Two huge things happened in new Yankee Stadium on April 22, 2009, both necessitated because the Oakland A’s scored two seventh-inning runs off Yankee ace CC Sabathia, one of them on an rbi from ex-Yank Jason Giambi, to tie the score 7-7. Both teams batted seven times thereafter with no change in score, until Melky Cabrera made a bid to take the starting center field spot with a long ball. What’s more, his home run, which plated teammate Nick Swisher before him, gave the Yanks their first walkoff win of a magical season, 9-7 in 14 innings. Two more things worthy of mention: Swisher reached on a walk, the third time in the game he had battled to a full count. Much more surprising, however, was the bullpen appearance that carried the Yanks to the win: 3.3 innings of no-hit, one-walk, four-strike-out, no-run relief from Jose Veras. Last note: The loser of the four-hour, 56-minute battle was ex-Yank Dan Geise.
Some Yankee history you get to see yourself. On April 22, 2001, the Yanks beat the Red Sox 4-3 in 10, as Jason Varitek scored Trot Nixon, running for Manny Ramirez, with a single in the top of the 10th, but Paul O’Neill (with one out) and David Justice (with two) went yard off Derek Lowe.
For another April 22 Yankee extra-inning highlight, look no further than the Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford. On this day in 1959, Whitey struck out 15 Senators and pitched a complete-game, 14-inning, 1-0 shutout. The offensive heroics were supplied by a Moose Skowron home run. It was the longest 1-0 game ended with a home run.
Mickey Mantle was at it again in a home opener on April 22, 1960, as he stroked a fourth-inning homer off Hoyt Wilhelm in a 5-0 Yankee win.
If tall Texas (at the time) righty Chris Young needed any further convincing that playing baseball rather than basketball was his professional course for the future, his 5-3 victory over New York in Yankee Stadium on April 22, 2005, provided it. Young had starred in round ball at Princeton, but he held the Pinstripers without a hit through three innings, while his Rangers teammates jumped on Kevin Brown for four runs in the top of the first. Ex-Yanks led the offense, as Alfonso Soriano scored Texas’s first run, and David Dellucci drove in two.
If you think that Yankee pitcher Don Larsen‘s 1956 season had only the one highlight, think again. On April 22 of that season he hit a grand slam home run in a 13-6 win over the Red Sox.
The Yankee trade of Ruben Rivera and Rafael Medina and cash to San Diego for the rights to negotiate with Japanese hurler Hideki Irabu took place on April 22, 1997. The Padres added three minor leaguers, including second baseman Homer Bush.
Crosstown rival or not, some of the exploits of Tom Seaver just need to be reported. On this day in 1970, the New York Mets ace struck out 19 Padres in a 2-1 Mets victory, including the last 10 guys up!
It’s not surprising that a host of offensive stars came to the fore in the Yanks’ 9-3 win in Anaheim on April 22, 2003, as Jorge Posada hit a two-run bomb, Nick Johnson reached safely three times and scored all three, and Bernie Williams walked twice, singled, doubled, scored two and knocked in two. But Jeff Weaver was the surprise winner.
You live and learn. Having failed to give out rain checks before rain stopped the game the day before, the Highlanders opened the gates of Hilltop Park, offering free admission, on this day back in 1905. They beat Washington, 5-3, in front of an overflow crowd of 30,000 fans.
Two years earlier, the Highlanders (Yankees) played their first ever game, losing 3-1 in Washington on April 22, 1903. The Yanks started well, scoring their tally in their first time up ever, but Al Orth bested Jack Chesbro, with both throwing six-hitters.
The Yanks swamped Toronto Blue Jay Roger Clemens 9-1 on this day in 1998. Andy Pettitte got the win, and Scott Brosius had three hits and five rbi’s.
Joe Crede‘s singleton sixth-inning blast off Mike Mussina was Chicago’s winning margin when they beat the visiting Yankees 4-3 on April 22, 2004. The three Yankee tallies were set up by Hideki Matsui, Tony Clark, and Jorge Posada doubles.
On April 22, 2011, the Yankees optioned right-hander Hector Noesi to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Then after making room on the 40-man roster by releasing lefty Jose Ortegano, they called up righty Buddy Carlyle from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Andy Phillips, probably feeling much like a Yo-Yo, was recalled from Columbus to the Yanks on this day in 2005.
The Yanks unveiled the famous “hat in the ring” logo on this day in 1915.
The Yankees fell 2-1 in 18 innings to the Senators on April 22, 1970. Washington scored the winner off Ron Klimkowski, making a winner out of Joe Grzenda.
The Bombers were the big losers on April 22, 1955, despite blanking the Red Sox, 3-0, as they lost second sacker Jerry Coleman for the year to a broken collarbone sustained in a rundown between third and home.
In another injury-plagued Yankee day, Babe Ruth was carried off the field at Fenway after colliding with Boston catcher Charlie Berry on April 22, 1931, while trying to score on a sac fly. Once again, however, the New Yorkers came away with a win, this time by a 7-5 score.
On April 22, 1944, the Pinstripers celebrated receiving their ’43 World Series rings with a 6-3 victory over Washington.
As one who has the Sunday plan in the Stadium, I find it interesting that April 22, 1923, was the first Sunday game in the Baseball Cathedral. They drew 60,000 fans, but fell in their first defeat of the year, 4-3 to the Nationals.
On this day in 1914, Babe Ruth made his first professional appearance as a pitcher in a 6-0 win for Baltimore over Buffalo of the International League. The second batter he faced was none other than Joe McCarthy, the guy who would manage Ruth during the last four of his 16 years in New York.
The most noteworthy of all the April 22 items affecting future or former Yankee players was the base hit recorded by Johnny Callison of the White Sox in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 20-6 drubbing of Kansas City on April 22, 1959. The Palehose plated 11 tallies in that frame, but Callison’s bingle was the lone hit. The generous A’s contributed 10 walks, three errors, and a hit by pitch to the onslaught.
Chris Bosio of the Mariners threw a 7-0 shutout when he no-hit the Red Sox on April 22, 1993.
Nolan Ryan whiffed Rickey Henderson for his 5,000th career strike out on April 22, 1989.
Fans attacking umpires and players on the field is not unique to the new millennium. On April 22, 1981, Oriole pitcher Dennis Martinez was injured when he was hit by a bottle thrown by a fan. It happened in Comiskey Park in Chicago.
Two of three Yankee players who have died on April 22 had significant careers with the team. Third and second baseman Fritz Maisel (1967) debuted in New York from 1913-1917, years during which he hit six home runs with 142 rbi’s. But the 74 stolen bases he managed in 1914 was the Yankee season record for 75 years until Rickey Henderson broke it. Fritz added 16 rbi’s playing for the 1918 St. Louis Browns. Switch-hitting shortstop Mark Koenig (1993) also got his start with the Yanks, and he cleared 15 fences good for 245 rbi’s from 1925-1930. Those numbers grew to 28 and 443 after stints with Detroit, Chicago (the Cubs), and Cincinnati from 1930-1936. Finally, catcher Ernie Krueger (1976) had no homers or rbi’s for the 1915 Yankees during the 29 at bats he managed in 10 games. He hit 11 long balls and knocked in 93 in a nine-year career mostly spent with the Dodgers.
We’ll list a hurler and a utility guy as two more noteworthy players who have passed on April 22. Righthander Joe Benz (1957) did all of his pitching from 1911-1919 with the White Sox, to a 76-75 mark with three saves. Lefty-hitting Lou Finney (1966) played more outfield and first base than anywhere else from 1931-1947, including lengthy stays with the A’s and the Red Sox. He hit 31 home runs with 494 rbi’s.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Recently a candidate for future Yankee pitching coach, crowd favorite from the mid-nineties Jimmy Key (1961) was born this day. He went 48-23 for the Yanks in the regular season between 1993 and 1996, and will always be remembered as the winner of the Series-deciding Game 6 in 1996, ending an 18-year gap between Yankee championships. Although Key arrived and left as a free agent, the latter transaction was largely seen as a trade for David Wells, as the Yanks signed Boomer when the Orioles signed Key.
Middle infielder Neal Ball (1881) got his start with the 1907-1909 Highlanders, where he drove in 45 runs and stole 35 bases before being purchased by the Cleveland Naps in May of the latter year. He played four years in Cleveland and two with the Red Sox.
Catcher Bob Schmidt (1933), on the other hand, finished off his big-league experience with New York after being acquired from Washington in 1963. He cleared the fence once and knocked in three runs with the 1965 club. And righthander Stefan Weber‘s (1958) only major-league game was with the 1982 Yanks; he took the loss. Weber was selected in the sixth round of the 1979 amateur free agent draft.
Other birthdays: Righthander Bob Smith (1895), who won more than 100 games from 1925-1937, mostly with the Boston Braves; Mickey Vernon (1918); David Clyde (1955), famous for being signed by Bob Short in Texas right out of high school and starting in the majors that week; tough Brewers righty Moose Haas (1956); former Phillie manager and current Red Sox pilot Terry Francona (1959); a favorite name of Harry Kalas in Philly, Mickey Morandini (1966); Carlos Hernandez (1980); David Purcey (1982); Tyson Ross (1987); and Dee Gordon (1988).
Players Born This Day