May 28 in Yankee History

  • Runs were scored in eight different half innings during the Yanks’ home-standing 9-5 win over Oakland on May 28, 2017, but it really all came down to Aaron Judge‘s third-inning, two-out grand slam. Michael Pineda and Andrew Triggs each went six in this one, with the unfortunate A’s righty having surrendered just one earned run (and five unearned ones) thanks to errors by left fielder Matt Joyce and catcher Josh Phegley.
  • There are several ways to go in compiling May 28 highlights, but the ones that appeal to me the most this day have to do with “the usual suspects” (Yankee superstars whose exploits are recounted here often) in their latter years. On this day in 1934, Lou Gehrig hit two homers, the second back-to-back with Babe Ruth in the seventh inning in a 13-9 win over the St. Louis Browns. It was the last time the two megastars would go yard in consecutive at bats.
  • In the same vein, Mickey Mantle hit his 11th homer of the season, and second in two days, in a 5-0 victory over Cleveland on May 28, 1967.
  • Playoff baseball in May. It sounds like I’m overstating the case, but it wasn’t to any of the 55,339 in the Bronx or the huge ESPN Sunday night TV audience when Trot Nixon broke up a classic pitchers’ duel between Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens with a two-run jack with two down in the ninth on May 28, 2000. The Yanks would threaten in the inning’s bottom half as Chuck Knoblauch was hit by a pitch and Derek Jeter singled, but Martinez quelled the uprising. Home plate ump Ed Rapuano would have to be escorted off the field after being struck in the knee by a pitch in the fifth. And thousands of fans would be trapped in Parking Lot Eight for two hours and more after the game for reasons the Police and Kinney Parking never did explain.
  • The Yanks bested the Senators 6-5 on May 28, 1941, in the first night game ever played at Washington’s Griffith Stadium.
  • Turn about, fair play. The Senators returned the favor on this day in 1946, edging the Yanks in the first Yankee Stadium contest under the stars, 2-1.
  • Not too long ago the Yanks lost a game in which they scored five in the first inning. Likewise, they plated that same round number against Runelvys Hernandez and the Kansas City Royals on May 28, 2006, when the first five guys up hit safely. It seemed overkill when Robby Cano knocked in their sixth run on a sac fly in the second, but not so. The Bombers hung on for a hard-fought 6-5 victory.
  • When compiling history several years ago, the Yanks had just put a stop to a 20-plus-game hit streak by at-the-time star Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. On this day in 1976, Yankee hurlers Ed Figueroa and Tippy Martinez held Detroit Tiger Ron LeFlore hitless. LeFlore’s 30-gamer had begun April 18, and ended in New York’s 9-5 win.
  • When I tell you that Ted Lilly got the start and pitched well in a May 28, 2002 game in Chicago, those familiar with Ted’s time in New York will not be surprised that he failed to get the win. He left on the 2-0 losing side after seven, but the Yanks plated four in the eighth for the 4-2 victory, with the decider being Rondell White‘s two-out, two-run double.
  • The 2008 Yankees experiment with young starting pitching continued miserably apace on May 28, as the Bombers placed winless righthander Ian Kennedy on the 15-day disabled list with bursitis and a strained right back muscle. They recalled reliever Chris Britton from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill the roster spot.
  • In what could be called a Yankee alumni game, Kenny Rogers lost a no-hitter on a lead-off single by Garret Anderson in the eighth inning in Anaheim on May 28, 1996 while pitching for the good guys. One inning later Rogers lost the game to Jason Grimsley when Kenny walked Chili Davis with the bases filled, giving the Angels a 1-0 victory.
  • Don Mattingly is honored in two ways on May 28. First, an all-time record that was set this day (Dale Long homered in his eighth straight game on May 28, 1956) was later tied by Donnie. Second, after Mattingly recorded the most putouts in a nine-inning game since 1906, in 1987 (22), Seattle’s Alvin Davis tied him on May 28, 1988. This latter accomplishment occurred in a 6-1 Mariners win over the Yanks.
  • David Wells sprinkled 10 Red Sox hits over seven innings as the Yanks beat up on Tim Wakefield for an 8-1 win over Boston in Yankee Stadium on May 28, 1998.
  • A 16-game Yankee winning streak came to a screeching halt on May 28, 1926, when the A’s swept the Bombers in two, 2-1 and 6-5.
  • The Yankees won the first of 13 games without Casey Stengel, who was recuperating from a virus and high fever, on May 28, 1960, in a 5-1 win over Jim Kaat and the Senators. Home runs from Mickey Mantle, Gil McDougald, and Roger Maris provided the offense for the Yankees, who would go 7-6 under interim manager Ralph Houk.
  • Almost 55,000 Jacket Day fans witnessed the White Sox reach Ron Guidry for 16 hits in a 9-5 Chicago win in Yankee Stadium on May 28, 1977.
  • Sadly, although it seems all Yankee/Red Sox games are intense, they’re not all great displays of baseball prowess. The Yanks squeaked by the Sox on this day in 1954, as they cashed in Joe Collins‘s ninth-inning walk, the 20th of the game, for a 10-9 win.
  • The Yanks beat the Senators 8-2 behind a Babe Ruth home run in the first of two on May 28, 1927. The Senators edged New York’s Wilcy Moore in Game Two by a 3-2 score as Firpo Marberry scored the winning run while Bucky Harris was spiking Lou Gehrig at first base.
  • Submariner Carl Mays and the Red Sox blanked the Yankees 3-0 on May 28, 1916.
  • The Yanks recovered to win the nightcap of a double dip with the White Sox by a 5-3 score on this day in 1961. After falling 14-9 in Game One, the Yanks rallied behind Roger Maris‘s ninth homer of the year.
  • Robert Joyce of the A’s relieved for the second day in a row on May 28, 1939. George Selkirk of the Yankees had homered off him twice the day before, and did the double deed again today, resulting in four homers between one batter and one pitcher over two days. The Bombers prevailed 9-5. And after the game they released righthander Wes Ferrell, 1-2 in three games, all starts.
  • On May 28, 2013, the Yankees activated righty Joba Chamberlain from the 15-day disabled list, after creating space on the roster by designating David Huff for assignment.
  • May 28, 2010, was a day of transition for the Yankees as they activated center fielder Curtis Granderson from the 15-day disabled list, and bid so long to outfielder Randy Winn, designating him for assignment after having signed him as a free agent in the off-season.
  • It was this day in 1998 that Diamondbacks Manager Buck Showalter had Barry Bonds intentionally walked with two outs in the ninth with the tying run on second and a two-run lead. The bases-loaded free pass that drove in a run was a tactic initially used in 1903.
  • The White Sox purchased the contract of pitcher Gerry Staley from the Yankees on May 28, 1954.
  • You make a lot of history and set a lot of records in more than a century of baseball, but not all of it could be described as momentous. For instance, the use of six first basemen in the 9-6 Cubs win over the Reds on May 28, 2001, tied a mark set by the Yanks and the White Sox in 1953. But in that game the Palehose used five guys at first, and the Yanks the usual just one.
  • The Forbes magazine May 28, 2000, report that the Yankees were worth $540,000,000 made them the most valuable franchise for the third straight year.
  • It seemed like it was all over for Darryl Strawberry when he pleaded no contest to cocaine possession on May 28, 1999, but he would be reinstated to playing status that August and hit some big home runs for the Yanks down the stretch and in the playoffs.
  • Former Yankee third baseman Clete Boyer was playing for the Braves when he retired in a dispute with management on May 28, 1971.
  • Approaching the end of his career, Babe Ruth scored a run while going 0-for-3 as his Braves lost to the Reds on May 28, 1935. The Babe needed to be replaced after stumbling twice and injuring his leg.
  • Although righthander Joe Cowley had a fairly mediocre 33-25 five-year career in the 1980s despite a stellar 21-8 mark for the Yanks in 1984 and 1985, he had his moments. In addition to throwing a multi-walk no-hitter, on May 28, 1986, he struck out the first seven Texas Rangers he saw in an eventual 6-3 loss pitching for the White Sox.
  • Briefly a Yankee reliever in 2006, long-time vet Scott Erickson showed off his American League Pitcher of the Month form when he shut out the Rangers 3-0 on May 28, 1991, stopping Texas’s 14-game winning streak in the process. And when Dwayne Murphy and Rickey Henderson stole home in the first inning of Oakland’s 6-3 victory over Kansas City on this day in 1980, they were pulling off a feat that had not been achieved in the AL since 1969, and in the NL since 1925.
  • After starting his career 0-for-12, Willie Mays homered off Warren Spahn for his first big-league hit in a 4-1 loss to the Braves on this day in 1951.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Of the two Yankee players who have died on May 28, one played his only games with the club, while the other spent a few months in one of 10 seasons in the Bronx. Shortstop Jack Wanner‘s (1919) only big-league play was in three games for the 1909 Highlanders; he had one hit in eight at bats, with no home runs or rbi’s. The Yankees were just one of three teams switch-hitting outfielder Roy Cullenbine (1991) played for in 1942. He hit two long balls and drove in 17 runs for the club. In a 1938-1947 career spent mostly with the Tigers, the Browns, and the Indians, Cullenbine reached 110 fences good for 599 rbi’s.
  • Noteworthy nonYankee players to have passed this day include two righthanded pitchers, an infielder, and an outfielder. Righty Hal Carlson (1930) won 114, lost 120, and saved 19 games for the Pirates, the Phillies, and the Cubs from 1917-1930; righthander Harry Parker won 15 games, lost 21, and saved 12 games pitching mostly for the Mets and Cardinals from 1970-1976; infielder Charley Bassett (1942) hit 15 home runs and drove in 402 runs for the Hoosiers, the Giants, and the Grays from 1884-1892; and outfielder Taylor Douthit (1986) went yard 29 times and contributed 396 rbi’s from 1923-1931 playing nine years for the Cardinals, and finishing up with the Reds and the Cubs.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Lefthander Bob Kuzava (1923), who went 23-20 for the Yankees from 1951 through 1954, was the only Yankee player born on May 28 until 2011. The Yanks got him from the Washington Senators for Fred Sanford, Tom Ferrick, and Bob Porterfield in June 1951, and lost him when he was selected off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles in 1954. In 12 big-league seasons, Kuzava won 49, lost 44, and saved one.
  • Righty reliever Cory Wade (1983), birthdaying this day, joined the Yankee family in 2011 when the team claimed him that June once Tampa released him. Wade, who went 4-4 pitching in 82 games for the 2008 and 2009 Dodgers, was drafted by LA in the 10th round in 2004. He posted a 6-1 record for the Yanks in 2011, but was released once he went 1-1 with a 6.00-plus era in 2012.
  • Also worthy of mention is Atlanta lefty Ed Olwine (1958), who posted an 0-1 mark from 1986-1988. Olwine was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in June 1980, and was drafted from the Yanks by the Mets in the 1983 minor league draft.
  • The disappointments are worthy too, and that would describe the uneventful career ark of Humberto Sanchez (1958), who appeared in just two games for the 2008 club. Much was expected of this hard thrower when he was the biggest name of the three arms the Yanks got from the Tigers in a trade for Gary Sheffield in 2006, but Sanchez has been continuously derailed, mostly by injuries.
  • Today’s other birthdays begin with All-American Olympic hero Jim Thorpe (1888), who played football and baseball professionally, doing the latter with the Giants from 1913 through 1918. Others: Hall of Fame former NL President Warren Giles (1896); Rafael Landestoy (1953); 1988 NL MVP with the Dodgers but a star much longer with the Tigers in Detroit; Kirk Gibson (1957); Bill Doran (1958); Duane Ward (1964); Mike DiFelice (1969); Ryota Igarashi (1979); Daniel Cabrera (1981); Leo Rosales (1981); the spelling-challenged one-time Cleveland and Detroit, most recently St. Louis infielder Jhonny Peralta (1982); Craig Kimbrel (1988); Lester Olivares (1988); Justin Bour (1988); and Matt Stites (1990).