1928 – St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Jim Bottomley, who hit .325 with 31 home runs and 126 RBI, is voted National League Most Valuable Player with 76 points against 70 for runner-up Fred Lindstrom, whose .358 batting average was third in the NL behind Rogers Hornsby (.387) and Paul Waner (.370).
1937 – At the minor league meeting in Milwaukee, WI, the Detroit Tigers send Gee Walker, Marv Owen and Mike Tresh to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Vern Kennedy, Tony Piet and Dixie Walker. The trade causes an uproar with Tigers fans, and owner Walter Briggs issues an announcement from his Miami, FL home that “the deal was made with my approval.” Kennedy will start next season with nine straight wins, but end up the year at 12-9.
1943 – With only nine leagues operating during the season, the minor league convention in New York has an incipient revolt to oust longtime head William G. Bramham in favor of Frank Shaughnessy, president of the International League, who has five pledges. But Bramham rules that 15 non-operating circuits which have paid dues are eligible to vote. Five of the leagues have given proxies. A later appeal to Commissioner Landis fails.
1948 – Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals is named National League Most Valuable Player. In one of the best seasons ever, Musial led the NL in batting average (.365), runs (135), RBI (131), hits (230), doubles (46), triples (18) and slugging (.702). His 39 home runs were one short of Johnny Mize and Ralph Kiner.
The Pittsburgh Pirates draft relief pitcher Elroy Face from the Montreal Royals, the top minor league affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. During a 15-year career with the Pirates, Face will lead the National League in saves three times. In 1959, he will win an incredible 18 of 19 decisions in relief.
Brooklyn Dodgers executive Buzzie Bavasi dismisses the New York Yankees reaction to Jackie Robinson’s charges. Commissioner Ford Frick plans no action against Jackie Robinson. Two days earlier Robinson had called the Yankees a racist organization for its failure to promote a black to the parent club.
1957 – In the Pacific Coast League, some franchises are forced to relocate when the Dodgers and Giants confirm their long-rumored move to California for the 1958 season. The Hollywood Stars move from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City; the Los Angeles Angels move to Spokane, and the San Francisco Seals transfer to Phoenix.
1971 – Major league teams engineer eight trades, involving a total of 30 players. In the biggest trades, P Doyle Alexander is sent by the Dodgers along with P Bob O’Brien, C Sergio Robles, and OF Royle Stillman to the Orioles, for OF Frank Robinson and P Pete Richert. After acquiring Robinson, the Dodgers send 1B Dick Allen to the White Sox for P Tommy John and IF Steve Huntz. The White Sox also send IF Rich McKinney to the Yankees in exchange for P Stan Bahnsen as the Yankees get IF Bernie Allen from the Rangers in a deal for two pitching prospects. Finally, 1B John Mayberry is sent by the Astros to the Royals in a four-player transaction.
1981 – Following the strike-shortened season, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela becomes the third consecutive Dodgers player to be named National League Rookie of the Year. The Mexican lefthander posted a 13-7 record with a 2.48 ERA and led the NL in strikeouts (180), games started (25), complete games (11), shutouts (8) and innings pitched (192 1/3). His 13 wins tied him with Steve Carlton in second place behind Tom Seaver, who finished with 14. Valenzuela also made his first All-Star Game appearance and received the Cy Young and TSN Rookie of the Year awards.
2009 – The Korea Professional Baseball Players Association votes to unionize, 188 in favor, 17 opposed and 68 not voting. 253 KBO players do not attend the meeting. Min-han Son, the Players Association president, says that the league has ignored discussion about player rights and interests for two years, forcing the unionization push.
Ron Santo, who played more games at third base than anyone in Chicago Cubs history, dies at age 70, a victim of bladder cancer. Also beloved as a broadcaster, Santo led a lifetime battle against diabetes that forced to have both of his legs amputated in recent years, but always maintained a positive attitude. He was a leading candidate for election to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee; he fell short of the honor during his lifetime but will gain election barely a year from today.
The Orioles send closer Jim Johnson, author of back-to-back 50-save seasons, to the Athletics in return for 2B Jemile Weeks. The A’s also sign free agent P Scott Kazmir to a two-year deal worth $22 million, in expectation of losing both starter Bartolo Colon and closer Grant Balfour to free agency. Kazmir’s signing will prove to be a good move, but Johnson will be a complete bust, earning his unconditional release by mid-season.
2016 – For the sixth time in seven years, Reds 1B Joey Votto is named the recipient of the Tip O’Neill Award given out by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to honor the best baseball player in Canada. Votto hit .326 with a National League-leading .434 OBP, 29 homers and 97 RBIs in an outstanding all-around season for the last-place club.
1996 – Infielders Pat Listach and Bill Spiers, along with pitcher Sid Fernandez, are signed as free agents. While Listach is slated to be the starting shortstop and Fernandez is expected to find a role in the starting rotation, it is the versatile Spiers who has the more lasting impact with the ballclub.
1968 – Darryl Kile is born in Garden Grove, CA. He compiles a 71-65 record over seven seasons in Houston (1991-1997) that reflect outstanding potential as well as frustrating inconsistency. He becomes a 20-game winner in St. Louis but dies on June 22, 2002 of a heart attack in his hotel room while the Cardinals are on a road trip in Chicago.