April 28 – Only hours after being swept by the Chicago White Sox in a three-game series at Comiskey Park, the New York Yankees fire Yogi Berra as manager 16 games into the season. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner does not fire Berra personally, but instead dispatches general manager Clyde King to deliver the news for him. Berra is replaced by Billy Martin, whom he replaced as manager after the 1983 season. It is the fourth of Martin's five stints as Yankee skipper. Berra vows after the slight to never again set foot in Yankee Stadium as long as Steinbrenner owns the team.
June 11 – In a 26-7 romp over the New York Mets, Von Hayes of the Philadelphia Phillies becomes the first player in MLB history to hit two home runs in the first inning of a game. Hayes leads off the bottom of the first with a homer, then hits a grand slam later in the frame. They are the only two home runs hit in the high-scoring affair.
July 4–5 – In a bizarre game at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, the New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 16-13 in a 19-inning contest that features Keith Hernandez hitting for the cycle, Mets manager Davey Johnson being ejected, and the Braves coming back to tie the game twice in extra innings, most notably in the bottom of the 18th. Pitcher Rick Camp, a career .074 hitter batting only because the Braves have no position players left, shockingly hits a solo home run in the 18th to re-tie the game at 11-11. At the end of the game, even though the date/time is July 5, 3:15 am, the Braves go ahead and shoot off their scheduled Fourth of July post-game fireworks for the fans who endure to the end. Ironically, Camp struck out to end the game.
September 8 – Pete Rose inserts himself into the Cincinnati Reds' lineup as a late addition, and picks up two singles, the second of which gives him 4,191 hits in his career, tying him with Ty Cobb for the career record. Being that the game is at Wrigley Field, the game is eventually called because of darkness after nine innings, resulting in a rare 5-5 tie.
September 11 – Eric Show of the San Diego Padres goes down in history for pitching Pete Rose's historic 4,192nd career hit; a line drive single to center field. It breaks the tie for the career record which Rose shares with Ty Cobb since September 8.
September 22 – At a hotel bar in Baltimore, the New York Yankees' pitcher Ed Whitson and manager Billy Martin get into a heated argument that spreads to other parts of the hotel. An ensuing fistfight results in Martin suffering a broken arm and bruised right side, while Whitson suffers a cracked rib and a split lip.
September 24 – At Wrigley Field, Andre Dawson of the Montreal Expos (a future Cub) joins Willie McCovey as the only players to hit two home runs in the same inning twice in their careers. The two home runs come in a 12-run fifth inning that gives the Expos a 15-2 lead against the Chicago Cubs. The Expos hold on to win 17-15 after nearly squandering the 13-run lead, as the Cubs score 13 runs in the last four innings, including five in the ninth; the final out is recorded with the tying run at bat. Dawson also hit two home runs in the third inning of the Expos' 19-0 pounding of the Atlanta Braves at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium on July 30, 1978.
October 19 – Once he took the field for the Royals in Game 1 of the 1985 World Series, Lonnie Smith became the first player in major league history to play in the World Series against a team (St. Louis Cardinals) that traded him away during that same season.
February 10 – Johnny Mokan, 89, outfielder who hit .291 in 582 games for the Pirates and Phillies between 1921 and 1927
February 12 – Van Lingle Mungo, 73, All-Star pitcher whose antics delighted Brooklyn Dodgers fans; led NL in strikeouts, shutouts and innings once each
February 17 – George Washington, 77, outfielder who hit .268 with two home runs for the Chicago White Sox from 1935–36
February 20 – Syl Johnson (baseball), 84, pitcher who posted a 112-117 record with four different teams, and a member of the 1931 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals
February 26 – George Uhle, 86, pitcher for the Indians and Tigers who won 200 games and is credited with having developed the slider pitch in the 1920s; also batted .289, one of the highest averages for a pitcher
May 4 – Bill Kunkel, 48, AL umpire since 1968 who worked two World Series and four ALCS; previously a relief pitcher for the Athletics and Yankees, and father of major league shortstop Jeff Kunkel
May 5 – Joe Glenn, 76, catcher for the New York Yankees, St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox, who caught Babe Ruth during his last pitching game in 1933, and also caught Ted Williams in a rare relief appearance in 1940
May 6 – Kirby Higbe, 70, All-Star pitcher for five NL teams who won 22 games for the 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers
May 6 – Red Peery, 78, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Braves between 1927 and 1929
May 11 – Bud Teachout, 81 pitcher and outfielder for the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals from 1930 to 1932
May 14 – Harry Byrd, 60, All-Star pitcher and Rookie of the Year in 1952, who posted a 46-54 career record with a 4.35 ERA for five teams of the American League
May 14 – Bill Morley, 95, second baseman for the 1913 Washington Senators
May 16 – Johnny Broaca, 73, pitcher who posted a 44-29 record with a 4.08 ERA in 121 games for the Yankees and Indians from 1934 to 1939
May 21 – Archie McKain, 74, left-handed reliever who posted a 26-21 record with a 4.26 ERA and 16 saves for the Red Sox, Tigers and Browns from 1937–43
May 21 – Grover Powell, 44, left-handed pitcher for the 1963 New York Mets, who hurled a four-hit shutout in his first start but was struck out in the face by a Donn Clendenon pitch in his next start and never won other game; his uniform #41, previously worn by Clem Labine, was retired by the Mets
May 23 – Whitey Wilshere, 72, pitcher who posted a 10-12 record with a 5.28 ERA for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1934 through 1936
May 29 – Billy Zitzmann, 89, outfielder who hit a .267 career average with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh between 1919 and 1929
May 31 – Jake Early, 70, catcher who hit .241 with 32 home runs and 264 RBI in 747 games for the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns from 1939 to 1949
July 2 – Guy Bush, 83, pitcher who won 176 games, most with the Chicago Cubs, but was best remembered for having given up Babe Ruth's last home run
July 14 – Larry Drake, 64, outfielder who played from 1945 through 1948 for the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics
July 24 – Ted Kleinhans, 86, left handed reliever who posted a 4-9 record with a 5.08 ERA and one save for the Reds, Yankees and Phillies from 1934 to 1938
July 27 – Smoky Joe Wood, 95, pitcher for the Red Sox who posted a 34-5 record with an 1.91 ERA in 1912, and went on to win three games in the World Series against the New York Giants; after wearing out his arm by age 26 with a record of 117-57, returned as an outfielder with the Indians and batted .366 while platooning in 1921; later coached at Yale for 20 years
July 27 – Carl Yowell, 82, pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in the 1920s
August 3 – Cloy Mattox, 82, backup catcher who hit a .167 average for the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics
August 7 – Johnny Rucker, 68, center fielder who hit .272 in 705 games for the New York Giants from 1940-'46, leading his team in at-bats (622), hits (179), doubles (38), triples (9) and runs (95) during the 1941 season
August 16 – Dick Drott, 49, pitcher for the Cubs and Colt .45s from 1957-'63, who posted a 15-11 record with a 3.58 in his season debut, ending third in the Rookie of the Year vote behind pitcher Jack Sanford (19-8, 3.08) and first baseman Ed Bouchee (.293, 17 HR, 76 RBI)
August 20 – Clarence Fieber, 71, left handed reliever for the 1932 Chicago White Sox
August 21 – Roy Luebbe, 84, backup catcher for the 1925 New York Yankees
August 25 – Dick Wakefield, 64, All-Star left fielder who played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and New York Giants between 1941 and 1952
August 26 – Stu Clarke, 79, backup infielder who hit .273 in 61 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1929 to 1930
August 27 – Johnny Lindell, 68, 1943 All-Star outfielder, who hit .273 in a 12-year career, posted a 8-18 record with a 4.47 ERA as a pitcher, and won three World Series rings with the Yankees in 1943, 1947 and 1949
August 31 – Lefty Smoll, 71, pitcher for the 1940 Philadelphia Phillies
December 6 – Burleigh Grimes, 92, Hall of Fame pitcher, most notably for the Dodgers, who won 270 games with five 20-win seasons using the spitball, of which he was the last permitted practitioner; later a manager and coach
December 8 – Dave Madison, 64, relief pitcher who played from 1950 through 1953 for the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Browns and New York Yankees
December 14 – Roger Maris, 51, All-Star right fielder who hit 61 home runs in 1961 to break Babe Ruth's long-standing record, earning his second consecutive MVP award, but whose career faltered under the public stress accompanying the accomplishment
December 17 – Elmer Bowman, 88, pinch-hitter for the 1920 Washington Senators
December 17 – Ken O'Dea, 72, All-Star catcher who hit a .255 average with 40 home runs and 323 RBI in a 12-year career with three teams, and was a member of the St. Louis Cardinals teams that won the World Series in 1942 and 1944
December 21 – Joe Genewich, 88, pitcher who went 73-92 with the Boston Braves and New York Giants from 1922 to 1930, who led Major League pitchers with 17 putouts in the 1917 season
December 26 – Les Bell, 84, third baseman who hit .290 with 66 home runs and 509 RBI in a nine-season career with three teams, and a member of the 1926 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals
December 26 – Jim Bilbrey, 61, pitcher for the 1949 St. Louis Browns