Pitcher Mel Stottlemyre, suffering from a torn rotator cuff, is given his unconditional release by the New York Yankees. He compiled a 164-139 record and a 2.97 ERA as well as 40 shutouts in an eleven-season MLB career all with the Yankees.
1973 George Sisler dies in Richmond Heights, Missouri, at the age of 80. Sisler batted .340 with 2,812 hits over a 15-year MLB career, spent mostly with the St. Louis Browns. In 1920, he set a MLB record by collecting 257 hits, which will last into the next century. Sisler gained election to the Hall of Fame in 1939.
1959 The San Francisco Giants clear space for future Hall of Fame players Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey by trading first baseman Bill White to the St. Louis Cardinals. Cepeda won the 1958 National League Rookie of the Year Award after batting .312 with 25 home runs and 96 RBI.
1937 The Homestead Grays of the Negro Leagues acquire future Hall of Fame inductees Josh Gibson and Judy Johnson for $2,500 in cash and a pair of journeymen players. The trade is considered the largest transaction in the history of the Negro Leagues.
In a battle of Irish managers on St. Patrick’s Day, the St. Louis Cardinals of Bob O’Farrell beat the New York Giants of John McGraw, 3 – 0, in a Grapefruit League contest. Cardinals manager O’Farrell also clouts a home run.
Kirby Puckett is born. Puckett will make his MLB debut in 1984, hitting .296 for the Minnesota Twins. Over a 12-year career, Puckett will bat .318 with 207 home runs and 1,085 RBI, helping the Twins to two World Championships. He will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Jim Rice is born. He will be a slugger with the Boston Red Sox, starting with an outstanding rookie campaign in 1975, when he finished second to teammate Fred Lynn for the Rookie of the Year Award. He will be the American League MVP in 1978 and retire in 1989 with 382 homers and 1451 RBI.
In an exhibition game, 25,000 fans watch the Brooklyn Superbas (later Dodgers) play their first game in Ebbets Field. Brooklyn beats the Yankees, 3 – 2, with Brooklyn outfielder Casey Stengel hitting the park’s first home run, an inside-the-parker.
1948 Stan Musial ends his holdout with the St. Louis Cardinals and signs a one-year contract for $31,000. Musial, who in 1947 batted .312 with 19 home runs and 95 RBI, will lead the National League with a .376 batting average and 131 RBI this season.