1956 February

4th  The AL says it will test the automatic intentional walk during spring training. The Major Leagues vote to establish the Cy Young Memorial Award for outstanding pitcher of the year.

5th  New York Mayor Robert Wagner and Brooklyn Borough President Frank Cashmore sponsor a bill to create a Brooklyn Sports Center Authority to build a $30 million sports center in downtown Brooklyn.

The ML owners reject the players’ request for an increase in the minimum salary from $6,000 to $7,000.

6th  Dodger President Walter O’Malley backs the Wagner-Cashmore plan, vowing to buy $4 million worth of bonds.

8th  The legendary Connie Mack dies at age 93. He began his career with Washington in 1886 as a catcher. After managing the NL Pittsburgh club from 1894-96, he became a prominent figure in Ban Johnson’s Western League and a founder of the AL and its Philadelphia franchise in l901. In 50 years as the Athletics pilot he won 9 pennants and 5 World Championships, but also finished last 17 times.

The Senators send P Mickey McDermott and SS Bob Kline to the Yankees in exchange for C Lou Berberet, infielder Herb Plews, pitchers Dick Tettlebach and Bob Wiesler and a player to be named later (Whitey Herzog).

9th  The Cubs sign Ben Banks, 22-year-old brother of Ernie, recently discharged from the military. The ex-Monarch will not make it out of the minors.

Jim Hearn wins the third annual Early Wynn golf Tournament with a 5-over 221 on the 54-hole Bobby Jones course in Sarasota. He beats pitcher John Gray by 6 strokes. Tied for third are Al Lopez, Paul Waner, and Billy Goodman. Defending champ Heinie Manush played just two rounds before withdrawing. Manush has been laid up with illness for several months. Goodman, Gray, Freddie Hutchinson and Lew Burdette showed off their water-skiing skills during the three-day event.

On the West Coast Vern Stephens wins the first annual Winter League golf championships, held in Long Beach. Finishing tied for second are Bob Lemon and former minor leaguer Daroll Shimer.

15th  Exhibition games in Birmingham, AL are called off because of the race laws of that city. The Dodgers-Braves game of April 6 and the Pirates-A’s games of March 31st and April 1st are affected. All four teams have black players. The Dodgers and Braves will play their match in Chattanooga, TN, while the Bucs-A’s go to New Orleans. Meanwhile, a bill in the Alabama legislature that would prohibit the mixing of races in a ball game dies in committee. This is the second year the bill has failed to pass.

16th  The courts award Dr. Samuel Shenkman $5,000 in his suit against Dodger C Roy Campanella for surgery on Campy’s injured hand on October 20, 1954. Campanella says the doctor never informed him that the charge would be $9,500, a price the catcher considered excessive.

ML owners announce that the players’ pension fund will receive 60 percent of WS and All-Star Game radio and TV revenues.

Three days after winning Early Wynn’s golf tourney, Jim Hearn adds the Cavalcade of Champions trophy to his trophy case shooting a 233 over 54 holes at Lake Worth. He also wins the driving event with a 284-yard blast. Former QB Otto Graham wins the Celebrity division with a 227 score.

19th  In the Baseball Players’ Golf Tournament in Miami, A’s pitcher Lou Kretlow defeats Alvin Dark, 2-1, to win. Kretlow, a runner-up in 1954, defeated Bobby Thomson, Tommy Byrne and John Grey to reach the finals. Jim Hearn wins the 18-hole medal play for losers with a 71, with John Grey second at 74. Grey did sink a hole in one in special play, but it was two hours before the hole in one contest for a car. Jack Russell, who won in 1952 when it was an open, won the inactive ML players championship, beating Augie Bergamo. Russell also won last year. Art Sommerfield wins the minor league division. Competing in the active players’ division, Yogi Berra plays one hole by hitting two drives righthanded, and a wedge shot and putt lefthanded. Jim Hearn, who won two tourneys in the past two weeks, shoots a 78 to finish back.

27th  The Piedmont League disbands after 37 years in operation.