Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces the return of the All-Star selection to the fans. The over-exposure of the Mid-summer Classic, two games each season between 1959-1962, and the lack of fan input prompt the MLB Promotion Corporation to modernize the marketing of the game by restoring fan balloting for the starting eight position players.
After being benched, Ranger Lenny Randle attacks and fractures the cheekbone of his manager Frank Lucchesi. The Ranger skipper may have triggered the incident by calling Randle a punk.
By releasing the aging superstar, the A's end the fifteen-year career of Dick Allen. The Wampum, Pennsylvania native finishes his stormy relationship with major league baseball with 351 HRs, 1,192 RBIs and a .292 batting average.
Sports Illustrated's April 1st edition tricks the nation as author George Plimpton weaves a fictitious tale of Sidd Finch, a Mets rookie phenom who throws a 168 mph fastball. Staged photographs and quotes from Mets in real life help to give the story a realistic edge.
The Red Sox trade designated hitter Mike Easler to the Yankees for DH Don Baylor, who will provide valuable veteran leadership for the eventual AL champs, while hitting only .238 for Boston. Easler known as the 'Hit Man', will live up to his nickname batting .302 in his only full season with the second-place Bronx Bombers.
Four days shy of his 47th birthday, Phil Niekro's 24-year Hall of Fame career comes to an end when he is waived by the Yankees at the end of spring training. The right-handed knuckleballer, best known for his tenure with the Braves, compiled a 318-274 record along with a 3.35 ERA while hurling for four teams, that also included the Yankees, Indians, and Blue Jays.
In Cuba, the Orioles beat the Cuban National team, 3-2 thanks to a Harold Baines 11th inning game-winning hit. It is the first time a U.S team has played in Cuba since the 1950's.
The commissioner's office announces teams will pay tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces during the seventh-inning stretch of all home openers by having `God Bless America' performed. Although the song has been part of all games since the September 11th terrorist attacks, it will be heard only in major league ballparks at the home openers, Sunday and holidays games.
Three days prior to Opening Day, the YES Network claims Cablevision has nixed a proposed deal signed 17 days ago that would have provided televised Yankee games to nearly three million cable subscribers in the NYC metropolitan area. According to a YES Network press release, the giant cable company failed to sign a finalized version of the hand-written document that both parties exchanged on March 12, but James L. Dolan, Cablevision president, said the typewritten draft contained unacceptable alterations.
The insurance claim filed by the Astros in January to get back approximately $15.6 million of Jeff Bagwell's $17 million guaranteed contract is denied by the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. The insurers cite no adverse change in the 37-year old first baseman's condition between the end of last season and the Jan. 31, 2006 policy.
The decision to have manager Manny Acta catch the ceremonial first pitch from President Bush at the Nationals' home opener is reported not to have been made by the White House. Traditionally, the starting catcher is given the honor, but Paul Lo Duca, whose name who is cited in the Mitchell Report on drug use in baseball, instead will watch his manager receive the toss from the commander-in-chief.
The 24,663 fans at Chase Field give opposing Rockies left-hander Doug Davis an ovation as he walks off the mound after appearing in an exhibition game against the Diamondbacks. Prior to the game, Colorado announces the very popular 32-year hurler will have his thyroid removed after the results of a biopsy reveal a lump in his throat to be cancerous.