1945 December

10th At the annual meeting the major leagues head off the quest of the PCL for major status and more territorial protection for upper minors by a new AAA classification for the PCL, American Association, and International Leagues. The Eastern and Texas Leagues are promoted from Class A to AA. The Southern Atlantic League moves to Class A from B. For the majors, returning servicemen are given increased protection for one year and the limiting of rosters to 25 players will be delayed until June 15.

The Reds sell 1B Frank McCormick to the Phillies.

11th The Giants obtain a genuine “phenom,” pitcher/outfielder Clint Hartung, from Minneapolis for $20,000 and 3 players. Much ballyhooed, Hartung hit .358 in 66 games in 1942 for Eau Claire (Northern) while winning 3 games. He was in the military for the next 3 years, and will be for the 1946 season. The New York World Telegram’s Tom Meany writes, “Hartung’s a sucker if he reports to the Giants. All he has to do is sit at home, wait till he’s eligible, and he’s a cinch to make the Hall of Fame.”

12th Five years to the day after shipping Jim Bagby off to Cleveland, the Red Sox reacquire the vet, in exchange for P Vic Johnson and cash. Boston also sells SS Skeeter Newsome to the Phils.

The Giants and Cliff Melton sever their relations as New York sells the pitcher to San Francisco (PCL). Melton had rejected a contract calling for a salary cut and instead sat out the 1945 season. Melton won 20 games his rookie year of 1937 and won 86 in 8 years with the Giants. Suffering from an arm injury, he was 2-2 in 1944.