The red-letter day:
1973: At Fenway Park, the Yankees’ Ron Blomberg becomes the first official Major League designated hitter.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
1977: Former Yankee utility infielder Andy Phillips is born, Happy 37th, AP!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1877: William ‘Wid’ Conroy, starting third baseman for the Highlanders’ first six seasons, is born.
2010: Former Yankee reliever Boone Logan is reassigned to AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1971: Carl Mays, Yankee ace of the early 1920s, dies at age 79.
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.
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.
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.
The red-letter day:
2009: Yankee Stadium II opens for business with an exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
1929: Art Ditmar, pitcher for the 1958 Yankees championship club and 1957 AL pennant winner, is born – happy 85th, A.D.!
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.
Bodie wins the competition when Percy passes
out after his 11th plate of pasta.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1996: Snow postpones the Yankee opener in Cleveland
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1992: Ken Silvestri, switch-hitting Yankee backup catcher of the ’40s, dies at the age of 75.
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.
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
1997: The Yankees help the Braves open Turner Field in Atlanta with an exhibition game on falling to the hosts 2-0.
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.
On the 27th of March over the years…
2008: Brett Gardner and Cody Ransom are among the prospects reassigned by the Yankees to minor league camp.
2005: In a spring training game, Andy Pettitte, now in an Astros uniform, faces his former teammates for the first time. The veteran lefty allows but one hit the first time through the lineup, but Derek Jeter triples and Alex Rodriguez homers with two down in the third. The Yanks take the ballgame 7-4.
1948: Bill Sudakis, who was platooned at first base with Chris Chambliss in 1974 and also shared DH duties for the Yanks, is born. Happy 66th, Bill!
1941: The Yankees sell pitcher Steve Sundra to the Senators on his 30th birthday. Sundra‚ 11-1‚ in 1939‚ slipped in 1940 to 4-6.
1879: Miller Huggins is born.
…and on the 28th…
2001: The Yankees trade 36-year-old Glenallen Hill‚ who hit .297 with 29 homers last season‚ to the Angels for minor-league outfielder Darren Blakely. Hill‚ taking the place of the just-released Jose Canseco‚ will go 9-for-66‚ spend 5 weeks on the DL‚ and get his release on the 1st of June.
1986: The Yankees and Red Sox swap designated hitters: Mike Easler goes to New York for Don Baylor.
Also, Phil Niekro is waived four days before his 47th birthday. The veteran knuckleballer, who posted a 32-20 mark with the 1984-1985 Yanks, will catch on with the Indians on April 3.
1985: Former Yankees pitcher Mark Melancon is born. Happy 29th, MM!
1981: Former Yankee reliever Edwar Ramirez is born. Happy 33nd to the Broomstick!
1934: In a collision with Yankee catching prospect Norman Kies‚ 42-year-old Rabbit Maranville breaks his left leg sliding home on a double steal in an exhibition game against the Bombers. The Braves veteran is out for the season and will play just 23 games next year. He had broken his right leg in spring training of 1926. Meanwhile, Kies, who is only shaken up, will be released in a few days.
1927: In a final exhibition match between last year’s series opponents‚ the Yanks score 4 in the first off the Cards Grover Cleveland Alexander. Then Old Pete shuts down the Yanks until leaving in the 8th‚ and the Cards score 2 in the 9th to win 6-4. Both teams use their regular lineups‚ the only clubs to make no starting changes from last year’s rosters.
1919: Vic Raschi is born.
On the 25th of March over the years…
2012: The Brewers send outfielder Chris Dickerson to the Yankees in return for pitcher Sergio Mitre, who is expected to take the place of the injured Zack Greinke in the Brewers’ rotation when the season begins. Dickerson serves as insurance for the Yanks, who are concerned over a rib injury to starting center fielder Curtis Granderson, but unfortunately, he will pull a muscle in his first game for his new team. Mitre’s departure means that three pitchers are now competing for the last two spots in the Yanks’ starting rotation ~ rookie Ivan Nova, and veterans Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. They also sign veteran hurler Kevin Millwood to a minor league contract as further insurance in case the trio fail to perform up to expectations, but his services will not be required as all three will prove up to the task.
2010: The Yanks release pitcher Chad Gaudin, who was competing for the team’s fifth starter position, and, failing that, was expected to make the staff as a long reliever. Phil Hughes, who shone as a set-up man in 2009, is announced as the winner of the fifth starter competition, while Joba Chamberlain. Gaudin will sign a minor league deal with Oakland on March 28th.
2004: The Yankees ship infielder Mike Lamb to the Astros in exchange for pitcher Juan DeLeon. Lamb had originally been acquired to compete for the starting job at third base after Aaron Boone damaged his knee in a pickup basketball game, but became trade bait once Alex Rodriguez was signed.
1955: Lee Mazzilli, who spent one season with the Yankees before going on to serve with the team as a first base coach after his playing days, is born. Happy 59th, Mazz!
1937: Babe Ruth signs an endorsement deal with Quaker Oats worth $25,000 annually.
1920: In a spring training match between the Yankees and Dodgers‚ a sweeping inside curve ball by Brooklyn’s Jeff Pfeffer beans Chick Fewster, striking the Yankee shortstop behind the ear and flattening him. Fewster comes to 10 minutes later but soon loses the ability to speak. Taken to the hospital with a skull fracture and a blood clot on the brain‚ Fewster will recover slowly and return to play in mid-season.
…and on the 26th:
2005: Robinson Cano is reassigned to minor league camp and appears destined for another year in AAA.
Marius Russo, pitcher for three Yankees championship teams in the late ’30s and early ’40s, dies at the age of 91.
1968: Jose Vizcaino is born. Happy 46th to the man who delivered the game-winning hit in game 1 of the 2000 World Series!
1952: The Yankees sell future longtime MLB manager Gene Mauch to the Cardinals.
1951: In an exhibition game at USC‚ rookie sensation Mickey Mantle launches a homer that travels an estimated 660 feet. The shot clears Bovard Field and then goes the width of a practice football field before landing. The Mick has two homers‚ a bases loaded triple‚ and 7 RBI on the day as the Yanks flunk the Trojans 15-1.
1937: Joe DiMaggio tells the Sporting News that he is going to take Ty Cobb’s advice to use a 36- or 37-oz. bat rather than the 40-ouncer he had been swinging. Joe will hit .346 this year, and his 46 homers will be his highest season total in the bigs.
1936: Red Ruffing ends a holdout by signing with the Yankees for $12,000 this year.
1935: The Yankees acquire Pat Malone from the Cubs. Working out of the bullpen, the former Chicago ace will go 19-13 with 18 saves over the next three seasons, picking up three World Series rings in the process.