The Boston Red Stockings are incorporated by Ivers Whitney Adams with $15,000, and the help of Harry Wright, who had founded and managed the Cincinnati Red Stockings, America's first professional baseball team. The franchise will compile a 225-60 (.789) record and will win four pennants during its five year existence in the National Association.
Kentucky lawmakers revise the ruling which inadvertently banned playing baseball in the commonwealth. The poorly written legislation would have prevented the Louisville Eclipse from playing their inaugural season in the American Association.
Henry Mathewson signs with the Giants, but the right-hander's performance will not remind anyone of his more talented brother, Christy. The 19 year-old will appear in just two major league games over the next two seasons, compiling a 0-1 record along with an ERA of 4.91.
Joe Sewell, after being released by the Indians, will end his career with the Yankees, hitting .282 during his three-year tenure with New York. The 33 year-old third baseman will be inducted into the Hall of Fame by Veteran's Committee as Player in 1977.
Negro League standout Josh Gibson, sometimes referred to as the 'black Babe Ruth', suffers a stroke at a movie theater, dying a few hours later at his mother's house at the age of 35. The future Hall of Fame catcher will be put to rest in an unmarked grave in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, not far from Gus Greenlee, the owner and founder of the Pittsburgh Crawfords.
Ted Williams, who compiled a .344 career batting average playing with the Red Sox for 19 seasons, receives 282 votes of 302 ballots (93.4%) cast by the writers of the BBWAA to be elected into the Hall of Fame. The 'Splendid Splinter' becomes the first American League position player to be selected in his first year of eligibility.
Mets fans are shocked as the franchise loses future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver for the second time. The White Sox draft the unprotected 'Tom Terrific', who rejoined the team last season after being traded away to Cincinnati in 1977, as compensation for losing Dennis Lamp, a Type A free agent, to the Blue Jays.
Former outfielder Curt Flood, who played most notably with the Cardinals, dies of throat cancer at the age of 59. The baseball pioneer, after being traded to the Phillies in 1969, refused to play for Philadelphia and challenged the owners’ reserve clause, taking the matter as far as the U.S. Supreme Court, where he lost the case, but laid the groundwork which would lead to free agency in professional sports.
George W. Bush is sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States. The former Texas Ranger owner, who had a scant 1.8 percent share of the team in the beginning of the venture, and his partners bought the Texas franchise from Eddie Chiles in 1989 for $86 million.
With the encouragement of President George W. Bush, a former major league owner, baseball's second application to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control to allow Cuba to play in the World Baseball Classic is approved. With the issues of potential espionage by Cuban spies accompanying the team and money going to the Castro government having been resolved, the Olympic champs will be one of the 16 teams to compete in the WBC.
At the introductory news conference, Bob Castellini, the new Reds’ owner, makes it clear on his first day on the job he plans to be a hands-on CEO. Promising the fans a championship, the Cincinnati produce proprietor plans to work out of the offices at Great American Ball Park on a daily basis until he has a firm understanding of how a baseball front office operates.
Ozzie Guillen, who became the first foreign-born manager to win a World Series, celebrates his 42nd birthday in a very special way. The White Sox skipper, along with his wife Ibis and their son Oney, becomes an American citizen today.
Danny Graves, the only major leaguer born in Vietnam, travels to Quang Tri province just south of the DMZ, to dedicate the country's first baseball field. Seventeen explosive devices were removed between home base and the outfield as the former soccer field was transformed into a diamond for the Le Loi High School, using money donated from Major League Baseball and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
Jonathan Papelbon, avoiding arbitration, agrees to a one-year contract with the Red Sox. The 28 year-old All-Star closer has compiled a career 1.84 ERA, the second best in big league history among pitchers with at least 200.0 innings, trailing only Meriden, Connecticut's Ed Walsh mark of 1.82.
The Dodgers, avoiding arbitration, sign Russell Martin to a one-year deal. The 25 year-old catcher, a two-time All-Star, will make $3.9 million this season after making $500,000 last season.
Adam LaRoche signs a $7.05 million, one-year contract with the payroll-poor Pirates. The 25 year-old first baseman's deal, which avoids the need for arbitration, will most likely be the second richest in Pittsburgh this season, being slightly less than shortstop Jack Wilson’s $7.25 million.
Avoiding arbitration, Ryan Madson and the Phillies reach a preliminary agreement on a $12 million, three-year contract. The right-handed reliever, who posted a 3.05 ERA in 76 games out of the bullpen last year, finished the season as the setup man for closer Brad Lidge, who was perfect in 48 save opportunities.
The Mariners obtain David Aardsma from the Red Sox in exchange for minor league southpaw Fabian Williamson. Seattle plans to use the 27 year-old right-hander, a first-round draft pick in 2003, out of the bullpen.
The Nationals, avoiding salary arbitration, sign Mike Morse to a reported two-year contract extension. The 29 year-old outfielder/infielder, who had been asking for $5 million, led the team in batting (.303 average), home runs (31), and runs batted in (95) last season.