1939 March

6th The Reds purchase veteran Bill Werber from the Athletics. According to Werber, in an interview in the Washington Post in 2008 when the former player was nearly 100, his offer from the A’s Connie Mack came late. “Mr. Mack would wait until the last second to send out contracts with letters. When I received my contract, the letter said: ‘We had a bad year [in 1938]. We had a high payroll. And we anticipate a bad year coming up.’ When I got the letter, I wrote back to him. I said: ‘I know we had a bad year. I know the payroll was high. I know we’re going to have another bad year.’ But I said, ‘In substance, Mr. Mack, what I would advise you to do is sell your ball club and get into a more profitable business.’ That was a bad error. And I never heard from Mr. Mack again. A while later, Mr. Giles called from Cincinnati and said, ‘Bill, we’ve acquired your contract from Mr. Mack.’”

21st  Pete Fox, Hank Greenberg and Frank Croucher homer as the Tigers beat the Cardinals, 7-3. For Croucher, it is a satisfying return to Lakeland. A year ago last week he was carried off the field with a broken ankle and appeared in just a few late-season games in the Texas League.

22nd  Pete Reiser, 0-for-3 yesterday against the Yankees, starts his 2ndspring training game for the Dodgers. He homers in his first at bat against the Cardinals, and follows with a walk and 2 singles. He will have 10 straight hits before striking out 3 times against the Yankees Orel Hildebrand on the 28th. When Jack Haley relieves Hildebrand, Reiser hits a HR off him. Reiser will go north with Brooklyn and play in an April 15thexhibition against the Yankees in Ebbets Field before being farmed out to Elmira.

In Los Angeles, the White Sox beat the Pirates, 7-4, behind Vic Frasier’s 4 innings of one-hit relief pitching. Later, it is discovered that the silent Texan was pitching with a fractured skull incurred in a freak accident when he was on the bench. A foul line drive ricocheted off a railing behind the bench and struck Frasier in the head.

26th The Cardinals edge the Yankees, 2-1, to even their spring season with New York at three games apiece. Rookie Bob Bowman allows 1 hit in 5 innings.