Organized Baseball and the Federal League sign a peace treaty at Cincinnati, ending their two-year war. The FL agrees to go out of existence, but the Major Leagues pay an enormous price: $600,000 for distribution to FL owners; amalgamation of two FL franchises, one each into National League and American League; recognition of FL players’ eligibility, and agreement to bid for them in a Fed-controlled auction. The owners of the Baltimore Terrapins, hoping to get the Cardinals, balk, but conferees, eager for settlement, defer their claims – a decision they will repent at leisure when the Baltimore owners take their grievance all the way to the Supreme Court.
After a Southwest Bank investment group promises to keep the franchise in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch agrees to sell the Cardinals to the financial establishment. The price tag of approximately $150 million is considered a bargain, with Forbes Magazine estimating the club’s value to be worth twice that amount.
The Montreal Expos obtain P Hideki Irabu from the New York Yankees in exchange for P Jake Westbrook and two players to be named, Ps Christian Parker and Ted Lilly. Both Westbrook and Lilly will become All-Stars while Irabu will win 2 games in two seasons in Montreal before being released for disciplinary reasons.
After the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control denies the request to allow Cuba to participate in the World Baseball Classic due to the possibility of financial gain by the island country, MLB reapplies after Fidel Castro says his country will donate any money earned from its participation to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The Yankees reacquired Javier Vazquez by trading outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Braves. The right-hander’s last performance in pinstripes was less than stellar, allowing two home runs, including a grand slam, to Boston’s Johnny Damon, which put Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS out of reach and completed New York’s historic collapse after the team had won the first three games of the championship series.
The driver responsible for the death of Angels P Nick Adenhart and two others on April 9, 2009, is sentenced to 51 years in jail. His blood alcohol level was at three times the legal limit when he ran through a red light and rammed his van into the car in which Adenhart and three friends were sitting.
The Nationals pry young All-Star starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics, giving up four prospects in return: Ps Brad Peacock, Tom Milone and A.J. Cole and C Derek Norris. Gonzalez’s trade follows that of fellow young starter Trevor Cahill by a few weeks and indicates that the A’s are not looking to be competitive for the next couple of seasons, yet they will surprise everyone by winning the AL West title in 2012.
Ryan Freel, who was a victim of numerous head traumas during his nine-year major league career with the Reds and four other teams due his aggressive style of play, is found dead from what appears to be a self-inflicted shotgun wound. Within a year, a study of the 36 year-old’s brain will reveal he suffered from a degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a condition believed to be triggered by repeated concussions that has been linked to suicide.
2013 – 41-year-old Alex Cabrera hits his 21st homer, breaking Bo Díaz’s Venezuelan League mark, which had stood for 34 years, surviving assaults from players like Cecil Fielder and Tony Armas. Cabrera takes Caribes de Anzoategui hurler Daryl Thompson deep for his record shot, a 1st-inning grand slam in a 4 – 3 win for the Tiburones de la Guaira
2014 – Marcos Mateo becomes the first pitcher to be named Dominican League MVP in 30 years, since Ken Howell was picked. The Estrellas de Oriente hurler had saved 21 games and a 1.75 ERA and nearly led the league with 45 K (in only 25 2/3 IP) despite being a reliever – only Elih Villanueva (46) had more strikeouts.