4/21 in Yankee History
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.