1943 February

2nd After experimenting with a vest worn over knit jerseys, the Cubs return to conventional baggy flannels for 1943. The outfitting change saves the organization $2,000 on the cost for uniforms.

9th The NL is looking for a buyer for the Phillies, whose owner, Gerry Nugent, has fallen in arrears on rent and bank loans. The league pays $10 a share for 4,685 out of 5,000 outstanding shares in club [David Jordan, Larry Gerlach, and John Rossi in the 1998 TNP report that the NL buys 2,600 shares and assumes the club’s debts of $300,000, more than a third of which is owed to the NL itself.

17th Joe DiMaggio, drawing $43,500 from the Yankees, trades in his salary for the $50 a month as an army enlisted man. DiMag, in his customary quiet style, gives no notice to the club.

18th The NL finds a buyer for the Philadelphia club: a syndicate headed by William D. Cox, a New York lumberman.

20th Phil Wrigley and Branch Rickey charter the All-American Girls Softball League. The league will operate around the Chicago area and is formed as a sports backup in case the government shuts down ML baseball. The league will later change its name and switch to hardball with a pitching distance of 40 feet and bases 68 feet apart, eventually evolving to distances close to the major league lengths.

24th The Texas League announces it will quit for the duration of the war. The Cardinals, with 260 farm players in the service, will reduce farm clubs from 22 to 6. Only 9 minor leagues will start the 1943 season. Advertisements for players appear in The Sporting News.

26th The Phils sign Bucky Harris as manager. It is the 4th ML club Harris has led, not counting 2 stints—later 3—at Washington. Clark Griffith, Rogers Hornsby, Donie Bush, and Bill McKechnie have also managed 4 clubs.