Commissioner Ford Frick states his belief that the Pacific Coast League will eventually reach major league status. The PCL is the only minor league in history to be given the "Open" classification, considered a step above the AAA level, that limited the rights of big league clubs to draft players from its teams, and is perceived as a precursor to the circuit becoming a third major league.
Breaking New York's four-year stronghold on the award, Jackie Jensen (.286, 35, 122) of the Red Sox is selected as the American League Most Valuable Player. The outcome is unexpected as the fleet outfielder played on a non-contender, unlike runner-up Bob Turley, who pitched for the World Champion Yankees.
Tom Seaver is named the National League’s Rookie of the Year. The 22 year-old right-hander, who compiled a 16-13 record along with a 2.76 ERA for the last-place Mets, easily outdistances fellow righties Dick Hughes of St. Louis and Cincinnati’s Gary Nolan for the freshman honor.
Willie McCovey (.320, 45, 126) is selected by the BBWAA as the National League's Most Valuable Player. The Giants first baseman edges Tom Seaver, who posted a 2.21 ERA with 208 strikeouts and a league-leading 25 wins for the World Champion Mets.
Jim Leyland, who will become a mainstay in the Bucs' dugout for 11 seasons, replaces Chuck Tanner as the manager of the Pirates. Pittsburgh finished in last place this season, compiling a woeful record of 57-104.
Don Zimmer, former skipper of the Padres, Red Sox, and Rangers, is hired by longtime-friend Jim Frey to manage the Cubs. In his last managerial stint, 'Popeye' will compile a 265-258 (.507) record during his 3+ year tenure in Chicago.
Robin Yount is selected by the BBWAA as the American League's Most Valuable Player, becoming the first American Leaguer from a sub .500 team to win the prestigious prize. The Milwaukee center fielder, who also won the award in 1982 as a shortstop, joins Hank Greenberg and Stan Musial as the third person to win the MVP twice playing different positions.
Due to his unruly behavior toward the umpires in Game 4 of the ALCS, Roger
Clemens is suspended for the first five games of the 1991 season and is fined $10,000. The right-hander ace, starting the deciding game in Boston's loss in the 1990 ALCS against the A's, was ejected in the second inning of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum contest by umpire Terry Cooney for his frequent and rapid use of foul language.
Ichiro Suzuki becomes only the second player in major league history to win the Most Valuable Player Award in the same year as being selected Rookie of the Year. The 28 year-old Mariner outfielder joins Red Sox freshman outfielder Fred Lynn, who accomplished the feat in 1975, as the only other rookie to win the MVP.
U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) introduces a resolution congratulating the Red Sox on their recent World Championship, a four-game sweep of St. Louis. The team had never won the World Series during the lifetime of the 72 year-old legislator.
Jimmy Rollins becomes the fifth and second consecutive Phillies player to win the National League Most Valuable Player Award. The 5'8" Gold Glove shortstop, who narrowly edges Matt Holliday of the Rockies for the honor, joins Chuck Klein (1932), Jim Konstanty (1950), Mike Schmidt (1980, 1981, 1986), and Ryan Howard (2006) to win the MVP in the senior circuit playing in Philadelphia.
Mike Lowell and the Red Sox finalize a $37.5 million, three-year contract. The 33 year-old third baseman, who was the World Series MVP, had been seeking a four-year deal, but chose to stay with the World Champions despite longer and more lucrative offers.
The 35-year reign of George Steinbrenner as the Yankees boss officially ends when the MLB owners unanimously approve of his son taking control of the franchise. Hal Steinbrenner was appointed co-chairman of the team along with his brother Hank at the start of last season when it became evident their 78 year-old dad was gradually reducing his role as the owner of the storied franchise.
Mike Mussina, a twenty-game winner last season, announces his retirement, ending an 18-year career with the Orioles and the Yankees. 'Moose', who compiled a 270-153 record with a 3.68 ERA, left Baltimore after the 2000 season, signing an $88.5 million, six-year free-agent deal to play in the Bronx.
Tim Lincecum becomes the eighth hurler in baseball history, joining Sandy Koufax, Denny McLain, Jim Palmer, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson, to win back-to-back Cy Young Awards. The Giants right-hander, receiving fewer first-place votes than the third runner-up Adam Wainwright, outpoints the Cardinals righty as well as runner-up Chris Carpenter, also a Redbird starter.
The Blue Jays rehire John Gibbons as their manager to replace John Farrell, who was released from his contract last month to become Boston's skipper. In the 605 games he managed over parts of five seasons from 2004-08, the 50 year-old field boss compiled a 305-305 won-lost record for Toronto.
Jeremy Guthrie and the Royals come to terms on a $25 million, three-year deal that will keep the right-hander in Kansas City through 2015. The former Eagle Scout, obtained in a mid-season trade from the Rockies for southpaw starter Jonathan Sanchez, compiled a 5-3 record along with a 3.16 ERA in 14 starts with his new team.
The Rays announce the club has re-signed Joel Peralta to a $6 million, two-year deal that includes club options for 2015-17. The 36 year-old right-handed reliever, mainly in his role as setup man for Fernando Rodney, posted a 2-6 record along with a 3.63 ERA and a career-high 84 strikeouts in his 76 appearances for Tampa Bay.
The Tigers trade Prince Fielder to the Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler, who will fill the void created by the departure of free agent Omar Infante to Kansas City. Texas is depending on their new southpaw-swinging slugger, who has blasted at least 30 home runs in six of the past seven seasons, to provide much-needed power to the team’s lineup.