"Sometimes the best trades are the ones you never make" - BILL VEECK, the Indian owner's observation about a possible deal that wasn't made.
Lou Boudreau is selected as the American League Most Valuable Player, becoming the only manager to win a World Series and be named the circuit's MVP in the same season. The popular Indian shortstop, who had almost been dealt to the Browns earlier in the year but for the protest of the Tribe fans, prompts owner Bill Veeck to rethink the transaction.
On Youth Wants to Know, a local NBC New York television show, Jackie Robinson accuses the Yankee organization of being racist due to its failure to have a black player on the club. In 1955, Elston Howard will become the first black ballplayer in the Bronx, nine years after Robinson broke the color barrier with the Dodgers.
Billy Williams (.278, 25, 86) is selected as the National League's Rookie of the Year. The Cubs outfielder is named on ten of the 16 ballots cast by the BBWAA with the runner-up, Braves catcher Joe Torre, receiving five votes from the writers.
The Giants acquire right-hander Don Larsen and southpaw Billy Pierce from the White Sox in exchange for Bob Farley, Eddie Fisher, Dom Zanni, and Verle Tiefenthaler, who is the player to be named later. Both pitchers contribute to the Giants' National League championship next season, with Pierce winning 16 games for San Francisco.
The Cubs trade veteran knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm to the Braves for minor league first baseman Hal Breeden, who will used sparingly before being dealt at the start of 1972 season to Montreal. The future Hall of Fame relief pitcher, known as Old Sarge to his teammates, will be released in June by Atlanta, but will finish the season with the Dodgers.
The Royals obtain Hal McRae, who elected into the team's Hall of Fame in 1989, and Wayne Simpson from the Reds for outfielder Richie Scheinblum and right-hander Roger Nelson. McRae, during his 15-year tenure in Kansas City, will receive consideration for American League MVP five times.
Dave Kingman, joining his fifth team this year, signs as a free agent with the Cubs. Sky King, put on waivers in September by the Padres after a mid-season trade with the Mets, was selected by the Angels, who dealt the much-traveled slugger to the Yankees a week later.
Mike Mussina inks an $88.5 million, six-year free-agent deal with the Yankees. The ten-year veteran, who compiled a 147-81 (.635) record with the Orioles, will finish his 18-year career in New York, adding another 123 victories in 195 decisions for the Bronx Bombers.
The Expos, unsure of their major league status, signs a one-year lease to play next season's home games at Olympic Stadium. The agreement gives Montreal the right to unilaterally cancel the contract due to the possibility that the team may be eliminated under the owners' proposed plan for contraction.
The major leagues' plan to contract by two teams next season is put into jeopardy by Minnesota courts. The state's Supreme Court refuses to grant the request for a speedy review of the appeal of the injunction, which forces the Twins to play in 2001, and the appellate court sets the hearing for December 27, a date many believe is too late to make the elimination of two teams a reality.
The Red Sox petitioned a judge to keep the ball used to make the last out of the 2004 World Series. Former first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who kept the ball after it was thrown by closer Keith Foulke, loaned the sensational sphere to the club, but continues to claim ownership of the historic horsehide which made the team World Champions for the first time in 86 years.
The Rays sign reliever Troy Percival (3-0, 1.80) to an $8 million, two-year deal. The 38 year-old right-hander, who came out of retirement last season to make 34 appearances for the Cardinals, is a major upgrade to Tampa Bay's beleaguered bullpen.
Kenny Rogers, not allowing his agent Scott Boras to broker the best free-agent deal available, represents himself in negotiations, signing an $8 million, one-year contract to return to the Tigers for a third season. The 43 year-old southpaw posted a 3-4 record with a 4.43 ERA in an injury-shortened season, after leading Detroit to a World Series the previous year.
The Mets trade highly touted prospect Lastings Milledge to the Nationals in exchange for fly chaser Ryan Church and catcher Brian Schneider. Although the transaction helps New York fill its immediate needs behind the plate and in the outfield, the trade appears to favor Washington due to Milledge's perceived potential.
The Angels vote to give a full postseason share to the estate of Nick Adenhart, the rookie pitcher who died in a fatal car accident a few hours after winning his first start of the season in April. The Halos, who lost the ALCS to the Yankees, each earned an additional $138,039 due to their playoff appearance.
Sports Illustrated announces Derek Jeter as its Sportsman of the Year, making the 'Captain' the first Yankee to be honored by the magazine. The other baseball recipients to win the award, given annually since SI's inception in 1954, include Johnny Podres (Dodgers - 1955), Stan Musial (Cardinals - 1957), Sandy Koufax (Dodgers - 1965), Tom Seaver (Mets - 1969), Pete Rose (Reds - 1975), Orel Hershiser (Dodgers - 1988), Cal Ripken Jr. (Orioles - 1995), Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa (Cardinals, Cubs - 1998), Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling (Diamondbacks - 2001), and the entire Red Sox team (2004).
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center names Mark Teahen as the 2009 Hutch Award recipient for best exemplifying the honor, courage, and dedication of former major leaguer and skipper Fred Hutchinson, who died from cancer in 1964. The 28 year-old infielder/outfielder, recently traded to the White Sox from the Royals, was a key spokesman and fundraiser for the Kansas City YMCA Challenger Baseball program, a division of Little League that provides children with physical or mental challenges the opportunity to play ball on specially designed diamonds.
TBS spokesman Jeff Pomeroy confirms Chip Caray, who just completed his third season as the lead play-by-play announcer, and the network have decided to part ways. The son of the beloved late Braves broadcaster Skip Caray and the grandson of the legendary play-by-play announcer Harry Caray had been heavily criticized for being too subjective doing the play-by-play in postseason games, miscalling plays, and for sharing misinformation.
The Dodgers sign free agent Juan Uribe to a three-year, $21 million deal to play second base for the team. The enthusiastic and versatile 31 year-old Dominican infielder also gives new manager Don Mattingly more options at shortstop and third base.
Tony Tulowitzki and the Rockies agree to a seven-year extension that guarantees the All-Star infielder $157.75 million until 2020. The 26 year-old Gold Glove shortstop's contract is now the eighth richest in baseball history.
Mets third baseman David Wright agrees to an eight-year, $138 million contract, the richest deal in franchise history. The 29 year-old six-time All-Star is the team's all-time leader in hits, doubles, extra-base hits, walks, RBIs, and runs scored.
The Hill family of Dearborn, Missouri, is presented with an oversized check for $293,750,000, their share of one of the two $192 million Powerball jackpots. Although it is widely reported that their six winning numbers were picked based on uniform numbers of Royals greats: George Brett (No. 5), Mark Gubicza (No. 23), Bo Jackson (No. 16), Dennis Leonard (No. 22), Dan Quisenberry (No. 29), and Willie Wilson (No. 6), Mark and Cindy Hill, who are big Kansas City fans, say they randomly selected the numbers.