The red-letter day:
1939: Lou Gehrig plays the last of his 2,130 consecutive games. The Iron Horse goes hitless in four at-bats against the Senators’ Joe Krakauskas, and is now hitting just .143 on the year. Gehrig will make the trip to Detroit with the team, however. Krakauskas gets the win in the 3-2 Washington victory.
1903: The new American League franchise in New York, the Highlanders, plays its first home game. Hilltop Park opens with an estimated crowd of 16‚000 watching the hosts beat Washington 6-2. Jack Chesbro‚ who lost to the Nats on Opening Day‚ is today’s winner.
The 1903 New York Highlanders
On other 30ths of April…
2003: The Yankees defeat the visiting Mariners‚ 8-5‚ behind Raul Mondesi’s grand slam. Mariano Rivera‚ after a month of injury rehab‚ makes his first appearance of the year‚ giving up a run in the 9th.
1997: The Yankees get a lead off homer from Tim Raines and 9 strike outs from David Wells to beat the Mariners‚ 3-2. Joe Torre wins his 1‚000th game while Dennis Martinez takes the loss‚ dropping his record against the Yanks to 2-18. Jay Buhner homers for the M’s in the 9th against Mariano Rivera. Tino Martinez hits his 9th HR in the 8th inning‚ upping his ML-record RBI total to 34 for the month. Martinez will have 40 RBIs in his first 30 games‚ the first player to do so since Roy Campanella in 1953; Campy had 44.
1996: In the longest 9-inning game in MLB history to date – 4 hours and 21 minutes – the Yankees outslug the Orioles‚ 13-10 to disappoint 43‚117 at Camden Yards. The host O’s score 9 runs off starter Andy Pettitte and take a 9-4 lead in the 2nd. New York ties it at 9-9 in the 5th‚ then wins it in the 7th on Tino Martinez’s 3-run shot. Jim Leyritz and Paul O’Neill also homer for New York. The previous record for longest game was 4:18‚ set in a 1962 Dodgers-Giants game.
1988: Dave Winfield drives in his 28th and 29th runs of the season in New York’s 15-3 rout of Texas‚ tying the ML record for RBI in April. Don Mattingly scores 5 runs for New York.
1973: The Yankees have the day off… along with the rest of the Major Leagues. With the exception of the All-Star break and labour disputes, this will be the last time that there is an entirely idle day on the MLB schedule until June 29‚ 1998.
1967: In a doubleheader at the Stadium‚ Mickey Mantle breaks a 1-1 tie in the 10th with a three-run homer off California reliever Minnie Rojas to give New York a 4-1 win. California take the 2nd game 4-2 despite a Mantle pinch double in the 9th inning. His hit gives him 2‚215‚ one more than Joe DiMaggio.
1958: The Yankees go down to their first defeat at home‚ losing to Detroit and Frank Lary‚ 10-1. The Motor City men wallop Whitey Ford for 7 runs in as many innings.
1953: At Chicago‚ the Yankees beat the White Sox‚ 6-1‚ as Mickey Mantle takes Gene Bearden deep. . The ball might not have cleared the fence except for a fan’s interference, and Chi-town skipper Paul Richards protestations about it earn him a shower. Bill Renna adds his first ML homer‚ a triple‚ and single to back Whitey Ford.
1946: The Yankees are no-hit for the first time in their history. Dispelling the rumors that he had lost his fastball after nearly 4 years in the Navy‚ Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians hurls his second career no-no, winning the game 1-0 on Frankie Hayes’ home run in the 9th inning. Ironically, Bill Bevens, who will come within one out of pitching the first post-season no-hitter in history in the following year’s World Series, takes the loss for the Yanks.
1934: Red Ruffing hits a homer in the 9th off Jack Russell to defeat Washington 7-4 and put the Yankees in first place.
1918: Despite the failure of the NY State Legislature to approve Sunday baseball‚ it is announced that there will be Major League action on Sunday at the former Federal League Park in Harrison‚ New Jersey. All three New York teams – the Giants, Dodgers and Yankees – will participate. This arrangement would have been in effect last Sunday but the
Senators‚ scheduled to meet the Yanks‚ had already scheduled an exhibition game. The Sunday games in Harrison will necessitate the rescheduling of some minor league games from there. The agreement‚ in which the two leagues will pay $10‚000 a year in rent for the park comes about because of the settlement with the Federal League.
The red-letter day -
1901: In its pre-Gotham incarnation as the Baltimore Orioles, the franchise that will become the Yankees (after moving to New York in 1903 and adopting the name of the Highlanders) plays the first game in its history, as the visitors in the Washington Nationals’ home opener. Admiral George Dewey, the hero of the Battle of Manila Bay in the recently ended Spanish-American War, is on hand to watch the home side triumph, 5-2. Bill Carrick gets the win for Washington, with Joe ‘Iron Man’ McGinnity taking the loss for the O’s.
On other 29ths of April…
In a 17-6 win over Toronto, the Yankees became the 15th team to score in every inning in which they batted (excluding rain shortened games). It was the second time in team history (1939) the Bombers scored in every frame, matching the Cleveland Spiders as the only team to score a run in every inning of a full-length game twice in franchise history; the Spiders accomplished the feat in 1889 and 1894. Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi has a homer and 4 RBI and reaches base 4 times, while Johnny Damon scores 5 runs. Reed Johnson gets hit by pitches three times for the Jays. He joins Damion Easley as the only players since 1957 to be hit by a pitch three times in a game twice in their careers.
2002: Darryl Strawberry is sentenced to 18 months in prison for violating the terms of his probation six times.
In Billy Martin’s first game in his latest stint as Yankee manager‚ Larry Parrish belts 3 home runs to power the Rangers to a 7-5 win over the Yankees. It is Parrish’s 4th career 3-HR game but his first in the AL‚ making him only the 5th player to accomplish the feat in each league. The Yanks lose a homer in the 4th when‚ with two men on‚ Bobby Meacham hits a Frank Tanana ball that just reaches the stands. Running hard‚ Meacham collides with teammate Willie Randolph who was returning to first to tag up. Meacham is given a two-run single.
Ron Guidry, making his first start of the year, blanks the Mariners 3-0‚ with relief help from Sparky Lyle. Thurman Munson belts a 3 run
homer for New York‚ who move into second place.
1967: Yankee pitcher Fred Talbot allows two Angel hits in topping California 5-2 at the Stadium. Mickey Mantle‚ playing first base‚ hits a 2-run homer and drives in 3 runs for New York.
1959: At Comiskey Park‚ the Yanks get homers from Mickey Mantle‚ Hank Bauer and Moose Skowron to beat the Sox‚ 5-2.
1945: The Yankees split a pair with the Senators‚ losing the nitecap‚ 2-1 after winning the lidlifter‚ 13-4. Russ Derry hits a pair of homers – including his second grand slam of the season – in the opener‚ and has Joe McCarthy wondering if he has another Babe Ruth.
1939: In the 7th game of the season‚ Joe DiMaggio makes a sharp turn while fielding a liner against the Senators‚ and tears muscles in his right foot. The Yankees lose the game 3-1‚ and DiMaggio will miss the next 35 games.
1938: To the delight of the first Ladies Day crowd ever at the Stadium (according to reports, 4903 women attended) the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 6-4. Bill Dickey drives in three runs and Lou Gehrig Lou Gehrig, with two singles, enjoys his first two-hit game of the season. He consecutive-game streak reaches 19.
1933: With no outs in the 9th, Washington catcher Luke Sewell makes a double play, tagging out first Lou Gehrig‚ who held up at second to see if a Tony Lazzeri fly ball would be caught‚ and then Dixie Walker attempting to score from first. Lazzeri’s hit is a double but Joe Cronin’s relay from Goose Goslin allows Sewell to tag the two in succession. The Senators beat the Yankees‚ 6-3.
1911: In the Highlanders 10-6 loss to the A’s‚ New York pitchers Hippo Vaughn and Jack Quinn throw just 7 pitches to the A’s Stuffy McGinnis (below)‚ who collects five singles. Stuffy hits a first pitch 3 times and the second pitch twice.
1906: The New York ban on Sunday baseball is temporarily lifted and the Highlanders and Philadelphia A’s play a benefit game for the victims of the San Francisco earthquake‚ raising $5‚600. The 2 teams also work out a deal: the Highlanders get speedster Danny Hoffman (below) in exchange for the rights to OF Dave Fultz‚ who did not play last year. The 31-year-old Fultz quit to practice law and will stay quit.
2007: With one more Yankee starter felled one batter into the game (Jeff Karstens has a fibula fractured by a line drive back into the box off the bat of Julio Lugo), Joe Torre goes to the bullpen for a long shot. Kei Igawa suprises everyone, turning in his finest performance to date. Igawa stills the Sox on two hits over six innings, and the Yanks win 3-1, Jorge Posada’s two-run homer providing the margin of victory.
1996: The Yankees top the Twins‚ 6-3‚ as Mariano Rivera pitches the last 3 innings for the win. Rivera has now thrown 9 hitless innings over his last three outings. Paul O’Neill‚ leading the A.L. in hitting‚ robs Paul Molitor of a homer in the 7th and then clouts one of his own. The Yankees pull ahead of Baltimore in the A.L. East.
1985: After the Yankees lose to the White Sox 4-3 on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 9th‚ manager Yogi Berra is replaced by Billy Martin‚ who begins his 4th term in the job. The bad news is delivered to Yogi by pitching coach Clyde King‚ and a furious Berra vows to never set foot in Yankee Stadium as long as George Steinbrenner is the owner.
1969: Fritz Peterson shuts out the Red Sox‚ 1-0‚ stopping Boston’s team homer streak at 11 games and a record 27 blasts.
1953: A wild brawl occurs after the Browns’ Clint ‘Scrap Iron’ Courtney lines a ball off the right field wall and comes into to second spikes high on Phil Rizzuto in the 10th inning at St. Louis.
In the fracas‚ umpire John Stevens dislocates his collarbone. Six players are fined for their actions. Courtney was retaliating after being
knocked over in the top of the 10th when Gil McDougald scored the go-ahead run in an eventual 7-6 Yankee win. New York took a 5-0 lead on a 3-run homer by Mantle off Bob Cain in the 3rd‚ a moon shot that cleared the left field wall of the newly renamed Busch Stadium. The Browns tie the game at 6-6 to set the stage for the free-for-all that ends with a shower of bottles from angry fans. Outside the stadium‚ the Yankees need a police escort to board their bus. Courtney will be fined $250 for the fisticuffs‚ with five other players receiving lesser fines. The total of $850 in fines is the most ever for a brawl.
1950: The Yankees sell outfielder Dick Wakefield to the White Sox for OF John Ostrowski and cash. Wakefield‚ a hot hitter in 1943 who has since lost his sparkle‚ refuses to report unless the Sox restore a $5‚500 salary cut inflicted by the Yankees. Wakefield says the Yankees talked him into signing for $17‚500 with the “guarantee” that he’d earn $5‚000 as a World Series share. New York refuses to return Ostrowski and the Sox refuse Wakefield’s request. Happy Chandler rules in favor of the Sox and Ostrowski and Wakefield return to their teams.
1938: With 2 on and no out in the 9th‚ Yankee backup catcher Joe Glenn becomes the first Major League player in the 20th century to hit into a game-ending triple play, lining out to Jimmie Foxx who then starts the 3-6-3 triple killing. Red Sox pitcher Lefty Grove is the happy beneficiary‚ winning 6-1 over Lefty Gomez.
1935: Pedro Ramos, a late season acquisition in 1964, and a key contributor out of the bullpen to the Yankee pennant drive that year, is born. Happy 77th, P.R.!
1930: ’50s Yankee pitcher Tom Sturdivant, member of three pennant winners and one championship club, is born.
1926: The A’s Lefty Grove strikes out 11‚ but loses to Sam Jones and the Yankees‚ 3-0. Grove will win his next four against New York.
1925: Clarence ‘Cuddles’ Marshall, the Yankee starter in the first night game ever played at the Stadium (a 2-1 loss to the Washington Senators on May 28th, 1946) is born.
1921: Senators steal. Sam Rice, Duffy Lewis and future Yankee skipper Bucky Harris (below) pull off a triple steal in the 1st, but Bomber bats are the difference as the Yanks win‚ 9-5.
The red-letter day:
1947: Today is Babe Ruth Day at all Major League parks. A crowd of 58,339 at the Stadium honour the ailing slugger. A frail Babe, choking back tears, tells the “kids of America” that “the only real game in the world is baseball. In this game you have to come up from youth. You’ve got to start way down at the bottom if you’re going to be successful like those boys over there.” pointing to the Yankee dugout. “There’s so many lovely things said about me, I’m glad I had the opportunity to thank everybody.” The program was broadcast nationwide and piped into all the ball parks. Ruth receives a bronze plaque with his image on it from the AL: the NL’s gift is a leather book with signatures of all the players in the league. The Yankees lose to Sid Hudson and the Washington Senators 1-0, but move into first place as the White Sox lose two. Hudson scores the only run after singling.
On other 27ths of April…
1996: David Cone misses his first scheduled start in 9 years owing to a numbness in his pitching hand that will eventually turn out to be the result of an aneurysm. Dwight Gooden fills in capably with six innings of 5-hit, 1-run ball, but the bullpen will come up short, surrendering 4 runs in the 9th to the visiting Twins, who win 8-6.
1993: Jimmy Key holds the Angels to one hit in pitching the Yanks to a 5-0 victory. A 6th inning single by Gary DiSarcina is California’s only safety.
1981: The Cubs trade C Barry Foote to the Yankees for minor leaguer Tom Filer and cash. Foote was 0-for-22 with the Cubs this year.
Yankee reliever Dick Tidrow gives up back-to-back pinch home runs to Seattle’s Bob Stinson and Dan Meyer in the 8th as the Mariners edge the Bombers 6-5.
1977: The Yankees obtain pitcher Mike Torrez from the A’s in exchange for pitcher Dock Ellis, infielder Marty Perez, and outfielder Larry Murray. Torrez will have a fine season in New York before signing with Boston as a free agent.
1975: In the opening game of a Yankees-Brewers doubleheader, Hank Aaron hits a left field double off Dick Tidrow, tying Babe Ruth’s career RBI record (later revised) of 2,209. The Brewers win 7-0. Aaron brings no one across in game 2, as the Yanks roll 10-1.
1956: At the Stadium, Mickey Mantle hits a shot to dead center that strikes the bleachers and caroms back onto the playing field. Red Sox center fielder Jimmy Piersall plays the ball and fires to third to hold the hustling Mantle to a triple. Stengel charges out to argue that the ball is a home run and gets tossed for his efforts. The Sox win 6-4.
1955: Hank Bauer and Andy Carey, the first two Yankee hitters, homer to deflate White Sox pitcher Virgil Trucks. But the Sox knock the wheels off Whitey Ford and 3 relievers for 14 hits to win 13-4 and regain first place in the AL.
1945: At the Stadium, Frank Crosetti hits a 3-run pinch homer in the 8th, but the Yankees still fall short as George Myatt leads the Senators to a 6-4 win over the home side. Myatt has a walk, four hits, three stolen bases, two runs and two RBIs to back Mickey Haefner’s pitching.
1935: The Yankees edge the A’s 9-8, led by Ben Chapman’s 4 hits, including a double and home run. The A’s score 4 in the 9th but Bob Johnson ends the game by grounding into a double play. In the 1st, Jimmie Foxx lines into a triple play – Lazzeri to Gehrig to Crosetti.
1916: Future Hall of Famer Enos ‘Country’ Slaughter is born. Though best remembered for his years with the St. Louis Cardinals, Slaughter closed out his career with the Yankees. and was in left field when Don Larsen pitched his perfect game in the 1956 World Series
1903: The New York Highlanders are shut out for the first time, falling 6-0 to the A’s at Philadelphia’s Columbia Park. Future hall of Famer C.A. ‘Chief’ Bender administers the whitewash, as he goes the distance for the Mackmen.
2007: The best-laid plans… Owing to a shortage of healthy arms, the Yankees bring youthful righty Phil Hughes up from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre a year earlier than they would have liked and start him against Toronto in the Bronx. A.J. Burnett and Vernon Wells join forces to beat Phil though, the former by blanking the Yanks on four singles over seven, and the latter by collecting three of the six hits the rookie allowed in five innings. Wells in walked his last two at bats for a perfect day at the plate, and the Blue Jays won 6-0.
2006: At the Stadium, Tampa Bay beat the Yankees 4-2 despite setting a team record by walking 14 batters. The most generous among the 5 hurlers who take mound for the Rays is Seth McClung, who issues 7 free passes. It is the first time a team has walked 14 and won a game of 10 innings or less since April 26, 1993, when Philadelphia did it over 10 innings against San Francisco.
2005: The Yankees pound the Angels‚ 12-4. Alex Rodriguez strokes 3 HRs and a single for NY‚ and becomes the 11th player in history to drive in 10 runs in a game.
1997: The Yankees beat the White Sox by a score of 10-2 as DH Cecil Fielder gets 5 hits‚ including 2 doubles and a homer.
1996: Former Yankee pitcher Milt Gaston dies at age 100. Gaston was a promising prospect in the organization in the early 1920s, but was traded away following his rookie year with the Yankees in 1924. He went on to play for 5 teams in the 1920s and 1930s and had 18 Hall of Fame teammates and managers‚ more than any player in history.
1995: Despite an attendance of just 6‚300 at the Yanks pre-game workout‚ 50‚245 fans show up for the opener‚ the smallest opening day crowd at the Stadium since 1990. The Yankees start with a win‚ 8-6‚ over the Rangers‚ as Jimmy Key goes 5 innings to pick up the win. It is his 3rd straight opener and his Opening Day record is 6-0. Kenny Rogers is the loser‚ giving up 4 runs in 3 innings‚ including a homer to Danny Tartabull. Bernie Williams also homers.
1974: In what is dubbed the Friday Night Massacre, the Yankees trade four pitchers, including Fritz Peterson and Steve Kline, to the Indians for 1B Chris Chambliss and hurlers Dick Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw.
1961; Roger Maris hits his first HR of the ’61 campaig,n off Paul Foytack of Detroit‚ and Mickey Mantle adds round-trippers from both sides of the plate (for the 8th time)‚ as New York wins 13-10 at Tiger Stadium. Mantle’s 2nd homer‚ a 2-run shot off Hank Aguirre‚ snaps a 10-10 tie in the 10th.
1959: Surprising Baltimore sweep a pair from the Yankees‚ coming from behind to score 2 in the 9th and win the opener‚ 5-4‚ and scoring in the final frame of the nitecap to win‚ 3-2. The O’s use 6 pinch hitters in the opener‚ while New York use 4 for a combined new ML mark. Hoyt Wilhelm goes the distance in the nitecap‚ but his knuckler proves elusive for Gus Triandos‚ who ties the ML record with 4 passed balls. Ray Katt‚ who was the lone holder of the record‚ also caught Wilhelm.
1955: Bob Turley of the Yanks fires a one-hitter‚ fanning 10 in handing a 5-0 defeat to the White Sox, with Sherm Lollar’s single in the 2nd as their lone hit.
1940: Red Rolfe has nine assists for the Yanks at third base against Boston‚ but the Red Sox win 8-1.
1936: At Boston‚ the Red Sox score six runs in the bottom of the first inning‚ but the Yankees rebound with 7 in the 2nd. New York hold on to win‚ 12-9. Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig trade homers while Frank Crosetti is 5-for-6 and Bill Dickey 4-for-6.
1931: Yankee right fielder Dusty Cooke separates his shoulder diving for a fly ball off the bat of Ossie Bluege of Washington‚ and first baseman Lou Gehrig winds up chasing the ball‚ which becomes an inside-the-park home run. With Babe Ruth sidelined‚ the shorthanded Yankees send pitcher Red Ruffing to the outfield. The game’s most significant play comes when, with Lyn Lary on base, Gehrig’s drive into the Washington center field stands bounces back and is caught by center fielder Harry Rice. According to the rules‚ this is a home run‚ but when Lary sees Rice catching the ball‚ he thinks it is the final out of the inning. Unnoticed by Joe McCarthy‚ doubling as the third base coach this day, Lary heads for the dugout after rounding third. Gehrig circles the bases‚ but he is called out and gets credit for a triple instead of a HR and loses 2 RBI. As a result Gehrig will end the season tied for the HR title with Babe Ruth at 46 and will have ‘only’ 184 RBI (still the AL record). The Yanks also lose the game‚ 9-7‚ and McCarthy will do no more on-field coaching this season. Gehrig’s triple also means that at the year’s end the majors will collect 1‚070 triples‚ one more than the two leagues will total in homers (1‚069). It will be the last season to date that this has happened. For Cooke‚ the injury ends his season at 27 games played and a .333 batting average. The mishap will cut down his effectiveness and after just 3 appearances the following year‚ he will
be traded to Boston.
The 1931 Yankees
1916: Fritz Maisel does his part to keep the score down by getting thrown out 3 times trying to steal against the A’s. The Yanks still win‚ 9-0.
1901: The visiting Boston Americans play their first game‚ losing to Baltimore (soon to become the New York Highlanders)‚ 10-6. Iron Joe McGinnity strikes out 9 in the win‚ and Mike Donlin cracks two triples off losing pitcher Win Kellum.
1888: Ray Caldwell, Yankee ace of the teens of the last century – he won 19 games for the club in 1915 – is born.
2009: David Robertson is recalled from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre to stay.
2001: Scott Brosius connects for a solo homer, but it is not enough to offset the five unearned runs that result from the usually sure-handed third baseman’s two errors, as the visiting Mariners sail past the Yankees 7-5.
Elsewhere, Babe Ruth’s all-time record for walks falls to San Diego’s Rickey Henderson, who draws a free pass in the 9th inning from Philadelphia’s Jose Mesa for the 2‚063rd of his career.The Phillies defeat the Padres‚ 5-3.
1997: The White Sox belt the Yankees‚ 9-3‚ scoring 4 runs off reliever David Weathers in a third of an inning. Weathers‚ with 7 blown saves‚ will be ‘designated for reassignment’ tomorrow.
1982: All of 14 games into the season‚ George Steinbrenner fires manager Bob Lemon and replaces him with Gene Michael‚ the man Lemon had replaced the previous September
1980: Making his first appearance in Minnesota since his fight with a marshmallow salesman there the previous autumn‚ on-again off-again Yankee skipper and now A’s manager Billy Martin has to be restrained by umpires from attacking a fan who was pelting him with marshmallows during the Twins’ 10-3 victory.
1967: Whitey Ford beats the White Sox 11-2 at the Stadium, giving up 8 hits to go 2-1 on the season. It will be his last major league win.
1933: Russ van Atta makes a spectacular debut in the Yankees’ 16-0 pasting of the eventual AL pennant-winning Senators‚ getting 4 hits while pitching a 5-hit shutout.
Future Yankees pilot Casey Stengel is the only other player to have made his major league debut with 4 hits. Van Atta will post a 12-4 record for the season‚ bat .283‚ but will injure his left index finger in December while rescuing a cocker spaniel from a house fire. His only career shutout is today. The game is marred by a 20-minute bench-clearing free-for-all in the 4th inning started when Ben Chapman slides into second and spikes second baseman Buddy Myer. Myer invited the spiking by deliberately stepping on Lou Gehrig’s
foot at first a few days earlier. Chapman‚ Myer‚ and Earl Whitehill are suspended 5 days and fined $100 each.
1931: With 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th‚ Boston’s Urbane Pickering swipes home with the winning run against the Yankees to give the Red Sox a 5-4 victory. Playing without Babe Ruth‚ the Yanks manage just 6 hits‚ 3 by Lou Gehrig.
1921: In New York‚ Washington’s Walter Johnson survives a first inning solo shot by Babe Ruth to top Carl Mays‚ 5-3‚ for his 307th career win‚ breaking Eddie Plank’s AL mark.
1916: At the Polo Grounds‚ Boston’s Babe Ruth goes 10 innings to defeat the Yankees‚ 4-3 in his first start against his future club. The Babe gives up 2 earned runs on 8 hits‚ but is hitless at the plate.
1904: New York Highlanders pitcher Jack Chesbro posts the first of what will be 41 wins on the season, a post-1900 major league record that still stands.
1883: Russ Ford, pitcher for the Highlander/Yankees from 1909 to 1913, is born.
The red-letter day-
1917: In front of 3‚219 fans‚ Yankee lefty George Mogridge pitches a no-hitter against the Red Sox, the second no-no in franchise history, and the first at Fenway Park, for a 2-1 New York win.
It is the second of what will be an AL record five no-hitters in a season. The Yankees score on 2 walks‚ an error‚ and a sacrifice fly off Dutch Leonard. This will be the last no-hitter by a Yankee lefty until Dave Righetti’s in 1983.
On other 24ths of April…
2003: The Angels hand Andy Pettitte and the Yankees a 6-2 loss. It is the first defeat of the year for a NY starting pitcher‚ ending their
ML-record streak of starters going 16-0 to begin the season.
2001: As the American League celebrates its 100th anniversary, ‘Ichiromania’ arrives the Bronx. The newly signed former Orix Blue Wave star makes his Yankee Stadium debut, with fans of Japanese extraction jamming the stands, including an enterprising crew of six bare-chested young men with I-C-H-I-R-O on their fronts and S-U-Z-U-K-I on their backs. But it is Mariners; shortstop and catcher Tom Lampkin who do most of the damage off Roger Clemens, driving in two runs apiece off the Yankee fireballer in a 7-5 Seattle win.
1998: Yankee Stadium is cleared to reopen‚ so a series that was originally scheduled to be in Detroit opens in New York. Darryl
Strawberry homers to complete a 4-run rally in the 1st in the Yankees 8-4 win. David Cone earns the win‚ his 150th‚ over Greg Keagle. It is also Cone’s 11th consecutive win over Detroit.
1995: Darryl Strawberry is sentenced to 6 months of home confinement on tax evasion charges. He must also pay the government $350‚000 in back taxes.
1992: Former Yankees vice president Leonard Kleinman drops his $30 million lawsuit against baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent. The suit had been one of the obstacles standing in the way of George Steinbrenner’s reinstatement with the Yankees.
1965: Former Yankee third baseman/DH Mike Blowers in born. Happy 47th to M.B.!
1962: Mets manager and former Yankee skipper Casey Stengel is fined $500 by Commissioner Ford Frick for allowing his picture to appear in a beer ad.
1960: The Yankees score 8 runs against the Orioles before the first out is made‚ tying an AL record set by Cleveland July 6‚ 1954‚ also against Baltimore. Included in the opening New York salvo are a 3-run homer by Elston Howard and a follow-up jack by Tony Kubek. The Orioles respond with grand slams by Albie Pearson and Billy Klaus in the 8th and 9th‚ but New York hold on for a 15-9 triumph.
1957: At the Stadium‚ Mickey Mantle drills an 8th inning solo shot off Baltimore’s Connie Johnson to give the Yankees a 3-2 win. He scored earlier on a Yogi Berra homer.
1946: Clark Griffith, the Yankees’ first manager, and his one-time ace Jack Chesbro are among 11 new inductees into the Hall of Fame.
1940: At Philadelphia‚ the Yankees whip the A’s‚ 9-4‚ behind Red Ruffing. Master deceiver Frankie Crosetti pulls off his sixth
successful hidden ball trick in the majors when he nabs the A’s Al Brancato.
1938: Goose Goslin’s pinch-hit homer is the fifth of his career‚ for a new AL record‚ but the Yankees beat the Senators 4-3.
1937: In Boston’s home opener‚ the Yankees tie the Sox on Tony Lazzeri’s 8th inning homer‚ then score a pair in the 10th on George
Selkirk’s triple. Twinkletoes is out trying to swipe home. The Sox come back for a run in the 10th‚ but the Yankees win‚ 6-5.
1923: President Warren G. Harding attends the game at Yankee Stadium and sees Babe Ruth hit a HR in a 4-0 win over the Senators‚ as Sad Sam Jones pitches the first shutout in the new park.
1920: The Yankees Carl Mays pitches 10 innings in beating the Philadelphia Athletics‚ 3-2. Mays allows 6 hits in winning his 6th
straight over the Mackmen.
1909: Sidelined much of April with the flu‚ Walter Johnson makes his 1st appearance of the year. He ‘should’ve stood in bed’, as the
Highlanders rough him up for 6 runs before he is lifted in the 3rd. Behind Joe Lake‚ New York roll to a 17-0 win over Washington‚ a club
record shutout loss for the Nationals. It will be tied by the Yankees in 1920.
The red-letter days -
2000: Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada each hit home runs from both sides of the plate‚ marking the first time in major league history that a pair of teammates switch hit homers in the same game. The Yankees score 7 runs in the fourth inning on their way to a 10-7 win over the Blue Jays. Jose Cruz hits a leadoff homer for Toronto for the second straight game. He had 2 homers yesterday.
1929: The Yankees become the first team to wear numbers on their road uniforms when they invade Fenway Park. (The Red Sox, unimpressed, win 4-2).
1903: Behind the pitching of Harry Howell (below)‚ the Yankee franchise wins its first game, as the New York Highlanders beat Washington, 7-2.
On other 22nds of April…
2007: The injury-depleted Yankees activate Hideki Matsui from the DL. To make room for him, southpaw Chase Wright, coming off the previous day’s home run barrage at Fenway, is returned to AA Trenton.
2006: Jason Giambi has two homers and a double to drive in five runs in the Yankees 7-1 win over the Orioles. O’s shortstop Miguel Tejada is the team’s only offensive producer with 4 hits including a homer. He has all 3 hits that winning pitcher Randy Johnson gives up, plus one more off of Mo Rivera, for all 4 Baltimore hits, tying an MLB mark.
2004: In a preview of game 7 the ALCS later in the year, Derek Lowe silences Bomber bats and his teammates drive Jose Contreras from the mound with a 5-run 4th inning as the Red Sox lmabst the Yankees 11-2 at Fenway.
1982: The Yankees trade first baseman /DH Bob Watson to Atlanta for minor leaguer pitcher Bob Patterson. Watson was given the choice of Philadelphia‚ L.A.‚ or Atlanta. In 2 weeks the Yankees will trade their other first baseman‚ Dave Revering‚ who hit .465 in spring training.
1977: Andruw Jones is born. Happy 35th, AJ!
1975: Roy White again homers from both sides of the plate‚ this time in an 11-7 Yankee loss to the Red Sox. White last switch-hit home runs on August 13‚ 1973.
1953: At the Stadium‚ Mickey Mantle breaks a 3-3 tie in the 9th with a two out walkoff homer off Red Sox relief ace Ellis Kinder.
1948: On the 25th anniversary of the opening of Yankee Stadium‚ the Red Sox spoil the ceremonies by stopping New York‚ 4-0. A visibly ill Babe Ruth cheers on the Yanks from the dugout.
1947: At the Stadium, ‘Superchief’ Allie Reynolds shuts out the Red Sox 3-0 on as he bests Boo Ferriss and allows only two hits, both of them to Rudy York.
Off the field, the Yankees release veteran reliever Johnny ‘Grandma’ Murphy, who will sign with the Red Sox.
1941: With Ted Williams on the bench after reinjuring his ankle yesterday‚ the Red Sox fall to the Yankees‚ 4-2‚ in 11 innings. Joe
DiMaggio is hitless‚ but Phil Rizzuto provides the offense by hitting his first major league homer‚ a 2-run shot off Charlie Wagner in the
11th‚ to win the contest.
1940: The Yankees dedicate a plaque at the Stadium to former owner Jacob Ruppert before losing to the Philadelphia Athletics, 3-0.
1933: Lou Gehrig’s consecutive-game streak is threatened when he is knocked unconscious by an Earl Whitehill pitch in the Yankees-Senators game. He recovers and finishes the game‚ a 5-4 loss to the Nats.
1932: At Shibe Park, Babe Ruth and Ben Chapman both go long for New York. This the 8th straight game in which at least one Yankee has hit a home run, but the A’s outslug them, 16-5.
1927: At Philadelphia‚ Rube Walberg gives up back to back homers to Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the first inning‚ but holds on for a 4-3 A’s win. Yankee shortstop Mark Koenig’s wild throw in the 9th allows the winning run to score.
1925: Yankee ace Herb Pennock holds a 1-0 lead into the 9th when Washington loads the bases. Nats manager Bucky Harris wants Walter Johnson to pinch hit‚ but the Big Train is in the shower when he gets the call. It takes him ten minutes to dress and enter the game‚ with Yankee skipper Miller Huggins screaming all the while about the delay. Johnson justifies the wait by hitting the first pitch for a 2-run single to win the game for Washington‚ 2-1. Six weeks later‚ Ban Johnson will rule that only players on the bench or sidelines may be used as substitutes.
1919: At the Polo Grounds‚ 30‚000 fans watch the Red Sox roll over the Yankees‚ 10-0‚ behind Carl Mays. Babe Ruth bounces a ball over Yankee center fielder Duffy Lewis’s head for an inside-the-park homer in his first at bat and drives in 2 runs‚ while Wally Schang has three doubles and a single. Former Sox star Lewis‚ who missed the 1918 season while serving in the military‚ is hitless in his Yankee debut.
George Mogridge takes the loss‚ allowing six runs in the 9th inning when shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh makes his 2nd and 3rd errors of the game.
1918: Yankee lefty Herb Thormahlen loses his no-hitter when Boston’s Amos Strunk singles with one out in the 9th. A pinch-hit single by Babe Ruth and a walk load the bases and a short fly to Ping Bodie is dropped‚ allowing Strunk to plate the winner‚ 1-0.
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 51st, 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 a severe case of the flu 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 ‘Grandma’ 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 second win.
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 Johnson.
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 weeks.
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.
2003: The Yankees continue their hot start with a 15-1 win over the Twins. With David Wells’s victory‚ the New York starting rotation are now 14-0. The Twins have played 6 series so far and have either swept‚ or been swept‚ in all six.
1999: The Yankees defeat the Rangers‚ 4-2‚ as Roger Clemens ties an AL record with his 17th consecutive win over 2 seasons. Johnny Allen (1936-37) and Dave McNally (1968-69) previously accomplished the feat for the Indians and Orioles‚ respectively.
1980: Joe ‘The Fireman’ Page, Yankee relief ace of the late 1940s, dies at the age of 62.
Page (in foreground to Casey Stengel’s left) celebrating the Yanks’ win in the 1949 World Series
1977: Manager Billy Martin‚ faced with a 2-8 slump over the past 10 games‚ draws his lineup out of a hat. Chris Chambliss, batting in the eight hole, drives in 5 runs on 2 doubles and a homer and New York beat Toronto 8-6.
Ken Holtzman is the winner.
1967: At Fenway‚ rookie Bill Rohr again tops the Yanks‚ beating Mel Stottlemyre 6-1. Elston Howard’s 8th-inning single drives in the only Yankee score. Rohr will return to the minors after the Gary Bell acquisition and resurface with the Indians next year.
1965: At the Stadium‚ Mickey Mantle puts New York ahead with a two-run homer in the first off Camilo Pascual‚ but the Twins come back to win 7-2.
1958: At the Stadium‚ the Red Sox put 16 runners on base but score just one as the Yanks win their 5th straight‚ 4-1. Don Larsen‚ with 5
innings of shutout ball‚ is the winner. Ted Williams has his first hits of the year‚ a single and homer.
1956: Mickey Mantle homers for the second day in a row against the Red Sox‚ to lead New York to the win in a 14-10 shoot out at the Stadium. Mantle‚ playing with his thigh wrapped tightly after straining a muscle yesterday‚ is 3-for-5.
1954: At the Stadium‚ Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle belt back-to-back homers in the third‚ off Leo Kiely‚ and Gil McDougald adds a solo blast to key the Yankees to a 5-1 win over the Red Sox.
1952: In New York‚ Mickey Mantle’s first-inning homer off Bobby Shantz starts the Yankees on their way to a 5-1 win over the A’s. Led by the middle infield combination of Phil Rizzuto and Jerry Coleman, the Yanks tie a ML mark when they pull off their 12th double play in 3 games; tomorrow they go to 14 in 4 games‚ tying a mark set by the White Sox last year.
1951: Gil Coan of the Senators gets two triples in the 6th inning at Washington‚ the last major leaguer in the 20th century to collect 2
three-baggers in an inning.
The Senators score 7 runs in the frame‚ but it’s not enough as they lose to the Yankees‚ 8-7. Tom Ferrick gets the win
for the Bombers.
1950: In Cleveland‚ before 79‚570 fans‚ the 4th largest paid attendance in MLB history to date‚ the Yankees take two from the Indians‚ winners of 9 out of their last 11. In the opener‚ Joe DiMaggio drives in 6 runs on 2 homers‚ one a grand slam‚ and the Yankees roll 14-5. New York collect 19 hits in the nitecap to win easily‚ 12-4. Eddie Lopat and Allie Reynolds each win their 4th of the year‚ as the Yankees now pace the AL by 2 1/2 games.
1948: At Griffith Stadium‚ Joe DiMaggio launches a 450-foot 3-run shot, but the rest of the Bombers’ offense sputters as the Senators roll, 6-3.
1932: The Yankees drop game 2 in their series with Philadelphia at the stadium‚ as the A’s win 8-6. Mickey Cochrane’s ninth inning grand slam is the deciding blow. Jimmie Foxx adds a single and 2 triples for the Mackmen.
1929: About 40‚000 fans brave a cold rain in New York to watch the Yankees play their first Sunday regular season game. The A’s Bing Miller has a 2-run homer to help Lefty Grove beat the Yanks‚ 7-4.
1887: Joe McCarthy, Yankee manager from 1931 to 1946, is born.
McCarthy managed in the major leagues for 24 seasons. His winning percentage of .614 is the highest in baseball history. His seven World Championships are a record shared only with another Yankee manager, Casey Stengel. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1957.
McCarthy never played in the majors. He grew up in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and broke into pro ball in 1906. He got a taste of managing at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1913 and a few years later made a name for himself as a manager in Louisville, where he developed outfielder Earle Combs. In 1926 McCarthy was named manager of the Chicago Cubs and he led them to the National League pennant in 1929.
Fired by the Cubs following the 1930 season, McCarthy in 1931 assumed the helm of a Yankee team that regarded him as a National League interloper; many of the rollicking Yankee veterans thought babe Ruth should be the manager, a point of view that Ruth himself did not discourage. McCarthy never won Ruth over, but he did win the other players’ loyalty and slowly molded his kind of undemonstrative and proficient team.
In 1932 McCarthy became the first manager to capture pennants in both leagues. In the ensuing World Series, the Yankees
beat the Cubs in four games, a great moment of revenge for their manager. Then came three consecutive second-place finishes – and the unkind tag of Second-Place Joe – before the Yankees’ four consecutive World Championships in 1936-39. The late-1930s teams were arguably the most powerful ever, and their manager was a great proponent of power baseball. In 1941 McCarthy won his sixth
World Series in six tries as the Yankees’ manager, but the following year his streak was broken by the Cardinals. The Yankees won the rematch 1943 Series in five games.
McCarthy’s teams were outstanding. They seldom had a difficult pennant race and, by and large, they overwhelmed their World Series foes. They were so good that some believed the batboy could have taken them to pennants, an insinuation that McCarthy hated. His temper flared when it was suggested he had only to push buttons to win. Many experts consider McCarthy the greatest manager
of all time. He was a great double-play teacher, but his real strengths lay in his mental alertness. He seldom made the same mistake twice, missed little on the field, and had an amazing memory for minute details. Joe DiMaggio said, “Never a day went by when you didn’t learn something from McCarthy.”
McCarthy’s players respected him, most liked him, and some were devoted to him. But he was perceived by the public as dull. Take away the fat little cigars and the long-sleeved uniforms and you were left with air. Squat, square-jawed, tenacious – there was a sour side to this spike-fisted disciplinarian. Yet his heart almost broke when Lou Gehrig became fatally ill.
The war years were tough on McCarthy, and when Larry MacPhail became his boss in 1945, he didn’t have the same rapport he had enjoyed with Ed Barroe. On May 24, 1946, McCarthy resigned. He became the Red Sox’ manager in 1948 and came within a hair of winning a pennant that year and again in 1949, before retiring for good early in the 1950 season.
McCarthy died January 13, 1978 at the age of 90.