Charlton's Baseball Chronology
The Marlins sign free agent P Alfonso Alfonseca to a 2-year contract.
The Mets sign Japanese SS Kaz Matsui to a 3-year contract.
The Astros sign free agent hometown lefty Andy Pettitte to a 3-year contract after the Yankees take their sweet time tendering him an offer. Newspaper conjecture that Roger Clemens will come out of retirement to join him on the Astros‚ but the Rocket decides to stay retired.
The Blue Jays send SS Alex Gonzalez to the Cubs in exchange for P Felix Heredia and a player to be named. The Cubs make the move after talks with SS Ricky Gutierrez reached an impasse 3 days ago‚ and the team elected not to go to arbitration. Gonzalez just completed the 1st year of a 4-year $19 million contract.
The Tigers make their biggest trade since 1957‚ sending 4 players to Houston in exchange for 5 Astros. Detroit C Brad Ausmus‚ P Jose Lima‚ lefties C.J. Nitkowski and Trever Miller‚ and IF Daryle Ward go to the NL for starters Brian Hunter and Orlando Miller‚ Doug Brocail and Todd Jones‚ and a player to come later. Brocail‚ also involved in the 1994 12-player swap between San Diego and Houston‚ will be Detroit's Opening Day pitcher in April.
The Colorado Silver Bullets are officially recognized as the first all-women's baseball team in the minor leagues.
In the first 2 major trades of the winter meetings the Dodgers send 1B Greg Brock to the Brewers for pitchers Tim Leary and Tim Crews. The Mariners trade OF Danny Tartabull and P Rick Luecken to Kansas City for pitchers Scott Bankhead Steve Shields and Mike Kingery.
Expos catcher Gary Carter becomes the 3rd All-Star caliber player in 5 days to be traded‚ going to the Mets in exchange for IF-OF Hubie Brooks‚ C Mike Fitzgerald‚ OF Herm Winningham‚ and minor league P Floyd Youmans.
In what would be a blockbuster swap of outstanding young shortstops the Cardinals trade Garry Templeton and OF Sixto Lezcano to the Padres for Ozzie Smith and P Steve Mura. The deal is put on hold however when Smith is unable to work out an acceptable contract with his new club.
Rangers SS Danny Thompson‚ a 7-year veteran‚ dies at Rochester‚ MN‚ two months short of his 30th birthday. He led all shortstops in hitting in 1972 with a .276 average‚ but was diagnosed with leukemia the following winter.
Bill Veeck and assistant Roland Hemonds set up shop in the hotel lobby at the winter meetings with a sign saying "open for business" and start dealing‚ making 7 trades in 2 days. First to go is pitcher Jim Kaat and SS Mike Buskey to the Phillies. The White Sox receive Ps Dick Ruthven and Roy Thomas along with OF/INF Alan Bannister.
The major leagues adopt the save as an official statistic. A pitcher shall be credited with a save if when entering a game as a reliever he finds the tying or winning run on base or at the plate and he preserves the lead. Or he pitches 3 effective innings and preserves the lead.
The AL votes unanimously to adopt the designated-hitter rule for a 3-year experimental basis. The DH will replace the pitcher in the lineup unless otherwise noted before the start of the game. In the December 1975 meeting the AL will vote to permanently adopt the DH. The NL declines to go along with the AL.
In Puerto Rican League game San Juan beats Arecibo 6-3 behind Pat Dobson. The Detroit rookie strikes out 21 Arecibo batters.
The Cubs buy perennial backup C Charlie Silvera from the Yankees. They also trade Ps Sad Sam Jones and Jim Davis‚ IF Eddie Miksis‚ and C Hobie Landrith to the Cardinals for Ps Tom Poholsky and Jackie Collum‚ C Ray Katt‚ and a minor league P.
Mrs. Grace Comiskey‚ president of the White Sox‚ dies of a heart attack in Washington.
The Reds trade C Smoky Burgess‚ 2B Connie Ryan and P Howie Fox to the Phillies for C Andy Seminick‚ IF Eddie Pellagrini‚ OF Dick Sisler and P Niles Jordan. The Reds will regret letting the burly catcher go and will reacquire him‚ again exchanging Seminick‚ in 3 years.
The minors started 58 leagues and 438 clubs this year. All the leagues finished schedules‚ but when the minor leagues ask for curbs on television into their areas‚ the ML clubs sidestep the issue.
At the annual meeting the major leagues head off the quest of the PCL for major status and more territorial protection for upper minors by a new AAA classification for the PCL‚ American Association‚ and International League. The Eastern and Texas Leagues are promoted from Class A to AA. The Southern Atlantic League moves to Class A from B.
For the majors Returning servicemen are given increased protection for one year and the limiting of rosters to 25 players will be delayed until June 15.
In Chicago‚ a curious rule that was designed to "break up the Yankees" is continued by the AL‚ a rule which prohibits the team winning the championship from trading with any other club. The rule was voted in at the December‚ 1939 meetings by the 7 other AL owners after the Yankees won 4 straight WS.
The sac fly rule‚ reinstituted last year‚ is eliminated for the 1941 season. Though he would hit .400 without the rule change‚ Ted Williams will have 6 flies that score runners from 3B in 1941.
The major and minor leagues agree that players taken into the military will not count against roster limits.
Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announces his ruling on the Bob Feller case. Feller joined Cleveland in July and Des Moines (Western League) protested‚ claiming the pitcher for themselves. Landis let Feller stay with Cleveland‚ pending his final ruling‚ which is announced today in favor of the Indians.
Two Hall of Famers are sold today. Jimmie Foxx‚ along with Johnny Marcum‚ (17-12)‚ is sold by the A's to the Red Sox for $350‚000 (also reported as $250‚000 and $150‚000). Also included in the trade are Roger "Doc" Cramer and Eric McNair‚ but the details on this will not be announced till January. The A's get Gordon Rhodes (2-10) and a minor league catcher George Savino; The 28-year-old Foxx has averaged 41 homers over the past 7 seasons and says about the trade‚ "my dream has come true." After three years in Chicago‚ Al Simmons is sold by the White Sox to the Tigers for $75‚000.
The NL accepts Bob Quinn‚ who had been GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers‚ as president of the new ownership of the Braves. Quinn gains control of the club with the backing of $200‚000 by majority stockholder Charles Adams‚ who also owns the Boston Bruins. Adams is stripped of his stock and as Ford Frick says‚ "Adams will have no stock in the new organization." Adams‚ who had spent $250‚000 to improve the Braves‚ came under fire from Judge Landis when he became the majority stockholder of the Suffolk Downs Race Track last summer.
The Tigers of Osaka are officially formed to become Japan's 2nd professional team.
The AL goes on record as opposing the use of resin by pitchers‚ but the joint rules committee finally votes it in. The committee also agrees that future WS games are set to start at 1:30 P.M.; 2nd-place money withheld from the 8 Black Sox in 1920 is distributed to the other 1920 White Sox; and players signed by August 31st are declared eligible for WS play. Finally‚ no longer will an at-bat be charged if a fly ball advances a runner to 2B or 3B‚ as well as home.
The 2 leagues agree on a permanent rotation for World Series play proposed by Charlie Ebbets: first 2 games at one league's park‚ next 3 at the other leagues park‚ last 2 if needed back at the first league's park‚ with openers to alternate between leagues. Next year's WS will commence at the NL city.
The NL votes to ban the spitball's use by all new pitchers. The ban will be formally worked out by the Rules Committee in February.
With the opposition led by New York‚ Boston‚ and Chicago owners‚ the AL directors pass a resolution accusing Ban Johnson of overstepping his duties. They demand that league files be turned over to them and that an auditor review all financial accounts.
In St. Louis lefty pitcher Ted Breitenstein breaks his right arm and sprains his left when his carriage rolls over after his horse bolts.
At the NL meetings at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York‚ rumors fly. Ban Johnson says the AL has signed a lease on a park in Detroit. The Players Protective Association says its members will not sign with the NL.
The Tourists play in Auckland NZ during a brief stopover.
The Troy City Base Ball club applies for membership in the NL.
After a 5-day league meeting in Cleveland‚ these results are announced: the Philadelphia Athletics and New York Mutuals are expelled by unanimous vote; a uniform and lively baseball is agreed upon; the playing rules for 1877 are modified‚ and William Hulbert is elected NL president. The A's and Mutuals had declined to make a final western swing at the end of the season‚ and charges of hippodroming-not playing at 100%-continued to dog the two teams.