4/15 in Yankee History
…and now… the red-letter day -
1976: Newly remodeled Yankee Stadium is jammed with 52‚613 fans for Opening Day. The 1923 Yankee team are honored‚ and Bob Shawkey‚ winner of the ’23 Stadium opener‚ throws out the first ball. Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and the widows of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth also take part in pre-game ceremonies at the Stadium, which had been closed for the 1974 and ’75 seasons. The Yankees beat the Twins 11-4 on 14 hits‚ but the only home run is hit by Minnesota’s Dan Ford.
On other 15ths of April…
2010: Curtis Granderson triples in back-to-back innings in a 6-2 victory at the Stadium over t the Angels. Robninson Cano goes him one better, homering twice..Phil Hughes puts in 5 strong innings five for the win, Derek Jeter goes long, and has two base hits as well, while Marcus Thames makes himself known with two hits in the DH spot. The game is the fifth multi-triple affair in Granderson’s career.
2007: A regrettably familiar refrain sounds, as Carl Pavano is placed on the 15-day disabled list. Fellow righty starter Mike Mussina is also sidelined with hamstring miseries, so Chris Britton is recalled from AAA Scranton to (hopefully) take some of the unfilled innings.
1998: The first-ever American League-National League doubleheader ends up a good day for New York. The Yankees were forced to come to Shea Stadium after a beam fell into the stands at the Stadium on April 13. The Yanks earn their first victory in Queens in 22 years as they defeat the Angels 6-3. Former Mets star Darryl Strawberry, the all-time home run leader at Shea, adds to his total with a shot into the left field bleachers. In the regularly-scheduled night game, the Mets beat the Cubs 2-1. The Yankees, who played at Shea in 1974-75 while Yankee Stadium was renovated, drew a crowd of 40,743, a dramatic contrast to the gathering of 16,012 who showed up for the Mets game at night.
1980: The White Sox edge the Yankees‚ 4-3‚ in 14 innings‚ scoring the unearned run off Jim Kaat.
Rich Wortham is the winner with 4.2 innings of work. The 2 teams strand 25 base runners.
1961: Nick Cullop, who posted an 18-15 record in 40 starts with the 1916-17 Yankees, dies at the age of 73.
1958: In the opener at Fenway Park‚ 35‚223 – the largest crowd ever for a Red Sox season inaugural – watch Don Larsen and the Yankees win‚ 3-0. Governor Foster Furcolo tosses out the first ball. Yogi Berra’s two run homer in the 7th is the first score for New York off Russ Nixon‚ and the catcher’s 4th successive opening day homer. This one is a 302-foot drive down the right field foul line.
1954: In a ceremony at the Stadium before the home opener with the Philadelphia A’s, the Yankees dedicated a plaque to former GM Ed Barrow, who was elected to the Hall of Fame the previous year. The former Red Sox field manager (who piloted the team to its last Word Series title in the 20th century) was responsible for the switch of Babe Ruth from the mound to everyday service in the outfield, raided his former club for stars like Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock, and was in the Yankee front office for the organization’s first 10 title seasons.
In the game that follows, Tom Morgan blanks the visitors 3-0.
1952: At Shibe Park‚ Hank Bauer and Mickey Mantle lead a 14-hit attack against Alex Kellner and Carl Scheib as the Yankees beat the A’s‚ 8-1. Vic Raschi allows two hits in 8 innings and wins his 2nd opener in a row. Bauer has two hits and a homer‚ while Mantle collects three hits‚ two RBIs‚ and a stolen base.
1947: With yesterday’s opener in Washington rained out‚ the A’s open at Yankee Stadium before 39‚344. Under new manager Bucky Harris (below)‚ the Yanks manage just six hits off Phil Marchildon as the A’s win‚ 6-1. Eddie Joost and Elmer Valo pull off a double steal in the 5th when the A’s increase their lead to 3-0. Joost scores on the swipe of home. Former A’s vet George McQuillan‚ playing at first for Nick Etten‚ scores New York’s only run. Spud Chandler takes the loss.
1942: Following a training accident at Jefferson Barracks‚ Missouri‚ Johnny Sturm has two fingers on his right hand amputated‚ an operation that finishes his baseball career. Sturm‚ who started at first base for the Yanks in 1941, his rookie year‚ hit .239 with 4 homers
1938: The Yankees sell outfielder Ernie Koy to the Dodgers.
1930: Weather curtails the AL Opening Day schedule‚ but at Shibe Park the matchup between the A’s and the Yankees features nine future Hall of Famers in the lineups‚ and three more – Herb Pennock‚ Waite Hoyt and Lefty Gomez – on the New York bench.
Minutes before the game‚ Al Simmons ends his holdout‚ signs a contract‚ and homers in his first at bat as the A’s and Lefty Grove defeat the Yankees’ George Pipgras 6-2. Babe Ruth’s clout in the 3rd inning strikes a loudspeaker in deep right center and bounds back onto the field. The tree of amplifiers juts about 5 feet over the playing field and the umps rule it a ground rule double. The Yankees argue that it should be a two-run homer‚ but to no avail‚ though both Mark Koenig and Ruth score when Grove is slow covering first and Jimmie Foxx’s throw misses him.
1928: In Baltimore‚ the Yankees beat the International League Orioles 5-2. Babe Ruth plays first base‚ while Lou Gehrig‚ in right field‚
bangs a homer. Bill Dickey also homers off former Brownie Bob Bolen.
1927: Babe Ruth belts the first of the 60 homers that he will hit this year‚ off Howard Ehmke in the 1st. New York notch a 6-3 victory over the visiting Athletics, Herb Pennock going the distance for the win.
1924: The opener at Fenway Park draws 25‚000 (23‚856 paid) but the Red Sox lose a heartbreaker to the Yankees‚ 2-1. The Sox lead 1-0 after 8 innings‚ with Howard Ehmke driving in the lone run. But two 9th-inning errors by second sacker Bill Wambsganss allow two unearned runs and pin the loss on Ehmke. Bob Shawkey pitches 8 innings and is replaced by Waite Hoyt‚ who registers the win.
1920: The Yanks rally for 4 runs in the last 3 innings to top the A’s‚ 4-1. Jack Quinn gets the win for the visiting New Yorkers, as Babe Ruth goes hitless in 5 at bats.
1918: In the opener in Washington‚ pre-game ceremonies include a biplane scattering thousands of liberty loan cards for the war effort.
The Yankees‚ under new manager Miller Huggins‚ rap 11 hits to beat Walter Johnson‚ 6-3. Starter George Mogridge gets the win despite
pitching just 3 1/3 innings. Allan Russell relieves and allows just one hit in 5 1/3 innings to save the victory. Johnson strikes out two while allowing 11 hits and will lose again in the 3-game series with New York.
1912: At Hilltop Park, Walter Johnson outduels Highlander ace Jack Quinn for a 1-0 victory.
1886: Len ‘King’ Cole, who was on the mound when Yankee catcher les Nunamaker became the only catcher in MLB history to throw out three runners on the basepaths in the same inning, in 1914, is born.