1st Club owners approve a new 5-year player pension plan, effective April 1st. It offers more liberal benefits and includes all players, coaches, and trainers eligible for the 1947 plan. The owners reject the players’ request to raise the minimum salary from $6,000 to $7,500.
4th The BBWAA elects manager Joe McCarthy and Detroit’s Wahoo Sam Crawford to the Hall of Fame
14th The Georgia Senate unanimously approves Senator Leon Butts’ bill barring blacks from playing baseball with whites. Religious gatherings are the only exceptions to this bill.
15th A Boston newspaper claims that Ted Williams never paid his $5,000 fine for spitting at the crowd. It refers to him mockingly as the “Splendid Spitter.”
17th Alvin Dark wins the Baseball Players golf tournament in Miami for the third time, defeating Al Lopez, 5-4. Dark’s drive on the par-3 18th hole, 250-yards long, rolls to within 8 inches of the cup. Dark and Lou Kretlow shot 75’s in the qualifying round. Jack Russell wins the inactive players title for the third year in a row by defeating Augie Bergamo. Jimmy Piersall wins a set of silverware in the hole in one competition.
19th The Kansas City Athletics ship pitchers Art Ditmar, Bobby Shantz, and Jack McMahan, and infielders Clete Boyer, Curt Roberts and Wayne Belardi to the Yankees. In return they receive pitchers Maury McDermott, Tom Morgan, Gary Coleman, and Jack Urban, OF Irv Noren, plus infielders Billy Hunter and Milt Graff. Roberts doesn’t go to NYC till May 4, while Boyer goes a month later. Hunter and Urban don’t switch until April 5. The veteran Shantz and Boyer will be valuable pickups for New York, with Shantz leading the AL in ERA this year, and Boyer a tough defensive third sacker for 8 years in pinstripes. The A’s will eventually admit that when they signed Boyer for a $40,000 bonus in 1955, it was on behalf of the Yankees, with the understanding that they’d later ship him to New York.
21st In an ominous development for Brooklyn, Walter O’Malley “trades” minor league franchises with Phil Wrigley of the Cubs, giving up the Dodgers’ Ft. Worth (Texas) club in return for the Cubs’ Los Angeles Angels (PCL).
22nd Walter O’Malley says the Dodgers may play 10 exhibitions in California in 1958.
25th The U.S. Supreme Court decides 6-3 that baseball is the only professional sport exempt from antitrust laws. The issue arises when pro football seeks similar protection from the laws.
26th The New York Giants ship knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm to the Cardinals and reacquire 1B Whitey Lockman, who went to St. Louis in June 1956.
27th Giants’ catcher Bill Sarni suffers a heart attack and collapses while playing pepper in spring training. At 28, his career is over as a player but Horace Stoneham offers him a job as a coach as soon as he is well enough.