1933 Babe Ruth, who made $75,000 last season, takes a $23,000 pay cut, a decrease which is indicative of the depression era. The 38 year-old Yankee slugger remains productive, batting .301, hitting 34 home runs, and driving in 103 runs for the second-place club that finishes seven games behind the Senators.
1936 Paul Dean agrees to a $10,000 deal to pitch for the Cardinals, after posting a 19-11 record in his sophomore year. The 23 year-old right-hander, who has compiled 38 victories in his first two seasons, will have his career shortened by arm troubles, retiring after a nine-year tenure in the major leagues with a 50-34 mark.
1946 In Birmingham, Alabama, police pull Edward Klep from the lineup of the Buckeyes, a visiting Negro American League team. The authorities order the first white player in organized black baseball to change into his civilian clothes and sit in the “whites only” section of Rickwood Field away from his teammates.
1947 During a four-hour hearing with Commissioner Chandler at the Sarasota Terrace Hotel, Dodger manager Leo Durocher admits to playing occasional card games for money with Kirby Higbe. Before Opening Day, Chandler will suspend the Brooklyn skipper for the entire 1947 season for “association with known gamblers.”
1952 During spring training at St. Petersburg, Cardinals pitcher Bob Slaybaugh is hit in the face with a line drive during batting practice that will subsequently result in the loss of his left eye. The 21 year-old southpaw will attempt a comeback in 1953 and again in 1954 before he retires from professional baseball.
1959 A photo of Pete Whisenant taken before an exhibition game played against the Dodgers in Havana, Cuba, shows the Reds outfielder toting a machine gun. The weapon shown in the posed picture belongs to a rebel from Fidel Castro’s revolutionary army.
1961 The NY State Senate approves $55 million in funding to build a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Park for the new National League’s expansion team. Until the Queens’ ballpark is completed, which will become known as Shea Stadium, the Mets will play in the Polo Grounds during the first two years of their existence.
1982 When Fernando Valenzuela ends his three-week holdout, the Dodgers automatically renew the southpaw’s contract for a reported $350,000. The National League Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year Award recipient, after earning just $42,500 in his freshman season, still refuses to sign the deal that makes him the highest-paid second-year player in baseball history, having asked for a raise to $850,000.
1984 The Tigers trade utility player John Wockenfuss and outfielder Glenn Wilson to the Phillies for relief pitcher Willie Hernandez and first baseman Dave Bergman.
2001 During an exhibition game against the Giants, Diamondback hurler Randy Johnson’s fastball hits and instantly kills a dove flying in front of home plate. The bird appears to explode as the National League Cy Young winner’s pitch sends it over catcher Rod Barajas’ head.
2006 At Mickey Mantle’s restaurant in New York City, the U.S. Postal Service unveils the “Baseball Sluggers” postage stamps, which will be issued on July 15th at Yankee Stadium before the game against the White Sox. The four featured Hall of Famers all have roots in New York, with Mickey Mantle (Yankees), Mel Ott (Giants), and Roy Campanella (Dodgers) playing their entire careers in the Big Apple, and the fourth, Hank Greenberg, setting schoolboy records at James Monroe High School in the Bronx.
2008 The Twins agree to a new deal with their All-Star closer, signing Joe Nathan (1.88, 37 saves) to a $47 million, four-year contract, which includes a 2012 club option. The 33 year-old right-hander’s 160 saves over the past four seasons is tied with Mariano Rivera of the Yankees for most in the American League.
2008 On the South Lawn of the White House, the Washington Nationals Presidential character mascots take part in the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll. Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington all appeared very comfortable in their surroundings.