A fairly representative group of Yankee players made the long trek to Ft. Myers on March 3, 2018, to play the Red Sox in Jet Blue Park, a venue built to mimic Fenway park, including featuring its own Green Monster in left field. Aaron Hicks, Greg Bird, Brandon Drury, Didi Gregorius, and Gleyber Torres were the first five Yankee batters, while Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield were the first two visitors to the mound. The game proceeded as a low-scoring, back-and-forth affair, with the home team up 3-2 through seven innings. But young pinstriped outfielder Jeff Hendrix‘s two-run eighth-inning double was the big blow in the 5-3 Yankee win, with Jonathan Holder throwing two strong innings for the win.
As touched upon in a February 25 report, the Yankees suffered the second loss of their 2017 Spring campaign on March 3, with both losses suffered by southpaw Joe Mantiply. Visiting Toronto in Dunedin, Florida, the Bombers fell behind 2-0 in the first on a Jose Bautista home run off Luis Severino, and the score held until the ninth. But then the visitors rallied for two on a Ji-Man Choi two-rbi single, with speedy Tyler Wade scoring the second run. Mantiply came on for the bottom half and, with one out, (ironically named) first baseman Ryan McBroom homered for the walkoff Blue Jays win. Illustrating the up and down nature of this game we all love, Bautista would have a bad year, perhaps his last; Severino would respond to a largely shaky 2016 with a third-place finish in the AL Cy Young Award race; McBroom would become Yankee property and play at AA Trenton; and Choi is now a free agent signing by the Brewers.
Following a dramatic victory in their Tampa home opener the day before, the Yankees headed west to Clearwater on March 3, 2016, and were battered by the Phillies 13-4. Among a series of disappointing mound performances those of southpaw Jacob Lindgren and righties Anthony Swarzak and Branden Pinder stand out. Lindgren’s only recorded out was a sac bunt in the middle of the three walks and a hit by pitch he surrendered, and Swarzak allowed the remaining runners to score. Pinder faced three batters, all of whom reached and scored. Alex Rodriguez‘s two-run, first-inning homer was the lone Yankee highlight, except that we were sitting behind the Hooters dugout and got to catch the festivities while watching two beauties serving drinks in front of us all game.
There was no question whom to feature from the Yanks’ 4-2 win over visiting Washington on March 3, 2014. Shrugging off Corban Joseph‘s error at first on his third pitch, Ivan Nova looked in midseason form setting down the next nine on 33 more pitches. And the Yanks rewarded him early, taking a 4-0, second-inning lead on rbi hits from Kelly Johnson and Ichiro Suzuki, and one from Joseph. Shawn Kelley allowed both Nats’ runs, in the fifth and sixth innings.
Fans attending the Spring Opener at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 3, 2010, were treated to a quite entertaining game. The Yanks broke a scoreless duel open with three runs in the sixth inning, which began with a rare home run off the bat of utility infielder Ramiro Pena, but reliever Jonathan Albaladejo, starting his strangest professional year, was reached for three runs by the Pirates in the top of the seventh. Albaladejo would struggle all spring, then have a record-breaking season closing games in AAA, only to struggle again when he joined the Yanks late in the year. Not to worry though for any fan who hung around, as young lefty-hitting outfielder Colin Curtis hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-3 Yankee win.
It could have been many a recent Yankee fan’s nightmare, only it happened during the day, and was just a one-day glitch after all. There was shortstop and Captain Derek Jeter as a visiting player in George M. Steinbrenner Field, renamed that way from Legends Field, on March 3, 2009. Playing for World Baseball Classic Team USA, Derek singled in two runs off Phil Hughes, had a second hit and scored a run. Taking over first base in the sixth, new Yankee Nick Swisher had a two-run single, but the USA team rode a four-run sixth off young Eric Hacker to a 6-5 victory. New 2010 Yankee Curtis Granderson was hit by a Hughes pitch and scored a run.
What can you say about a 10-inning, 1-1 tie between the Yanks and the Rays in Port Charlotte, Florida, on March 3, 2011, when Tampa took the lead on a run forced in on a walk, and the Yanks responded with a tally scored on an error? Well, there’s always something interesting, like the pitcher who closed out the visitors in the 10th for the Rays: Would you believe Corey Wade?
It’s more than 10 years ago today the Yanks offered the Padres their choice of one player from the group of Brian Boehringer, David Weathers, Chris Cumberland, Andy Fox, or Matt Luke, along with a minor leaguer and cash, for the rights to Hideki Irabu. San Diego pulled the trigger on March 3, 1997.
On March 3, 2018, righthanders David Sosebee and Matt Frawley were assigned to the Yankees.
On March 3, 2017, the Yankees optioned righthander Chad Green, who initially had a shot to make the major league rotation, to the AA Trenton Thunder. Fans would have been wise not to give up on Chad; a big year in the Bronx bullpen was to follow, and he’s almost certain to make the major league roster in 2018. But will he be a starter or a reliever?
Former Yankee General Manager Lee MacPhail was one of four guys voted into the Hall of Fame on March 3, 1998. Lee was joined by shortstop George Davis of the Cleveland Spiders, the New York Giants, and the Chicago White Sox; Larry Doby, who followed Jackie Robinson and became the first black player in the American League, with Cleveland; and Negro Leagues star “Bullet” Joe Rogan. In a long and distinguished career, MacPhail served as director of player personnel for the Yankees from 1948 through 1958, helping to produce the team that won nine pennants in those years.
On March 3, 1927, Babe Ruth inked a three-year deal with the Yanks that would pay him a reported $70,000 per year, making him the highest paid player in the game. The 60-homer season (a record that stood 34 years) would follow, the Yanks won their second and third World Titles in the next two years, and the Babe gave them three-year totals of 160 round-trippers and 462 rbi’s, so the Yankees hardly overspent.
The 7-6 victory a visiting Yankee squad prevailed in over the Astros in Osceola County Stadium on March 3, 2009, carried nothing but deceptive signals. Soon-to-be 20-game winner Mike Mussina was hammered for five runs while garnering six outs, and the offense was largely carried by guys about to have difficult years: Melky Cabrera had two hits and a rare walk while scoring twice, Shelley Duncan singled twice to plate two, Morgan Ensberg had two hits and an rbi, and Robbie Cano went 3-for-4, scored a run, and knocked in two. Cano and Cabrera would rebound with good 2009 seasons, but Melky has now been traded to Atlanta.
With World Baseball Classic stars gone to their respective teams, the Yankees and the Phillies waged a spirited duel in Clearwater on March 3, 2006, with the Yanks outhitting the home team 16-15 but losing 11-10. Kevin Thompson (3-for-3, two runs scored) and Melky Cabrera (4-for-5, two rbi’s, two runs scored) got their respective great spring seasons off to a great start, but the loudest stick was carried by NL MVP-to-be Ryan Howard, with two home runs, four hits, and five rbi’s.
The 2007 Yankee spring season remained undefeated on March 3 when youngsters Kevin Thompson, Brett Gardner, Ramiro Pena, Kevin Reese, and Marcos Vecchionaci put together two walks, two hits, and a sac fly in a three-run eighth inning that carried them to a 4-3 win over the Pirates.
After giving the Yanks a tremendous lift with 16 long balls the season before after he was acquired for the stretch run, Glenallen Hill looked ready to duplicate the performance in 2001. He stroked two home runs against the Royals in a spring game on March 3, including an 11th-inning walk-off bomb in the 8-7 win. But the Yanks would trade Hill to Anaheim for a minor leaguer four days before the season opener.
The only March 3 news affecting former or future Yankee players was the IRS investigation of Darryl Strawberry in 1994.
The Yankees reassigned nonroster invitees righty Steven White, third baseman Marcos Vechionacci, shortstop Ramiro Pena, and catchers Francisco Cervelli, Omir Santos, and P.J. Pilittere to Minor League camp on March 3, 2007. White, Vechionaacci, and Pilittere rejoined the club in Tampa in 2008.
Third baseman Marcos Vechionacci befell the same fate on the same day when he was assigned to minor league camp on March 3, 2008. He had been in one Spring Training game in which he went 0-for-1 with a walk.
“Who’s on First?” comedian Lou Costello passed away on March 3, 1959.
A revival of the Broadway show Damn Yankees opened at the Marquis Theatre in New York City on March 3, 1994.
Legendary Negro Leagues third baseman Ray Dandridge was the only player elected into the Hall of Fame March 3, 1987.
Red Sox pitcher Ed Morris died in Florida on March 3, 1932, from knife wounds he suffered in Alabama at a party in his honor two days before. The Yankee hook? Boston is reported to have had a $100,000 offer from the Bombers for Morris, who won 42 games, lost 45. and saved six from 1928-1931. Second baseman Jerry Priddy (1980), who hit three home runs with 54 rbi’s debuting in the Bronx in 1941-1942, is one of two guys lost this day who played for the Yanks. After splitting another eight years between the Senators and the Tigers, Priddy’s overall totals were 61/541. Lefthander Stubby Overmire (1977) played much of his career in Detroit as well, posting a 58-67 record with 10 saves from 1943-1952, but he won and lost one each in 15 games (four starts) for the Yanks in 1951.
Other noteworthy players to have died on March 3 are third baseman/shortstop Ned Williamson (1894); lefty-hitting outfielder Clyde Milan (1953); and shortstop Billy Jurges (1997). Most of Williamson’s 64 long balls with 667 rbi’s from 1878-1890 came with the Chicago White Stockings; Milan hit all of his 17 home runs with 617 rbi’s for Washington from 1907-1922; and Jurges palyed much of his 1931-1947 career with the Cubs; he reached 43 fences good for 656 runs driven in. Also on the nonYankee list is catcher/first baseman Gene Oliver (2007), who hit 93 home runs and drove in 320 runs from 1959-1969, playing most of that time with the Cardinals, the Braves, and the Cubs.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Bobby Munoz (1968), who threw in 38 games for the ’93 Yanks, and who brought Terry Mulholland in a trade with the Phillies, is the first of eight Yankees born March 3. Munoz, who extended his career through 2001 to an 11-22 record, posted a 3-3 mark in New York.
Next comes lefty Chuck Cary (1960), 11-22 in ’89-’91, who was signed as a free agent by the Yankees in January 1989, and who was released after the 1991 season. Cary went 14-26 in a career that spanned 1985 through 1993.
Neil Heaton closed out a career that spanned 14 years mostly with Cleveland, Montreal, and Pittsburgh by going 1-0 in 18 Yankee games in 1993. The southpaw’s career mark: 80-96, with 10 saves.
And Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler (1872) spent seven of his 18 years as a Yankee once he jumped from the Brooklyn Superbas to the Highlanders before the 1903 season. Willie led the league in batting average twice, in hits three times, and once in sacrifices. Keeler’s Highlanders numbers: 10 home runs, 206 rbi’s, and 118 steals.
Infielder Dennis Sherrill‘s (1956) only big-league play came in five games for the 1978 and 1980 Yanks; he went 1-for-5 and scored a run. He was a first-round (12th overall pick) draftee in 1974. Outfielder/first baseman Steve Souchock (1919) initially played with the 1946 and 1948 Yankees, during which time he hit five homers, 21 rbi’s, and three stolen bases. He was then traded to the White Sox for Jim Delsing in December 1948.
All seven games played by lefthanded outfielder Les Channell (1886) were for the Yankees in 1910 and 1914; he managed seven hits, three rbi’s, and two stolen bases. Finally, righthander Francisco de la Rosa (1966) pitched both of his two major league games for the 1991 Orioles (to no record). But he was traded to the Yanks with minor-leaguer Mark Carper for Alan Mills in March 1992.
Also born March 3: Hall of Famer John Ward (1860), who played every position but pitcher and catcher over 17 years in the late 19th Century; Skeeter Barnes (1957); A. J. Sager (1965); Scott Radinsky (1968); Matt Treanor (1976); Matt Diaz (1978), who signed a minor-league deal with the Yanks and accepted an invite to 2013 Spring Training but did not make the squad; Jorge Julio (1979); Eric Farris (1986); Harrison Musgrave (1992); Dilson Herrera (1994); and Jose Rondon (1994).
Players Born This Day