What is it about mid-May, the Yankees, and nine-run comebacks? Yesterday’s column included the Yanks’ rally from an 0-8 deficit to the White Sox, from which they recovered to win 9-8 on May 12, 1996. On May 13, 1985, the Yanks’ rally from 0-8 to the Minnesota Twins was crowned by Don Mattingly‘s three-run, two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth homer off former Yank Ron Davis that propelled the home team to a 9-8 victory.
The Mariners turned it around against the Yankees in the Stadium on May 13, 2012, cashing in a 6-2 win following back-to-back hometeam wins by the same score. Fans were delighted to welcome Andy Pettitte back to the Bronx for his first season start, but two two-run home runs, by Justin Smoak and Casper Wells, handed Andy the loss. Pettitte was added to the roster this day.
In second place behind the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yanks began a very humbling weekend in Yankee Stadium on May 13, 2011, dropping the Friday game of what would be a three-game Red Sox sweep, 5-4. Bartolo Colon pitched the team to a 2-2 tie through six, but would take the loss because Jarod Saltalamacchia reached him for a single to start the seventh. A fielder’s choice, single and run on a sac fly later, Joba Chamberlain was reached for a two-run home run to right center by Kevin Youkilis, and singleton home-team scores in the eighth and ninth left the Yanks one run short.
A key cog to the Yanks’ 1970′s success who often goes unnoticed was starter Ed Figueroa. On May 13, 1977, he beat the Angels, 3-0, with his fourth straight complete game. Thurman Munson hit a seventh-inning home run.
It was Friday the 13th in 1955 when the Yanks beat the Tigers 5-2 behind five rbi’s from Mickey Mantle. It was the first time The Mick hit dingers from both sides of the plate, as he hit three homers in succession (left, left, right), the shortest of which was estimated to have traveled 463 feet. Whitey Ford got the win and Steve Gromek, victim of the first two bombs, took the loss. With the blasts, Mantle joined Tony Lazzeri (1927), Ben Chapman (1932), and Bill Dickey (1939) as the only Yanks to homer three times in the same game in Yankee Stadium. This is a mark That Tom Tresh and Bobby Murcer (both as part of four-homer doubleheaders), Paul O’Neill, and Alex Rodriguez have equaled, the latter in 2005.
Tino Martinez joined Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth (four times) as the only Yankees to hit 15 homers in a season’s first 40 games as he joined Bernie Williams in going yard in an 11-2 pounding of the Twins on this day in 1997.
And on the same day, Baseball’s executive council voted to remove George Steinbrenner from the ruling body in a dispute over his having signed a 10-year deal with Adidas.
It was reportedly on May 13, 1888 that Dewitt Hopper first gave his live rendition of Casey at the Bat. The actor and raconteur was famous for his recitation, which he delivered approximately 10,000 times.
You don’t lead both leagues in career grand slams without having some pitchers dread seeing you step to the plate. Lou Gehrig victimized Cleveland’s Lloyd Brown with a salami for the second time when he stroked one on this day in 1934. Ben Chapman also homered, and tripled twice, and the Yanks won, 8-0.
Yankee fans continued to enjoy themselves at Jose Canseco‘s expense during a four-game 1991 series with the A’s. They serenaded the Oakland outfielder with Like a Virgin on May 13 after he had been sighted leaving Madonna‘s apartment a few days before. The Yanks won the game 6-3 behind Scott Sanderson over Curt Young, and Lee Guetterman got the save.
It was another rare Mariano Rivera failure as the Birds scored five against him in the 11th inning of a 10-5 Orioles win in the Stadium on May 13, 2001. Paul O’Neill‘s two-run, game-tying dinger with two down in the bottom of the ninth went for naught, as the big blow in the winning rally was a Jeff Conine home run.
The Yankees outlasted the Texas Rangers 8-6 behind Derek Jeter‘s three-run dinger and Bernie Williams‘s grand slam on May 13, 1998. Chuck Knoblauch had four hits in five trips.
Tying a major-league record, the Yanks beat the Orioles 4-0 on this day in 1973 on four one-run home runs. The culprits were likely ones, as Roy White, Bobby Murcer, Ron Blomberg, and Graig Nettles supplied the power. The Yanks fell to the O’s in the second of two, 9-6.
If other teams hold the Yankees in disdain for their winning and spending ways, they love to see them come to town. On May 13, 1969, the Seattle Pilots got by the Yanks by a 5-3 score in front of 19,000-plus, their largest home crowd of their only season in the Pacific Northwest.
Discussing a 2012 game this day above, it was mentioned that Andy Pettitte was called up for the start. To make roster space, the club transferred closer Mariano Rivera from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list, and then optioned Cody Eppley to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Despite a first-inning swipe of home by the legendary Ty Cobb, the Yankees beat the host Tigers, 15-4, on May 13, 1912, behind Hippo Vaughn.
Righty Hideki Irabu was the hard-luck loser as Omar Olivares and three Angels relievers blanked the Yankees 2-0 on this day in 1999.
Back-to-back-to-back blasts from Charlie “King Kong” Keller, Joe DiMaggio, and Johnny Lindell off Jack Sanford in the sixth keyed a 9-1 Yankee victory over the St. Louis Browns on May 13, 1947.
In a major-league first, both the Yankees and the Indians wore numbers on their backs in a 4-3 Yankee loss in Cleveland on this day in 1929. The Yanks lost despite Mark Koenig‘s home run and Bill Dickey‘s three assists in the sixth inning.
In a May 13, 1944, Yankee victory over the Indians, Joe Page, who had just been called up from Newark, bested the Tribe 5-1.
Detroit’s Rocky Colavito “rocked” the Yanks in a May 13, 1961, 8-3 Tigers win. He homered twice and went 4-for-5.
Yankee centerfielder Joe DiMaggio supplanted Lou Gehrig in the cleanup spot on May 13, 1937, and drove in three. The Yankee first baseman, meanwhile, broke a 21-at-bat hitless streak with a double hitting from the fifth spot, and Tommy Henrich notched two singles in his second game in Pinstripes as the Bombers subdued the Browns, 4-2.
The Philadelphia A’s swept two from the Yanks on May 13, 1951, despite Mickey Mantle‘s homer in the first tilt, his first righty homer in the bigs.
The Yankee Mainliner they called it as the Bombers became the first club to fly regularly when they flew United to St. Louis on May 13, 1946.
On May 13, 1991, Dave Winfield recorded the 1,538th rbi of his career. At the time he was with the California Angels, and the landmark moved him past Joe DiMaggio into the 25th spot all-time.
The Yankees swapped one righty reliever for another on May 13, 2011, optioning Buddy Carlyle to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and recalling Hector Noesi from the same location.
Shuffling their roster, the Yankees optioned Kevin Russo to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on May 13, 2010, and recalled first baseman Juan Miranda to take his place.
When the Atlanta Braves set the NL record by homering in their 25th straight game on this day in 1998, they tied the mark already held by the the 1941 Yankees and the 1994 Tigers. The Braves’ streak ended at 25.
Playing for the Cal Angels after his glory days in New York and Oakland, Reggie Jackson became the first major leaguer to strike out 2,000 times when he succumbed in a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on May 13, 1983.
Ex-Yankee second baseman (and future coach and Mets manager) Willie Randolph was traded on May 13, 1990, by the L.A. Dodgers to the Oakland A’s for another ex-Yank, outfielder Stan Javier. Javier debuted with the Yanks in seven games in 1984.
Combative Billy Martin takes center stage in the list of May 13 items affecting future and former Yankee players when in a full-scale, bench-clearing brawl between the Reds and the Phillies on this day in 1960, Cinncy’s 5’11″ Martin squared off with 6’11″ Gene Conley. And Randy Johnson makes the list too, on the strength of tying Luis Tiant in the record books on May 13, 2001. When the Big Unit struck out 12 Phillies in a 6-1 Arizona win, he tied the consecutive-game total of 32 first posted by “el tiante.” Kerry Wood holds the record at 33.
Three big non-Yankee numbers were reached on May 13. George Brett of the Royals stroked his 300th home run in a win over the Indians in 1993; Mr. Cub Ernie Banks eclipsed the 1,500-rbi mark in a 19-0 demolition of the Padres in 1969; and Stan Musial‘s Cards beat Banks’s Cubs 5-3 in 1958 as Stan the Man compiled his 3,000th career hit.
Actor Gary Cooper, who turned in such a moving performance as Lou Gehrig in the classic Pride of the Yankees, passed away on May 13, 1961.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Although lefty-hitting righthanded pitcher Pat Malone (1943) is the only guy to have played for the Yanks and died May 13, we’ll honor two. Malone ended his career by going 19-13 with 18 saves in New York from 1935-1937. Added to his 1928-1934 stint with the Cubs, the totals are 134-92-26. First baseman and catcher Gene Stallings (1929) garnered no home runs or rbi’s for the Bridegrooms in 1890 or the Phillies in 1897-1898, but he makes the list because he managed the Highlanders to a fifth-place finish in 1909 and second place in 1910.
One more player of note to have passed this day is righty Hal Gregg (1991), who posted a 40-48 record with nine saves for the Dodgers, the Pirates, and the Giants from 1947-1952.
Players Born This Day
Yankees celebrating their birthday on May 13 include Jose Rijo (1965), who got his long career started as a Yankee (with only a 2-8 win-loss record) in 1984 and Juan Beniquez (1930), who had four homers and 17 rbi’s for the 1979 Yanks. Rijo was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in August 1980, and was traded with Tim Birtsas, Jay Howell, Stan Javier, and Eric Plunk to Oakland for Rickey Henderson and Bert Bradley in December 1984. Beniquez was acquired from the Texas Rangers with Mike Griffin, Paul Mirabella, Dave Righetti, and minor-leaguer Greg Jemison in November 1978 for Domingo Ramos, Mike Heath, Sparky Lyle, Larry McCall, and Dave Rajsich. Juan was shipped, along with Rick Anderson, Jim Beattie, and Jerry Narron, to the Seattle Mariners for Ruppert Jones and Jim Lewis one year later. Rijo, by the way, set a record when he paired with Phil Niekro as starters in a Yankee doubleheader, as the difference between their ages was the greatest ever.
A guy who has had some success in the Yanks’ AAA rotation, right-hander D.J. Mitchell (1987) joined the Yankee May 13 birthday club by appearing in two early games with the big-league team in 2012. Mitchell gave up one run in 2.7 innings in these first two games. Mitchell was subsequently traded to Seattle in a package for Ichiro Suzuki in July, was released thereafter, and then was signed by the Mets as a free agent in 2013.
Other birthdays: second baseman Larry Gardner (1886), who hit 27 homers and drove home 934 for the Red Sox and the Indians from 1908-1924; Giants outfielder Dusty Rhodes (1927); Dodgers catcher Johnny Roseboro (1933); Leon Wagner (1934); Bobby Valentine (1950); Chris Nichting (1966); Lyle Mouton (1969), who was drafted by the Yankees in the 5th round of the 1991 amateur draft, and became the “player to be named later” once the Yanks shipped him to Chicago in 1995 for their acquisition of Jack McDowell several months earlier; Mike Sirotka (1971); Mickey Callaway (1975); Robby Hammock (1977); Barry Zito (1978); Ryan Bukvitch (1978); Zach Jackson (1983); David Hernandez (1985); and John Ely (1986).