1945 March

5th Bert Shepard, a one-legged veteran of the war, tries out as a pitcher for the Senators. The symbol of wartime baseball, outfielder Pete Gray of the Browns, will field and bat with only one arm.

With war-time travel restrictions still in effect, the Dodgers open spring training at Bear Mountain, NY with 15 players in camp. Seven teams—the Browns, Tigers, Reds, Indians, Cubs, Pirates and White Sox—are training in Indiana, the most of any state. The Red Sox are at Pleasantville High School in NJ, while the Braves are prepping at the Choate School in Connecticut.

6th Harry O’Neill, who played one game for the 1939 Philadelphia Athletics, is killed in the battle of Iwo Jima.

8th As noted by historian Bill Deane, today’s edition of The Sporting News has a column from Boston Post writer Jack Malaney, a former president of the Baseball Writers’ Association, and future member of the Hall of Fame Veterans’ Committee. He introduces what will come to be known as the “Jack Malaney Plan”, proposing that each of the 16 major league teams play inter-league exhibition games on July 10, scheduled to minimize travel. The five cities that have teams in each league—Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis—would host games between the cross-town rivals, while the others would play in cities en route to regularly-scheduled games. Proceeds from the games would be split between the American Red Cross and the National War Fund.

25th A group of blacks appears at the Dodger offices to ask for tryouts for aging Negro Leaguers P Terris McDuffie and 1B Dave Thomas. The two will work out for Branch Rickey in Brooklyn on April 7.

31st Headline: DiMaggio to the Phillies. Vince is sent by the Pirates in exchange for P Al Gerhauser, who lost 35 games in 2 seasons. DiMaggio will drive in 84 runs while again leading the NL in strikeouts.