Orel Hershiser becomes the first player in major league history to sign a contract that calls for a $3 million annual salary by inking a three-year, $7.9 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that will pay him $3,166,667 in 1991. This came on the heels of the 1988 season in which Orel received the Cy Young Award, the Championship…
The New York Yankees buy Frank “Home Run” Baker from the Philadelphia Athletics for $37,500. He had sat out the 1915 season. Baker had been a member of the Athletics’ famed $100,000 infield, where he helped the Athletics win the 1910, 1911 and 1913 World Series.
The Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris is awarded a $1.85 million salary by arbitrator Richard Bloch. It is the highest amount awarded to date through the salary arbitration process process. Morris, a 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, would go 18-11 that season, with a 3.38 ERA.
Arbitrator Raymond Goetz supports the MLB Players’ Association and declares Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk a free agent on the grounds that the club mailed his 1981 contract two days after the December 20 deadline. Fisk was signed by the Chicago White Sox on March 18, 1981. As the season got under way, Fisk was interviewed by the media…
The San Diego Padres—St. Louis Cardinals trade of shortstops Ozzie Smith-for-Garry Templeton deal is finally official, more than two months after it was first announced. The trade was announced on December 10, but Smith postponed the deal until the Cardinals GM, Whitey Herzog, gave him salary arbitration.
Happy 42 birthday to Lance Berkman! The “Big Puma” played primarily first base during 15 seasons of MLB for the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. He was a six-time MLB All-Star and won a World Series championship with the Cardinals in 2011, the same year he was the National League Comeback Player of the Year.
The St. Louis Browns sign Satchel Paige. The 45-year-old pitcher had been out of the major leagues since last pitching for the Indians in 1949. The following season (1952) Ol’ Satch was an All-Star for the Brownies!
MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces the Hall of Fame selection of legendary sluggers Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard by the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues. The duo led the Homestead Grays to nine straight league championships from 1937 to 1945.
Exasperated Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics sells his talented but eccentric and unreliable hurler, Rube Waddell, to the St. Louis Browns for $5,000. Waddell will win 19 games for the Brownies that season.
Ted Williams signs with the Red Sox for $135,000, making him the highest-paid player in major-league history. By way of comparison, the average major leaguer made $4.47 million in 2017. Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers was MLB highest-paid player for that year, at $33 million.