For a record price of $10,000, the Cubs, then known as the White Stockings, sell current National League batting champ and future Hall of Famer Mike King Kelly to the Beaneaters. The popular box office draw, who will earn his nickname King while playing in Boston, will continue to be productive, hitting .311 for three years during his first tenure with the team.
The American Legion baseball program, on the brink of bankruptcy, receives a pledge of $50,000 from Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the MLB Advisory Council to continue developing a national championship program for teenagers. With the much-needed funding, Legion Baseball will continue in 1928, and the following season, teams from every state and the District of Columbia will participate in the youth tournament.
Southpaw-swinging Sam Rice, who spent the first 19 seasons with the Senators, ends his career after playing one year with the Indians. The 44-year-old future Hall of Famer (1963) collected 2,987 career hits during his two decades in the major leagues.
Washinton Senators' Outfielder Sam Rice (1916)
Library of Congress - George Grantham Bain Collection
After his retirement as the president of the Braves, Bob Quinn's son, John, succeeds him as the team's general manager. The former Red Sox and Braves owner, whose grandson will also become a major league GM, will serve as president of the Baseball Hall of Fame from 1948 to 1951, resigning after suffering two strokes.
"Anything that tends to break down the bulwarks of segregation must be forcibly met by this general assembly. We have a situation in Georgia which has come about because of a national situation. I am referring to the Negroes in organized baseball in this state. It is unfortunate that some few people would participate in the destruction of our institutions for a few dollars." - GEORGIA STATE SENATOR LEON BUTTS, commenting on his bill that prohibits blacks from playing baseball with whites.
Ten years after the integration of major league baseball, the Georgia Senate unanimously approves Leon Butts' bill barring that prohibits blacks from playing baseball with whites except at religious gatherings. The Lumpkin legislator's measures, which carry fines up to $1000 and imprisonment for 60 days to a year for committing the misdemeanor, will directly impact the minor league spring training centers of the Braves and Cardinals whose farmhands workout, respectively, in Waycross and Albany.
The Orioles, to find a backup for first baseman Bob Boyd, buy 32-year-old veteran infielder/outfielder Whitey Lockman from the Giants for an undisclosed sum. In June, Baltimore will trade their new acquisition to the Reds for Walt Dropo, who has played the position exclusively since winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1950.
♥️ Braves' season-ticket holders and the Atlanta media receive Valentine's Day cards from the team. The verse reads:
"Rose is a Red, Morgan's one too.
They finished first, like we wanted to.
But last year's behind us, we're happy to say.
Now we're tied for first, Happy Valentines Day."
The Mets sign Doc Gooden to a one-year, $1.32 million contract, making the 21-year-old the youngest millionaire in major league history. The National League's reigning Cy Young Award winner, who struck out 268 batters and posted a league-leading 1.53 ERA en route to compiling a 24-4 record last season, avoids going to arbitration after agreeing to his new deal.
Kevin McClatchy and his investors purchase the Pirates from the Pittsburgh Associates. The deal includes the condition of having to build a baseball-only ballpark in Pittsburgh within five years.
The Ford C. Frick Award, named in memory of the former baseball commissioner who was a broadcaster, will be given to the Marlins' radio announcer Rafael Ramirez during Hall of Fame induction ceremonies this summer. 'Felo,' who began his 56-year career broadcasting games in Cuba, has been in the Miami broadcast booth since the team's inaugural season in 1993.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Major League Baseball is informing umpires to remove pitchers who deliberately throw a beanball at a batter's head from the game without issuing a warning. According to officials, the crackdown clarifies and reinforces an existing rule.
(Ed. note: Our thanks to long-time contributor J. Feehan for inspiring the use of this classic line by Archie "Moonlight" Graham in the Field of Dreams- LP)
Detroit signs Dmitri Young (.302, 21, 69) to a four-year contract with two team options. In December, the Tigers traded outfielder Juan Encarnacion (.242, 12, 52) and minor league right-hander Luis Pineda to acquire the first baseman/outfielder from the Reds.
After much speculation and the help of Major League Baseball, the Chunichi Dragons return Kevin Millar to the Marlins for an undisclosed amount of money for relinquishing their rights to the outfielder. After reconsidering an offer from the Red Sox, who blocked the waiver deal to obtain him, the 31-year-old California native had a change of heart and didn't want to play for the Japanese Central League team.
🇻🇪 The Twins sign arbitration-eligible Johan Santana (20-6, 2.61) to the richest contract in franchise history, agreeing to a four-year, $40 million deal. Last season, the 25-year-old southpaw, garnering all 28 first-place votes, became the first Venezuelan to win the Cy Young Award.
For the first time at Wrigley Field, the Cubs will allow ads among the ivy on the green doors in the left- and right-field bleachers, according to Jay Blunk, director of marketing and sales. Although other companies have approached the team, Under Armour, whose company spokesman is newly acquired outfielder Alfonso Soriano, is the "right fit" for the 7-by-12 foot signage featuring the performance apparel's signature logo.
The Angels and Bobby Abreu (.296, 20, 100) agree to a $5 million, one-year deal. The 34-year-old free-agent outfielder, taking a significant pay cut after having a solid season with the Yankees last season, is expected to add some much-needed punch from the left side for the AL West champions.
The Yankees come to terms with free agent Andruw Jones on a $1.5 million, one-year contract, eliminating the team's likelihood of resigning Johnny Damon. The 'Curacao Kid,' best known for his outstanding outfield defense for the Braves at the start of his career, will spend two seasons in the Bronx before finishing his 17-year major league tenure with a lifetime .254 batting average.
Avoiding arbitration, Carlos Marmol agrees to a three-year, $20 million deal with the Cubs. The 28-year-old closer saved 38 games in 43 opportunities last season and compiled a 2-3 record with an ERA of 2.55.
Avoiding arbitration, 24-year-old outfielder Jason Heyward and the Braves agree to a two-year, $13.3 million deal. After the season, Atlanta will trade their 2007 first-round pick (14th overall) and right-handed reliever Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for right-handers Tyrell Jenkins and Shelby Miller.
Freddie Freeman agrees to a franchise-record eight-year, $135 million contract, surpassing the six-year, $90 million deal the Braves gave Chipper Jones in 2000. The 24-year-old All-Star first baseman, who finished fifth in the MVP balloting this season, has hit .285 during his four years with the team, averaging 17 home runs and 70 RBIs annually.