March 2 in Yankee History

  • The lead to this report on the Yankees 9-1 victory over the Pirates in a Spring Training game in Bradenton, Fla., on March 2, 2023, is rightly the leadoff home run from shortstop Anthony Volpe that gave the Bombers an instantaneous lead. And outfielder Rafael Ortega, one of several invitees, made an early bird for a backup spot with a home run and RBI triple that had the visiting Yanks up 5-0 in the fifth. But this obsessed fan couldn’t help being thrilled when young Andres Chaparro added a grand slam in the ninth. Two disappointing things: the Prates scratched out a run in the bottom of the ninth for the final tally, and Chaparro has since been named a free agent, and signed with the D’Backs. Continue reading

March 1 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees got a game winner from an unlikely source in their 4-2 victory over the visiting Washington Nationals in a Spring Training game on March 1, 2023. They overcame a 1-0 deficit with a two-run fourth, on an rbi triple by Harrison Bader and a wild pitch, but the Nats tied it in the sixth. Following two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, however, a Jasson Dominguez walk and home run from backup AA catcher Carlos Narvaez gave the good guys the walk off win. Continue reading

February 29 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees hosted, and won, a Spring Training game against visiting Detroit on February 29, 2020, shortly before the Covid 19 pandemic struck, suspending all professional baseball activity for several months. In the 8-2 Yankee victory, Gerrit Cole went almost three innings, with a three-run homer off the bat of Gleyber Torres being the biggest blow. But also of note, continuing a great Spring, Rosell Herrera had another three hits. Continue reading

February 28 in Yankee History

  • ¬†Years ago, much of the Yankee controversy spun around the late George Steinbrenner and his criticism of Derek Jeter regarding his level of intensity and commitment to his game. It seemed a tempest in a teapot when they did a series of Visa commercials together lampooning the alleged late-night partying, and then suddenly, Jeter was named team captain. Although I’m sure no one knew that Alex Rodriguez would be joining him on the left side of the Yankee infield soon, the timing of Derek’s receipt of this honor before that trade was fortuitous. These musings flow from the fact that it was February 28 in 1991 that Don Mattingly became the 10th Yankee captain. Donnie, who served in that capacity through 1995, his last year in Pinstripes, arrived on the scene as hitting coach the same year Jeter began his first full season holding that title. Donnie served as Joe Torre‘s bench coach for the Dodgers in 2007-2009, then took over as manager, and joined the Marlins in that capacity in 2016. Continue reading

February 27 in Yankee History

  • It took the Yankees seven innings to overcome the 3-0 lead the visiting Tigers grabbed off Luis Severino on a home run in the top of the first when shortstop Jesus Bastidas hit the second two-run double of the seventh frame and the home team took a 6-5 lead, that would end as an 8-5 victory two innings later. Oswaldo Cabrera and Harrison Bader first-inning rbi’s got the Yankees close early. Continue reading

February 26 in Yankee History

  • With the birthday of the Warrior Paul O’Neill just yesterday and Don Mattingly having become Joe Torre‘s bench coach after several seasons as the Yankees batting coach during this time in 2007, and his replacement as manager with LA in 2011, it would be easy to wax nostalgic about the day some of our favorite players wore the Pinstripes for the last time. The fact that Donnie was wearing Dodger Blue with Torre in 2008 and 2009, and continued to until recently, and was with Miami when he won Manager of the Year, adds to the reverie. But perhaps no day in Yankee history is as fraught with that form of bittersweet musing than February 26, 1935. That is the day the Yankees released the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, so he could sign on with the Boston Braves of the National League. Of his 714 career homers and 2,213 rbi’s, the Bambino collected six and 12, respectively with the 1935 Braves.
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February 25 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees got their first win of the Florida branch of their 2020 Spring Training on February 25 with a 4-1 win in Dunedin over the Blue Jays. It was our first look at the redone facility in the West Coast Florida city, where Toronto is scheduled to play their early season games in 2021. The hitting stars were Chris Ianetta, who doubled and scored in the second, and who contributed a single to the three-run Yankee rally in the seventh; and surprising swingman Rosell Herrera, who stroked a two-run pinch-hit single to cap that outburst while taking over for Miguel Andujar at third. But there was bad news as well, as it was during this contest that Brian Cashman announced that righthander Luis Severino would be missing the season (and more) with Tommy John surgery. Continue reading

February 24 in Yankee History

  • Given the [exactly] five months that would transpire before the 2020 Yankees played in a game that counted, fans could be forgiven for not remembering that it was in a night game in George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 24 that new ace Gerrit Cole first threw a pitch for the Bombers. On a night when home team pitching notched 14 strike outs against the visiting Pirates, Cole whiffed two around a one-out walk in pitching a scoreless first. And there was good news on young southpaw Jordan Montgomery, returning from Tommy John surgery, as he struck out four retiring six of seven through the third. The Yankees took a 3-2 lead with four singles in the bottom of the seventh, but Glen Otto allowed a single run in the ninth, and the Yanks had to settle for a 3-3 tie. Continue reading

February 23 in Yankee History

  • On February 23, 1954, the Yanks sold righty Vic Raschi to the Cards. Vic’s career winning percentage of .667 rises over .700 if his eight years in Pinstripes are isolated, and he played on six Yankee World Series teams, all winners, with four over the Dodgers, one the Giants, and the other the Phillies. Continue reading

February 22 in Yankee History

  • Opening their Spring Training season at George M. Steinbrenner Field a surprising one day earlier than they had in 2018, the Yankees hosted the Blue Jays on February 22, 2020. Their pitching was good, starting with six up, six down by J.A. Happ, but the bats showed up barely, and late. Rosell Herrera‘s third-inning single stood by itself until a two-out double in the seventh, and first baseman Chris Gittens‘s lead off home run in the bottom of the ninth. Toronto, who strangely brought almost their entire Opening Day lineup on the road for this first exhibition, plated the winning run in a 2-1 victory on a double steal in a four-steal seventh inning against southpaw Luis Avilan. It was just 55 degrees in Tampa; feel sorry for me? Continue reading