1941 December

2nd The Giants name the popular Mel Ott as player-manager replacing Bill Terry, who moves up to the GM spot.

8th A day after Pearl Harbor, AL owners deny permission to St. Louis Browns owner Don Barnes to move his failing franchise to Los Angeles.

Cubs owner Phillip Wrigley donates to the war effort contributing 165 tones of steel, 35,000 feet of copper wire and 800 aluminum reflectors, material stored under the grand stands at Wrigley Field. The supplies had been earmarked for the installation of lights at Wrigley Field. The decision changes the course of history for the Cubs franchise. “We felt that this material could be more useful in lighting flying fields, munitions plants and war defense plants under construction,” comments Wrigley.

9th Star pitcher Bob Feller enlists in the Navy.

10th The Reds sell 3B Bill Werber to the Giants.

11th Cardinals GM Branch Rickey, possibly motivated by a clause in his contract that gives him 2 percent of the team’s profits, stuns St. Louis by trading slugger John Mize to the Giants for three players—Bill Lohrman, Ken O’Dea, and Johnny McCarthy—and $50,000. Mize’s home run production had fallen from 43 to 16 in 1941, but he will adjust to the Polo Grounds and lead the National League in 1947-48. First baseman McCarthy will never play a game for the Cards, but will resurface with the Braves in 1943. Yesterday, Rickey sold C/OF Don Padgett to Brooklyn for $30,000. Padgett will enter the Navy without playing a game for the Dodgers, and Brooklyn will try unsuccessfully to get their money back from the Cards.

.12th The Pirates send All-Star SS Arky Vaughan to Brooklyn for P Luke Hamlin, C Babe Phelps, OF Johnny Wasdell, and 2B Pete Coscarart. Phelps did not play for Brooklyn following June 12, when he skipped the team train to St. Louis.

13th The Red Sox send P Jack Wilson and infielder Stan Spence to the Senators for Ken Chase and Johnny Welaj.

22nd The Red Sox sell pitcher Bill Fleming to the Chicago Cubs, where he will spend four years.