It was yet another effective Dallas Keuchel start in the Bronx on May 11, 2017, that resulted in a Houston victory in a true nail biter that went down to the wire. Yankee righthander Michael Pineda pitched well, but his fate was pretty much sealed in the first inning when Carlos Correa reached him for a two-run home run. Four innings later, Russ Springer‘s rbi single would prove pivotal, because in the bottom half of the fifth, Jacoby Ellsbury‘s signature offensive play — catcher’s interference — occurred with the bases loaded for the first Yankee run of the night. Then, presaging playoff troubles to come, the home team rallied against Astros closer Ken Giles in the ninth, scoring one run on a Gary Sanchez single following a walk and another one-base hit, but Ellsbury would be thrown out at the plate trying to score the tying run in a Yankee 3-2 loss.
The visiting Royals jumped Yankee righthander Michael Pineda for four first-inning runs, featuring a three-run homer to left by Salvador Perez, on May 11, 2016, and the Yankees never caught up against Jordanny Ventira, a hard-throwing righty whom no one could have known would die in an automobile accident during the coming offseason. Closing the lead to one run on rbi’s by Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley, and Brian McCann, the comeback ended when Nick Goody, on to relieve Pineda in the sixth, gave up a two-run single to Lorenzo Cain, with the home team falling 7-3.
It was an early test for a new Yankee “co-ace” when veteran righty and free agent signee Hiroki Kuroda took the Yankee Stadium mound on May 11, 2012 in a contest with Seattle phenom “King” Felix Hernandez. And despite a good outing, it looked bleak when Kuroda gave up a seventh-inning leadoff home run to ex-Yankee Jesus Montero to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead. But in the bottom of the inning, a walk and a single set it up and then with two outs Rauuuul Ibanez‘s three-run jolt turned it around. Andruw Jones fashioned the 6-2 final with a two-run bomb in the eighth.
Although Yankee fans saw both sides of an overall very good A.J. Burnett start (an Eric Hosmer home run the only hit and run through seven, but five walks, a hit by pitch and Burnett’s own error), the 4-3 loss in 11 innings on May 11, 2011, was a painful one. They took a 2-1 lead over Kansas City through seven in Yankee Stadium, but a leadoff eighth-inning walk against David Robertson was scored on a Wilson Betemit hit. The teams traded 10th-inning runs, but in the 11th, Luis Ayala, just back from the DL replacing Lance Pendleton on the roster, surrendered a leadoff walk, and Buddy Carlyle allowed a sac fly to Hosmer to score the decisive run in the 4-3 loss.
On May 11, 1965, former Yankee pitching coach and righthander with the club Mel Stottlemyre bested the Red Sox, 5-3, as Mickey Mantle reached base four times, including a long blast over the wall.
May 11, thirty-five years later (2000) was a big day for yours truly, as I witnessed Devil Ray hurler Steve Trachsel, in the best two-week span of his career, shut out the Yankees and Orlando el duque Hernandez 1-0 after having done the same to Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox the week before. The game was a reschedule of the day before’s rainout, and I took advantage of the sparse crowd to move to my left in an empty row to catch Fred McGriff‘s foul line drive. Unfortunately, the same Mr. McGriff would homer in the eighth for the game’s only run.
The Yanks took the field in Yankee Stadium vs. the Red Sox on May 11, 2006, a bit undermanned with Gary Sheffield having been placed on the disabled list the day before with what was hoped would be a minor wrist injury, but things took a nasty turn eight pitches in. Left Fielder Hideki Matsui charged a soft liner off the bat of Mark Loretta hard and broke his wrist on a diving attempt at the catch. And it was a Loretta infield single in the seventh that turned the game, as the Red Sox came from behind for a 5-3 win. Both Matsui and Sheffield were lost for most of the year.
This day in 1963 marked the first time in that season that Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris homered in the same game, in an 11-1 pummeling of (birthdaying, see below) Milt Pappas and the Orioles.
Some disturbing precedents and one happy one were set for the 2004 season on May 11. First, the Angels jumped on Kevin Brown for three quick runs and an early big lead in a rally that began when Chone Figgins‘s catchable soft fly to short center fell in in front of center fielder Kenny Lofton, who showed then (and again in the ALCS) that soft flies in front of him would fall for hits. Lofton was not a bad player for the team, but leaving his feet for a ball in front of him was not his game. But on the flip side, the Yanks began the comeback on Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez rbi’s in the home third and the gritty come-from-behind Yankees pulled off an 8-7 win.
The Yanks managed to bash their way to a 13-9 victory over visiting Seattle in another ugly game on May 11, 2005. The teams banged out 30 hits and split four official errors between them, though there were other misplays. Seattle used Richie Sexson and Bob Boone homers off Carl Pavano to claim a 5-0, first-inning lead, but they fell behind 6-5 until Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez fourth-inning dingers made it 9-6, finally ending the enigmatic Pavano’s day. The Yanks parlayed Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield, Tino Martinez, and Jorge Posada home runs and a three-run double from Hideki Matsui on the day to overcome the Mariners’ attack.
On May 11, 2017, the Yankees recalled righthander Giovanny Gallegos from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
The Yanks sent outfielder Dave Winfield to the Angels on May 11, 1990, in exchange for pitcher Mike Witt. Winfield initially fought the trade, but relented.
In a move that effectively ended his season, and sent the club out in search of starting pitching help, the Yankees placed southpaw CC Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list, with fluid on his right knee, on May 11, 2014. Righthander Matt Daley was recalled from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to fill the roster spot.
On May 11, 2012, the Yankees activated third baseman Eric Chavez from the 7-day disabled list, creating a roster spot by optioning infielder Eduardo Nunez to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
On May 11, 1919, Washington’s Walter Johnson and Jack Quinn of the Yankees hurled their teams to a 12-inning scoreless tie. Future football immortal George Halas batted leadoff for the Yankees and was struck out twice while going 0-for-5.
In a 4-2 Yankee win, Babe Ruth hit his second home run in two days off St. Louis’s Ernie Nevers on this day in 1927.
Home runs by Mo Vaughn and Garrett Anderson carried the day in a 9-7 Angels win over Andy Pettitte and the Yanks on May 11, 1999.
On May 11, 1958, Washington pitcher Truman “Tex” Clevenger got both an assist and the putout on the same play. Elston Howard‘s line drive struck his leg and caromed into foul territory. Clevenger then covered first as first baseman Norm Zauchin retrieved the carom and threw the ball to him to get Ellie out. The Yanks split two on the day, beating the Senators 4-3 in the first game, and falling to them in the second, 4-0.
The Yanks picked up shortstop Dick Schofield from San Francisco on May 11, 1966.
Despite the fact that Mickey Mantle reached Early Wynn of the Indians for yet another home run on May 11, 1955, and that Andy Carey blasted a solo shot as well, the Cleveland righty beat the Yanks, 4-3.
The Yanks stopped a Red Sox 15-game winning streak on this day in 1946 as Tommy Henrich homered and accounted for both runs in a 2-0 Yankee win.
The Yankees made a minor roster move on May 11, 2008, when they placed infielder Wilson Betemit on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring, and recalled fellow infielder Alberto Gonzalez from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill the spot.
Filling the roster spot created when Felix Rodriguez went on the DL, the Yankees purchased the contract of infielder Russ Johnson from AAA Columbus on May 11, 2005.
The Bombers ended a brief West Coast swing at 3-3 when the A’s rode home runs by Ron Gant, Miguel Tejada, and Eric Byrnes off Andy Pettitte to a 5-2 Oakland win on May 11, 2003. Enrique Wilson had a rare homer for the Yanks’ second score.
The Yanks belted rookie Ewald Pyle and former Yankee Russ Van Atta for a 10-8 win on May 11, 1939. Bill Dickey contributed three hits to extend his streak to 13 games.
Despite the second Tommy Henrich homer of the game that gave the Yanks the lead in the 11th inning of a contest in Fenway on May 11, 1940, the Red Sox plated two in the bottom half of the frame and prevailed, 9-8.
The Highlanders rode a two-run Kid Eberfeld home run and two run-scoring singles by Deacon McGuire to a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Blues on this day way back in 1904.
Tommy Henrich stroked one of the seven Yankee hits in his major-league debut vs. Monte Stratton of the White Sox on May 11, 1937, but it wasn’t enough as Chicago prevailed, 7-2.
The Yankees shipped Enos Slaughter and Johnny Sain to the A’s for pitcher John “Sonny” Dixon and cash on May 11, 1955.
Baseball records can be impossible to figure or to predict. The 22-putouts mark set by St. Louis Browns first baseman Tom Jones on May 11, 1906, would be equaled four months later by Hal Chase of the Highlanders. It would not be matched again until New Yorker Don Mattingly did it 81 years later.
We could include the following as newsworthy regarding baseball in general, or in that it featured a former (and future) Yankee player. Marlins southpaw Al Leiter threw the majors’ first no hitter of the year when he beat the Rockies 11-0 on May 11, 1996. Earlier May 11 no-hitters were recorded by Cinncy’s Hod Eller, 6-0 over the Cardinals in 1919; and Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers, an 8-0 blanking of the Giants on this day in 1963.
One more May 11 event with a future Yankee player involves the Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb. The Babe pitched the Red Sox to a 2-1 win over the Tigers on this day in 1917. Famous for using his spikes as a weapon, Cobb bunted for a base hit leading off the ninth. When the next Tigers batter grounded to third, Cobb continued around second as the throw went to first. Covering third, Ruth took the throw back as Cobb started his slide and tagged out the Georgia Peach viciously enough to leave Cobb prone on the ground for a few minutes.
The Giants traded future Hall of Famer Willie Mays to the Mets for pitcher Charlie Williams on May 11, 1972.
Ted Turner took over as field manager of his Braves team on this day in 1977. They lost and NL President Chub Feeney barred him from managing any more games.
Some credit George “Charmer” Zettlein with the first nine-inning shutout in organized baseball on May 11, 1875 while playing for the Chicago White Stockings of the National Association. But he would post just a 4-20 in his only season in the fledgling National League in 1876.
“Babe Ruth’s Legs” was the nickname of outfielder Sammy Byrd (1981), the only notable player, and Yankee, who has died on May 11. Byrd started his career by playing in New York from 1929-1934, Ruth’s last years with the club, and he often ran for The Babe late in games. In 545 games played, Sammy cleared 27 fences good for 155 rbi’s, numbers that grew to 38 and 220 after he played with in Cincinnati in 1935 and 1936.
Phillies and Giants catcher Bennie Warren (1994), who played with the Phils four years before World War II and the Giants two years afterward, probably would not have made any other day’s list based on his 33 home runs and 104 rbi’s. But he did have the best nonYankee stats of players who died May 11, at least until righthander Frank Wills (2012), who pitched to a 22-26 record with six saves from 1983 to 1991, mostly with the Royals, the Indians, and the Blue Jays.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Detroit starter Walt Terrell (1958) is the only Yankee player born May 11. Terrell posted a 6-5 mark in 13 games for the Yankees once they traded Mike Pagliarulo and Don Schulze to San Diego for him and Freddie Toliver on July 22, 1989 (though Toliver was a player to be named later who did not arrive until September).
Also worthy of mention is righty Mel Wright (1928), who would win two, lose four and save three games in two years’ service each with the Cardinals and the Cubs. Wright was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent before the 1950 season, and was traded with minor leaguer Emil Tellinger and Bill Virdon to St. Louis for Enos Slaughter in April 1954.
Umpire Nestor Chylak (1922) and Tigers second baseman Charlie Gehringer (1903), both Hall of Famers, were born on May 11. Other birthdays: old-time Pirates pitcher Rip Sewell (1907), 143-97 from 1938-1949; Vern Rapp (1926); Milt Pappas (1939), mentioned above, whose greatest claim to fame is that he was traded head to head for Frank Robinson as Robbie began the glorious American League part of his career in Baltimore. Milt is also one of three pitchers to post 200 wins without ever winning 20 in one season. Additional birthdayers include Frank Quilici (1939); Jerry Martin (1949); Dane Iorg (1958); Mark Huisman (1958); Floyd Youmans (1964); Bobby Witt (1964), who went 142-157, mostly with Texas, from 1986-2001; Trenidad Hubbard (1966); Kerry Ligtenberg (1971); Francisco Cordero (1975); Roy Corcoran (1980); Daniel Ortmeier (1981); David Buchanan (1989); Miguel Sano (1993); and Jackson Stephens (1994).
Players Born This Day