2nd The Sporting News raises its price to 15 cents a copy, $7 per year. For the first time in nearly 70 years there will be no Spalding or Reach guides. The Sporting News takes over the role. Its first edition has some improvements, but also some flaws: Additional AL pitching records are missing, and so is Lou Boudreau’s entire batting record.
Publisher A.J. Spink, in The Sporting News, reports on the result of a poll of 100 former major leaguers and managers as to who their choice is as best player of all time. Cobb is the overwhelming pick, getting 60 of the votes cast. The remaining 42 votes are divided among 14 players: Honus Wagner (17): Babe Ruth (11); Rogers Hornsby and Ross Youngs garner 2 votes each, with one vote going to Gehrig, Ed Delahanty, Speaker, DiMaggio, Ott, Sisler, Collins, Mathewson, Johnson, and Jerry Denny. Among those quoted as voting for Cobb are Al Simmons, Speaker, Connie Mack, Eddie Collins, Sisler, Johnson, and Jack Coombs.
5th The season will start with Lou Boudreau of Cleveland, Mel Ott of the Giants, and Hans Lobert of the Phillies as new managers.
10th In Hollywood, an Army-Navy all-star team uncorks a 3-run rally in the 9th to win an exhibition game against PCL Hollywood, 5-3. Joe DiMaggio has 3 hits, including a 2-out bases loaded hit in the 9th.
12th Before 8,700 at Fenway, the Red Sox lose to the Braves, 7–5, as Johnny Pesky makes 4 errors. Johnny Sain is the winning pitcher.
Veteran Cedric Durst of San Diego (PCL) walks on a close 3–2 count with 2 outs in the 9th to stop Seattle Hal Turpin’s bid for a perfect game. Turpin retires the next batter for a 2–0 no-hitter.
14th In Washington, Vice President Henry Wallace fills in for FDR and tosses out the first ball. Then Red Ruffing makes his 5th and final Opening Day start for the Yankees, holding the Senators to 3 singles as the Yanks win, 7–0. The Yankees tally 3 runs in the 2nd inning off the Senators young righty Sid Hudson for all the scoring they need. For Ruffing, it is his 245th career victory, tying him with Ted Lyons for most wins by an active pitcher. Helping to keep order at the park are 80 auxiliary police from DC’s 13th precinct—“40 whites and 40 negroes.”
Ted Williams opens the season with a 3-run first-inning homer at Fenway Park. He adds 2 other hits and 5 RBI, as the Red Sox beat the A’s, 8–3.
15th At Washington, Bobo Newsom holds the Yankees in check for three innings, but New York tallies three in the 4th and rolls on to a 9–3 victory. DiMaggio has a single, double and long homer with two on into the CF bleachers. Phil Rizzuto adds three singles to make the win easier for Spud Chandler.
The Giants score 6 runs in the 6th inning to top the Dodgers, 6–4. Ott’s Men start the scoring in the big inning with a leadoff homer by Danning and conclude it with a grand slam by prized rookie Willard Marshall. The two blows offset homers by Riggs and Walker for Brooklyn. Giants fans are asked to return foul balls so that they can be sent to Army camps.
At Fenway, the Red Sox unload on Fred Caligiuri and Les McCrabb for 21 hits to win, 19-4. Every Sox batter has a run and an RBI and, except for pitcher Charlie Wagner and Dom DiMaggio, whose one hit is a homer, every batter has multiple hits. Most of the damage is against reliever Les McCrabb who pitches 4 innings giving up 14 hits and 14 runs. It won’t be topped this century. This is the only appearance this season for Les, a 9-game winner last year.
Behind the 7-hit pitching of Dizzy Trout, the Tigers topple the Indians, 6–2. Rudy York has a round tripper to help blast rookie Ray Poat from the mound in the 4th. Poat, a college chum of Lou Boudreau’s at Illinois, is making his first start for the Tribe.
Jim Tobin pitches and bats the Braves to a 6–2 victory over the Phils. Tobin scatters eight hits and clouts a fifth inning homer off Paul Masterson with one on, but loses his shutout when Danny Litwhiler hits a 9th inning homer. Braves rookie Nanny Fernandez is 4-for-5 and has now collected 7 hits in his first two games.
Following a tractor accident at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, Johnny Sturm has two joints on his right hand amputated, an operation that finishes his baseball career. Sturm, who played first base for the Yanks, hit .239 with 4 homers as a rookie last year.
16th At the IL opener in Jersey City, 55,218 tickets are sold, tops in the minors, thanks to Mayor Frank Hague. The ball park holds 22,000. Last year’s opener sold 61,000.
17th At the home opener at Ebbets Field, newly marrieds Pee Wee Reese and Pete Reiser are greeted in their first at-bats by a trumpet-playing fan who serenades them with “Here Comes The Bride.” The Dodgers beat the Phils 7–1.
18th Military leaders on the Pacific Coast ask that the PCL limit crowds to 3,000.
19th The Reds don’t collect their first hit off the Cubs Claude Passeau until there is one out in the 8th when Harry Craft singles. They go on to beat the Cubs in 11 innings, 2-1.
20th Against the Braves, Brooklyn’s Dolph Camilli homers off Tom Earley to help the Dodgers to a 9–2 win.
At the Polo Grounds, light-hitting Al Glossop hits a 4th inning grand slam, off Hugh East, to give the Phils a 6-0 lead. They hang on to beat the Giants, 6-3.
21st Only 4 games are played in the ML, and three end in shutouts: Pirate Rip Sewell trips the Cubs 5–2; Reds P Johnny Vander Meer beat the Cards 1–0 in 11 innings; Cleveland’s Jim Bagby nips the Tigers 1–0, and the Browns Al Hollingsworth beats the White Sox 3–0. The one non-shutout is the Yankees 10-4 win at Philadelphia over the A’s. Charlie Keller hits a grand slam for the Yankees, connecting off Roger Wolff.
22nd At New York, Joe DiMaggio poles a homer plus 2 triples to lead the Yanks to an 11–5 win over the A’s. Spud Chandler coasts to his 2nd win.
At Pittsburgh, Rip Sewell holds the Cubs to 6 hits, including an inside-the-park homer by Lou Stringer, to give the Pirates a 5–2 win. The homer is the only one the Cubs will hit at Forbes Field this year, and on the 27th Stringer will hit the Cubs lone 1942 HR at Cincinnati. Hi Bithorn takes the loss.
23rd At Detroit, Hal White makes his second ML start and registers his second straight shutout, whipping the White Sox and Ted Lyons, 9-0. Lyons allows 16 hits. White allowed 6 runs in 4 relief innings last year, but racked up a shutout in his first ML start on April 18.
At Washington, the Senators down the Red Sox, 10-5, but lose starter Dutch Leonard in the 2nd inning when he breaks his ankle on a play at first base. Leonard will pitch in just six games this year.
At Shibe Park, Hal Schumacher and the Giants beat the Phillies, 5-2. Prince Hal needs two innings of relief help from Babe Adams, who allows no runs and strikes out one. His strikeout is Lloyd Waner, who went 77 games last year without fanning, a record.
26th Before a crowd of 48,631 at the Polo Grounds, the Giants lose a pair to the Braves, 3–2 and 8–5. All 22 hits in the nitecap are singles: of the 13 hits in game 1, only Mickey Witek’s double is for extra bases.
Alvin Montgomery, a catcher on the Braves training roster, is killed in an auto crash.
In the first of two games against Montreal (International League), Baltimore 3B Bob Lemon has 3 homers and a triple and scores 5 times to lead the Orioles to a 10–5 win. The future Hall of Famer adds another homer in the nitecap.
At Greenville, SC, a game between the Greenville Spinners and the Macon Peaches (South Atlantic League) is stopped after one pitch by Sheriff R. H. Bearden. Umpires Forrest and Atkinson are placed under ‘technical arrest’ for violating the state’s Sunday blue law.
27th At Baltimore, 3B Bob Lemon, a future Hall of Fame pitcher, leads the Orioles (IL) to a doubleheader split with Montreal by hitting 3 home runs, a triple, and single in the 1st game, a 10–5, win. He hits a 4th homer in the nitecap.
30th Indian veteran Vern Kennedy scatters 11 hits, and the Tribe beat the A’s 6–1, for their 11th victory in a row. Herm Besse gives up 8 hits, but his eight walks leads to a loss. Mills has 3 RBIs for first-place Indians.
Braves rookie third sacker Nanny Fernandez goes hitless, but Boston downs the Cubs, 3–2. Fernandez had eight consecutive hits coming into today’s game.
A month after selling veteran P Bobo Newsom, who had slipped to 12-20 record after three 20-win seasons, to Washington, the Tigers sell Schoolboy Rowe to the Dodgers. The vet will win just two in Brooklyn before making a comeback in Philadelphia.