1940 March

3rd The Boston Bees sell Debs Garms to the Pirates. Garms, unaware of the trade, arrives in Boston’s spring training camp with his wife and children on March 5. Garms will get only 358 at bats for the Bucs but, nevertheless, will lead the NL in hitting with a .355 average. Unlike the AL’s 400 at bats, the NL rules state that a player must appear in at least a hundred games: Garms will play in 103. Ford Frick, NL prexy, will clarify this in September when it is clear that Garms will not reach the 400 ABs. (Pirate teammate Virgil Davis will be the nominal runner-up at .326, but play just 99 games). Garms will drop to .264 in 1941 and he will be out of baseball in 1942.

7th In Tampa, the Dodgers beat the Reds, 9-5, in 10 innings. Bert Haas, subbing for the absent Dolph Camili, singles in 2 runs in the 10th, steals 2B and reaches 3B on the overthrow, then steals home. Camili will arrive in camp in 2 days to reclaim his job.

10th At Los Angeles’s Wrigley Field, an all-star exhibition game between the major leagues and the PCL raises $7,953 for the Finnish relief fund. A crowd of 9,753 is on hand, the numbers kept down by rain the previous evening. The ML team, made up of players from the White Sox, Cubs, A’s and Pittsburgh wins, 4-1, on 11 hits. The Majors use 9 pitchers, each tossing an inning, and the hurlers include Ted Lyons, Bill Lee, Thornton Lee and Johnny Gee. The opposing moundsmen are Tony Frietas and Rugger Ardizoia, each allowing 2 runs, and Hi Bithorn. Frankie Frisch manages the MLers in his civvies. Rip Collins has the first coast hit, while the best fielding play of the day is Babe Herman’s running catch of a Vaughan drive.

In a spring training game, Dominic DiMaggio sprains his ankle in a collision with Reds catcher Bill Baker. Dom is forced to slide after a fine throw by his brother Vince. The Red Sox win the sloppy game over the Reds, 13-10. With Joe Vosmik traded, DiMaggio will recover for the opener.

17th An inter-league all-star game is played in Florida for the benefit of Finland, which has been attacked by the Soviet Union. Over $20,000 is raised, but the Finlanders give up their battle within a few days of the benefit.

19th In an exhibition game that might be a spring training record of sorts, the Kansas City Blues pound the Washington Senators, 22–5. The Blues collect 23 hits for 46 bases. Frenchy Bordagaray starts the scoring with a HR in the 1st; Jack Saltzgaver is 3-for-3 with 3 triples and 5 RBIs. Another familiar name, Johnny Lindell, yields 3 hits in 3 innings for the Blues.

19th The Giants sign Paul Dean, recently released by the Cardinals. Dizzy’s younger brother will win 4 games for New York this year.

26th After being released by the Pirates, Chuck Klein signs for his third stint with the Phils.

28th During a 10–1 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field in LA, White Sox vet 2B Jackie Hayes catches a cinder in his eye. The eye will become infected and though he finishes the season, he loses the sight in the eye. In 1943 he will lose the sight in both eyes.