Former minor leaguer Bert Shepard, who had his right leg amputated after his fighter plane was shot down over Germany on a WWII flying mission, begins a successful tryout with the Senators. Although the southpaw will pitch in only one game for Washington, the retired Army Air Force pilot will pitch an impressive five and one-third innings of one-run ball against the Red Sox in August, striking out the first batter he faces and giving up just three hits.
The Southern Association announces the New Orleans Pelicans, for the first time since 1901, will not be part of the Double-A circuit. The franchise, a major league affiliate of the Yankees in 1958, will be replaced by the Little Rock Travelers.
Bernie Gera files a civil right suit against MLB after her contract to umpire in the New York-Penn League is voided after six days without an explanation. The New York Court of Appeals, in an eventual landmark 5-2 decision, will uphold a previous court's ruling, agreeing with the thirty-nine year old housewife's contention that she had been discriminated against unlawfully.
In Yuma, Arizona, Ron Bryant, a twenty-four game winner for the Giants last year, is hurt in a pool accident during spring training. The promising southpaw's record will drop to 3-15 this season, and the Redlands, California native's career will end in 1975 after a brief 0-1 stint with St. Louis.
The Dodgers sign their once arch-nemesis Juan Marichal as a free agent. After two-regular season outings, that includes a loss to Cincinnati, the former San Francisco superstar and future Hall of Famer will retire in mid-April.
In a nine-player spring training swap with Pittsburgh, the A's send Phil Garner, Chris Batton and Tommy Helms to the Pirates for Tony Armas, Mitchell Page and four pitchers, including Doc Medich and Dave Giusti. Pittsburgh's acquisition of infielder Phil Garner, the key player in the deal, will move a very disappointed Bill Robinson back into a utility role after he worked all winter to get ready to be the team's everyday third baseman.
The Yankees name Don Zimmer to be the club's interim manager while Joe Torre receives treatments for prostate cancer. The team's bench coach compiled an 885-858 (.508) record during his managerial stints with San Diego, Boston, Texas, and Chicago.
In spring training action, six Red Sox pitchers combine for a perfect game, beating the Blue Jays in Fort Myers, 5-0. Boston starter Pedro Martinez pitched the first three innings, Fernando De La Cruz tossed the next two frames, with Dan Smith, Rheal Cormier, Rich Garces, and Rod Beck all going one inning apiece.
In front of 12,224 fans, a near sellout at the new Olympic venue in Beijing, the Dodgers and the Padres played to a 3-3 tie in the first major league game ever to take place in mainland China. In the seventh inning, the crowd hears “Take Me Out to the Ballgame", but not knowing the lyrics just listens without singing.
Five days after unilaterally renewing his contract for the upcoming season, the Pirates sign Ian Snell (9-12, 3.76) to a three-year deal reported to be worth $8 million. The 26 year-old right-hander, eligible for salary arbitration after the 2009 season, has compiled a 24-26 record with the struggling ball club over the past three seasons.
The website Baseball-Reference.com chooses to leave a blank space next to 2011 on its National League MVP list instead of identifying Ryan Braun as the award's winner. The Brewers outfielder, who received a 50-game suspension scheduled to the start of the 2012 season, became the first player to successfully challenge the results of a drug test when an arbitration panel overturned the suspension due to the improper handling of the specimen taken last Fall.
The Yankees begin a two-game spring training series against the Marlins at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama to honor the legacy of Mariano Rivera, who is a native of the nearby fishing village of Puerto Caimito. The contests are the first to be played in the isthmus nation by major league teams since the Bronx Bombers faced the Dodgers in exhibition games in 1947.