1935 Lou Gehrig signs a one-year deal with the Yankees for $30,000. Last season, the All-Star first baseman hit .363 with 49 homers and led the American League with 165 RBIs.
1942 Twenty-nine year old infielder first baseman Hal Trosky tells the Des Moines Register he is leaving the Tribe, citing his recurring migraine headaches, first experienced in 1938, as the reason for his early retirement. The good hitting infielder, who will finish his 11-year career with a .302 batting average, will attempt a comeback with the White Sox in 1944.
1946 Danny Gardella becomes the first major league player to jump to the Mexican League. The outfielder goes south of the border, lured by a salary of $10,000, more than double the amount offered by the Giants.
1953 After being hit by enemy fire during a Korean combat mission, Ted Williams safely crash lands his Panther jet.
1970 Effective April 1st, Tiger pitcher Denny McLain is suspended for three months by Commissioner Kuhn for his alleged connection with bookmakers.
1977 The Rangers purchase Paul Lindblad from Oakland for $400,000. The left-handed reliever will appear in 42 games for Texas this season, posting a 4-5 record with an ERA of 4.20.
1981 When the player-management panel is unable to reach a compromise, baseball implements a compensation plan that provides for the team signing a ranking free agent to give up a roster player and an amateur draft choice in return. The owners’ move, seen by the players as undermining the value of free agency, will lead to a mid-season strike, forcing the cancellation of 713 games.
1983 Fernando Valenzuela becomes the first player to be awarded $1,000,000 via the arbitration process. The 22 year-old Mexican southpaw has compiled a career record of 34-20 during his three years with the Dodgers.
1987 After signing a contract as a free agent with the A’s less than a month ago, Vida Blue unexpectedly retires from baseball.
2002 The 37 year-old Jose Canseco (.258, 16, 49) signs a minor league contract with the lame duck Expos. The 17-year veteran, who was the 1985 American League Rookie of the Year in 1985 and its 1986 MVP, is 38 homers shy of the coveted 500 mark.
2008 In a deal which includes a club option worth $10 million, sophomore Ian Kinsler (.286, 14, 55) signs a five-year, $22 million contract with the Rangers. With the signing of the 24 year-old second baseman and last season’s contract extension for All-Star shortstop Michael Young, Texas has locked up the middle of their infield through 2013.
2009 Despite his poor performance last season, the Braves give Jeff Francoeur (.239, 11, 71) a big raise over his previous salary of $460,000, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3,375,000 with the outfielder. The deal, a compromise between their two offers, comes just hours prior to a scheduled salary arbitration hearing in Arizona.
2010 The Nationals finalize a $2 million, one-year deal, that includes the opportunity to earn up to $3 million in performance-based bonuses, with former Yankee pitcher Chien-Ming Wang (1-6, 9.64 ERA). The 29 year-old right-hander, who hasn’t been the same since injuring his foot running the bases in a 2008 interleague game against Houston, underwent shoulder surgery last July and is not expected to pitch in the first few months of the season.
2012 At the Bell Centre, Canadiens mascot Youppi! wears his jersey with the Expos colors in place of his usual bleu-blanc-rouge (blue, white, and red) to honor the memory of former major league catcher Gary Carter, who died this week as the result of a brain tumor. The 57 year-old Hall of Famer, the only player enshrined as an Expo, and Youppi! played key roles for the National League team before the franchise left Montreal to move to Washington, D.C. in 2005.
2014 Avoiding arbitration, Homer Bailey (11-12, 3.49) and the Reds agree to a $105 million, six-year deal, including a $25 million mutual option for 2020. The 27 year-old starter from Texas, the author of two major league no-hitters, will continue to be part of Cincinnati’s young rotation that includes Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and southpaw Tony Cingrani, who are all under the age of 30.