Monty Stratton has his right leg amputated as a result of a hunting accident in Greenville, Texas. The White Sox hurler's attempted comeback is chronicled in the 1949 movie The Stratton Story.
Hal Newhouser (29-9, 2.22, 187) edges his Tiger teammate Dizzy Trout (27-14, 2.12, 144) by four votes to be named the American League's MVP. The future Hall of Famer had won only 34 games in the last four years.
Having already relieved general manager Branch Rickey of his duties, Brooklyn owner Walter O'Malley continues his house cleaning as he names Pacific Coast League Oakland manager Chuck Dressen to replace the fired 65-year old Burt Shotton, who compiled a 326-215 (.603) record during his four-year tenure as the Dodgers skipper.
Monte Irvin’s tenure with the Giants ends as the former Negro League standout is claimed in the Rule V draft by the Cubs. The future Hall of Famer will retire after one year in Chicago, finishing his brief 8-year career with a with a .293 batting average.
The Indians name Major Kerby Farrell to replace Al Lopez as manager. Farrell won the Junior World Series as the pilot of the AA Indianapolis Indians.
The American League announces that its Opening Day will be April 9th, making it earliest date ever to open the junior circuit's regular season. After President Eisenhower throws out the ceremonial first pitch, the Senators will go on to beat the Orioles, 9-2, in the traditional opener played in Washington D.C's Griffith Stadium.
Named on 19 of the 20 ballots cast by a special committee of the BBWAA, Twins freshman outfielder Tony Olivia is overwhelmingly selected as the American League's Rookie of the Year, with the lone dissenting vote going to 19 year-old Oriole right-hander Wally Bunker (19-5, 2.69). The Cuban native from Pinar del Rio won the AL's batting crown with a .323 average while hitting 32 home runs and driving in 94 runs for the sixth-place club.
The Phillies' slugging third baseman Dick Allen is chosen as the National League's Rookie of the year receiving 18 of the 20 votes cast by a special committee of the BBWAA. The 'Wampum Walloper' led the circuit in runs scored, triples, and total bases, batting .328, fifth best in the league, with 29 homers and 91 RBIs.
Future Red Sox owner Haywood Sullivan resigns as A's manager to become the Red Sox director of player personnel and vice president of the club. The Donalsonville, Georgia native is replaced by Alvin Dark.
In a seven-player blockbuster deal between cross-town rivals, the Dodgers trade Bobby Valentine, Billy Grabarkewitz, Frank Robinson, Bill Singer and Mike Strahler to the Angels for Ken McMullen and Andy Messersmith. Both Singer (1973) and Messersmith (1974) will become 20-game winners for their new teams.
After pleading guilty to making illegal contributions to the Re-elect Nixon campaign, and to a felony charge of obstruction of justice, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner is suspended from baseball for two years by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. The 'Boss' will have his suspension commuted to fifteen months, and in January of 1989, he will be pardoned by Ronald Regan, just prior to the president ending his term of office.
Right-hander Rick Sutcliffe, who compiled a 17-10 record on a sub-.500 Dodger team, is named on 20 of 24 writers' ballots to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Outfielders Jeffrey Leonard of the Astros and Scot Thompson of the Cubs garner the remaining four votes.
Rich Gedman becomes the highest paid catcher in the American League when he signs a one-year contract with the Red Sox for $1.2 million; the Boston backstop will hit .212 for the season.
Curtis Leskanic (9-3, 2.56, 12 saves) agrees to a $7.2 million, three-year incentive-laden contract with the Brewers which can almost double based on performance. The 32-year-old closer converted 11 of 12 save chances after former Milwaukee closer Bob Wickman was traded to the Indians on July 28.
Agreeing to a deal which pays him the highest average salary for a reliever in baseball history, left-handed Billy Wagner is offered a $43 million, four-year contract to close for the Mets. The 34-year old ‘Billy the Kid’, who saved 38 games for the Phillies, has had his fastball clocked over 100 mph.
Closer B.J. Ryan, who saved 36 games last season for the Orioles, agrees to a $47 million, five-year deal with the Blue Jays. The thirty-year old southpaw’s contract calls for the largest amount of money ever given to a reliever.
Due to the 15-year restriction, Pete Rose is no longer eligible for possible inclusion on the baseball writers' Hall of Fame ballot. The all-time hits leader, who was banned from baseball for life in 1989 for allegedly gambling on the game, has not been listed previously because the Hall of Fame Board of Directors decreed that anyone on the permanently ineligible list couldn't be considered by BBWAA.
Adam Kennedy ends his seven-year tenure with the Angels, signing a $10-million, three-year deal with the Cardinals. The former Redbird farmhand will be reunited with David Eckstein, the second baseman's double-play partner during the 2002 World Series championship year in Anaheim.
In a six-player trade, the Twins obtain outfielder Delmon Young, infielder Brendan Harris and outfield prospect Jason Pridie from the Rays in exchange for right-handed starter Matt Garza, starting shortstop Jason Bartlett and pitching prospect Eduardo Morlan. The acquisition of the 22-year old turbulent Tampa Bay outfielder, who was admonished by his manager last season for not hustling, will help Minnesota fill the void created by free agent Torii Hunter's departure to the Angels.
The White Sox sign free agent Scott Linebrink (5-6, 3.71) to a four-year, $19 million contract, which is considered by many to be a very lucrative deal for a middle-reliever. Chicago plans to use the former Padres/Brewers reliever in an eighth inning set-up role to get to closer Bobby Jenks.
Less than a week after obtaining the Astros from Drayton McLane, new owner Jim Crane fires GM Ed Wade and team president Tal Smith. In a statement issued by new team president and chief executive officer George Postolos, Dave Gottfried, Houston's assistant GM, has been asked to serve as the club's interim general manager until a replacement can be found.
The Rays sign veteran backstop Jose Molina to a one-year, $1.5-million contract that includes a club option at the same amount for the 2013 season. The 36 year-old catcher, known for his outstanding defensive skills, hit a career-best .281 last season with Toronto.