Wilbert Robinson is named the Dodgers' new manager, replacing Bill Dahlen. 'Uncle Robbie' will compile a 1375-1341 (.506) record during his 18-year Hall of Fame tenure as the Brooklyn skipper, capturing the National League pennant in 1916 and 1920.
In the first deal between the clubs on consecutive days, the Browns trade righty Jack Kramer and All-Star shortstop Vern Stephens to the Red Sox for Pete Layden, Joe Ostrowski, Roy Partee, Eddie Pellagrini, Al Widmar, Jim Wilson, and $310,000. Boston plans to bat their new slugging middle infielder, known as Junior to his teammates, behind Ted Williams.
Elvin Quesada, a native of the District of Columbia and presently the head of the Federal Aviation Administration, is awarded the American League's Washington expansion team. The new 'Senators' will take the original American League club, which moved to Minnesota to play as the Twins next season.
Dick Groat, the Pirates' 30-year-old shortstop who led the league with a .325 average, is selected as the National League's Most Valuable Player, with Don Hoak, his partner on the left side of the Bucs' infield, being the runner-up for the honor. Another teammate, right-fielder Roberto Clemente, who will cop the prize in 1966, is very disappointed with being named eighth on the ballot.
Yogi Berra signs a two-year contract with the Mets as a player-coach, earning $35,000 per season. The recently fired Yankee manager, donning his familiar number 8, will collect two hits in his limited nine National League at-bats.
By a unanimous vote of the owners, retired Air Force Lieutenant General William Eckert becomes the fourth Commissioner of Major League Baseball, succeeding the retiring Ford Frick, who served 14 years in the position. The game's unfamiliar new leader, who hasn't attended a game in a decade, will quickly be dubbed in the press as "the Unknown Soldier."
Vida Blue (24-8, 1.82) becomes the youngest player to win the MVP award, receiving 14 of 24 first-place votes to outdistance runner-up Mickey Lolich of the Tigers. The 22-year-old A's southpaw is only the fifth hurler to capture both the Cy Young Award and the MVP in the same season, joining Don Newcombe (1956 Dodgers), Sandy Koufax (1963 Dodgers), Bob Gibson (1968 Cardinals), and Denny McLain (1968 Tigers).
The Braves trade 27-year-old Dusty Baker (.261, 19, 72) and utility player Ed Goodson to the Dodgers for veteran slugger Jimmy Wynn, Lee Lacy, Tom Paciorek, and Jerry Royster. The hard-hitting outfielder will play a key role for his new team, helping Los Angeles win pennants in 1977 and 1978 and the World Series in 1981.
Yankee catcher Thurman Munson (.302, 17, 105), receiving 18 of the 24 first-place votes, easily outdistances Royals' third baseman George Brett to become the American League's MVP. The team's captain won the Rookie of the Year award in 1970 and is the first Bronx Bomber selected as the league's Most Valuable Player since Elston Howard copped the prestigious award in 1963.
White Sox owner Bill Veeck gives Yankee free agent Ron Blomberg, who has played in only one game during the last two seasons, a generous four-year contract worth $500,000 that includes an additional $80,000 signing bonus. The questionable deal will be a complete bust when 'Boomer' hits only .231 in 169 plate appearances in one year with Chicago.
Dale Murphy (.281, 36, 113) becomes the first Braves player to win the National League MVP since Hank Aaron won the award in 1957. The Atlanta outfielder will win the prestigious prize again next season, becoming the fourth National Leaguer to be honored in consecutive seasons.
Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens, and Jerry Martin become the first active players sent to prison for drug violations. The judge hands down three-month sentences to the three members of the Royals for attempting to purchase cocaine.
George Bell becomes the first Blue Jay player to capture the American League's MVP Award. The 27-year-old Dominican outfielder hit .287, blasted 49 home runs, and drove in a league-leading 137 runs for the second-place Toronto club.
Twenty-five-year-old right-hander Bret Saberhagen (23-6, 2.16) signs a three-year extension for $8.9 million with the Royals. The Cy Young Award recipient barely misses being baseball's first $3 million-a-year player, a mark Kirby Puckett will reach in five days when he comes to terms with the Twins for $9 million over three years.
Colorado selects right-hander David Nied from the Braves as their first player in the expansion draft. The 23-year-old right-hander, who was 3-0 for Atlanta last season, will pitch the first regular-season game in Rockies history, losing to the Mets and Dwight Gooden at Shea Stadium, 3-0.
Pittsburgh catcher Jason Kendall signs the richest deal in Pirates' history. The $60 million, six-year contract extension, which includes a $4 million signing bonus, starts with a base salary of $6 million in 2002 and peaks at $13 million in 2007.
After dropping the first three contests in Japan, the American Major League team wins their fourth consecutive game, beating the Japanese stars, 4-2. The victory gives the United States, which hasn't lost a series to its Asian hosts since 1990, its fifth straight winning tour in the Land of the Rising Sun.
After being wined and dined by Tiger legend Al Kaline and owner Peter Ilitch, free agent Troy Percival signs a two-year, $12 million deal, surprising everyone, including his agent, announces he will pitch for Detroit next season. Before the preliminary meeting in the Motor City, the former Angels' closer also scheduled meetings with the Indians and Cubs later in the week.
Bob Geren, filling the final managerial opening in the big leagues, is hired by the A's to pilot the defending AL West champions. The rookie skipper, a veteran minor league manager, replaces the recently dismissed Ken Macha, fired after the Tigers swept Oakland in the ALCS.
After spending 16 years with the White Sox, Frank Thomas joins the Blue Jays, agreeing to a $18.12 million, two-year deal plus a vesting option for a third year. The traditionally slow starter becomes disgruntled when benched indefinitely in April 2008, believing the decision was based on preventing him from reaching approximately 350 plate appearances, taking away his opportunity to earn $10 million to play in Toronto in 2009.
Despite nursing a sore elbow during the season, Albert Pujols (.357, 37, 116) wins his second Most Valuable Player award of his eight-year major league career. The 28-year-old All-Star first baseman of the fourth-place Cardinals, the only player listed on every ballot, receives 18 of the 32 first-place votes cast by the BBWAA to outpoint runner-up Ryan Howard of the World Champions Phillies, 369-308.
A new Hall of Fame Classic contest, replacing the discontinued annual exhibition game between major league teams, will feature the game's legends and old-timers in Cooperstown. The event will take place on Father's Day and be part of a weekend of planned activities and programs, including a skills clinic, a hitting contest, and autograph sessions.
Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.16), with 25 of the 28 first-place votes cast by the writers, wins the American League Cy Young Award, joining Steve Carlton of the 1972 Phillies as the only hurlers to win the prestigious pitching prize while toiling for a last-place club. This Saturday, the Royals' right-hander will have another big day when he marries his high school sweetheart, Emily Kuchar, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
In the second trade of the general managers' meetings, the A's deal Rajai Davis to the Blue Jays for a pair of right-handed minor leaguers, Trystan Magnuson and Daniel Farquhar. Last week, Oakland acquired outfielder David DeJesus from the Royals, making their former fleet outfielder expendable.
After being the runner-up five times, Ron Gardenhire is finally named the American League's Manager of the Year. The only field boss listed on all 28 ballots, the Twins skipper led his team to its sixth Central Division title in nine seasons.
Bud Black edges Cincinnati skipper Dusty Baker by one point for the National League Manager of the Year honors. The Padres manager kept his underdog team in the playoff race until the last day of the season when San Francisco, the eventual World Champions, knocked them out of contention.
The BBWAA names Clayton Kershaw as the National League's Cy Young Award recipient, easily outpointing Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, who had won the prestigious pitching prize last year. The 23-year-old southpaw earned the NL's triple crown by posting a 2.28 ERA, striking out 248 opponents, and notching the most victories in the circuit, along with Arizona's Ian Kennedy, with a record of 21-5.
The baseball owners unanimously approve the long-delayed sale of the Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane. The deal depended on the new owner's acceptance of the franchise switching from the NL Central to the AL West in 2013, which reportedly lowered the sale price from $680 million to $615 million.
The Braves trade Gold Glove outfielder Jayson Heyward and set-up man Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for right-handers Shelby Miller and 22-year-old minor leaguer Tyrell Jenkins. The move appears to start a rebuilding period for Atlanta under the team's new general manager, John Hart.
After signing Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal two seasons ago, the Yankees trade the 32-year-old catcher with cash to the Astros for minor league right-handers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. The backstop, who waived his no-trade clause, played well with New York but didn't put up the offensive numbers he displayed with the Braves.
Norte Dame, wearing unique Yankees-themed uniforms, beats Syracuse, 36-3, in the Shamrock Series played at Yankee Stadium. The Fighting Irish, clad in pinstriped sleeves and pants, includes Cole Kmet, a tight end who pitches for the university's baseball team.