5/08 in Yankee History
2009: In his first game of the season
after missing six weeks because of hip surgery, Alex Rodriguez hits the
first pitch he sees from Baltimore’s Jeremy Guthrie for a three-run home
run in a 4-0 Yankees win that ends a five-game losing streak. CC
Sabathia pitches a four-hit shutout in his best performance since
signing a free agent contract over the winter.
2003: The Yankees jump on the Mariners for 10 runs in the 3rd inning, Alfonso Soriano topping off a barrage of singles with a two-run homer, on their way to a 16-5 victory. David Wells now goes to 5-0.
1996: Recent Yankee acquisition Dwight Gooden wins his first American League game, pitching his new club to a 10-3 victory over the Tigers at home in the Bronx.
Jose Tartabull‚ Mike Stanley‚ and Gerald Williams go deep
back-to-back-to-back for the Yankees in the 6th inning of NY’s 8-4 win
Howard Spira is found guilty of trying to extort money from George
Steinbrenner. Spira had already received $40‚000 from the Yankee owner.
As reported by Dick Heller in the New York Times:
‘Though the George Steinbrenner-Howard Spira association has been
overshadowed in public memory by Pete Rose’s ongoing ban for gambling,
it remains one of the less savory episodes in recent sports history.
Winfield (above, left) and Steinbrenner (right) became mortal enemies
after the Yankees signed him to a 10-year, $15 million contract as a
free agent in 1981. When Winfield failed to spark the Yankees to
pennants, as Reggie Jackson had as the legendary “Mr. October” in the
late 1970s, Steinbrenner derisively tagged him “Mr. May.”
That didn’t bother Winfield as much as Steinbrenner’s refusal to honor a
contractual agreement to pay $300,000 to Winfield’s charitable
foundation. This set off a series of lawsuits between owner and player,
but Steinbrenner clearly overstepped his bounds when he hired Spira to
do his dirty work.
As a 21-year-old go-fer for Winfield, Spira
once had unlimited access to the slugger. But after Winfield refused to
loan Spira $15,000 to pay off sizable gambling debts, his former aide
The Yankees’ owner, meanwhile, had
tried various tactics to discredit Winfield, a quiet man who was elected
to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2001 after a superb 22-year career. Once
he forced an audit that purportedly showed the foundation spent $6 for
every $1 it gave away. The two men continued to haggle in court and the
media. Steinbrenner apparently figured Spira would give him more
Steinbrenner later claimed in a Playboy magazine
interview that he paid Spira $40,000 because “he was harassing my
family; my daughters were scared; he was harassing people who were close
The interviewer asked Steinbrenner whether he had been afraid.
“You’re [darn] right I was! And after that, there was a death threat at
my hotel. … Now, everybody says, ‘Yeah, but look at Howard Spira.
He’s a little guy.’ But Sirhan Sirhan was a little guy. Lee Harvey
Oswald was a little guy…I was scared stiff… I told him to take the
$40,000 [and go away].”
In Cleveland‚ there are tornado warnings‚ but New York supply all the
damage when Mickey Mantle connects for a 3-run homer off Tommy John in
the 4th inning to lead New York to a 10-3 win.
1956: Mickey Mantle clouts an Early Wynn pitch in the 6th to tie the Indians at 2-2‚ and New York edge the Tribe 4-3
After 13 straight losses to the Yankees‚ the Red Sox win a dramatic
11-inning 2-1 thriller at Fenway. Billy Goodman’s homer off starter
Johnny Sain gives starter Hal Brown the win. Dick Gernert’s 2nd inning
HR is the other Boston score. In Boston’s last win over New York‚ August
9‚ 1952‚ all the scores came on solo homers.
1949: Behind the 2-hit pitching of Tommy Byrne‚ the Yanks roll over Detroit 12-0. Gene Woodling scores 5 runs
A game with the Yankees draws a record 52‚000 to Comiskey Park but
Waite Hoyt spoils the party by winning one of his league-leading 22
games‚ 9-0‚ the 2nd straight shutout of the Sox. Batterymate Pat Collins
homers in the 7th‚ while Lou Gehrig adds a pair of triples.
The Yankees score 7 in the 2nd but lose to Detroit 14-10‚ knocking
themselves out of the lead; Washington move into first.
The 1926 Yankees
The procession of Yankees to the plate in the 4th inning of a 10-3
romp over the Red Sox at the Polo Grounds reaches 16 batters as the homesiders plate all their runs in that frame.
Meanwhile, the Times headlines: ‘BALL GRABBERS, READ THIS. Guy Clarke Fined $3
for Taking Ball Hit Into Polo Grounds Bleachers. “It isn’t safe to try
to get away with a ball when a home run is hit into the bleachers at the
Polo Grounds. Yesterday in the ninth inning Peckinpaugh of the Yankees
hit a home run into the left field bleachers and the ball was grabbed by
Guy Clarke, a chauffeur, of 68 West Ninety-eighth Street, who tried to
get away with the prize. Tom Kelly, one of the park policemen, tried to
persuade Clarke to give it up but he refused, so he was arrested by a
policeman who was summoned from outside of the park.” “In the Night
Court, Magistrate Sims told Clark that he had no more right to take a
baseball at the Polo Grounds than he had to take his (the magistrate’s)
watch. James McIlravy of the park police stated to the court that
between twenty-five and thirty balls were lost at the grounds each
week.” “Clark was fined $3.”