3rd The Orioles pickup C Clint Courtney, along with SS Ron Samford, from the Senators for 2B Billy Gardner.
4th The White Sox send C Earl Battey and 1B Don Mincher plus cash to the Senators for 1B Roy Sievers.
5th The Giants purchase 1B Dale Long from the Cubs.
8th The Cubs get infielder Don Zimmer from the Dodgers in return for infielder John Goryl, OF Lee Handley, minor league P Ron Perranoski, and cash. Perranoski, 11–10 at Ft. Worth, will develop into the top reliever in the NL.
9th Black and white fans integrate the stands at City Park Stadium in New Orleans for an Indians-Red Sox exhibition game. Walt Bond hits 2 HRs in Cleveland’s 12–8 win.
12th With 42,269 fans in attendance, the Giants edge the Cardinals 3–1 in the first game at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. Sam Jones pitches a 3-hitter, and Cardinals OF Leon Wagner hits the first HR in the $15 million stadium. In the 3rd inning, the umpires protest that the foul poles are several inches in fair territory, rather than on the foul lines: the Giants will make the correction after the season.
Chuck Essegian’s 11th-inning pinch-hit HR beats the Cubs, 3–2, before a record Opening Day crowd (67,550) at Los Angeles. The HR is Essegian’s 3rd straight as a pinch hitter, including 2 in the 1959 WS. Don Drysdale pitches all the way, striking out 14, for the win over Bob Elston.
In a deal that will haunt the Indians, Frank Lane sends Norm Cash to Detroit for 3B Steve Demeter. Cash will be Detroit’s regular 1B for the next 14 years and will hit 373 HRs for them. Demeter will play 4 games for Cleveland.
14th After a 9–4 Opening Day loss to the Reds, Eddie Sawyer decides he’s had it with managing and quits the Phillies, stating, “I’m 49 and I want to live to be 50.” He came to Philadelphia from Toronto (International League) in l948 and has managed no other ML team. Interim manager Andy Cohen wins one game before Gene Mauch gets the job and begins a 26-year managerial career in the bigs.
At San Francisco, the Cubs win 6–5 despite a helping hand by Cubs pitcher Moe Drabowsky. Moe, warming up in the bullpen when teammate Frank Thomas lines a ball down the 3B line, fields the double cleanly, and the interference holds Thomas to a single. But Thomas has a wind-blown double in the 9th to win the game. Ernie Banks has a grand slam in the 3rd to counter 3 solo homers by the Giants.
16th Sam Jones’s no-hit bid is spoiled with 2 out in the 8th by Walt Moryn’s pinch HR. The Giants beat the Cubs 6–1.
Ed Bailey has 4 singles and a homer to lead the Reds to an 11–3 win at Pittsburgh.
17th Start of a curse? On Easter Sunday, Frank Lane brings AL batting champ Harvey Kuenn to Cleveland and sends co-HR champ Rocky Colavito to Detroit. Colavito, an unparalleled fan favorite in Cleveland, had been a brief Spring hold out for more money. Colavito was on first base in an exhibition game in Memphis against the White Sox when manager Joe Gordon informs him of the trade. Rocky will hit 173 HRs before returning to the Tribe on January 20, 1965. Kuenn will report to Cleveland, pull a muscle, and never be the same hitter. He’ll be traded after one season.
Eddie Mathews hits his 300th HR, off Robin Roberts, plus a double and triple, as Milwaukee beats Philadelphia 8–4. To date, only Jimmie Foxx hit his 300th at a younger age.
Pittsburgh’s Joe Gibbon makes his ML debut in the 2nd game of a twinbill with the Reds. With the Pirates down 5–0 in the 8th, the rookie comes in to mop up. Gibbon throws 2 scoreless innings and the Bucs score 6 in the 9th for a 6–5 win. Hal Smith’s 3-run pinch homer and Bob Skinner’s 2-out, two-run homer off reliever Ted Wieand makes Gibbon the winner. The Bucs win the opener, 5–0, behind Bob Friend’s 4-hitter.
18th In the AL opener at Washington, a week later than the NL start, President Dwight D. Eisenhower throws out the first ball, then watches Camilo Pascual strike out 15 batters to tie Walter Johnson’s record. Boston’s only run in a 10–1 loss is a Ted Williams HR.
Trader Lane continues to swap sending another Cleveland favorite Herb Score, a lefty, to the White Sox for righty Barry Latman. Score and Colavito, traded 3 days ago, were the last two players to pre-date Lane’s arrival in Cleveland.
19th Opening Day in Cleveland takes on added drama as Rocky Colavito makes his debut with the Tigers. He is hitless in 6 ABs and strikes out 4 times. Detroit’s Frank Lary and Cleveland’s Gary Bell each pitch 10 shutout innings. The Tigers score twice in the 11th, but Jim Piersall’s 2-run single off Jim Bunning ties the game. In the 15th, as the ML record for the longest Opening Day game is tied, Al Kaline’s 2-run single gives Detroit a 4–2 win.
Before a home crowd of 41,661, Minnie Minoso celebrates his return to the White Sox with a 4th-inning grand slam against Kansas City. Leading off the bottom of the 9th with the score tied 9–9, Minoso hits a solo homer for his 6th RBI.
On Patriot’s Day at Fenway Park, Roger Maris makes his debut with the Yankees a smash as he goes 4-for-5, including 2 home runs, and drives in 4 runs. No one will debut with two homers for the Yanks the rest of the century. The Yanks spoil Boston’s Opener with an 8–4 win as Jim Coates goes all the way for New York. Tom Brewer is the loser. Red Sox catcher Haywood Sullivan has his first ML hit after 5 seasons and 16 at bats. Mayor John Collins, wheel-chair bound because of polio, tosses out the first ball.
20th Light hitting Roy McMillan has 2 home runs, 3 singles, and drives in 5 runs as the Reds top the Braves, 10–5, in 10 innings.
22nd In the home opener at Yankee Stadium, Mantle socks a 4th inning homer off Hoyt Wilhelm, and New York beats Baltimore, 5–0.
A record opening day crowd of 53,563 at Briggs Stadium sees the Tigers chalk up their 3rd straight win, 6–5, over the White Sox. Recently acquired Rocky Colavito blasts a HR in his first at bat in Detroit, and Eddie Yost adds a HR in the 5th.
24th The Yankees score 8 runs against the Orioles before the first out is made, tying an AL record set by Cleveland July 6, 1954, also against Baltimore. Starter Jack Fisher gives up 6 tallies. The Orioles respond with grand slams by Albie Pearson and Billy Klaus in the 8th and 9th, but New York holds on for a 15–9 triumph. Baltimore is the first team in history to have two grand slams in a losing cause (as noted by historian Tom Ruane). The O’s manage just 4 hits in 8 innings off starter Jim Coates, while the Yankees collect 14 hits. Elston Howard has two triples and a homer for 5 RBIs, and Tony Kubek has a pair of homers.
Lou Berberet’s first-inning grand slam off Early Wynn at Detroit is the AL’s 3rd of the day, tying the ML record for number of slams on one day in one league. The Tigers beat the White Sox 12–4, as Casey Wise has a single, triple and 2 homers to drive in 5 runs.
Jimmie Coker’s grand slam for Philadelphia off Ted Wieand of the Reds in a 7-run 8th is the day’s 4th. This ties the ML record for most slams in one day, and gives the Phils a 9–5 win.
George Altman of the Cubs earns a “3-ball walk,” as umpire Ken Burkhart accidentally counts a balk as a ball in Chicago’s game against the Giants. With the count 0-1, Billy Loes backs Altman off the plate, but the pitch is called a balk. The Cubs add some offense and win, 9–4, behind Don Elston. Billy Loes loses.
26th After Earl Battey hits a grand slam in the 6th to give the Senators the lead, Jim Gentile cracks a 3-run homer in the 8th off reliever Camilo Pascual, and the Orioles edge the Senators, 11-10. Jim Lemon, Dan Dobbek, and Harmon Killebrew add homers for the Nats, while Gene Woodling goes deep for the O’s.
28th The Pirates down the Phillies, 3-0, behind Bob Friend’s 4-hitter. Friend strikes out 11, one off the club record.
29th In St. Louis, the Cards crush the Cubs, 16–6. Stan Musial plays his 1,000th game at 1B, becoming the first player ever with that many at 2 positions (1,513 in the outfield). A bright spot for the Cubs is Ernie Banks hitting 2 homers, good for 6 RBIs, to break Gabby Hartnett’s club record of 231 homers.
Johnny Roseboro’s grand slam is the feature of the Dodgers 8-run 5th as they down the Giants, 10-2. Willie McCovey has a double and homer off winner Johnny Podres.
Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio set a new Texas League record by playing 24 innings at San Antonio’s Mission Stadium. The Valley Giants score twice in the 24th, ending the 5 hour, 42 minute marathon with a 4–2 win.
30th Pittsburgh has a 10-run 2nd inning in its 8th straight win, 12–7, at Cincinnati. Clemente hits a 3-run homer in the big inning. Mazeroski has 4 hits, including a homer.
In Baltimore, Jim Coates scatters 8 hits, 3 by Al Pilarcik, and the Yankees do the rest demolishing Baltimore, 15-0. Roger Maris has a pair of doubles and a homer to pace the attack.