March 5 in Yankee History

  • The story tells itself once the names of the two Yankee players involved are mentioned, I’m sure. It was more than 30 years ago today that hurlers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich decided to swap wives (more like families, actually) in Spring Training. Some point out that the story had a happier outcome for Fritz, for he was with the ex-Mrs. Kekich for many years, while the other couple did not last a month. But although it’s true that Fritz also lasted longer in the Bronx after the incident, neither lasted long. Both were banished to Cleveland in trades, though at different times so they were not teammates again. Continue reading
  • March 4 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees ended a stellar 10-day start to their 2018 Spring Training season with a stinker, as Tampa Bay came to GMS Field and pounded the home team 9-1. Ex-Yank Nate Eovaldi was strong in starting the game for the Rays, as he would be vs New York for the Red Sox seven months later. Righthander Ben Heller did a great job relieving Aroldis Chapman in the third by whiffing three straight, but his luck ran out there, as the next five Tampa batters reached safely, with three of them scoring. The rout was on. Continue reading
  • March 3 in Yankee History

  • A fairly representative group of Yankee players made the long trek to Ft. Myers on March 3, 2018, to play the Red Sox in Jet Blue Park, a venue built to mimic Fenway park, including featuring its own Green Monster in left field. Aaron Hicks, Greg Bird, Brandon Drury, Didi Gregorius, and Gleyber Torres were the first five Yankee batters, while Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield were the first two visitors to the mound. The game proceeded as a low-scoring, back-and-forth affair, with the home team up 3-2 through seven innings. But young pinstriped outfielder Jeff Hendrix‘s two-run eighth-inning double was the big blow in the 5-3 Yankee win, with Jonathan Holder throwing two strong innings for the win. Continue reading
  • March 2 in Yankee History

  • The terrific start to the Yankee 2018 Spring Training campaign continued apace on March 2, despite the quick 4-0 lead visiting Atlanta took, largely on Ronald Acuna, Jr.‘s first-inning home run off Masahiro Tanaka. Miguel Andujar got two runs back with a fourth-inning rbi double, and Tyler Austin had a walkoff two-run bomb in the bottom of the ninth in the 5-4 Yankee win. Continue reading
  • March 1 in Yankee History

  • Even though new third base acquisition Brandon Drury would hit one of five home runs in the visiting Yankees’ 6-4 win against Philadelphia in Clearwater, Fla., on March 1, 2018 (with Estevan Florial scoring the other run after leading off the seventh with a triple), the victory had Miguel Andujar supporters in the crowd feeling triumphant, as Miggy gave the Bombers an early 2-0 lead with singleton jacks in the second and third innings. CC Sabathia and Domingo German had the Yankees up 6-2 through six, and the team coasted from there. Continue reading
  • February 28 in Yankee History

  • Several springs ago, much of the Yankee controversy spun around the late George Steinbrenner and his criticism of Derek Jeter regarding his level of intensity and commitment to his game. It seemed a tempest in a teapot when they did a series of Visa commercials together lampooning the alleged late-night partying, and then suddenly, Jeter was named team captain. Although I’m sure no one knew that Alex Rodriguez would be joining him on the left side of the Yankee infield soon, the timing of Derek’s receipt of this honor before that trade was fortuitous. These musings flow from the fact that it was February 28 in 1991 that Don Mattingly became the 10th Yankee captain. Donnie, who served in that capacity through 1995, his last year in Pinstripes, arrived on the scene as hitting coach the same year Jeter began his first full season holding that title. Donnie served as Joe Torre‘s bench coach for the Dodgers in 2007-2009, then took over as manager, and joined the Marlins in that capacity in 2016. Continue reading
  • February 27 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees continued to roll in their 2018 Spring campaign on February 27, 2018, as a five-run seventh inning rally against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., carried them to a 9-8 win. Minor league first baseman Ryan McBroom, who had a walkoff for Toronto vs the Yankees in March 2017, started the rally by tying the score for New York with a leadoff home run. And minor league outfielder Mark Dayton crowned the rally with a three-run double. Continue reading
  • February 26 in Yankee History

  • With the birthday of the Warrior Paul O’Neill just yesterday and Don Mattingly having become Joe Torre‘s bench coach after several seasons as the Yankees batting coach during this time in 2007, and his replacement as manager with LA in 2011, it would be easy to wax nostalgic about the day some of our favorite players wore the Pinstripes for the last time. The fact that Donnie was wearing Dodger Blue with Torre in 2008 and 2009, and continued to until recently, adds to the reverie. But perhaps no day in Yankee history is as fraught with that form of bittersweet musing than February 26, 1935. That is the day the Yankees released the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, so he could sign on with the Boston Braves of the National League. Of his 714 career homers and 2,213 rbi’s, the Bambino collected six and 12, respectively with the 1935 Braves. Continue reading
  • February 25 in Yankee History

  • It’s All Good! Just one of those days, so you might as well sit back and enjoy it: The Ultimate Yankee Baseball Warrior, our own beloved Paul O’Neill (1963), was born this day; as was Hall of Famer Monte Irvin (1919). As to the many superlatives of Paulie’s career, the highlights are too many: I like http://www.pauloneill21.com, but take your pick. We’ll give his Yankee stats below. Continue reading
  • February 24 in Yankee History

  • The murmurs started with the early onset of Spring Training games (due to the World Baseball Classic) that fans should not get excited about the tremendous Spring campaign the Yankees put together, starting with a 9-4 demolition of the visiting Phillies on February 24, 2017. Didi Gregorius took the first pitch he saw over the fence in right center in the first, and, yes, Aaron Judge gave the home team a 2-0 lead with a bomb to left center in the fourth. On the pitching side of the ledger, once Brian Mitchell retired the first six Phillies, things that would not be trends in the upcoming season took place, as Tyler Clippard, Tommy Layne, and Luis Cessa pitched well, while Jordan Montgomery and Giovanny Gallegos didn’t. But the promising play of the team right out of the box would continue to play out in the summer and fall in a very enjoyable year. Continue reading