1941 March

6th At the Brentwood Country Club, PCL manager Jigger Statz and American Association OF Fern Bell tie for first place with a 77 in the Baseball players golf tournament in Los Angeles. Newt Kimball is a stroke behind. Bell wins the long drive contest with a 280-yard bell ringer.

8th The Tigers release OF Earl Averill and sign OF Hoot Evers, out of the University of Illinois. Averill will be signed by the Braves, then released April 29.

9th At the Jimmie Foxx Jungle Club course in Ft. Lauderdale Tiger coach Mervyn Shea wins the annual baseball players’ golf tournament. He shoots 4-under on the last 9 holes to win the 36-hole competition, 2-1, over Lloyd Brown. Shea had to beat Wes Ferrell, who won the tourney in 1937, ’39 and ’40, while Brown beat Heinie Manush to make the finals. Gee Walker wins the driving contest with a 278 yard drive, while host Foxx wins the pitching contest by hitting a ball closest to the pin.

14th The entire Dodger squad leaves New York to train in Havana, Cuba for most of the spring. Babe Phelps, a reluctant traveler and still unsigned, will leave the team in Miami, rather than take a boat, and return to Maryland.

25th  Days after the start of spring training, the Yankees sell Babe Dahlgren, the man who took over 1B from Lou Gehrig in 1939, to the Braves. The deal is questioned since no replacement seems apparent. McCarthy claims they would have won another pennant had not Babe Dahlgren made a costly error at first late in the season against Cleveland. He also intimated years later that the Babe had a marijuana problem. Joe Gordon will initially be moved from second base to first base.

28th The Dodgers and Giants open the spring training schedule with a 4–3 Brooklyn win in Havana. Paul Dean takes the loss.

MARCH

2nd In Havana, the Dodgers complete a 3-game sweep of their rival Giants. During the regular 1940 season the Giants held a 16–6 advantage over Brooklyn.

4th Grace Comiskey, widow of J. Louis Comiskey, is elected president of the Chicago White Sox. Her husband died on July 18, 1939.

5th Dodger president Larry MacPhail issues instructions that all Dodger players must live in Brooklyn. MacPhail is also campaigning for visiting teams to stay in Brooklyn rather than Manhattan.

7th At Havana, the Dodgers roll over the Cleveland Indians, 15–0. Pee Wee Reese and Joe Medwick use a batting helmet designed by two Johns Hopkins doctors with the help of Larry MacPhail. The two Dodgers, victims of HBPs last year, pronounce the helmets satisfactory. Brooklyn P Van Lingle Mungo celebrates the win a little too hard and when tomorrow’s game is rained out, he continues to party. The result is that manager Durocher sends him a note informing Mungo he’s been reassigned to the Dodgers’ minor league camp in Macon. Mungo will pitch just 2 innings for Brooklyn this year.

8th Phillies pitcher Hugh Mulcahy becomes the first big leaguer drafted into the Armed Forces for W.W.II. Mulcahy, an All Star in 1940 while leading the NL in losses for the 2nd time, will pitch less than 100 innings when he returns after the war. More than 100 major leaguers will be drafted within the next two years, and two—Elmer Gedeon and Harry O’Neill—will be killed in action.

Chet Ross of the Braves injures his ankle in a spring training game against the Browns. He will be out till May 25.

15th In Monterrey, Mexico, 6000 fans watch the Browns top the Boston Bees, 6–3. Chet Laabs, fighting to win the RF spot, hits a 400-fit homer in the 7th.

23rd Joe DiMaggio, a hold out and late arrival in spring training, plays his first Grapefruit League game.

27th The Yankees sell P Steve Sundra to the Senators. Sundra, 11–1, in 1939, slipped in 1940 to 4–6.

30th Giants manager Bill Terry says he turned down a 3-team deal, which would have sent Dodgers 2B Pete Coscaret and Cubs holdout Hank Lieber to the Giants. Chicago would get Giant C-OF Harry Danning, while Brooklyn would get 2B Billy Herman from the Cubs. Brooklyn will still get Herman, but not till May 6.

In Havana, the Reds Bucky Walters outduels Joe Dobson as the Reds prevail over the Red Sox, 2-1. Cincinnati takes two out of three from Boston.