April 11 in Yankee History

  • On April 11, 1912, the Yankees wore the pinstripes for the first time in the opener against the Red Sox at Hilltop Park. The locals (playing on the “Hilltop,” they were the “Highlanders”) took a 2-1 lead in the first against Smoky Joe Wood, but two of the four tallies Boston pushed across in the ninth scored on Wood’s single in the 5-3 New York loss. Continue reading
  • April 10 in Yankee History

  • Nothing like a home opener, and April 10, 2017, was no different. It was warm and sunny, and the Yanks beat the Rays 8-1. Michael Pineda could hardly have pitched better: 20 of 25 first-pitch strikes through 7.67 dominant frames, 11 K’s and no walks, and just two hits, the latter a Logan Morrison home run on Mike’s 93rd — and last — pitch. By then the home team led 3-0 on a Jacoby Ellsbury rbi double, an Aaron Judge home run (the buzz began!), and a Chase Headley bomb as well. The Bombers put it away with a five-run eighth featuring a Matt Holliday double, Chris Carter triple, and Starlin Castro home run. Willie Randolph, Tino Martinez, and Joe Torre tossed out ceremonial first pitches in front of 47,000 delirious fans. Baseball was back! Continue reading
  • April 9 in Yankee History

  • There are plenty of Yankee- and baseball-related events to talk about that happened on April 9, including the death of a Hall of Famer. But the most significant item in this Yankee fan’s experience on that day occurred on 1996 Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. The Opener is an event that is longingly awaited every year, but the uplifting and exciting, then excruciating, five-game loss to the Seattle Mariners in the 1995 ALDS had left Yankee fans hungry for big-time winning baseball. So 50,000-plus suffered and froze their way to a 7-3 victory over Kansas City behind the gritty Andy Pettitte through a nonstop snowstorm that day. None realized that the day would have a second highlight with the almost offhand Yankee offer of a free ticket to one of three upcoming games to all who had suffered through the conditions. Continue reading
  • April 8 in Yankee History

  • Notching their first 2015 win despite struggling with R.A. Dickey‘s knuckleball, the Yanks evened their record at 1-1 by outpointing Toronto 4-3 on April 8. Pinch hitter Chris Young doubled off southpaw Aaron Loup to start the three-run, game-winning, eighth-inning rally to make a winner of Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller came on to post his first save in pinstripes. Starting the season as fans and manager Joe Girardi hoped they would, table setters Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner scored three of the Yankee runs. Continue reading
  • April 7 in Yankee History

  • The late offense that saved Nate Eovaldi from a loss after he surrendered five runs to the Astros over five innings, largely on two home runs, would prove illusory later in the season, but the solid bullpen work that ensured the victory on April 7, 2016, would be a club feature all year. Starlin Castro and Mark Teixeira homers (two in his first two games wearing the pinstripes for Castro) supplied the comeback offense in the 8-5 victory, but the three-hit, no-run relief from Kirby Yates, Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller carried the day. Continue reading
  • April 6 in Yankee History

  • It was small consolation that a player with local roots buried the Yankees with a 14th-inning grand slam, as Pedro Alvarez put us out of our six-hour misery with a blast off Jonathan Holder in the visiting Orioles’ 7-3 win on April 6, 2018. Holder, off to a horrible start, would recover to have a fine year, and Didi Gregorius would continue his fine start with an eighth-inning home run that sent us into extras. The Yanks were in the midst of losing three of four to the hopeless Orioles at home, a primary reason why they failed to beat the Red Sox for the division title. The loss was even more frustrating because right fielder Aaron Judge, whose late-season broken bone in his finger was another reason the team came up short, made a briefly game-saving, homer-denying catch off a Caleb Joseph shot in the 13th. Continue reading
  • April 5 in Yankee History

  • The wheels came off suddenly in Yankee Stadium on April 5, 2018. Masahiro Tanaka allowed just three hits through six when Aaron Judge homered for a 1-0 lead. Giancarlo Stanton, playing left, kept the visiting Orioles off the board in the first, as his throw to Didi Gregorius and on to Gary Sanchez at the plate nailed Trey Mancini trying to score on an Adam Jones single. But a seventh-inning Jones homer got it started, a Tim Beckham single drove Tanaka from the mound, and Chad Green and Adam Warren had bad outings, resulting in a five-run frame. Neil Walker‘s rbi single in the bottom half was too little, and the Yanks fell, 5-2. Continue reading
  • Don’t Tell Gator

    Bronx, N.Y., April 3, 2019; Detroit 2, Yankees 1 — Ron Guidry had a glorious day in old Yankee Stadium in 1978, the day he whiffed 18 Angels to establish the Yankee record for strike outs in a game. It was an uplifting day in the Bronx, and my recollection is that it was the day the fan practice of standing and applauding once a pitcher had two strikes on the batter originated. Louisiana Lightning has been in the Yankee pantheon for what he did that day, and that year, ever since. Continue reading

    April 3 in Yankee History

  • Even the most grizzled and veteran Yankee fan will have to admit that April 3, 2009, is a huge day in Yankee history. With the venerable old Stadium being slowly chipped away at across 161st Street, it was on this day that the team opened their new Palace in what would become a Championship season, just as they enjoyed when they opened the original 86 years sooner. Would the magic make it across the street? Most doubts were dispelled when Hideki Matsui hit a two-run home run off the right field foul pole in the third inning and Cody Ransom thudded a high drive off the top of the left field pole for three more runs in the fourth. Chien-Ming Wang started the 8-5 exhibition victory over the NL Chicago Cubs, who started ex-Yankee Ted Lilly. Mariano Rivera pitched a rare sixth inning. Continue reading