3rd The Cubs send OF Bob Speake and cash to San Francisco for veteran Bobby Thomson.
5th Shigeo Nagashima, a rookie phenom, makes his pro debut with the Yomiuri Giants. He is fanned 4 times, but will go on to win the Central League batting title and have one of the distinguished careers in Japanese baseball.
6th The International League votes to open its season in Havana, unless the political and social strife in Cuba worsens.
7th The Dodgers erect a 42-foot screen in LF at the Los Angeles Coliseum to cut down on HRs, since it is only 250 feet down the line.
12th On a recommendation from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a friend of Branch Rickey’s, the Pirates sign Preston Bruce, the son of the doorkeeper at the White House, and send him to Lincoln (Western League).
13th Buffalo refuses to play in Havana despite an IL vote and assurances.
14th In the presidential opener in Washington, the Red Sox lose to the Senators, 5–2. The Sox are playing without Ted Williams, sidelined because of food poisoning attributed to eating bad oysters yesterday on the train from Richmond. The game today is the first played under the new AL rules that batters must wear a protective helmet.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors rejects the plan to move the proposed site for a new stadium from Bayview to downtown.
15th The San Francisco Giants defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first ML game played at Seals Stadium, with Ruben Gomez pitching an 8–0 shutout. Giants SS Daryl Spencer hits the first HR, off Don Drysdale. The Giants set an attendance record for Seals Stadium by drawing 23,192 fans.
OF Bill Tuttle of the Athletics records 2 assists in the 2nd inning, tying a ML record. The A’s win, 5–0, and beat Herb Score in his first appearance following his injury. Score lasts 3 innings.
In the opener at Fenway Park, 35,223—the largest Red Sox crowd ever for an opener—watch Don Larsen and the Yankees win, 3–0. Governor Foster Furcolo tosses out the first ball. Yogi Berra’s two run homer in the 7th is the first score for New York off Russ Nixon, and Berra’s 4th successive opening day homer. This one is a 302-foot drive down the RF foul line.
16th In the first Giants night game at Seals Stadium, the Dodgers spoil the evening with a 13–1 pasting. Johnny Podres is the winner and Duke Snider adds a 425 foot shot over the RF wall.
17th At Fenway, the Yankees beat Bud Daley and the Red Sox 3–1. Mantle hits a homer off Daley and throws him out at 2B after playing a ball off the left-center wall.
The Athletics trade P Arnold Portocarrero to Baltimore for P Bud Daley.
18th Following a downtown parade in the morning, the Giants-Dodgers game in Los Angeles sets a NL single-game record with 78,682 fans in attendance, as the Dodgers prevail 6–5. Hank Sauer hits 2 HRs for the Giants, including the first at the Coliseum. After Giant Jim Davenport scores what would have been the tying run in the 9th, he is called out for failing to touch 3B. Carl Erskine is the winner over Al Worthington.
At Connie Mack Stadium, Bob Buhl allows five hits and Johnny Logan hits a grand slam as the Braves top the Phillies, 4-2.
In his 2nd major league game, Vada Pinson, 19, (Total Baseball, SABR and Retrosheet will list Pinson’s birth year as 1938: Macmillan and Bill James Abstract will list it as 1936) belts a grand slam to account for all the Reds scoring in a 4–1 win over the Pirates at Forbes Field.
20th The Giants rout the Dodgers 12–2 behind the 2 homers by Danny O’Connell and Mays’s hitting. Willie has 3 hits, including a HR, scores 3 and knocks in 3.
With a double and triple in regulation, Roy Sievers belts a HR in the 10th to give the Senators a 6–5 win over the visiting Red Sox. Sievers homered yesterday after going homerless during spring training and the first 3 regular games.
21st The A’s Frank House scores 2 runs as a pinch hitter in an 8-run 8th inning, as the Athletics trim the Indians 9–4. House’s feat is only the 6th occurrence in the ML. He scores his second run after clouting a grand slam.
At Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox put 16 runners on base, scoring just one as the Yanks win their 5th straight, 4–1. Don Larsen, with 5 innings of runless ball, is the winner. Ted Williams has his first hits of the year, a single and homer for Boston.
23rd In an ongoing dispute with soap operatic properties, a Chicago Court orders Mrs. Dorothy Comiskey Rigney to distribute stock from her mother’s estate, so she can not effectively bar her brother Charles A. Comiskey from sitting on the White Sox Board.
Herb Score strikes out 13 and allows 3 hits as Cleveland beats the White Sox, 2–0. Billy Pierce takes the loss.
Gil Hodges hits his 300th HR and Pee Wee Reese plays in his 2,000th game, but the Dodgers lose 7–6 to the Cubs, coughing up 3 runs in the 9th. Duke Snider injures his arm before the game trying to throw a ball over the 106-foot wall of the Los Angeles Coliseum. Unamused Dodger officials dock him a day’s pay ($273). Snider attempted to throw 5 balls over the wall, feeling a sharp twinge in his arm on the last toss. Don Zimmer and Ed Roebuck are also fined $25 (Zimmer for throwing and Roebuck for batting) for a similar offense.
24th Giants veteran Hank Sauer clubs 2 homers, including a two-run shot in the 9th, to edge the Cardinals 6–5. Sauer becomes the first NL slugger to homer in 12 parks.
In Los Angeles, Lee Walls drives in 8 runs on 3 homers as the Cubs paste the Dodgers, 15-2. Rookie Gene Fodge goes the distance to win his lone ML game. Don Drysdale (0-3) takes the loss. A sore-armed Duke Snider is back in the lineup.
25th The Dodgers set a record for most fans at a regular season night game as 60,635 attend a game at the Coliseum. Los Angeles beats St. Louis, 5–3.
The Indians roll to a 12–2 win over the Tigers behind the 6-hit pitching of Ray Narleski. 40-year-old Mickey Vernon drives in 5 runs with a grand slam and sac fly.
26th Mays hits his first homer in San Francisco, a solo HR off Chicago’s Glen Hobbie, to help Johnny Antonelli win his first game of the year, 3–1. It is Willie’s 188th homer.
29th Horace Stoneham of the Giants rejects Westinghouse’s proposal to televise their games on a non-profit basis.
30th Ted Williams homers and becomes the 10th ML player to get 1,000 extra-base hits. The A’s beat Boston 11–4, as Bob Cerv hits 2 homers and drives home 5.
The Yankees go down to their first defeat at home, losing to Detroit and Frank Lary, 10–1. The Motor City men wallop Ford for 7 runs in 7 innings.
Johnny Antonelli wins his second, 10–1 over the Phils as the Giants belt 5 home runs. Jim Davenport leads with 2, and Cepeda, Spencer and Bob Schmidt chip in with one each.