A frail-looking Christy Mathewson, who served as class president in 1899, is elected as Bucknell's "B" Club first president. The beloved future Hall of Famer, who will die prematurely in 1925 from tuberculosis after being accidentally gassed in a training exercise during WWI, played on the school's football team as a placekicker and excelled as a pitcher on the baseball team.
Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale's refusal to report to spring training ends when the hurlers agree to the Dodgers' offer of $235,000, signing for $130‚000 and $105‚000 respectively. The LA starters' joint holdout lasts for 32 days and paves the way for other players to be more aggressive when negotiating with owners.
The Red Sox obtain Dennis Eckersley and catcher Fred Kendall from the Indians for pitchers Rick Wise and Mike Paxton, along with designated hitter Ted Cox and catcher Bo Diaz. The 'Eck' will win 20 games for Boston next season.
After hitting only .231 in 61 games last season, Ron Blomberg is released during spring training by the White Sox, completing only one year of his long-term deal. Chicago owner Bill Veeck had surprisingly signed the first baseman/DH, who had played in only one game during his last two seasons with the Yankees, to a generous four-year $500,000 contract in 1977 that included an additional $80,000 signing bonus.
The Padres obtain Yankee veteran third baseman Graig Nettles for pitcher Dennis Rasmussen and prospect Darin Cloniger. The 39 year-old infielder's postseason experience will prove to be invaluable for the NL's West Division champs, but his on-field contributions will be minimal, hitting just .228 in 124 games.
A sold-out Joe Robbie Stadium plays host to the Yankees and the Orioles exhibition game which draws 67,654 fans, a spring training attendance record. The two-day series between the AL East rivals is part of South Florida’s efforts to be awarded a National League expansion team.
The White Sox trade Sammy Sosa and pitcher Ken Patterson to the cross-town rival Cubs for slugger George Bell. Sosa will pass Ernie Banks as the franchise's all-time home run leader.
Peanuts character Charlie Brown hits a game-winning home run, his first round tripper in 43 years. Almost ten percent of the nearly 18,000 Peanuts strips created by Charles Schulz focused on baseball.
Kids will be invited from all over the nation to play baseball on the White House lawn as President George W. Bush, former owner of the Rangers, announces to a group of Hall of Famers in the East Room he has ordered a junior-size baseball field to be built outside the Oval Office.
Choosing to end his career as a member of a World Champion team, 36-year old Dwight Gooden announces his retirement from baseball. 'Doc', who compiles a 194-112 record in 16 seasons playing for the Mets, Yankees, Indians, Astros, and Devil Rays, will remain on the Bronx Bombers' payroll and will have a position within the organization.
Major League baseball returns to Brooklyn for a day as the Mets appear at KeySpan Park, the Coney Island home of the short-season single A Cyclones, for the team's final preseason workout. Although the practice session is rained out, fans enjoy meeting the players and collecting autographs, and profits made from beverage and other sales will still be donated to area charities serving children.
As a result of the recently released book detailing Barry Bonds allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs, Bud Selig appoints George Mitchell to head an investigation into the use of steroids in baseball. The former Senate Majority Leader will have the authority to expand the probe, which will be made public, into events prior to Fall of 2002, when such substances were banned by major league baseball.
Jamie Moyer becomes the oldest starting pitcher to make an Opening Day roster when the Rockies announce that the 49-year old southpaw will face Houston in the second game of the season. Knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm was the same age as the Colorado left-hander when he opened the season with L.A. in 1972, but 'Old Sarge' appeared strictly in relief for the Dodgers.