2001 March

6th  2B Bill Mazeroski and Negro League pitcher Hilton Smith are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Old-timers Committee.

Making a comeback after sitting out a year with Lupus, Montreal OF Tim Raines plays in the same exhibition game as his son, Tim Jr., an outfielder with the Baltimore Orioles. Tim gets 2 hits, while Tim Jr. gets one as the Orioles win the game, 7-6. Each Raines drives in a run.

7th  Rockies 32-year-old reliever Jerry Dipoto retires due to a bulging disc in his neck.

8th  The Orioles announce that Albert Belle is “Totally disabled and unable to perform as a major league baseball player” due to a severe case of degenerative arthritis of the right hip.

11th  The Yankees formally announce the signing of Cuban defector Andy Morales, a third baseman, to a four-year contract worth $4.5M. Morales will wash out and be waived from his minor league team by July. The Yanks will try and sidestep his contract with proof that his listed age of 26 years is really 29.

19th  The Padres sign Rickey Henderson and send him to AAA to get in shape. It is Rickey’s first time in the minor since a 3-game rehab 16 years ago.

21st  The Yankees reobtain 3B prospect Drew Henson, along with OF Michael Coleman, from the Reds for hot prospect OF Wily Mo Pena and cash. Henson agrees to a 6-year $17 million dollar contract that calls for him to leave the University of Michigan football program and to bypass the NFL. The 21-year-old Henson, a QB, had been projected as a #1 NFL draft choice. Henson will break his hand in April and be out of action till June 14.

23rd  The Reds announce the retirement of 1B Hal Morris. Pitcher Tim Belcher retires tomorrow, and Dwight Gooden on the 30th

24th  Arizona P Randy Johnson kills a dove with a pitch during the Diamondbacks 10-6 exhibition win over the Giants. The dove makes the mistake of darting in front of a 95 MPH fastball. The ball and the bird are ruled dead, and the play is ruled “no pitch.”

26th  The Mets trade P Mark Leiter to the Rockies for P Brian Rose. Rose will make 3 appearances for the Mets before being waived to the Marlins.

28th  The Yankees trade 36-year-old Glenallen Hill, who hit .297 with 29 homers last season, to the Angels for minor-league OF Darren Blakely. Hill, taking the place of the just-released Canseco, will go 9-for-66, spend 5 weeks on the DL, and get his release June 1.

The Pirates acquire P Omar Olivares from the A’s for a player to be named. It’s Omar’s eighth team in 8 years. At the end of this season, the Indians will take a chance on Omar, but he will get his release in April 2002 and call it quits.

The Padres give up on P Matt Clement sending him to the Marlins for OF Mark Kotsay. The Pads also throw in righty Omar Ortiz, a 1999 first round pick.

30th  Tigers C Mitch Meluskey is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.

The Marlins swap P Manny Aybar to the Cubs for P Oswaldo Mairena.

The Mets top prospect, Brian Cole, 22, is killed when the car he is driving home to Mississippi from spring training flips over. Cole, who stole 69 bases last year, was voted the organization’s player of the year in 2000.

31stAfter 31 years in Three River Stadium, the Pirates move into their new $262 million home at PNC Park, losing to the Mets, 4–3, in an exhibition game. The 38,000 seat stadium is nestled at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers with a spectacular view of the city.