In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Fred Hutchinson, the American League player representative, says the players should have a voice in selecting the new commissioner to replace A. B. Happy Chandler, who the owners recently ousted. The Tigers' right-hander suggests that the major leaguers, if not given input, would be inclined to hire and pay their own commissioner, with Chandler being their first choice.
The Red Sox announce that Carl Yastrzemski will be the team’s left fielder this season, replacing Boston legend Ted Williams. The 21-year-old from Southampton (NY) spends 23 seasons with Boston, becoming a Hall of Famer like his predecessor.
The Yankees signal opposition to any plan enabling the new National League franchise to share their Bronx ballpark, with team owner Dan Topping citing his former GM George Weiss, now in a similar position with the expansion team, vehemently against the idea during his last two seasons with the club. William Shea, chairman of the Mayor's Baseball Committee, is not believing the Polo Grounds or Roosevelt Field in Jersey City as viable venues for the new team until the completion of the new stadium in Flushing Meadows.
During spring training, Jack Quinlan, best known for doing play-by-play for the Cubs on WIND (1955-56) and WGN (1957–64), dies in an auto accident after leaving a golf outing. The popular 38-year-old broadcaster's partners included Lou Boudreau and Charlie Grimm.
During a spring training game against Oakland, Indians' first baseman Ken Harrelson fractures his leg and will not play until September, appearing in only 17 games. Next season, after losing his starting position to Chris Chambliss, the eventual AL Rookie of the Year, the 'Hawk' will retire in June to pursue a professional golf career.
The Yankees, hoping to replace the injured Dave Winfield, trade catcher Joel Skinner and minor leaguer Turner Ward to the Indians for outfielder Mel Hall, who will hit .273 during his four years with the Bronx Bombers. The future Hall of Fame outfielder will miss the entire season due to back surgery.
The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) debuts as a regional cable TV channel. Like NESN of the Red Sox, the team-owned network will carry Bronx Bombers games and cover New Jersey Nets NBA contests.
After avoiding salary arbitration by signing a one-year $10.5 million deal in the offseason, Lance Berkman agrees to a six-year, $85 million contract. The three-time All-Star outfielder will be an Astro until 2010, with the club holding the option for an additional year.
Texas announces their home stadium will now be called Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The subprime mortgage industry crisis caused Ameriquest to give up its naming rights last month after reaching a 30-year deal with the team in 2004, reportedly worth about $75 million.
In a protest of their coaches not receiving the same $40,000 stipend negotiated by the players union, the Red Sox players boycott their exhibition game, scheduled to be televised nationally from the City of Palms Park, and tomorrow's flight to Japan for the season-opening game against the A's. The delayed game starts an hour later when MLB consents to pay the managers, coaches, and trainers $20,000 each from management's proceeds, with the difference to be paid by the team.