1916 The Yankees buy Frank “Home Run” Baker from the Athletics for $37,500. He had sat out the 1915 season. He will play six seasons for New York, and equal his seven season home run total from his days in Philadelphia.
48 MLB players invoke the new arbitration procedure established to settle contract differences. Pitcher Dick Woodson (seeking a contract for $29,000) and the Twins (offering $23,000) are the first to present their respective cases to the arbitrator who must decide on one of the amounts presented. Woodson wins.
The NL votes down a proposal by Charlie Ebbets of Brooklyn to impose a limit of 2,000 seats that clubs can sell for 25 cents (equal to $6.25 in 2020). Boston has 10,000 such seats, St. Louis 9,000, Philadelphia 6,500 and Cincinnati 4,000.
Joe DiMaggio signs with the Yankees for $100,000, the first six-figure contract in the major leagues. He will be limited to only 76 games that season, but still hit 14 HRs, 67 RBIs with a .346 batting average.
NL president John Heydler dismisses charges brought by Reds owner Garry Herrmann and manager Christy Mathewson against Hal Chase for betting against his team and throwing games in collusion with gamblers. Two weeks later, Chase is traded to the Giants.
Fred Lynn is born in Chicago. He was the first player to win MLB’s Rookie of the Year Award and Most Valuable Player Award in the same year, which he accomplished in 1975 with the Red Sox. In his career he also played for the Angels, Orioles, Tigers and Padres.
Three-time 20-game winner Dennis Leonard, who returned to the majors in 1986 after a three-year absence due to a knee injury, announces his retirement. Leonard was 8-13 with a 4.44 ERA for the Royals in his final season.
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.