Keying a three-game sweep of the White Sox in Yankee Stadium, the Bombers eked out a 5-4 victory on May 23, 2022, behind three hits from both Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier. Battling the Palehose early, Gleyber drove in two in the first, but Frazier turned his leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth and stolen base into the winner once Chicago closer Liam Hendriks walked Aaron Judge with the sacks filled.
First things first: Andy Pettitte went seven innings in beating Kansas City 8-3 in Yankee Stadium on May 23, 2012, with Alex Rodriguez homering twice and Curtis Granderson once; Mark Teixeira walked three times, scored twice, and drove in one. But Derek Jeter‘s third hit, an eighth-inning single, tied Paul Waner for 15th place in hits all time, with his 3,152nd.
It was a rare 2017 day on May 23 that it was the bullpen that blew up young Jordan Montgomery‘s solid start in a 6-2 loss to the visiting Royals. Monty had KC down 2-0 into the seventh on Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter home runs, when Lorenzo Cain reached him for a singleton shot. Adam Warren gave up the lead on a two run shot by Jorge Bonifacio, then following blasts from Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas, off Jonathan Holder and Chasen Shreve, respectively, finished off the scoring.
In what may be an unenviable record for bad third innings against a visiting club in back-to-back games, CC Sabathia and the Yanks were battered by the Rangers for 10 runs on Saturday, May 23, 2015, after Michael Pineda had been reached for seven runs in the top of the third the night before. Prince Fielder‘s three-run jack, mirroring one in the Friday game, finished off the carnage, and came off long man Esmil Rogers. But the mayhem started more quietly, with four singles, two doubles, and a hit by pitch sandwiched between two walks leading up to the closing bomb. Late Carlos Beltran, Didi Gregorius, and John Ryan Murphy home runs were way too little, too late, particularly once Fielder went yard again in the seventh, in a 15-4 Texas win.
A very good Bartolo Colon start against Toronto in Yankee Stadium on May 23, 2011, derailed in the sixth inning, as he surrendered five runs on three hits and three walks, two of them intentional. The only highlight (and a quirky one at that) in the 7-3 Yankee loss is that Curtis Granderson reached on three straight walks, scored for the Yankee runs each time, and was driven in all three times by Robinson Cano.
Although the Yankees already had a lead on Eric Bedard and the Seattle Mariners on May 23, 2008, on Shelley Duncan‘s three-run second-inning home run, the most remarkable thing about the 13-2 victory the home team cruised to was the eight-run fifth-inning rally built on a hit by pitch, a walk, a fielder’s choice, and eight singles. Hideki Matsui had three hits and scored three times, and Robbie Cano shared rbi honors with Duncan with three apiece. Andy Pettitte got the win, and it was fave Yankee fan Freddie “Freddy Sez” Schulman‘s 83rd birthday. Freddy was yet another long-time Yankee presence who unfortunately passed away in 2010.
Yankee All Star shortstop Derek Jeter had a big day in a game against the rival Boston Red Sox on May 23, 2001. His five hits included a double and home run as Andy Pettitte and the Yankees beat David Cone and the Red Sox, 7-3. It was an ugly, raw Tuesday evening in the Bronx, following a May 22 rainout.
That highlight was such fun, why not double it up with yet another big Jeter/Pettitte day against the Sox? Derek Jeter had three hits, two rbi’s and scored two on May 23, 2007 in an 8-3 Yankee Stadium win over Boston. His second-inning single was Derek’s 2,215th career safety, pushing him past Joe DiMaggio into fifth place on the all-time Yankees hit list. The Yanks jumped on Curt Schilling with a three-run Hideki Matsui first-inning bomb, then kept the Sox at bay with singleton scores in the second, third, fourth, seventh, and eighth innings while Andy Pettitte kept the visitors off the board until the top of the seventh. It was Manager Joe Torre‘s 1,110th win on the Yankee bench on a night when the paying crowd numbered an eerily exact 55,000 fans.
Joe Pepitone was in his rookie season when he became the sixth player in American League history to homer twice in the same inning on this day in 1962. The Yanks rode their nine-run eighth inning to a 13-7 victory over Kansas City.
Cleveland off-speed-pitch specialist Rick Waits gave the Yankees fits on May 22, 1981, as he often did, and Bucky Dent hit into a triple play. But the Yanks prevailed, 3-2, on a two-run Dave Winfield homer, with Dave Righetti getting the win.
The Yankees hit seven home runs in a doubleheader sweep of the A’s on May 23, 1936, three of them by Tony Lazzeri. The aptly named Bronx Bombers won by scores of 12-6 and 15-1. The unhappy home crowd pelted the field and players with debris, as the Yanks won going away, and Ben Chapman, Red Rolfe, and Frank Crosetti all cleared the fences too.
When the Yankees took the field on May 23, 1964, it was just the second game that season that regular outfielders Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Tony Kubek played together in that injury-plagued year. And Mantle would pull a muscle on May 26, depleting the threesome for yet another two weeks. In the May 23 game, the Yanks responded to a four-run first-inning by the Angels by scoring five of their own off Bo Belinsky. But the Yanks stopped scoring there, and the Angels came back to win 9-5.
Following up on Superchief Allie Reynolds‘s 9-0 blanking of the Red Sox the day before, Spud Chandler spun a two-hitter and shut Boston out 5-0 on May 23, 1947.
Everything looked great for the Bombers on May 23, 1927, as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig jumped on Washington starter Sloppy Thurston for back-to-back jacks in the opening frame, but that was it for the Yankee scoring and the Senators came back for a 3-2 win.
The Yankees needed all three of Joe DiMaggio‘s consecutive “jolts,” the first two off Bob Feller, to beat the Indians in the first of two on this day in 1948, 6-5. The Tribe rebounded behind Don Black for a 5-1 win in the nightcap.
The Metrodome in Minnesota was a house of horrors for the Yankees from time to time, but not on May 23, 1990, one of many dates when it earned the nickname “Homerdome.” The visiting Bombers cleared the fence six times in a 12-0 clobbering of the home-standing Twins.
Mickey Mantle got to be the hero and the goat on the same day on May 23, 1954. His three-run tater tied the game with the Red Sox in the third inning, but he later struck out for the game’s final out as Boston prevailed 10-9.
Frank “Home Run” Baker‘s dinger matched that of George Sisler on May 23, 1922, and the Yanks and Browns were tied at 3-3 in the seventh. But Ken Williams hit a three-run bomb and Yankee reliever Lefty O’Doul allowed another five scores, as Urban Shocker and St. Louis crushed New York 11-3.
Joe DiMaggio and Nick Etten back-to-back home runs drove Virgil Trucks of the Tigers from the mound on May 23, 1946, but Joe Gordon demonstrated the principle that good things come in threes as he greeted reliever Hal White with the Bombers’ third consecutive dinger, and the Yanks beat Detroit 12-6.
I, for one, didn’t know they had Mayor’s Trophy games before the ones between the Yankees and Mets, but the Yanks beat the Dodgers in one on this day in 1957 in Ebbets Field, 10-7. Mickey Mantle went 4-for-5.
The Yanks probably didn’t mind the back-to-back “overtime” games that closed a series with the Angels in May 1992 because they prevailed 5-4 in 10 innings and then 3-2 in 12. But it got old as they completed a stretch of four consecutive extra-inning contests by falling 10-9 to the Brewers in 14, and then absorbing a 5-4 defeat at the hands of Milwaukee in 10 frames in the last game of the four-tilt streak on May 23.
On May 23, 2019, the Yankees placed veteran southpaw CC Sabathia on the 10-day injured list, with right knee inflammation. To fill his spot the blub recalled lefthander Nestor Cortes Jr. from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
The Bombers sent reliable reliever Dick “Dirt” Tidrow to Chicago for Ray Burris on May 23, 1979, one of many missteps following the back-to-back Championships in 1977-1978. Burris would only go 1-3 for the Yanks.
Former Yankee Rickey Henderson drew his 2,000th career walk on this day in 2000, while playing for the Mariners.
The strange thing about the two 1928 triple plays left fielder Charlie Jamieson of the Indians would start is that Cleveland would lose both games. His throw home after catching a short fly, and then Ray Sewell‘s toss to second, retired a quick three in a 4-3 loss to the White Sox on May 23. The Yanks would beat the Tribe 7-3 two weeks later on June 9 despite Jamieson’s starting another triple killing.
On May 23, 2022, the Yankees placed third baseman Josh Donaldson on the 10-day injured list, and recalled third baseman Miguel Andujar from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The team also optioned righthander David McKay to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
On May 23, 2019, the Yankees optioned righthander Giovanny Gallegos to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders; and sent righty Tommy Kahnle on a rehab assignment to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team also selected the contract of Ryan Bollinger from the AA Trenton Thunder.
Philadelphia’s Tommy Greene won a 2-0 no-hitter vs. the Expos on May 23, 1991, even though he issued seven free passes.
With a similar family name that is differently spelled, Shawn Green of the Dodgers shattered a 48-year-old record when he earned 19 total bases on four homers, a double, and a single in LA’s 16-3 thrashing of the Brewers in Miller Park on May 23, 2002.
The baseball world was agog when Buck Showalter had Barry Bonds intentionally walked with the bases loaded a few years back. The ploy was first utilized way back in 1901 on May 23 when White Sox Manager Clark Griffith ordered Nap Lajoie walked in the same circumstance.
In a quirk, two one-time Yankees are involved in a May 23 highlight featuring Minnesota just-miss Hall-of-Fame candidate Bert Blyleven. After reaching the crafty curveballer for a homer the October before, eventual Yankee Danny Tartabull hit another inside the park home run against him in the dome on May 23, 1988. The two four-baggers that cleared no fences against Blyleven by one-time Yank Bernie Allen in 1972 were the only others that Bert allowed at home in his long career.
And finally, while still pitching for the Red Sox, Roger Clemens stroked his first ever American League hit in an 11-4 win over the Mariners on May 23, 1996.
Power-hitter and lefty-batting outfielder Charlie “King Kong” Keller (1990) is the more famous of two Yankee players who have died on May 23. Almost all of Keller’s career came with the Yanks, though the five home runs and 37 rbi’s he garnered with Detroit in 1950-1951 brought his total with New York from 1939-1949 plus 1952 to 184 long balls good for 723 runs driven in. Catcher Johnny Grabowski (1946) hit one homer with 33 rbi’s in 167 games with the 1927-1929 Yankees, numbers that grow to three and 86 when stops with the White Sox from 1924-1926 and the Tigers in 1931 are added in.
The list of noteworthy but nonYankee players to have died this day includes two outfielders, two catchers, and a righthanded pitcher. Oufielder Rip Radcliff (1962) hit from the left side, and hit most of his career 42 homers with 533 rbi’s from 1934-1943 with the White Sox, Browns, and Tigers; and Gravvy Cravath (1963) reached 119 fences good for 719 runs driven in mostly with the Phillies from 1908-1920. Ted Lewis (1936) pitched in Boston for the Beaneaters and Americans from 1896-1901 to a 94-64 record with four saves; and lefty-hitting catcher Jack Clements (1941) caught more often than not for the Phillies from 1884-1900, during which time he stroked 77 home runs and collected 687 rbi’s. And backstop Joe Pignatano (2022) plied the “tools of ignorance” for the 1957-1960 Brooklyn and LA Dodgers, the 1961 Kansas Cty A’s, and the 1962 Giants and Mets. In 307 games, he hit 16 home runs with 62 rbi’s.
Players Who Have Died This Day
And speaking of Buck Showalter (1956), two ex-Yankee managers celebrate May 23 as their birthday, the aforementioned Mr. Showalter and Clyde King (1924), who directed the Yanks to a 29-33 record for part of the 1982 season. Neither skipper played in Pinstripes, though as a pitcher King recorded a 32-25 mark with 11 saves from 1944-1953, mostly with Brooklyn. Former Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers and current Baltimore Orioles Manager Showalter, on the other hand, never suited up in the bigs, but he did play in the Yankee system in the minors. Buck is fondly remembered in the Bronx, as he led the Yanks to fourth-, second-, first-, and second-place finishes from 1992-1995, including a thrilling Wild Card Series loss against the Mariners that last year. Showalter’s stay was a transitional one. Yankee teams before his arrival struggled; they soared after he left. Much is expected from Buck, as he pilots the 2022 Mets in Flushing. They are off to a GREAT start.
Yankee fans who do not get to visit the Baseball Cathedral much might disagree, but I think most of us regulars would have no trouble including the following personality in the Yankee birthday list: On May 23, 1925, Fred Schulman, Freddy the Fan, he of the pan, the spoon, and the three-color signs, was born. His 83rd birthday in 2008 is mentioned atop this column.
The Yanks added another player to their May 23 birthday list in 2009, even it was only briefly, because lefthander Michael Dunn (1985) was one of three players the team sent to Atlanta for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan before the 2010 season. A former position player converted to mound duty, Dunn threw in four games for the ’09 Yankees. Dunn pitched for Atlanta in 2010, and has pitched for Florida in the years that followed, then Colorado in 2017, ’18, and ’19. Prior to the 2020, he has a career 34-26 record with four saves.
Added to this list based on his free agent signing by New York in February 2021, righthander Kyle Barraclough (1990) was a seventh round selection of the Cardinals in 2012. Having pitched with Miami from 2015 through 2018, with stops in Washington and San Francisco in 2019, Kyle has posted a 18-15 record with 11 saves in the bigs after pitching 18 games with Twins ad Angels in 2021-2022.
And finally, the only May 23 celebrant who actually played for the storied team is lefty-hitting catcher Bill Drescher (1921). A backup, Bill’s only big-league experience came in 57 games for the Yankees from 1944-1946. He hit no home runs, but collected 16 rbi’s in 139 at bats.
Hall of Fame Brooklyn outfielder Zack Wheat (1888) and outfielder Dummy Hoy (1862), who was mute, lead off the list of other baseball birthdays. Wheat smacked 132 taters and drove in 1,248 for Brooklyn from 1909-1927. Righthanders Deacon Phillippe (1872) and Willis Hudlin (1906) and switch-hitting outfielder Augie Galan (1912) are three other old-timers of note. Phillippe posted a 189-109 record primarily in Pittsburgh from 1899-1911, while Hudlin did most of his work with the Indians from 1926-1944, to a 158-156 mark. Galan played with the Cubs and Dodgers from 1934-1949, amassing 100 homers with 830 rbi’s during that time. Other birthdays: Reggie Cleveland (1948); Nelson Norman (1958); Kevin Romine (1961); Ricky Gutierrez (1970); Ramon Ortiz (1973); lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez (1978), who was often rumored to be heading to the Bronx from Pittsburgh in a trade for Melky Cabrera before the 2007 season (Melky eventually did go to the Braves, but not for Gonzalez); Chris Sampson (1978); Cesar Crespo (1979); Kirk Saarlos (1979); Matt McBride (1985); Jordan Zimmermann (1986); Vic Black (1988); Cesar Hernandez (1990); Tyler Beede (1993); Logan Allen (1997); Luis Frias (1998); and Jonathan Aranda (1998).
Players Born This Day