Although I do sympathize with fans’ ire at long games, the Yanks have been having them with the Orioles for years, but particularly since the park at Camden Yards has been open. Taking advantage of a lull in my midweek work schedule in 1996, I traveled to Baltimore to see a two-game Yankees/Orioles set. The first became the longest nine-inning game in baseball history (to that point anyway), on April 30, 1996. The Orioles jumped all over poor Andy Pettitte for a 9-4 lead after two innings, but the Bombers fought back and tied it in the fifth, and won it 13-10, largely on the strength of a late Tino Martinez three-run home run. Jim Leyritz and Paul O’Neill homered too, and Paul’s was a mighty drive to right center that landed on a tile next to Boog’s Barbecue on Eutaw Street. The tile was marked to commemorate Paul’s homer’s landing point the next day (though no evidence remains except my eyewitness account, I believe). Last quirk: One of the Yankee innings was pitched by the soon-to-be-lost-to-surgery Scott Kamieniecki. He retired the side in order despite going 3-0 on all three batters.
Perhaps setting a pattern regarding the 2012 battle with Baltimore, the Yanks prevailed 2-1 over the Orioles in Yankee Stadium on April 30, 2012, with Hiroki Kuroda prevailing over Jason Hammel, with the Yankee vet, newly signed as a free agent, allowing just four singles through seven. Up by the final score after two on Eric Chavez‘s two-run bomb, the Yanks turned to David Robertson for a three-strike-out eighth, and the game was saved by Mariano Rivera, who shortly would be lost for the remainder of the season after a pregame injury.
The Yanks jumped on young Kyle Drabek for five runs in three innings in Yankee Stadium on April 30, 2011, and held on to beat Toronto 5-4 behind A.J. Burnett. Each of the five runs and each of the five rbi’s came from different players, with Eric Chavez and Russell Martin the only Yanks to record one of each.
Call it “Core Four” Night if you like. When the Yanks took on and beat the White Sox 6-4 in Yankee Stadium on April 30, 2010, Andy Pettitte got the win despite a Paul Konerko three-run home run that put him in a big hole, largely because Derek Jeter had a huge rbi night with a two-run home run in the fifth and two more runs driven in with a triple in the home seventh. Keeping up the theme, Mariano Rivera not only delivered a three-up-three-down ninth inning for the save, but got the last two swinging. The one drawback is that although Jorge Posada made a pinch hitting appearance, he struck out. The Yanks scored their first four runs against 2011 Yankee Freddy Garcia, although he did not take the loss. It was revealed on the scoreboard during this one that with his 442nd double two nights before, Jeter had tied Don Mattingly for third on the all-time Yankee list.
Two-run home runs from Andy Phillips (in the fifth) and Jason Giambi (in the seventh) carried Mike Mussina and the Yanks to a 4-1 win over Gustavo Chacin and Toronto on April 30, 2006.
Young Javier Vazquez continued to warm the hearts of Yankee fans on April 30, 2004, as he allowed just two hits over eight innings in beating Brian Anderson and the Kansas City Royals 5-2 in Yankee Stadium. Middle-innings rbi’s from Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, and Jorge Posada gave the Yanks a 3-2 lead, and Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams supplied insurance in the home eighth.
Yankee closer Mariano Rivera was activated from the Disabled List on April 30, 2003. Righty Jason Anderson was optioned to AAA Columbus to make room.
In a similar vein, 2005 Yankee hero Aaron Small returned from the Disabled List on April 30, 2006, as Matt Smithwas optioned to Columbus to create a roster space. But it wasn’t to be Aaron’s year this time and he suffered one of his three season losses (without a win) the next day.
But the multiple moves on April 30, 2008, when the Yankees placed infielder Alex Rodriguez and pitcher Phil Hughes on the 15-day disabled list, bespoke a team in injury-caused disarray. Righty Chris Britton was recalled from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to add an arm, while the activation of lefty Sean Henn from the disabled list was made so he could be designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster. That cleared a spot for catcher Chad Moeller, up to replace youngster Chris Stewart in light of Jorge Posada‘s injured shoulder.
All those moves had little effect as the Yanks suffered a 6-2 loss to Detroit that day (April 30, 2008), with Alberto Gonzalez playing third base in place of Alex Rodriguez and hitting ninth. Former Yank Marcus Thames homered for two, and Placido Polanco went yard twice in support of Jeremy Bonderman, who won as Andy Pettitte took the loss. As the Stadium loudspeaker called it, “former Yankee player” Billy Crystal did the games-left-in-Yankee-Stadium count honors, moving the number from 71 to 70.
Sadly, Lou Gehrig went 0-for-4 on April 30, 1939, the game that was to be the last in The Iron Horse’s remarkable streak. The Yanks succumbed to Joe Krakauskas and the Senators, 3-2.
Yankee skipper through the 2007 season Joe Torre won his 1,000th game on this day in 1997. Tim Raines and Tino Martinez homered for the Yanks and David Wells recorded nine strike outs. The Yanks hung on to win, 3-2, despite a Jay Buhner homer off Mariano Rivera.
On April 30, 1903, the new Highlander franchise in New York played their first ever game in Hilltop Park before an estimated 16,000 fans. They beat Washington, 6-2, with Jack Chesbro getting the win.
On April 30, 1967, Mickey Mantle broke a 10th-inning, 1-1 tie in the first game of a double dip by hitting a three-run bomb off Angels reliever Minnie Rojas. Although the Yanks lost the second game, The Mick hit a pinch double in the eighth inning that was his 2,215th hit, one more than Joe DiMaggio.
On April 30, 1989, the Yankees traded eventual Mets (and Marlins) starter Al Leiter to the Blue Jays for outfielder Jesse Barfield.
The following April 30, Mets pitcher (at the time) David Cone pulled a rock as he argued a play at first as two Braves scored in a 7-4 Atlanta win on April 30, 1990. John Smoltz was the Braves’ starter and winner.
Cleveland Indians fireballer Bob Feller silenced some second-guessers as he no-hit the Yankees 1-0 on Frank Hayes‘s ninth-inning dinger on this day in 1946. He had not lost his fastball during four years with the Navy after all.
Red Ruffing‘s homer in the ninth on April 30, 1934, defeated Washington, 7-4, and put the Yanks in first place.
It was a defiant and triumphant crowd in Kansas City on April 30, 1999, as the Royals whipped the Yanks, 13-7. In a protest against payroll disparity that day, 2,500 of their fans turned their backs as the Yankees batted during the game.
Young Roy Halladay subdued the Yans on two safeties through four in the Bronx on April 30, 2000, and he almost escaped a none-out, bases-loaded jam by striking out Chuck Knoblauch and Derek Jeter in the fifth, but Paul O’Neill cleared the bases with a double, and Shane Spencer reached Halladay for a two-run jack in the sixth as the Yanks defeated the Blue Jays, 7-1, behind Roger Clemens.
Even with the Yanks receiving 14 walks from three Baltimore Orioles hurlers on April 30, 1968, the team came out on the wrong side of a 6-5 score.
Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield drove in his 28th and 29th runs of the young season on April 30, 1988, as the Yankees drubbed the Texas Rangers, 15-3.
The Yanks scored eight runs in each game as they vanquished tough AL West opponents on April 30 in both 2002 and 2003. Big first innings were the key in each contest. Ron Coomer capped three singles and two walks with his three-run bomb for a 6-0 lead off Jamie Moyer in an 8-2 win over the Mariners in 2002. And a Hideki Matsui rbi single and Raul Mondesi‘s grand slam off Barry Zito staked Andy Pettitte to a 5-0 cushion over the A’s one year later. Pettitte got the 8-5 win despite a shaky finish by Juan Acevedo and Chris Hammond; David Wells had prevailed back in the 2002 tilt.
No games were scheduled for April 30, 1973. Except for All Star breaks and work stoppages this rarity wouldn’t happen again during the season until June 29, 1998.
On this day in 1922, White Sox hurler Johnny Mostil became the third pitcher in the century to toss a Perfect Game in a 2-0 win over the Tigers. On April 30, 1969, Jim Maloney of Cincinnati threw his third no-hitter, a 10-0 blanking of the Astros. And two years earlier Steve Barber and Stu Miller combined on a no-no, but the Orioles fell to the Tigers by the score of 2-1. Also, Tex Carleton of the Dodgers no-hit the Reds 3-0 on April 30, 1940.
When Al Leiter (who was traded this day by the Yankees in an item already mentioned) and the Mets beat the Diamondbacks 10-1 on April 30, 2002, Al became the first hurler to have beaten all 30 teams. Of the two he surpassed that day, both wore the Pinstripes for some time (as did Al): Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown.
In April 30 highlights affecting future or former Yankee players, Alex Rodriguez became the second-youngest player (eight days older than Jimmie Foxx) to reach the 250-home run plateau in a 10-3 Texas win over Toronto in 2002. Exactly two years before that, Randy Johnson became just the third pitcher in modern baseball history to record six wins in April as he and the D’backs blanked the Cubs 6-0.
When Stan Musial lashed five hits at Cincinnati on April 30, 1948, it was the first of four times he achieved that total that year. Only two players had ever done it before: Ty Cobb and one-time Highlander Wee Willie Keeler.
Baseball, the colorful sport. Oakland beat the Indians 3-1 on this day in 1971, as Dick Green, Vida Blue, and Larry Brown scored the three runs.
In a record that is almost as impressive as the 20 strike outs Roger Clemens posted against Seattle hitters the day before in 1986 is the 16 times they suffered the same fate on April 30, making it 36 strike outs in back-to-back games.
“Why does the ump raising his right hand indicate a strike?” The practice extends from a game officiated by Cy Rigler on April 30, 1905, when he agreed to raise the arm so friends in the outfield could distinguish his calls.
Lefty-hitting outfielder Patsy Dougherty (1940), who played two years with the Boston Americans before his 1904-1906 stint with the Highlanders, and five years with the White Sox afterward, is the only Yankee player to have died on April 30. He hit nine long balls good for 55 rbi’s in New York and 17 homers with 413 rbi’s overall.
Two righty pitchers and an infielder round out the significant ballplayer April 30 death list. A third baseman and a first baseman, Dude Esterbrook (1901) played with the Metropolitans, the Giants, and the Colonels from 1880-1891; he hit six long balls and drove in 210 runs. Al Demaree (1962), a righty who batted lefthanded, posted almost all of his 80-79 record with nine saves from 1912-1918 with the Giants; and Elam Vangilder (1977) pitched most of the time between 1919 through 1929 with the Browns, but for Detroit the last two years, to a 99-102 mark with 19 saves.
Players Who Have Died This Day
The only April 30 Yankee birthday is perhaps their heaviest player ever, reliever Jumbo Brown (1907). Brown posted a 19-16 won/lost record with two saves for the Yanks from 1932 through 1936. With a sharp fastball that faded after three or four frames, he became an effective reliever later with the crosstown New York Giants, for whom he led the National League in saves twice.
Also born this day was St. Louis Brown Chet Laabs (1912), who hit more than 100 homers from 1937-1947. Pitching coach Ray Miller (1945); “Scrap Iron” Phil Garner (1949); and Jeff Reboulet (1964) round out the other birthdays of note on an admittedly light day for baseball celebrants.
Players Born This Day