4th In Orlando, the Red Sox discover that veteran Lefty Grove, bought from the A’s, has a sore arm. He will win only 8 games in 1934 but will return to good form in 1935. Connie Mack says, “I’m reluctant to believe that Grove’s arm is as severely injured as some stories state. But the deal goes as it stands. Nothing can alter that sale as of this date.”
5th Veteran Frank Shellenback of the Hollywood Sheiks beats Oakland, 6-3, allowing no earned runs to notch his 262nd PCL victory. The spitball-knuckler breaks the record set by Spider Baum in 1920: Baum is now secretary of the Sheiks. Shellenback will go on to post a 295-178 record.
Three Cincinnati radio stations will broadcast 85 Reds games. Red Barber is hired by Crosley-owned WSAI.
Babe Ruth is to be sponsored by Quaker Oats to do three 15-minute broadcasts a week over NBC. The total of $39,000 for 13 weeks is $4,000 more than Ruth’s baseball salary.
8th The Phillies and A’s meet in the final City Series game before 15,000 fans at Shibe Park, the first legal Sunday baseball game ever played in Philadelphia. The Phils win, 8-1, but the A’s take the series, and win the Harry Mackay Trophy, named after a former city mayor.
In Chicago, the Washington Senators conclude a two-game exhibition series with the Cubs. The Senators won yesterday, 8-3, but lose today, 5-2.
In Memphis, 9,000 fans greet Memphis native Bill Terry and his Giants. Carl Hubbell holds the Chicks to one run while the Giants pile up 18 in their biggest offensive output of the spring. Terry is 2-for-4 before leaving in the 7th.
15th In the third of a 3-game set, all played at Braves Field, the Red Sox take the rubber game, 11–3. Carl Reynolds and Bill Werber homer, with the win going to Johnny Welch.
16th Rain in Washington prevents President Franklin D. Roosevelt from throwing out the first ball of the season.
The Adventures of Babe Ruth, a 15-minute show, debuts on radio on the Blue Network. Starring the Babe, the show will air three times a week until July 13, 1934.
17th Both leagues open with full schedules and draw 180,000 in attendance. The Cubs Lon Warneke gives up just a one-out 9th-inning single to Adam Comorosky, winning 6–0 over the Reds. He strikes out 13 in the one-hitter to set a 20th century club mark, since topped, for K’s in an opener. Sam Jones will match Warneke in 1956. John Clarkson holds the club mark with 16 set on August 18, 1886.
At Ebbets, Casey Stengel makes his managerial debut, but his Dodgers lose, 8–7, to the Braves.
In a pre-game ceremony at the Polo Grounds, a bugler sounded taps for John McGraw, who died in February. The Giants, behind Carl Hubbell, then defeat the Phillies, 6–1, to start a five-game win streak.
At the rebuilt Fenway Park, the Red Sox unveil the Green Monster, the 18-foot concrete wall that replaces “Duffy’s Cliff,” the 10-foot-incline named after Hugh Duffy. Gone are the wooden bleachers and wooden fences, and a warning track is in place for the outfielders. In front of the largest crowd to date in Boston history, the Senators defeat the rejuvenated Red Sox, 6–5, in 11 innings, when player manager Joe Cronin cracks a run-scoring double. Starter Earl Whitehill pitches 6 innings and hits a single and homer, just the third Opening Day HR ever for the Nats: the last was 1916.
At Shibe Park, a crowd of less than 10,000 watch the A’s open against the Yankees. New York scores first with two runs in the 5th inning off starter Sugar Cain. The A’s take the lead in the 6th inning on Eric McNair’s two-run homer, off Lefty Gomez, into the LF upper deck, but the Yankees pull ahead 5–3 in the 8th. The A’s answer with one in the 8th, another in the 9th, and then, with two outs, a pinch single by Bing Miller provides the winning run. Rabbit Warstler is 4-for-4 for the A’s. Rookie Joe Cascarella, a native Philadelphian, is the winner, while Harry Smythe is the losing pitcher.
At Comiskey Park, the White Sox move the plate 17 feet closer to the fences to help Al Simmons, but there are no homers today as the Tigers win, 8–4. When Simmons leaves next year, the plate is moved back.
In St. Louis, Earl Averill cracks a double and an inside-the-park homer to drive in 3 runs and pace his Indians to a 5-2 win over the Browns.
18th The Giants tip the Phils, 2–1, but almost lose Bill Terry in the process. In the 7th, with a runner on 1B, a Phillie batter lines a hit off the right-field wall at the Polo Grounds. Mel Ott’s quick play of the carom and throw to the cut off man Travis Jackson holds the lead runner at 3B. Jackson, noticing the runner at 1B taking a wide turn, rifles the ball to first, but it hits the surprised Terry in the face, knocking him down. Terry recovers to play tomorrow.
At Shibe Park, the Yankees win their first game of the year by pummeling the A’s, 11-5. Bill Dickey drives in 6 runs on 4 hits, including 2 doubles and a homer. Babe Ruth clouts his first homer of the year, over the RF fence. Rookie Al Benton pitches 4+ innings for Philadelphia, giving up two runs. In 1952, as a reliever for Boston, Benton will retire Mickey Mantle, making him the only pitcher to face Ruth and Mantle in a regular season game.
19th The Red Sox sweep a pair from the Senators, winning, 5-4 and 7-3 as both teams go to 2-2. Williams College grad Mark Filley faces 3 batters in game 2, retiring one, in his only ML appearance. His catcher is Princeton’s Moe Berg. Filley and Charlie Perkins, who pitches for the Brooklyn Dodgers in April and May, are the last two Williams grads to appear in the majors.
21st Moe Berg, little-used Senators catcher, plays his 117th consecutive errorless game, dating back to 1931. It is an AL record. Berg gets pinch hit for in the 8th as the A’s beat the Senators, 7–2.
22nd Lon Warneke pitches his 2nd straight one-hitter—the only pitcher ever to open the season with 2 one-hitters—beating Dizzy Dean, as the Cubs roll over the host Cards, 15–2. The lone hit is Rip Collins’ 5th inning double. The Cubs collect 22 hits, 14 against the Dean brothers, including homers by Chuck Klein and Gabby Hartnett. This is the Cubs fifth straight road win to open the season; they won’t open with even 4 road wins until 2016.
24th President Roosevelt throws out the first ball for the Washington opener, but as with the scheduled April 16th opener, a rainstorm sends him back to the White House in the 4th inning. The Red Sox win the game 5–0 behind Johnny Welch.
26th Heinie Manush is a homer shy of the cycle and Cecil Travis extends his hitting streak to 20 games with 2 hits a 3 RBIs in the Senators 10-7 win over the Red Sox. Carl Reynolds has a double for Boston as his AL-high average drops to .455. It’ll keep dropping to .303.
27th Wes Ferrell is suspended by Cleveland for failing to report 10 days after the season has started.
28th Goose Goslin, Detroit OF, hits into 4 consecutive DPs, but the Tigers beat Cleveland 4–1. In the DP department, Tiger 3B Marv Owen makes an unassisted DP; he’ll have another one tomorrow, just the 2nd time in history a third baseman has done that in consecutive games.
At Washington, the Senators take a 5-0 lead over the A’s, then watch as Philadelphia regains the lead with a 6-run 6th highlited by a Jimmie Foxx grand slam off Tommy Thomas, to come back and win, 7-6.
29th With Pennsylvania’s Blue Law repealed, Pittsburgh becomes the last ML city to play a home game on a Sunday, beating the Reds 9–5. Meanwhile, the Phils lose to the Dodgers, 8–7, with Phil Page picking up the victory.
30th Red Ruffing hits a HR in the 9th off Jack Russell to defeat Washington, 7–4, and put the Yankees in first place.
At Chicago, the White Sox unload 9 runs in the 4th inning and outslug Cleveland, 20–10. The 2 teams combine for 32 hits with Vosmik, Holland, Bonura, Hayes, and Simmons leaving the park.