The Pittsburgh Pirates trade future Hall of Fame outfielder Kiki Cuyler to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Sparky Adams and outfielder Pete Scott. Cuyler, who had drawn the wrath of manager Donie Bush for his failure to slide in a game, will hit only .285 next season, well below his lifetime average of .321. He became expendable after rookie Lloyd Waner became a starter, but will be a great addition to the Cubs. Adams will have two seasons in Pittsburgh before going to the Cardinals.
1950 – Having already relieved general manager Branch Rickey of his duties, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley continues his house cleaning as he names Pacific Coast League Oakland manager Chuck Dressen to replace Burt Shotton, who compiled a 326-215 record during his four-year tenure as the Dodgers skipper.
1952 – International League President Frank Shaughnessy reveals plans to form two new major leagues by merging the top teams in the American Association and the top teams from the IL. Shaughnessy thinks that in five to six years, major league baseball will elevate these two leagues, along with the Pacific Coast League, which nearly has major league status now.
The Indians name Major Kerby Farrell as the team’s new manager, replacing Al Lopez who resign on the last day of the season after finishing his six-year tenure with a franchise-best 570-354 (.617) record. The Tribe’s 43 year-old new skipper led the AA Indianapolis Indians to the Junior World Series title, sweeping the Rochester Red Wings (Cardinals) in four games at the end of September.
The American League announces Opening Day will be on April 9th, the earliest date the Junior Circuit has ever started the regular season. After President Eisenhower throws out the ceremonial first pitch, the Senators will go on to beat the Orioles, 9-2, in the traditional opener played in Washington D.C.’s Griffith Stadium.
Twins freshman outfielder Tony Olivia, named on 19 of the 20 ballots cast by a special committee of the BBWAA, is overwhelmingly selected as the American League’s Rookie of the Year, with the lone dissenting vote going to 19 year-old Oriole right-hander Wally Bunker (19-5, 2.69). The Cuban native from Pinar del Rio won the AL’s batting crown with a .323 average while hitting 32 home runs and driving in 94 runs for the sixth-place club.
2000 – Relief pitcher Curt Leskanic, who posted a 9-3 record with a 2.56 ERA and 12 saves, agrees to a $7.2 million, three-year incentive-laden contract with the Milwaukee Brewers which can almost double based on performance. Leskanic converted 11 of 12 save chances after former Milwaukee closer Bob Wickman was traded to the Cleveland Indians on July 28th.
In a six-player trade, the Twins obtain outfielder Delmon Young, infielder Brendan Harris, and outfield prospect Jason Pridie from the Rays in exchange for right-handed starter Matt Garza, starting shortstop Jason Bartlett and pitching prospect Eduardo Morlan. The acquisition of the 22 year-old turbulent Tampa Bay outfielder, who was admonished by his manager Joe Maddon last season for not hustling, will help Minnesota fill the void created by free agent Torii Hunter’s departure to the Angels.
The Florida Marlins agree to terms with free agent pitcher Javier Vazquez on a one-year contract, pending a physical. It will be the seventh team for the veteran starter, and the fourth in the last four years. He was 10-10, 5.32, for the New York Yankees last season, and has won 10 or more games every year since 2000.
Less than a week after obtaining the Astros from Drayton McLane, new owner Jim Crane fires GM Ed Wade and team president Tal Smith. In a statement issued by new team president and chief executive officer George Postolos, Dave Gottfried, Houston’s assistant GM, has been asked to serve as the club’s interim general manager.
With the deadline to set the 40-man roster before next week’s Rule V Draft approaching, a number of deals are made. The Pirates acquire 1B Clint Robinson and P Vin Mazzaro from Kansas City in exchange for two young pitchers still in the Dominican Summer League, as well as P Zach Stewart from Boston for a player to be named later. The Padres trade P Cory Burns to the Rangers for future considerations and the Orioles get IF Danny Valencia from Boston, also for future considerations.
2013 – It took eight months, but the Dominican Republic national team players who swept through the 2013 World Baseball Classic finally get their parade as fans line the streets of Santo Domingo to greet them after President Danilo Medina holds a reception at the National Palace where they receive their championship rings. With the tournament ending in the middle of spring training, the winning nation was unable to properly honor its heroes at the time.
Representatives of the Players’ Association and major league owners meet in Irving, TX to renew the Collective bargaining agreement, which is set to expire at the end of the week. At issue are free agent compensation and particularly the qualifying offer system, the possibility of extending the amateur draft to international players, a possible raise in the threshold for luxury tax payments, roster size, the level of the minimum salary, revenue sharing and salary arbitration.
The four big awards in Nippon Pro Baseball are given out and present a contrast of players. 22-year-old Shohei Otani is almost a unanimous winner (253 of 254 first-place votes) of the 2016 Pacific League MVP after a dazzling two-way season in which he had a 1.86 ERA, 170 K in 140 IP while hitting .322/.416/.588 with 22 HR. He just missed the ERA title (he needed four innings to qualify) and would have led in slugging had he qualified. He is the first two-way player to win a MVP in Japan. The 2016 Central League MVP goes to a much older player, 39-year-old Takahiro Arai. Seemingly washed up and a bench player two years prior, Arai posted one of his best seasons, helping the Hiroshima Carp win the Central League title for the first time in 25 years; he drives in 101 while hitting .300. Hanshin Tigers outfielder Shun Takayama wins the 2016 Central League Rookie of the Year Award while Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Hirotoshi Takanashi takes the 2016 Pacific League Rookie of the Year. Takayama wins handily, while Takanashi is the winner in a closer vote.
2018 – the Oakland A’s announce that they have identified a site for a new ballpark to replace the aging Oakland Coliseum. The proposed site is located on the downtown waterfront, near Jack London Square. Ownership is hopeful that this proposal is the right one, after a bid for another site next to a campus of Laney College fell through a year ago because of opposition from the school’s staff and users.