The red-letter day –
In Cleveland‚ fans have no trouble telling the players apart‚ as both
teams wear numbers on their uniform backs for the first time in Major
League history. The Indians beat the Yanks 4-3‚ despite a homer by New
York’s Mark Koenig off Willis Hudlin in the 6th inning. Also in the 6th‚
Yankee catcher Bill Dickey records three assists. For New York‚ it is
their 3rd loss after 6 straight wins.
The 1929 Yankees
On other 13ths of May…
The Yanks finally lose to a below .500 team as the Orioles double them
up 10-5. Paul O’Neill hits a 2-out‚ 2-run homer in the 9th to tie‚ but
the O’s score 5 runs off Mariano Rivera in the top of the 11th to win.
The big hit in the worst blown save of the Yankee closer’s career is
Jeff Conine’s HR.
The Diamondbacks defeat the Padres‚ 6-2‚ as Todd Stottlemyre wins the
136th game of his career. His dad, Mel, won 164 games in a 10-year
career spent entirely with the Yankees, and the two now become the first
father-son duo to combine for 300 wins.
Tino Martinez continues his hot hitting with a home run in the Yankees’
7-run 6th inning‚ as New York beat the Twins 11-2. Bernie Williams
belts a solo homer in the 5th to snap a 2-2 tie. Martinez’s homer‚ his
15th‚ leaves him one behind Ken Griffey and puts him in select Yankee
company: only Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth (4 times) have hit 15 homers
in the first 40 games of a season. The defending World Series champions
have won 17 of their last 23‚ while the Twins lose for the 16th time in
Ed Figueroa pitches his fourth straight complete game‚ and Thurman
Munson cracks a 7th inning homer to lead New York to a 3-0 win over the
In the opener of a doubleheader at the Stadium, the Yankees tie a Major
League record by hitting 4 solo homers in a shutout game in which no
other runs are scored. The mark was originally set by Cleveland on
August 2‚ 1956. Roy White‚ Bobby Murcer‚ Ron Blomberg and Graig Nettles
all go long in the 4-0 win over Baltimore. Mel Stottlemyre is the
winner. The Yanks jump on Dave McNally for 5 runs in game 2 but score
zero when Eddie Watts contributes 4 innings of relief. The Orioles win‚
It’s Friday the 13th, and bad luck for the Tigers as Mickey Mantle
homers from both sides of the plate for the first time in his career. In
all‚ Mantle has 3 roundtrippers‚ the first two lefty against starter
Steve Gromek‚ and the third off Bob Miller‚ all to the deep reaches of
the bleachers in right center. The Mick adds a single to complete a
total of 5 RBIs, accounting for all of his team’s runs as New York beat
Detroit 5-2. Whitey Ford goes seven innings for the win. Mantle joins
Tony Lazzeri (1927)‚ Ben Chapman (1932)‚ and Bill Dickey (1939) as the
only Yanks to hit three homers in a game at the Stadium.
At Philadelphia’s Shibe Park‚ Mickey Mantle hits his first righty
homer‚ off Alex Kellner‚ in the majors‚ then makes the last out by
popping up his bunt attempt with the tying run on 3rd. The A’s win 5-4‚
then win the nitecap as well. Mantle has no homers in the 2nd game loss‚
but misses 2nd base on a hit.
1947: The Yankees pound the Browns 9-1 with Charlie Keller‚ Joe
DiMaggio and Johnny Lindell combining for consecutive homers off
starter Fred Sanford in the 6th inning.
The Yankees become the first Major League team to sign a contract with
an airline to fly on a regular basis‚ as they take a United flight to
St. Louis to take on the Browns. Red Ruffing and four others choose to
take the train.
1945: Atley Donald is victorious over
the Indians 1-0 in 10 innings when New York break through against
pitcher Red Embree. A walk‚ a bunt single‚ a sac bunt and a sac fly by
Russ Derry plate the run. Atley is 13-1 against the Tribe‚ with his
only loss coming on August 21‚ 1941 when Feller won‚ 2-0. Cleveland win
the second game of the twinbill 4-2‚ behind Steve Gromek’s 7-hitter.
Joe DiMaggio replaces Lou Gehrig as the Yankees cleanup hitter and
drives in three runs‚ as the Yankees trip the Browns‚ 4-2. Gehrig‚
hitting 5th gets a double after going hitless in his last 21 at bats.
Tommy Henrich‚ making his second appearance‚ bats third. He collects a
pair of singles. Winning pitcher Lefty Gomez is the only Yankee without a
1934: Lou Gehrig victimizes
Cleveland’s Lloyd Brown with a grand slam for the second time when he
launches one his first time up in the game. Ben Chapman also homers and
triples twice as the Yanks roll before a Sunday Stadium crowd of 35,000,
The red-letter day –
1925: Yogi Berra is born. Happy birthday to a national treasure!
On other 12ths of May…
2009: Chien-Ming Wang, who has been struggling ever since coming back from a baserunning foot injury in ’08, is sent from the Yanks to AAA Scranton-Wilkes
Barre to try to build some arm strength in the minors.
2002: The Yankees top Minnesota on Mother’s Day‚ 10-4‚ giving Joe Torre his 1‚500th career win as manager.
2001: The Yankees extend their
hard-to-say major league record of 15 straight wins since the start of a
season over teams with a below .500 record. They beat the Orioles‚ 8-5‚
on Derek Jeter’s 3-run HR in the 8th. David Justice and Bernie Williams
also homer for NY.
1996: The Yankees fall behind 8-0 to the White Sox at Comiskey Park, and then make it all the way back to win, 9-8. The comeback is completed by a 5- run Yankee 6th, keyed by 2-run doubles from Paul O’Neill and Joe Girardi.
1982: The Yankees send infielder Larry
Milbourne, along with minor leaguers John Pacella and Pete Filson, to
the Twins in exchange for catcher Butch Wynegar and pitcher Roger
Erickson and cash. The Twins’ frugal owner‚ Calvin Griffith‚ is roundly
criticized for the deals‚ in which he appears to be unloading
high-salaried veterans at the expense of a winning ball club.
1962: Mickey Mantle goes 3-for-3 with 3 runs scored and a homer to pace New York to a 9-6 victory at Cleveland.
1961: In the 8th inning at the Stadium‚
Tiger player Rocky Colavito goes into the stands behind third base
after a drunken fan who has been heckling the outfielder’s wife and
father. Colavito is ejected‚ but the Tigers win in the 9th on pitcher
Frank Lary’s home run. For Lary‚ it is his 25th win over the Yankees
against just 8 losses.
1959: At the Stadium‚ Yogi Berra’s
errorless streak of 148 games comes to an end when he makes an error in
the 5th inning, throwing wild as he attempts to gun down Minnie Minoso
stealing. Berra also homers‚ as do Elston Howard and Mickey Mantle‚ but
New York lose 7-6 to the first-place Indians.
1953: Whitey Ford allows only rival
pitcher Early Wynn’s infield single in the 6th in beating the Indians
7-0. The Yanks increase their lead to 2 games over the 2nd-place Tribe.
1946: A crowd of 69‚401‚ the largest in
Stadium history‚ watch the Yankees give the Red Sox 2 unearned runs and
manage just 3 hits off Mickey Harris‚ and lose to Boston‚ 3-1. The Sox
get just 3 hits off loser Spud Chandler.
Mickey Harris with Ted Williams and Rudy York before the game.
1940: Behind the six-hit pitching of
Red Ruffing‚ the Yankees beat the Bosox‚ 4-0‚ and stop New York’s 8-game
losing skid. New York (7-14) are still in last place while Boston
(16-6) sit atop the AL.
1935: Felipe Alou, who played at first base and in the outfield for the Yankees in the early ’70s, is born. Happy 76th, F.A.!
1933: The Yankees sell pitcher George Pipgras and rookie shortstop Bill Werber to the Red Sox for $100,000.
1930: The Yankees waive pitcher Tom Zachary to the Boston Braves.
1919: After a scoreless 12-inning game the day before‚ the Yankees and
Senators complete 27 innings of action with no decision‚ going 15
innings in a 4-4 draw. Yankee lead off hitter George Halas goes hitless
for the second day in a row and ends his Major League career with just
22 at bats. He will decide to start the NFL instead.
1915: Yankee outfielder Roy Hartzell hits into a triple play, but his mates top the Indians anyway, 4-2.
1911: Playing against the Yankees at Detroit, Ty Cobb scores a run from
first on a short single to right‚ scores from second on a wild pitch‚
then doubles home two runs in the 7th to tie the game. When New York
catcher Ed Sweeney vehemently argues the call at the plate‚ the rest of
the infield gathers‚ leaving Cobb untended at second. With no time out
having been called‚ Cobb strolls to third base‚ and then ambles down the
line to observe the continuing argument. When he spots an opening in
the circle of players‚ he quickly slides in with what will prove to be
the winning run. The Tigers take the game 6-5.
1897: Joe Dugan, third baseman for the Murderers’ Row Yankees, is born.
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.’
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. The New Yorkers will take 3 of the 4 games to move into a tie for second place.
The red-letter day –
1936: Joe DiMaggio makes his Yankee Stadium debut.
The much-heralded rookie also hits his first ML home run‚ off the A’s George Turbeville. Lou Gehrig has 4
hits and two RBIs to pace the Yanks to a 7-2 win.
On other 10ths of May…
2007: The Yankees get their first glimpse this year of The Remarkable Wang and his Amazing Non-sinking Sinker, as C.M. allows 11 hits and 7 runs through the 7th inning. Southpaw reliever Sean Henn suffers through an equally forgettable seven-run 8th in the 14-2 Texas drubbing, topped off by former Met Victor Diaz’s grand slam.
1996: David Cone undergoes surgery to remove an aneurysm in his pitching arm.
1965: At Fenway‚ the 9th place Yankees lose again‚ 3-2‚ when Carl Yastrzemski outhits
a hobbling Mickey Mantle. Yaz collects a pair of homers and a sacrifice
fly‚ while the Mick is 3-for-4 with a homer. After Mantle doubles with
two outs in the 9th‚ starter Jim Lonborg is lifted and Dick Radatz gets
the final out. It is Lonborg’s first major league win. Before the game
the Yankees trade infielder Pedro Gonzalez to Cleveland in exchange for
first baseman Ray Barker. Barker will help fill in for the injured
The Yanks sweep two from the Senators at the Stadium‚ winning 6-3 and
3-2 in 10 innings. Mickey Mantle’s homer in the 3rd inning of the opener
starts the Yanks scoring as they beat Chuck Stobbs. Mantle singles and
scores the winning run in the 10th of the nitecap. Yogi Berra has a HR
in the nitecap and sets a new ML record for consecutive errorless games
by a catcher with 148.
Vic Raschi makes his 1st relief appearance in 2 years‚ limiting the Red
Sox to 3 hits in 4 innings‚ as the Yankees win‚ 7-4. Billy Goodman
sustains a freak rib accident‚ which will keep him out of action for 3
weeks‚ when Jimmy Piersall picks him up and lugs him from the field to
break up Goody’s argument with umpire Jim Duffy. Del Wilber of the Sox
hits his 2nd consecutive pinch homer in the 8th; his first came on May
Hank Bauer goes 5-for-6 in an 18-3 Yankee romp over Boston. The Bombers
score 11 runs in the 7th inning. The BoSox come away with a
record-tying 10 assists in the 5th inning as they rack up 18 for the
game. The 10 in one inning was last done on August 17, 1921 by the New
Before a Friday Ladies’ Day crowd at Yankee Stadium of 64‚183‚ the
first-place Red Sox take their 15th straight game‚ a 5-4 win over the
Yankees. Earl Johnson gets the win with 4 innings of scoreless relief. A
Joe DiMaggio grand slam accounts for all the Bombers’ scoring.
Monte Pearson pitches a one hitter in stopping the White Sox at
Comiskey‚ 6-0. Joe DiMaggio hits his first 2 homers of the year and
George Selkirk his 5th for the Yankees. Chicago’s only hit is a one-out
first inning single by Larry Rosenthal‚ who was erased on a DP.
Lou Gehrig hits 2 home runs (one a grand slam) and a pair of doubles‚
tying a record with four extra base hits‚ and drives in 7 runs. The
performance by the Iron Horse is all the more remarkable given that he’s
suffering from a bad cold, and has to leave the game after 5 innings.
The New Yorkers thrash the White Sox 13-3. During the game, Yankee
outfielder Ben Chapman shouts racial slurs at a Jewish fan. In 1947 he
will lead the dugout bigots in protest of Jackie Robinson.
At the Stadium‚ Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth hit back-to-back homers off
Tiger starter Sam Gibson‚ and the Yankees outscore the visitors 13-9.
Herb Pennock is the winner.
The Yankees commit a club record 8 errors‚ but still end up beating the
Tigers 10-9 in 10 innings. Yankee shortstop Claud Derrick commits three
of the miscues. He will field just .872 for the year. In a deal that
might be related to Derrick’s poor performance, the Yankees deal for
sure-gloved SS Roger Peckinpaugh ten days later.
1868: Ed Barrow is born
leading the Red Sox to World Series wins in 1915 and 1918 as manager
(where he was also credited with the momentous decision to make Babe
Ruth an everyday position player), Barrow moved to New York, and served
as General Manager of the Yankees from 1921 to 1944, during which the
team emerged as the powerhouse of Major League Baseball. Barrow was
active in establishing one of the strongest farm systems in baseball
during this period.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
on January 21, 1953 by the Committee on Baseball Veterans. He died later
that year in Port Chester, NY at age 85. Ed Barrow is interred in
Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester County, New York.
April 15, 1954, the Yankees dedicated a plaque to Barrow, which first
hung on the center field wall at Yankee Stadium, near the flagpole and
the monuments to Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins, and later in
the Stadium’s Monument Park. The plaque called him ‘Moulder of a
tradition of victory.’
The red-letter day –
1930: In a
game between the Yankees and the Tigers at the Stadium, the outfielders
of both teams make a total of only 2 putouts for an AL
record that has never been equalled. The NL record for outfield idleness
chance (Pittsburgh versus Brooklyn‚ August 26‚ 1910). Detroit’s George
Uhle strikes out 8 in winning‚ 5-4‚ and dropping the Yanks to 7th
place. Henry Johnson (7 innings) and George Pipgras are the New York
On other 9ths of May…
2008: Don’t say we didn’t warn you… The Yankees recall kei Igawa from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 9, optioning righty reliever Chris Britton to
AAA to make room for the embattled Japanese southpaw. Igawa takes the mound against the Tigers in Comerica Park and allows 6 runs on 11 hits in 3 innings. A spirited
Yankee rally in the 9th falls short in the 6-5 loss.
1999: The Yankees defeat the Mariners 6-1. Reliever Mike Stanton makes his 1st
major league start for New York, ending his major league record streak of 552
consecutive relief appearances prior to his first start. The previous record of
443 was set by Gary Lavelle of the Giants.
The Yankees beat the Rangers 5-3 at the Stadium, with Jesse Barfield
contributing a 2-run homer. For the first time since April 10th‚ no
Major League games are shutouts‚ ending a
streak of 29 consecutive days with at least one whitewashing.
For the second night in a row, Yankee pitching surrenders a walkoff
homer to Seattle’s Tom Paciorek. The second shot is a 3-run dinger off
Ron Davis giving the Mariners
a 6-5 win over the visiting Bombers.
The previous night‚ Paciorek led off the 9th with a homer off Rudy May
Seattle a 3-2 win.
1966: At Minneapolis‚ the 6-20 Yankees edge the Twins‚ 3-2. Roger Maris‚ Mickey Mantle and Joe Pepitone‚ with the
game-winner in the 9th inning‚ hit homers for New York.
At Cleveland, Pedro Ramos gives up 4 home runs to New York – Tony
Kubek‚ Mickey Mantle‚ Joe Pepitone‚ and Hector Lopez -as the Yanks win
1958: After six straight home rainouts‚ the Yanks play their first home night
game of the year‚ against Washington. Mickey Mantle breaks a 2-2 tie in the 3rd
with an inside-the-park solo homer off Pedro Ramos. New York roll to a 9-5 win.
1953: At Fenway, the first place Yanks beat the Red Sox 6-4. Mickey Mantle hits one homer off Bill Werle and is robbed of
another when Jimmy Piersall makes a sensational catch at the Sox bullpen in
Vic Raschi tosses a 5-hitter at Detroit, but the Tigers still set back
the first-place Yankees 4-1‚ as Bengal hurler Ted Gray matches the
performance of his opposite number. Dick Wakefield’s solo homer off
Raschi completes the scoring by the home side.
1944: Joe McCarthy returns to the Yankee dugout after missing much of spring training and the early season due
1943: The Yankees take the opening game of a doubleheader with the A’s with a 13-1 thrashing behind Spud
Chandler (3-0). Chandler contributes a three-run inside-the-park homer
in the first inning. Roy Weatherly is 5-for-5 with a triple and homer.
His homer is followed by another from Charlie Keller. The A’s rebound to
win game 2, 4-3, holding Weatherly hitless.
New York press reports the impending sale of the Yankees by the Ruppert
estate to political bigwigs Jim Farley and Jesse Jones.
The Sporting News declares the sale will be for $4 million. The imminent
sale will resurface on the front pages several times during the next
year‚ but it never happens.
1903: The Boston Americans top the visiting Highlanders 12-5‚ with a little
help from umpire Bob Caruthers‚ who tosses out New York pitcher Jesse Tannehill
and second baseman Jimmy Williams for arguing balls and strikes.
2009: In his first game of the season
after missing six weeks because of hip surgery, Alex Rodriguez hits the
first pitch he sees from Baltimore’s Jeremy Guthrie for a three-run home
run in a 4-0 Yankees win that ends a five-game losing streak. CC
Sabathia pitches a four-hit shutout in his best performance since
signing a free agent contract over the winter.
2003: The Yankees jump on the Mariners for 10 runs in the 3rd inning, Alfonso Soriano topping off a barrage of singles with a two-run homer, on their way to a 16-5 victory. David Wells now goes to 5-0.
1996: Recent Yankee acquisition Dwight Gooden wins his first American League game, pitching his new club to a 10-3 victory over the Tigers at home in the Bronx.
Jose Tartabull‚ Mike Stanley‚ and Gerald Williams go deep
back-to-back-to-back for the Yankees in the 6th inning of NY’s 8-4 win
Howard Spira is found guilty of trying to extort money from George
Steinbrenner. Spira had already received $40‚000 from the Yankee owner.
As reported by Dick Heller in the New York Times:
‘Though the George Steinbrenner-Howard Spira association has been
overshadowed in public memory by Pete Rose’s ongoing ban for gambling,
it remains one of the less savory episodes in recent sports history.
Winfield (above, left) and Steinbrenner (right) became mortal enemies
after the Yankees signed him to a 10-year, $15 million contract as a
free agent in 1981. When Winfield failed to spark the Yankees to
pennants, as Reggie Jackson had as the legendary “Mr. October” in the
late 1970s, Steinbrenner derisively tagged him “Mr. May.”
That didn’t bother Winfield as much as Steinbrenner’s refusal to honor a
contractual agreement to pay $300,000 to Winfield’s charitable
foundation. This set off a series of lawsuits between owner and player,
but Steinbrenner clearly overstepped his bounds when he hired Spira to
do his dirty work.
As a 21-year-old go-fer for Winfield, Spira
once had unlimited access to the slugger. But after Winfield refused to
loan Spira $15,000 to pay off sizable gambling debts, his former aide
The Yankees’ owner, meanwhile, had
tried various tactics to discredit Winfield, a quiet man who was elected
to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2001 after a superb 22-year career. Once
he forced an audit that purportedly showed the foundation spent $6 for
every $1 it gave away. The two men continued to haggle in court and the
media. Steinbrenner apparently figured Spira would give him more
Steinbrenner later claimed in a Playboy magazine
interview that he paid Spira $40,000 because “he was harassing my
family; my daughters were scared; he was harassing people who were close
The interviewer asked Steinbrenner whether he had been afraid.
“You’re [darn] right I was! And after that, there was a death threat at
my hotel. … Now, everybody says, ‘Yeah, but look at Howard Spira.
He’s a little guy.’ But Sirhan Sirhan was a little guy. Lee Harvey
Oswald was a little guy…I was scared stiff… I told him to take the
$40,000 [and go away].”
In Cleveland‚ there are tornado warnings‚ but New York supply all the
damage when Mickey Mantle connects for a 3-run homer off Tommy John in
the 4th inning to lead New York to a 10-3 win.
1956: Mickey Mantle clouts an Early Wynn pitch in the 6th to tie the Indians at 2-2‚ and New York edge the Tribe 4-3
After 13 straight losses to the Yankees‚ the Red Sox win a dramatic
11-inning 2-1 thriller at Fenway. Billy Goodman’s homer off starter
Johnny Sain gives starter Hal Brown the win. Dick Gernert’s 2nd inning
HR is the other Boston score. In Boston’s last win over New York‚ August
9‚ 1952‚ all the scores came on solo homers.
1949: Behind the 2-hit pitching of Tommy Byrne‚ the Yanks roll over Detroit 12-0. Gene Woodling scores 5 runs
A game with the Yankees draws a record 52‚000 to Comiskey Park but
Waite Hoyt spoils the party by winning one of his league-leading 22
games‚ 9-0‚ the 2nd straight shutout of the Sox. Batterymate Pat Collins
homers in the 7th‚ while Lou Gehrig adds a pair of triples.
The Yankees score 7 in the 2nd but lose to Detroit 14-10‚ knocking
themselves out of the lead; Washington move into first.
The 1926 Yankees
The procession of Yankees to the plate in the 4th inning of a 10-3
romp over the Red Sox at the Polo Grounds reaches 16 batters as the homesiders plate all their runs in that frame.
Meanwhile, the Times headlines: ‘BALL GRABBERS, READ THIS. Guy Clarke Fined $3
for Taking Ball Hit Into Polo Grounds Bleachers. “It isn’t safe to try
to get away with a ball when a home run is hit into the bleachers at the
Polo Grounds. Yesterday in the ninth inning Peckinpaugh of the Yankees
hit a home run into the left field bleachers and the ball was grabbed by
Guy Clarke, a chauffeur, of 68 West Ninety-eighth Street, who tried to
get away with the prize. Tom Kelly, one of the park policemen, tried to
persuade Clarke to give it up but he refused, so he was arrested by a
policeman who was summoned from outside of the park.” “In the Night
Court, Magistrate Sims told Clark that he had no more right to take a
baseball at the Polo Grounds than he had to take his (the magistrate’s)
watch. James McIlravy of the park police stated to the court that
between twenty-five and thirty balls were lost at the grounds each
week.” “Clark was fined $3.”
The red-letter day –
Meusel becomes the first Yankee to hit for the cycle. He connects for a
2-run third inning home run off Walter Johnson, and his triple with 2 on
beats the Senators 6-5 in the 9th. Babe Ruth strikes out 3 times
against Johnson‚ then poles a homer in the 8th that lands in a tree
outside of right field. Former President Woodrow Wilson is on hand for the action in Washington.
On other 7ths of May…
2009: At the Stadium, Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria hit back-to-back homers off Mariano Rivera in a 9th inning that began with the teams tied 6-6. The Yanks
were behind early, but came back to level the match on Johnny Damon’s two-run double and two-run home run, A rare Mariano meltdown makes it all for naught, though.
The Yankees defeat the Rangers, 8-5, to give Joe Torre his 1,000th win
as Yankee manager. He is the fourth man in the job to reach the level,
joining Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel, and Miller Huggins.
The first-place Yankees score 8 runs in the 6th inning to beat the
hapless Tigers‚ 12-5. Paul O’Neill goes 2-for-3 to raise his average to
.384‚ and Ruben Sierra drives home 4 runs. After the game‚ the Yankee
players learn that clubhouse leader David Cone has an aneurysm in the
front of his right shoulder that will require surgery on May 10th. Cone
has been experiencing numbness in his pitching hand as a result.
1970: Roy White homers from both sides of the plate in a 7-3 Yankee win over Oakland.
With the Yankees off to a 4-16 start, General Manager Ralph Houk fires
Johnny Keane and reinstalls himself in the dugout. New York will win 13
of the next 17 under Houk.
The Los Angeles Coliseum is jammed by 93‚103 on “Roy Campanella Night”
for an exhibition game between the Dodgers and the Yankees. This is the
largest crowd in ML history. The Yanks win 6-2.
As the Yankees take the Indians in Cleveland, Gil McDougald hits a
wicked line-drive in the 1st inning that strikes the Tribe’s Herb Score
in the right eye. Score‚ with a broken nose and lacerations‚ is carried
off the field on a stretcher. Bob Lemon relieves and wins the game‚ 2-1.
Score will return the following year, but his mechanics will never be
Powered by Elston Howard’s first Major League homer‚ and Mickey
Mantle’s tie breaker to straightaway center in the 8th‚ the visiting
Yanks move past the Red Sox 9-6. The Yanks spot Boston a 5-0 lead before
roaring back with three in the 9th.
At the Stadium, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra go ‘back to back and belly
to belly’ in the 7th to pin a 2-0 loss on the A’s Morrie Martin.
1939: Joe Gordon smacks two homers and Red Rolfe one to pace the Yankees to a 15-4 hosing of the White Sox.
Red Ruffing once again finds himself sitting on a cushion – in his last start, the Yanks scored 22 against Detroit.
southpaw (and birthday boy) Tom Zachary wins a 6-5 game in relief at St. Louis‚ the first
of his 12 victories without a loss for the year‚ a ML record. No pitcher
will win more games in a season without losing one. His batterymate‚
rookie Bill Dickey‚ helps out with his first major league homer‚ off
At Comiskey Park‚ Lou Gehrig christens the new right field pavilion by
parking a 9th inning grand slam there‚ off Ted Lyons. It is the 1st
homer in the remodeled park. The Yankees coast to an 8-0 win behind Herb
At the Polo Grounds, the Yankees pound the Red Sox‚ 10-3‚ scoring all
of their runs in the 4th inning. Sixteen Yanks come to the plate in the
frame. Ray Caldwell gets the win for the home side
New York’s Ray Keating tosses a one-hitter against the Tigers‚ allowing
just a 2nd inning single to Chas Deal. Ty Cobb strikes out his first
two times up‚ then calls it quits for the day. The Yankees win 6-0.
During the Highlanders’ 7-2 win over visiting Washington‚ home plate umpire Tim
Hurst punches New York manager Clark Griffith in the mouth after
Griffith accidentally steps on his shoe during a 10-minute argument
following a close play in the 5th inning. Griffith is tossed today but
Hurst will be suspended for 5 days.
At the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, the New York and Boston AL
franchises play each other for the first time. Lewis ‘Snake’ Wiltse gets
the ball for the Highlanders, while Bill Dineen gets the start for the
future Red Sox, currently known as the Americans. Boston win 6-2 in 1
hour 38 minutes.
The red-letter day –
1911: The Yankees turn their first ever triple play, and top the Red Sox 6-3 in the process. The
play happens in the 9th inning with Russ Ford on the mound, when Boston
catcher Bill ‘Rough’ Carrigan lines into a game ending triple-killing.
On other 6ths of May…
2005: After a tautly played nine innings against the A’s at the Stadium, the wheels fall off the Bomber bus in the 10th. Mariano Rivera loads the bases on a walk, hit by pitch, and single. He gets the grounder he wants to normally sure-handed Tino Martinez, but the first baseman boots the grounder and then throws it away for a
double error. Then after nailing a runner at the plate for the first
out, Alex Rodriguez makes an error as well, and the A’s walked off with a 6-3 win. The Yanks fail to post any runs in the bottom half of the inning, and the visitors walk off with a 6-3 win.
At Camden Yards‚ the Yankees continue to beat up on the Orioles‚
winning 2-1‚ behind Mike Mussina. Scott Brosius hits a solo HR in the
8th to break a 1-1 tie. The Yanks tie an MLB record by starting the
season 13-0 against below .500 teams‚ matching a mark set by the 1902
Pirates and the 1966 Indians.
2000: The Yanks defeat the Orioles 3-1‚ as Roger Clemens records
his 250th career victory. He is the 39th pitcher to reach the mark.
In a wild game‚ the Yankees (22-6) beat the Rangers‚ 15-13‚ after
jumping out to a 9-0 lead with 2 in the 1st and 7 in the 2nd. But the
Rangers came back with 7 in the 3rd. After the Yankees score 4 in the
top of the 4th‚ the Rangers score 3 to cut the lead to 13-10‚ then tie
it with 3 in the 6th. Jorge Posada’s RBI single gives the Yankees the
lead in the 8th. Derek Jeter has 4 hits‚ including a triple and homer‚
and 5 RBI‚ while Paul O’Neill contributes 3 hits‚ 2 runs‚ 2 RBI‚ a
double and a HR. Juan Gonzalez has 3 hits‚ 5 RBI‚ 3 runs and a HR for
the Rangers. The game is a turning point for David Wells. After Wells
allows 7 runs on 7 hits in 2 2/3 innings‚ he receives a tongue lashing
from Joe Torre which proves therapeutic.
In a 9-5 loss to Texas‚ Yankee second baseman Willie Randolph pulls the
hidden ball trick on the Rangers’ Bump Wills in the first inning. In
1980‚ Randolph will have it pulled on him, and he joins Orlando Cepeda
as the only 2 players known to have pulled off the HBT, and to have
pulled on them.
The Yanks hit four home runs – two by Hector Lopez and one apiece by
Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris – to back Jim Bouton’s 9-2 win in the
opener of a doubleheader with the Senators. Washington come back from a
4-0 deficit to win the nitecap‚ 5-4‚ despite a 3 -run Mantle homer off
starter Claude Osteen.
Mickey Mantle hits HRs right- and lefthanded for the 9th time‚ in the
2nd game of a doubleheader‚ as the Yankees win 8-0 over the Senators at
the Stadium. His first homer follows a Roger Maris round-tripper. The
shutout is Jim Bouton’s first win the majors. In the opener‚ a 4-2 Nats
win‚ Mantle accounts for both Yankee runs with a lefthanded blast.
At Fenway‚ Mickey Mantle lines a first inning solo shot into the Yankee
bullpen‚ and Bob Turley shuts out Boston the rest of the way for a 6-0
New York win. Frank Sullivan is the losing pitcher.
The Yankees get Red Ruffing‚ loser of 47 games in the past 2 years and
with a lifetime record of 39-96‚ from the Red Sox for $50‚000 and Cedric Durst.
Carl Mays allows 2 hits-both to Bing Miller – and faces just 29 batters
as the Yankees beat the A’s‚ 2-0. It is the submariner’s 19th straight
win over Philadelphia and his 2nd in 2 weeks.
1914: Babe Ruth hits his first Major League home run, off the Yankees’ Jack Warhop in the
3rd inning at the Polo Grounds. Ruth has two other hits but loses the
game in the 13th‚ 4-3‚ as the Red Sox make 4 errors behind him. Cy Pieh is the winner.
2009: Jorge Posada is placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. Jose Molina moves into the starting catcher slot, and Francisco Cervelli is recalled from the AA Trenton Thunder as his backup.
2001: Andy Pettitte beats the Orioles 5-2 by holding them to two hits and no earned runs over seven. Derek Jeter becomes the first Yankee to execute a straight steal of home in eight years when he accomplishes the feat in the 3rd inning.
1999: The Yankees defeat the Twins 5-3
at the Stadium, with Andy Pettitte getting his first win of the
campaign. For the first time since 1958, there are no games in either
league scheduled west of Kansas City; all
games are in the Eastern or Central time zone. All the West Coast teams
are on the road.
Yankee prospect Edwin Salcedo, playing for the Tampa Yankees in the
Florida State League, hits an apparent 430-foot HR in a game against the
Brevard County Manatees‚ but does not even receive credit for a single.
Salcedo misses first base while rounding the bases‚ and is called out
on appeal. The Manatees win the game 5-3.
Kevin Maas homers in the top of the 16th to give New York a 4-3 lead
over the Mariners. Greg Briley answers with a 2-run game walkoff HR to
give the home side a 5-4 win.
The Yankees and Toronto swap first baseman‚ with New York getting John
Mayberry (who once bedevilled the Bombers in the playoffs in his days
with the Kansas City Royals) and the Jays taking Dave Revering. Toronto
also receive 2 minor league prospects.
Babe Ruth and 36 other players ‘lose’ home runs because of a ruling
reversal by the Baseball Records Committee, who decide to stay with the
pre-1920 rules on sudden death home runs. This rule stated that a team
batting last in the 9th or in extra innings could not win by more than
one run. Before 1920 if a player hit an outside-the-park home run with a
runner(s) on base‚ he was not credited with a homer. The Babe loses credit for a blow that he struck to win a game with the White Sox on July 8, 1918.
In Hyogo, Japan, future Yankee pitcher Hideki ‘Fat P**** Toad’ Irabu is born. Happy 42nd, Hideki!
1965: Elston Howard undergoes elbow surgery. The Yankees catcher will be out until June 4th.
1956: The Yankees clout four homers – Yogi Berra’s‚ Hank Bauer’s inside-the-parker‚ and two
moonshots by Mickey Mantle – to top the visiting A’s‚ 5-2. Mantle’s second blast
hits the right field facade just inside the foul pole‚ and almost clears the
In Cleveland‚ the Yanks send 13 batters to the plate in the 4th and
score 8 to roll to an 11-1 win over Bob Lemon. Winner Whitey Ford scores
two runs and is lifted in the 8th after Wally Westlake spoils his
shutout with a homer. The loss drops the Indians a half game behind the
1952: Mickey Mantle’s father dies of Hodgkin’s Disease and Mantle will miss six games
attending the funeral and seeing to family matters in Oklahoma.
Mickey’s grandfather died eight years earlier of the same disease.
Before the start of a series with the Yanks‚ the White Sox abandon
their trick left field fence. The 5-foot chicken wire fence‚ erected to
cut the distance by 20 feet‚ resulted in 11 HRs in 8 games‚ but
opponents hit 7 of them. The AL will subsequently rule that fences
cannot be moved more than once a season. The Yanks still win today‚ 7-5‚
to go 13-3. Tommy Henrich has the only homer‚ while Johnny Lindell‚
Yankee left fielder‚ twice makes catches of drives that would have been
out of the park with the shorter fence.
Allie Reynolds‚ with help from Joe Page‚ is the winner.
Making his first Yankee start‚ Lefty Gomez (1-1) goes all the way to
beat the White Sox‚ 4-1‚ on a 5-hitter. Red Faber takes the loss for
Chicago. Lefty’s one other appearance‚ in relief‚ resulted in a loss on
Bob Cerv, member of 9 Yankee pennant winners and 6 World Championship
teams in the ’50s and early ’60s, is born. Happy 85th, Bob!
Everett Scott is benched by New York manager Miller Huggins‚ ending his
record 1‚307-game playing streak. Pee Wee Wanninger replaces him at
shortstop in the 6-2 loss to the A’s. Scott will soon go to Washington
on waivers. The Yanks send lefty hurler Ray Francis to the Red Sox for
outfielder Bobby Veach and pitcher Alex Ferguson. The two will be waived
together in August.
The 1925 Yankees
The Yankees beat Walter Johnson and the Senators‚ 7-1‚ racking up 11
hits. Only one of the runs off Johnson is earned as Carl Mays is the
Babe Ruth is 2-for-2‚ both doubles‚ draws two walks‚ and drives home two.
Red Sox pitcher Carl Mays relieves Bath Ruth with the score 4-2 in the
9th against the Yankees. New York tie the game on a 2-out error by third
baseman Larry Gardner‚ and win 8-4 in 13 innings. Mays makes his first
appearance of the year following a tonsil operation in the spring.
1909: Highlanders pitcher Lew Brockett records 9 assists in his 2-0 win over the Boston Americans.
1904: At Hilltop Park, the Washington Nationals notch their first win of the year in
beating the Highlanders 9-4. They snap their 13-game losing streak, which is an AL record to start the season.
2006: Jim Delsing, the last player to wear no. 7 for the Yankees before Mickey Mantle, dies at the age of 80.
1981: Yankee reliever Ron Davis strikes
out the last 8 batters of the game in a 4-2 win over the Angels‚ tying
Nolan Ryan’s AL record (done twice) for consecutive strikeouts and
setting a new record for consecutive strikeouts by a reliever.
1963: The Yankees edge the Twins‚ 3-2‚ beating Jim Kaat on 3 solo homers. Elston Howard hits a pair‚ and Mickey Mantle adds one.
Mickey Mantle homers and extends his hitting streak to 16 games‚ as the
Yankees top the Twins‚ 5-2. New York sweep all 3 games in Minnesota.
In St. Louis‚ the Yanks pummel the Browns 8-1 behind Eddie Lopat.
Mickey Mantle‚ again batting leadoff and playing in right field‚
connects for his 2nd homer‚ off Duane Pillette‚ a 450 ft. shot in the
1950: The White Sox‚ helped by Bob “Sugar” Cain’s 5-hitter‚ embarrass the Yankees 15-0 at the Stadium.
score ties the Yanks’ team record‚ set in 1907‚ for the most runs in a
shutout loss. One bright spot for the Yankees in the humiliating defeat
is Phil Rizzuto’s 3 hits.
1933: Lefty Gomez throws no-hit ball
for 8 innings before Detroit’s Charlie Gehringer leads off the 9th with a
home run. Gerald Walker follows with a double‚ reaches third when Gomez
throws a wild pitch‚ and scores. Gomez then retires the side for a 5-2
At Comiskey Park‚ Lou Gehrig wallops three home runs against the Sox in
an 11-9 New York shootout. His second round-tripper‚ in the 7th inning‚
is sandwiched between blasts by Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel. With his
homer off Red Faber in the 2nd‚ Gehrig joins Ruth as the second slugger
to clear the right field stands‚ 75 feet high and 360 feet away from
home plate. The Ruthian clout came off Tommy Thomas in 1927. His last
homer of the day is served up by Dan Dugan.
1920: Jack Quinn tosses a five-hitter as the Yankees beat Boston’s Waite Hoyt‚ 5-0.
Umpire Dick Nallin clears the Yankee bench in the 6th inning because of ‘too much conversation.’
At the Polo Grounds‚ the Yankees set an ML record (since tied) by
laying down 8 sacrifices‚ 6 coming on bunts‚ and nudge Boston 5-4. The
bunting by New York takes advantage of Boston lefty Babe Ruth‚ who is
nursing a hangover. The Babe makes 2 errors and has 9 assists handling
13 fielding chances. Despite contributing his first homer of the year‚
plus a double‚ Ruth loses to Allan Russell. Boston’s first baseman Dick
Hoblitzell injures his finger‚ and in the next game Ruth will make his
first career start as a position player.