Benjamin Douglas is hired as the manager of the Providence Grays, and Tom Carey is signed as the team's captain. The skipper of the new National League franchise in Rhode Island will be fired for insubordination before the season begins, being replaced by left fielder Tom York, who lead the team to a third-place finish with a 33-27 (.550) record.
The Washington Nationals, also to be known as the Statesmen, are admitted to the National League. The new franchise, which will play it's home games at the Swampoodle Grounds, will win only 28 games of the 120 games played, finishing 60 games behind the first-place Chicago White Stockings in their first season of the team's four-year existence in the nation's capital.
A new national agreement is signed by the National League, American Association, and the Western Association that creates a three-man panel to settle disputes among the leagues. Two days ago, the NL owners voted to allow the American Association to place a team in Boston‚ despite the emphatic opposition from the owners of the Boston Beaneaters, the existing NL franchise in town.
Stan Musial gets a salary raise to $85,000 despite a Korean War wage freeze. The U.S. Standardization Board gives its okay for teams to give individual players pay increases using a complex formula.
The NFL Steelers beat the Pirates, 22-20 in a benefit basketball game played at the Field House for the Children's Hospital. The Bucs' very competitive shortstop Dick Groat, a Duke University hoop standout, scores 14 points, but takes exception to the foul called on him by Bob Prince, the team's broadcaster refereeing the game, that allows their football rivals to tie the score in the final few seconds of the contest and eventually win the scheduled 15-minute exhibition in overtime.
The Cubs trade Alvin Dark, along with John Buzhardt and Jim Woods, to the Phillies in exchange for Richie Ashburn. After a slow start in Philadelphia, the 'Swamp Fox' is dealt to the Braves, where the veteran infielder will hit .298 for Boston before retiring as a player at the end of the season to become the skipper for Giants, the team which he served as the captain during their World Championship campaigns of 1951 and 1954.
The American League owners, by a 9-1 vote, nix Charlie Finley's proposal to move the A's to Louisville, and the maverick owner is given an ultimatum to sign a lease in Kansas City by February 1 or lose his franchise. Ten days ago, Finley had announced he had signed a two-year deal with Louisville and had plans to shift the franchise there to start playing for the upcoming season.
Steve Carlton becomes the highest paid pitcher when he signs a contract with the Phillies for a reported $165,000. The 28 year-old southpaw, last season's unanimous Cy Young Award winner, will lose a league-leading 20 games this season after posting a 27-10 record in the previous campaign for the last place team.
The BBWAA elects former Yankees teammates southpaw Whitey Ford and slugger Mickey Mantle to the Hall of Fame. The lefthander, who retired leading the Bronx Bombers in wins (236), innings pitched (3,171), strikeouts (1,956), and shutouts (45), will be joined by his carousing buddy, the 'Mick', who becomes only the seventh player to make it in his first year of eligibility after a retirement of at least five years, accomplishing the feat along with Warren Spahn, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller, and Stan Musial.
The Giants signed much acclaimed amateur free-agent Osvaldo Fernandez. The Cuban National squad’s All-Star hurler, who defected when his club played Team USA in Tennessee, will post a disappointing 10-17 record during his two-year stay by the Bay.
In their first year of eligibility, Dave Winfield and Kirby Puckett are elected to the Hall of Fame. The former Twins, who played together for Minnesota in 1993-94, become the seventh pair of teammates to be selected by the BBWAA in the same year.
The Angels sign 36 year-old free agent Jose Canseco to be the team's designated hitter. The incentive-laden contract, ranging from $200,000 to as much as $5 million, will be based on plate appearances as a DH.
Pedro Astacio (8-14, 5.09) agrees to a one-year, $5 million incentives-laden free-agent deal with the Mets. The 32 year-old right-hander, after being traded to the Astros by the Rockies last season, developed shoulder problems.
The owners establish the minimum age of 14 for bat boys. The change from not having any age requirement was prompted by a near collision at home plate during Game 5 of the World Series involving four year-old bat boy Darren Baker, the son of Giant skipper, Dusty Baker.
Gary Carter will become the first player, and most likely the only one, to wear an Expos hat on his Hall of Fame plaque. Although the former catcher had expressed his wish to be immortalized as a member of the Mets, the team which presently employs him and the franchise he helped win the 1986 World Series, Cooperstown decided the 'Kid' should enter the Hall with a Montreal logo.
The owners, in an effort to restore the competitive edge to the All-Star Game, unanimously approve the home-field advantage during the World Series will be awarded to the team representing the winning league of the Midsummer Classic. Approval is needed by the players to change the current rotation between the two leagues, which was put in place since its inception of the World Series in 1903.
Dontrelle Willis (22-10, 2.63), signing a record-setting one-year deal with Marlins, avoids arbitration by agreeing to a $4.35 million one-year deal which could be worth $4.55 million if certain performance-based incentives are reached. The All-Star southpaw’s deal surpasses Roy Halladay and Andy Pettitte, who both inked $3.8 million contracts, for the highest amount ever given to a starting pitcher in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
The Florida Marlins, the team with the lowest payroll in the majors, spending only $15 million last season, agrees to a one-year deal with southpaw Dontrelle Willis (12-12, 3.87) for $6.45 million. The Florida ace gets a hefty raise from the $4.35 million he received last season.
A former 20-game winner with the team, Jon Lieber (3-6, 4.73), signs a $3.5 million, one-year deal with the Cubs. The right-handed veteran, who played with the Phillies for the past three years, missed most of last season due to surgery needed to repair a ruptured tendon in his foot.
The Tigers, avoiding salary arbitration, sign Nate Roberts (9-13, 4.76) to a $21.25 million, three-year deal. The 30 year-old southpaw, who would have been eligible to become a free agent after the 2009 season, has made 30+ starts during each of his previous four seasons with Detroit.
The Red Sox sign another infielder to a long-term contract when Kevin Youkilis agrees to a four-year deal reportedly worth $41 million. The 29 year-old Gold Glove first baseman will join Dustin Pedroia, inked to a six-year contract extension in December, on the right side of Boston's infield for the foreseeable future.
Scott Hairston returns to the Padres, the team that traded him last July, in a four-player deal with the A's. The Friars send third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and prospect Eric Sogard to Oakland in exchange for their former outfielder and Aaron Cunningham.
Joey Votto and the Reds agree to a three-year contract extension worth $38 million. The 27 year-old first baseman, who was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player last season, had a career year, batting .324 along with hitting 37 home runs and driving in 113 runs.
The Mariners acquire Michael Morse from the Nationals in a three-way trade that sends catcher John Jaso to the A's, who deal minor league pitchers A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen, and a player to be named later to Washington. The 30 year-old outfielder/first baseman, obtained to provide additional punch to Seattle's middle-of-the-order, spent the first four years of his big league career playing for the Northwest team.
Expanded instant replay, a concept previously agreed to by the Players Association and World Umpires Association, is unanimously approved at the quarterly Owners Meetings. Each manager will begin a game with one challenge, and beginning in the top of the seventh, the crew chief will also be able to initiate a review from the Replay Command Center at MLB Advanced Media headquarters in New York.