The American Association's Red Stockings deal rookie catcher Jack Boyle and $400 to the Browns in exchange for outfielder Hugh Nicol. The transaction is the first recorded trade in major league history.
Cuban pitcher José Méndez one-hits the visiting Reds, 1-0. During the remainder of the 14-game barnstorming trip, the 21 year-old Almendares right-hander will throw another seven shutout innings in relief in two weeks, and then four days after that tosses a second complete-game shutout, recording an amazing 25 consecutive scoreless innings against the first major league club to ever play on the island.
The Phillies and Cardinals swap catchers, with hard-hitting Virgil Davis going to St. Louis and Jimmy Wilson being sent to the 'City of Brotherly Love'. Philadelphia makes the deal to have the former Redbird backstop become the team's player-manager, a position 'Ace' will hold for five seasons.
Giant outfielder Willie Mays and Yankee infielder Gil McDougald are named as the Rookie of the Year in their respective leagues. Neither player was listed on their club's spring training rosters.
For the second consecutive year, Roger Maris is named American League MVP. The new single-season home run record holder with 61 edges his Yankee teammate Mickey Mantle by four votes, 202-198.
The White Sox release 299-game winner Early Wynn, enabling the veteran right-hander to make a deal with other clubs so he will have the opportunity to win his 300th game. Next July, at the age of 43, the future Hall of Famer will pitch the first five innings of a game for Cleveland, reaching the milestone when the Indians down the Kansas City A's, 7-4.
Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski (.326, 44, 121), receiving 19 of 20 first-place votes, is selected by the BBWAA as the American League Most Valuable Player. With a writer putting the light-hitting infielder Cesar Tovar (.267, 6, 47) of the Twins on the top of his ballot, the 28 year-old Red Sox outfielder is denied of being the unanimous choice for the award.
Jim Bouton agrees to a one-year deal worth $22,000 to play for the expansion Pilots, who had purchased the right-hander from New York last month for $20,000 with his previous team agreeing to pick up $12,000 of the salary. The knuckleballer will use his tenure with the club, and the Astros after he is traded to Houston, to chronicle the 1969 season, along with stories from his Yankee years, in his groundbreaking book, Ball Four, a publication which will not endear him to the baseball community, especially with his former Bronx Bomber teammates.
Cal Ripken (.318, 27, 102) is named the American League's MVP, with teammate Eddie Murray and Chicago catcher Carlton Fisk also receiving first-place votes. The Orioles' infielder becomes the first player to win the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Award in consecutive years.
Kirk Gibson is named the National League Most Valuable Player with Mets outfielders Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds also receiving first-place votes for the award. The Dodger World Series hero, who is the first MVP not to be named an All-Star in the same season, batted .290 and drove in 76 runs in 150 games this season.
Jason Giambi (.333, 43, 137) wins the American League MVP Award, edging out two-time winner White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas. The A's first baseman receives 14 of the 24 first-place ballots cast by the BBWAA.
Yankee right hander Roger Clemens (20-3, 3.51 ERA) wins the Cy Young Award for an unprecedented sixth time (Red Sox -1986, '87, '91 and Blue Jays -1997, '98). The 'Rocket' becomes the first Pinstriper to win the award since 1978 when Ron Guidry copped the honor.
Diamondbacks bench coach Bob Melvin is selected to be the Mariners' twelfth manager in franchise history. The 41 year-old former major league catcher is replacing Lou Piniella, who asked to be released from his contract to take a job closer to his home, and will pilot the Devil Rays next season.
Barry Bonds (.362, 45, 101), who is the only player to be the league’s MVP more than three times, is named by the BBWAA for a record seventh time, including an unprecedented fourth consecutive season. Winning the honor at the age of 40, the Giants’ left-fielder surpasses Willie Stargell as the oldest player to win the award.
The players’ association and owners agree to toughen the current penalties (10 days-first offense, 30 days-second offense and 60 days for the third time) for the use of steroids, using a 50-game suspension for a first offense, 100 games for a second and then lifetime ban for a third. The agreement also adds the much needed testing for amphetamines, which will result with mandatory additional testing if the test is positive the first time, with a second offense drawing a 25-game suspension, and a third offense meaning an 80 game suspension.
Alex Rodriguez wins the American League MVP Award for the second time in three seasons. The Yankees' third baseman edges out David Ortiz, the Red Sox DH, fueling the controversy that a designated hitter is not considered an all round player by many of the baseball writers who vote for the honor.
Becoming the fourth manager in the team’s brief history, Joe Maddon is selected by the Devil Rays to replace Lou Piniella. The former Angels bench coach believes, despite the club’s poor record and having the lowest payroll in baseball, the young talent, based on his computer-generated analysis, can start a winning tradition in Tampa Bay.
Six weeks after he is fired by the Marlins, Joe Girardi wins the NL Manager of the Year award when he receives 18 of 32 first-place votes in the BBWAA's balloting. The unemployed freshman skipper, who easily outpointed Willie Randolph of the Mets for the honor, is the first manager of a losing team (78-84) to cop the award.
Jim Leyland, who in his first year at the helm led the eventual AL champion Tigers to their first winning season since 1993, is named the American League Manager of the Year. The veteran skipper receives 19 of the writers' 28 first-place votes, easily outdistancing the Twins' Ron Gardenhire for the award.
Accused of allegedly lying nearly four years ago to a grand jury about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, Barry Bonds is indicted by a San Francisco federal grand jury on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. The former Giants slugging outfielder, who has broken many cherished home run baseball records, could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Joining Randy Jones (1976), Gaylord Perry (1978), and Mark Davis (1989), Jake Peavy (19-6, 2.54) becomes the fourth Padres pitcher to win the National League Cy Young Award. The 26 year-old right-hander, who led the senior circuit in wins, ERA and strikeouts with 240 K's, is the unanimous choice of the BBWAA, being named first on all 32 of the writers' ballots.
Returning to the organization that gave him his professional start, Ryne Sandberg is hired to manage the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Phillies. The diplomatic Hall of Fame second baseman, a finalist to replace Lou Piniella as the Cubs manager, decided it would be in the best interest of everyone involved not to continue managing in the Chicago minor league system.
Buster Posey becomes the sixth catcher, joining Johnny Bench (1968), Earl Williams (1971), Benito Santiago (1987), Mike Piazza (1993) and Geovany Soto (2008) to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. The 23 year-old Giants backstop, who started the season in Triple-A, batted .305 along with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs, playing in 108 games with the eventual World Champions.
Ranger reliever Neftali Feliz becomes the second player in franchise history to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award, joining Mike Hargrove, who copped the honor in 1974. The 22 year-old closer set a freshman record with 40 saves while finishing the most games in the league.
The Phillies and Jose Contreras agree to a $5.5 million, two-year deal that will keep the 38 year-old right-hander in Philadelphia. The one-time starter played a key role as a reliever for the NL East champions, posting a 6-4 record along with four saves in 67 appearances in his first season in the bullpen.
The Reds and Ramon Hernandez agree to a one-year, $3 million deal. The 34 year-old catcher started in 85 games behind the plate last season, and along with Ryan Hanigan and Corky Miller, was part of a trio that lead the National League backstops with 168 hits and a .296 batting average.
Replacing John Russell, Clint Hurdle becomes the Pirates' sixth manager since 1992, their last winning season. The 53 year-old skipper, who managed the Rockies to the National League pennant in 2007, inherits a team that lost 105 games last season and that has averaged 97 losses over the last six campaigns.
Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.40) is selected as the unanimous winner of the American League Cy Young award. The 28 year-old Tiger right-hander, who captured the circuit's pitching triple crown, leading the AL in victories, earned run average and strikeouts, easily outdistances runners-up that include L.A.'s Jered Weaver, Tampa Bay's James Shields, and New York's CC Sabathia.
Buster Posey (.306, 24, 103), whose 2011 season ended with a severe injury after a horrific collision with a runner at home plate, wins the National League MVP Award. The Giant catcher is the 21st MVP to also be previously named the Rookie of the Year, an award the backstop copped in 2010.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America selects Miguel Cabrera (.330, 44, 139) as the American League's Most Valuable Player. The Tigers' third baseman, the first Triple Crown winner since 1967, receives 22 out of the 28 writers' first-place votes, easily outpointing Angels outfielder Mike Trout, the circuit's Rookie of the Year.
Four Japanese hurlers combin to hurl a no-hitter, beating a team consisting of six major league All-Stars, 4-0. The victory, the first no-hitter in the Japan All-Star Series when Randy Johnson and Chuck Finley combined on a hitless game in 1990, clinches the series for the host country for the first time in 24 years.
Commissioner Bud Selig announces Petco Park will be the site of the All-Star Game in 2016, making it the the first time that the same league will play host in consecutive seasons since Pittsburgh's PNC Park and San Francisco's AT&T Park were the venues in 2006-07. This will be the third Midsummer Classic held in San Diego, following 1978 and 1992 contests played at Jack Murphy Stadium.