March 28 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees crushed the visiting Orioles 7-2 in the Stadium on March 28, 2019, their home opener. Both Aaron Judge and Luke Voit reached safely four times, with the latter’s three-run bomb in the first setting the tone. Masahiro Tanaka pitched into the sixth for the win, and Adam Ottavino had a strong Stadium debut, retiring four straight, three on strike outs.
  • On March 28, 1986, the Yankees and Red Sox swapped DHs. Mike Easler donned the Pinstripes, while Don Baylor headed north to Fenway. The Sox came out on top in this one, as Baylor slugged 31 dingers good for 94 rbi’s in 1986, while the Yanks settled for Easler’s 14 homers and 78 driven in; both sluggers stole three bases.
  • On that same day in 1986, the Yankees waived knuckleballer Phil Niekro four days before his 47th birthday. Phil, who posted a 32-20 mark with the 1984-1985 Yanks, would catch on with the Indians on April 3.
  • The Yankees traded 36-year-old Glenallen Hill to the Angels for minor leaguer Darren Blakely on March 28, 2001. Hill had stroked 16 taters with 29 rbi’s for the Yanks in only 40 games in 2000.
  • Along with southpaw CC Sabathia having his roster status changed by the Yankees on March 28, 2019, a bunch of players went on the 10-day injured list, all of them retroactive to March 25: righthanders Dellin Betances, Ben Heller, Luis Severino, with, respectively, a right shoulder impingement, a right elbow UCL surgery recovery, and a right shoulder rotator cuff inflammation and Grade 2 lat strain. Also sent to the IL were shortstop Didi Gregorius, as part of right elbow UCL surgery recovery; center fielder Aaron Hicks, with a left lower back strain, and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, following left hip surgery.
  • On March 28, 2018, the Yankees optioned infielder Thairo Estrada to the AA Trenton Thunder.
  • Lost as a rule-5 selection, lefthander Caleb Smith was returned to the Yankees from the Cubs on March 28, 2017.
  • Outfielder Carlos Vidal was assigned to the Yankees on March 28, 2016.
  • Following a spirited battle for backup outfielder, and then emergency first baseman following Mark Teixeira‘s serious injury, that he almost won, ex-Yank Juan Rivera was released on March 28, 2013.
  • On March 28, 2014, the Yankees optioned lefthander Cesar Cabral and righthander Shane Greene to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
  • On March 28, 2011, the Yankees optioned center fielder Justin Maxwell and infielder Ramiro Pena to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; released second baseman Ronnie Belliard; and called up third baseman Eric Chavez from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • On March 28, 1927, the Yankees and the Cardinals enjoyed a final exhibition game after having faced one another in the 1926 Fall Classic. The Bombers scored four first-inning tallies vs. Grover Cleveland Alexander but the Cards eventually prevailed, 6-4.
  • On March 28, 2005, the Yankees used Ruben Sierra, Jorge Posada, and Gary Sheffield home runs to pound young Blue Jays righty David Bush for seven quick runs in an 8-3 Yankee Spring Training win in Knology Field in Dunedin, Fla.
  • On a busy day for transactions, the Yankees placed lefthander Andy Pettitte on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 21, with back spasms on March 28, 2008, but he would rebound to make the season’s fifth start. They also settled their start-of-season bullpen by placing righty Jeff Karstens on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, and reassigned fellow righthander Darrell Rasner to minor league camp. Further, southpaw Kei Igawa and righty relievers Scott Patterson, Edwar Ramirez, and Jose Veras were optioned to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Infielder Nick Green was reassigned as well.
  • On March 28, 2012, the Yankees signed free agent first baseman Steve Pearce, the first of two times this year Steve would join the Yankee team. Also, outfielder Tyler Austin, shortstop Cito Culver, and righthanded pitcher Cory Arbiso were assigned to the Yankees.
  • It’s easily more than a decade now since a giant step on Jose Contreras‘s road to becoming a major league professional ballplayer was taken. Pitching in relief for the Cuban team against the Orioles on March 28, 1999 in Havana, Contreras delivered eight innings of two-hit ball, notching 10 strikeouts along the way. The Orioles eventually prevailed 3-2 in 11 innings on Harold Baines‘s rbi, but six days later in Baltimore the Cuban team drove former Yank Scott Kamieniecki from the mound in a 12-6 drubbing to even the two-game series. Eight innings, two hits and 10 strikeouts are numbers that usually go hand-in-hand with starting pitchers, but Jose wilted in the Boston/New York pressure. But his 2005 World-Series-winning campaign with the White Sox restored Jose’s big-game reputation.
  • The Yankees took care of a lot of “minor” business on March 28, 2009 when they reassigned infielders Doug Bernier and Justin Leone, first baseman Shelley Duncan, outfielders Todd Linden and John Rodriguez, catchers P.J. Pilittere and Chris Stewart and righthander David Robertson to Minor League camp. And if a more minor move is possible, it was when the team acquired nonroster righthander Charles Nolte from the Twins for the rights to Rule-5 pick, the righthander Jason Jones.
  • Hall of Fame Boston Braves shortstop Rabbit Maranville suffered a broken leg in a collision with Yankee catcher Norman Kies (who never headed north with the club once the season began) on March 28, 1934. Maranville missed that campaign and made it back for 23 games in 1935, but the 42-year-old’s career was in effect over after that injury.
  • Pitcher Bill Caudill was technically a Yankee for part of April 1, 1982, as that was the day the Yanks got him in a multi-player deal from the Cubs and then sent him to the Mariners in another deal affecting several players. It is through that connection that he makes the list as one of two former or future Yankee players to be moved on March 27. St. Louis traded him to the Reds for Joel Youngblood on this day in 1977. And third baseman Charley Smith, whom the Yankees had acquired for slugger and two-time MVP Roger Maris, was sold by the Giants to the Cubs on March 28, 1969. In two years with the Yanks, Smith compiled a very un-MVP-like 10 home runs with 45 rbi’s.
  • The medical difficulties of Hall of Fame Minnesota outfielder Kirby Puckett, who recently passed away after suffering a massive stroke, began in earnest on March 28, 1996. That was the day Puckett awoke having lost much of his eyesight; he would be forced to retire.
  •  
    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Until recently, lefty thrower Ernie Ross (1950) was the one Yankee player among a big group of other noteworthy names to have died on March 28. The Yankee connection is due to his two games pitched (both starts) for the 1902 AL Baltimore Orioles, who would relocate to New York as the Highlanders the next year. Ernie won one and lost one that year, his only major-league season. A backup catcher on a team where the position was filled by an MVP, Gus Triandos (2013) got his start in the bigs with the 1953-1954 Yankees, but he played just 20 games, hitting one home run with six rbi’s. Traded to Baltimore in a multi-player blockbuster, Gus plied his trade for the Orioles for the most part from 1955-1965, hitting 167 long balls good for 608 rbi’s.
  • Hall of Fame Philly outfielder Chuck Klein, who hit exactly 300 home runs in his career, died on March 28, 1958. He played mostly with the Phillies from 1928-1940, and knocked in 1,201 runs. Also enshrined in the Hall, lefty-hitting second baseman Johnny Evers (1947) reached 12 fences good for 538 rbi’s from 1902- 1922, more often than not playing with the Cubs. He is most famous for the song: “Tinkers to Evers to Chance.” Although he’s not primarily known for baseball, Olympics hero Jim Thorpe (1953) hit seven long balls in the bigs with 82 rbi’s playing sparingly from 1913-1919, much of it with the Giants. Switch-hitting shortstop Donie Bush (1972) hit most of his 74 home runs with 436 rbi’s with Detroit from 1908-1921, finishing up with Washington from 1921-1923. And lefthanded outfielder Chick Stahl (1907) hit his 36 home runs with 622 rbi’s from 1897-1906 playing in Boston, first with the Beaneaters, then with the Americans. The list of noteworthy players to have died on March 28 continues: Righthander Fred Goldsmith (1939) won 112, lost 68, and saved one game from 1879-1884, most of it with the Chicago White Stockings. A natural lefty, switch-hitting first baseman Johnny Neun (1990) hit two long balls with 85 rbi’s with the Tigers and Braves from 1925-1931. Southpaw Paul Minner (2006) won 69, lost 84, and saved 10 with the Dodgers and the Cubs from 1946-1956; and outfielder Sam Bowens (2003) reached 45 fences good for 143 rbi’s from 1963-1969 with the Orioles and the Senators.
  •  
    Players Born This Day

  • Four-time All Star and Yankee starter Vic Raschi was born on March 28, 1919. Vic won 21 games three times and his 21-8 mark in 1950 led the AL in winning percentage. He was first in the league in strike outs once and in starts twice, won at least one World Series game four years in a row (1949-1952), and his 120-50 record hurling in the Bronx computes to a 71% winning percentage.
  • The roster of March 28 Yankee birthdays grew by one in 2007 when the team called righty reliever Edwar Ramirez (1981) up after they had grabbed him once the Angels released him. Ramirez possessed an exceptional change of pace when he had command and control, and when he concealed it well among a series of other pitches. His high era (8.14) in 2007 was the result of one bad outing, and he won one, lost one, and saved one game in 21 appearances. The 2008 season was much better: a 5-1 record with a 3.90 era in 55 games, but as the team solidified in 2009, Ranmirez didn’t. He was removed from the 40-man roster to make room for veteran righthander Chan Ho Park.
  • And then the roster of Yankee birthdays grew yet again by one in 2009 when the team called righty reliever Mark Melancon (1985) up. Although Mark’s future in pinstripes looked bright, with some even considering him an eventual candidate to replace the irreplaceable Mariano Rivera as Yankee closer, he did not excel in 2009, with an 0-1 record in 13 games, and was traded for Lance Berkman. He was traded to the Red Sox, was in their pen in 2012, and was subsequently traded to the Pirates, for whom he saved 49 games in 2013-2014, and a league-leading 51 in 2015. He was in Washington down the stretch in 2016, was signed by the Giants, for whom he toiled until a 2019 trading deadline trade to the Braves. Following the 2020 season, his record stands at 30-27, with 205 saves.
  • We’ll lead the report of other birthdays with that of Glenn Davis (1961), because he is the unfortunate part of one of the worst trades in memory. In January 1991, Baltimore sent Pete Harnisch, Curt Schilling, and Steve Finley to Houston for Davis. Schilling and Finley’s careers have finally wound down more than 15 seasons later, and Harnisch won 95 games after the swap, while Davis hit 24 long balls with 85 rbi’s for the Orioles before retiring after the ’93 season. Other birthdays: Lon Warneke (1909), who went 192-121 for the Cubs and then the Cardinals from 1930-1945; Shawn Boskie (1967); Craig Paquette (1969); Paul Wilson (1973); (1969); Ryan Christenson (1974); Julio Zuleta (1975); Steve Sparks (1975); Brad Emaus (1986); Bryan Morris (1987); Ryan Kalish (1988); Christian Walker (1991); Robel Garcia (1993); and Will Smith (1995).