Wilbert Robinson is named as the Dodgers' new manager. 'Uncle Robbie' will compile a 1375-1341 (.506) record during his 18 year tenure as the Brooklyn skipper, capturing the National League pennant in 1916 and 1920.
In the first of two deals between the clubs on consecutive days, the Browns trade right-hander Jack Kramer along with All-Star shortstop Vern Stephens to the Red Sox for Pete Layden, Joe Ostrowski, Roy Partee, Eddie Pellagrini, Al Widmar, Jim Wilson, and $310,000. Boston plans to bat their new slugging infielder, known as Junior to his teammates, behind Ted Williams.
Elvin Quesada, a native of the District of Columbia, is awarded the American League expansion team which will play in Washington. The new owner of the Senators is presently the head of the Federal Aviation Administration.
After leading the league with a .325 average, 30 year-old Pirates shortstop Dick Groat is selected as the National League's Most Valuable Player, with Don Hoak, his partner on the left side of the Bucs' infield, being the runner-up to the award. Another teammate, right-fielder Roberto Clemente, is very disappointed, being named eighth on the ballot.
Yogi Berra signs a two-year contract with the Mets as a player-coach, earning $35,000 per season. The recently fired Yankee manager, donning his familiar number 8, will collect two hits in his scant nine National League at-bats.
By a unanimous vote of the owners, retired Air Force Lieutenant General William Eckert becomes the fourth Commissioner of Major League Baseball, succeeding the retiring Ford Frick, who served 14 years in the position. The game's unfamiliar new leader, who hasn't attended a game in a decade, will quickly be dubbed in the press as "the Unknown Soldier."
Vida Blue becomes the youngest player ever to win the MVP award. The 22 year-old A's southpaw is only the fifth hurler to capture both the Cy Young Award and the MVP in the same season, joining Don Newcombe (1956 Dodgers), Sandy Koufax (1963 Dodgers), Bob Gibson (1968 Cardinals), and Denny McLain (1968 Tigers).
Receiving 18 of the 24 first place votes, Yankee catcher Thurman Munson (.302, 17, 105) easily outdistances Kansas City third baseman George Brett to become the American League’s MVP. The team’s captain is the first Bronx Bomber to be selected as the league’s Most Valuable Player who had also previously won the Rookie of the Year award (1970).
White Sox owner Bill Veeck gives Yankee free-agent Ron Blomberg, who has played in only one game during the last two seasons, a generous four-year contract worth $500,000 that includes an additional $80,000 signing bonus. The questionable deal will turn out to be a complete bust when 'Boomer' hits only .231 in 169 plate appearances in his one year with Chicago.
Dale Murphy (.281, 36, 113) becomes the first Braves player to win the National League MVP since Hank Aaron won the award in 1957. The Atlanta outfielder will win the award again next season, becoming only the fourth player to be honored in consecutive seasons.
Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens, and Jerry Martin become the first active players ever to be sent to prison for drug violations. The judge hands down three-month sentences to the three members of the Royals for attempting to purchase cocaine.
George Bell becomes the first Blue Jay player to capture the American League's MVP Award. The 27 year-old Dominican outfielder hit .287, blasted 49 home runs, and drove in a league-leading 137 runs for the second-place Toronto club.
Colorado selects right-hander David Nied from the Braves as their first player in the expansion draft. The 23 year-old right-hander, who was 3-0 for Atlanta last season, will pitch the first regular-season game in Rockies history, losing to the Mets and Dwight Gooden at Shea Stadium, 3-0.
Pittsburgh catcher Jason Kendall signs the richest deal in Pirates' history. The $60 million, six-year contract extension, which includes a $4 million signing bonus, starts with a base salary of $6 million in 2002 and peaks at $13 million in 2007.
After dropping the first three contests in Japan, the American Major League team wins their fourth consecutive game, beating the Japanese stars, 4-2. The victory gives the United States, which hasn't lost a series to its Asian hosts since 1990, its fifth straight winning tour in the Land of the Rising Sun.
After being wined and dined by Tiger legend Al Kaline and owner Peter Ilitch, free agent Troy Percival signs a two-year, $12 million deal, surprising everyone, including his agent, by announcing he will pitch for Detroit next season. Before the preliminary meeting in the Motor City, the former Angels' closer had been scheduled to meet with the Indians and Cubs later in the week.
Filling the final managerial opening in the big leagues, Bob Geren is hired by the A's to pilot the defending AL West champions. The rookie skipper, a veteran minor league manager, replaces Ken Macha, who was dismissed after Oakland was defeated in the ALCS.
Frank Thomas agrees to an $18.12 million, two-year deal to join the Blue Jays. After spending 16 years with the White Sox, the 38 year-old designated hitter had a comeback season with the A's last season, leading the club into the playoffs, batting .270 with 39 homers and driving in 114 runs.
Despite nursing a sore elbow during the season, Albert Pujols (.357, 37, 116) wins his second Most Valuable Player award of his eight-year major league career. The 28 year-old All-Star first baseman of the fourth-place Cardinals, the only player listed on every ballot, receives 18 of the 32 first-place votes cast by the BBWAA to outpoint runner-up Ryan Howard of the World Champions Phillies, 369-308.
Replacing the discontinued annual exhibition game between major league teams, a new Hall of Fame Classic will be played in Cooperstown featuring the game’s legends and old-timers. The Hall of Fame announces the event will be played on Father's Day (June 21) and will be part of a weekend of activities and programs, which will include a skills clinic, a hitting contest, and autograph sessions.
With 25 of the 28 first-place votes cast by the writers, Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.16) easily outdistances Seattle's Felix Hernandez to win the American League Cy Young Award to join Steve Carlton (1972 Phillies) as the only hurlers to win the prestigious pitching prize toiling for a last place club. The Royals' right-hander will have another big day this Saturday when he marries his high school sweetheart Emily Kuchar, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
In the second trade of the general managers' meetings, the A's trade Rajai Davis to the Blue Jays for a pair of right-handed minor leaguers, Trystan Magnuson and Daniel Farquhar. Last week, Oakland acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Royals, making their former fleet outfielder expendable.
After being the runner-up five times, Ron Gardenhire is finally named the American League's Manager of the Year. The Twins skipper, the only AL field boss listed on all 28 ballots, led his team to its sixth Central Division title in nine seasons.
Bud Black edges Cincinnati skipper Dusty Baker by one point for the National League Manager of the Year honors. The Padres manager kept his underdog team in the playoff race until the last day of the season when they were knocked out of contention by San Francisco, the eventual World Champions.
Clayton Kershaw is named by the BBWAA as the National League's Cy Young Award recipient, easily outpointing Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, who had won the prestigious pitching prize last year. The 23 year-old southpaw earned the NL's triple crown by posting a 2.28 ERA, striking out 248 opponents, and notching the most victories in the circuit, along with Arizona's Ian Kennedy, with a record of 21-5.
The long-delayed sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane is unanimously approved by the baseball owners. The deal was dependent on the new owner's acceptance of the franchise being switched from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013, a move that reportedly lowered the sale price from $680 million to $615 million.
The Braves trade Gold Glove outfielder Jayson Heyward and setup man Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for right-handers Shelby Miller and 22 year-old minor leaguer Tyrell Jenkins. The move appears to be the start of a rebuilding period for Atlanta under the team’s new general manager John Hart.