bronx Bombers' starting rotation.
The Braves continue their youth movement, dealing Evan Gattis and right-handed prospect James Hoyt to the Astros for minor leaguers Rio Ruiz, Andrew Thurman, and Mike Foltynewicz. Earlier in the offseason, Atlanta obtained four prospects from the Padres in exchange for Justin Upton, and added starting pitcher Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins, another pitching prospect, from St. Louis when they traded Jayson Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden to the Cardinals.
At the home of the Japanese consul general in Atlanta, Hank Aaron is honored with one of Japanís highest awards when he is presented with the Gold Rays with Rosette, the fourth class of Order of the Rising Sun. The 81 year-old American home run king is commended, along with Sadaharu Oh, for his efforts towards the World Childrenís Baseball Fair, an organization which fosters an environment of world understanding and cultural exchange through the celebration of the sport.