Compiled By PAUL MONTELLA
By The Associated Press
March 31
1968 - Seattle, the American League's second new team, announced its nickname - the Pilots.
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.
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.
Today's birthday: Jeff Mathis 30.
April 1
1931 - Pitcher Virne Mitchell, 17, signed with the Chattanooga club of Tennessee, becoming the first woman to play for an otherwise all-male baseball team.
1972 - The first collective player's strike in major league history began at 12:01 a.m. The strike lasted 12 days and canceled 86 games.
1996 - Umpire John McSherry, 51, who planned to see doctors the next day about an irregular heart beat, collapsed seven pitches into Cincinnati's opener and died at a hospital about an hour later.
1970 - An investment group headed by Allen ``Bud'' Selig bought the Seattle pilots for $10.8 million.
1989 - A. Bartlett Giamatti took over as baseball commissioner.
2001 - The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 8-1 as the major league baseball season opened in San Juan Puerto Rico.
Today's birthday: Daniel Murphy 28; John Axford 30.

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