4/06 in Yankee History
The red-letter day:
1973: At Fenway Park, the Yankees’ Ron Blomberg becomes the first official Major League designated hitter.
The first ball is thrown out by Ed Folger‚ a Red Sox farm hand who had his legs amputated last September following a farm accident.
In the top of the first, Blomberg takes his place in history when he faces righthander Luis Tiant. Blomberg walks with the bases loaded
and winds up 1-for-3 in the 15-5 loss to Boston. Sox DH Orlando Cepeda goes 0-for-6‚ but Carlton Fisk strokes two homers‚ one a grand
slam‚ in the 20-hit Boston barrage. 2nd baseman Doug Griffin notches four hits for Boston‚ who overcome a 3-0 deficit by scoring eight runs to chase Mel Stottlemyre by the third inning. The Yanks record eight hits off Tiant‚ five by the Alou brothers, Matty and Felipe
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On other 6ths of April…
The first Sunday home game in the old Yankee Stadium’s final fills the 50,000-plus in attendance with optimism, as Yankee ace Chien-Ming Wang bests Tampa’s Steve Shields 2-0 in a pitchers’ duel. Offensive heroics go to DH Hideki Matsui, who highlights his 3-for-4 day at the plate with a two-run home run to right center in the 4th. This comes shortly after Wang retired Willy Aybar at the plate on an attempted suicide squeeze by throwing to catcher Jorge Posada. Injuries to the three Yankees featured in this game will go a long way towards spoiling the Bombers’ season. In a rite that continues to feature stars daily, Yogi Berra advances the home-games-left counter from 76 to 75, Joe Pepitone having done the honours the day before.
Off the field, this day marks the first appearance of Hiba Thamer (AKA @GoGetMyCoffee on Twitter) in the life of your editor. Blogger, rising
Internet radio personality and all around good egg, Hiba has become as indispensable as oxygen to anyone who has been fortunate enough to get to know her over the past 4 years in the online Yankee community. Here’s hoping for not only another four years in her delightful company, but another four decades. Cheers!
2003: Alfonso Soriano and Nick Johnson hit back-to-back homers to start the game as the Yanks beat Tampa Bay‚ 10-5. Roger Clemens notches career victory No. 295.
1982: A foot of snow cancels the Yankees opener with the Rangers at the Stadium. Tomorrow’s game with Texas and the first two with the White Sox will also be canceled because of snow and ice. With 2 games snowed out in Chicago‚ the Red Sox will return tomorrow to Winter Haven‚ FL.
1977: Former Yankee utility infielder Andy Phillips is born, Happy 35th, AP!
1974: The Yankees open their two-year stay at Shea Stadium before a crowd of 20‚744. 12-year-old Teddy Kennedy‚ Jr.‚ flanked by his father and Mayor Abe Beame‚ tosses out the first ball. Missing from the ceremony is George Steinbrenner‚ indicted two days ago for illegal campaign contributions. Graig Nettles’ two-run homer in the 4th off the Indians’ Gaylord Perry opens the scoring and the Yanks score 4 more times to win‚ 6-1. Charlie Spikes scores the only Cleveland run in the 9th following a triple off starter and winner Mel Stottlemyre. Perry‚ who is warned once for an illegal pitch‚ is the loser today‚ but he will win his next 15 decisions.
1954: ’70s Yankee spot starter Ken Clay is born. Though his principal claim to fame is as the only pitcher in franchise history to give up
back-to-back inside the park home runs, here’s wishing KC a happy 58th anyway!