1998 March

3rd Larry Doby, Lee MacPhail, George Davis, and “Bullet” Joe Rogan are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Brickhouse undergoes surgery to remove a tumor from the lining of his brain.

6th Cardinals C Eli Marrero has a mass removed from his neck. Test results show the mass to be a low–grade malignancy.

7th Yankees sign P Orlando Hernandez, brother of World Series hero Livan Hernandez, to a 4-year, $6.6 million contract.

8th Yankees trade IF Andy Fox to the Diamondbacks in exchange for P Marty Janzen and Todd Erdos.

19th Rupert Murdoch purchases the Los Angeles Dodgers from Peter O’Malley for a reported $311 million, the highest price ever paid for a US sports franchise.

26th Free agent second baseman Mark Lemke signs a minor league contract with the Red Sox.

30th Reds trade projected Opening Day P Dave Burba to the Indians in exchange for 1B Sean Casey. Burba will win 10 games by the All-Star break.

31st The Tampa Bay Devil Rays lose to the Tigers, 11–6, in their first game ever. Wilson Alvarez takes the loss for Tampa while Wade Boggs slugs the first HR in team history and drives in 3 runs.

The Arizona Diamondbacks drop a 9–2 decision to the Rockies in their first game ever. P Andy Benes is tagged with the loss, and rookies Travis Lee, who gets 3 hits, and Karim Garcia hit HRs. Vinny Castilla drives in 5 runs for Colorado.

The Mets and Phillies tie the NL mark for the longest opening day game, with NY coming out on top with a 1–0 win in 14 innings on Alberto Castillo’s pinch single. Curt Schilling shuts out the Mets for the first 8 innings on only 2 hits, while fanning 9. The game takes 4 hours, 35 minutes.

Shortstop Pokey Reese, starting in place of Barry Larkin who is on the DL, commits 4 errors on his first 3 chances in the field as the Reds lose their opener, 10–2, to the Padres.

Marlins catcher Charles Johnson, who had not committed an error in a record 172 consecutive regular season games, is charged with one on a wild throw in the 1st inning of Florida’s opening day 11–6 victory over the Cubs. Johnson hits a 3–run HR in Florida’s 6–run 1st inning to atone for his miscue. The defending champs will lose their next 10 games.

Cardinals’ rookie P Braden Looper makes an auspicious major league debut in St. Louis’ 6–0 win over the Dodgers. Looper enters the game in the 9th inning and strikes out all 3 batters he faces—Todd Zeile, Raul Mondesi, and Paul Konerko. The Dodgers are held to 3 hits by 4 St. Louis pitchers, as Todd Stottlemyre earns the win with 7 shutout innings.  Mark McGwire’s grand slam in the 5th opens the scoring.

At Turner Field, the Milwaukee Brewers, the first team to switch leagues since 1901, lose their first game in the NL, 2–1, to the Braves. Bob Wickman takes the historic loss in relief, as the Braves plate the winning marker with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning.

The Giants win their opener against the Astros, 9–4, in 13 innings as Jeff Kent gets 5 hits, including a double and HR, and drives home 4. Stan Javier’s 3-run double in the 13thcompletes San Francisco’s 5-run outburst. Houston second baseman Craig Biggio, who last year became only the 3rd player in major league history to go an entire season without grounding into a double play, hits into a twin–killing in his 2nd time up this year.