Ground is broken in Chicago for a modern concrete-and-steel stadium, replacing the 30-year-old South Side Park. The Pale Hose will play their first game at Comiskey Park, originally known as White Sox Park, on July 1, losing to the Browns in their new home, 2-0.
After being waived by the Giants, the Robins and Braves owners, Charles Ebbets and Percy D. Haughton, each claim catcher Chief Meyers. A coin toss held by the National League determines the 35-year-old backstop will play for Brooklyn, where he will hit .235 in limited action over the next two seasons.
Chief Meyers (1916)
Library of Congress - George Grantham Bain Collection
The American and National League Joint Rules Committee outlaw the spitball, the shineball, and the emeryball. Including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to throw a doctored pitch legally, seventeen pitchers are allowed to keep throwing the banned pitches until they retire.
The Washington Post reports Senator owner Clark Griffith has selected his scrappy second baseman Bucky Harris to become the fourth-place club's player-manager. The 27-year-old 'Boy Wonder,' the youngest skipper in major-league history, will lead his team to a World Championship in his first year at the helm when the club beats the Giants in seven games.
The Yankees announce Bill White will join Phil Rizzuto and Frank Messer on the WPIX broadcast team, becoming the first black to do play-by-play regularly for a major-league baseball team. The former All-Star first baseman will stay in the booth for 18 seasons, leaving in 1989 to serve as president of the National League.
The Mets agree to a $10 million, five-year deal with George Foster, completing the trade with the Reds, which sent Jim Kern, Greg Harris, and Alex Trevino to Cincinnati. During his four-and-half-year tenure with the team, the All-Star outfielder proves to be a major disappointment and will be released outright during the 1986 season after accusing the club of racism for benching him in favor of Kevin Mitchell, a fellow African-American.
After five months of discussion, the Mets and Keith Hernandez, eligible for free agency at the end of the season, come to terms on a five-year, $8 million contract. The deal makes the first baseman the second-highest-paid player in franchise history, earning slightly less than George Foster's five-year, $10 million pact signed precisely two years ago.
After Ken Griffey, Jr. accepts a 'hometown' discount, the Reds trade pitchers Brett Tomko and Jake Meyer, center fielder Mike Cameron, and infielder Antonio Perez to the Mariners in exchange for the services of the 30-year-old superstar outfielder. The nine-year deal worth $116.5 million, the richest package in baseball history, is considered quite a bargain in the current market.
Red Sox right-hander Curt Schilling donates the blood-stained sock he wore in Game 2 of the World Series to the Hall of Fame. The hose is part of a memorabilia tour, along with Derek Lowe's Game 4 jersey, Manny Ramirez's bat, and the ball used to make the final out of the Fall Classic that's on loan from former first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who kept the historical horsehide as a personal keepsake.
In his first public appearance since his involvement with PEDs became public, Bronx Bombers' first baseman Jason Giambi apologizes to his teammates, Yankee fans, and baseball fans everywhere for letting them down last season. The All-Star slugger never utters the word steroids when he accepts full responsibility for the controversy.
Avoiding arbitration, Roy Oswalt (20-10, 3.49) and the Astros agree to a two-year, $16.9 million deal. The 27-year-old right-hander has posted an incredible 63-27 (.700) record during his four seasons with Houston.
Although recently acquired Alfonso Soriano (.268, 36, 104) of the Nationals loses his salary arbitration case, the former Texas Rangers' infielder sets a record for the highest salary ever awarded by the process. The All-Star second baseman, being asked to play the outfield in Washington, will receive $10 million (he asked for $12 million), surpassing the $8.2 million awarded to Andruw Jones in his successful 2001 arbitration hearing with the Braves.
The Rangers announce the signing of Andruw Jones, who is trying to restore his reputation after two horrendous seasons with the Dodgers, to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The Gold Glove center fielder joins the crowded Texas outfield, which includes David Murphy in left, Josh Hamilton in center, Nelson Cruz in right, and Marlon Byrd, slotted to get substantial playing time in all three positions.
Avoiding arbitration, Josh Hamilton agrees to a $24 million, two-year contract with the Rangers. The American League MVP hit a major league-best .359, along with 32 homers and 100 RBIs, despite missing the last month of the regular season due to broken ribs.
"There was an honest and frank discussion on all of the issues. As far as the Yankees are concerned, the next step is to play baseball in spring training" - text from a joint statement released by the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez.
In a joint statement released by the team and the player, Alex Rodriguez, the much-maligned Yankee slugger apologizes to the team's front office for the turbulence that has swirled around the organization during the last few years. At the meeting initiated by A-Rod, the attendees, including managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, club president Randy Levine, and general manager Brian Cashman, have an 'honest and frank discussion' of the issues.
A memorial service occurs at Angel Stadium for veteran Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their 14-year-old daughter Alyssa, victims who perished in the helicopter crash along with Kobe Bryant last month. 'Alto,' who led his Pirates to four state championships en route to compiling a 705–478–4 collegiate record, worked as head coach from 2012-14 for the Cape Cod League's Brewster Whitecaps, mentoring future major leaguers Aaron Judge (Yankees), Jeff McNeil (Mets), and Ryon Healy (Brewers).