The American Association expels the Philadelphia Athletics, losers of the last 22 games they played, for violating the league's constitution. The Quakers, a team that had played the 1890 season in the 'City of Brotherly Love' in the defunct Players' League, replaces the ousted financially-strapped franchise.
In the first game between a Japanese and an American professional team, the Reach All-Americans defeat Waseda University in Tokyo, 5-0. The sporting goods company-sponsored team, mainly consisting of minor leaguers from the Pacific Coast League, will win all 17 games in Japan before participating in contests in the Philippines and Hawaii.
Cardinals' starting shortstop Charlie Gelbert severely shatters his left ankle in a hunting accident. The 26-year-old infielder from Scranton (PA) misses two seasons and returns as a utility player in 1935 before finishing his nine-year career with the Red Sox in 1940.
The Cubs trade Guy Bush, Jim Weaver, and Babe Herman to the Pirates for Larry French and Freddie Lindstrom.
The Pirates purchase the contract of Roberto Clemente from the Montreal Royals, a Dodger farm club. The outfielder hit only .257 for the Brooklyn Triple-A club last season, but the five-tool player will become a Hall of Famer, playing entire his 18-year career with Pittsburgh.
Yankee outfielder Mickey Mantle edges out Red Sox superstar Ted Williams to win the American League MVP in a controversial vote. Despite the 'Splendid Splinter' leading the league with a .388 average and 38 home runs, as well as a stunning .731 slugging average, two Chicago writers still list him in the ninth and tenth places on their ballots.
After 22 seasons, Larry Goetz is unwillingly 'retired' as a National League umpire by Warren Giles. The discharged arbitrator had been critical of the Senior Circuit because of the league's refusal to include umps in the players' pension fund.
The American League proposes expanding to nine teams in both circuits with interleague play. If the National League agrees, the Junior Circuit will delay its plans for a Los Angeles franchise.
Frank Robinson becomes the first Reds' player to win the National League MVP award since first baseman Frank McCormick copped the honor after the 1940 season. The 26-year-old right fielder gets all of the writers' 15 first-place votes, easily outpointing Orlando Cepeda, 219-117.
Rod Carew (.292, 8, 51) wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award. The Twins' second baseman, receiving 19 of 20 first-place votes, easily outdistances Reggie Smith of the Red Sox.
Johnny Bench, who kept his freshman status by missing the final three games of the 1967 season due to a hand injury, is named the National League's Rookie of the Year. The 20-year-old Reds' catcher narrowly edges Mets' southpaw Jerry Koosman for the award when Chicago American veteran scribe Jim Enright splits his choice because he "couldn't vote for one and ignore the other."
The Indians' freshman first baseman, Chris Chambliss (.275, 9, 48), wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award, receiving 11 of 24 first-place votes cast by the BBWAA. The runner-up is Bill Parsons, named on five writers' ballots after compiling a 13-17 record and a 3.20 ERA for the Brewers this season.
In the last three years, Johnny Bench wins his second National League MVP award, easily outdistancing runner-up Cubs' left fielder Billy Williams by 52 points. The 24-year-old Cincinnati catcher, a significant cog in the Big Red Machine, hit a league-leading 40 home runs en route to driving in 110 for the National League champs.
Expo outfielder Andre Dawson (.282, 19, 65) wins the National League Rookie of the Year Award by a single vote over the Mets' Steve Henderson (.297, 12, 65). New York obtained Henderson in the Seaver trade with the Reds.
The Yankees and free-agent Rich 'Goose' Gossage agree to a six-year, $2.75 million contract. The future Hall of Famer closer had 26 saves and a 1.26 ERA for the Pirates last season.
Terry Forster, the American League saves leader in 1974 with the White Sox, signs a big contract with the Dodgers, becoming the team's first free agent. Last season, the southpaw compiled a 6-4 record with a 4.43 ERA pitching for the Pirates and will post an 11-13 mark during his five years in Los Angeles.
Second baseman Lou Whitaker (.285, 3, 58) wins the American League Rookie of the Year award. The distant runner-up is Brewers' infielder Paul Molitor.
Steve Sax (.282, 4, 47) becomes the fourth consecutive Dodger to win the National League Rookie of the Year award. Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, and Fernando Valenzuela had been the previous winners.
Ron Kittle (.254, 35, 100) wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award, beating out Indians' infielder Julio Franco (.273, 8, 80) and Orioles' hurler Mike Boddicker (16-8, 2.77). The free-swinging White Sox outfielder struck out a league-leading 150 times.
Mariner first baseman/DH Alvin Davis (.284, 27, 116) wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award, easily outdistancing his teammate, southpaw Mark Langston, and Twins' outfielder Kirby Puckett.
A groundbreaking ceremony occurs at the site of what will eventually be known as Tropicana Field, a venue for hosting baseball fans from Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg, before securing a major league franchise. The Florida Suncoast Dome, completed in 1990, does not field an MLB team for eight years until the Devil Rays play their first game; however, rumors have the White Sox, Mariners, and Giants becoming tenants during the interim in the Pinellas County facility.
Kirby Puckett becomes the first major league player to sign a contract that calls for an average salary of $3 million per year when he inks a pact with the Twins for $9 million over three years.
The soil is poured at Tropicana Field, making it the first dirt infield on an artificial-turf field since Busch Stadium in 1975. Dirt is usually only found around the bases and home plate when synthetic grass is employed.
Although offered more money by three other clubs, switch-hitting shortstop Jose Valentin elects to stay with the White Sox, signing a three-year deal with a fourth-year option worth $5 million a year.
Jesse Orosco (2-2, 7.68) may still be the oldest player in the major leagues next season. The 46-year-old southpaw reliever agrees to a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks, earning $800,000 if he makes the big league roster.
At a lunchtime celebration at Union Station, which includes a protest, the recently relocated Washington National League franchise announces its new name, logo, and colors. Using the DC franchise's original name, which used the nickname Senators from 1901-56, the club clad in red, white, and blue will become known as the Nationals.
The Dodgers sign free-agent Juan Pierre to a five-year, $44 million deal. The speedy center fielder did not miss a game during his last four seasons playing with Florida and Chicago.
Joey Votto, receiving 31 of 32 first-place votes, is the overwhelming choice of the BBWAA to be the National League's Most Valuable Player. The Reds' first baseman, who helped Cincinnati reach the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, hit .324 and led the major leagues with a .424 on-base percentage.
Major League Baseball and the Players Association sign a memorandum of understanding on a new five-year Basic Agreement, ensuring fans of uninterrupted baseball through the 2016 season. The new deal includes the following:
mandatory testing of blood for HGH
15 teams in each league by 2013
another round of playoffs
two more wild-card teams
the expansion of the use of instant replay.
Ryan Braun (.332, 33, 111) becomes the first Brewer selected as the Most Valuable Player since 1989 when Robin Yount won the award. The Milwaukee left fielder, listed first on 20 ballots and second on the other 32 writers' votes, outpointed runner-up LA's Matt Kemp (.324, 39, 126) in the overall voting, 388-332.
”The game of baseball has a handful of signature sounds. You hear the crack of the bat. You’ve got the crowd singing in the seventh-inning stretch. And you’ve got the voice of Vin Scully.” - PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, reflecting on the impact of broadcaster Vin Scully’s long career.
President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to broadcaster Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers for the past 67 seasons. The recently retired play-by-play announcer joins other baseball notables, including Hank Aaron, Moe Berg, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial, to have received the nation's highest civilian honor.
The Mariners and Double-A Arkansas Travelers' infielder Evan White, their 17th pick of the 2017 draft, agree to a six-year, $24 million contract, making him the first player at that level to receive a long-term extension. Last season, his second year of professional ball, the minor league first baseman, the former University of Kentucky Wildcat, posted a .293 batting average, along with 18 home runs and 55 RBI, playing in 92 games for the Texas League club.
To fill the void created by the departure of Rafael Palmeiro, the Rangers sign Will Clark to a multi-year $30-million free-agent contract. After spending eight seasons with the Giants, the slugging first baseman enjoys a productive five years with his new team, batting .308 and averaging 15+ home runs during his tenure with Texas.