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Baseball Calendar

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The Baseball Calendar consist of the baseball-related events that recur each year at the same time.

Elections for the Baseball Hall of Fame are held every December, with the announcement of results being made the first Tuesday after January 3rd. This is to not conflict with the New Year. Later that month, on the Saturday one week before the Super Bowl, the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) holds its annual SABR Day, a date on which most of its regional chapters hold a meeting to discuss various baseball topics and celebrate the game of baseball.

The Caribbean Series, which mark the end of the winter ball season and the crowning of its champion, takes place in the first week of February.

In mid-February, the words "pitchers and catchers report" ring in the ears of baseball fans. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training about a week before position players. The Cactus League and Grapefruit League seasons start in the last days of February and last through March.

Traditionally no earlier than March 30th (although this was changed when the Collective Bargaining Agreement added some extra rest days to the season starting in 2018), the baseball season begins, unless there is a special series. For example, the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets started their season in Japan on March 29, 2000. The Major League Baseball season had begun for many years, in the United States and Canada, on the last Sunday before the first Monday in April. There was one game on Sunday evening, then the rest of the teams began play over the next couple of days. Opening Day is often a day game. This was also changed in 2018, with every team playing its first game on the last Thursday in March.

April 15th marks Jackie Robinson Day, on the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier. Every major league player wears uniform number 42 in his honor on that day. Two other dates on the calendar are set aside to celebrate players whose importance transcended baseball: June 2nd is Lou Gehrig Day and serves to support the fight against A.L.S., while Roberto Clemente Day, celebrated in September, highlights community involvement by baseball players.

The amateur draft was traditionally held during the first two weeks of June with the College World Series usually held a week later. In 2021, MLB pushed back the draft to start on the Sunday before the All-Star Game, in early July.

During the second week in July, baseball shuts down from Monday to Wednesday for the All-Star Game festivities. The game itself is usually played on Tuesday, unless it is postponed because of rain. It is preceded by the Futures Game on Sunday and the Home Run Derby on Monday. There is also a news blackout during the All-Star Monday and Tuesday. No trades or major news comes from the teams during these days.

The final Sunday in July is reserved for the Baseball Hall of Fame to induct new players and honor the winners of its annual awards (the BBWAA Career Excellence Award and the Ford Frick Award).

On July 31st, the trading deadline sets in at 4 PM Eastern time. As of 2019, the deadline became rigid, as the commonly used exception that allowed players to still be traded provided they cleared waivers was tightened considerably.

The Little League World Series are played in the second half of August, in Williamsport, PA. The MLB Little League Classic takes place at the same time, also in Williamsport.

August 31st is the final day on which players can change teams - if they clear appropriate waivers - and still be eligible to play in the postseason with their new team as rosters freeze at midnight on September 1st, and only players on a team's roster or on the disabled list are eligible for postseason play. The active roster also expands from 26 to 28 players for the remainder of the season. Until 2019, teams could add as many players from their 40-man roster as they wished, which resulted in a large number of rookies making their big league debuts during those last few weeks (the rules have since been tightened).

The regular season usually ends on a Sunday between September 30th and October 6th. All games played on the final day are scheduled to start at the same time, 3 pm ET.

On the Monday after the season ends, any one-game playoffs needed to decide ties in the standings are played.

The postseason beings with the two Wild Card Games played on the Tuesday and Wednesday after the season ends; the Division Series start the following Thursday.

One week later, each league begins the League Championship Series. Weather permitting, the league that begins on Tuesday will play Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The other league will play Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, not all games will be needed as four wins out of seven clinches the series. The home team in Game 1 will play Games 3 to 5 on the road.

The World Series take place on the last week of October and often lasts into the first days of November.

The day following the completion of the World Series is the first day that players can file for free agency.

The winners of various awards, such as the Most Valuable Player Award, the Cy Young Award, the Rookie of the Year Award and the Manager of the Year Award, are announced during the first half of November.

The annual Winter Meetings take place in the first half of December, usually in a warm location. The Rule V Draft is held during the meetings. Results of voting to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee are also announced during the winter meetings.