A Chicago Daily News headline reads, 'Manager of the Cubs is in Doubt Only on Two Positions', marking the first time that the team's nickname has appeared in print. Although the moniker has been around since 1890, the Orphans, also once known as the Colts and White Stockings, will not officially adopt the Cubs as its new name until 1907.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded at Asahi Field, Russell Hinaga singles, plating the winning run to give the San Jose Asahis a 3-2 victory over the visiting Tokyo Giants. The visitors will avenge their loss to the ‘Morning Suns’, a Japanese American semi-pro team, the following season.
Giants' right-hander Juan Marichal ends his 29-day holdout when he becomes the third $100,000 major league hurler in history. The 'Dominican Dandy' also reported to spring training late last season, but proceeded to win his first ten games en route to 25-6 record.
Twins' pitcher Jim Perry becomes the first player to use the '10 and 5 rule' when he okays his own trade to the Tigers for minor league pitcher Dan Fife and cash. During his one season in Detroit, Gaylord's brother will post a 14-13 (.519) record along with an ERA of 4.03 in 35 appearances with the team.
Hoping to make the team in spring training, right-hander Denny McLain is released by the Braves, in effect ending his career two days before his 29th birthday. During his ten-year major league tenure, the former 30-game winner compiled a 131-92 career record with an ERA of 3.39.
Much to the chagrin of the Fenway Faithful, Gold Glove catcher Carlton Fisk is declared a free agent by major league baseball. The 33-year old backstop can now negotiate with other teams for his services because he received his contract from the Red Sox two days after the deadline.
The Mets trade back-up catcher Ed Hearn, pitcher Rick A. Anderson and pitching prospect Mauro Gozzo to the Royals for David Cone and minor leaguer Chris Jelic. The 24-year old right-hander, who will compile an 80-48 (.625) record during his initial six seasons in New York, posts a 5-6 mark this season, with Hearn appearing in only 15 games for Kansas City.
Sports Illustrated exposes Pete Rose's gambling activities. The article alleges 'Charlie Hustle' bet from the Riverfront Stadium dugout using hand gestures with an associate.
The Brewers trade Gary Sheffield to the Padres for pitcher Ricky Bones and minor leaguers Jose Valentin and Matt Mieske. Sheffield, Milwaukee's first-round pick (sixth overall) in the 1986 draft, will hit .330 for his new team this season, winning the National League batting crown.
After being told he would not be an everyday player, thirty-seven year old Jose Canseco is given his release by the Expos. The 1988 American League MVP, who needs 38 homers to reach 500, batted .258 and hit 16 home runs for the White Sox last season while appearing in 76 games.
The Cubs, in desperate need of a closer due to Tom Gordon's muscle tear, trade righties Julian Tavarez (10-9, 4.52) and Jose Cueto as well as southpaw Dontrelle Willis and catcher Ryan Jorgensen to the Marlins for Antonio Alfonseca (4-4, 28 saves) and right-hander Matt Clement (9-10, 5.05). Willis, next season's Rookie of the Year in the National League, will become a twenty-game winner for the Fish in 2005.
At the start of spring training, Hideki Matsui, who already had plans to be wed in a few weeks, a fact not known to the team, makes a wager with some of his teammates about who would be the first to get married. A very surprised Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu agree to pay off the bet after learning the Yankee slugger pulled a fast one on them by getting 'hitched' in New York on the club's off day yesterday.
In a Kansai Independent League game played at the Osaka Dome, knuckleballer Eri Yoshida makes her debut, becoming Japan’s first female professional baseball player. The 17-year-old faces two batters on Opening Day, walking one and striking out the other, in the ninth inning of the Kobe 9 Cruise’s 5-0 victory over the hometown Gold Villicanes.
Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka will make a $1 million contribution to the Red Sox Foundation for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in his native Japan. The team's official charity has raised more than $1.3 million in response to the March 11th disaster, including personal donations from other Japanese players Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda.
The Nationals trade Nyjer Morgan to the Brewers in exchange for minor league infielder Cutter Dykstra and cash. Washington sends the light-hitting fleet-footed outfielder to Milwaukee to obtain the class A minor league third baseman, the son of former major leaguer Lenny Dykstra.
Embattled owner Frank McCourt agrees to sell the Dodgers to a group that includes former LA Lakers star Magic Johnson and former baseball executive Stan Kasten for $2 billion, the highest amount ever paid for a team in the history of professional sports. The sale price far exceeds the $1.47 billion Malcolm Glazer paid for the English soccer team Manchester United in 2005.