With the exhibition season over, the Royals had one last off day before the regular season began. The team made its final roster moves, optioning pitcher Don O’Riley and catcher Fran Healy to Class AAA Omaha and pitchers Jim Rooker and Jon Warden to Class A High Point-Thomasville. The latter two had suffered some arm problems during spring training and needed a little more work to be ready for the season.
That left these players to make up the Opening Day roster for the first Royals team ever:
Pitchers: Wally Bunker, Tom Burgmeier, Bill Butler, Moe Drabowsky, Dick Drago, Mike Hedlund, Steve Jones, Dave Morehead, Roger Nelson, Dave Wickersham
Catchers: Jim Campanis, Ellie Rodriguez, Hawk Taylor
Infielders: Jerry Adair, Mike Fiore, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Jackie Hernandez, Juan Rios
Outfielders: Pat Kelly, Joe Keough, Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, George Spriggs
Manager Joe Gordon led a staff of four coaches: Harry Dunlop, Owen Friend, Mel Harder, and Jo-Jo White.
Today’s birthdays: Dave Cripe (1951), Ricky Bones (1969), Brett Tomko (1973)