IN THE NEWS: In a Southern Association game at Mobile, pinch hitter Nat Peeples of Atlanta makes his league debut. Peeples is the first black player ever to appear in a league game. He grounds out in the fifth inning and after two games is sent to Jacksonville (South Atlantic League).
IN THE NEWS: To make room for promising rookie OF Wally Moon, the Cardinals trade long-time great Enos Slaughter to the Yankees. In what turns out to be a good deal for both teams, the Cardinals get CF Bill Virdon, P Mel Wright, and OF Emil Tellinger in return. Virdon will become the National League Rookie of the Year in 1955, following Moon, and Slaughter will help the Yankees to win 103 games.
IN THE NEWS: Henry Aaron of the Braves makes his ML debut, going hitless in five trips to the plate in a 9–8 loss to the Redlegs. Cincy LF Jim Greengrass bangs four doubles to tie an opening day record. Andy Pafko takes a hit when he's beaned by Joe Nuxhall. Because of the extra seats set up to accommodate the overflow crowd, 12 of the 13 doubles hit in the game are of the ground rule variety. With the rule change, players take their mitts with them at the end of each inning, rather than leaving them on the playing field.
In the presidential opener in Washington, President Dwight D. Eisenhower is thrilled by Mickey Vernon's 10th inning 2-run homer off Allie Reynolds which beats the Yankees 5–3. Ike skipped last year's opener, which was rained out, and the political hue and cry was so great he made sure he tossed out the first ball today. Chuck Stobbs and Whitey Ford start the game, but the winning Nats pitcher is reliever Sonny Dixon. Hank Bauer, with two singles, drives in all three Yankee runs.
The Giants, fresh from a Cactus League season where they beat the Indians 13 out of 21 meetings, trip the Dodgers, 4–3. Back in CF after two years in the army, Willie Mays of the Giants hits a 2-run shot that beats Brooklyn.
Pittsburgh opens at home for the first time in 61 years and defeats the Phils 4–2 before 32,294. Curt Roberts, the Bucs' first black player, hits a triple against Robin Roberts in the first inning.
The brand new Baltimore Orioles open in Detroit and lose, 3–0. Don Larsen takes the loss against Steve Gromek. The Tigers start fast and will win 12 of their first 18 games.
Rookie Spook Jacobs, in his first ML game, gets four hits while Bill Renna and Gus Zernial bang homers in the A's 6–4 victory over the Red Sox. Bobby Shantz is the winner, but leaves in the 6th because of a pulled muscle which will take several years to completely heal. He won't pitch again this year ending the season today at 1–0. Mel Parnell goes six innings for the loss.
In Boston, Braves Field is renamed BU Field by its new owners, Boston University.
IN THE NEWS: The Baltimore Orioles win their first game, tipping the Tigers, 3–2 behind pitcher Duane Pillette.
Don Newcombe, back from the army and starting his 1st game since his playoff with the Giants in 1951, stops the Polo Grounders on six hits. The Dodgers win, 6–4, and Newk has two RBIs in going nine innings.
IN THE NEWS: The wind is blowing out at Wrigley, as the Cards lose 23–13 to the Cubs in a National League record three hour and 43 minute game. The two teams combine for 35 hits, including five homers. Bruce Edwards walks twice in the 5th, when the Cubs score 10 runs. Cubs 3B Randy Jackson has four hits, including a home run that hits an apartment building on Waveland Avenue. Jim Brosnan is the winner over Gerry Staley in the highest scoring game ever between these two rivals.
Nino Escalera becomes the first black to play for the Cincinnati Redlegs when he hits a pinch single in a 5–1 loss to the Braves. In the 7th, another black rookie, Chuck Harmon, follows, pinch hitting for Corky Valentine and popping out.
IN THE NEWS: On Patriot's Day in Boston, The Yankees sweep both games from the Red Sox. New York wins the morning game, 2–1, on Jim MacDonald's one hitter. Harry Agganis has Boston's only hit, a second inning bloop single. In the afternoon game, the Yankees top Mel Parnell, 5–0 behind Jim McDonald, as Mickey Mantle belts his first homer of the year.
Eddie Yost hits a lead off homer in the 9th to give the Senators a 4–3 win over the A's. The win goes to reliever Camilo Pascual, who matches the ML total of his brother Carlos.
IN THE NEWS: At Sportsman's Park, Henry Aaron hits the first of his 755 ML home runs, a solo shot off Vic Raschi of St. Louis. The Braves win in 14 innings 7–5 on an error by Hemus. Card rookie Wally Moon is 5-for-5.
IN THE NEWS: In the 3rd inning of a 6–1 Boston win, Mickey McDermott of the Senators fractures former teammate Boston P Mel Parnell's left forearm with a pitch. A pinch runner for Parnell, a walk, and then a popped bunt is nabbed by McDermott, who starts a triple play.
At Crosley Field, Wally Post belts a 2-out home run in the 9th inning with a man on to give the Reds a 6–5 win against the Cubs. Kiner and Sauer belt back-to-back home runs for the Cubs in the 7th.
The White Sox spoil Vern Bickford's American League debut chasing him after four innings and winning 14–4. The O's use three relievers including former Negro Leaguer Jehosie "Jay" Heard, making his ML debut. Heard is the first black player for the Orioles. He'll make just one other appearance. On September 10, African American OF Joe Durham will make his debut as the second black Oriole.
IN THE NEWS: In a slugfest featuring back-to-back homers three times, the Reds edge the Pirates, 8–7. Ted Kluszewski bangs a pair of 2-run homers, both off cousin Max Surkont. Jim Greengrass follows Klu's first homer with one of his own. Toby Atwell and Jerry Lynch go back-to-back in both the 6th and 8th innings for the Buccos, the only Pirates to accomplish the feat in the 20th century. Corky Valentine, with relief help from Smith, gains his first ML victory.
The Cubs purchase 1B Steve Bilko from the Cardinals for $12,500, but will let the slugger go at the end of the year. Bilko will then lead the PCL in home runs three straight years before returning to the majors.