On January 2, 1915, the St. Louis Cardinals file suit against star outfielder Lee Magee in an effort to prevent him from signing with the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League. The suit will fail, clearing the way for Magee to play and manage in the rival league.
On January 11, 1932, Bill Terry rejects a contract offer from the New York Giants. Giants management, in a classic “sign of the times” move, had offered to cut his salary by $9,000 even though he batted .349 and scored a league-leading 121 runs in 1931. Terry sends the $13,500 contract back to the Giants and informs reporters that he is disgusted by the offer.
On January 2, 1888, star second baseman Fred “Sure Shot” Dunlap signs with Pittsburgh of the National League, becoming the highest paid player in the major leagues. Dunlap, who batted .327 with 10 triples for Detroit in 1887, receives a salary of $5,000 and a bonus of $2,000.
On January 3, 1977, the Kansas City Royals release veteran reliever Lindy McDaniel, ending his 21-year career. McDaniel won 141 games and posted 172 saves in stints with the Royals, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Cardinals.
On January 3, 1923, the New York Yankees steal another standout player from the Boston Red Sox, acquiring pitcher Herb Pennock for three marginal players and $50,000 in cash. Known as “The Knight of Kenneth Square,” Pennock will win 19 games in 1923, 21 games in 1924, 23 games in 1926, and 19 games in 1927.
On January 3, 1920, terms of the recent sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees are publicly revealed. Boston Red Sox’ owner Harry Frazee will receive $125,000 in cash and $300,000 in loans. The news draws the further wrath of angry Red Sox fans who are already upset that Frazee sold one of the team’s best players.
On January 4, 1936, the Boston Red Sox acquire outfielder Doc Cramer and Eric “Boob” McNair from the Philadelphia A’s for Henry Johnson, Al Niemiec and $75,000. The transaction completes the December 10th trade that sent future Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx to the Red Sox.
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 9, 1930, Andrew “Rube” Foster, the founder of the Negro National League, dies at the age of 52. Foster, who was also a premier pitcher in the Negro Leagues, will win election to the Hall of Fame in 1981…