4/22 in Yankee History
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.