The result of the first Hall of Fame elections is announced with Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson being selected by the BBWAA or by a special Veterans Committee, made up of individuals with more knowledge about players of the 19th century. The honorees will have to wait until 1939 for the enshrinement, since the museum in Cooperstown has not yet been built.
The Pittsburgh Pirates purchase Murry Dickson from the Cardinals for $125,000. During his five-year tenure in Pittsburgh, the 31 year-old right-hander will have a 20-win season for the Bucs, but will also post three 20-loss seasons for the hapless team.
Due to the start of coast to coast travel, major league baseball considers a plan creating a player pool to be used in the event of a plane crash.
Three-time MVP Stan Musial inks the first six-figure contract in National League history when he signs a $100,000 deal with the Cardinals. The 37 year-old St. Louis legend, who won his seventh batting title hitting .354 last season, makes it clear he would have signed for less, but the $20,000 increase is the reward that the team thought he deserved.
Driving home from his liquor store in Harlem, Roy Campanella breaks his neck when his car hit a telephone pole in an early morning auto accident on Long Island. The 36 year-old Dodger catcher, who has won three MVP awards (1951, '53, '55) will be paralyzed for the remainder of his life.
The family feud continues in Chicago when a court rules in favor of Charles Comiskey's sister, Dorothy Rigney, allowing her to sell her White Sox shares to Bill Veeck. Her younger sibling, known as Chuck, had brought suit in order to gain control of the club.
Max Carey and the late Bill Hamilton are voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee, a group that considers players who have been out of the game for 30 years for induction. The former fleet-footed outfielders both own stolen base records, with 'Sliding Billy' swiping 115 bases with the Phillies in 1891 for the all-time season mark, and Carey, who at the time of his selection, is the National League career leader, having purloined 738 bags during his 20-year career the Pirates and Dodgers.
The twelve-man Veterans Committee, chaired by former baseball commissioner Ford Frick, announces its selection of the late catcher and baseball executive Branch Rickey, best known for integrating the major leagues as the Dodgers' president and GM in 1947, and former Pirates outfielder Lloyd Waner as the 105th and 106th members of the Hall of Fame. Under the current rules, only two players who have been retired at least 20 years or more can be named in the annual selection of old-timers.
The Pirates make a much anticipated deal, trading their star center fielder Matty Alou, along with lefty reliever George Brunet, to the Cardinals in exchange for right-hander Nelson Briles and outfielder Vic Davalillo, who established a major league record last year when he collected 24 hits as pinch hitter. The 32 year-old Alou compiled 200 hits last season, but failed to hit .300 for the first time since joining the Bucs in 1966.
Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn buy the White Sox from a group headed by owner Bill Veeck. Just a few weeks later, the new ownership proves it is serious about winning by signing coveted free-agent catcher Carlton Fisk.
Kirk Gibson, one of seven players to have been granted immediate free agency when an arbitrator ruled the owners had colluded to drive down salaries, signs a three-year deal with the Dodgers. The former Tiger outfielder is the only one of the seven no-risk free agents to go to a new team.
The game-winning RBI stat is dropped with Mets' first baseman Keith Hernandez being the all-time leader with 129 GW RBIs. The defunct rule, which was first employed in 1980, was much malaigned by many players because the stat did not truly reflect clutch performances.
Deion Sanders' appearance with the NFL San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami makes the cornerback the first athlete to have played in both a Super Bowl and a World Series. In 1992, ‘Neon Deion’ played left field for the Braves in the 1992 Fall Classic against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Jimmy Key, citing shoulder injuries, retires from baseball compiling a 186-117 (.684) record during his 15-year major league career. The 37 year-old five-time All-Star southpaw appeared in the playoffs with all his teams, which included the Blue Jays, Yankees and Orioles.
The Astros sign Lance Berkman (.331, 34, 126) to a $10.5 million, three-year contract. The All Star outfielder had 94 extra-base hits last season, the most ever by a switch-hitter in major league history, surpassing the previous mark of 87 shared by Ripper Collins (1934 Cardinals) and Chipper Jones (1999 Braves).
In a surprising development, former Mets backstop Mike Piazza and the National League West champion Padres come to terms on a one-year, $2 million deal. The 37 year-old likely Hall of Famer, who will be behind the plate for 90 to 100 games this season in addition to playing some first base and DHing in interleague contests, was thought to be headed to an American League team to be a full time designated hitter.
Baseball announces the annual Hall of Fame Game played since 1940 will end after the June 16th Cooperstown contest between the Cubs and Padres. With the 68-year tradition ending, there are no longer any major league exhibition games played during the season.
A conditional 4-for-1 trade with the Twins brings Johan Santana to the Mets in exchange for pitching prospects Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra and fleet-footed outfielder Carlos Gomez. New York has three days to come to terms with the two-time Cy Young Award winner, who has a no-trade clause and can veto the transaction if his new team is unable to sign him.
Avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for next month, Joe Saunders and the Angels come to terms on a $3.7 million, one-year deal. The 28 year-old southpaw posted a 16-7 record last year and is 33-14 for Los Angeles during the last two seasons.