4/22 in Yankee History
The red-letter day –
1903: The Yankees play their first regular season game.
At Washington‚ before a crowd of 11‚950 at American League Park‚ the new AL franchise in New York (currently named the Highlanders) open
their season with a 3-1 loss. Washington elect to bat first (the home
team had the option until 1908)‚ but the New Yorkers score in the
bottom of the opening inning to take a 1-0 lead. Each starter gives up
six hits with Jack Chesbro‚ the NL’s top winner last year (28-6) taking
the loss. Al Orth‚ in his second season with Washington‚ is the winner.
On other 22nds of April…
2009: In action at the Stadium, the Oakland A’s scored two 7th inning runs off CC Sabathia, one of them on an RBI from Jason Giambi, to tie the score 7-7. Both teams bat seven times thereafter with no change in the score, until Melky Cabrera launches a shot into the short porch. His home run, which plates Nick Swisher in front of him (the right fielder had reached on a
walk, the third time in the game he had battled to a full count) gives the Yankees their first walkoff win of a magical season, 9-7 in
14 innings. Jose Veras comes out of the bullpen and sets the stage for Melky’s heroics by pitching 3.3 innings of no-hit, one-walk, four-strike-out,
no-run relief. The loser of the 4h56m battles is ex-Yank Dan Geise.
2007: The Red Sox complete their first sweep of the Yankees at Fenway
in 17 years. Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek
hit consecutive home runs, making it the fourth instance in MLB history
that four straight hitters had gone deep. The victim for all four
gopher balls is Chase Wright, who ties the MLB record for home runs
allowed in an inning.
Paul Foytack in 1963 had been the only prior
pitcher to allow four straight homers in an inning.
2003: The Yankees continue their winning ways with an 8-3 victory over
the Angels on the 100th anniversary of their 1st game. New York are off
to the best start in their history with a 17-3 record. The team’s
starting pitchers are now 15-0 on the year.
1998: The Yankees‚ in first by a half game‚ pound Roger Clemens and
Andy Pettitte shuts down the Blue Jays‚ as the Yankees prevail‚ 9-1.
Scott Brosius has 3 hits and 5 RBI.
Pettitte pitches a complete game
and allows 1 run (unearned) on 6 hits and 1 walk‚ with 6 strike outs.
Clemens takes the loss allowing 9 runs (6 earned)‚ the 3rd time in
Clemens’ great career that he allowed 9 runs in a game and the 2nd time
against the Yankees. Clemens K’s 6 and reaches 2900 career strikeouts
1997: After 4 months of on-and-off negotiations‚ the Yankees acquire
the rights to Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu from the San Diego Padres
for $3 million. New York send injured outfielder Ruben Rivera and minor
leaguer pitcher Rafael Medina to San Diego. The Padres sweeten the deal
by sending three minor leaguers to NY: Second baseman Homer Bush and
outfielders Gordon Amerson and Vernon Maxwell. Irabu’s team‚ the Chiba
Lotte Marines‚ gave the San Diego exclusive rights to the 27-year-old
righthander‚ but Irabu refused to sign with the Padres‚ saying he would
only go with the Yankees
1970: The Yankees and Senators battle for 18 innings before the Nats
win‚ 2-1. The winning run scores on a walk to Ed Stroud‚ a single by
Hank Allen‚ and a sac fly by Mike Epstein. The run‚ off Ron Klimkowski‚
makes a winner of Joe Grzenda.
1967: Fritz Maisel, early Yankee star (and the only player other than
Rickey Henderson to have stolen 70 or more bases in a season for the
club) dies at age 77.
1961: Jimmy Key, ’90s Yankee pitcher, is born. Happy 50th, Jimmy!
1960: In the home opener at Yankee Stadium‚ Mickey Mantle socks a 4th
inning homer off Hoyt Wilhelm‚ and New York beat Baltimore‚ 5-0.
1959: Whitey Ford goes 14 innings against the Senators, striking out 15
along the way. The Yankees finally win it in the 14th on a Moose
Skowron solo homer 1-0‚ the longest contest in Major League history
ended by a four-bagger in which a solo home run was the only scoring.
1957: The visiting Yankees overwhelm the Senators‚ 15-6‚ with Mickey
Mantle hitting his first homer of the year‚ off lefty Chuck Stobbs.
Hank Bauer belts a grand slam in the 7-run 6th inning‚ which also
features a triple steal by Billy Martin (on the front end)‚ Yogi Berra‚
and Moose Skowron. The Senators strand 16 while the Yankees have 10 LOB.
1956: Yankee pitcher Don Larsen slams a homer with the bases loaded off
Frank Sullivan of the Red Sox‚ as New York win 13-6. Larsen is lifted
in the 5th and the win goes to Bob Grim.
1949: The Red Sox have a record-breaking opening-day crowd of 33‚955
who see Governor Paul Dever toss out the first ball. The Yankees then
win their 4th in a row‚ 5-3‚ scoring all their runs in the 6th and 7th
with the help of six bases on balls. Boston starter Tex Hughson hands
out four in the 6th‚ sandwiched around a DP. Allie Reynolds follows
with a single. Tommy Henrich‚ who won the first two Yankee games with a
home run‚ has four walks before striking out.
1944: The Yankees hand out 1943 World Series rings before beating the Senators
6-3. Manager Joe McCarthy is absent because of illness and is at home
on his farm near Buffalo. He is suffering from influenza and according
to his doctor‚ ‘will be away indefinitely’. Art Fletcher will serve
as acting manager.
1943: After a day’s delay because of rain‚ the Yankees open at the
Stadium with a 5-4 come-from-behind win against the Senators. Johnny
Murphy‚ who relieves starter Ernie Bonham in the 9th and tosses just
one pitch‚ is the victor. Roy Weatherly‚ filling in for Joe DiMaggio in
center field‚ drives home the tying and winning runs with a double off
Owen Sheetz. Mickey Haefner is the losing pitcher. Joe Gordon has the
game’s only homer‚ an 8th-inning shot off starter Early Wynn‚ that
gives the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Because of meat rationing, no vendors
walk among the fans selling hot dogs‚ though the great ballpark meal is
still available at the concession stands
1942: At the Stadium, Joe DiMaggio poles a homer plus 2 triples to lead
the Yanks to an 11-5 win over the A’s. Spud Chandler coasts to his
1931: Babe Ruth collides with Charlie Berry‚ Red Sox catcher and former
pro football player‚ while trying to score on a sacrifice fly. Ruth is
carried off the field at Fenway Park and taken to hospital. Ruth has 3
hits and 2 runs before being replaced by Myril Hoag. New York win‚ 7-5.
1930: Before 66‚000 at the Stadium‚ the champion A’s edge the Yankees‚
6-5‚ on Bing Miller’s lead off homer in the 9th. Roy Sherid is the
loser while Rube Walberg‚ the 3rd of three hurlers‚ is the winner.
The 1930 Yankees
1923: The first Sunday game at the Stadium draws an estimated
60‚000‚ but the Yankees‚ despite an 8th inning homer by Everett Scott‚
suffer their first loss of the year‚ 4-3 to Washington’s Walter
1920: The Yankees open their home season with a 8-6 win over the A’s‚
but lose Babe Ruth to an injury. The $125‚000 batsman pulls a cartilage
in his right knee in batting practice and‚ after striking out in the
1st‚ has to be assisted off the field. The team announce that he will be out 2
1915: On the eve of the home opener, the now familiar Yankee logo is publicly unveiled for the first time, in banners decking out the Polo grounds.
1905: Having failed to give out rain checks the day before when a storm
stopped the game, the Highlanders open the gates for free admission,
and 30,000 people jam Hilltop Park for the clash with Washington. It
ends with a 5-3 Highlander victory. This is the first time that fans
can take the new subway to the ball game.
1904: Jack Chesbro allows one hit‚ by Kip Selbach‚ in beating the Senators 2-0 to avenge the Highlanders’ opening day loss in Washington the previous year.
1881: Neal Ball is born. Ball, who was a middle infielder for the Highlanders from 1907 through 1909, achieved lasting fame by executing the first unassisted triple play in modern MLB history whilst playing for the Indians in 1911.