March 20 in Yankee History

  • On March 20, 1958, the Phillies attempted to trade for first baseman and outfielder Joe Collins from the Yankees, but Joe opted to retire rather than report. A lefty like Don Mattingly who both threw and batted that way, Joe appeared in seven World Series in his Yankee career; the Yanks won five of them. He played for the Yanks exclusively, for whom he slugged 86 round-trippers with 329 rbi’s and 27 steals from 1948-1957. Continue reading
  • March 19 in Yankee History

  • With Phil Nevin lost for the season with a dislocated shoulder, Padres general manager Kevin Towers was looking for outfielder help, and the Yanks were looking to unload a lot of unproductive salary. Part One of Brian Cashman‘s three-part plan (neither Raul Mondesi nor Sterling Hitchcock would finish the season in the Bronx either) dovetailed with Towers’s outfield shortage as Rondell White was shipped from New York to San Diego in exchange for outfielder Bubba Trammell and lefthander Mark Phillips on March 19, 2003. Continue reading
  • March 18 in Yankee History

  • Peter Ueberroth perhaps failed to deliver as Commissioner of Baseball, despite the fact that there were some high hopes after his stirring success with the LA Olympics. But he ranks above Bud Selig, in my opinion, simply because he had the wisdom to reinstate Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays into baseball’s good graces on March 18, 1985. Bowie Kuhn had banned them both for making a living by accepting casino money to serve in public relations. Can you imagine having two ex-players the stature of Mays and Mantle and presuming to tell them they could have no connection to the game? Incredible. Continue reading
  • March 17 in Yankee History

  • Happy St. Patty’s Day. I like to think that down deep inside, we’re ALL Irish, and all Yankee fans, from Babe Ruth rooters, to fans of the Captain, Derek Jeter.
  • On March 17, 1988, I and a friend had a unique (and unfortunate for the Yanks) Spring Training experience. We enjoyed the North Miami vibe on the one hand with a delightful breakfast featuring Cuban coffee in a local deli, and survived its dark side as we had to drive around a crack bust to arrive at Bobby Maduro Stadium. Then we watched newly acquired Yankee Jack Clark tear a tendon in his calf in his first Yankee at bat while hitting a home run in his first spring training game of the year, against the Orioles. Clark, who stumbled on the first base bag admiring his long drive, would miss Opening Day and have an injury-filled, disappointing Yankee season. Continue reading
  • March 13 in Yankee History

  • “We Play Today; We Win Today” It’s rare that I would want to lead off with a salute to a player who spent years with the Dodgers (of all teams) and just a year and a half with the Yankees. But I make an exception for Mariano Duncan, who was born on March 13, 1963. The Yanks have had a great run, and they did in the seventies too, but among all those teams (even the ’78 team with the comeback), few would disagree that the Championship year that surprised most people, the one title fewest fans expected the team to win, was 1996. Obviously some guys played over their heads, and who did so more than Mr. Duncan, who hit .340, and who became famous for the saying that serves as today’s subtitle? Another Duncan claim to fame is that he and Luis Quinones of the Reds tied a major league record on August 3, 1989, by each coming to the plate three times in the same inning during a first-inning, 14-run outburst against the Astros. (The final was 18-2.) The Yanks signed Duncan as a free agent in December 1995, and traded him to the Blue Jays for minor leaguer Angel Ramirez in July 1997. Continue reading
  • March 11 in Yankee History

  • Johnny Mize and Rube Foster were elected to the Hall of Fame on March 11, 1981. Rube was a star pitcher, manager, and organizer in the Negro Leagues; Johnny finished his career as a part-time first baseman, super sub, and pinch hitter for the Yanks in 1949-1954. Mize was the World Series MVP in 1952, hitting .400 with three home runs in the seven-game series. He played for the Bombers five years, and earned five Championship rings. Continue reading