5/11 in Yankee History
2006: The Yankees take the field at the Stadium against the Red Sox a bit undermanned, Gary Sheffield having been placed on the disabled list the day before with what was hoped to be a minor wrist injury. Things take a still nastier turn eight pitches in, when left fielder Hideki Matsui charges a soft liner off the bat of Mark Loretta and breaks his own right wrist on a diving attempt at the catch. A Loretta infield single in the seventh will also be the turning point in the game, as the Sox come from behind for a 5-3 win. Both Matsui and Sheffield will be lost for much of the year.
2000: The Devil Rays defeat the Yankees‚ 1-0‚ behind the pitching of Steve Trachsel‚ who hurls the first 7 innings. Trachsel‚ who defeated the Red Sox 1-0 in his last start‚ becomes the 1st AL pitcher in 24 years to win back-to-back 1-0 games. (Editor’s note: If Trachsel’s name rings a bell with trivia fans, it’s because he gave up Mark McGwire’s 62nd home run to break Roger Maris’ record in 1998).
1990: Citing a no-trade clause in his contract‚ Dave Winfield refuses to report to the Angels after being traded for Mike Witt. Winfield will eventually accept the trade on May 16th‚ ending his often stormy relationship with George Steinbrenner.
1981: Former Yankee outfielder Sammy Byrd dies at the age of 74. Byrd began his ML career by playing in the Bronx from 1929 to 1934, Babe Ruth’s last years with the club, and he often ran for the Bambino late in games, earning him the nickname ‘Babe Ruth’s legs.’
1966: The Yankees purchase shortsatop Dick Schofield from the Giants: they’ll trade him to the Dodgers on September 10 for pitcher Thad Tillotson.
1965: Mel Stottlemyre stops the Red Sox 5-3 at Fenway‚ and Mickey Mantle reaches base 4 times‚ once on his 6th homer of the year.
1963: The Yankees trounce the Orioles‚ 13-1‚ beating Milt Pappas. Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris each homer‚ the first time this year they’ve done it together.
1950: Airplane travel is still a baseball rarity‚ but a railroad strike forces the Yankees and four other clubs – the Red Sox‚ Dodgers‚ Giants‚ and Reds – to fly to play their next scheduled games. The Senators‚ with short hops in the prospect‚ will take the bus.
1946: The Yankees end a 15-game Red Sox winning streak‚ as Ernie ‘Tiny’ Bonham beats Tex Hughson and Boo Ferriss 2-0 before 52‚011 at the Stadium. Tommy Henrich hits a homer and accounts for both runs. The Red Sox are 21-4‚ 4 1/2 games ahead of the Yanks. The 15-game streak is still a Red Sox record.
1940: The Red Sox top the Yankees 9-8 with 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th after New York had taken the lead on Tommy Henrich’s second HR of the game. Joe McCarthy benches Frankie Crosetti‚ hitting .150‚ but New York (6-8) still lose their 8th in a row at home to drop into last place. Meanwhile‚ Boston take their 6th straight. With Crosetti’s benching‚ he ends his consecutive games played at 420‚ the longest current streak in the majors.
1939: The Yankees set down the Browns‚ 10-8‚ jumping on rookie Ewald Pyle for three hits before he exits. Pyle is subbing for Bobo Newsom‚ out with a skinned finger. Russ ‘the Fresno Flinger’ Van Atta‚ follows‚ and the Yanks score nine runs in four innings to put the game out of reach. Bill Dickey has three hits to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Lou Gehrig does not play‚ but takes infield practice and warms up Monte Pearson using a righty glove. New York now lead by 1 1/2 games.
1937: Tommy Henrich makes his Major League debut. The future mainstay of the Yankee outfield goes 1 for 4, but White Sox pitcher Monte Stratton scatters 7 hits in subduing the Yankees 7-2. Henrich‚ recently signed‚ was called up to take the place of Jake Powell‚ out with appendicitis.
1927: In St. Louis‚ Babe Ruth belts his second homer in 2 days and his eighth of the year‚ off Ernie Nevers‚ as the Yanks win 4-2. The shot passes to the left of the center field flagpole in Sportsman’s Park‚ the longest ball to date ever hit there. Not sparing the purple prose, Martin Haley in the St. Louis Post Dispatch writes: ‘Homeric Herman careened the animated leather for a sky-scraping bulls-eye into the distant center-field bleachers‚ the ball clattering up the icy seats at the point where the left-center and dead-center field sections conjoin.’
1919: In the first legal Sunday game in New York for the Yankees‚ and after a 12 inning duel between Washington’s Walter Johnson and New York spitballer Jack Quinn‚ neither team score. The Big Train allows a single in the first and then retires the next 28 batters before giving up a walk in the 10th. In a misinterpretation of the new rules‚ the game is called at 6 p.m. by New York owner Jacob Ruppert.
1904: In the opener of a 4-game series with the visiting Cleveland Blues‚ the New York Highlanders prevail‚ 4-2‚ on a 2-run homer by Kid Elberfeld and a pair of run-scoring singles by Deacon McGuire (below). The New Yorkers will take 3 of the 4 games to move into a tie for second place.