Receiving all six first place votes, Chuck Klein (.348, 38, 137) is named the National League's Most Valuable Player. The 27-year outfielder becomes the first Phillies player to win the award.
In one of their best trades in franchise history, the White Sox obtain future Hall of Famer Nellie Fox from the A's in exchange for catcher Joe Tipton. The hard-nosed second baseman will lead the league in hits four times and will win the 1959 American League MVP during his 14-year tenure with the team.
Fred Hutchinson, who compiled a 443-372 (.544) record and won the 1961 National League pennant during his six seasons with the team, formally resigns as manager the Reds. The 44 year-old much-respected skipper, after a courageous battle against lung cancer, will die three weeks later in Bradenton, Florida.
Harry Walker is named as the skipper of the Pirates replacing Danny Murtaugh, who will return to the field as an interim manager when his successor is fired during the 1967 season. During his two-plus years in the Pittsburgh dugout, 'the Hat' compiles a respectable 224-184 (.549) record, but is let go after his team plays .500 ball after competing for the National League flag the previous two seasons.
Two days after manager Johnny Keane announces his departure from the Redbirds to join the Yankees, Cardinals general manager Bob Howsam announces the resignation of team consultant Branch Rickey, stating he has no explanation for the 83 year-old's decision to leave the club. The move is seen as the continuation of the front office shakeup for the World Champs, that also includes the resignation of Eddie Stanky as the director of player development and the dismissal of former GM Bing Devine.
The A's score twice in the bottom ninth to win Game 4 of the World Series, stunning the Reds at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, 3-2. The comeback is fueled by four straight singles, three delivered by pinch-hitters.
Jim Mason's solo home run in the seventh inning of Game 3 will prove to be the Yankees' only round-tripper in the World Series, en route to being swept by the Reds. Cincinnati designated hitter Dan Driessen has a single, double, and homer in the team's 6-2 victory at the Bronx ballpark.
The White Sox fire Larry Doby‚ who posted a 37-50 record for the fifth-place team as a mid-season replacement for skipper Bob Lemon. Owner Bill Veeck names 35 year-old shortstop Don Kessinger, who was obtained from St. Louis at end of the 1977 campaign, as the club's player-manager for next season.
The first Canadian pennant hopes are dashed when Dodger Rick Monday's ninth inning two-out dramatic home run beats the Expos, 2-1, in the deciding game of the NLCS. It will be the first and last time in franchise history the team makes it into the postseason until 2012, when the Washington Nationals, the team's new name and home for the past seven seasons, finishes first in the National League East Division.
At Shea Stadium, Steve Crawford is the winning pitcher in the Red Sox' 9-3 victory over the Mets in Game 2 of the World Series. The right-handed reliever, who was 0-2 before the start of the postseason, becomes the first hurler to win a Fall Classic contest after being winless during the regular season.
The Yankees name Billy Martin as their manager for the fifth and final time. The fiery skipper will stay at the helm until June 23, finishing his tumultuous tenure with the Bronx Bombers with a 556-385 (.591) record that produces two pennants and a World championship during his eight seasons with the team.
The Braves stroll into a World Series berth with their 10-9 walk-off victory against the Mets at Turner Field in Game 6 of the NLCS. Atlanta has their ticket punched to the Fall Classic when Kenny Rogers issues a base on balls to Andruw Jones with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to force in Gerald Williams with winning run.
Dusty Baker, who led the Giants to a National League West flag with baseball's best record (97-65), reaches agreement with the Giants on a two-year contract extension. The pact makes the two-time National League Manager of the Year the second highest-paid skipper in the majors.
Tsuyoshi Shinjo, the Giants' designated hitter, becomes the first Japanese-born player to appear in the World Series. The Osaka native gets a hit in his three trips to the plate in the team's 4-3 victory over the Angels in Game 1 of the Fall Classic.
At Edison International Field of Anaheim, the Giants edge the Angels in Game 1 of the Fall Classic, 4-3. It is the first time two wild card teams have faced one another in the World Series.
In an ALCS game which features two reversed calls by the umpires, the Red Sox become the first team in baseball history after trailing the series 0-3 to force a Game 7. Boston, who was three outs from being swept in Game 4, gets an outstanding pitching performance from Curt Schilling, playing with a dislocated ankle tendon, to beat the Yankees at the Bronx ballpark, 4-2.
In a pivotal play of Game 6 of the ALCS played at Yankee Stadium, Alex Rodriguez is ruled out for interference after slapping the ball from Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove. As a result, Derek Jeter, who had scored, is ordered back to first with two outs rather than one, killing a potential rally in New York's eventual 4-2 loss to Boston.
The Astros, one of six teams to have never played in the World Series, break the franchise’s 43-year drought and advance to the Fall Classic, beating the Cardinals in the NLCS, 5-1. Houston had been close before, coming up short five times in their history in a game with the NL flag on the line, including being one strike away in Game 5 before Albert Pujols dashed the hometown dreams by hitting a two-strike, two out three-run ninth-inning homer, forcing a Game 6 in St. Louis.
For a new generation of fans, the term "the Catch" may conjure up memories of Endy Chavez's NLCS Game 7 leaping catch at Shea's left field fence with his outstretched glove, grabbing a ball destined to be a Scott Rolen two-run home run and starting an unbelievable double play. The heroics are overshadowed in the ninth inning as Yadier Molina hits a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran, who has the best HR ratio (11/81) in postseason history, looks at a third strike with the bases loaded with Mets, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 victory and the pennant.
Nicole Sherry becomes the second woman to be named the head groundskeeper of a major league team when the Orioles ask her to lead the crew taking care of Camden Yards. The Wilmington, Delaware native joins Heather Nabozny, who has been in the same position with the Tigers since 1999.
After 12 seasons and 12 playoff appearances, including 10 AL East titles, six pennants and four world championships, manager Joe Torre rejects the Yankees' overture, which calls for a pay cut. The non-negotiable offer - a one-year, $5 million deal with $1 million incentives per playoff round and an $8 million option for 2009 if the Yankees reached next year's World Series - was considered by many to be insulting and a ploy to oust the popular manager without upsetting the team's fans.
Trey Hillman, a successful skipper in the minors and in Japan, is hired by the Royals to manage their club. The 44 year-old current Nippon Ham Fighters manager, who has never played, coached or managed in the big leagues, spent 13 years in the dugout in the Yankees' minor leagues and was named manager of the year three times.
Behind the solid performance of starter Matt Garza and the stellar relief work of rookie David Price to finish the game, which included striking out J.D. Drew with the bases loaded to end the eighth, the hometown Rays beat the defending world champion Red Sox, 3-1, in the decisive Game 7 of the ALCS to win their first American League pennant. After posting the worst record in baseball last season, the Rays advance to the World Series and will host the Phillies in Game 1 of the Fall Classic at Tropicana Field.
Kenji Johjima, the first Japanese catcher in major league history, surprises the Mariners by opting out of the final two seasons of his three-year deal. Unhappy of being benched, the 33 year-old struggling backstop walks away from $15.8 million to finish his career in Japan.
The Yankees pay tribute to Freddy Schuman, a fan favorite at the ballpark since 1988 due to his signs and the rhythmic banging of a spoon against a skillet, by putting some of his memorabilia inside Gate 4 at the Stadium, and with a moment of silence prior to Game 4 of the ALCS. The fans also show their appreciation of 85 year-old iconic “Freddy Sez” when they photographed friends banging his displayed pan, and with their chanting of “Fred-dy! Fred-dy!” during the contest against the Rangers.
The Nationals sign general manager Mike Rizzo to a five-year contract extension, promoting him to the executive vice president of baseball operations for the organization. The new position, made available when team president Stan Kasten resigned, gives the 48 year-old more control over the franchise as well as a direct line to the team's ownership, including principal owner Ted Lerner.
The Cubs select Mike Quade, Lou Piniella's interim replacement who guided the team to a 24-13 record during the last six weeks of the season, as the franchise's newest manager. Triple-A Iowa skipper and a Hall of Fame icon Ryne Sandberg, a finalist in the selection process, was thought to be the front-runner for the position.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney is named the AL Comeback Player of the Year after the reliever establishes the all-time MLB mark with a 0.60 ERA and sets the franchise’s saves record with 48. Prior to playing for Tampa Bay, the 35 year-old right-hander struggled for two seasons with the Angels, saving just 17 games during his tenure with the Halos.