The following are the events that happened world-wide throughout the sport of baseball.
- 1881 - The American Association elects H.D. McKnight as its president. It votes to honor the National League blacklist in the case of drunkenness but not to abide by the NL reserve clause. The new league will rely on home gate receipts, visiting teams getting just a $65 guarantee on the road, as opposed to the NL's policy of giving 15¢ from each admission to the visitors. The AA will allow Sunday games, liquor sales, and 25¢ tickets, all prohibited by the NL.
- 1887 - The directors of the Omaha club agree to pay $3,000 per month to manager Frank Selee to bring his team from Oshkosh, where they won the Northwestern League pennant in 1887. Two top stars, outfielders Tommy McCarthy and Dummy Hoy, will spend 1888 in the major leagues.
- 1908 - A major league All-Star team leaves San Francisco for a tour of Japan, China, Hawaii, and the Philippines. It will play 40 games before returning on February 15, 1909.
- 1926 - Ty Cobb resigns as Detroit Tigers manager after leading his team to a record of 79-75 and a sixth-place finish. Umpire and former Tigers infielder George Moriarty replaces him. Moriarty is the first man to hold baseball's four principal jobs: player, umpire, scout and manager. Cobb will sign a playing contract with the Philadelphia Athletics and will bat .357 during the 1927 season.
- Voters in Cleveland approve a bond issue to build a giant municipal stadium near the lakefront to attract events for the 1932 Summer Olympics.
- Voters in Massachusetts approve Sunday baseball in Boston, provided that Braves Field is more than 1,000 feet from a church. This leaves Pennsylvania as the only state with no Sunday baseball in the major leagues.
- 1934 - Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees wins the American League Triple Crown after hitting a .363 with 49 home runs and 165 RBI. Nevertheless, the Philadelphia Athletics' Mickey Cochrane, who hit .320 with two home runs and 76 RBI, is named AL Most Valuable Player. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dizzy Dean, who posted a 30-7 record with 195 strikeouts and a 2.66 ERA, is chosen as National League MVP.
- 1942 - Boston Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams is the Triple Crown in the American League, but the Baseball Writers Association of America select Joe Gordon as AL Most Valuable Player. Williams finished with a .356 average, 36 home runs and 137 RBI. Gordon of the New York Yankees wins despite leading the AL in strikeouts (95), most times hit into double plays (22) and most errors at second base (28). St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mort Cooper posted a 22-7 record with 152 SO and a 1.78 ERA and gets the National League MVP honors.
- 1953 - The baseball rules committee restores the 1939 sacrifice fly rule, which says a SF is not charged as a time at bat.
- 1955 - The New York Yankees tour Japan and draw a record crowd of 64,000 when they play the first game against the All-Japan Stars in Osaka. Andy Carey slugs 13 home runs, and Elston Howard bats .468 on the 25-game tour. According to "Elston and Me" by Arlene Howard (University of Missouri Press, 2001), the goodwill tour of Japan took place in 1955, immediately following the Yankees loss to the Dodgers in the World Series. Some online sources place the tour incorrectly in 1954.
- 1960 - Vern Law, who finished 20-9 with 18 complete games for the National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates, is voted Cy Young Award winner. Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves finishes second.
- 1964 - Philadelphia voters approve $25 million bond issue to build a new sport stadium. Due cost overruns, a 1967 measure is needed to authorized an additional $13 million making Veterans Stadium one of the most expensive ballparks with a final cost of $50 million.
- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, who posted a 26-8 record, a 1.73 ERA, and a record-shattering 382 strikeouts, is named Cy Young Award winner by a unanimous vote and for the third time.
- Kansas City Athletics pitcher Lew Krausse strikes out 21 batters, including 10 men in a row, in a Venezuelan Winter League game. Krausse finishes with a one-hitter for the Leones del Caracas over the Cardenales de Lara.
- 1967 - Boston Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg, who was 22-9 with 246 strikeouts for the American League champions, is named AL Cy Young Award winner.
- 1968 - St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Harry Caray is struck by a car while crossing a street in St. Louis, and he suffers two broken legs, a broken shoulder, and a broken nose.
- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson wins the National League Cy Young Award by a 118-51 margin over Gaylord Perry of the San Francisco Giants. Gibson posted a 23-7 record with 274 strikeouts and a 3.12 ERA.
- The Philadelphia Phillies trade outfielder Curt Flood to the Washington Senators for first baseman Greg Goosen, OF Gene Martin, and pitcher Jeff Terpko. In 1969, the Phillies had acquired Flood from the St. Louis Cardinals but had been unable to convince him to report to the team. In the meantime, Flood filed and lost a $4.1 million lawsuit against MLB.
- 1979 - The American League and National League All-Star teams depart on an exhibition tour of Japan. The NL squad will take four of seven from the AL counterparts, but the teams will combine to split a pair of games with the Japanese All-Stars.
- 1981 - Milwaukee Brewers reliever Rollie Fingers, with a 6-3 record, 28 saves and a 1.04 ERA, wins the American League Cy Young Award, collecting 22 of 28 possible first-place votes. The other six go to Steve McCatty of the Oakland Athletics.
- 1982 - Pitcher Pete Vuckovich becomes the Milwaukee Brewers second consecutive Cy Young Award winner in the American League, edging Jim Palmer of the Baltimore Orioles. Vuckovich (18-6 with 105 SO and a 3.34 ERA) posted a .750 winning percentage, the highest in the majors over the past two seasons.
- 1987 - Oakland Athletics first baseman Mark McGwire, who hit 49 home runs with 118 RBI, wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award. McGwire is the second player to win that league's award unanimously. Carlton Fisk of the Boston Red Sox was the first to do it in 1972.
- 1988 - Veteran pitcher Bert Blyleven changes clubs for the fifth time, going from the Twins to the Angels for a package of minor leaguers.
- 1991 - Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell is named the National League Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Houston player to win the award. Bagwell hit .294 with a team-leading 15 home runs and 82 RB. His 82 walks also led the Astros. Bagwell was picked in the fourth round of the 1989 draft by the Boston Red Sox, then traded in the 1990 stretch drive for reliever Larry Andersen.
- 1992 - The New York Yankees make one of their best trades ever by acquiring outfielder Paul O'Neill from the Cincinnati Reds for OF Roberto Kelly. O’Neill will help the Yankees win World Championships in 1996, '98, ’99, and 2000.
- 1997 - Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra becomes the sixth player to be the unanimous choice for American League Rookie of the Year. Garciaparra, at age 24, led the AL in hits (209), triples (11), and multi-hit games (68), while also setting the AL rookie record with a 30-game hitting streak.
- 1998 - Ben Grieve, Oakland outfielder, is named the American League Rookie of the Year. Grieve, in the lineup since Opening Day, hit .288.
- 2000 - After being turned down by Yankees third base coach Willie Randolph and their own third base coach, Ron Oester, because of below market contract offers, the Cincinnati Reds hire Bob Boone as manager replacing Jack McKeon. A former All-Star catcher, Boone had a 181-206 record as manager of the Kansas City Royals.
- 2001 - In Game Six, the Diamondbacks get 21 hits in the first six innings against the Yankees to set a record for hits in a World Series game. The previous record of 20 was established by the 1921 New York Giants in Game Three against the Yankees, and the 1946 St. Louis Cardinals in Game Four against the Red Sox. The Diamondbacks win 15–2, forcing a decisive Game Seven. Randy Johnson is the winning pitcher and Andy Pettitte the loser.
- 2003 ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine will return to Japan to manage the Chiba Lotte Marines, the same club which fired him a solid second-place finish in 1995. The former Mets and Rangers skipper signs a three-year deal, with an option for two more years worth for an estimated $6.4 million.
- Former Houston Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker was named senior vice president of baseball operations for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, giving the club a proven front office executive to work with the club's young and inexperienced head of baseball operations.
- Roberto Alomar and Danny Bautista were reinstated from the voluntary retired list by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the pair filed for free agency.
- Former Kansas City Royals manager Tony Peña was hired by the New York Yankees as their first base coach and said he likely would withdraw as a candidate to manage the Dominican Republic in next year's inaugural World Baseball Classic.
- Third baseman Vinny Castilla was traded by the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres for pitcher Brian Lawrence and cash consideration.
- Glenn Hoffman, the older brother of free agent closer Trevor Hoffman, was hired as third base coach of the San Diego Padres.
- 1856 - Jim McCormick, pitcher (d. 1918)
- 1866 - Harry Staley, pitcher (d. 1910)
- 1911 - Johnny Keane, manager (d. 1967)
- 1918 - Bob Feller, Hall of Fame pitcher
- 1919 - Spider Jorgensen, infielder (d. 2003)
- 1925 - Jim Delsing, outfielder (d. 2006)
- 1945 - Ken Holtzman, All-Star pitcher
- 1951 - Dwight Evans, All-Star outfielder
- 1953 - Larry Herndon, outfielder
- 1956 - Bob Welch, All-Star pitcher
- 1968 - Paul Quantrill, All-Star pitcher
- 1971 - Matt Lawton, All-Star outfielder
- 1972 - Armando Benítez, All-Star pitcher
- 1978 - Anastacio Martínez, pitcher