Horace Stoneham becomes president of the New York Giants, succeeding his dad, Charles, who died nine days ago. The 32 year-old will hold the position for the next 40 years before selling the team to Bob Lurie and Bud Herseth in 1976.
"I honestly feel it would be best for the country to keep baseball going." - President Franklin D. Roosevelt, responding to Commissioner Landis inquiry about the sport's future.
In his famous 'Green Light letter', President Franklin D. Roosevelt answers Commissioner Landis's query about playing baseball in the wake of the second World War. FDR responds he believes playing the sport would be good for Americans and encourages the owners to have more games at night to give war workers an opportunity to attend games.
The Kratter Corporation grants Walter O'Malley an additional two years on the three-year lease on Ebbets Field agreed to last year. The new timeline means the ball club has a home in Brooklyn until 1961, but the extension may have been prompted by the Dodgers owner's uncertainty about L.A's ability to secure the land needed to build a stadium if the team moved to the West Coast.
The Yankees announced an unprecedented 140 games will be televised this season on WPIX in a package reportedly worth significantly more than a million dollars. The decision to telecast such a large number of games, including 63 road contests, was prompted by the departure of the Dodgers and Giants to California.
Willie Mays, the highest paid player in baseball, signs the $105,000 contract offered by the Giants. The perennial All-Star center fielder will have another outstanding season, batting .308, hitting 40 home runs and driving in 123 runs for the Jints.
Baseball's executives select New York City as the site of the game's first free-agent draft, a controversial measure approved during the winter meetings that gives teams with the worst records the first picks to the talented amateur players. With the first pick in the history of the draft, the A's will select ASU outfielder Rick Monday when the draft begins on June 8 at the Hotel Commodore.
Tom Brown becomes the first major leaguer to play in the Super Bowl. The Green Bay defensive back, an outfielder and first baseman for the Senators in 1963, is best remembered for his last-minute interception of Cowboy quarterback Don Meredith's Hail Mary pass in the NFL Championship game, making Green Bay a participant in the first-ever Super Bowl.
Cardinal right-hander Bob Gibson, receiving 337 votes of the 401 BBWAA ballots cast (84%) in his first year of eligibility, is the only player elected to the Hall of Fame this year. Players falling short of the votes needed include well-known Dodgers Don Drysdale and Gil Hodges as well as Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew.
Free agent Cecil Fielder, returning from a stint in Japan where he hit 38 homers for the Hanshin Tigers, signs a one-year deal worth $1,250,000 with Detroit. 'Big Daddy', father of future major leaguer Prince, will hit 245 home runs and drive in 758 runs during his seven seasons in the Motor City.
At its winter fan festival, Milwaukee unveils a new logo and different team colors with navy, green, and metallic gold replacing the current royal blue and yellow. The changes, the first since the start of the 1978 season, also include Germanic lettering in place of the standard block, and the addition of the first alternate uniform in the club's history, a navy jersey with the club's primary logo below the word Brewers across the chest.
The Braves trade outfielder Brian Jordan (.295, 25, 97), pitcher Odalis Perez (7-8, 4.91), and a minor leaguer to the Dodgers to acquire All-Star outfielder Gary Sheffield (.311, 36, 100). The deal ends Sheffield's stormy four-year tenure with L.A.
At the Congressional hearing concerning the Mitchell Report, Representatives Henry Waxman and Tom Davis announce they have sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate if Miguel Tejada lied to House committee staff when questioned about Oriole teammate Rafael Palmeiro's use of steroids. The former American League MVP, who was traded to the Astros in the off season, could face jail time, if found guilty, because making false statements to Congress is a felony.
Derek Lowe signs a four-year deal with the Braves reportedly worth $60 million. The 35 year-old right-hander will be the ace of Atlanta's new-look rotation that includes the recently acquired Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens, and Kenshin Kawakami, who pitched in Japan last season for the Chunichi Dragons.
The Brewers, avoiding arbitration, agree to a $4 million, one-year deal with Dave Bush, who finished the season strong posting a 7-3 record with a 3.23 ERA in his final 18 regular season starts. The 29 year-old right-hander was the only Milwaukee pitcher to win a postseason game when team beat Philadelphia at Miller Park, 4-1, in Game 3 of the ALDS.
The Padres sign 33 year-old veteran infielder David Eckstein to a one-year contract worth $850,000 with an additional $150,000 available in incentives. The 2006 World Series MVP, who split last season, playing mostly shortstop in 94 games, with the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks, agreed to the discounted deal with San Diego on the condition that he would play primarily second base for the Friars.
The Dodgers, who had restructured Andruw Jones's contract earlier in the month, put their expensive center fielder on waivers rather than pursuing a trade for the five-time All-Star. The highest-paid player in the franchise history, who signed a two-year, $36.2 million deal during the 2007 offseason, was a complete bust in his one season with the team, hitting a meager .158 with just three home runs and 14 RBIs in 209 at bats.
The Mets and John Maine (7-6, 4.43) come to terms on a one-year, $3.3 million deal just after the right-hander filed for arbitration. New York's projected number three starter was limited to 15 games last season, due to the lingering weakness from a 2008 surgery that removed a bony growth from the socket of his right shoulder.
Avoiding salary arbitration, Matt Kemp (.297, 26, 101) and the Dodgers agree to a rare multi-year offer that will pay the center fielder $10.95 million over the next two seasons. The 25 year-old Oklahoman, considered a core player in the team's future, won the Gold Glove and the Silver Slugger awards playing for the National League West champs last season.
After watching their bullpen implode in the NLDS last season, the Nationals sign Rafael Soriano to a two-year, $28 million deal to be the club's closer. The 33 year-old right-handed reliever, who had a league-leading 45 saves for the Rays in 2011, filled in for the injured Mariano Rivera last season and saved 42 games for the Yankees.