Ban Johnson and Charles Comiskey lease Sportsman's Park for an American League team for five years. Two weeks later, they announced the Brewers, one of the league's eight charter franchises, plans to leave Milwaukee to play in St. Louis as the Browns next season.
The Court of Appeals upholds the ban prohibiting Sunday amusements in Washington DC after a lower court overturned the law, which would have allowed the playing of baseball on this day of the week. During the brief legal interval, the Senators had still decided against scheduling games on the day of worship out of fear it might alienate its church-going fans, not playing its first home game on a Sunday until 1918.
The Dodgers name Burleigh Grimes as their new manager. The former Brooklyn spitballer replaces Casey Stengel, fired last month during the World Series after compiling a 208-251 (.453) record during his four-year tenure.
In his bid to represent Maryland's sixth congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, baseball legend Walter Johnson narrowly loses to William D. Byron, the Democrat incumbent, who will die in a plane crash in February. The Hall of Fame right-hander, elected as a Montgomery County Commissioner in 1938, received 47% of the vote but could not overcome his opponent's opportunity to ride FDR's coattails.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic candidate, breaking tradition to run for an unprecedented third term, is re-elected, defeating Wendell Willkie by a comfortable margin. The unlikely dark horse Republican candidate once served as the Dodgers' lawyer; however, the independent-minded barrister's involvement in politics proved not beneficial for a team in constant chaos at the time.
Lee McPhail replaces Paul Richards as general manager of the Orioles. The former GM, who also served in a dual capacity as the team's manager, will remain in the Birds' dugout until September 1961, when he resigns to become general manager of the new Houston Colt .45s expansion club.
(Ed. Note: The short-fused skipper, who led American League managers in ejections for 11 consecutive seasons, complied an 517-539 (.490) during his six-plus years with the club.- LP)
Jim Palmer (22-13, 2.51) is the American League Cy Young Award recipient for the second consecutive season. The Orioles' right-hander garners first-place votes on 19 of 24 ballots cast by the BBWAA, with the remaining five top spots going to rookie sensation Mark Fidrych of the Tigers.
The Mariners and Blue Jays select thirty players in the expansion draft. Seattle picks Royals' outfielder Ruppert Jones, and Toronto selects Orioles' shortstop Bob Bailor as their team's first picks.
The A's release Chuck Tanner from his contract, allowing him to manage the Pirates in exchange for catcher Manny Sanguillen and $100,000. During his nine-year tenure with the Bucs, the likable skipper compiled a 711-685 (.509) record, winning the World Championship in 1979.
The BBWAA selects Terry Pendleton, with Pirates outfielder Barry Bonds finishing second in the voting, as the National League's MVP. The Braves third baseman, who will also be named the NL Comeback Player of the Year, led the circuit with a .319 batting average and hits with 187 and played a major role in the team capturing its first pennant since 1958.
Derek Jeter (.314, 10, 78) is the 28 BBWAA scribes' unanimous choice for the American League's Rookie of the Year. The 22-year-old shortstop is the eighth Yankee freshman to be honored, the first since Dave Righetti copped the award in 1981.
After the Royals turn down the opportunity, the Brewers become the first major league baseball team to switch leagues this century, moving from the American League to the Senior Circuit when baseball's executive council unanimously approves the shift. The franchise, an American League club since playing one season in Seattle in 1969, joins the Astros, Cardinals, Pirates, Reds, and Cubs as the sixth team in the N.L. Central Division, with the Tigers going from the AL East to the AL Central, taking the Brewers' spot, and the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays going to in the AL East.
Davey Johnson resigns as Orioles skipper on the day he is named the AL Manager of the Year. Although the team had the best record in the American League (98-64), the relationship between the Birds' skipper and owner Peter Angelos continued to deteriorate during the season.
To replace the loss of free-agent relievers Francisco Cordero (Reds) and Scott Linebrink (White Sox), the Brewers sign David Riske. After a rocky start, the 31-year-old right-handed hurler, who pitched effectively for the Royals last season, agrees to a three-year contract to play for Milwaukee.
The Pirates name former third-base coach John Russell as their 38th manager in franchise history. For the past two seasons, the Bucs' new skipper, the 2006 International League Manager of the Year, managed the Red Barons, the triple-A Phillies affiliate located in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Greg Maddux, extending a major league record, captures his 18th Gold Glove, making it two more than former Baltimore third baseman Brooks Robinson and 26-year big league veteran Jim Kaat. The 42-year-old Dodger right-hander, considering retirement, has been selected 18 of the last 19 years as the NL's slickest fielding pitcher, with the only exception occurring when Mike Hampton got the nod from the managers and coaches for the Rawlings award in 2003.
The Marlins trade Jeremy Hermida to the Red Sox for a pair of southpaw prospects, Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez. The move of the underachieving outfielder, a first-round draft choice in 2002, will allow Florida to cut payroll while adding pitching.
Bobby Abreu (.293, 15, 103), a last-minute signing with the club last season, agrees to a $19 million, two-year deal to stay with the Angels rather than retaking a chance in the free-agent market. The veteran outfielder didn't find a team until just before spring training when Los Angeles offered him a one-year contract guaranteeing $5 million.
One of the approximately 60 rare T206 Honus Wagner baseball cards, auctioned off by the Baltimore-based School Sisters of Notre Dame, is acquired by a sporting card store owner, Doug Walton, for $262,000. The School Sisters of Notre Dame plan to use the windfall from selling the treasured piece of memorabilia of the Pirates' third baseman to benefit ministries for the poor in 35 countries.
T206 Honus Wagner Baseball Card
issued by the American Tobacco Company
The Boston Red Sox and David Ortiz come to terms on a two-year, $26 million deal that will most likely keep the Dominican slugger in Boston for the remainder of his career. Although limited to only 90 games last season due to an injured Achilles heel, 'Big Papi' has averaged 34 home runs and 109 RBIs each season during his ten-year tenure with the team.
The Mariners name Lloyd McClendon to manage the team, replacing Eric Wedge, who announced his retirement at the end of the season. Seattle's new skipper, who spent the last eight seasons as a coach with Detroit, managed the Pirates for five years, compiling a 336-446 record from 2001 through 2005.
Hall of Fame infielder/DH Paul Molitor is introduced as the Twins' 13th manager, signing a three-year deal to replace recently released Ron Gardenhire, who spent 13 seasons at the helm. The 58-year-old native of St. Paul (MN) joins the ranks of recent hires without previous managerial experience, including Mike Matheny (Cardinals), Don Mattingly (Dodgers), Robin Ventura (White Sox), and Walt Weiss (Rockies).