About 2 minutes reading time.

This Date in Baseball – Tampa Bay and Arizona look like expansion teams in their debuts with losses

 The Associated Press  |    Mar 30th, 2024 10:06am EDT

March 31 – Compiled by the Associated Press

1961 — The Pacific Coast League’s proposal to use a designated hitter for the pitcher was rejected by the Professional Baseball Rules Committee by a vote of 8-1.

1968 — Seattle, the American League’s second new team, announced its nickname — the Pilots.

1994 — The Chicago White Sox assign NBA superstar Michael Jordan to the Double-A Birmingham Barons of the Southern League.

1995 — Major league baseball players end their strike when Federal judge Sonia Sotomayor of U.S. District Court in Manhattan rules against the owners in the labor dispute.

1996 — The Seattle Mariners beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in 12 innings in major league baseball’s season opener, the first major league game played in March.

1998 — The Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks looked like expansion teams in their first games. The Devil Rays fell behind 11-0 in an 11-6 loss to Detroit at Tropicana Field, and the Diamondbacks dropped a 9-2 decision to the Colorado Rockies at Bank One Ballpark. Milwaukee dropped a 2-1 decision at Atlanta in the Brewers’ first game since becoming the only team to switch leagues this century.

2001 — The Pittsburgh Pirates move into PNC Park, losing to the New York Mets, 4 – 3, in an exhibition game.

2003 — The Cincinnati Reds played their first regular season game at the Great American Ballpark. The Pittsburgh Pirates spoiled the day with a 10-1 win.

2008 — The Chicago Cubs unveil a statue of Ernie Banks outside of Wrigley Field.

2009 — The Detroit Tigers cut DH Gary Sheffield, who is one home run shy of 500 for his career.

2013 — The Houston Astros, coming off consecutive 100-loss seasons, made an impressive debut in the American League, trouncing the Texas Rangers 8-2 in the major league opener. Having switched from the National League to the AL in the offseason, the Astros earned their first opening day victory since 2006 and the 4,000th regular-season win in franchise history.