League secretary Nick Young becomes the National League president, replacing Abe Mills, who had resigned from the post. The likable executive stays in the position until returning to his role with the U.S. Treasury Department in 1902.
With 20,000 well-wishers jamming the City by the Bay streets, Joe DiMaggio marries actress Dorothy Arnold at St. Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco. The Yankees outfielder met his future bride on the set of 'Manhattan Merry-Go-Round,' a movie where he had a minor role.
Mickey Vernon will pilot the new American League expansion Senators in their inaugural season in the nation's capital. During his three-year tenure with the new club, the former original Senator (1939-48) will compile a dismal 135-227 record, finishing no higher than ninth place.
The Cardinals send pitcher Don Cardwell and infielder Julio Gotay to the Pirates for shortstop Dick Groat and pitcher Diomedes Olivo. The Redbirds' new infielder will play a major role in the team's 1964 World Championship.
First-base coach Hank Bauer replaces Billy Hitchcock, who the Orioles dismissed on the last day of the season after guiding the team to a 163-161 record during his two years in the dugout. Baltimore's new skipper will manage the O's for five seasons, sweeping the Dodgers in 1966 to win the World Series.
Yankee right-hander Stan Bahnsen (17-12, 2.05, 162) is named American League Rookie of the Year. The 23-year-old freshman starter easily outdistances outfielder Del Unser (.230, 1, 30) of the last-place Senators.
In a landslide vote, Joe Morgan (.327, 17, 94) is overwhelmingly elected the National League MVP. The Reds' second baseman, who received 21 of the 23 first-place votes cast by the writers, had a major league-leading on-base percentage of .466.
Former Angel Nolan Ryan agrees to a $4.4 million, four-year deal with the Astros, the largest sum ever given to a free-agent signing with a new team. After signing the richest contract in sports, the 'Ryan Express' becomes the first baseball player to earn a million dollars annually.
Mike Schmidt (.290, 37, 119) joins Roy Campanella and Stan Musial, becoming the third player in National League history to win the MVP three times. The Phillies' third baseman also won the prestigious prize in 1980 and 1981.
Being named first on 23 of 24 of the writer's ballots cast by the writers, with the other first-place vote cast for teammate Bobby Bonilla, Pirates' outfielder Barry Bonds (.301, 23, 114) easily wins the National League Most Valuable Player Award. The future all-time home run king will win an unprecedented seven MVPs, five while playing with the Giants.
Cal Ripken Jr. (.323, 34,114) wins his second American League Most Valuable Player Award, joining the 1987 selection of Cub outfielder Dawson as the second player from a sixth-place club to get an MVP nod from the BBWAA. The 31-year-old Oriole shortstop, who also copped the honor in 1983, receives 15 of the 28 first-place votes cast by writers to easily outpoint (318-286) Tiger first baseman Cecil Fielder, the runner-up for the second straight year.
Former Mets All-star infielder Howard Johnson, who will turn 33 at the end of the month, becomes the first free agent to sign with another team this off-season when he agrees to a one-year deal worth $2,100,000 to play for the Rockies. The switch-hitting slugger, who led the National League in homers (38) and RBIs (117) two years ago, has seen his production drop in recent seasons, primarily due to injuries.
Albert Belle signs a record five-year, $55 million free-agent deal with the White Sox. The generous contract makes the 30-year-old left fielder the first player in baseball history to earn $10 million annually.
Sammy Sosa, who received 28 of the 30 writers' first-place votes, is selected as the National League MVP, creating a historical Latin American sweep of the MVP awards with Ranger Juan Gonzalez winning the award in the American League this season. The Texas outfielder easily outpoints shortstops Nomar Garciaparra of the Red Sox and the Yankees' Derek Jeter to cop the AL honor.
Giants' left fielder Barry Bonds (.328, 73, 137), receiving 30 of 32 first-place votes cast by the BBWAA, overwhelming wins the Most Valuable Player Award for an unprecedented fourth time (1990, 92-93 with the Pirates). Three-time MVPs include Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, and Mike Schmidt.
"What I’m most happy about is the fact that I’ve been able to be out there every day. The manager knows I’ll be there. There have been some ups and downs but I’ve been pretty consistent over the course of more than 1,000 games." - JESSE OROSCO, major league reliever reflecting on his long career.
Jesse Orosco, the 24-year veteran who is the all-time leader in games pitched at 1,187, agrees to a one-year contract with the Padres, which is estimated to be worth $800,000. The 45-year-old lefty reliever, the oldest player in the majors, started his major league career with the Mets in 1979 after being traded by the Twins for Jerry Koosman.
The Angels trade flychaser Jose Guillen (.294, 27, 104) to the Nationals for outfielder Juan Riveria and infielder Maicer Izturis. The Dominican Republic native, now playing for his sixth team in his eight-year career, was suspended by Anaheim last September for throwing a helmet during a tirade after being taken out for a pinch-runner
Alex Rodriguez (.314, 54, 156), receiving 26 out of 28 first-place votes cast by the BBWAA, wins his third American League Most Valuable Player Award, the second as a Yankee (2005). The 32-year-old third baseman, presently in contract talks with the Bronx Bombers with a $275 million framework to keep him in New York until 2018, won his first MVP with the Rangers in 2003.
The Angels trade Orlando Cabrera (.301, 8, 86) to the White Sox in exchange for Jon Garland (10-13, 4.23). Many see this trade of their Gold Glove shortstop for a right-hander as a precursor of the pitching-rich Halos dealing a hurler for a big bat such as Miguel Cabrera or Miguel Tejada.
The Mariners hire former A's bench coach Don Wakamatsu as the team's 16th manager in the 31-year history of the franchise. The fourth-generation Japanese-American, whose father was born in an internment camp during World War II, becomes the first Asian-American big-league manager.
The Royals obtain a much-needed leadoff hitter, acquiring Coco Crisp (.283, 7, 41) from the Red Sox in exchange for setup reliever Ramon Ramirez (3-2, 2.64, 70/71.2). The fleet-footed center fielder became dispensable due to the sensational play of Jacoby Ellsbury in the Boston outfield.
The Tigers finalize a $16.5 million, three-year deal with reliever Joaquin Benoit, with the 33-year-old right-hander getting $5.5 million annually. The contract for the former Tampa Bay setup man is similar to the one given to Brandon Lyon, who filled the same role for Detroit before going to Houston in the 2009 offseason.
At a news conference at Minute Maid Park, Astros owner Drayton McLane announces he is putting the club up for sale. The 74-year-old entrepreneur, who purchased the franchise for about $117 million in 1992, tells the gathering, "it's time to change and move forward."
Miami's hurlers Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, along with shortstop Jose Reyes, catcher John Buck, utility player Emilio Bonifacio, and cash, go to the Blue Jays for shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez, backstop Jeff Mathis, and three minor leaguers, including highly-regarded pitching prospect, Justin Nicolino. The blockbuster trade is reminiscent of the team's moves in 1997 and 2003 when the Marlins put its bottom line above fielding a competitive team for the South Florida fans.
The Padres exercised their 2014-15 options on Bud Black's contract, ensuring their skipper will remain with the club for the next three seasons. The 2010 National League's Manager of the Year has the second-longest tenure in franchise history, compiling a 464-509 (.465) won-loss record during his six seasons with San Diego.
National outfielder Bryce Harper (.330, 42, 99) becomes the seventh unanimous Most Valuable Player in National League history and the first MVP in either league from a non-playoff team since 2008, when Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols copped the honor. The 23-year-old is also the first from a Washington franchise to win the award, including players from the original or expansion Senators and the Nats.