The following are the events that happened world-wide throughout the sport of baseball.
- 1884 - At the annual meeting of the minor-league Northwest League, first-place Toledo is declared the league champion for 1883. But because Toledo has moved from the NWL to the major league AA for 1884, the NWL pennant is awarded to second-place Saginaw, Missouri. The NWL also rescinds its prohibition of Sunday base ball and the sale of beer at its ball parks, thereby aligning itself with AA policy and against the National League policy.
- At an National League meeting, St. Louis is admitted, Cleveland's registration is formally accepted, and Detroit has its request to remain in the NL granted, leaving only one opening for 1885.
- The New York Clipper reports that Paul Hines, a Providence Grays outfielder, and resident of Washington, D.C., had been challenged to catch a ball dropped from the top of the Washington Monument, a distance of "over 535 feet from the ground." The Clipper calculated the "natural philosophy" involved, and warned Hines of the danger he would confront in attempting such a foolish stunt.
- 1899 - Tim Hurst, former National League umpire and St. Louis Browns manager, referees the Tom Sharkey knockout of Kid McCoy in 10 rounds at the Lenox Athletic Club in New York.
- At Cincinnati peace talks, the National League proposes a consolidated 12-team league, which the American League rejects. An agreement is reached to coexist peacefully if the AL promises to stay out of Pittsburgh. In the awarding of disputed contracts, the most hotly contested case is that of Sam Crawford, a Reds outfielder who batted .333 and led the NL with 23 triples in 1902. Signed for 1903 by both the Tigers and the Reds, Crawford is awarded to the Tigers, having signed with them first. He will lead the AL in triples this year with 25.
- Despite attempts by John T. Brush and Andrew Freedman to use their political influence to prevent the American League from finding suitable grounds in New York, Commissioner Ban Johnson, aided by baseball writer Joe Vila, finds backers. Johnson also finds a ballpark site at 165th Street and Broadway. Frank Farrell and Bill Devery pay $18,000 for the Baltimore franchise and will build a wooden grandstand seating 15,000 on the highest point of Manhattan. The team, logically, will be called the Highlanders.
- 1907 - New York Giants John McGraw plays the role of off-the-field hero as he prevents a team of horses from injuring West Coast two women. The fiery Giants’ manager heroic deed of stopping the runaway steeds takes place in Los Angeles.
- 1913 - The Cincinnati Reds purchase pitcher Mordecai Brown from the Chicago Cubs. The future Hall of Famer, who pitched in only 15 games in 1912, will log a record of 11-12 with a 2.91 ERA for the Reds in 1913.
- Philadelphia Athletics owner Connie Mack trade first baseman Stuffy McInnis, the last remaining player from their famed $100,000 infield, to the Boston Red Sox for three players to be named later. Philadelphia will later receive third baseman Larry Gardner, outfielder Clarence Walker, and catcher Hick Cady in return for McInnis.
- Acknowledging that Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Eddie Collins are all good ball players, Cap Anson picks his all-time team, leaving them off. In the current issue of The Sporting News, Anson selects catchers Buck Ewing and King Kelly; pitchers Amos Rusie, John Clarkson and Jim McCormick; as first baseman, himself; second baseman Fred Pfeffer; third baseman Ed Williamson; shortstop Ross Barnes, and outfielders Bill Lange, George Gore, Jimmy Ryan and Hugh Duffy.
- 1922 - The following round-robin deal benefits everyone: Roger Peckinpaugh goes from the Boston Red Sox to the Washington Senators; Joe Dugan, from the Philadelphia Athletics to Boston; and Bing Miller and José Acosta, from Washington to Philadelphia. Acosta will be sold to the Chicago White Sox on February 4.
- 1928 - The New York Giants trade second baseman Rogers Hornsby to the Boston Braves for catcher Shanty Hogan and outfielder Jimmy Welsh. Hornsby will lead the National League with a .387 batting average in 1928.
- 1934 - William Walker is elected president of the Chicago Cubs replacing Bill Veeck, who died during the World Series.
- Before a gathering of writers, players and executives in Baltimore, Jimmie Foxx, Chuck Klein and Charlie Keller, representing the American League, National League and International League respectively, try out the balls to be used in the new season. The Sporting News reports that ". . . regarding the dead ball, as adopted by the National League, and the lively ball, as retained by the American and International Leagues . . .the NL ball has a distinctly 'dead' sound coming off the bat, compared to the livelier AL ball."
- Future Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey is born in Mobile, Alabama. McCovey will hit 521 home runs during a career that includes tenures with the San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Oakland Athletics.
- 1945 - The Baseball Writers Association of America again fail to elect a new member for the Hall of Fame this year. Frank Chance, Rube Waddell and Ed Walsh get the most votes but fall short of the necessary three-fourths of the ballots.
- 1950 - The Cleveland Indians dismiss coach George D. Susce when his son George C. Susce signs with the Boston Red Sox.
- 1957 - Commissioner Ford Frick rules that singer Bing Crosby can keep his token stock in the Detroit Tigers, even though he owns part of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- 1958 - In Mexico, the Mazatlan Deers whips visiting Navojoa-Guaymas, 26–10. Deers 1B Angel Castro hit three home runs, a singles, two walks and 11 RBI. Castro had two home runs during an 11 run, first inning; his second home run was a grand slam.
- 1973 - In the January amateur draft, the Philadelphia Phillies select P Dick Ruthven, the Texas Rangers take C Jim Sundberg, and the Chicago Cubs pick P Donnie Moore. The Cincinnati Reds pick Southern Mississippi punter Ray Guy on the third round, but he chooses the NFL instead.
- 1983 - A preliminary injunction is issued by New York Supreme Court barring the Yankees from playing their opening games against the Tigers in Denver, Colorado. The Yankees sought to move games fearing the renovations to the stadium would not be completed on time.
- 1984 - Luis Aparicio, Don Drysdale and Harmon Killebrew are elected to the Hall of Fame. Killebrew totaled 573 home runs to rank fifth on the MLB all-time list, Drysdale won 209 games with a 2.95 ERA, and Aparicio led the American League in stolen bases nine straight seasons and won nine Gold Gloves at shortstop. Killebrew gains election in his fourth year on the ballot, Aparicio in his sixth year, and Drysdale in his 10th year.
- 1991 - In one of the worst trades ever made in MLB history, the Baltimore Orioles send pitchers Curt Schilling and Pete Harnish and outfielder Steve Finley to the Houston Astros for first baseman Glenn Davis. Davis, who averaged 27 home runs in six seasons playing in the Astrodome with Houston, will hit only 24 homers in three injury-filled years as Schilling becomes one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and Harnish and Finley develop into solid major league players.
- 1992 - The New York Yankees trade second baseman Steve Sax to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for pitchers Mélido Pérez, Domingo Jean and Bob Wickman.
- 1995 - Arbitrator Thomas Roberts awards 11 players a total of almost $10 million as a result of collusion charges brought against the owners.
- 1996 - The Boston Red Sox trade pitcher Rheal Cormier, first baseman Ryan McGuire and minor league pitcher Shayne Bennett to the Montreal Expos in exchange for shortstop Wil Cordero and pitcher Bryan Eversgerd.
- 2000 - The Seattle Mariners sign free agent pitcher Aaron Sele to a two-year $15 million contract after Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos nixes a negotiated four-year $29 million because of questions of Sele's physical condition. Sele had been offered a four year, $28 million deal by the Texas Rangers, but didn't act on it. Sele will win 17, just one of seven pitchers to win 15 or more games in each of the past three seasons – Pedro Martínez, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, David Wells, Dave Burba and Charles Nagy, were the others.
- In an effort to authenticate autographed and game-used merchandise sold by its licensees, Major League Baseball has hired Arthur Andersen, an accounting company to assure the authenticity of approximately 40,000 items this season. The memorabilia will have a tamper proof hologram and an ID number with a company official observing the removal of the item being physically taken from the player or event.
- As part of its 100th Anniversary festivities, the Cleveland Indians present three-time All-Star Jim Thome with his very own bobblehead doll. The first baseman is one of seven current Cleveland players which will be part of the bobblehead doll promotional giveaways to celebrate the club's centennial this season.
- Free agents signings include outfielder Brian Hunter by the Philadelphia Phillies and infielder Ron Coomer by the Chicago Cubs. Coomer will go on the disabled list April 4 with a knee injury, opening the door for Julio Zuleta.
- The New York Yankees sign pitcher David Wells to a two-year, $7-million contract to re-join the team. After posting a 34-14 record including a perfect game from 1997-98, Wells was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Roger Clemens. In Toronto, Wells had his only 20-win season.
- The Colorado Rockies sign free agent pitcher Rick White to a one-year contract.
- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig asks the players to accept a luxury tax that would slow the increase of salaries. Selig also proposes that teams vastly increase the amount of local revenue they share.
- Relief pitcher Bruce Sutter is elected to the Hall of Fame with 75% of the votes cast by BBWAA members needed for election. Sutter received 76.9%, slugger Jim Rice was second with 64.8%, followed by reliever Goose Gossage at 64.6%. Sutter, who is credited with perfecting the split-fingered fastball, which is a pitch most many major leaguers use in some form today, joins Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers and Dennis Eckersley as the only relief pitchers in Cooperstown. In a special election, seventeen Negro Leagues figures are elected: Ray Brown, Willard Brown, Andy Cooper, Frank Grant, Pete Hill, Biz Mackey, Effa Manley, José Méndez, Alex Pompez, Cum Posey, Louis Santop, Mule Suttles, Ben Taylor, Cristóbal Torriente, Sol White, J.L. Wilkinson, and Jud Wilson. Manley is the first woman ever elected to the HoF, and the 18 inductees are the largest class in the Hall's history.
- The MLB Players Association revised its 2005 salary average, lowering it by about $2,500 to $2,476,589.
- The New York Mets and top draft pick Mike Pelfrey finalized a $5.25 million, four-year contract, after the pitcher passed a physical. The Mets also agree to a $800,000, one-year deal with backup catcher Ramón Castro.
- Outfielder Ty Wigginton and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays agreed to a $675,000, one-year contract, and pitcher Shawn Estes and the San Diego Padres finalized a $1 million, one-year contract, nearly a week after they agreed to terms.
- Los Angeles Dodgers hire Eddie Murray as their hitting coach.
- 1835 - Harry Wright, Hall of Fame manager (d. 1895)
- 1873 - Jack O'Neill, catcher (d. 1935)
- 1888 - Del Pratt, infielder (d. 1977)
- 1873 - Chick Stahl, outfielder (d. 1873)
- 1910 - Johnny Peacock, catcher
- 1926 - George Strickland, infielder
- 1937 - Jim O'Toole, All-Star pitcher
- 1938 - Willie McCovey, Hall of Fame infielder
- 1944 - Chuck Dobson, pitcher
- 1959 - Richard Dotson, All-Star pitcher
- 1976 - Adam Kennedy, infielder
- 1977 - Rick Bauer, pitcher
- 1983 - Ervin Santana, pitcher