The following are the events that happened world-wide throughout the sport of baseball.
- 1898 - National League president Nick Young announces the more experienced umpire will stay behind the plate when the new two-umpire system is instituted. Previously, the single umpire would stand behind the pitcher only with men on base.
- 1913 - The New York Highlanders sign Frank Chance to be their next manager. Chance previously won two World Series and four pennants as the manager of the Chicago Cubs.
- 1916 - James E. Gaffney sells his Boston Braves for $500,000 to the Harvard football coach, Percy Haughton, and a banker associate. Gaffney had bought the team in 1913 for $187,000.
- 1918 - Veteran infielder Buck Herzog is traded by the New York Giants to the Boston Braves for second baseman Larry Doyle and pitcher Jesse Barnes. Barnes will go 6–1 this year and then win a league high 25 games in 1917. Doyle, a former Giants and fan favorite, was acquired from the Chicago Cubs four days ago and his trade was rumored. He will play three years in New York before retiring.
- 1930 - Chicago Cubs star pitcher Art Nehf announces his retirement. Nehf won 184 games during his major league career and pitched in five World Series.
- 1941 - The Baseball Writers Association of America in TSN poll names the 1940 All Star team: Hank Greenberg (LF), Joe DiMaggio (CF), Ted Williams (RF), Frank McCormick (1B) Joe Gordon (2B), Luke Appling (SS), Stan Hack (3B) and Harry Danning (C) are the position players, and Bob Feller, Bucky Walters, and Paul Derringer the pitchers.
- 1953 - The Cleveland Indians bar night games with the St. Louis Browns due to St. Louis owner Bill Veeck's refusal to share receipts of the game telecasts.
- 1962 - Baseball commissioner Ford Frick denies charges that Carl Furillo has been blacklisted by the ML because of a 1959 salary dispute with the Dodgers.
- 1963 - Funeral services for Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby are held in Chicago, Illinois. Hall of Fame director Sid Keener, American League president Will Harridge and Hall of Famers Lou Boudreau, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons and Ray Schalk attend the services for Hornsby, who died from a heart attack on January 5.
- 1968 - In Panama, José Lizandro of Marlboro pitches a 3–0 no-hitter against Novatos. It is the first no-hitter in Panama since 1948.
- 1985 - The San Diego Padres sign free agent reliever Tim Stoddard to a three-year, $1.5 million contract. Stoddard was 10-6 with seven saves for the Cubs last season.
- 1986 - Willie McCovey is the only player elected this year to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. McCovey, who receives 346 votes, becomes the 16th player to gain election in his first year of eligibility. The slugging first baseman played 22 years for the Giants, Padres and Athletics, hitting 521 home runs to put him in a tie for 10th place on the all-time list. Another slugger, Billy Williams, falls four votes shy of the 319 needed for election.
- 1987 - Ten free agents (Doyle Alexander, Bob Boone, Andre Dawson, Rich Gedman, Ron Guidry, Toby Harrah, Bob Horner, Lance Parrish, Tim Raines, and Gary Roenicke) fail to meet a midnight deadline and thus will not be allowed to re-sign with their former clubs until May 1 if they are not offered contracts by new teams. The general lack of interest in the players will become the focus of the Players Association's first anti-collusion suit against the owners.
- 1988 - Faced with a midnight deadline to re-sign with the Yankees, pitcher Bill Gullickson agrees to a two-year contract with Japan's Tokyo Giants instead.
- 1991 - For the first time since 1984, three players are inducted into the Hall of Fame: two 300-game winners, Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins, and a member of the 3,000-hit club, Rod Carew, who becomes the 22nd player to be named in his first year of eligibility. Ironically, none of the three players ever appeared in a World Series.
- 1994 - The Colorado Silver Bullets, professional baseball’s first women’s team, holds its first public tryouts in Orlando, Florida. An invitation-only tryout was held in Orlando on December 18.
- 1995 - Mike Schmidt, who hit 548 home runs and won two National League MVP Awards in 18 years with the Phillies, is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- 1996 - For the first time in 25 years, no one garners 75 percent of the votes needed to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Phil Niekro comes closest with 68 percent.
For the first time in 25 years, and only the 7th time in history, the BBWAA fails to select a single player for induction into the Hall of Fame. Pitchers Phil Niekro and Don Sutton, who receive the highest number of votes, will win election to the Hall in 1997 and 1998, respectively.
- Needing only 145 hits to reach 3,000, Harold Baines agrees to a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox. The 21-season veteran, who will turn 42-years of age during spring training, played with the Orioles and White Sox last season.
- In a three-way deal, the Kansas City Royals obtain C A.J. Hinch, OF Angel Berroa and cash considerations from the Oakland Athletics, and P Roberto Hernández from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays; Oakland receive P Cory Lidle from Tampa Bay, and OF Johnny Damon, IF Mark Ellis, and a player to be named from Kansas City, and Tampa Bay receive OF Ben Grieve and a player to be named from Oakland.
- 2002 - Turning down a deal worth a million dollars more with no deferred money offered by the Mets, Juan González agrees to a $24 million, two-year deal with the Rangers that includes $10.5 million in deferred payments. The outfielder, who preferred to stay in the American League, established franchise records for home runs, RBI, total bases and extra base hits while playing for the Rangers from 1989-1999.
- 2002 - Ozzie Smith, a 15-time All-Star shortstop, is elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in his first year of eligibility. Smith is named on 91.7 percent of the ballots. Dubbed the 'Wizard of Oz' (after the movie) due to his remarkable defensive abilities, Smith won 13 Gold Glove Awards during his 19-year career with the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals.
- 2003 - Eddie Murray, the only switch-hitter in MLB with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, is elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility by being chosen on 85 percent of the ballots cast by the BBWWA. Former All-Star Gary Carter also is elected on his sixth try after falling 11 votes short last year.
- Free-agent pitcher Kevin Millwood signs a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians. The 30-year old starter missed nearly of the last two months this past season with the Phillies due acute tendonitis in his right elbow.
- After ending a 17-year Fall Classic drought, the St. Louis Cardinals and manager Tony La Russa agree to a contract extension. La Russa, who piloted the team to 105 wins this season and has been in the post season five of the nine seasons with St. Louis, is now signed through 2007.
- 1915 - Walker Cooper, All-Star catcher (d. 1991)
- 1927 - Jim Busby, All-Star outfielder (d. 1996)
- 1934 - Gene Freese, infielder
- 1953 - Bruce Sutter, Hall of Fame pitcher
- 1960 - Randy Ready, infielder
- 1960 - Julio Solano, pitcher
- 1968 - Brian Johnson, catcher
- 1975 - Jeremi González, pitcher
- 1976 - Carl Pavano, All-Star pitcher
- 1969 - Brian Boehringer, pitcher
- 1971 - Jason Giambi, All-Star infielder
- 1973 - Mike Cameron, All-Star outfielder
- 1981 - Jeff Francis, pitcher
- 1981 - Derek Thompson, pitcher
- 1984 - Jeff Francoeur, outfielder