1981 January

2ndAt Ponce, (Puerto Rican League) Santurce beats Ponce, 11–4. Ponce’s Rickey Henderson steals his 41st and 42nd bases, breaking the old league record of 41 set by Carlos Bernier in the 1949-50 season. Henderson will finish the season with 44 stolen bases.

5thThe Yankees release Jim Nettles, brother of Yankee third baseman Graig. Jim will appear in a game for Oakland.

      The Mets sign vet Dave Roberts, but will release him in May.

7thThe Reds are the last team to enter the free agent market signing their first free-agent, OF Larry Biittner. Biittner will prove a bust and be released after the 1982 season.

12th  Gaylord Perry, 42, signs a one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves.

13th  In the amateur free-agent draft, the Mets take Randy Milligan in the first round, while John Kruk, Oddibe McDowell and Mike Sharpeson are selected but don’t sign. Sixth-round selections Billy Hatcher signs with the Cubs in May and third rounder Mike Felder signs with the Brewers.

14th  Frank Robinson is named manager of the San Francisco Giants.

15th  In his first year of eligibility, former Cardinals P Bob Gibson is the only person elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Players falling short of the 301 votes needed for election include Don Drysdale (243), Gil Hodges (241), Harmon Killebrew (239), Hoyt Wilhelm (238), and Juan Marichal (233).

      The Expos sell Ken Macha to Toronto.

21st  The Reds trade 4-time Gold Glove winner Cesar Geronimo to the Royals for minor league IF German Barranca.

23rd  Faced with the possibility of losing star OF Fred Lynn to free agency because of a front-office blunder, the Red Sox trade Lynn and P Steve Renko to the Angels for pitchers Frank Tanana and Jim Dorsey and OF Joe Rudi. The Players’ Association contends that Lynn and C Carlton Fisk are free agents because the Red Sox failed to mail their new contracts by the deadline provided for in the Basic Agreement. Lynn signs a 4-year deal with the Angels and agrees to drop his case. Fisk’s case will go to arbitration.

29th  AL owners approve the sales of 2 franchises, the White Sox to Skokie real estate executive Jerry Reinsdorf and TV exec Eddie Einhorn for $20 million, and 80 percent of the Mariners to George Argyros for $10.4 million. Bill Veeck, the seller of the White Sox, had tried to sell the team five months ago to Ohio millionaire Edward DeBartolo, but the league turned the sale down, ostensibly on the grounds that DeBartolo also owned some race tracks.