Joe Judge, who compiled a .299 lifetime BA in his 18 seasons with the Senators, is released by the team and will sign with Dodgers. The veteran first baseman will hit just .214 in 42 games with Brooklyn before getting released again and moving back to the American League with Boston, where he'll retire next season.
Crosley Field’s home plate area is covered by 21 feet of water with the lower grandstand of the Redlegs’ home being totally submerged as Cincinnati experiences the worst flood in its history when the flood-prone Mill Creek overflows its banks. As a publicity stunt, Reds pitcher Lee Grissom and the team's traveling secretary, John McDonald are photographed as they entered the ballpark over the left field fence and rowed to the area of the pitcher's mound.
The Reds trade pitcher Paul Derringer to the Cubs for cash. The 36 year-old right-hander, known as Oom Paul, will post a 10-14 record with an ERA of 3.57 for Chicago.
Lou Perini, Guido Rugo, and Joe Maney, known as the 'Three Steam Shovels' due to their ties to the construction industry, gain control of the Boston Braves. The new ownership will immediately relieve Casey Stengel of his duties as manager of the second-division place club, who finished in sixth place with a record of 67-85.
Fred Saigh gains ninety percent control of the Cardinals when he buys out the interest of Robert Hennegan, who after just two years of ownership makes a tidy profit of $866,000. In 1953, the Redbirds' new owner will be forced out of baseball when he is sentenced to federal prison for income-tax evasion.
The New York football Giants will be leaving the Polo Grounds, their home since the team's inception since 1925, playing their home games at Yankee Stadium. The NFL squad's decision to play in a different venue fuels speculation that the baseball Giants will also be departing the Coogan's Bluff ballpark.
The Cubs trade Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies in exchange for Larry Bowa and a promising youngster named Ryne Sandberg. Dallas Green, the team's new GM, had seen the potential of the future Hall of Fame second baseman while managing in Philadelphia.
After stints with the Rangers and Red Sox, Jose Canseco returns to his first major league team when Boston trades the slugger to the A's for pitcher John Wasdin and cash. The 32 year-old DH/outfielder will bat .235 and hit 23 home runs for Oakland, and Boston's new right-hander will post a 4-6 record with a 4.40 ERA.
Former Mets infielder Carlos Baerga signs a one-year free-agent contract with the Cardinals. The second baseman, who did not meet the expectations of the fans in New York, will be released by the Cardinals during spring training and will sign with Reds, who will also release him in the beginning of June.
Lance Berkman (.316, 30, 106), the team’s 2004 team MVP, and the Astros avoid arbitration when they agree on a one-year, $10.5 million deal. The 28 year-old All-Star outfielder suffered a serious off-season knee injury (anterior cruciate ligament tear) playing flag football.
The Cubs and Mark Prior (11-7, 3.67) come to an agreement on a one-year $3.65 million contract, making his salary $900,000 more than the right-hander would have earned under the $3.3 million contract offer he voided in November. The fireballer’s previous contract gave him the right to terminate the deal once he became eligible for salary arbitration.
The multi-player deal between Boston and Cleveland, held up by Guillermo Mota’s physical results, the delay of another trade in which the Indians will obtain Jason Michaels from the Phillies, and Commissioner Bud Selig's needed approval of any transaction worth at least $1 million, is finally completed. Eight players are exchanged, including Indians outfielder Coco Crisp, reliever David Riske, and backstop Josh Bard going to the Red Sox for recently acquired third base prospect Andy Marte, catcher Kelly Shoppach, and a player to be named later (minor league right-hander Randy Newsom).
Nobuhiko Matsunaka agrees to a seven-year contract, making the deal the longest ever signed by a Japanese player in professional baseball. The 32 year-old Softbank Hawks slugger will earn an estimated 500 million yen a year plus additional incentives based on performance
Featuring a more traditional look, the Royals unveiled their new 2006 uniforms with the two home uniforms featuring the word "Royals" in script while the two road uniforms will have "Kansas City", also in script, on the front. The new uniform will return to the crown logo on the sleeves, in place of the circular logo used during the past few seasons.
Ubaldo Jimenez agrees to a four-year guaranteed deal worth $10 million, which could be increased to $22 million if the Rockies exercise their options for 2013 and 2014. In his first full season, the 25 year-old Dominican right-hander led the pitching staff with 172 strikeouts while posting a 12-12 record with an ERA of 3.99.
John Updike, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and life-long Red Sox fan, dies of lung cancer at the age of 76. After attending Ted Williams' last game, the Massachusetts native was inspired to write Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu, ending the famous 1960 essay with "Gods do not answer letters,” as an explanation of why the 41 year-old superstar did not acknowledge the Fenway faithful after homering in his final major league game.
Joining Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, and former teammate Roberto Clemente, former Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski will have a statue of himself placed outside of PNC Park. The 12-foot statue, designed by Pittsburgh sculptor Susan Wagner, will depict the Hall of Fame infielder rounding second base, with his batting helmet raised high in his right hand, after hitting the walk-off homer that beat the Yankees in the 1960 Fall Classic, commemorating the only Game 7 World Series-ending round-tripper in the history of the game.
Ron Washington is honored with the C.I. Taylor Award as the American League's top manager by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, part of the organization's Legacy Awards. The Rangers' skipper led the team to a franchise-best 96 victories and their second consecutive AL pennant last season.
Five Marlins executives travel to Japan to officially ink Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year deal worth approximately $2 million. The 41 year-old outfielder is expected to play a pinch-hiting role for the team, when not filling in for injured outfielders.