The writers elect Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio (88.8%), the self-proclaimed "Greatest Living Ballplayer," to the Hall of Fame in his third year of eligibility. The three-time American MVP, instrumental in the Bronx Bombers capturing nine world championships, compiled a consecutive 56-game hitting streak in 1941, considered one of baseball's unbreakable records.
Joe Cairnes replaces Lou Perini, the owner of the Braves, as the team's president. Perini, who earned his fortune in the construction business, is best remembered as the person responsible for moving the franchise, which he purchased from Bob Quinn in 1945, from Boston to Milwaukee eight seasons later.
Jackie Jensen announces his retirement due to a fear of flying, a condition that Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey tried to help his outfielder overcome by arranging therapy. The 1958 MVP will change his mind, returning to the team in 1961, but will stay retired after the season, having what he considered a sub-par year in which he batted .263 and drove in 66 runs.
Major League Baseball rescinds the modifications initiated last season to make balk calls more uniform throughout baseball, reverting to the pre-1988 rules. The change of wording from 'a complete stop' to 'a single complete and discernible stop, with both feet on the ground' had caused umpires to call an unprecedented amount of balks in both the American and National League.
The Red Sox hire Elaine Weddington as the team's assistant general manager, making her the highest-ranking black female executive in major league baseball. The St. John's graduate received a scholarship to attend the university from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The June 8-10 (Arlington) and June 15-17 (Houston) interleague games between the Astros and Rangers will be known as the Lone Star Series. The contests will mark the first time the two Texas teams have ever played against one another during the regular season.
The Mariners trade David Bell to the Giants for infielder Desi Relaford acquired earlier this offseason, along with Tsuyoshi Shinjo from the Mets for southpaw Shawn Estes. The 29-year-old veteran third baseman became expendable when Seattle obtained Jeff Cirillo from the Rockies last month.
The Yankees sign starting pitcher Andy Pettitte to a $5.5 million, one-year deal, less than half the club's original $10 million offer. The 36-year-old southpaw, however, can make an additional $4.5 million based on innings pitched and another $2 million dependent on days spent on the active roster.
The Royals and Zack Greinke, avoiding salary arbitration, agree to a $38 million, four-year contract. The 25-year-old right-hander, grateful to the club's understanding of his social disorder, which caused him to bolt from spring training two years ago, posted a 13-10 record last season with the best ERA (3.47) by a Kansas City starter in 11 years.
Jon Garland and the Padres agree to a $5.3 million, one-year deal that includes a mutual option for $6.75 million in 2011. Along with Chris Young and Kevin Correia, the 30-year-old right-hander, known for his durability, will play a significant role in San Diego's rotation.
Ben Sheets and the A's agree on a $10 million, one-year contract, making the free-agent right-hander the team's second-highest-paid player behind third baseman Eric Chavez. The 31-year-old, recovering from elbow surgery that caused him to miss last season, compiled an 86-83 record along with a 3.72 ERA in his first eight seasons in the major leagues, all with the Brewers.
The Mets announce that John Franco, the club's all-time leader in saves and games pitched, will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. The All-Star closer, who has the second-longest tenure in franchise history behind Ed Kranepool, collected 276 of his career 424 saves, the most by any left-handed reliever in baseball history, with New York.
In a move necessitated by Victor Martinez's season-ending tear of his left anterior cruciate ligament, Prince Fielder and the Tigers agree to a nine-year, $214 million contract. As a child, Prince hit fence-clearing drives when taking batting practice with his dad, Cecil, who hit 51 home runs playing with Detroit in 1990.
At the Walter E. Washington Convention Center during NatsFest, the Nationals introduce William Howard Taft as the fifth participant in the team's iconic Presidents Race, a Washington, D.C. ballpark tradition since 2006. The 27th President of the United States will compete against the Rushmore Four, George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy.