National League president Ford Frick steps in and pays $350 for funeral services, including the cost of a coffin, for the unclaimed body of Hack Wilson. The former slugger, who had died probably of alcohol abuse a few days earlier in a Baltimore hospital, is identified only as a white male.
Moving from Washington, D.C. to an area near Minneapolis and St. Paul, known in Minnesota as the Twin Cities, the state's newly arrived major league team changes its name and will be known as the Twins. The new American League expansion team now in the nation's capital will continue to use the name Senators, but will be a totally different franchise.
After capturing his second American League batting title, infielder Pete Runnels (.326) is traded by the Red Sox, as he requested, to the Colt .45s. The 34 year-old Texas native, who is exchanged for outfielder Roman Mejias, will hit only .252 in Houston next season and will retire in May of 1964.
The Dodgers trade pitcher Stan Williams (14-12, 4.46) for Yankee first baseman Bill Skowron (.270, 23, 80). 'Moose' will hit .385, including a home run in Game 2, against his former teammates in Los Angeles' four-game sweep of the Bronx Bombers in next season's Fall Classic.
Pete Rose, who still shares a room with his brother in their childhood home located seven miles from Crosley Field, is named the National League Rookie of the Year. The 22 year-old Reds second baseman collects 17 of the 20 votes cast by the BBWAA, with Mets infielder Rookie Hunt being named on two of the ballots and Phillies right-hander Ray Culp listed on the other.
Catfish Hunter, who claims his contract has been violated by the A's for failing to pay $50,000 into a long term annuity fund, meets with an arbitrator and team owner Charlie Finley in New York. Peter Seitz of the American Arbitration Association will eventually rule in favor of the right-hander, making the Oakland hurler the first big-name star in modern times to become a free agent.
Fred Lynn, receiving 22 of the 24 writers' first-place votes easily outdistances Royals' first baseman/DH John Mayberry for the American League's Most Valuable Player award. The 22 year-old Red Sox flycatcher becomes the first player in baseball history to win the MVP after being named Rookie of the Year in the same season.
Philadelphia third baseman Mike Schmidt (.286, 48, 121), garnering all of the writers' 24 first-place votes, wins the Most Valuable Player Award. Joining outfielder Chuck Klein (1932) and pitcher Jim Konstanty (1950), the 30 year-old slugger becomes the third Phillies player, the first in team history to be selected unanimously, to cop the prestigious prize.
The Yankees trade 24 year-old right-hander Doug Drabek, along with Logan Easley and Brian Fisher, to the Pirates for veterans Rick Rhoden, Cecilio Guante, and Pat Clements. The Bronx Bombers will regret sending their rookie starter to Pittsburgh after he wins the 1990 Cy Young Award, posting a 22-6 record for the Bucs.
With the owners' approval of the collective bargaining agreement, interleague play during the regular season and revenue sharing among owners along with payroll tax on players become a reality. The landmark agreement, voted down 18-12 three weeks ago, is ratified overwhelmingly by a vote of 26-4.
Prior to playing two regular-season games against the A's to open the major league season in Japan, MLB announces the Mariners will face the Seibu Lions and Yomiuri Giants in exhibition contests on March 22 and 23. Seattle features former Japanese superstar Ichiro Suzuki, who signed a three-year deal with the team in 2001.
Hoping to add punch to their outfield, the A's trade catcher Ramon Hernandez and disgruntled flychaser Terrence Long to the Padres for outfielder Mark Kotsay. The deal will be delayed until Kotsay's back gets a clean bill of health.
The Cubs re-signed 30 year-old free agent Kerry Wood to a one-year, $4.2 million deal which includes additional incentives for closing games. The fragile former right-handed starter, who turned down multi-year offers from other clubs to stay with Chicago, will be given an opportunity to become the club's closer.
The Dodgers complete their starting rotation by signing Jon Garland to a $5 million, one-year deal that includes a club option for an additional season. The 31 year-old right-hander joins the formidable foursome of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, and Ted Lilly.