1881 April

2nd  The new Detroit club begins practice games by beating Princeton University, 7–2. Manager Frank Bancroft has lined up a full schedule of pre-season games, considered something of an innovation.

11th  The Eastern Association is organized to link independent clubs in a loose pennant race. The clubs include the Nationals, the Mets, Atlantics, Athletics, New Yorks, Quicksteps (of NY), and New Bostons.

22nd  Horace Phillips loses his litigation against Hop Bitter owner A. S. Soule stemming from last year’s disappearance with club funds and is ordered to repay $1,463.

27thDetroit P Bill Sweeney suffers a hemorrhage of the lungs and is out for the season.

28th  With P George Bradley already sidelined by pneumonia, Detroit is desperate for a change pitcher and signs Will White to a 30-day contract, hoping Bradley will be healthy in a month.

30th  The NL season opens with games in Worcester and Chicago. The most significant new rules are the increase in pitching distance, the reduction of balls for a walk to 7, and the elimination of the “fair ball” warning on 2 strikes.