Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss and James Potter lead a syndicate to buy the Phillies from John Rogers and A. J. Reach for $170,000. It will be another seven years before owning more than one team is prohibited.
Refusing to report to spring training, Dodger pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale begin their joint holdout, asking for a $1 million, three-year contract, to be divided equally between them. The deal, equivalent to an annual salary of $167,000 for each hurler, will make them the best paid players in baseball, easily surpassing Willie Mays's $125,000 yearly paycheck with the Giants.
The Mets purchase slugger Dave Kingman from the Giants. The 26 year-old first baseman/outfielder was drafted by San Francisco as the team’s first pick in the initial round of the secondary phase of the 1970 amateur draft.
Rick Reuschel signs as a free-agent with the Pirates and spends the first two months in the minors. After being called up in May, 'Big Daddy' wins 14 games and the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Joaquín Andújar, Dale Berra, Enos Cabell, Keith Hernandez, Jeffrey Leonard, Dave Parker, and Lonnie Smith, known as the 'Cocaine Seven', are severely disciplined by Commissioner Peter Ueberroth for their “prolonged pattern of drug use" and the distribution of drugs to others in the sport. The players are suspended for a full season, but will be allowed to play when they agree to donate ten percent of their base salaries to drug-related community service in the city in which they played, submit to random drug testing, and do 100 hours of community service.
Red Schoendienst, who spent 19 years in the major leagues and managed the Cardinals to a world championship in 1967, and Al Barlick, a 29-year veteran umpire, best known for his booming voice, are elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee. The pair will be inducted along with Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski, who were selected by the BBWAA last month.
After meeting for more than five hours and taking three ballots, the veterans committee, for the second time in three years, does not select a player for induction to the Hall of Fame. Phil Rizzuto, Nellie Fox, Richie Ashburn, Leo Durocher, Joe Gordon, Tony Lazzeri, Cecil Travis, Carl Mays, Vic Willis, Hal Newhouser, and umpire Bill McGowan were the finalists who each did not receive the 11 votes required for election from the 14 members present at the annual meeting.
Yankee outfielder/DH Darryl Strawberry is suspended for one year after testing positive for cocaine last month. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig does not make any provision for an early return from the suspension based on good behavior.
Right-hander Jake Peavy (15-6, 2.27) and the Padres agree to the terms of a four-year deal with the team holding an option for a fifth year. The 23 year-old right-hander, who led the majors with the lowest ERA, opted to sign now rather than to take a chance in his first year of salary arbitration eligibility after the season.