1997 January

4th The Rangers sign free agent OF Mike Devereaux.

5th Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield escapes serious injury when he is hit by a car while out jogging. He is released from the hospital after being treated for bruises.

6th Dodger owner Peter O’Malley announces plans to sell the team, which has been controlled by his family since 1950. The club is expected to command a record price.

Former Atlanta knuckleballer Phil Niekro is elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Niekro receives 80.34% of the vote. Former Dodger hurler Don Sutton falls 9 votes short of election.

8th  The Giants sign free agent P Doug Henry.

9th  The Yankees sign free agent OF Mark Whiten.

11th  The Red Sox sign free agent P Steve Avery.

12th The San Diego Padres acquire the rights to 27-year-old Japanese fireballer Hideki Irabu from the Chiba Lotte Marines. Irabu says he only wants to play for the Yankees.

14th  The White Sox sign free agent P Doug Drabek.

20th  Former major league OF Curt Flood, who challenged baseball’s reserve system and made possible today’s megasalaries, dies at age 59.

27th  The Red Sox trade DH Jose Canseco and cash to the Athletics for P John Wasdin.