For the second straight day, the Yankees posted a Spring Training win in a game in which they went up 8-0, though they would have to struggle to hold on for the 8-7 victory against the visiting Braves. Jacoby Ellsbury‘s first-inning jolt was the only home run among the 11 hits the Bombers used to build their big advantage, but Atlanta went yard three times in the seventh and eighth to plate six of their seven tallies in a just-short comeback. Pushed to a third inning, Jordan Montgomery weakened in the seventh, and J.P. Feyereisen, one of four players acquired from Cleveland for Andrew Miller in 2016, followed by surrendering back-to-back bombs. Lefthander Jaime Garcia, whom the Yanks would acquire for the stretch run four months later (from Minnesota six days after the Twins had traded for him), got the start for Atlanta.
March 1, 2014, was the very reason thousands of Yankee fans head south for Spring Training. Under a cloudless, bright blue sky with temps in the low-70s, the Bombers unveiled a trio of stalwart hurlers and blanked the visiting Phillies 4-0 behind two innings each from CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Masahiro Tanaka. And if you’re thinking CC did not have a “stalwart” year, think again. Fourth in line was five outs from Dellin Betances. Rbi singles from Ichiro Suzuki and Francisco Cervelli got the ball started, and Adonis Garcia put the game away with a seventh-inning two-run double. Need a bad moment? Center field prospect (for some time now) Mason Williams failed to run out a 3UA that he thought would end up foul.
No month in the schedule is immune to depressing news. March and spring are supposed to be about rebirth, regeneration and growth, but injuries happen, players show up late, some even sit out over contract disputes. Perhaps saddest of all: the March retirement. And on March 1, 1969, Mickey Mantle revealed the undeniable, the truth that everyone already knew and didn’t want to admit, as he announced his retirement. He is not the only great Yankee to do so in the spring.
On March 1, 1996, the Yankees christened the Legends Field complex in Tampa, Florida. Phil Rizzuto tossed out the first pitch, and the Yankees beat the at-the-time reigning AL Champion Cleveland Indians 5-2. It was in Tampa this month that the Yankee grounds crew introduced their famous YMCA schtick. The field was renamed to George M. Steinbrenner Field in 2010.
Hiroki Kuroda had a rough start, Joba Chamberlain wasn’t any better, and Cody Eppley had his second straight bad outing in a 10-5 loss to the Phillies in George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 1, 2013. Home runs by Ronnier Mustelier and Melky Mesa were the only bright spots for the home team.
A March 1, 2008 Spring Training game in Clearwater vs. the Phillies provided both teams with a not-pretty glance into the future of their pitching, as Shelly Duncan‘s first-inning, three-run home run off Adam Eaton gave the visiting Yanks the early lead, and Yankee righty Darrell Rasner struggled through a 26-pitch third frame in a 9-3 Bombers win. Alex Rodriguez and young catcher Jesus Montero also homered for New York and Duncan had five rbi’s.
The Yankees opened their spring campaign in 2007 on March 1 in Legends Field too, with good signs aplenty. Johnny Damon homered on the second pitch he saw from Minnesota’s Carlos Silva, and Jason Giambi went yard in the second for a 5-0 lead in the eventual 6-1 win. On the other side of the ball, Chien-Ming Wang retired all six Twins he faced, the first five on ground balls.
The Yankees, on the road on March 1, 2011, surrendered George M. Steinbrenner Field to a four-team Florida college double header. South Florida bested the University of Miami 4-2 in the first game.
After their victory over Philly on March 1, 2008, the Yanks reassigned catchers Jesus Montero and Austin Romine to Minor League camp.
On March 1, 1993 George Steinbrenner resumed his role as New York Yankees Managing General Partner, signaling the end of his suspension due to his activities linked with gambler Howie Spira.
Manager University. That’s what the Bronx could have been referred to as on March 1, 1947. Of the four new managers opening training camps that day, Pittsburgh’s Muddy Ruel had played with the Yankees; Cincinnati’s Johnny Neun had piloted the Yanks to end the ’46 season after Joe McCarthy and Bill Dickey quit in succession; and Bucky Harris was starting his two-year stint on the Yankee bench with a World-Series-winning season.
On March 1, 2016, the Yankees signed free agent pinch runner Carlos Rodriguez to a minor league contract.
In March 1 player news that affected future or former Pinstripers, Connie Mack traded for outfielder Bobby “Braggo” Roth in 1919; and Lefty O’Doul‘s San Francisco Seals team lost to the Yomiuri Giants in 1936 after the teams had trained together. Roth would hit two homers with 10 rbi’s for the 1921 Yanks to end his career, while pitcher/outfielder O’Doul broke in with the Yanks to no record from 1919-1922.
The annual disappointment Yankee fans were becoming resigned to took on a bitter aspect when Phil Rizzuto missed Hall of Fame election from the Veterans’ Committee on March 1, 1988. No players got the nod, even though The Scooter was eligible, along with Leo Durocher, Joe Gordon, and Gil Hodges. Durocher would join Rizzuto in the successful 1994 balloting, Gordon made it later, but Hodges is still on the outside looking in.
Leonard Coleman was elected President of the National League on March 1, 1994, succeeding former Cardinals and Phillies first baseman and Yankee announcer Bill White in that position.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame! The irrepressible Harry Caray, who both reported on the baseball entertainment and provided some in Wrigley Field for years, was born on March 1, 1920.
The only ex-Yankee player to have died on March 1 is catcher Art Jorgens (1980), who hit four home runs with 89 rbi’s in his role as defensive backup in the Bronx from 1929-1939, his only big-leagues play.
Two pitchers from New York teams join Art, as lefty Monte Kennedy (1997) went 42-55 with four saves for the Giants from 1946-1953; and righty Rube Foster (1976) compiled his 58-33 mark with three saves from 1913-1917 exclusively with the Dodgers. Also, righthander Ed Heusser (1956) won 56, lost 67, and saved 18 games pitching mostly for the Reds, the Phillies, and the Cardinals between 1935 and 1948. And there are six position players of note: catcher Ivey Lingo (1941), who hit 25 long balls with 455 rbi’s from 1911-1929 with the Cards and the Reds; outfielder Irish Meusel (1963), who reached 106 fences good for 819 runs with the Phillies and Giants from 1914-1927; and second sacker Larry Doyle (1974). Known as “Laughing Larry,” Doyle hit many of his 74 home runs and drove in most of 793 rbi’s from 1907-1920 in New York with the Giants. Infielder Hal Janvrin (1962) hit six long balls and drove in 210 runs from 1911-1920 with the Red Sox, the Senators, the Cardinals, and the Dodgers; and outfielder Maurice Van Robays (1965) did all his hitting (20 home runs with 303 runs knocked in) from 1939-1946 with the Pirates. The most recent entry to this list is one many consider to be an immortal of the game: Minnie Minoso (2015), an outfielder and pinch hitter who did most of his work from 1949 through 1964, 1976, and 1980 with the White Sox. An early color line crosser, Minnie hit 186 home runs and drove in 1,023 runs in a career that amazingly spanned parts of five decades.
Players Who Have Died This Day
The only Yankee representative of note in the day’s birthdays: Ron Klimkowski (1944), who recorded a 6-10 win-loss record with two saves from 1969 to 1972. The Yankees got Ron and Pete Magrini from the Boston Red Sox for on August 3, 1967, for All-Star catcher Elston Howard. Klimkowski was shipped to the Oakland Athletics with Rob Gardner in April 1971 for Felipe Alou. Also, the Yanks re-signed him to a free-agent contract prior to the 1972 season.
It remains to be seen if lefthander Joe Mantiply (1991) will ever make the trip to the Bronx, but he makes this list because the Yankees claimed him off waivers from Detroit in November 2016. That they subsequently released him, then signed him as a free agent, also in November, just strengthens the connection. Drafted by the Mets in 2009, the Phillies in 2012, and the Tigers in 2013, Mantiply only signed with the latter, and he posted no record in five games in Detroit in 2016.
Other birthdays: Hank Wyse (1918); Howie Fox (1921); Bob Usher (1925); Johnny Ray (1957); Mark Gardner (1962); Tony Castillo (1963); Rich Rodriguez (1966); Doug Creek (1969); lefty starter Omar Daal (1972); Ramon Castro (1976); Ken Harvey (1978); Micah Hoffpauir (1980); Blake Hawksworth (1983); Trevor Cahill (1988); Jose Valdez (1990); Kyle Skipworth (1990); and Michael Conforto (1993).
Players Born This Day