3/11 & 3/12 in Yankee History
On the 11th of March over the years…
2002: Thrown out stealing… The Yankees release outfielder Ruben Rivera (below) for stealing Derek Jeter’s glove and selling it on the black market for $2‚500. There are rumors that Rivera also took other memorabilia‚ such as personal items belonging to Roger Clemens, the Rocket denies it. Rivera had been signed to a one year contract for $1 million.
2001: The Yankees formally announce the signing of Cuban defector Andy Morales (below, on the left, with his agent Gus Dominguez)‚ a third baseman‚ to a 4-year contract. Morales will wash out and be waived from his minor league team by July. The Yanks will try and sidestep his contract with proof that his listed age of 26 years is really 29.
1981: Johnny Mize is elected to the Hall of Fame. Though best remembered for his years in the National League, the ‘Big Cat’ spent the final years of his career with the Yankees as a part-time first baseman, super sub, and pinch hitter from 1949 to 1954. Mize was the World Series MVP in 1952, hitting .400 with three home runs in the seven-game series. He played for the Bombers five years, and earned five Championship rings.
1960: Mickey Mantle signs a one-year contract worth $65,000. The new deal represents a $7,000 cut in pay for Mantle, who batted .285 with 31 home runs and 75 RBI for the Yankeees in 1959.
1956: At Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg‚ there is no doubt about it as Mickey Mantle hits a Grapefruit League pitch from Cardinal hurler Larry Jackson over the left field wall into the bay. The Yanks top the redbirds 4-3. Stan Musial will say after the game: “No home run has ever cleared my head by as much since as long as I can remember.” The Mick will hit another in the same park on March 20th, off Bob Mave, that also lands in the water. Mantle will launch a 500-foot shot in Miami on the 24th against the Dodgers.
1945: Dock Ellis is born. The Yankees acquired him from the Pirates on December 11, 1975, along with pitcher Ken Brett and second baseman Willie Randolph in exchange for pitcher George ‘Doc’ Medich.
…and on the 12th…
1992: Yankees VP and chief administrative officer Joseph Molloy‚ son-in-law of principal owner George Steinbrenner‚ is elected as new managing general partner of the club.
1962: Daryl Strawberry is born. Happy 51st, D!
1955: Ruppert Jones, starting center fielder for the Yankees 1980 AL East championship team, is born. Happy 58th, Mr. Jones!
1903: The New York Highlanders are officially approved as members of the AL.