1984 After failing to trade him, the New York Mets give veteran slugger Dave Kingman his release. Kingman hit .198 with 13 home runs last year, but finds a new home as DH for the Oakland Athletics, hitting 35 home runs in 1984, ranking second in the American League.
1961 The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Athletics agree on a six-player trade. The Orioles acquire outfielders Whitey Herzog and Russ Snyder from the Athletics in exchange for infielder Wayne Causey, pitcher Jim Archer, and outfielders Bob Boyd and Al Pilarcik.
Free agent Reggie Jackson signs a four-year, nearly $4 million contract with the Angels, ending his five-year roller coaster ride with the Yankees. In 5 seasons as an Angel, Reggie belts 123 home runs, and has a memorable movie moment in “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!”
Cleveland Indians release former NL standout pitcher Don Newcombe, ending his major league career. A one-time hard thrower, Newcombe won the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards while with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He won 153 MLB games, 4 of them as a teenager with the Newark Eagles.
Hall of Fame pitcher Jerome “Dizzy” Dean is born in Lucas, AR. Dean will make his debut in 1930 with the St. Louis Cardinals and will win 150 games over a 12-year career with the Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Browns. He is enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1953.
Slugger Bob Horner returns to MLB on a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Horner played the 1987 season with the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese Central League, as collusion reduced demand for his services in MLB to nothing. With St. Louis, Horner will replace Jack Clark at first base.
MLB owners approve one of the game’s most controversial rules: the designated hitter. The owners decide to allow American League teams to implement the rule on an experimental 3-year basis, but the rule becomes a permanent addition to the AL while the National League never adopts it.
Needing 145 hits to reach 3,000, Harold Baines agrees to a minor league contract with the White Sox. The 21-season veteran, who will be 42 during the season, played with the Orioles and White Sox last season. He will get into 32 games with the club and add 11 hits before retiring.
1933 MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis announces that he is cutting his salary by 40 percent. Landis’s action is a sign of the times during the Great Depression; most MLB players will have their salaries reduced for the coming season.