After missing half of last season when he broke his leg, Cubs outfielder Kiki Cuyler breaks his other leg and will miss nearly three months of this season. The 36 year-old future Hall of Famer has led the league in stolen bases four times and will finish with 328 career steals.
The reigning National League champion Cardinals release 44 year-old right-hander Dazzy Vance, who appeared in his first and only World Series during his one season with the team. The future Hall of Fame hurler will return to the Dodgers, where he spent the most productive years of his career, finishing his major league 16-year tenure in the major leagues with a 197-140 (.585) along with an ERA of 3.24.
During a Pacific Coast League minor league exhibition game, Oakland lends L.A. five players after some of their opponents suffer an assortment of injuries in a car accident. The 'visiting' team beats the hometown Oaks, 6-2.
Thirty-four players participate in an unusually long exhibition game when the Yankees and the Red Sox take 17 innings to play a 2-2 tie. The four-hour, two minute contest, which is called by umpire Bill Summers to allow Boston to catch a bus back to Sarasota, featured the Bronx Bombers scoring runs in the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings to keep the score knotted, but failed to push the winning run across the plate in the final frame when Frank Crosetti attempted a two-out bunt to squeeze in the runner on third base.
After telling reporters his team had little chance to finish in the first division, skipper Phil Cavarretta is fired by the Cubs. The 36-year old player-manager, who compiled a 169-213 (.442) record during his three years at the helm, is the first person to lose a managerial position during spring training.
At the suggestion of A’s owner Charlie Finley, orange-colored balls are used in an 11-5 exhibition game loss to the Indians. The concept is dropped when Cleveland outfielder George Hendrick, who hit three home runs in the contest, claimed he had difficulty picking up the ball due to the lack of red seams on a white sphere.
Mel Stottlemyre, suffering from a torn rotator cuff, is given his unconditional release by the Yankees. The team's future pitching coach compiled a 164-139 record and a 2.97 ERA as well as tossing 40 shutouts.
Todd Helton signs a nine-year, $141.5 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid player in Rockies' history. Last season, the Colorado first baseman batted .372, hit 42 homers and knocked in 147 runs.
Rickey Henderson is added to the Red Sox Opening Day roster when his contract is purchased from Triple-A Pawtucket. The future Hall of Fame outfielder, who joined the exclusive 3,000-hit club on the final day of last season, will begin his 24th year in the majors, appearing with his eighth different club.
Major League baseball announces there will be a minute of silence at 9:11 at every major league team's first night game this season to remember September 11th's tragic events. The song 'God Bless America' will continue to be sung during the seventh-inning stretch of all games.
The night before the an exhibition game scheduled to be played at Miller Park, team officials announce that the stadium's retractable roof will be used only on a limited basis at the start of the season as engineers try to eliminate persistent noise coming from the year-old roof. The problem in the pivot system, located behind and above home plate in the so-called Uecker seats, is not a hazard according the engineers who designed the structure.
In a split-squad game between the Cubs and Diamondbacks at Mesa's HoHoKam Park, Ria Cortesio becomes the first female ump to work a major league exhibition game since Pam Postema in 1989. The thirty-year old, who is starting her ninth year overall as an arbitrator and fifth in Double-A minor league ball, hopes to be the first woman umpire in major league history.
In an exhibition game celebrating the club's 50th anniversary celebration of their move west from Brooklyn, the Dodgers lose to the Red Sox in front of 115,300 fans at the LA Coliseum. It is the largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game, surpassing the previous record when approximately 114,000 patrons attended an exhibition contest between the Australian national team and an American services team during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.
The Yankees dedicate a permanent September 11 memorial at the entrance of George M. Steinbrenner Field, the team's Spring Training home in Tampa, Florida. The tribute to the victims and their families of the terrorist attacks of 2001 features a foundation in the shape of the Pentagon, which supports two towers made from steel from the World Trade Center placed on a grassy spot representing the heroes of United Flight 93, who perished in a field in Pennsylvania.
In the first baseball game ever played at Citi Field, John Franco throws out the ceremonial first pitch to a standing ovation from the crowd attending the collegiate match up between St. John’s and Georgetown. The former reliever, who spent 15 seasons with the Mets, goes to the mound wearing a familiar blue and orange jacket, but takes it off revealing the colors of his alma mater, a Red Storm jersey with his No. 45, before throwing his signature pitch to catcher Danny Benedetti, a breaking ball in the dirt.
On a damp and chilly afternoon, 22,397 patrons become the first fans to attend a baseball game at Citi Field, the Mets' new home, when St. John’s University hosts Georgetown in a collegiate contest. The weather dampened the schools’ hope of breaking the NCAA attendance record of 40,106, set during a game between San Diego State and Houston played at Houston played at Petco Park in 2004.
Dontrelle Willis is placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Tigers. D-Train, unsuccessful since winning 22 games with the Marlins in 2003, has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, believed by the doctors to be easily treatable, according to the southpaw.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announces President Obama will throw out the first pitch prior to Washington playing Philadelphia at Nationals Park on Opening Day, continuing a century-old tradition. In 1910, William Howard Taft became the first commander-in-chief to toss the ceremonial first pitch to start the season.
Tiger right-hander Justin Verlander agrees to a seven-year $180 million contract, the richest deal for a pitcher in baseball history. The 2011 American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner, already signed through 2014 under a previous $80 million, five-year deal, decides not to test free agency in two years, stating that "the pull of Detroit was too much".
The Giants and Buster Posey, last season's National League MVP, come to terms on an eight-year, $159 million contract extension that includes a full no-trade clause. The deal, which will keep the 26 year-old backstop in a Giants' uniform through 2021, is the second-richest contract ever given to a catcher, surpassed only by the Twins signing Joe Mauer to an eight-year, $184 million pact.