5/15 in Yankee History
The red-letter day -
1941: Joe DiMaggio gets a single in 4 at bats against Ed Smith of the Chicago White Sox to start his 56-game hitting streak. Joe D’s hit goes unnoticed as the Yankees are thrashed 13-1. Taffy Wright homers and drives in 4 White Sox runs‚ the 8th straight game in which he’s driven in a run.
On other 15ths of May…
1996: The Mariners spot the Yankees 4 runs‚ then hammer starter Jimmy Key and 5 other pitchers for 19 hits to win 10-5. Seven Mariners collect two or more hits‚ and Edgar Martinez drives in 4 runs. A wild Key takes his 5th straight loss‚ while Mariano Rivera records four outs to stretch his scoreless innings streak to 21 2/3. The Yanks will place Key on the 15 day DL.
Off the field, the Yanks outbid four other American teams and sign Japanese pitcher Katsuhiro Maeda to a $1.5 million contract. The Yanks obtain the fastballer from the Seibu Lions for more than $350‚000. Maeda‚ who has his hair dyed orange‚ was 0-2 with the Lions in 1995‚ but refused to sign for the 1996 season unless he was traded to a U.S. team.
1965: At Memorial Stadium‚ Mickey Mantle slices an opposite field homer in the 8th inning off Dick Hall to give New York a 3-2 win over the Orioles.
1963: Down 4-0 to the Twins‚ Mickey Mantle hits a two run homer off Pedro Ramos to put the Yankees on the board. Mantle later scores the winning run as New York wins‚ 4-3.
1955: At the Stadium, Irv Noren hits an inside-the-park grand slam in an 8-4 Yankee victory over the A’s. New York win the nitecap to sweep the A’s. Mickey Mantle goes 4-for-9 for the afternoon and is hitting .311.
1950: The Yankees sell veteran outfielder Johnny Lindell to the Cardinals and pitcher Clarence “Cuddles” Marshall to the Browns.
1935: Lou Gehrig steals home in a 4-0 Yankee win over the Tigers. It is the 15th and last time the Iron Horse will swipe the dish, always on the front end of a double steal.
1922: In a 4-1 win at the Polo Grounds‚ Ty Cobb beats out a grounder to Yankee shortstop Everett Scott. Veteran writer Fred Lieb scores it a hit in the box score he files with the Associated Press. But official scorer John Kieran of the New York Tribune gives an error to Scott. At the season’s end‚ the AL official records‚ based on AP box scores‚ list Cobb at .401. New York writers complain unsuccessfully‚ claiming it should be .399‚ based on the official scorer’s stats. Lieb will reverse himself at the end of the year‚ but Ban Johnson goes with the hit call.
1920: At New York, the Yankees beat Cleveland‚ handing Stan Coveleski (7-1) his first loss of the year. Pitcher Jack Quinn hits a homer off Coveleski with a man on in the 8th to win‚ 2-0. Quinn allows just 4 hits with only one runner getting past first base. Babe Ruth is 0-for-1‚ though the official scorer’s card has him at 0-for-2‚ a discrepancy that will not be corrected till 2005.
1912: Ty Cobb charges into the stands at Hilltop Park and attacks a crippled heckler named Claude Lueker. Other New York fans and Tigers mix it up before order is restored‚ and Ban Johnson suspends Cobb indefinitely for the incident. The visitors win the contest‚ 8-4.
1911:Ring Lardner writes in the New York Daily News: ‘They are using a new ball this year. It’s livelier and that means more hitting‚ and more hitting means longer games‚ and that’s the devil. It appears to be impossible to finish a game in less than two hours.’