1st Like kissing your sister. At West Palm Beach, the Athletics and Pirates play 18 innings without a score before the game is called.
5th The Phils ship Ron Negray, Tim Harkness, Elmer Valo, Ben Flowers, minor leaguer Mel Gaho, and $75,000 to Brooklyn for the promising Chico Fernandez. Fernandez will be the first black player for the Phils when he plays on the 16th, five days before ex-Negro Leaguer John Kennedy makes his appearance for the Phils.
8th In a harbinger of games to come, the Braves beat the Dodgers, 8–5, for the 4th straight time in spring training. The win at Oklahoma City leaves the Braves (18-8) atop the Grapefruit League ahead of the Pirates (17-8).
13th The Red Sox claim pitcher Russ Meyer off waivers from the Reds. The vet will be released a month from now and finish out with a win for the Royals in 1959.
15th In the opener in Washington, the Baltimore Orioles top the Senators, 7–6, in 11 innings.
16th The Phillies set an Opening Day record at Connie Mack Stadium as 37,667 fans pay to see the Dodgers Gino Cimoli hit a 12-inning HR to win the game, 7–6.
At Yankee Stadium, Andy Carey’s bases-loaded fly ball single in the 9th gives the Yankees a 21 win over the Senators, as Whitey Ford bests Chuck Stobbs. Yogi Berra accounts for the other Yankee run with a 7th inning homer. The 0–2 Senators will lose 16 of their next 20 games.
The Giants pack off P Dick Littlefield and OF Bob Lennon to the Cubs for 2 veterans named Ray—Katt and Jablonski.
In the season opener at Cincinnati, Stan Musial raps out 4 hits, including 2 doubles, to lead the Cardinals to a 13–4 win. Cards’ rookie B.G. Smith debuts with a HR and a single to back former Reds P Herm Wehmeier’s win.
Braves ace Warren Spahn retires the last 14 Cubs en route to a 4–1 Opening Day victory over host Chicago. The loss win spoils the managerial debut of Cubs skipper Bob Scheffing as well as the debut of the Cubs new blue pinstriped uniforms, their first pin stripes in 25 years.
In a duel of ace southpaws, Cleveland’s Herb Score gives up 2 walks and a single in the 11th to lose to Chicago’s Billy Pierce, 3–2. Score walks 11.
17th At Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantle leads New York to a 3–1 win over the Red Sox. Mantle hits his first homer of the year, off Tom Brewer. Then when Pete Daley lines a ball off the wall in left center, Mantle plays the carom perfectly and throws the runner out at 2B.
18th At Detroit, Cleveland rookie Roger Maris hits his first ML homer, a grand slam in the 11th, to pace the Tribe to an 8–3 win over the Tigers. Jack Crimian walks 3 before Maris connects.
About 150 black fans reject seats in the segregated section of Durham Athletic Park in the Carolina League after being denied seats in the non-segregated section.
New York Parks Commissioner Robert Moses proposes a new 78-acre tract in Flushing Meadows as a site for a new NL stadium. The plan, submitted to Mayor Robert Wagner, includes a 50,000-seat stadium with a plastic dome, to be built by the Parks Department.
Portland manager Bill Sweeney, a PCL skipper for 17 seasons, dies in a San Diego hospital following an operation for a perforated stomach ulcer. Sweeney took ill during last night’s Padres game but refused to leave the coach’s box till the game was over.
19th Harvey R. Hansen succeeds Fred Knorr as president of the Detroit Tigers.
20th In a slugfest at Fenway, the Yankees top the Sox, 10–7. Moose Skowron drills two homers, one a tape-measure shot to the right of the CF flag pole out of the park. Mantle is 3-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs.
The Cubs send OF Jim King to the Cards for OF Bobby Del Greco and P Ed Mayer.
21st Don Hoak, the Reds’ baserunner on 2B, with Gus Bell on at 1B, breaks up a DP by fielding a Wally Post ground ball and flipping it to Braves SS Johnny Logan. The umpire calls Hoak out for interference but Post is given a single on the play. Post will pull the same thing in St. Louis, in a day, letting an Ed Bailey grounder hit him. Johnny Temple pulled the play off yesterday, letting a Gus Bell grounder hit him The major leagues will subsequently rule that both the runner and batter are out in this situation. The Braves still win 3–1. In yesterday’s 5–4 loss to the Braves, baserunner Johnny Temple let Gus Bell’s ground ball hit him with the same result; Temple out for interfering and Bell awarded a single.
White Sox P Earl Wilson comes within 2 outs of pitching his 2nd no-hitter, but his bid is spoiled by Hector’s Lopez’s single in the 9th. He yields 2 more singles but wins, 1–0, in 10 innings over the A’s Tom Morgan. Lollar, batting for Wilson, hits a game-winning sac fly.
At Baltimore, a power failure ends the nightcap between the Orioles and Senators after five innings. With the Senators leading 2–1, a short circuit prevents the lights from being turned on. It is a first in ML history. The Orioles win the lidlifter, 11–9, in 10 innings. Bob Boyd hits a pinch triple, then stays at 1B and adds a homer and double, to pace the offense.
22nd John Irwin Kennedy becomes the first African-American to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, making them the last NL team to integrate. (Black Cuban Chico Fernandez debuted on the 16th) Kennedy pinch runs for Hemus in the 5–1 loss to Brooklyn in the Jersey City Opener at Roosevelt Field before 11,629. He will play only briefly in 5 games, 2 at 3B, and will go hitless.
At the Polo Grounds, Willie Mays has a 3-run homer and Ruben Gomez has his 2nd CG win as the Giants beat the Pirates, 3–1. Hank Foiles has a 425-ft triple and a 258-ft homer which hits the RF foul pole.
The Reds notch their first victory of the year, beating the Cards, 10–6. For the 3rd game in a row a Redleg runner is called out when hit by a batted ball: Bailey’s liner nicks Wally Post.
The visiting Yankees overwhelm the Senators, 15–6, with Mantle hitting his first homer of the year, off lefty Chuck Stobbs. Hank Bauer belts a grand slam in the 7-run 6th inning, which also features a triple steal by Martin (on the front end), Berra, and Skowron. The Senators strand 16 while the Yankees have 10 LOB.
23rd At Fenway, Ted Williams belts a CF homer and a single to drive in 2 runs as the Red Sox beat the Orioles, 3–1. Frank Sullivan allows 4 hits in winning. The Sox Gene Mauch hits into an unusual DP with Dick Gernert on 3B. Mauch grounds to 1B George Kell, who steps on 1B and throws home. Mauch throws up his hands and deflects the throw. Gernert is ruled out on the interference call.
24th Chicago Cubs pitchers walk 9 Reds in the 5th inning, an NL record, as Cincinnati wins 9–5. Moe Drabowsky starts with 4 walks, Jackie Collum adds 3 and Jim Brosnan has 2 passes. The Reds plate 7 runs with just one hit, a two-run single by George Crowe. Possibly Drabowsky was wild because of an injury in the 2nd inning when he claimed to be hit on the foot by a pitch from Joe Nuxhall. Teammate Dick Drott rushed out with a portable wheel chair and wheeled Moe to first base. Drott was ejected for his humanitarian effort (his only ML ejection) and Drabowsky returned to the plate to strike out.
At the Stadium, Mantle drills an 8th inning solo shot off Baltimore’s Connie Johnson to give the Yankees a 3–2 win. He earlier scored on a Yogi Berra homer.
The New York Board of Estimates fails to act on the Robert Moses plan as outlined by Mayor Wagner.
25th Ted Williams raises his average to .455 with a double, 2 singles, and 3 walks, to pace the Red Sox to a 12–7 victory over the Senators.
ML baseball hastily adopts a rule that prohibits a base runner from interfering with a batted ball in any way. This is a result of the recent Reds’ actions in an April series last week against the Braves.
26th Walter “Spike” Briggs of the Detroit Tigers resigns as executive vice-president, GM and director after a row with the front office. He is the last member of the Briggs family to hold an official position with the team.
27th The AL finally concedes and suspends the game of April 21 when the Senators and Orioles were interrupted by a power failure at the end of the 5th inning.
28th The Tigers Al Aber goes 1–1 against the Indians today, winning the opener, 2–0, with 2 innings of relief. The loser is Early Wynn, who allows one hit in the first 8 innings as he matches rookie Don Lee (7 IP) 0–0. Wynn, who homered off Lee’s father, is 0-for-2 at the plate. Aber loses the nightcap, 3–2, when House makes an error in the 10th inning, juggling the ball at the plate with Busby scoring. Aber had made the putout at 1B on a 3–1 play and 3B coach Stanky waved Busby around from 2B. Avila and Colavito homer for the Tribe while Bolling connects for Detroit.
29th The Senators trade pitchers Dean Stone and Bob Chakales to the Red Sox for OF Faye Throneberry, 2B Milt Bolling, and P Russ Kemmerer.
30th At Brooklyn, Don Zimmer caps a battle homers by connecting in the 10th for Brooklyn’s 5th dinger of the game. The Dodgers win over the Cubs, 10–9, with all of Chicago’s scores coming by way of homers. Gene Baker homers, Walt Moryn hits a grand slam and Bob Lennon hits a 3 run homer, off Sal Maglie. For Lennon, who hit 64 homers for Nashville in 1954, it will be his only ML round tripper. Campanella adds a pair for the Brooks, and Hodges and Amoros hit HRs as well.