On April 25, 1965, Mel Stottlemyre battled future Yankee Rudy May of California in a scoreless duel won 1-0 by the Yanks on a fourth-inning Mickey Mantle home run.
The Yankees faced the unthinkable on April 25, 2011, almost being no-hit in their own ballpark by a player who had as yet not done anything to establish himself in the bigs. Right-hander Philip Humber‘s only big moment had been as a Mets prospect included with a bunch of players traded to Minnesota for Johan Santana a few years earlier, but now, one organization later, he held the Bombers hitless until an Alex Rodriguez one-out single up the middle in the home seventh inning. Meanwhile, a superb A.J. Burnett was having one of his best pinstriped games, allowing just three hits and one run through eight. It was all for naught, and Humber was rewarded with a 2-0 win.
In perhaps Javier Vazquez‘s finest performance in Pinstripes, he lost 2-0 to Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox on April 25, 2004. Due to a quirk in Joe Torre‘s injury-riddled starting rotation, the young righty was asked to take the mound in just the season’s fourth week on three days’ rest. He threw 100 great pitches and one bad one, which Boston leftfielder Manny Ramirez deposited in front of the flagpole at Monument Park with Mark Bellhorn aboard. Javy allowed just four hits and struck out eight through six frames, coaxing the eager Red Sox to swing and miss 17 times, but none of the four safeties Martinez allowed through seven scored.
Going back several decades, Whitey Ford beat the White Sox 11-2 at the Stadium on April 25, 1967. He surrendered eight hits and upped his record to 2-1. It was the Chairman of the Board’s last major league win.
On April 25, 2003, the Yanks ran into an effective start by a Ranger in Texas. But Mike Mussina more than matched Colby Lewis, leaving with a 3-1 lead on Jason Giambi‘s run-scoring single and a two-run jack by Nick Johnson. Juan Acevedo allowed a tainted run in the bottom of the ninth while cashing in the 3-2 win. unfortunately, they would meet Lewis again in the 2010 postseason.
Bernie Williams delivered Chuck Knoblauch, who had led off by being hit with a pitch, with the game-winner on this day in 1999 in a 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Jays in the Bronx; Jason Grimsley picked up the win.
Scott Brosius‘s singleton homer did not offset the five unearned runs that resulted from his two miscues on April 25, 2001, as the visiting Mariners whipped the Yankees in the Bronx by the same 7-5 score by which they had won by the day before.
After a terrific start to the season, righty reliever Brian Bruney continued to have trouble, and the Yankees put him on the 15-Day disabled list with a strained right flexor mass retroactive to April 22 on April 25, 2009. But the team reloaded that same day too, calling up shortstop Angel Berroa and righty Mark Melancon from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre. They recalled righthander David Robertson from Scranton-Wilkes Barre too.
The reason owners go off the deep end and fire managers is that they hope to get a bump out of it for the team. So I’m sure George Steinbrenner felt he had done the right thing on April 25, 1982, when he replaced Bob Lemon with Gene Michael. Shane Rawley pitched the Yanks to a 3-1 victory over the Tigers that evening, with Goose Gossage garnering the save.
On a disintegrating pitching staff, the Yankees placed righty reliever Brian Bruney on the 15-day disabled list on April 25, 2008 with a lisfranc injury to his foot, one of the two the pitching staff would suffer that year. They recalled righty Chris Britton from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, designated catcher Chad Moeller for assignment, and recalled righthander Jonathan Albaladejo from AAA as well.
Jack Chesbro posted the first of 41 wins in 1904 when he pitched the Yanks to a 4-1 victory in Washington on April 25.
Righty reliever David Weathers had worn out his welcome in the Bronx through ineffective pitching that culminated in four runs allowed in one third of an inning in a 9-3 loss to the White Sox on this day in 1997. He would be “designated for reassignment” the following day.
Back-to-back homers by Todd Walker and Christian Guzman off Ramiro Mendoza in the third inning got the Twins started toward a 6-1 win over the home-standing Yanks on April 25, 2000.
An ugly day for Billy Martin: He was pelted with marshmallows by fans in Minnesota during a 10-3 loss of his A’s to the Twins on April 25, 1980. Martin had had a fight with a marshmallow salesman his last time in the Twin Cities, serving as Yankee Manager at that time.
Babe Ruth, with Boston at the time, pitched 10 innings in defeating the Yankees 4-3 at the Polo Grounds on April 25, 1916.
On this day in 1933, Russ Van Atta shut out the Senators 16-0 in his Yankee debut. He stroked four hits in winning the ballgame, a good day indeed.
When San Diego Padre Rickey Henderson drew a ninth-inning walk off Jose Mesa in the Phillies’ 5-3 victory on April 25, 2001, he passed Babe Ruth for the all-time lead in walks with his 2,063rd.
A few other April 25 feats achieved by former or future Yankee players are noteworthy. When David Justice homered twice in an 11-4 Indians win over Milwaukee on April 25, 1997, he played second fiddle to Matt Williams, who reached fences three times for four rbi’s. The eight dingers stroked by Tribe players that day set a team record, and with the Brew Crew kicking in with three of their own, the two teams tied the major league mark of 11.
With the crosstown Mets at the time, Jose Vizcaino‘s four safeties in the 9-3 win over St. Louis on April 25, 1996, brought his streak of consecutive hits to nine, a new club record.
Wrapping up the category, there was nothing memorable about the seven errors Detroit made in their American League debut against Milwaukee on April 25, 1901, except perhaps that future Highlanders shortstop Kid Elberfeld made three of them. But when the Tigers scored 10 runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 14-13 win, they set a record for Opening Days that still has not been matched.
When Christy Matthewson seven-hit the Phillies 3-1 on April 25, 1912, two of the seven safeties were the only major league hits by a 17-year-old infielder named Gene Steinbrenner. I know of no relation to the Yankee owner, but infielder Gene is included on the list of noteworthy nonYankee April 25 deaths, below, based on his surname.
There were no new members voted to the Hall of Fame in 1945, but the following turn-of-the-century guys were voted in by a veterans’ committee on April 25: Jimmy Collins, Roger Bresnahan, Fred Clarke, Dan Brouthers, Ed Delehanty, Hugh Jennings, Mike “King” Kelly, Jim O’Rourke, Wilbert Robinson, and Hugh Duffy.
No Yankee players have died on April 25.
Interestingly, Gene Steinbrenner is one of five notable players to have died on April 25, in his case in 1970, 58 years to the day after his two hits. He knocked in one run. Righty Tony Mullane (1944) posted most of his 284-220 mark with 15 saves from 1881-1894 with Cincinnati. A contemporary, lefty-hitting shortstop and catcher Jack Rove (1911) divided his 1879-1885, 1890 career between the Bisons and the Wolverines. He homered 28 times and knocked in 644 runs. Catcher Bruce Edwards (1975) stroked most of his 39 home runs with 241 rbi’s from 1946-1956 with the Dodgers and the Cubs; and outfielder Mike Kreevich (1994) reached 45 fences good for 514 runs driven in between 1931 and 1945 with the White Sox and the Browns.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Whitey Ford was not the only Ford to pitch for the Yanks, as Russ Ford (1883), who went 73-56 for the 1909 to 1913 Yankees, was born this day. Russ jumped to the Federal League Buffalo Buffeds before the 1914 season. Ford developed the “emery ball” (scuffed with emery paper), and had great success with it until the pitch was outlawed.
There was a new entry into the ranks of April 25 Yankee birhdays when first baseman Juan Miranda got into five games in 2008. He went 4-for-10 at the plate, including a double, and he drove in one run, and had four home runs with 14 rbi’s in 46 games from 2008-2010 before the Yanks traded him to Arizona for Scott Allen in November 2010.
Darren Holmes (1966) is another ex-Yank born this day. He posted an 0-3 record with two saves for the 1998 club, and was traded with cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Ben Ford and Izzy Molina in March 1999. And lefty Art Shallack (1924) posted a 3-2 win/loss mark for the Yanks during his stay in 1951 through 1955.
Although Bob Johnson (1943), who posted most of his 28-34 mark from 1969-1977 with the Pirates, never pitched for the Yanks, he was signed as a free agent with them in 1975.
Other baseball birthdays today lead off with Hall of Fame Negro League player Pop Lloyd (1884); Bobby Estallela (1911), the grandfather of the identically named guy who caught a few games for the Yanks a few years back; Tony Phillips (1959); Brad Clontz (1972); Jacque Jones (1975); Kazuhito Tadano (1980); Mike Rouse (1980); Sean White (1981); Brian Barton (1982); J.P. Howell (1983); Garrett Mock (1983); Robert Andino (1984); and Danny Espinosa (1987).
Players Born This Day