3rd Peter Ueberroth, the highly successful chairman of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for the upcoming Summer Games, is elected to a 5-year term as commissioner of baseball. Ueberroth will take office on October 1st, succeeding Bowie Kuhn.
4th Two outstanding defensive players, SS Pee Wee Reese and catcher Rick Ferrell, are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Reese hit .269 in 16 seasons with the Dodgers while Ferrell batted .281 with just 28 home runs in 18 seasons for the Browns, Red Sox, and Senators.
16th The Mets sign suspended OF Jerry Martin as a free agent.
17th Ferguson Jenkins is given his unconditional release by the Cubs. He was 6-9 with a 4.30 ERA last season.
18th White Sox coach Charlie Lau, renowned hitting instructor, dies at the age of 50 after a long bout with cancer. Lau, whose ML average was .255, earned his fame as the Royals batting coach from 1971-78, where his star pupil was George Brett.
19th Denny McLain, the last ML pitcher to achieve a 30-win season, is indicted on various charges of racketeering, loan-sharking, extortion, and cocaine possession.
23rd 1B-DH Willie Aikens, now with the Blue Jays, is released from prison.
24th The Phillies send Guillermo Hernandez and Dave Bergman to the Detroit Tigers for Glenn Wilson and John Wockenfuss.
27th The Phillies trade outfielders Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier and pitcher Porfi Altamirano to the Cubs for reliever Bill Campbell and catcher Mike Diaz. Matthews was the MVP of the NLCS last season, while Campbell led the NL with 82 appearances. Dernier will win a Gold Glove in CF for Chicago and help them reach the playoffs. His 45 steals will be the most by a Cub since 1907. The Phils plan on putting 25-year-old Glenn Wilson, recently brought over from Detroit, in right field to replace Matthews.
J. R. Richard is released by the Astros, ending his professional baseball career. Richard was 0-2 with a 13.68 ERA in 6 starts for Tucson (Pacific Coast League) last season.
30th The Yankees trade new author and veteran 3B Graig Nettles to the Padres for rookie P Dennis Rasmussen and a minor leaguer to be named later. Nettles’s controversial book Balls,in which he criticizes Steinbrenner, will be not be officially published until April 30th, but the bound books available now make his days in pinstripes numbered.