1954 March

1st  In his first spring practice, Red Sox slugger Ted Williams breaks his collarbone and will be out until May 15th. The injury occurs when Williams dives for a line drive.

12th  In Arizona, the Giants win 13-5 from the Indians, pounding Mike Garcia for 10 runs in the first three innings. New York will win the next two from the Tribe as well.

13th  Newly acquired Bobby Thomson of the Braves breaks his ankle sliding into 2B under Woodie Held in a 3-2 exhibition loss to the Yankees at Al Lang Field. The injury, a trimalleor fracture, will keep Thomson out of action until July 14th, but it will open the way for Henry Aaron to start in the left field. Ironically, Aaron will suffer a fracture in September.

16th The O’s purchase veteran first baseman Eddie Waitkus from the Phillies for a reported $40,000.

The Cardinals conclude their first visit to the West Coast in 29 years with a resounding 9-7 victory over the Cubs. Stan Musial doubles with the bases loaded for the biggest hit as St. Louis sweeps four straight from the Cubs. The two teams played two games in LA, one in Fresno and the last in Mesa, AZ.

20th The Cubs send SS Roy Smalley to the Braves for P Dave Cole, opening up the shortstop job for Ernie Banks.

21st Roy Campanella, in attempting to break up a DP in an exhibition game against the Yankees, catches his spikes and chips the bone in his left hand. Though he hits 2 homers on Opening Day, he will have surgery in early May for the bone chips, returning May 30. As noted by Bill Deane, The Sporting News will surmise that the injury started earlier than the sliding mishap, occurring when Campy was hit on the hand in the 1953 WS.

28th  The Braves manage 5 hits in losing to their Atlanta farm team, 2–1. Joey Jay wild pitches in the winner in the 9th. Hank Aaron’s 7th inning homer is the only score for the Braves.

29th  When the Cubs go 5–15 in spring training, Phil Cavarretta gives Cubs owner Phil Wrigley an honest assessment of the team’s chances, and is fired for his “defeatist attitude.” He’s the first manager to be given the gate during spring training. Stan Hack replaces him. Cavarretta is right; the Cubs will drop to 7th.

30th  The Braves dispose of the Savannah Indians (Sally League) 27-0. Starter Lew Burdette pitches 6 innings and has 3 hits including a homer. On April 4, Savannah will take a 4-run lead against the Yankees into the 9th and with 2 outs and the bases empty, the Bombers explode to win, 11-9.