January 8, 1981
The Cincinnati Reds become the last team to sign a player through free agency after signing Larry Bittner. Free agency began in 1976. Bittner would spend two seasons with the Reds getting less than 200 at bats each season.
January 8, 1986
Willie McCovey becomes the 16th player to be elected to the Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility. McCovey hit 521 home runs in his career. He was the 1959 NL ROY, a 6 time all-star, won the 1969 NL MVP, and had his #44 retired by the San Francisco Giants.
January 8, 1995
Three time NL MVP Mike Schmidt was elected to the Hall of Fame. In his career, Schmidt hit 548 home runs, was a 12 time all-star, led the NL in home runs 8 times, and was the 1980 World Series MVP leading his Phillies to the championship.
Born on this day:
1953 Bruce Sutter
1971 Jason Giambi