1976 December

2nd  Danny Murtaugh, who had retired 2 months earlier as Pirates manager, dies at Chester, Pennsylvania, of a heart attack at age 59.

4th  Aurelio Rodriguez becomes the first AL 3B since 1959 to beat out Brooks Robinson for the Gold Glove Award. Other Newcomers on TSN fielding team include 3B Mike Schmidt, OF Dwight Evans, and C Jim Sundberg, who would combine to win 24 awards.

6th  The Red Sox trade 1B Cecil Cooper to the Brewers for 1B George Scott and OF Bernie Carbo. This ranks as one of the Brew Crew’s best trades.

8th  The Indians trade OF George Hendrick to the Padres for 3 players.

The Cubs acquire Greg Gross from Kansas City for infielder Julio Gonzales. Then in a three-team deal, the Cubs also get OF Jim Dwyer from the Mets for Pete LaCock. LaCock then goes to KC for Sheldon Mallory who goes to New York. Gross will lead the Cubs in hitting in ’77 with a .322 average, while Dwyer will hit .332 at Wichita, be given his release, and sign with the Cardinals in September 1977.

9th  The Rangers trade Jeff Burroughs to the Braves for five players and an estimated $250,000.

10th  Rangers SS Danny Thompson, a 7-year veteran, dies at Rochester, MN, two months short of his 30th birthday. He led all shortstops in hitting in 1972 with a .276 average, but was diagnosed with leukemia the following winter.

Expos send Andre Thornton, whose average slumped 100 points to .194, to the Indians for P Jackie Brown.  A great pickup for the Tribe, Thornton will lead the club in HRs seven times as a 1B/DH.

13th  The Royals release veteran P Ken Sanders, purchased from the Mets in September. Sanders appeared in three games for the Royals, and also played for the Kansas City A’s in 1966. He is just one of four players (pitchers Moe Drabowsky, Aurelio Monteagudo, Dave Wickersham) to play for both the KC A’s and the KC Royals.

14th  Relief specialist Rollie Fingers signs with the San Diego Padres.

15thPirate free agent Richie Hebner signs with the Phillies.

16th  Court proceedings in Charlie Finley’s $10 million damage suit against Commissioner Kuhn begin in Chicago. At issue is Kuhn’s voiding of Finley’s attempted player sales in June. The proceedings will take 15 days, and the decision will take 3 months.

The Reds swap popular 1B Tony Perez and P Will McEnaney to the Expos for pitchers Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray.