A Special Veterans Committee selects Joe Sewell, Amos Rusie, and Al Lopez for the Hall of Fame. Sewell hit .312 in 14 years with the Indians and Yankees. Rusie won 246 games from 1889 to 1898. Lopez was 19 years a catcher, but it was his .584 winning percentage in 17 years as a manager that got him into Cooperstown.
The New York Giants sign their first black players: Negro Leaguers Monte Irvin and pitcher Ford Smith. Both men are assigned to Jersey City. Irvin will star for the Giants and eventually reach the Baseball Hall of Fame. Smith does not reach the major leagues.
The San Diego Padres trade pitcher Dave Tomlin and an estimated $125,000 in cash to the Texas Rangers for aging pitcher Gaylord Perry. Perry will win the N.L. Cy Young Award with San Diego in 1978, going 21-6 and posting a 2.73 ERA
Faced with the probability of losing star OF Fred Lynn to free agency because of a front-office blunder, the Red Sox trade Lynn and P Steve Renko to the Angels for 3 players. The MLBPA contends that Lynn and C Carlton Fisk are free agents because the Red Sox failed to mail their new contracts by the deadline. Lynn signs a four-year…
St. Louis Cardinals superstar and Hall of Fame member, Stan Musial, asks for, and receives, a pay cut from $100,000 to $80,000 a year. Musial says he was overpaid in 1957 and 1958 (though he led the NL in ’57 with a .351 BA), and his salary should be cut based on his 1959 performance.
The Pirates buy first baseman Hank Greenberg from the Detroit Tigers for a reported $25,000 to $35,000. Greenberg led the A.L. with 44 home runs in 1946. In 125 games for Pittsburgh in ’47 he will hit 25 home runs and make it his final MLB season.
The Sporting News named San Francisco Giants outfielder Willie Mays its Player of the Decade for the 1960s. Topping such luminaries as Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax and Frank Robinson, Mays had already completed his age-28 season when the decade began and was one of the oldest players in the game at its conclusion.
In his first year of eligibility, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob “Hoot” Gibson is the only player elected to the Hall of Fame. Gibson won 20 games five times, struck out 3,117 batters, and captured the Cy Young and M.V.P. in 1968 with a 1.12 ERA.
Steve Garvey retires. He hit just .211 in his last season and was not offered a new contract by the Padres. Even so, Garvey’s MLB accomplishments include 272 HR, a .294 batting average, and 1308 RB. He was the 1974 NL MVP, a ten time All-Star, and won 4Gold Glove awards.
The Cubs trade outfielder Rick Monday and pitcher Mike Garman to the Dodgers for first baseman Bill Buckner, shortstop Ivan DeJesus, and Minor League pitcher Jeff Albert. The trade solidifies the Cubs infield for the next five years, but they will not finish above 3rd place in the NL East. On the other hand, the Dodgers will win three pennants and a…