Charles Ebbets' plan of selecting minor league players at the annual draft in the inverse order of the final standings is finally adopted. The Dodgers' owner, an advocate of this type of selection for many years, believes giving losing teams the initial picks will maintain a competitive balance.
The Cubs name Charlie Grimm and Rube Walker to the team's college of coaches, which calls for a different coach to manage the team during each month of the season. The Cubs will finish with a 64-90 record, a slight improvement over the previous year; however, the team will post the worst mark (59-103) in franchise history next season, finishing in ninth place, six games behind the new Houston club in the expanded National League.
Tigers' owner John Fetzer makes a surprise announcement that the team has signed a 40-year lease to build a multi-sport stadium west of Cobo Hall along the Detroit River. The $126 million proposal for the downtown 54,000-seat domed complex never is completed due to a lack of funding and the construction of the Silverdome in nearby Pontiac, Michigan.
Gaylord Perry, eleven victories shy of 300 career wins, signs a one-year contract with Atlanta valued at $300,000. The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer will compile an 8-9 record while posting a 3.96 ERA for the fifth-place Braves.
Orioles legend and perennial Gold Glover Brooks Robinson becomes the 14th player elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The BBWAA also selects, in his third year of being on the ballot, right-hander Juan Marichal, the former ace of the Giants and the all-time winningest pitcher from Latin America with 243 victories.
Willie Stargell, who played his 21-year career with the Pirates, is the only person elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. Nine writers submit blank ballots, denying Jim Bunning entrance to Cooperstown because he receives less than the 75 percent needed for induction due to the votes counted but does not name any players
In his first year on the ballot, Steve Carlton, garnering 95.6% of the writers' votes, is the only player elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. 'Lefty,' a 24-year veteran best known for his 15 seasons with the Phillies, won 329 games and collected four National League Cy Young Awards (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982).
Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball is sold at Guernsey's Auction House in New York for a record-shattering price of $3.05 million, surpassing the $126,500 spent last year to obtain the ball Babe Ruth hit for the first home run at Yankee Stadium. Todd McFarlane, the creator of the comic book Spawn, is later revealed to be the buyer for the ball the Cardinal slugger on his final swing on the last day of the season.
((Ed. Note: In 2003, Todd McFarlane pays $450,000 plus fees at the Lelands.com Auction for Barry Bonds' record-breaking 73rd home run baseball.)
An anonymous bidder purchases the historic 70th home run ball hit by Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire on his final swing on the season's final day. The $3.05 million price tag far surpasses the previous record for a baseball, topping last year's bid of $126,500 to obtain the ball Babe Ruth hit for the first homer at Yankee Stadium.
At a Dodger Stadium news conference, general manager Paul DePodesta announces the team has signed right-hander Derek Lowe (14-12, 5.42) to a $36 million, four-year deal. The former Red Sox starter, who has the second-most wins during the past three seasons, is the first pitcher to win the deciding game in all three postseason series.
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.
According to reports, the Brewers have reached an agreement with free-agent Mike Cameron (.242, 21, 78) on a $7 million, one-year deal contingent upon the outfielder passing a physical. The 34-year-old former Padres center fielder will miss the first 25 games of the season with the Brew Crew due to testing positive for a banned substance for the second time.
Rickey Henderson, in his first year of eligibility, and Jim Rice, in his final year on the ballot, are elected to the Hall of Fame. Henderson, who will enter the Cooperstown shrine as a member of the A's, is the game's all-time stolen base leader, with Rice compiling a .298 lifetime batting average during his 16-year career with the Red Sox, considered a dominant player of his era.
The Marlins and the major league players' union reach an understanding that the team agrees to increase its payroll, an agreement that ends in 2012 with the debut of Florida's new ballpark. The small amount the club spends on paying its players violates the collective bargaining agreement's revenue-sharing provisions.
The MLB owners vote to give commissioner Bud Selig a two-year contract extension, a deal that will keep him in the post until the end of 2014. The 77-year-old executive was appointed as an interim in September 1992 and became the game's ninth commissioner upon his election six years later.