On January 5, 1957, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers officially announces his retirement, voiding a recent trade to the rival New York Giants. In December, the Dodgers had dealt Robinson to the Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000. Giants vice-president Charles Feeney had offered Robinson a $60,000 contract. Citing problems with his legs, Robinson decides to call it quits.
On January 5, 1946, the St. Louis Cardinals sell star catcher Walker Cooper to the New York Giants for a record $175,000. Cooper batted .317 in 1944 but missed most of the 1945 season because of his enlistment in World War II.
On December 28, 1983, free agent outfielder Warren Cromartie signs a three-year contract with the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League. Cromartie, who batted .278 for the Montreal Expos in 1983, will receive $2.5 million over the length of the contract.
On January 5, 1920, in perhaps the most famous transaction in baseball history, the New York Yankees formally announce the purchase of outfielder-pitcher Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for $100,000. The trade had actually been made on December 26, 1919, but the announcement was delayed until Ruth could come to contract terms with the Yankees. Red Sox owner and theatrical entrepreneur Harry Frazee decides to sell Ruth because he needs money to support one of his theatrical productions, while paying off debts on Fenway Park. The Yankees will make Ruth a full-time outfielder in 1920
On December 29, 1932, the Boston Braves purchase catcher Shanty Hogan from the New York Giants for $25,000 in cash. A .287 hitter for the Giants in 1932, Hogan will slump to .253 with only three home runs and 30 RBIs in his first season with the Braves.
On December 30, 1943, the Philadelphia Phillies trade first baseman Babe Dahlgren to the Pittsburgh Pirates for catcher Babe Phelps and cash. Dahlgren will drive in a career-high 101 runs for the Pirates in 1944. A former New York Yankee first baseman, Dahlgren had gained most of his notoriety after replacing Lou Gehrig when the “Iron Horse’s” playing streak ended in 1939…
On January 7, 1924, the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians make a seven-player deal involving star first baseman George "Tioga" Burns. A .328 batter in 1923, Burns joins second baseman Chick Fewster and catcher Al Walter in heading to the Indians, while catcher Steve O’Neill, second baseman Bill Wambsganss, outfielder Joe Connolly and pitcher Danny Boone join the Red Sox.
On December 30, 1925, the New York Giants trade pitcher Wayland Dean and pitcher-first baseman Jack Bentley to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Jimmy Ring. Bentley will return to the Giants during the 1926 season.
On April 17, 1953, Mickey Mantle hits what is believed to be the longest home run in the history of Washington’s Griffith Stadium. The New York Yankees’ slugger blasts a mammoth 565-foot shot against Chuck Stobbs of the Washington Senators.