Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

4/08 in Yankee History

The red-letter days:

2003: Hideki Matsui makes a spectacular debut in pinstripes.

Hideki_Matsui.jpg

After delaying their home opener by a day because of impending snow‚ the Yankees beat the Twins‚ 7-3‚ with a Matsui grand slam the key blow in the game. The new arrival from Japan becomes the first Yankee in history to hit a slam in his first game in the Stadium. He also becomes the first to hit his first Yankee homer with the bases loaded since Horace Clarke did so in 1965. The loss puts the Twins below .500 for the first time since the end of the 2000 season‚ a club-record span of 328 consecutive games.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2003/B04080NYA2003.htm

 

1985: At Fenway‚ 46-year-old Phil Niekro gets the ball for the Yankees‚ making him the oldest pitcher in American league history to start an Opener (Jack Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers set the MLB record, for Brooklyn in 1931, at age 47). Boston chase Niekro after 4 innings and behind the pitching of Oil Can Boyd coast to a 9-2 win. Niekro walks 4 in the 3rd inning‚ including two with the bases loaded‚ to lose his 7th Opener in a row (6 with Atlanta)‚ the worst opening day record ever. Tony Armas‚ Dwight Evans‚ and Jim Rice stroke homers for Boston.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1985/B04080BOS1985.htm

phil_niekro.jpg

 

 

On other 8ths of April…

2004: Javier Vazquez makes his Yankee Stadium debut, in the home opener. Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto and Whitey Ford get things off to a festive start by tossing ceremonial first pitches to Jorge Posada, John Flaherty and Bubba Crosby respectively, and Paul Cartier becomes the new answer to the question, ‘Who plays the Stadium organ?’, keyboard stalwart Eddie Layton having  recently retired. Gary Sheffield singles in one run and scores anotheron on a Posada sac fly in the home 1st, and Vazquez makes it stand up in a 3-1 win for the pinstriped hosts over Scott Schoenweiss and the ChiSox.

javier-vazquez.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2004/B04080NYA2004.htm

2002: The Yankees pound out 22 hits in clobbering the Blue Jays‚ 16-3. Alfonso Soriano collects 5 hits for NY‚ including a double and a three-run homer‚ while Robin Ventura (below)  drives across 6 runs.

Robin_Ventura.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2002/B04080TOR2002.htm

2001: In the Yankees 16-5 win over Toronto at the Stadium‚ Yankee pinch hitter Scott Seabol becomes the lowest-drafted player (in the 88th round in 1996) to ever appear in a major league game. Former Royals star Al Cowens‚ picked on the 75th round in 1969‚ was the previous record holder. This distinction will last just 11 days before Travis Phelps – the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ selection in the 89th round‚ also in 1996 – makes his debut on April 19. Roger Clemens is the winner as batterymate Jorge Posada belts his first grand slam‚ one of 20 Yankee hits. The fact that the first five Toronto batters to come to the plate in the 4th also come around to score will be scarcely noticed by the hometown crowd, since the Bombers entered the inning with a 12-run lead.

scott_seabol.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2001/B04080NYA2001.htm

1993: The Yanks are on the losing end of an historic event when Indians second sacker Carlos Baerga becomes the first player in major league annals to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning‚ connecting in the 7th frame (off Steve Howe and Steve Barr, respectively) of Cleveland’s 15-5 win over the visiting New Yorkers.

Carlos_Baerga.gif

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1993/B04080CLE1993.htm

 

1986: The Kansas City Royals are the first defending champions – other than the Bronx Bombers themselves – since the 1925 Washington Senators to open at Yankee Stadium‚ and they start the season on the wrong foot by losing‚ 4-2. New York score all 4 runs off starter Bud Black‚ who gives up a three-run homer to Butch Wynegar in the 2nd. Hal McRae accounts for both KC runs with a two-run homer off starter Ron Guidry‚ one of two hits Guidry gives up in 5 innings. Guidry wins his first Opener with relief help from Rod Scurry and Dave Righetti.

B_Wynegar.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1986/B04080NYA1986.htm

 

1978: Highly touted off-season acquisition Goose Gossage gets off to a rocky start with the Yankees.

goose-gossage.jpg

At the season opener in Arlington‚ the Rangers edge the Yanks 2-1 behind newcomers Richie Zisk and Jon Matlack. Matlack scatters 8 hits in winning‚ while Zisk delivers a 9th inning solo walkoff shot against the Goose. Ron Guidry, embarking on one of the greatest single seasons for any pitcher in major League annals, goes 7 innings for New York, scattering six singles – after this no-decision‚ he will win 13 straight games.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1978/B04080TEX1978.htm

 

1976: At County Stadium‚ the Brewers open against the Yankees with Hank Aaron starting what will prove to be his final Major League campaign by driving in 3 runs to back Jim Slaton’s 4-hit 5-0 win.

hank_aaron.jpg

Five days later‚ Slaton will shut out the Tigers. Catfish Hunter is the loser‚ allowing 5 runs in 7 innings. Later‚ both he and reliever Sparky Lyle complain about the flatness of the mound.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1976/B04080MIL1976.htm

1975: The Yankees are participants in history again as they take the field in Cleveland. After Rachel Robinson‚ widow of Jackie‚ tosses out the first ball, Frank Robinson‚ in his opening game as the first black manager in the majors, adds a dramatic touch by homering in his first at bat (as a DH).

Frank_Robinson.jpg

The blow will be the catalyst for a 5-3 win over the visiting Bombers. For player-manager Robinson‚ it is his 8th Opening Day homer, setting an MLB record. Starter Doc Medich is the loser‚ going 5 innings and giving up all 5 runs. Gaylord Perry goes all the way to win for the Tribe‚ while Boog Powell backs him with a 3-for-3 outing, including a double and homer.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1975/B04080CLE1975.htm

 

1946: Catfish Hunter is born.

Hunter was the highest paid pitcher in baseball when he signed with the Yankees in 1975. He got off to a rough start, going 0-3 in his first four outings. He settled down after that, ultimately winning more than 20 games and was also named to the All-Star team for the seventh time. In 1976 Hunter won 17 games, led the Yankeees in complete games and innings pitched, and was again named to the All-Star team. The Yankees won three straight pennants with Hunter from 1976 to 1978. However, the years of arm strain and the effects of diabetes had begun to toll on the pitcher and in 1979, Hunter retired from baseball. Hunter was an effective pitcher, not because he overpowered batters with his speed, but because of the precision of his location. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. At the time a player was allowed to choose which cap would be memorialized on his Hall of Fame Plaque. Before and after his induction, Hunter spoke highly of his experiences with both the A’s and Yankees and his appreciation for both team owners, Charlie Finley and George Steinbrenner. For this reason, he refused to choose a team and thus the plaque depicts him without an insignia on his cap.

Hunter died at his home in Hertford, North Carolina in 1999 after he took a fall down the stairs at his home. He had been suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in an advanced stage at the time.

Catfish_Hunter.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hunteca01.shtml

1930: In Memphis‚ the Chicks beat the Yankees in an exhibtion game‚ 3-1. Babe Ruth‚ hobbling from an injury incurred 2 days ago in Dallas‚ bashes a homer for the vistors’ only run. In his next at bat he hits the top of the signboard at Russwood Park as Ruth ambles to 1B for single. Sam Byrd pinch runs.

Memphis_Chicks.gif

 

1909: While at spring training in Hialeah, FL‚ Hal Chase contracts smallpox. The entire Highlander team is vaccinated and will be quarantined while travelling back to New York.

Hal_Chase.jpg

4/07 in Yankee History

 

2011: Barely a week into his major league career, Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffers a broken fibula in a collision with a sliding Nick Swisher of the Yankees, who is trying to break up a double play. The Yankees win the game, 4 – 3.  A.J. Burnett  is the winner, benefiting from a three-run rally in the 4th inning.

A.J. Burnett

 

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2011/B04070NYA2011.htm

 

2010: New Yankee centerfielder Curtis Granderson quickly makes his presence felt with the Bronx Bombers. After homering in his first at-bat for the team on Opening Day on April 4th, he hits a game-winning long ball off Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon in the 10th inning of today’s game, which started as a pitching duel between Andy Pettitte and John Lackey,  giving the Yankees a 3 – 1 victory. Chan Ho Park redeems his poor Opening Day performance with three innings of one-hit ball in relief to earn his first win in pinstripes, while Mariano Rivera  picks up his second save in as many days.

Yankees Curtis Granderson

 

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2010/B04070BOS2010.htm

 

2008: Mike Mussina makes his second start of the year, and allows just two hits in six innings of a 6-1 victory over the Tampa (no longer Devil) Rays. Bobby Abreu leads the offense, with a two-run bomb in the 1st along with a triple, a single, a walk, three runs scored, and two RBI. Nursing a sore hand after being hit by a pitch a few days earlier, Derek Jeter leaves the game in the 3rd, with first baseman Wilson Betemit moving over to short and leaving his position to Morgan Ensberg. New Jersey Devils players Zach Parise and Travis Zajac advance  the home games-left counter down from 75 to 74 in the fifth inning.

mike%20mussina.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2008/VNYA02008.htm

 

2002: Alfonso Soriano, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada all double in a three-run first inning in a 7-2 win over the Devil Rays. Both Jeter and Soriano add two singles apiece, and the Captain  collects 3 RBI, varrying Roger Clemens to the win. The Bombers jump on future Yankee Tanyon Sturtze for an early barrage. The only earned Devil Rays run is driven in by catcher John Flaherty, who signed with TB over the winter after a two-year stint as Posada’s backup in New York. This is also the day that the Yankee players are presented with their 2001 American League Championship rings.

Jeter_rings.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2002/B04070NYA2002.htm

 

1977: Before a crowd of 43‚785 in the season opener at the Stadium‚ Reggie Jackson makes his first start as a Yankee.

reggie_j.jpg

 

Catfish Hunter holds the Brewers to five hits‚ three by Von Joshua‚ as the Yankees win 3-0.

Catfish_GS.JPG

Von’s last hit strikes Catfish in the instep and the hurler leaves after 7 innings of work. Sparky Lyle pitches the last two innings. Jim Wynn has two hits for New York‚ including a homer in his first Yankee at-bat. Reggie Jackson‚ in his first start as a Yankee‚ also has two hits and two runs‚ one on a suicide squeeze by Willie Randolph. With the recent addition of Bucky Dent to the lineup‚ the Yankees start an all-star at every position (Catfish Hunter‚ Thurman Munson‚ Chris Chambliss‚ Willie Randolph‚ Dent‚ Graig Nettles‚ Roy White‚ Mickey Rivers‚ Reggie Jackson and Jimmy Wynn). They will duplicate this on Opening Day 2005.

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1977/B04070NYA1977.htm

 

1970: At the Stadium‚ Mel Stottlemyre makes his 4th straight Opening Day start‚ joining Lefty Gomez and Jack Chesbro as the only Yankee pitchers to take a first day bow that many times. The Red Sox counter with newly acquired Gary Peters‚ who allowed no earned runs in 32 spring training innings. Boston jump out to a 4-0 lead by the fifth inning‚ but the Yanks score 3 in the 6th to chase Peters. That’s all the scoring, though, as Boston win‚ 4-3.

(Editor’s note: In the ‘How times have changed’ department, the game took 2:19 to play, with 21,379 in attendance… Can you imagine a game against the Red Sox taking less than 3 hours to play, or the Stadium less than half full on opening day?…)

Mel_ Stottlemyre.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1970/B04070NYA1970.htm

 

1969: The Yankees begin their year on the road, as the guests of the Washington Senators for the RFK Stadium home opener, as well as Ted Williams’ managerial debut. The visitors spoil the party, handing the Nats and starter Camilo Pascual an 8-4 loss. Jerry Kenney and Bobby Murcer hit back-to-back homers off Pascual in the 3rd, and Mel Stottlemyre goes the distance for the Yanks.

Kenney.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1969/B04070WS21969.htm

 

1874: John Ganzel, who hit the first home run in the history of the Yankee franchise (as a first baseman for the Highlanders on the 16th of May, 1903) is born.

John_Ganzel.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/ganzejo01.shtml

4/06 in Yankee History

 

The red-letter day:

1973: At Fenway Park, the Yankees’ Ron Blomberg becomes the first official Major League designated hitter.

ron_blomberg.jpg

The first ball is thrown out by Ed Folger‚ a Red Sox farm hand who had his legs amputated last September following an accident.

In the top of the first, Blomberg takes his place in history when he faces righthander Luis Tiant. Blomberg walks with the bases loaded and winds up 1-for-3 in the 15-5 loss to Boston. Sox DH Orlando Cepeda goes 0-for-6‚ but Carlton Fisk strokes two homers‚ one a grand slam‚ in the 20-hit Boston barrage. 2nd baseman Doug Griffin notches four hits for Boston‚ who overcome a 3-0 deficit by scoring eight runs to chase Mel Stottlemyre by the third inning. The Yanks record eight hits off Tiant‚ five by the Alou brothers, Matty and Felipe

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1973/B04060BOS1973.htm

 

On other 6ths of April…

2012: Carlos Pena is the hero as the Rays defeat the Yankees 7 – 6 on Opening Day. Pena hits a grand slam  off C.C. Sabathia in the 1st, and gets the game-winning hit, again with the bases loaded, off Mariano Rivera. Trailing 6 – 5 heading into the bottom of the 9th at Tropicana Field, the Rays stage a rally against the great Yankee closer when Desmond Jennings leads off with a single and Ben Zobrist triples him in; Rivera issues intentional passes to the next two batters to load the bases, but after striking out Sean Rodriguez, he gives up Pena’s game-ending hit to the base of the right field wall.

Mariano_Rivera

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2012/B04060TBA2012.htm

 

2009: Marquee free agents C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixera have a rough time in their Yankee debut. Sabathia gives up 6 runs on 8 hits in 4 1/3 innings and Teixeira goes 0 for 4 as the Orioles double up the Yanks 10-5 at Camden Yards. Cesar Izturis hits a 2-run homer and Aubrey Huff a 2-bagger  for the Birds as Jeremy Guthrie picks up the win.

 

Sabathia0802

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2009/B04060BAL2009.htm

 

2008: The  first Sunday home game in the old Yankee Stadium’s final fills the 50,000-plus in attendance with optimism, as Yankee ace Chien-Ming Wang bests Tampa’s Steve Shields 2-0 in a pitchers’ duel. Offensive heroics go to DH Hideki Matsui, who highlights his 3-for-4 day at the plate with a two-run home run to right center in the 4th. This comes shortly after Wang retired Willy Aybar at the plate on an attempted suicide squeeze by throwing to catcher Jorge Posada. Injuries to the three Yankees featured in this game will go a long way towards spoiling the Bombers’ season. In a rite that continues to feature stars daily, Yogi Berra advances the home-games-left counter from 76 to 75, Joe Pepitone having done the honours the day before.

Hideki-Matsui.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2008/B04060NYA2008.htm

Off the field, this day marks the first appearance of Hiba Thamer (AKA @GoGetMyCoffee on Twitter) in the life of your editor. Blogger, rising Internet radio personality, brilliant MB candidate and all around good egg, Hiba has become as indispensable as oxygen to anyone who has been fortunate enough to get to know her over the past 6 years in the online Yankee community.  Here’s hoping for not only another six years in her delightful company, but another few decades. Cheers!

Hibs_3.jpg

 

2003: Alfonso Soriano and Nick Johnson hit back-to-back homers to start the game as the Yanks beat Tampa Bay‚ 10-5. Roger Clemens notches career victory No. 295.

Soriano_SI cover.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2003/B04060TBA2003.htm

 

1982: A foot of snow cancels the Yankees opener with the Rangers at the Stadium. Tomorrow’s game with Texas and the first two with the White Sox will also be canceled because of snow and ice. With 2 games snowed out in Chicago‚ the Red Sox will return tomorrow to Winter Haven‚ FL.

snow_stadium.jpg

 

1977: Former Yankee utility infielder Andy Phillips is born, Happy 37th, AP!

AndyPhillips.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/phillan01.shtml

 

1974: The Yankees open their two-year stay at Shea Stadium before a crowd of 20‚744. 12-year-old Teddy Kennedy‚ Jr.‚ flanked by his father and Mayor Abe Beame‚ tosses out the first ball. Missing from the ceremony is George Steinbrenner‚ indicted two days ago for illegal campaign contributions. Graig Nettles’ two-run homer in the 4th off the Indians’ Gaylord Perry opens the scoring and the Yanks score 4 more times to win‚ 6-1. Charlie Spikes scores the only Cleveland run in the 9th following a triple off starter and winner Mel Stottlemyre. Perry‚ who is warned once for an illegal pitch‚ is the loser today‚ but he will win his next 15 decisions.

shea_stadium.jpg

 

1954: ’70s Yankee spot starter Ken Clay is born. Though his principal claim to fame is as the only pitcher in franchise history to give up back-to-back inside the park home runs, here’s wishing KC a happy 60th anyway!

K_Clay.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/clayke01.shtml

4/05 in Yankee History

 

The red-letter day:

1913: The Yankees play for the first time under their new name (from 1903 to 1912, the franchise was known as the New York Highlanders). 25,000 fans are on hand in Flatbush to watch them play an exhibition game with the Brooklyn Dodgers (who are also christening Ebbets Field on this day). Brooklyn beat the Yankees, 3-2, with Dodger outfielder and future Yankee manager Casey Stengel hitting the venue’s first home run, an inside-the-parker.

stengel_51.jpg

 

On other 5ths of April…

2005: Carl  ‘American Idle’ Pavano appears ready to register his first Yankee win as his teammates take a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning on Hideki Matsui’s two run home run off Matt Clement but Jason Varitek reaches Mariano Rivera for a game-tying homer. Derek Jeter’s lead-off, full-count blast to right center off Keith Foulke in the bottom of the ninth, however sends the crowd home happy.

derek-jeter-wfw-400a053007.jpg .

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2005/B04050NYA2005.htm

2001: Paul O’Neill puts his side up 1-0 with a 1st-inning home run off KC’s Dan Reichert, and Mike Mussina holds on to win 1-0 with some closure from Mariano Rivera. This is one of only two games in Yankee history in which the club won 1-0 in a game in which a 1st-inning solo homer was the only scoring (the other occasion was in 1941, with future Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto proving the firepower).

Paul_Oneill2.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2001/B04050NYA2001.htm

 

1995: The Yankees acquire closer John Wetteland from the Montreal Expos for Fernando Seguignol and cash. Wetteland will help the Bombers to their first World Championship in 18 years in 1996.

Wetteland.jpg

 

1993: The Yankees provide the opposition in the final Opening Day game at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium (AKA the Mistake by the Lake). The out-of-towners spoil the party with a 9-1 pummeling of the Tribe, with Jimmy Key getting the win. The Indians will move into Jacobs Field the following season.

jimmy-key.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1993/B04050CLE1993.htm

 

1988: Before 55‚802 at the Stadium‚ the Yankees score 6 runs off Frank Viola in 5 innings to top the Twins 8-0. Rick Rhoden allows 3 hits in 9 innings for the win. Roberto Kelly and Willie Randolph have three hits each, while Jim Pagliarulo and Rickey Henderson belt homers.

RickRhoden-1

 

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1988/B04050NYA1988.htm

 

1983: At Seattle‚ the Mariners open with a 5-4 win over the Yankees. Gaylord Perry makes his 9th Opening Day start‚ but the win goes to reliever Bryan Clark. Richie Zisk‚ a Yankee Opening Day nemesis‚ hits a two-run homer in Seattle’s 4-run 3rd inning to chase Ron Guidry. New York chases Perry in the 6th with back-to back homers by Dave Winfield and Steve Kemp. Steve Henderson scores the winner in the 7th when he hits his 3rd single‚ steals second‚ takes 3rd on a grounder and scores on a sac fly.

KempSteve

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1983/B04050SEA1983.htm

 

1979: At the Stadium, 52,719 fans see Milwaukee jump on Ron Guidry for four runs in the sixth inning en route to beating the Yankees 5-1. It’s the most runs the Cy Young Award winner has allowed in a game since 1977. New York get singles from their first three hitters, but manage to score just one run, in the first inning off Mike Caldwell.

ron-guidry-pitching-action-posters.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1979/B04050NYA1979.htm

 

1977: Over the objections of manager Billy Martin (who is entirely happy with the services of his current starting shortstop Fred ‘Chicken’ Stanley), the Yankees acquire shortstop Bucky Dent from the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Oscar Gamble, pitcher La Marr Hoyt, Bob Polinsky and an estimated $200,000. Dent will solidify New York’s middle infield and help the Yanks reach the World Series in 1977 and ’78. hitting one of the most celebrated home runs in Major League history along the way.

buckydent.jpg

 

1972: For the first time in MLB history, the regular season fails to open due to the player strike which started on April 1st. 86 games will be lost before the labor dispute is settled.

Miller

 

 

1934: Babe Ruth, sponsored by Quaker Oats, agrees to do three 15-minute broadcasts a week over NBC. The total of $39,000 for 13 weeks is $4,000 more than his Yankees contract.

1925: ‘The bellyache heard round the world’. At spring training, the Yankees whip the Dodgers, 16-9, but all the headlines are about Babe Ruth. The Bambino collapses in the railroad station in Asheville, NC, and winds up in an NYC hospital. Ruth will undergo an operation for an ulcer on April 17 and will be bedridden until May 26.

babe_ruth_hotdogs_steroids.jpg

 

1877: William ‘Wid’ Conroy, starting third baseman for the Highlanders’ first six seasons, is born.

Wid_Conroy.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/conrowi01.shtml

 

4/04 in Yankee History

 

2010:  Former Yankee reliever Boone Logan is reassigned to AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre.

Boone_Logan.jpg

Meanwhile, in Boston, the Yankees and the Red Sox stage a classic battle to open the Major League season at Fenway Park, with the Sox winning, 9 – 7, after trailing 5 – 1 and 7 – 5. Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson hit back-to-back homers in the 2nd and Brett Gardner steals home  as the Yanks build an early lead against Josh Beckett, but a homer by Dustin Pedroia and three extra-base hits by Kevin Youkilis highlight the home side’s comeback. Chan Ho Park takes the loss in his Yankee debut, while Hideki Okajima is the winner.

hideki-okajima-540x391

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2010/B04040BOS2010.htm

 

2008: Alex Rodriguez (single), Jose Molina (double), Derk Jeter (triple) and Hideki Matsui (home run) combine for a team cycle in scoring four runs off Rays’ starter Andy Sonnanstine. Ian Kennedy’s somewhat less than stellar first season start puts the hosts in a 6-0 hole early on. The Yanks put up 4 runs in the 3rd, but any hopes of them continuing their comeback are dashed when Latroy Hawkins gives up another six in the 8th. John Flaherty advances the games-left counter from 78 to 77 in the fifth inning of the game ultimately won by the tourists 13-4.

derek-jeter.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2008/B04040NYA2008.htm

 

1994: 56,706 fans attend Opening Day at the Stadium, making it the largest crowd ever at the Ballyard in the Bronx since its mid-’70s renovation. The throng are treated to a 5-3 win over Texas, with Jimmy Key besting Kevin Brown.


yankee_stadium1.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1994/B04040NYA1994.htm

 

1989: On Opening Day, Yankees pitcher Tommy John ties a major league record by playing in his 26th season. John beats the Minnesota Twins, 4 - 2, for his 287th win, putting him 19th on the overall career win list.

tommy_john.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1989/B04040MIN1989.htm

 

1971: Carl Mays, Yankee ace of the early 1920s, dies at age 79.

carl_mays.png

Mays was one of the better pitchers of the 1910s and 1920s in the American League, but his reputation has been forever tainted by one
incident: he is the only major league pitcher who ever killed a batter with a pitch. The unfortunate victim was Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman, who was struck in the left temple on August 16, 1920 and died the following morning. Because Mays already had a reputation as a head-hunter and a generally unfriendly man, many blamed him for what he always claimed was an accident.

Mays broke in with the Red Sox in 1915. Midway through the 1919 season, he became embroiled in a dispute with the Boston front office, and walked out on the team. The Red Sox worked out a deal that sent him to the Yankees in return for Allen Russell, Bob McGraw and $ 40,000 in cash.

This trade would turn out to be the first of many cost-cutting moves by Red Sox owner Harry Frazee. The most famous of these would be the sale of Babe Ruth to the same Yankees at the end of the season. American League President Ban Johnson attempted to void the
trade, however, and demanded Mays be suspended for walking out on his team. The Yankees and Red Sox refused to comply. The case threatened to split the League in half, with Chicago siding with the Red Sox and Yankees, and the other five teams supporting Johnson. However, the three minority teams held control over the League’s board of directors and threatened to leave the league and join the National League. Ban Johnson was forced to step back in a move that marked his first major defeat since the creation of the American League in 1901, and Mays was allowed to join the Yankees.

Mays posted an excellent 1.65 ERA for the Yankees over the remainder of the 1919 season, collecting 9 wins in 13 starts, then stepped up as the team’s ace in 1920, winning 26 games. This is when the tragic beaning of the Indians’ Ray Chapman (below) occurred, in the 5th inning of a dark, overcast game at the Polo Grounds on August 16. Eye-witnesses say that Chapman probably never saw the pitch that hit him, as he never moved his head. Mays claimed that the ball was wet and scuffed, causing it to sail inside and high.
Opponents blamed Mays for the accident, with a number of teams petitioning Ban Johnson to have Mays banned from baseball. Mays spent a week in seclusion, the returned to the mound on August 23. He pitched a shutout on his return, and Cleveland went on to win the pennant and the World Series with rookie Joe Sewell taking Chapman’s place in the line-up.

chapman_ray.jpg

In 1921, Mays went 27-9 in 49 games for the Yankees, as the team won the first American League pennant in its history. He pitched three complete games in the World Series against the cross-town New York Giants, but he was charged with two losses. There were doubts expressed about Mays’ performance in these games, with speculation that he may deliberately have lost these. Similar questions surfaced after Game 4 of the 1922 World Series, in which Mays was on the losing end of a 4-3 decision to Hugh McQuillan of the Giants when the Yankees won a second consecutive pennant in 1922. Mays had fallen to a 13-14 record in 1922, and following his questionable World Series performance, manager Miller Huggins tried unsuccessfully to dump him. When that failed, he stopped using him in 1923 as Mays only went 5-2 with an awful 6.20 ERA in 23 games. The Yankees and the Giants faced each other for the third consecutive year in the World Series, but this time, Mays was left on the bench as the Yankees won their first-ever World Championship. He was sold to the Cincinnati Reds after the season.

After his playing days, Mays was a scout for the Cleveland Indians for many years, as well as with the Kansas City A’s and the Milwaukee Braves.

4/03 in Yankee History

 

The red-letter day:

 

2009: Yankee Stadium II opens for business with an exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs.

new_yankee_stadium.jpg

 

On other 3rds of April…

2008: Phil Hughes begins what will prove to be a tough year, as he battles Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan to a 2-2 tie through six innings. Hughes strikes out two to close the 4th  inning with yet another potential tally standing on third base. Before the game it is announced that Alex Rodriguez has been named the Sporting News Player of the Year, the 9th Yankee so recognized since the honour was first designated in 1936. Bobby Abreu makes up for a poor baserunning play in the 6th (he is gunned down at third on a sac fly that barely scored Derek Jeter) by driving in Melky Cabrera with the eventual winner in the 8th inning. Paul O’Neill advances the games left counter from 79 to 78 in the 5th.

phil-hughes2.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2008/B04030NYA2008.htm

 

2006: At McAfee Coliseum, the Yankees roll over the A’s 15-2 as Alex Rodriguez has a grand slam and 5 RBI. Hideki Matsui has 4 hits, including a 3-run homer, to drive in 4. Randy Johnson, with 7 IP, is the beneficiary of the offense. A’s starter Barry Zito joins Dave Stewart (1995) and Brad Havens (1983) as the only Opening Day starters since 1945 to give up seven or more runs and record just four outs. The A’s are wearing a right-sleeve arm patch on their home uniforms in memory of Bill King, their lead radio announcer since 1981. The patch features a microphone emblazoned with King’s name and his signature call, “Holy Toledo”.

bill-king_knbr_c1976

 

 

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2006/B04030OAK2006.htm

 

2005: In his first outing in pinstripes, Randy Johnson allows a run and five hits in six innings as New York open the MLB season with a 9-2 triumph over the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, Hideki Matsui once again warms to the Opening Day spotlight, scoring three times, knocking in three, and collecting three, including a home run.

Johnson%2520as%2520a%2520Yankee%25201st-723015.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2005/B04030NYA2005.htm

 

1984: After rain washed out yesterday’s opener at Royals Stadium, Yul Brynner tosses out the first ball and Kansas City open with a 4-2 win over the Yankees. The threat of snow holds the crowd to just 10,006. Starter Bud Black, with relief help from Dan Quisenberry, tops Ron Guidry, still winless in Openers. Onix Concepción hits Guidry’s first pitch of the year for a home run, while Dave Winfield has a two-run blast for the Yankees.

yul_brynner.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1984/B04030KCA1984.htm

 

1969: Charley Stanceu (3rd from the right in the top row), a spot starter on the Yankees’ 1941 championship club, dies of a heart attack at the age of 53.

Yankees_41.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/stancch01.shtml

 

1929: Art Ditmar, pitcher for the 1958 Yankees championship club and 1957 AL pennant winner, is born – happy 85th, A.D.!

Ditmar.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/ditmaar01.shtml

 

1923: One of the most bizarre off-the-field incidents in the history of the Yankees (or any other club) occurs in Jacksonville, Florida. New York outfielder Ping Bodie competes against an ostrich named Percy in a spaghetti-eating contest.

Ping_Bodie.jpg

 

Bodie wins the competition when Percy passes
out after his 11th plate of pasta.

ostrich.jpg

 

4/02 in Yankee History

The red-letter day…

2001: On Opening Day, Roger Clemens becomes the all-time American
League career strike out leader, passing Walter Johnson. Kansas City
Royals infielder Joe Randa is his 3,509 Junior circuit victim. In
overtaking Johnson, Clemens now moves into the seventh spot on the
all-time major league list.

roger_clemens.jpg

 

And on other 2nds of April…

2011: The Commissioner’s  office demands that the Yankees stop relaying hand signals from the stands to their hitters at their home park, something which is expressly prohibited by a directive from Major League Baseball. GM Brian Cashman apologizes to Joe Garagiola Jr. and says the team will comply.

Brian-Cashman

2008: Two starting pitchers embarking on excellent seasons do battle at the Stadium. The tourists will get the best of it, as Toronto’s A.J. Burnett bests Mike Mussina and the Yanks 5-2. The key blow for the Jays is a  2nd inning, two-run blast by centerfielder Vernon Wells, while Burnett is driven from the mound when Alex Rodriguez follows up Bobby Abreu’s 7th-inning leadoff walk with a homer of his own. Two Alex Rios RBI provide the difference. Ahmad Bradshaw of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants advances the games left counter from 80 to 79 games.

aj_burnett_who_farted_2.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2008/B0402NYA2008.htm

2007: Carl ‘American Idle’ Pavano  gets the start in Opening Day in the Bronx. He allows but two hits and an unearned run through four as the Yanks take the lead. The embattled hurler leaves on the short end after a four-run 5th, however. A Derek Jeter two-run single draws the home team even, and Alex Rodriguez caps the 9-5 comeback win with a two-run eighth-inning homer, as Brian Bruney, Sean Henn, Luis Vizcaino and Mariano Rivera blank the Royals on three singles over the last 4.7 frames. The multiple innings out of the pen, however, combined with injuries in the rotation, augur a trend that will prompt early-season struggles.

carlpavano.jpg

 

2003: Todd Zeile hits a home run in his first at-bat for the Yankees, becoming the only major leaguer to hit a home run for ten different teams. In addition to homering with the Yanks, Zeile had also gone deep for the Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies, Orioles, Dodgers, Marlins, Rangers, Mets, and Rockies. In the game, Mike Mussina gets the 9-7 win for the Bombers.
Zeile.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2003/B0402TOR2003.htm

1997; Tino Martinez has a career day, homering his first three times up in a game at Seattle’s Kingdome, leading the Yanks to a 16-2 rout. Tino scores five runs and collects 7 RBI. He hits one-, two-, and three-run shots, but in three chances at the grand slam, he walks, singles and flies out.

Tino-Martinez---2005-Studio-Plus-Photograph-C12188671.jpg

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1997/B04020SEA1997.htm

 1995: The longest strike in major league history comes to an end. Having the first 23 days of this major league season canceled and 252 games of the last season lost, the owners accept the players’ March 31 unconditional offer to return to work. The players’ decision to return to work is made after  US District Court judge (and future US Supreme Court Justice) Sonia Sotomayor issues an injunction restoring terms and conditions of the expired agreement. Teams will play 144-game schedules. The strike had begun on August 12, 1994.
strike_il.jpg
1957: Hank Steinbrenner is born. Happy 57th to the Yankees’ always quotable co-owner!
HankSteinbrennerCataffoNYDNews
1945: ’70s Yankee pitcher (and wife-swapper) Mike Kekich is born. Happy 69th, MK!
Kekich_71
1931: At Engel Stadium in Chattanooga, TN, Miss Jackie Mitchell strikes out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game. The 17-year-old girl, a member of the Chattanooga Lookouts roster, also walks Tony Lazzeri in Chattanooga’s 14-4 loss YankeesIn 1933 Mitchell will pitch for the House of David team.jackie_mitchell.jpg

4/01 in Yankee History

 

2008: After a rain-out of the scheduled daytime opener the previous day, the Yankees begin their final campaign in the House that Ruth built with a night game. Reggie Jackson throws out the ceremonial first pitch, George Steinbrenner becomes the first of 81 honorary guests to advance the home games left counter, from 81 to 80, in the fifth inning. The Yanks prevail over Toronto 3-2 in a scintillating pitchers’ duel between Roy Halladay and Chien-Ming Wang. Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera preserve the win in the 8th and 9th inning.

reggie_jackson.jpg

 

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2008/B04010NYA2008.htm

 

2003: The Yankees defeat the Blue Jays 9-7 as Toronto shortstop Mike Bordick’s record streak for games without an error ends at 110. He boots Bubba Trammel’s grounder in the 3rd inning for his error after 544 chances without a miscue. Andy Pettitte picks up the win for the visiting Bombers.

pettitte%20stare.jpg

 

http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2003/B04010TOR2003.htm

 

1999: In one of his less dignified moments, George Steinbrenner flies into a rage when Hideki Irabu fails to cover first on a ground ball hit during an exhibition game‚ and calls the portly pitcher a “fat p***y toad.” Steinbrenner will later apologize to Irabu.

Hideki Irabu.jpg

 

1998: The Angels put together a 4-run rally in the 4th to hand the Yankees a 4-1 opening day loss Matt Walbeck’s 2 run triple is the big hit in the game. Chuck Finley earns the win as he gives up a run on 4 hits and 6 walks in 7 IP‚ with 7 K’s. Chuck Knoblauch enters the record books as he plays his 1000th game at 2B and sets the AL record for highest career fielding percentage.

knoblauch.jpg

 

1996: Snow postpones the Yankee opener in Cleveland

snow_stadium.jpg

1939: Phil Niekro is born. Happy 75th to the oldest man ever to pitch in a Yankee uniform!

Niekro.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/n/niekrph01.shtml

 

1933: Babe Ruth makes his third appearance in Memphis and like the last 3 opening games‚ the Chicks defeat the Yankees, winning 5-4. Tomrrow the Yanks will win 6-0 behind Lefty Gomez. The Babe goes hitless, getting no good pitches to swing at.

batman-babe-ruth.jpg

 

 

 

 

3/31 in Yankee History

 

2011: The Yankees have a successful opening day, beating Detroit 6-3 at the Stadium. Curtis Granderson, whose health was a concern before the start of the game because of a strained right oblique muscle, makes a diving catch of a Will Rhymes liner  in the 1st, then breaks a 3 – 3 tie with a solo homer off Phil Coke  in the 7th. Mark Teixera  had earlier hit a three-run blast to tie the score in the 3rd. New Yankee starting catcher Russell Martin scores twice in his debut in pinstripes as Joba Chamberlain picks up the win and Mariano Rivera  the save.

The New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson poses during the Yankee's Media Day at their spring training facility at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida

 

2006: The ball that Babe Ruth hit for his last home run at Yankee Stadium is sold for $86,250 at auction. The ball was hit off fellow Hall of Famer Walter Johnson in a war effort fund-raising exhibition game  on August 23, 1942.

babe-ruth-2.jpg

 

2004: The Yanks get a win in Tokyo and even their season record at 1-1 with a 12-1 demolition of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Two-run bombs from Tony Clark and local hero Hideki Matsui followed by the first of two Jorge Posada solo homers, stake Kevin Brown to a 6-1 lead.

hideki-matsui.jpg

 

2003:  In the first of two consecutive Opening Day games played outside the United States, Roger Clemens rides a two-run Robin Ventura blast and an Alfonso Soriano grand slam to an 8-4 Yankee win in Toronto. The victory will come at a price, though, as Derek Jeter suffers a badly damaged shoulder in a collision with the knee pads of Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby at third. base. El Capitan will spend six weeks on the bench.

Derek Jeter going off on cart after injury of shoulder.jpg

 

1992: Ken Silvestri, switch-hitting Yankee backup catcher of the ’40s, dies at the age of 75.

Ken_Silvestri.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/silveke01.shtml

 

1980: Chien-Ming Wang is born. Happy 34th to the former Yankee, and all the best to  a man who has had some tough breaks.

chien_ming_wang.jpg

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/wangch01.shtm

3/29 & 3/30 in Yankee History

 

On the 29th of March down through the decades…

2005: The Yankees send pitcher Bret Prinz to the Angels in exchange for catcher Will Nieves

Will_Nieves_2009.jpg

 

1997: The Yankees help the Braves open Turner Field in Atlanta with an exhibition game on falling to the hosts 2-0.

Atlanta.jpg

 

1996: The Yanks and Mets play home-and-home exhibitions in New York for their last two preseason games. The Bombers prevail in the opener today at the Stadium, 7-3.

yankee-stadium-new-york-city.jpg
1975: Mel Stottlemyre, suffering from a torn rotator cuff, is given his unconditional release by the Yankees.  He compiled a 164-139 record and a 2.97 ERA as well as 40 shutouts  in an eleven-season Major League career in New York.
stott
http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Mel_Stottlemyre_(stottme01)

1963: Wilcy Moore, reliever for the Yankee championship clubs of 1927 and ’28, dies at the age of 65. Moore is widely considered to have been the first specialized relief pitcher in MLB history.
Wilcy_Moore.jpg
1959: Johnny Allen, pitcher for the Yankees 1932 championship club, dies at the age of 54.
Johnny_Allen.jpg
1948: Even in spring training… At St. Petersburg‚ the Yankees and the Red Sox battle for 17 innings before agreeing to a 2-2 tie. This grapefruit league contest, the longest ever to date, takes 4 hours and 2 minutes.
Yankees_48.jpg
1942: The Cards beat the Yankees 3-2 to win the championship of St. Petersburg‚ 6 games to 3. The Yanks have been tied but never beaten since 1926‚ when they dropped the local series to the Braves.
Yankees_42.jpg
….and on the 30th…
2010: Pat Venditte, the first ambidextrous pitcher in organized baseball since Greg Harris retired in 1995,  gets to show his stuff for the Yankees  in an exhibition game against the Braves. The 24-year-old ends the 5th inning by retiring Yunel Escobar on two pitches from the right side; he then moves from one arm to the other as he works his way through the Braves’ batting order in the 6th. When switch-hitter Brooks Conrad  steps to the plate, home plate umpire Mike Reilly reminds Venditte of rule 8.01, which states that he must commit to one arm, in order to avoid the fiasco of his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees in 2008, when he and switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez changed sides repeatedly in a game of cat-and-mouse. Venditte chooses to face Conrad right-handed, and retires him on a ground ball  to end his turn on the mound, Venditte will start the year with the Yankees’ Class-A club in Tampa, where he was 2-0, 2.21 in 21 games last year.
Venditte
2004: The Yankees and Devil Rays open the 2004 regular season in Japan‚ with Tampa Bay pounding out an 8-3 victory behind the pitching of Victor Zambrano and the hitting of Tino Martinez. Martinez strokes 3 hits‚ including the 300th HR of his career.
Tino_TB.jpg
2001: Dwight Gooden retires.
Gooden.JPG
1999: The Yankees trade pitcher Darren Holmes to the Diamondbacks for pitcher Ben Ford and catcher Izzy Molina.
izzy_molina_autograph.jpg
1996: The Mets come back to take the second of a pair of exhibition games from the Yankees, rolling 8-3 at Shea.
SHEA STADIUM.jpg
1984: The Yankees trade veteran third baseman and new author Graig Nettles to the Padres for rookie pitcher Dennis Rasmussen and a minor leaguer to be named later. Nettles’ controversial book ‘Balls’‚ in which he blasts George Steinbrenner‚ will be not be officially published until April 30th‚ but the galley proofs available now make his days in pinstripes numbered.
Balls.jpg
1982: The Yankees trade pitcher Andy McGaffigan and outfielder Ted Wilborn to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Doyle Alexander . Alexander was in a salary dispute with the Giants and had not reported to training camp. It is the pitcher’s second tour of duty with the Yanks; he will go 1-7 this year and 0-2 next year before being released on May 16.
alexander 89T_NEW.jpg
1965: The Yankees sell pitcher Stan Williams to the Indians.
williams.jpg
1955: The Yankees sell pitchers Ewell Blackwell and Tom Gorman‚ plus reserve infielder Dick Kryhoski to the Kansas City Athletics for $50‚000.
Ewell_B.jpg
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.