1st Angels replacement players play Arizona State University in an exhibition game. It is the first time since 1912 that replacement players have appeared in a game in major league uniforms.
2nd The first-ever trade of replacement players is made between the Reds and Indians. The Reds obtain former major league Barbaro Garbey and 4 others in return for “future considerations.”
At a meeting in Chicago, owners accept the players’ offer to return to work.
7th The Veterans Committee elects former major leaguers Richie Ashburn, and Vic Willis, former NL president William Hulbert, and former Negro League player Leon Day to the Hall of Fame. Day will die of a heart attack 6 days from now.
9th Baseball owners vote 28-0 to admit 2 new teams—the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Arizona Diamondbacks—for the 1998 season. Each team will pay an expansion fee of $130 million. The D’Backs hire lawyer Joe Garagiola, Jr, as their first GM.
10th Basketball superstar Michael Jordan announces he is giving up baseball and returning to the NBA. Playing for the minor league Birmingham Barons last year, Jordan hit .202 in 127 games, collecting 3 homers in 436 at bats. He did swipe 30 bases.
14th The players’ union announces that it will not settle the strike if replacement players are used in regular season games, and if results are not voided.
17th Willie Hernandez comes back as a replacement player. The former Cy Young and MVP, who last pitched in the Majors on August 18, 1989 and had retired after his comeback in Triple A in 1991, was signed by the Yankees, desperate for anyone to play. Hernandez, pitching on 2,035 days’ rest, throws six pitches in the sixth inning, retiring three Atlanta Brave batters on two fly balls and a groundout.
20th The Orioles cancel the remainder of their spring training games because of the team’s refusal to use replacement players.
21st The Maryland House of Delegates approves legislation to bar teams playing at Camden Yards from using replacement players.
24th Replacement player Dave Shotkoski, a pitcher with the Braves, is shot to death in a robbery attempt near the team’s hotel in West Palm Beach, Florida. Teammate Terry Blocker will help track down his killer, a career felon.
26th The season opens, reduced to 144 games.
27th The National Labor Relations board files for an injunction to restore previous work rules to the game.
29th Players vote to return to work if a U.S. District Court judge supports the NLRB’s unfair labor practices complaint against the owners. By a vote of 26-2, owners support the use of replacement players.
30th In a conference call vote, the owners vote 26-2 to authorize the use of replacement players for the season. Initially, George Steinbrenner votes against it but changes his mind to show solidarity with Bud Selig. Toronto and Baltimore vote against it.
31st U.S. District Judge Sonia Sotomayor issues a preliminary injunction requiring baseball owners to comply with the expired collective bargaining agreement. In 5 days, the 2nd Court of Appeals will deny the owners request to stay Sotomayor’s decision.