1999 January

5th Nolan Ryan, George Brett, and Robin Yount are elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. It is the first time since 1936 that three players are elected simultaneously on their first try. Carlton Fisk finishes 4th in the voting, missing election by 43 votes.

6th Surgery makes the news as the Mets prize rookie OF Jay Payton undergoes arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder. Also, Toronto pitcher Paul Quantrill has surgery to repair a fractured right thigh and a metal rod is inserted in his leg. Quantrill, 30, was injured in a snowmobile accident at his home in Port Hope, Ontario.

Nolan Ryan is the first passenger to board the “Nolan Ryan Express,” a Southwest Boeing 737. He autographs both sides of the aircraft’s nose on two specially designed decals each featuring a baseball with airplane wings and a Southwest colored tail. In July, Ryan will again board the “Nolan Ryan Express” to fly to the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in New York.

11th The Brewers sign free agent OF Rich Becker to a contract. He won’t last the year in Milwaukee before being traded in August to Oakland.

12th The ball that Mark McGwire hit for his 70th home run is sold at auction for $2.7 million by Guernsey’s Auction House in New York. The buyer is later revealed to be Todd McFarlane, creator of the Spawncomic book series.

The Angels sign free agent OF Matt Luke.

The Cardinals sign free agent OF Darren Bragg.

14th The Reds sign free agent 1B Hal Morris, brining him back to Cincinnati after a year in Kansas City.

The Tigers obtain C Brad Ausmus and P C.J. Nitkowski from the Astros in exchange for C Paul Bako, pitchers Dean Crow, Mark Persails and Brian Powell, and 3B Carlos Villalobos.

15th The Orioles sign free agent P Heathcliff Slocumb.

The Cardinals sign free agent reliever Mike Mohler.

18th A fiberglass panel falls from the roof of Olympic Stadium in Montreal, home of the Expos, during the setup for an auto show. Five people are injured.

19th The Blue Jays sign free agent second baseman Joey Cora and 3B-OF Willie Greene to contracts.

25th The Athletics sign free agent OF Tim Raines to a contract.

27th The Brewers sign free agent P Jim Abbott to a contract.

The Cardinals sign free agent second baseman Carlos Baerga to a contract.