Chuck Klein (.348, 38, 137), receiving all six first-place votes, is named the National League's Most Valuable Player. The 27-year outfielder, who is the first Phillies player to win the award, led the Senior Circuit in hits (226), runs (152), home runs (38), and stolen bases (20).
In one of their best trades in franchise history, the White Sox obtain future Hall of Famer Nellie Fox from the A's in exchange for catcher Joe Tipton. The hard-nosed second baseman will lead the league in hits four times, winning the 1959 American League MVP during his 14-year tenure with the team.
Two days after manager Johnny Keane announces he is joining the Yankees, Cardinals GM Bob Howsam makes public the resignation of Branch Rickey, stating he had no explanation for why the 83-year-old team consultant decided to leave the club. The move appears to continue the front office shakeup for the World Champs, including Eddie Stanky's resignation as the director of player development and the dismissal of former general manager Bing Devine.
Fred Hutchinson, who compiled a 443-372 (.544) record and won the 1961 National League pennant during his six seasons with the team, resigns as the Reds manager. The 44-year-old much-respected skipper, after a courageous battle against lung cancer, will die three weeks later in Bradenton, Florida.
Harry Walker becomes the Pirates' skipper, replacing Danny Murtaugh, who will return to the field as an interim manager during the 1967 season, replacing his fired successor. During his two-plus years in the Pittsburgh dugout, 'Harry the Hat' compiles a respectable 224-184 (.549) record but is let go after his team plays .500 ball after competing for the National League flag the previous two seasons.
Three days after capturing the world championship, the Mets appear on The Ed Sullivan Show and sing "You Gotta Have Heart," an inspiring song from the Broadway play Damn Yankees. The show's host, concerned that some of the ball players imbibed too many mai tais following rehearsals at a nearby Chinese restaurant, brings in a choir to back up the performers, out of sight from the audience.
The A's score two runs in the bottom ninth to win Game 4 of the World Series, stunning the Reds at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, 3-2. Four straight singles, three delivered by pinch-hitters Gonzalo Marquez, Don Mincher, and Angel Manual, who provides the walk-off hit, fuel the comeback victory that gives Oakland a commanding 3-1 lead in the Fall Classic.
Jim Mason's solo home run in the seventh inning of Game 3 proves to be the Yankees' only round-tripper in the World Series en route to being swept by the Reds. Cincinnati designated hitter Dan Driessen has a single, double, and homer in the team's 6-2 victory at the Bronx ballpark.
The White Sox fire Larry Doby, who posted a 37-50 record for the fifth-place team as a midseason replacement for skipper Bob Lemon. Owner Bill Veeck names 35-year-old shortstop Don Kessinger, obtained from St. Louis at the end of the 1977 campaign, as the club's player-manager for next season.
Dodger outfielder Rick Monday dashes the first Canadian pennant hopes with a ninth-inning two-out dramatic home run to beat the Expos, 2-1, in the NLCS's deciding game. The series marks the first and last time in franchise history Montreal makes it into the postseason until 2012, when the Washington Nationals, the team's new name and home for the past seven seasons, finishes first in the National League East Division.
In Game 2 of the World Series, Steve Crawford gets credit for winning the Red Sox's 9-3 victory over the Mets at Shea Stadium. The right-handed reliever, 0-2 before the postseason, becomes the first hurler to win a Fall Classic contest after being winless during the regular season.
The Yankees name Billy Martin manager for the fifth and final time. The fiery skipper will stay at the helm until June 23 of next year, finishing his tumultuous tenure with the Bronx Bombers with a 556-385 (.591) record that produces two pennants and a World championship during his eight seasons with the team.
At the Metrodome, Lonnie Smith becomes the first player in baseball history to play in the World Series with four different teams when he leads off for the Braves in Game 1. The DH, scoring a run in the team's 5-2 loss to the Twins, also appeared in the Fall Classic with the Phillies (1980), Cardinals (1982), and Royals (1985).
The Dodgers trade future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez to the Expos for second baseman Delino DeShields, who will hit .241 during his three seasons with Los Angeles. The 21-year-old Dominican right-hander will win 55 of 88 decisions in his four-year tenure with Montreal before being dealt to Boston before the 1998 campaign.
WJMP-AM radio in Kent (OH) ends its non-stop playing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, after airing allegedly 57,161 consecutive versions of the song, which started its run on August 12. The 1,000-watt temporarily former all-sports station began its TMOTTB musical interlude as a protest against the baseball strike, originally planning to continue its unique programming until the owners and players reached an agreement.
The Braves stroll into a World Series berth with their 10-9 walk-off victory against the Mets at Turner Field in Game 6 of the NLCS. Atlanta has their ticket punched to the Fall Classic when Kenny Rogers issues a base on balls to Andruw Jones with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to force Gerald Williams in with the winning run.
Dusty Baker, who led the Giants to a National League West flag with baseball's best record (97-65), reaches an agreement with the Giants on a two-year contract extension. The pact makes the two-time National League Manager of the Year the second-highest-paid skipper in the majors.
Giants' designated hitter Tsuyoshi Shinjo becomes the first Japanese-born player to appear in the World Series. The Osaka native gets a hit in his three trips to the plate in the team's 4-3 victory over the Angels in Game 1 of the Fall Classic.
At Edison International Field of Anaheim, the Giants edge the Angels in Game 1 of the Fall Classic, 4-3. The contest marks the first time two wild-card teams have faced one another in the World Series.
In a pivotal play of Game 6 of the ALCS, the umpires rule Alex Rodriguez out for interference after slapping the ball from Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo's glove. As a result, Derek Jeter, who had scored, is ordered back to first with two outs rather than one, killing a potential rally in New York's eventual 4-2 loss to Boston at Yankee Stadium.
In a contest that features two reversed calls by the umpires, the Red Sox, three outs from being swept in Game 4, become the first team in baseball history after trailing the series 0-3 to force a Game 7. Playing with a dislocated ankle tendon, Curt Schilling turns in an outstanding pitching performance in Boston's 4-2 victory over the Bombers in the Bronx ballpark, 4-2.
The Astros, one of six teams to have never played in the World Series, break the franchise's 43-year drought, advancing to the Fall Classic when they beat the Cardinals in the NLCS, 5-1. Houston had been close before, coming up short five times in their history in a game with the NL flag on the line, including being a strike away in Game 5 when Albert Pujols hit a two-out three-run ninth-inning homer, forcing a Game 6 in St. Louis.
Nicole Sherry becomes the second woman to be named the head groundskeeper of a major league team when the Orioles ask her to lead the crew caring for Camden Yards. The Wilmington, Delaware native joins Heather Nabozny, who has been in the same position with the Tigers since 1999.
In Game 7 of the NLCS at Shea Stadium, Adam Wainwright, on three pitches, strikes out Carlos Beltran looking with the bases loaded, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 victory over the Mets, their 17th pennant in franchise history, and a trip to the World Series to face the Tigers. The New York outfielder, with the best HR ratio (11/81) in postseason history, is frozen by the rookie right-hander's two-out, two-strike incredible curveball.
For a new generation, the term "the Catch" may conjure up memories of Endy Chavez's NLCS Game 7 leaping catch when he grabs a ball with his outstretched glove destined to be a Scott Rolen two-run home run and starting an unbelievable double play. The Shea Stadium heroics are overshadowed in the ninth inning when Yadier Molina hits a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran, with the best HR ratio (11/81) in postseason history, looks at a third strike with the bases loaded with Mets, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 victory and the pennant.
After 12 seasons and 12 playoff appearances, including 10 AL East titles, six pennants, and four world championships, manager Joe Torre rejects the Yankees' overture, which calls for a pay cut. The non-negotiable offer - a one-year, $5 million deal with $1 million incentives per playoff round and an $8 million option for 2009 if the Yankees reached next year's World Series - was considered by many to be insulting and a ploy to oust the popular manager without upsetting the team's fans.
The Royals hire Trey Hillman, a successful skipper in the minors and Japan, to be the team's manager. The 44-year-old current Nippon Ham Fighters pilot, who has never played, coached, or managed in the big leagues, spent 13 years in the dugout in the Yankees' minor leagues and was named manager of the year three times.
Behind the solid start of Matt Garza and the stellar relief work of rookie David Price to finish the game, including a bases-loaded strikeout to end the eighth, the Rays beat the Red Sox, 3-1, in Game 7 of the ALCS, winning their first American League pennant. After posting the worst record in baseball last season, the Rays advance to the World Series, hosting the Phillies in Game 1 of the Fall Classic at Tropicana Field.
Kenji Johjima, the first Japanese catcher in major league history, surprises the Mariners by opting out of the final two seasons of his three-year deal. Unhappy about being benched, the 33-year-old struggling backstop walks away from $15.8 million to finish his career in Japan.
The Yankees honor Freddy Schuman, a fan known for his rhythmic banging of a spoon against a skillet, displaying some of his memorabilia inside Gate 4. After a moment of silence for the fan-favorite sign-man before Game 4 of the ALCS, the fans continue to show their appreciation of 85-year-old iconic "Freddy Sez" when they photographed friends banging his pan, chanting "Fred-dy! Fred-dy!" during the contest against the Rangers at the Stadium.
The Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo signs a five-year contract extension, receiving a promotion to be the executive vice president of baseball operations. The new position, made available when team president Stan Kasten resigned, gives the 48-year-old more control over the franchise and a direct line to the team's ownership, including principal owner Ted Lerner.
The Cubs select Mike Quade, Lou Piniella's interim replacement who guided the team to a 24-13 record during the last six weeks of the season, as the franchise's newest manager. Triple-A Iowa skipper and Hall of Fame icon Ryne Sandberg, a finalist in the selection process, was considered the front-runner for the position.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney is named the AL Comeback Player of the Year after the reliever establishes the all-time MLB mark with a 0.60 ERA and sets the franchise record with 48 saves. Before playing for Tampa Bay, the 35-year-old right-hander saved just 17 games during his two-year tenure with the Halos.
In front of a sellout crowd at Minute Maid Park, the Astros win the American League pennant when Jose Altuve takes Aroldis Chapman deep in the bottom of the ninth, giving the team a 6-4 walk-off victory over the Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS. Houston had blown a 4-2 lead in the top of the frame when Roberto Osuna allowed DJ LeMahieu's two-run homer to tie the game.