1st Babe Herman is sold by Cincinnati to Detroit. The Tigers will release him June 15th.
2nd Dizzy Dean, Paul Dean, and Joe Medwick have a scuffle in a Tampa hotel lobby with New York News reporter Jack Miley and Chicago Times writer Irv Kupcinet.
4th In an Indians-Giants exhibition game in New Orleans, Hank Leiber is beaned by a Bob Feller fastball and suffers a brain concussion. He will miss most of the upcoming season, not returning to action till late July.
Detroit sells 35-year-old OF Al Simmons, coming off a .327 season, to Washington for $15,000. He’ll hit .279 and drive in 84 runs, second on the team.
9th The 1936 batting champ, Paul Waner, ends his holdout and signs a contract with Pittsburgh.
14th Judge Landis declares minor leaguer Tommy Henrich a free agent, voiding his Cleveland contract. This is another of the cover-up situations Landis hated, and the balance of the scale for letting Cleveland keep Bob Feller. In 4 days, Henrich will sign with the Yankees for $25,000.
Here’s Babe Ruth, a twice a week radio show starring the Babe, debuts. It will run until July 13 before bowing out.
16th Joe DiMaggio, who has suffered from a lame throwing arm recently, has his tonsils and adenoids removed at Lenox Hill hospital. He will miss his 2nd straight Opener.
19th In Washington, President Franklin Roosevelt tosses out the first ball and then the Senators drop the first game, 4-3, to the Athletics in 10 innings. Al Williams is the winner in 7+ innings of relief. Bob Johnson laces an inside-the-park homerun for the A’s, while Ben Chapman and Ossie Bluege clout homers for the Nationals. The Senators will shift to a regular infield of Joe Kuhel, Buddy Myer, Cecil Travis (who pinchhit today), and Buddy Lewis, the first to be comprised exclusively of left-handed hitters.
The Phillies open in Boston with a doubleheader win against the Bees 2–1, in 11 innings, and 1–0. Guy Bush is the hard-luck starter and loser in game 1 when rookie Morrie Arnovich hits an 11th inning homer to win it. Danny MacFayden is edged by Bucky Walters in the 2nd game. Each allows 4 hits.
The Reds sell Babe Herman to Detroit.
20th Gee Walker of the Tigers becomes the only player to hit for the cycle on Opening Day when he performs the feat against the Cleveland Indians, hitting in reverse order for a homer, triple, double, and single. Detroit wins, 4–3.
The Senators open the Yankee Stadium season before 45,850 with a 3–2 win over Lefty Gomez. The Yankees tally 10 hits off Monte Weaver, including two doubles and a single by Lou Gehrig. Gehrig is playing in his 1,809th straight game. Al Simmons, purchased two weeks earlier from Detroit, cracks a disputed homer in the 6th to tie the game at 2–2: New York argues that a fan reached over the railing and touched the ball. The Nats score the winning run in the 8th on a long sac fly by Shanty Hogan.
At Cincinnati, the Cards Dizzy Dean gives up 13 hits, walks 2, makes a fielding error, and still wins 2–0, in 10 innings. Doubles by Johnny Mize and Joe Medwick and a single by Durocher hand the loss to starter Peaches Davis. The Reds have 14 runners left on base in the shutout, a ML record for 10-innings.
At Ebbets Field, the Giants lose, 4–3, to the rival Dodgers. Dick Bartell, who scrapped with Mungo last year, takes the first Mungo pitch for a strike. When Rowdy Richard turns to protest the call with umpire Reardon, he is hit in the face with an overripe tomato. Mungo wins over Hal Schumacher.
21st The Browns use 22 hits to batter the White Sox, 15–10, before 7,500 fans, the Brownies largest opening day crowd since pre-Depression days. Manager Rogers Hornsby singles twice and drills a CF homer off Vern Kennedy. Harlond Clift has 5 hits, including 2 doubles and a homer, and Bill Knickerbocker has a single, 2 doubles and a triple. Zeke Bonura has 4 hits for the Sox.
22nd Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson are among 18 black players who jump to the Dominican Republic league. Negro League owners regard this as desertion and plan to ban the players from the league. In May, Paige will be banned for life.
23rd Carl Hubbell’s first start of the season is a 3-hit, 3–0 shutout against the Boston Bees. For the Giants ace, it is his 17th straight win, dating back to July 17 of last year.
Jersey City, now a Giants farm team, returns to the International League with the largest crowd, 31,294, in minor league history.
24th In Boston’s home opener, the Yankees tie the Sox on Tony Lazzeri’s 8th inning homer, then score a pair in the 10th on George Selkirk’s triple. Twinkletoes is out trying to swipe home. The Sox come back for a run in the 10th, but the Yankees win, 6–5.
Bob Feller strikes out 11 in 6 innings but gives up 4 runs to the Browns as Cleveland loses, 4-3. Feller will next pitch May 18, then June 22.
At the Polo Grounds, the Giants win their 3rd in a row, beating the Bees, 3–0. All the scoring comes on homers—two by Mel Ott, and another by Dick Bartell, off Johnny Lanning. Clyde Castleman extends the Giants streak of shutout innings to 25: the Bees have not scored in 34 innings.
25th Giants rookie P Cliff Melton strikes out 13 in his first ML game but loses to the Boston Bees 3–1. The 13 strikeouts is a new NL Rookie record that will be broken by Karl Spooner, in 1955.
28th In a game against the Reds in Chicago, Cubs P Larry French sustains a broken bone in his right hand when he is hit by Ernie Lombardi’s line drive during the Reds’ 6-run 1st inning. French also loses the match, 10–3, to Paul Derringer, winner of 11 of his last 12 decisions against Chicago. He is 21-11 lifetime versus the Cubs.
In Cleveland, Mel Harder stops the White Sox, 7-2. Batterymate Earl Averill helps with a third inning grand slam.
29th Cleveland beats up on Detroit, winning, 12-3. Little Frankie Pytlak has 3 hits and scores 4 runs, while Lyn Lary and Earl Averill each have 3 hits and drive in 3. Earl Whitehill is the winner, though he gives up a 2-run homer to rookie Rudy York, his first. A small measure of revenge for York, who struck out in his first at bat in the majors in 1934 against Whitehill.
30th Duke All-American football star Ace Parker pinch-hits a HR in his first ML at bat for the Athletics, connecting off Boston’s Wes Ferrell in a 15–5 loss. This is the first time an AL player has pinch homered in his debut at bat. Parker will have just one more HR on his way to a .117 average this year, but will do better on the gridiron. He will score 2 TDs for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Pittsburgh on November 21st and will eventually be elected to the Football Hall of Fame. He, thereby, joins Hoyt Wilhelm and Earl Averill as one of just three Hall of Famers to hit a HR in their first at-bat.
Carl Hubbell limits the Dodgers to 7 hits in winning, 7–2. It is the Giants ace’s 18th straight win over 2 seasons. Backing King Carl is Jimmy Ripple, who hits a grand slam.
After a long holdout, Dolph Camilli signs with the Phillies.