4/15 in Yankee History
1976: Newly remodeled Yankee Stadium is jammed with 52‚613 fans for
Opening Day. The 1923 Yankee team are honored‚ and Bob Shawkey‚ winner
of the ’23 Stadium opener‚ throws out the first ball. Joe DiMaggio,
Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and the widows of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth
also take part in pre-game ceremonies at the Stadium, which had been
closed for the 1974 and ’75 seasons. The Yankees beat the Twins 11-4 on
14 hits‚ but the only HR is hit by Minnesota’s Dan Ford.
On other 15ths of April…
1998: The first-ever American League-National League doubleheader ends
up a good day for New York. The Yankees were forced to come to Shea
Stadium after a beam fell into the stands at the Stadium on April 13.
The Yanks earn their first victory in Queens in 22 years as they defeat
the Angels 6-3. Former Mets star Darryl Strawberry, the all-time home
run leader at Shea, adds to his total with a shot into the left field
bleachers. In the regularly-scheduled night game, the Mets beat the
Cubs 2-1. The Yankees, who played at Shea in 1974-75 while Yankee
Stadium was renovated, drew a crowd of 40,743, a dramatic contrast to
the gathering of 16,012 who showed up for the Mets game at night.
1980: The White Sox edge the Yankees‚ 4-3‚ in 14 innings‚ scoring the
unearned run off Jim Kaat.
Rich Wortham is the winner with 4.2 innings
of work. The 2 teams strand 25 base runners.
1958: In the opener at Fenway Park‚ 35‚223 – the largest crowd ever for
a Red Sox opener – watch Don Larsen and the Yankees win‚ 3-0. Governor
Foster Furcolo tosses out the first ball. Yogi Berra’s two run homer in
the 7th is the first score for New York off Russ Nixon‚ and the
catcher’s 4th successive opening day homer. This one is a 302-foot
drive down the right field foul line.
1952: At Shibe Park‚ Hank Bauer and Mickey Mantle lead a 14-hit attack
against Alex Kellner and Carl Scheib as the Yankees beat the A’s‚ 8-1.
Vic Raschi allows two hits in 8 innings and wins his 2nd opener in a
row. Bauer has two hits and a homer‚ while Mantle collects three hits‚
two RBIs‚ and a stolen base.
1947: With yesterday’s opener in Washington rained out‚ the A’s open at
Yankee Stadium before 39‚344. Under new manager Bucky Harris‚ the Yanks
manage just six hits off Phil Marchildon as the A’s win‚ 6-1. Eddie
Joost and Elmer Valo pull off a double steal in the 5th when the A’s
increase their lead to 3-0. Joost scores on the swipe of home. Former
A’s vet George McQuillan‚ playing at first for Nick Etten‚ scores New
York’s only run. Spud Chandler takes the loss.
1942: Following a training accident at Jefferson Barracks‚ Missouri‚
Johnny Sturm has two fingers on his right hand amputated‚ an operation
that finishes his baseball career. Sturm‚ who started at first base for
the Yanks in 1941, his rookie year‚ hit .239 with 4 homers.
1938: The Yankees sell outfielder Ernie Koy to the Dodgers.
1930: Weather curtails the AL Opening Day schedule‚ but at Shibe Park
the matchup between the A’s and the Yankees features nine future Hall
of Famers in the lineups‚ and three more – Herb Pennock‚ Waite Hoyt and
Lefty Gomez – on the New York bench.
Minutes before the game‚ Al
Simmons ends his holdout‚ signs a contract‚ and homers in his first at
bat as the A’s and Lefty Grove defeat the Yankees’ George Pipgras 6-2.
Babe Ruth’s clout in the 3rd inning strikes a loudspeaker in deep right
center and bounds back onto the field. The tree of amplifiers juts
about 5 feet over the playing field and the umps rule it a ground rule
double. The Yankees argue that it should be a two-run homer‚ but to no
avail‚ though both Mark Koenig and Ruth score when Grove is slow
covering first and Jimmie Foxx’s throw misses him.
1928: In Baltimore‚ the Yankees beat the International League Orioles
5-2. Babe Ruth plays first base‚ while Lou Gehrig‚ in right field‚
bangs a homer. Bill Dickey also homers off former Brownie Bob Bolen.
1927: Babe Ruth belts the first of the 60 homers that he will hit this
year‚ off Howard Ehmke in the 1st. New York notch a 6-3 victory over
the visiting Athletics, Herb Pennock going the distance for the win.
1924: The opener at Fenway Park draws 25‚000 (23‚856 paid) but the Red
Sox lose a heartbreaker to the Yankees‚ 2-1. The Sox lead 1-0 after 8
innings‚ with Howard Ehmke driving in the lone run. But two 9th-inning
errors by second sacker Bill Wambsganss allow two unearned runs and pin
the loss on Ehmke. Bob Shawkey pitches 8 innings and is replaced by
Waite Hoyt‚ who registers the win.
1920: The Yanks rally for 4 runs in the last 3 innings to top the A’s‚ 4-1. Jack Quinn gets the win for the visiting New Yorkers, as Babe Ruth goes hitless in 5 at bats.
1918: In the opener in Washington‚ pre-game ceremonies include a
biplane scattering thousands of liberty loan cards for the war effort.
The Yankees‚ under new manager Miller Huggins‚ rap 11 hits to beat
Walter Johnson‚ 6-3. Starter George Mogridge gets the win despite
pitching just 3 1/3 innings. Allan Russell relieves and allows just one
hit in 5 1/3 innings to save the victory. Johnson strikes out two while
allowing 11 hits and will lose again in the 3-game series with New
1912: At Hilltop Park, Walter Johnson outduels Highlander ace Jack Quinn for a 1-0 victory.