The 20-year-old injury-plagued Pete Reiser homers in his first at-bat during the Dodgers' second spring training game, beginning a streak of ten consecutive hits. 'Pistol Pete,' one of 74 minor-leaguer free-agents when Commissioner Landis ruled the Cardinals signed too many players to play on multiple teams in the same leagues, hits .301 in 38 games with the Elmira Pioneers, the team's Eastern League Single-A affiliate.
In the first meeting between the two New York clubs, the Mets defeated the World Champion Yankees in a spring training game with a dramatic walk-off 4-3 victory at Al Lang Field. Casey Stengel, the former skipper of the Bronx Bombers, now the expansion team's manager, clearly wanting to beat his old club, calls upon veteran Richie Ashburn, who delivers a ninth-inning pinch-hit single for the Amazins'.
Roger Maris declines to pose with Mets coach Rogers Hornsby because the veteran had criticized him in the recently published autobiography, My Wars with Baseball. In the book, the 65-year-old Hall of Famer dismisses the Yankees slugger as a mediocre hitter who couldn't bat .400 even with all of his averages added up.
The Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Red Sox for lefty reliever Albert Walter Lyle. Sparky will pitch in 420 games in relief over the next seven years with a 57-40 record and a 2.41 ERA, notching 141 saves as he helps the Bronx Bombers appear in three World Series.
The Yankees announce Britt Burns, an 18-game winner with the White Sox last season, will miss the entire season due to a degenerative hip condition. The 26-year-old southpaw will never throw another major league pitch, ending his eight-year career, played entirely with Chicago, with a 70-60 (.538) won-loss record.
After a miserable spring trying to make the Dodgers as a bench player, 38-year-old Dante Bichette (.299, 274, 1,141) announces his retirement. The four-time affable All-Star, who played with the Angels, Brewers, Rockies, Reds, and Red Sox during his 14-year major league career, will have a brief stint as the Rockies' batting coach in 2009.
Giants' slugger Barry Bonds, 11 home runs shy of passing Babe Ruth on the all-time list, indicates he may not play this season. Implicated in the sport's steroids scandal, the 40-year-old National League MVP, who has had two knee operations, cites being physically and mentally "done," blaming the media for his unhappiness.
With the same pen he used to sign his rookie contract in 2001, Twins catcher Joe Mauer (.365, 28, 96) signs a $184 million, eight-year contract extension, keeping him with the small-market team through 2018. Last year, the 26-year-old backstop, after starting the season on the DL as a result of back surgery the previous year, captured his third batting crown and was named the American League's Most Valuable Player.
🇦🇺 At Sydney Cricket Grounds, the Dodgers defeat the Diamondbacks, 3-1, to open the Major League Baseball season. The contest marks the first regular season game played in Australia.
(Ed. Note: MLB has previously opened seasons in Mexico (1999); Japan (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012); and Puerto Rico (2001).- LP)
In a game attended by Barack Obama, the first sitting United States president on Cuban soil since 1928, the Rays beat the Cuban National team, 4-1, marking the first time in 17 years a major league team has visited the island nation. In 1999 at Havana's Estadio, the Orioles edge the home team, 3-2, thanks to Harold Baines' eventual game-winning hit in the 11th inning.