1974 January

1st  Lee MacPhail takes over as AL president, succeeding Joe Cronin, who retires.

2ndFormer Dodger bonus baby Dennis Daboll, 27, dies during a solo climb in the Grand Canyon.  Caught in a blizzard, he slips off the trail and falls to his death (Deaths in the GrandCanyon). Daboll was on the LA roster in early 1965, but was optioned out before appearing in a game.  He was then in the system of the Reds and the Cards and was out of baseball by age 24.

3rd  Unable to pry Dick Williams away from Finley, the Yankees sign Bill Virdon as manager.

9th  Picking first in the January amateur draft, the Rangers select SS Roy Smalley, Jr, son of 10-year ML vet SS and nephew of manager Gene Mauch. Smalley, who dropped out of USC in the fall to make himself eligible, will sign for $100,000.

16th  The BBWAA elects former Yankee teammates Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford to the Hall of Fame. Mantle becomes only the 7th player to make it in his first try.

25th  Ray Kroc, fast-food entrepreneur (McDonalds),buys the Padres for $12 million.

28th  The Hall of Fame Special Veterans Committee selects Sam Thompson, Jim Bottomley, and umpire Jocko Conlan.