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 January 8, 1913, the New York Highlanders sign Frank Chance to a three-year contract to be their next manager. Chance, nicknamed "The Peerless Leader," previously won two World Series and four pennants as the manager of the Chicago Cubs.
On December 23, 1958, the Philadelphia Phillies acquire infielder Sparky Anderson from the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Rip Repulski and two other players. Anderson won’t do much as a player, but will win three World Championships as a manager.
On December 23, 1981, the New York Yankees sign outfielder-first baseman Dave Collins to a free agent contract. Collins, who stole 79 bases for the Cincinnati Reds in 1979, will end up a bust in New York and will be traded after one season.
On December 23, 1995, the St. Louis Cardinals sign a pair of free agents: outfielder Ron Gant and pitcher Andy Benes. Gant hit 29 home runs and stole 23 bases for the Cincinnati Reds, and Benes won 11 games while splitting his season between San Diego and Seattle. Benes will join younger brother Alan in St. Louis’ rotation.
On December 24, 1969, star outfielder Curt Flood refuses to accept a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies, less than two months after being dealt by the St. Louis Cardinals. The trade had sent Flood, catcher Tim McCarver, outfielder Byron Browne, and pitcheFlood writes a letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, explaining that he should be free to sign with any team he chooses. “I do not feel that I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes,” writes Flood. Flood will file suit against Major League Baseball, challenging the game’s reserve clause, which binds a player perpetually to his team. After losing the suit, Flood will attempt a comeback with the Washington Senators.
On December 26, 1919, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee makes a secret agreement to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $400,000 in cash plus other considerations. The sale will be announced publicly one week later…