Babe Didrikson, a renowned female athlete, gives up no hits and walks only one Dodger when she pitches the first inning of the Philadelphia A's spring training game at McCurdy Field in Frederick, Maryland. The founder of the LPGA and Olympic track and field Gold Medalist will also participate in exhibition contests with the Indians and Cardinals.
In one of the biggest trades in Negro League history, Josh Gibson and Judy Johnson are traded to the Homestead Grays for $25,000 and two journeymen. Both Gibson (1972) and Johnson (1975) will be inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame.
Although the Department of Justice outlawed this practice in 1949, U.S. Senator Edwin C. Johnson proposes a bill, banning the broadcast of major league games in minor league territories. The lawmaker, who is baseball executive Bob Howsam's father-in-law,
presently serves as the President of the Class A Western League, and played a major role in the construction of Mile High Stadium, formerly known as Bears Stadium.
The Phillies purchase Joe Collins from the Yankees, but he decides to retire rather than report to the City of Brotherly Love. The 34 year-old first baseman, who spent his entire ten-year career with New York and appeared in seven World Series with the team, finishes with a lifetime .256 batting average.
The Yankees announce the team will oppose any plan that would enable the new National League expansion franchise to use Yankee Stadium. This decision leaves the Polo Grounds as the only viable option for the new team.
In an exhibition game played in Puerto Rico, Willie Mays, subbing for manager Yogi Berra, pilots the Mets to an 8-3 win over the Pirates.
In a special election, the BBWAA selects (393 out 424 votes) the late Roberto Clemente to be a member of the Hall of Fame. The usual five year rule had been previously waived by the organization's board of directors.
The office of baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth announces MLB is conducting an inquiry into "serious allegations" concerning Reds' manager Pete Rose and gambling.
The Commissioner's office announces MLB will continue the practice that began after the September 11 attacks of singing 'God Bless America' during the seventh-inning stretch in each team's first homestand. In addition, an American flag patch will be worn on the jackets of all 30 major league teams this season and special logos will be used on Opening Day, Memorial Day weekend, and the Fourth of July, with Canadian versions designed for the Blue Jays and Expos.
At San Diego's Petco Park, Japan, managed by all-time international home-run king Sadaharu Oh, captures the first World Baseball Classic crown, beating Cuba, 10-6. The 16-team tournament, which will take place again in the year 2009, ends with just two major leaguers still in the game.
In his first appearance in a Nationals uniform, Alfonso Soriano refuses to play the outfield in an exhibition game against the Dodgers. The one-time All-Star second baseman, who was listed on Frank Robinson's lineup to start in left field, could be placed on the disqualified list for his insubordination, preventing him from getting paid his $10 million salary and accruing service time, which is used to determine a player's free agent status.
Behind the strong pitching of Brad Penny, the Dodgers make their Cactus League debut, beating the White Sox in Phoenix, 8-2. The outing, which takes place where he made his professional debut, earns the right-hander the Opening Day start against the Giants.