3/13 & 3/14 in Yankee History
On the 13th of March over the years…
2008: In a spring training game against the Pirates, Billy Crystal leads off as the designated hitter. He manages to make contact, fouling a fastball up the first base line, but is eventually struck out by Paul Maholm on 6 pitches and is then replaced in the batting order by Johnny Damon.
2007: Brett Gardner is reassigned to minor league camp.
2000: Vic Power, one of the first two black players signed by the Yankees (on the same day as Elston Howard) throws out the first pitch before the Bombers and the Devil Rays play an ST game at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg. Andy Pettitte goes five scoreless innings as the Yanks built up a 4-0 lead, but the Rays storm from behind, mostly against Jason Grimsley, to win 8-5.
1963: Mariano Duncan is born. Happy 49th to Mr. ‘We play today, we win today, thassit’!
1954: Newly acquired Bobby Thomson of the Milwaukee Braves breaks his ankle sliding into second under Woodie Held in a 3-2 exhibition loss to the Yankees at Al Lang Field. The injury‚ a trimalleor fracture‚ will keep Thomson out of action until July 14th‚ but it will open the way for rookie Hank Aaron to start in the left field. Ironically‚ Aaron will suffer a similar fracture in September.
1937: Lou Gehrig agrees to a one-year for $38‚000‚ plus a $750 signing bonus. He will play his first
game on March 20th, driving in 2 runs as the Yanks beat the Boston Braves 5-3.
1922: Cliff Mapes, ’40s outfielder who was the last Yankee to wear Babe Ruth’s old no. 3 before it was retired, is born.
1886:Hall of Famer Frank ‘Home Run’ Baker, starting Yankee third baseman from 1916 through 1919, is born.
…and on the 14th…
2008: Billy Crystal is released from his Yankee contract on his 60th birthday.
2007: A turbulent year in Yankee pitching gets off to its start as Phil Hughes, Matt DeSalvo, Chase Wright and Ross Ohlendorf are assigned to minor league camp. All but the latter will be starting in the Bronx by May, and even the Princeton grad will be in the pen when the Yanks start the ’07 postseason.
1961: George Weiss, whose Yankee teams won 10 pennants and 7 Championships during his tenure as GM from 1947 to 1960, comes out of retirement to become president of the future New York Mets. Weiss will later be reunited with his former manager Casey Stengel, who will make a comeback as the Mets’ first skipper.
1956: Butch Wynegar, starting catcher for the Yankees from 1982 through 1986, is born. Happy 56th, Butch!
1922: Danny Hoffman, starting center fielder for the New York Highlanders in 1906-07, is killed in an automobile accident at the age of 42.