March 8 in Yankee History

  • We felt privileged and lucky to be in Tampa on March 8, 1999, when we heard the sad news that Joe DiMaggio had passed on. Had we been home when we heard it, we would have had nowhere to turn, as the Ballpark in the Bronx was not up to speed yet. Things were handled in a pretty dignified manner at Legends Field, and a painting of Joe was placed in front of his number and plaque in the southern wing, if you will, of Monument Park. It made it easier to spend a moment honoring and remembering “the Greatest Living Ballplayer.” Continue reading
  • March 7 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees displayed some great pitching in George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa on March 7, 2016, but the bats were lacking in a 1-0 loss to the Astros. Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, and Andrew Miller pitched six scoreless among them, but despite recording his signature two strike outs, Dellin Betances gave up the lone tally on back-to-back doubles in the seventh. Pinch hitter Chris Parmalee got the crowd amped with a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth, but died on base when Cesar Puello grounded into a game-ending double play. Continue reading
  • March 6 in Yankee History

  • When Babe Ruth signed a three-year deal on March 6, 1922, he more than tripled the yearly salary of teammate Frank “Home Run” Baker, the second-highest on the team. But it was only fair. He had outhomered him in 1921 by better than 7-to-1; The Babe hit 59 to Baker’s eight. Continue reading
  • 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
  • End of the Road

    Tampa, Fla., March 4, 2017; Tampa Rays 9, Yankees 1 — Well, eight wins in nine Yankee games, and 10 wins (because we considered all nonYankee games we attended wins) overall, came to a shattering halt in Tampa Sunday afternoon. Following a sting of easy — and unlikely — victories, it all came crashing down In a game where almost nothing went well for the home team. For us, the day started unhappily, because we dragged ourselves to the park a bit early, only to be informed upon arrival that today there would be no batting practice. Continue reading

    March 4 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees got back to winning in a big way on March 4, 2017, pounding the Tigers 11-1 in Lakeland, Florida, though Detroit pitching helped, issuing nine walks to go with the 13 hits from the visitors. Both right fielder Aaron Hicks and catcher Gary Sanchez stroked two-run bombs, with Sanchez earning a third rbi when he received one of those free passes with the bases loaded in the four-run fifth. Anchoring the ninth spot in the order, center fielders Dustin Fowler and Rashad Crawford had big hits, with Fowler scoring twice and Crawford driving in two. Yankee pitching struck out 11 Bengal batters, with starter Michael Pineda whiffing four straight, all swinging, spanning the first and second frames. Continue reading
  • A Love Fest in the Sun

    Ft. Myers, Fla., March 3, 2018; Yankees 5, Red Sox 3 — The dominant start to the Yankees’ Spring Training season received perhaps its stiffest test Saturday afternoon. The dawn/dusk, yin/yang/ ebb/flow can be hard to read over the years, decades even, of the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry. Both teams are expecting big seasons in 2018, so even though this was just a Spring Training game we were traveling almost three hours South to attend, we weren’t sure what to expect. It was my first game at Boston’s beautiful JetBlue Field complex in Ft. Myers. Enveloped in warm temps under blue cloudless skies, the vibe was more Love-In and music festival than bitter rivalry for the ages. Continue reading

    March 3 in Yankee History

  • As touched upon in a February 25 report, the Yankees suffered the second loss of their 2017 Spring campaign on March 3, with both losses suffered by southpaw Joe Mantiply. Visiting Toronto in Dunedin, Florida, the Bombers fell behind 2-0 in the first on a Jose Bautista home run off Luis Severino, and the score held until the ninth. But then the visitors rallied for two on a Ji-Man Choi two-rbi single, with speedy Tyler Wade scoring the second run. Mantiply came on for the bottom half and, with one out, (ironically named) first baseman Ryan McBroom homered for the walkoff Blue Jays win. Illustrating the up and down nature of this game we all love, Bautista would have a bad year, perhaps his last; Severino would respond to a largely shaky 2016 with a third-place finish in the AL Cy Young Award race; McBroom would become Yankee property and play at AA Trenton; and Choi is now a free agent signing by the Brewers. Continue reading
  • The Right Stuff

    Tampa, Fla., March 2, 2018; Yankees 5, Atlanta 4 — Strongly copying what took place last March, the Yanks started the second week of Spring Training games today with their second walkoff, achieving a 7-1 record on Tyler Austin’s second home run in two days. Masahiro Tanaka’s shaky start had the team down 4-0 to the visiting Braves in the second inning, a deficit it took all day to overcome. Continue reading

    March 2 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees pounded the visiting Orioles both early and late in an 8-1 Spring victory on March 2, 2017. Matt Holliday and Greg Bird home runs put the Bombers up 4-1, and Billy McKinney continued his strong campaign, knocking in three with a homer and an rbi double after subbing for right fielder Aaron Hicks in the sixth. Adam Warren gave up the lone Baltimore tally in a three-inning start on a singleton home run by Caleb Joseph in the third. Continue reading