4/09 in Yankee History
1996: Before an estimated crowd of 50‚000 for the home opener with Kansas City‚ the Yankees snowball the Royals‚ 7-3‚ behind Andy
Pettitte. The final tally is 7 runs‚ 10 hits‚ and 2 inches – of snow. The day will have a second highlight when the Yankee front office offer a free ticket to one of three upcoming games to all who had suffered through the conditions. (Some cynics will draw attention to the fact that the tickets are offered only to games against opponents not expected to draw well in the Bronx).
1990: After weeks of sometimes tense negotiations, Don Mattingly signs a five-year deal for almost $20 million. It will be his last player contract.
1989: Rickey Henderson steals his 800th career base, though the Yankees fall 4-3 to the the Indians.
1985: David Robertson is born. Happy 27th to D-Rob!
1981: Before 55‚123 at the Stadium‚ the Yankees gun down the Rangers‚ 10-3. Bucky Dent and Bobby Murcer hit homers‚ with Randolph following Murcer’s blow with a triple. Dave Winfield‚ in his New York debut‚ has two hits and two walks‚ and Tommy John scatters 7 hits in 8 innings to win over Jon Matlack.
1971: The A’s trade outfielder/first baseman Felipe Alou to the Yankees for pitchers Rob Gardner and Ron Klimkowski. Klimkowski will come back to the Yankees next year and Gardner will return in 6 weeks.
1967: Graeme Lloyd is born. Thanks for the ’96 October magic, Graeme, and happy 45th!
1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson joins 47‚878 fans for the opening of Harris County Domed Stadium (better known as the Astrodome). The Astros win an exhibition with the Yankees 2-1 in 12 innings on a Nellie Fox single. Mickey Mantle hits the first home run in the new park.
1963: In the Opener at Kansas City‚ Ralph Terry pitches a complete game 8-2 win for the Yankees. Led by Joe Pepitone’s two homers and a double‚ New York collect 13 hits. Elston Howard adds a homer off A’s starter Diego Segui.
1953: In an exhibition game at Forbes Field‚ Mickey Mantle gets all of a Bill MacDonald curve and hits it over the right field roof‚ joining Babe Ruth and Ted Beard as the only hitters to accomplish that since the upper deck was added in 1925. Ruth’s homer over the structure was the 714th and last of his career.
1947: Commissioner Happy Chandler suspends Brooklyn Dodgers’ manager Leo Durocher for the entire season for incidents detrimental to baseball. Larry MacPhail and the Dodger organization are fined $2‚000 each‚ and Yankee coach Charley Dressen is sent down for 30 days. A feud involving Durocher‚ MacPhail‚ and Dodger officials rocked the training season. The Yankees’ signing of Dressen and Red Corriden‚ longtime Brooklyn coaches‚ charges of consorting with Cuban gamblers against MacPhail‚ and charges and counter charges that Durocher had sought – or been offered – the Yankee managerial post were included in the hearing
1916: The Yankees turn down an offer by the Red Sox to trade Tris Speaker for cash and Fritz Maisel (below). Boston will ultimately swap the star outfielder, who did not take well to the notion of his salary being cut‚ to Cleveland, for Sam Jones, Fred Thomas and $50‚000. Speaker will hold out for $10‚000 of the purchase price: AL President Ban Johnson will finally intervene and Speaker will collect.