3/23 & 3/24 in Yankee History
On the 23rd of March over the years…
2009: In what became a regular rite of spring during the Japanese lefty’s troubled tenure with the team, the Yankees reassign Kei Igawa to Minor League camp.
1988: Dellin Betances is born. Happy 25th, DB ~ hope to see more of you in the Bronx this year!
1974: The Yankees purchase outfielder Elliot Maddox from the Rangers for $60‚000. Maddox will prove to be a great defensive outfielder as well as hitting .303 over the ’74 campaign.
1972: The Yankee ownership agree in principle to continue playing in the Bronx. Later this year, they will put it in writing by signing a 30-year lease contingent on renovations to be completed in time for the 1976 season. Old-school Yankee fans point to this renovation as the true end of the original ballpark, though younger fans refer to the final home game of the 2008 season.
1952: Late ’30s Yankee pitcher Steve Sundra dies of cancer at the age of 41.
1944: George Scott, who played most of his career with the Red Sox and Brewers but finished his career with the ’79 Yankees as a free agent, is born. Happy 69th to the Boomer!
1941: Joe DiMaggio, a hold out and late arrival in spring training‚ plays his first Grapefruit League game of the year.
…and on the 24th…
2010: Former Cy Young Award winner and member of the 1996 Yankees Championship team Dwight Gooden is back in trouble with the law. He faces charges of driving under the influence of drugs, child endangerment, and leaving the scene of an accident, after a 9 AM crash in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Gooden’s problems with substance abuse in the ’80s and ’90s were well-publicized, but he had apparently turned his life around in recent years, serving as a senior vice-president of the Atlantic league’s Newark Bears until last November.
1996: The battle for the starting Yankee shortstop job in ’96 comes to an end when veteran Tony Fernandez fractures a bone in his right elbow in a game with the Astros. The injury gives Derek Jeter the unexpected opportunity to start on a notoriously rookie-phobic Yankee team,
1983: Chad Gaudin is born. Happy 30th to a two-time Yankee who is now with the Giants.
1937; Late ’60s Yankee backup catcher Bob Tillman is born. Tillman will be the player whom the Yanks give up in order to bring third baseman (and future iconic Braves manager) Bobby Cox from Atlanta to the Bronx.
1933: Babe Ruth signs his final Yankee contract. In an austerity move occasioned by the Depression times, he will take a considerable pay cut, agreeing to 2 years at $52,000 a year.