The Dodgers replace team president Larry MacPhail, who accepted a commission in the U.S. Army in September, with Branch Rickey, formerly the Cardinals vice-president, before resigning three days ago. Brookyn's new boss will guide the team to two pennants during his eight-year reign in the "The Borough of Churches."
Future Hall of Famer Roy Campanella (.325, 33, 108) wins the first of his three National League MVP Awards. The 29-year-old Dodger backstop will also receive the prestigious honor in 1953 and 1955.
The BBWAA select 20-year-old shortstop Ron Hansen (.255, 22, 86) as the American League's Rookie of the Year. The Oriole infielder receives 22 of 24 votes cast by the writers, with the others going to his teammates, right-hander Chuck Estrada and first baseman Jim Gentile.
In the final time when there is only one selection from both leagues, Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax becomes the first three-time recipient of the Cy Young Award. The 30-year-old left-hander, recipient of the prestigious pitching prize in 1963 and 1965, posted a 27-9 (.750) record and an ERA of 1.73 for the National League champs.
Denny McLain is the BBWAA's unanimous choice for the American League Cy Young Award after the right-hander posts a 31-6 (.838) record for the World Champion Tigers. The 24-year-old Chicago native, who will cop the prestigious pitching prize again next season, will also be named this year's Junior Circuit's Most Valuable Player.
Paul Owens replaces himself when he introduces Danny Ozark as Philadelphia's new manager. After firing Frank Lucchesi, Owens, the team's general manager, took over the managerial reins in July to get a closer look at the last-place Phillies, a team finishing with a 59-97 record.
After dominating the American League, Yankee lefty Ron Guidry (25-3, 1.74) unanimously wins the league's Cy Young Award. 'Gator' receives all 28 first-place votes, with Mike Caldwell and Jim Palmer being the runners-up for the prestigious pitching award.
Edward Bennett Williams buys the Orioles for a reported $12.3 million from Jerold Hoffberger. The successful trial attorney will own the club until 1988, and under his ownership, the team will sign a new long-term lease with the city of Baltimore that will pay for the innovative Oriole Park at Camden Yards, a ballpark he will not live to see.
Doug Rader becomes the twelfth manager in the Rangers' twelve-year history, replacing Darrell Johnson, the term's former third base coach who took over for the dismissed Don Zimmer on an interim basis at the end of July. The 38-year-old skipper, who managed the Padres' Triple-A club for the past three years, will compile a 155-200 (.437) record during his two-plus season with Texas.
The National League owners block the re-election of Bowie Kuhn, thus ending his fourteen-year reign as baseball's boss. Next year, the commissioner's supporters will make a failed last-ditch effort to retain him, but he will be allowed to stay in his position to the end of the 1984 regular season before being replaced by Peter Ueberroth.
The last-place Cubs (67-95) hire Don Baylor, the Braves hitting coach, as the team's 46th and first black manager to replace recently fired Jim Riggleman. The 47-year-old former major league outfielder/DH managed the Rockies from 1993-98, leading the expansion team into the postseason in 1995.
(Ed. Note: On the same day the Cubs announce the hiring of Don Baylor, Chicago hears the news that Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton has died. Our thanks to Bruce W. for suggesting this entry. - LP)
The Phillies hire Larry Bowa to manage the team, replacing the recently released Terry Francona. The former Phillies' shortstop piloted the Padres in 1987-88 and will compile a 337-308 (.522) record during his four seasons in the Philadelphia dugout.
Succeeding Davey Johnson, Jim Tracy, the team's bench coach, is hired as the Dodgers' manager. L.A.'s new skipper will compile a 427-383 (.527) record during his five-year stint with the club, including a National League West Division flag in 2004.
The first major league game ever started in November becomes memorable when the Yankees, for the second consecutive night, make a dramatic comeback in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and go on to a World Series victory in extra innings. Scott Brosius hits a game-tying two-out two-run homer to knot the game at 2-2, and Alfonso Soriano singles in Chuck Knoblauch in the 12th, giving the Yankees a 3-2 victory and 3-2 lead in the Fall Classic over the Diamondbacks.
The Astros name Jimy Williams, 58, as the franchise's thirteenth skipper. The 35-year veteran, who also managed the Blue Jays and Red Sox, replaces Larry Dierker, who could not win a playoff series for Houston despite reaching the postseason four times in five seasons.
Wally Backman signs a two-year contract to manage the Diamondbacks, baseball's worst team last season, replacing interim skipper Al Pedrique. The 45-year-old former major league infielder posted an 86-54 record with the Lancaster JetHawks, Arizona's Class A team in the California League.
The unveiling of A bronze sculpture capturing the friendship of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson takes place at Brooklyn's KeySpan Park, home of the Mets' Single-A team. The William Behrends sculpture captures the moment when the Dodger captain showed support by putting his arm around his black teammate's shoulder, hushing an unruly crowd hurling racial slurs at his teammate at Crosley Field in 1947.
Photo from Flickr by Gary Dunaier
In a move designed to prepare the team's next manager, the Yankees promote hitting instructor Don Mattingly to bench coach to assist Joe Torre in 2007. The Bronx Bombers' former All-Star first baseman replaces Lee Mazzilli, who New York will not bring back.
The Seibu Lions officially agree to release Daisuke Matsuzaka, allowing the 26-year-old pitching sensation to play in the United States. The Japanese League plans to charge an American major league club $30 million for the right to negotiate with the former 2006 World Baseball Classic and 2004 Olympic teams' stars.
Paul Lo Duca (.286, 13, 80), avoiding salary arbitration, signs a three-year, $18 million deal to remain with the Marlins. The catcher was acquired by Florida, along with relief pitcher Guillermo Mota and outfielder Juan Encarnacion, in a trading deadline blockbuster swap that sent starter Brad Penny, first baseman Hee Seop Choi, and southpaw prospect Bill Murphy to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers hire Brooklyn-born Joe Torre as their 26th manager in franchise history, the eighth since the club moved to the West Coast from their new manager's hometown. Joe Girardi, who Los Angeles initially pursued to replace Grady Little, is hired as the new Yankee skipper.
In an interview aired on MSNBC, Barry Bonds said he is prepared to boycott his induction, when elected, into the Hall of Fame if the museum accepts the ball he hit for his record-breaking 756th career home run marked with a permanent asterisk. Fashion designer Marc Ecko, who bought the historic sphere for $752,467, releases the results from an internet poll from www.vote756.com, where nearly half the fans (47%) voted to send it to Cooperstown after branding the ball.
"Does he want to go into the Hall of Fame as a Yankee or a Toledo Mud Hen?" - HANK STEINBRENNER, commenting on Alex Rodriguez opting out of his contract during a World Series game.
In response to Yankee owner Hank Steinbrenner's sarcastic remark about Alex Rodriguez entering the Hall of Fame as a member of the Mud Hens rather than as a Yankee, the Toledo Triple-A team frivolously offers the free agent a contract. The minor league deal includes a bonus for hitting 75 home runs next season and leading the Tigers' affiliate to ten consecutive International League titles.
After Daisuke Yamai retires 24 of 24 Ham Fighters batters in eight innings, Dragons' closer Hitoki Iwase replaces the right-hander, pitching a perfect ninth inning to record a save in the 1-0 victory against Nippon. The combined perfect game in Game 5 of the seven-game series brings Chunichi its first title in 53 years.
The Red Sox and Lee County (FL) signed an agreement for Boston's spring training home to stay in Fort Myers for three decades. The 30-year deal keeps the team playing in the City of Palms Park until the completion of the new complex before the 2012 season.
Edgar Renteria, who drove in the Marlins' winning run against Cleveland during Game 7 of the 1997 Fall Classic, joins Yankees legends Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Yogi Berra as only the fourth player in baseball history to collect two World Series-winning hits. The Series MVP's three-run homer off Cliff Lee in the seventh inning leads to San Francisco's 3-1 victory over the Rangers, bringing a World Championship to the Giants for the first time since 1954.
The Blue Jays trade long-time fan favorite Adam Lind to the Brewers for right-handed starter Marco Estrada, who will become a mainstay in the Toronto rotation. The team's new DH will play one season in Milwaukee before being traded to Seattle for three minor leaguers.
In Game 5, the Royals beat the Mets in 12 innings, 7-2, winning the World Series for the first time in 30 years. Trailing the Citi Field contest entering the top of the ninth, Kansas City ties the game with two runs off starter Matt Harvey, who insisted on completing the game despite throwing over 100 pitches.
The Mets tap their one-time player Carlos Beltrán to replace recently-fired manager Mickey Callaway, who compiled a 163-161 (.503) record during his two years at the helm. The 42-year-old former slugger with no managerial experience inks a three-year deal with a club option for 2023 but will never manage a game due to his complicity as a player in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal of 2017.