League secretary Nick Young becomes National League president replacing Abe Mills, who had resigned from the post. The likable executive will stay in the position until he returns to his position with the U.S. Treasury Department in 1902.
With 20,000 well-wishers jamming the streets in the City by the Bay, Joe DiMaggio marries actress Dorothy Arnold at St. Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco. The Yankees outfielder met his future bride on the set of 'Manhattan Merry Go-Round', a movie in which he had a minor role.
James Vernon will pilot the new American League expansion Senators in the team's inaugural season in the nation's capital. During his three-year tenure with the new club, 'Mickey' will compile a dismal 135-227 record, finishing no higher than ninth place.
The Cardinals trade pitcher Don Cardwell and infielder Julio Gotay to the Pirates for shortstop Dick Groat and pitcher Diomedes Olivio. The Redbirds' new infielder will become a central cog in the team's World championship in 1964.
Yankee right-hander Stan Bahnsen (17-12, 2.05, 162) is named American League Rookie of the Year. The 23 year-old freshman starter easily outdistances outfielder Del Unser (.230, 1, 30) of the last-place Senators.
In a landslide vote, Joe Morgan (.327, 17, 94) is overwhelming elected the National League MVP. The Reds' second baseman, who received 21 of the 23 first-place votes cast by the writers, had a major league-leading on-base percentage of .466.
Former Angel Nolan Ryan agrees to a $4.4 million, four-year deal with the Astros, the largest sum ever given to a free-agent signing with a new team. After inking the richest contract in sports, the 'Ryan Express' becomes the first baseball player to earn a million dollars per year.
Mike Schmidt (.290, 37, 119) joins Roy Campanella and Stan Musial becoming only the third player in National League history to win the MVP three times. The Phillies' third baseman also won the prestigious prize in 1980 and 1981.
Being named first on 23 of 24 ballots cast by the writers with the other first-place vote being garnered by teammate Bobby Bonilla, Pirates' outfielder Barry Bonds (.301, 23, 114) easily wins the National League Most Valuable Player Award. The future all-time home run king will win an unprecedented seven MVPs, five while playing with the Giants.
Howard Johnson, who will turn 33-years old at the end of the month, becomes the first free agent to sign with another team this off-season when he agrees to a one-year deal worth $2,100,000 to play for the Rockies. The switch-hitting slugger, who led the National League in homers and RBIs two years ago, has seen his production drop in recent seasons primarily due to injuries.
Free-agent Albert Belle signs a record five-year, $55 million deal with the White Sox. The generous contract makes the 30-year old left fielder the first $10 million a year player in baseball history.
Sammy Sosa is selected as the National League MVP creating an historic Latin American sweep of the MVP awards with Ranger Juan Gonzalez winning the award in the American League this season.
In a landslide vote, Giants' left fielder Barry Bonds (.328, 73, 137), receiving 30 of 32 first-place votes cast by the BBWAA, wins the Most Valuable Player Award for an unprecedented fourth time (1990, 92-93 with the Pirates). Three-time MVPs include Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial and Mike Schmidt.
Twenty-four year veteran Jesse Orosco, the all-time leader in games pitched at 1,187, agrees to a one-year contract with the Padres estimated at $800,000, The 45-year old lefty reliever, who started his major league with the Mets in 1979 after being traded by the Twins for Jerry Koosman, is the oldest player in the majors.
The Angels trade flychaser Jose Guillen (.294, 27, 104) to the Washington Expos for outfielder Juan Riveria and infielder Maicer Izturis. The Dominican Republic native, now playing for his sixth team in his eight-year career, was suspended by Anaheim for throwing a helmet during a tirade after being taken out for a pinch-runner last September.
Alex Rodriguez (.314, 54, 156), receiving 26 out of 28 first place-votes cast by the BBWAA, wins his third American League Most Valuable Player Award, the second as a Yankee (2005). The 32-year-old A-Rod, presently in contract talks with the Bronx Bombers with a $275 million framework in place to keep the third baseman in New York until 2018, won his first MVP with the Rangers in 2003.
The Angels trade Orlando Cabrera (.301, 8, 86) to the White Sox in exchange for Jon Garland (10-13, 4.23). Many see this trade of their Gold Glove shortstop for a right-hander as a precursor of the pitching-rich Halos dealing a hurler for a big bat such as Miguel Cabrera or Miguel Tejada.
The Mariners hire former A's bench coach Don Wakamatsu as the team's 16th manager in the 31-year history of the franchise. The fourth-generation Japanese-American, whose father was born in an internment camp during World War II, is the first Asian-American to manage in the big leagues.
The Royals obtain a much-needed leadoff hitter acquiring Coco Crisp (.283, 7, 41) from the Red Sox in exchange for setup reliever Ramon Ramirez (3-2, 2.64, 70/71.2). The fleet-footed center fielder became dispensable due to the sensational play of Jacoby Ellsbury in the Boston outfield.
The Tigers finalize a $16.5 million, three-year deal with reliever Joaquin Benoit, with the 33-year old right-hander getting $5.5 million a year. The contract for the former Tampa Bay setup man is similar to the one given to Brandon Lyon, who filled the same role for Detroit before going to Houston in the 2009 offseason.
At a news conference at Minute Maid Park, Astros owner Drayton McLane announces he is putting the club up for sale. The 74-year-old entrepreneur, who purchased the franchise for about $117 million in 1992, tells the gathering, "it’s time to change and move forward".
Miami sends starting pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle along with shortstop Jose Reyes, catcher John Buck, utility player Emilio Bonifacio and cash to the Blue Jays for shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez, backstop Jeff Mathis and three minor leaguers, including highly-regarded pitching prospect, Justin Nicolino. The blockbuster trade is reminiscent of the team's moves in 1997 and 2003 when the Marlins put its bottom line above fielding a competitive team for the South Florida fans.