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This Week in Yankees History March 28th-April 3rd
8 months ago  ::  Mar 27, 2021 - 7:52PM #1
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This Week in Yankees History March 28th-April 3rd Part One


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March 28th 

1919- Former Yankees Starter Vic “Springfield Rifle” Raschi (1946-1953) was born. (1919-1988)

A sports star in baseball, football, and basketball at Springfield Tech High School, Raschi attracted the attention of Yankees MLB Scout Gene McCann, while still a freshman. In 1936 Raschi signed an agreement under which the Yankees would pay for his college education in return for getting the 1st chance to sign him, when he graduated. He enrolled at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. in 1938. By 1941, the Yankees decided it was time for Raschi to begin his pro baseball career. After the 1941 college baseball season, Raschi was sent to upstate New York to pitch for the Class C Amsterdam Rugmakers (Canadian-American League). He continued to attend classes at William and Mary in the off-season. A 10-6 season at Amsterdam earned Raschi a promotion in 1942 to the Class B Norfolk Tars, the Yankees’ affiliate in the Piedmont League. His pitching record at Norfolk was only 4-10, but he had an impressive 2.71 ERA. World War II put both his pro career and education on hold. After spending 3 years in the Army Air Force as a Physical-Education Instructor; he returned to school part time while pitching for the Yankees, earning a BA degree in Physical Education in 1949. In September of 1946, he came up to the Bronx. Vic Raschi was one of main starters along with Allie Reynolds (1947) and Eddie Lopat (1948). In 1952, later Whitey Ford (1950) during the Yankees 5 straight World Championships run of 1949-1953. He went 120-50 with a 3.47 ERA  and 3 saves in 218 games as a Yankees Starter along with 24 shutouts and 99 complete games. In 6 World Series, Raschi went 5-3 with a 2.24 ERA in 11 games. He won 21 games each AL season for the Yankees from 1949-1951. In 1952, Vic signed by a player contract worth $40,000, making him the highest paid Pitcher on the Yankees Staff and the franchise’s history. He dropped off to 16 wins in 1952, then he had only 13 wins in 1953. Vic had appeared on 4 AL All-Star teams. In 1954, Yankees GM Weiss sent him an MLB player contract for less than the $40,000 salary that he made in 1953. Vic decided to stage an MLB player contract holdout. On February 23,1954, Yankees GM George Weiss sold Vic Raschi to the Cardinals for $85,000 Cash as a signal to stop other veteran Yankee stars from staging similar player salary holdouts. Raschi learned of his trade through the News Media than GM Weiss. Vic lasted less than 2 seasons in the MLB with the Cardinals and the Kansas City A’s, pitching 12-16 baseball before retiring from the game in 1955. He finished his MLB Pitching career with a 132-66 record with a 3.72 ERA and 3 saves in 269 games.

1927- In a final spring exhibition match between the 1926 World Series' opponents, the Yankees score 4 runs in the 1st inning off of Cardinals veteran Starter Grover Cleveland Alexander. Then, Alexander shuts down the Yankees until leaving in the 8th inning, and the Cardinals score 2 in the 9th inning to win the game by the score of 6-4. Both teams use their regular lineups - the only teams to make no starting changes from last year's teams. The 4 runs off Alexander are the 1st the 40-year-old veteran has allowed in 15 innings of 1927 MLB Spring Training Camp work.

1961- In their 1st meeting since Pittsburgh's dramatic 1960 World Series Game 7 victory over the Yankees, the Bucs behind would-be 1960 World Series goat Starter Bob Friend beat up the banged-up Bronx Bombers by the score of 9-2. The game's 1st run comes in the bottom of the 2nd inning on Roberto Clemente's bases-empty bomb over the LF fence. Pittsburgh goes up 3-0 in the 3rd inning on Dick Stuart's 2-run HR shot, likewise to left field. By the 7th inning, the Pirates will have built their lead to 8-0 before New York can push across its initial tally. Today's win boosts the Bucs' Grapefruit League-leading record to 13-5, while miring the Yankees ever more deeply in the preseason spring cellar. Nonetheless, other than demonstrating that Pittsburgh's 2 World Series wins over today's Yankees Starter Art Ditmar were no flukes and giving some foreshadowing of the MLB playing career years upon which both Clemente and Stuart are about to embark, today's lopsided win serves mainly as a textbook example of the relative worthlessness of preseason performance as an indicator of regular MLB season outcomes. Just to hammer home that point, it is in fact the 2 teams tied for the MLB's worst record, i.e.  the Yankees and the Reds (both are 6-13 at the end of today's action), who'll be meeting in the 1961 World Series in just over 6 months. The defending World Champion Pirates by contrast, having fallen from 1st to 6th place with a 75-79 record, will be sitting home watching on TV. The Yankees will trade starter Art Ditmar to the Kansas City A’s along with Rookie OF/INF Deron Johnson for veteran AL Starter Bud Daley. He too will be watching at home as the Yankees play the Reds in the 1961 World Series.

1981- Former Yankees Pitcher Edwar Ramirez (2007-2009) was born.

On July 9, 2006, Pitcher Edwar Ramirez was purchased by the Yankees from the independent team, Edinburgh Coyotes in the United League. He appeared in 96 games for the Yankees, while posting a 6-2 record with a 5.22 ERA and 2 saves. On March 9, 2010, Ramirez was purchased by the Rangers from the Yankees. The Rangers will trade him to Oakland on March 23, 2010.

1986- Former Yankees Pitcher Mark Melancon (2009-2010) was born.

On June 6, 2006, Pitcher Mark Melancon was selected by the Yankees in the 9th round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Player Draft. He had pitched in college for the University of Arizona. Mark appeared in 15 games for the Yankees, while posting a 0-1 record with a 4.87 ERA. On July 31, 2010, he was traded by the Yankees along with Minor League INF Jimmy Paredes to the Astros for veteran MLB INF Lance Berkman. During the winter of 2011, the Astros traded Mark Melancon to the Red Sox. On December 26, 2011, he was traded to the Pirates along with Ivan DeJesus Jr., Stolmy Pimentel and Jerry Sands in return for Joel Hanrahan and INF Brock Holt.  Melancon was having another excellent season for the 2016 Pirates, as he was named to the NL All-Star team for the 3rd straight season. On July 30th, he had pitched 45 games with a record of 1-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 30 saves, when he was traded to the Nationals in return for 2 hurlers: Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn. In 30 games for Nats, he accumulated 17 saves to give him a total of  47 for the 2016 NL season. His ERA was 1.82, putting him at 1.64 for the season. He made 4 scoreless appearances in the 2016 NLDS against the Dodgers, earning the save in Game 2, but the Nats were eliminated in 5 games. After the season, he became an MLB Free Agent. On December 5, 2016, he signed a 4-year deal with the Giants worth $62 million dollars.

1986- The Red Sox acquired veteran DH/1B Don Baylor from the Yankees for OF/DH Mike Easler. Baylor had hit 71 HRs and 256 RBIs in 3 seasons in the Bronx. He was unhappy to be sharing the Yankees DH role, so he asked the Yankees front office to be traded before the 1986 AL season started. He had hit .303 in 1983, but his BA dropped down to .262 in 1984 then to .231 in 1985. Baylor will hit 31 HRs and drive in 94 runs, helping the Red Sox to the 1986 AL East title. Meanwhile veteran DH/1B/OF Mike Easler will hit .302 in 146 games for the 1986 Yankees, while hitting 14 HRs and 78 RBIs. He had hit .262 as the 1985 Red Sox DH.

1988- The Yankees waived veteran MLB knuckleball hurler Phil Niekro 4 days shy of his 47th birthday. Phil had posted a 32-20 record with a 3.21 ERA in 65 games for the team. Phil had been signed by the team as a MLB Free Agent on January 5,1984.

1990- Former Yankees Minor League Manager and MLB Player/Coach/Manager (1946) Johnny Neun passed away. (1900-1990)

In 1920, 1B Johnny Neun began his pro baseball career. He reached the MLB with the Tigers, spending 4 seasons with the team beginning in 1925. On July 9,1927, he stole 5 bases in 1 game against the Yankees. Four days later, against the Senators, he swiped home twice in a doubleheader, once in each game. After spending 1929 season back in the Minor Leagues, he played 2 seasons with the Boston Braves. Then he played for the AA Newark Bears (IL) from 1932-1934, serving as a Player/Coach in his final season. After time as being the Manager of the Akron Yankees and the Norfolk Tars (Piedmont League), he returned to Newark in 1938 as the club's skipper, a post he held through 1941 International League season. After managing the AA Kansas City Blues (AA) for 2 seasons, he was a member of the Yankees MLB Coaching Staff from 1944-1946, when he replaced Bill Dickey as the Club's Manager during the 1946 AL season. He then went on to manage the Reds for a season and a half (1947-1948) before spending more than 40 years as an MLB Scout for the Yankees, Royals, Angels and the Brewers organizations. 

2001- The Yankees send DH/OF/1B Glenallen Hill to the Angels for Minor League OF Darren Blakely, who never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level. Hill had hit .333 with 16 HRs and 29 RBIs in 40 games for the 2000 Yankees.

2003- Three days prior to Opening Day 2003, the YES Network claims Cablevision has pulled out of a proposed deal signed 17 days ago which would have provided televised New York Yankees games nearly 3 million cable subscribers in the NYC metropolitan area. According to a YES press release, the giant cable television company failed to sign a finalized version of the hand-written document that both parties exchanged on March 12th, but Cablevision President James L. Dolan, said when YES sent him a revised typewritten draft on 2 days later, the document contained alterations that he found unacceptable.

2013- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher/1B Gus Triandos (1953-1954) passed away. (1930-2013)

In 1948, the Yankees signed Catcher Gus Triandos, as an MLB Amateur Player. Working his way up through the Yankees farm system, he missed nearly all of the 1951-1952 seasons, while serving in the military during the Korean War. Triandos reached the MLB in 1953, but because of the presence of future HOF Catcher Yogi Berra, he still will spend most of 1953 season playing in the Minors, while appearing in 97 games; hitting .368 with 19 HRs and 75 RBIs for the AA Birmingham (SA). Gus played for the 1954 AAA Kansas City Blues (AA), where he hit .296 with18 HRs and 65 RBIs in 131 games. Overall, Gus hit .154 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs in 20 games for the 1953-1954 Yankees. With Yogi Berra as starting catcher for the team; Rookie Elston Howard coming up for the 1955 AL season, Triandos was tradeable player. As a result of his successful 1954 Minor League season, Gus was included in a 17-player trade between the Yankees and the Orioles along with Catcher Hal Smith, veteran OF Gene Woodling, 3 Infielders: Willy Miranda, Don Leppert and Kal Segrist and 3 Pitchers; Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald and Bill Miller to the Orioles for Pitchers Bob Turley, Don Larsen and Mike Blyzka, Catcher Darrell Johnson, 1B Dick Kryhoski, OF Jim Fridley and Minor League OF Ted del Guercio. It was the largest trade in MLB history with a total of 17 players being involved in the deal. Only OF Ted del Guerico failed to appear in an MLB game during his pro baseball-playing career. Gus Triandos instantly became a success for the 1955 Orioles, while batting .277 with 12 HRs and 65 RBIs. He played mainly 1B that season, and then he split his playing time between 1B and Catcher in 1956. When the Orioles traded Catcher Hal Smith to the A’s, Gus was almost exclusively a Catcher for the Orioles afterwards. He had an MLB career year in 1958, when he batted .245, while hitting 30 HR's and 79 RBIs, finishing 6th in the AL in HRs. During his time in Baltimore, Triandos was elected to 3 AL All-Star teams (1957-1959). He regularly mowed down base stealers and retired with a very high 45% caught-stealing ratio. In late 1962, Triandos was traded along with OF Whitey Herzog to the Tigers for veteran Catcher Dick Brown. Gus had a good offensive year for a Catcher his only season with the Tigers, posting a 99 OPS+, while batting .239 with 14 HRs and 41 RBIs. Triandos again was traded, though, this time to the Phillies along with future HOF Starter Jim Bunning for P Jack Hamilton and OF Don Demeter. Triandos, who was near the end of his MLB playing career, had a fine season for the 1964 Phillies with a 115 OPS+ and slugging .426, but his offensive game collapsed suddenly in 1965, when he began the year at .171 for the Phillies before being purchased by the Houston Colt .45s; where he played in only 24 games before he was released by the team that November. Triandos was known as the unfortunate Catcher, who had to catch Orioles’ knuckleball hurler Hoyt Wilhelm, resulting in his appearance at 8th on the modern passed ball list at 138. "Catching Hoyt was such a miserable experience, I just wanted to end the game," he told The Baltimore Sun in 2009, reflecting on Wilhelm's 1958, a 1-0 No-Hitter against the Yankees; Triandos would later catch a 2nd MLB No-Hitter, from another future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning with the Phillies on Father’s Day 1964 against the Mets at Shea Stadium. Also, Triandos was known for his slow speed where he only stole 1 base in his entire MLB playing career, going 1 for 1 in stolen base attempts. Gus was elected to the Orioles' Hall of Fame in 1981. 

March 29th

1899- Former Yankees Pitcher Herb McQuaid (1926) was born. (1899-1966)

On September 14,1925, Pitcher Herb McQuaid was traded by the AA St. Paul Saints (American Association) to the Yankees for undisclosed players. Herb went 1-0 with a 6.10 ERA in 17 games for the 1926 Yankees. In 1923, he had made his MLB Pitching debut with the Reds, while posting a 1-0 record with a 2.36 ERA in 12 games. In 1924, he went back to the Minor Leagues. Before the start of 1927 AL Season, Herb was purchased by the AA St Paul Saints (AA) from the Yankees.

1917- Former Yankees Minor League and MLB OF Tommy Holmes was born. (1917-2008)

In 1937, the Yankees signed OF Tommy Holmes as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. Unable to crack the Yankees starting outfield of Charlie Keller, Tommy Henrich and Joe DiMaggio;  so he was traded to the Boston Braves in 1942 for 1B Buddy Hassett, OF Gene Moore and Cash. He would have a successful MLB playing career with the Braves and later with the Dodgers in the NL. Tom finished his MLB playing career with a lifetime BA of .302 with 88 HRs and 581 RBIs in 1,320 MLB games. He appeared 2 World Series during his MLB playing career; with the 1948 Braves and the 1952 Dodgers.

1938- Former Yankees Co-Team Owner Col. Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston (1915-1923) passed away. (1867-1938)

Col. Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Houston was Co-Team Owner of the Yankees along with Jacob Ruppert from 1914-1923. They purchased the club from Co-Team Owners Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $460,000 Cash. It was during this period that the team began to acquire the stars that would lead them to their 1st real success in the early 1920s, such as Pitcher Bob Shawkey, 3B Frank “Home Run” Baker, later Pitcher Carl Mays, OF Babe Ruth and other players. In June of 1923, Col. Houston sold his share of the team to Jacob Ruppert for $1,250,000 Cash. This allowed Ruppert to become the sole team owner of the Yankees. In 1937, Huston offered $1.7 million dollars to buy the Brooklyn Dodgers. He had planned to install lights for night games at Ebbets Field. His offer was refused by the current Dodger Team Ownership.

1948- The Yankees and the Red Sox go 17 innings and end in a 2-2 tie during one of the longest MLB Spring Training games ever played. The game lasted a total of 4 hours, 2 minutes.

1952- Former Yankees Reliever Bill Castro (1981) was born.

The Yankees signed veteran Reliever Bill Castro as an MLB Free Agent. He went 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA and 1 save in 21 games for the 1981 Yankees. On March 24, 1982, the Yankees traded Bill to the Angels for veteran MLB INF Butch Hobson, who would only appear in 30 games for team. He hit .172 with No HRs and 3 RBIs. He had spent most of the 1981 season with AAA Columbus Clippers (IL).

1958- Former Yankees Reserve INF Domingo Ramos (1978) was born.

On May 27,1975, INF Domingo Ramos was signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by the Yankees. He appeared in 1 game for the 1978 Yankees with no hits. On November 10,1978, he was traded by the Yankees along with Reserve Catcher Mike Heath, Pitchers Sparky Lyle, Larry McCall and Dave Rajsich, along with Cash to the Rangers for MLB OF Juan Beniquez, Pitchers Dave Righetti, Mike Griffin, Paul Mirabella and Minor League OF Greg Jemison.

1959- Former Yankees Pitcher Johnny Allen (1932-1935) passed away. (1905-1959)

Johnny Allen was working as a bellboy in a hotel, when Yankees Super MLB Scout Paul Krichell discovered him. He reached the MLB with the 1932 Yankees. Johnny went 17-4 with a 3.70 ERA that season, leading the AL Pitchers with a .810 winning percentage. He won 15 games in 1933; but after holding out for a pay raise and suffering a sore arm; he was traded by the Yankees in the winter of 1935 to the Indians for 2 hurlers: Monte Pearson and Steve Sundra. Johnny’s Yankees career pitching record was 50-19 with a 3.79 ERA in 94 games. He started in Game 4 of the 1932 World Series for the Yankees against the Cubs, giving up 3 runs off of 5 hits in just two-thirds of an inning with no decision. With the 1936-1940 Indians, he will go 67-36 with a 3.65 ERA in 150 games. Allen was named to 1938 AL All-Star team. During the AL All-Star game break, he suffered an arm injury that affected his effectiveness as an MLB Starter. Later, he will pitch for the Browns, Dodgers and finish his MLB Pitching career with the 1944 Giants. Johnny appeared in 3 games of the 1941 World Series in relief for the Dodgers against his old team the Yankees with no record. Overall, John had a MLB Pitching record of 142-75 with a 3.75 ERA and 16 saves in 352 games. After retiring as active player, he became a Minor League Umpire, eventually becoming the Umpire-In-Chief of the Carolina League.

1963- Former Yankees Reliever Wilcy Moore (1927-1929,1932-1933) passed away. (1897-1963)

Wilcy Moore was originally signed by the Tigers; pitching for their 1922-1923 Fort Worth Panthers team (Texas League.) With the 1927 Yankees, Moore led the American League with 13 saves and a 2.28 ERA; while his pitching record was 19-7. He saved game in the 1927 World Series against the Pirates as well as pitching a complete game in that Fall Classic. He is the 1st of many great Yankee Closers to follow. After the 1927 AL season, he went 4-4 and 6-4 for the team. On November 21, 1929, Moore was traded by the Yankees along with Reserve Catcher Johnny Grabowski and OF Ben Paschal to the AA St. Paul Saints (American Association) for former MLB Catcher Bubbles Hargrave. For the 1930 season, he won 22 games for the AA Saints, leading the AA in wins. In 1930, the Red Sox drafted him in the MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. He went 11-13 with an AL leading 10 saves for the 1931 Boston team. On August 1, 1932, the Red Sox traded Moore to the Yankees for Pitcher Gordon Rhoades, who had posted a 7-9 record in 4 seasons in the Bronx. After posting a 4-10 record with 4 saves for the last place Red Sox, Wilcy would go 2-0 for his old team. In 1933, he went 5-6 with club leading 8 saves for the Yankees. On January 26,1934, he was sold by the Yankees to the AA Kansas City Blues (American Association.) His final Yankees Pitching career totals was a 36-21 record with a 3.31 ERA and 37 saves in 171 games. He had appeared in 2 World Series with the 1927 and 1932 Yankees; posting a 2-0 record with a 0.56 ERA and 1 save in 3 games. Overall, as an MLB hurler, Wilcy Moore went 51-44 record with a 3.70 ERA and 49 saves in 261 MLB games with the 1927-1929,1931 Yankees and the 1931-1932 Red Sox.

1975- Veteran AL All-Star Starter Mel Stottlemyre Sr., suffering from a torn rotator cuff, is given his unconditional release by the Yankees. He had compiled a 164-139 record with a 2.97 ERA as well as 40 shutouts in an 11-season MLB Pitching career with the 1964-1974 Yankees. He will return to the team as an MLB Pitching Coach under Manager Joe Torre. Former Yankees Manager Ralph Houk, now with the Tigers will give Mel a tryout with the team, but Mel doesn’t make it and retires as an MLB active player. He will later become an MLB Pitching Coach for several MLB teams, including the Mets and Yankees.

2009- Former Yankees Baseball Executive and Football Coach Lou Saban passed away. (1921-2009)

Lou Saban is best remembered as a College and Pro Football Coach. Over 52 years, Saban coached 27 different teams to 197 wins and 2 AFL titles. In the interim, he was briefly President of the 1981-1982 Yankees. He also served as an MLB Scout for the club from 1984 to 1987. 

2018- For his part, former NL MVP OF Giancarlo Stanton, acquired by the Yankees in an MLB blockbuster off-season trade with the Marlins, has a memorable day as he starts his MLB playing career in Yankees’ pinstripes by hitting 2 long HR balls in a 6-1 win over the Blue Jays.

March 30th

1931- Former Yankees Pitcher Richard Woodson (1974) was born. 

On May 4,1974, hurler Rich Woodson was traded by the Twins to the Yankees for Minor League P Mike Pazik and Cash. Rich went 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA in 8 games with the 1974 Yankees. On April 10,1975, Rich was traded by the Yankees to the Braves for former Yankees Minor League P Dave Cheadle. 

1955- The Yankees sell veteran MLB P Ewell “The Whip” Blackwell to the Kansas City A’s. Blackwell, who was injured in 1954, will pitch in only 2 games for the 1955 A’s, going 0-1 before retiring from MLB. He gone 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA with 2 saves for the 1952-1953 Yankees. Traded along with the veteran P Ewell Blackwell, Kansas City would also receive veteran Reliever Tom Gorman had been 10-7 with a 3.56 ERA and 10 saves in 75 games for the Yankees and Reserve 1B Richard Kryhoski, who came in the big 17-man trade with the Orioles for $50,000 Cash. Tom Gorman will save 18 games for the A’s  for 2nd place in the AL for Relievers. Reserve 1B Richard Kryhoski would appear in 28 games for the 1955 A’s, while hitting just .213 with No HRs with 2 RBIs in his last active MLB season. He spent the rest of the 1955 season with the A’s AAA club, the Columbus Jets (IL), appearing in 82 games, while hitting .258 with 16 HRs and 69 RBIs. He retired from MLB in the Fall of 1955.

1965- The Yankees sell veteran Starter Stan Williams to the Indians for Cash. After being obtained from the Dodgers for veteran AL All-Star 1B Bill “Moose” Skowron in the winter of 1962, Stan went 10-13 with a 3.43 ERA in 50 games for the 1963-1964 Yankees. He never was the successful starter for the Yankees, like he was with the Dodgers. In 1964, he slipped to a 1-5 record, spending most of the season in the Yankees bullpen. He had appeared in 2 World Series in his MLB Pitching career with 1959 Dodgers and 1963 Yankees appearing in 2 games with no decisions. Stan would be converted to a full-time Relief Pitcher and be very effective with the Twins. He would later become an MLB Pitching Coach for the Yankees and several other MLB teams. 

1978- Former Yankees MLB Bench Coach Josh Bard (2018-2019) was born.

The Yankees hired former MLB Catcher Josh Bard as their MLB Bench Coach for the 2018 AL season under new Manager Aaron Boone. Bard served as acting Manager on September 2nd, due to Boone serving a 1-game suspension and again the following season on July 19th. He had played in the MLB with the Indians, Red Sox, Padres, Nationals and the Mariners. He finished his MLB playing career hitting .254 with 39 HRs and 220 RBIs. He was an MLB Coach for the Dodgers from 2016 to 2017, before joining the Yankees. On November 11, 2019, Bard left his Yankees MLB Bench Coach position in order to find a job closer to his Colorado home. He was replaced by INF Coach Carlos Mendoza. He would be hired by the Dodgers on December 9, 2019 to be their 2020 MLB Bullpen Coach.

1982- The Yankees traded P Andy McGaffigan and OF Ted Wilborn to the Giants for veteran MLB Starter Doyle Alexander. McGaffigan had appeared in 2 games with the Yankees in September of 1981 with no decisions. He had gone 8-6 with the 1981 AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). OF Ted Wilborn had played in 8 games for the team in 1980, it would be his only MLB playing experience. In 1981, he had played with the AA Nashville Sounds (Southern League), hitting .297. Doyle Alexander was major disappointment for the Yankees, going 1-7 with a 6.08 ERA, plus spending 2 months on the DL. In 1983, he will go 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in 8 games before being released by the team.

1984- The Yankees traded one of the key members of their recent World Championship teams, when they dispatched AL All-Star 3B Graig Nettles to the Padres for Pitcher Dennis Rasmussen and a Player to be Named Later. Nettles, who had angered Yankees Team Owner George Steinbrenner by criticizing him in his recent baseball book “Balls.” He will hit 20 HRs helping the 1984 Padres reach the World Series. He had hit .266 with 20 HRs for the 1983 Yankees. Nettles finishes his 11 season Yankees playing career with a .253 BA with 250 HRs and 834 RBIs in 1,535 games. Dennis Rasmussen had previously been with the Yankees; he was traded to the Padres in September of 1983 in the John Montefusco trade. He had appeared with the Padres in 4 games with no decisions in September of 1983. The Player to be Named Later was Minor League P Darin Cloninger, who was assigned to Class A Fort Lauderdale Yankees (FSL).

1988- The Yankees traded Reserve 1B/OF Orestes Destrade to the Pirates for P Hipolito Pena. Destrade had appeared in only 9 games in 1987, while hitting .263 for the Yankees. The presence of AL All-Star Don Mattingly blocked him at 1B. Pena will appear as a Reliever in 16 games for the 1988 Yankees, while posting a 1-1 record with a 3.14 ERA.

1999- The Yankees traded Pitcher Darren Holmes to the Diamondbacks for Pitcher Ben Ford and Catcher Izzy Molina. Holmes had gone 0-3 with 2 saves with a 3.33 ERA in 34 games for the 1998 Yankees, plus he spent 5 weeks on the DL with lower disk problems in his back. Ben Ford was a former Yankees Pitcher, who had been selected by the Diamondbacks in the MLB Expansion Team Player Draft held in November of 1997. He had appeared in 8 games for the 1998 D-Backs. He pitched as a Reliever for their AAA Club Tucson (PCL), posting a 2-5 record with 13 saves. He would be assigned to the Yankees AAA team, Columbus Clippers (IL). Catcher Izzy Molina had been signed by the D-Backs as an MLB Free Agent, he had played for the A’s the past 3 seasons, hitting .203 in 68 games. He will be assigned to AAA Columbus Clippers (IL). He appears in 97 games for the Clippers, while hitting .246 with 4 HRs and 51 RBIs. He never appears with the Yankees at the MLB level. The team will grant him MLB Free Agency in October of 1999.

2001- The Yankees and MLB Pitcher Dwight “Doc” Gooden announces his retirement from MLB. He pitched for the Yankees (1996-1997 and 2000). He posted a 24-14 record with 2 saves for the Yankees. In 2000, he posted a 4-2 record with 2 saves in 18 games. His highlight of his pitching career for the Yankees was a No-Hitter against the Mariners, winning the game by the score of 2-0. A 4-time All-Star and the NL Cy Young Award winner, Gooden posted a 194-112 record with a 3.51 ERA and 2,293 strikeouts over a 16-season MLB Pitching career. He originally came up with the Mets.

2009- Former Yankees MLB Coach Herman Franks (1989) passed away. (1914-2009)

In 1989, Herman Franks was MLB Coach for the 1989 Yankees. Franks was Catcher, who had played in the MLB from 1939-1949 with the Cardinals, Dodgers, A’s and the Giants. Herman spent bulk of his MLB career with the New York-San Francisco Giants organization as an MLB Player, Coach, Manager and General Manager. Also, he had worked for the Cubs organization.

2010- Pat Venditte, the 1st ambidextrous pitcher in organized baseball since Greg Harris retired in 1995 gets to show his stuff in an exhibition game for the Yankees against the Braves. The 24-year-old ends the 5th inning by retiring Yunel Escobar on 2 pitches from the right side; he then moves from one arm to the other as he works his way through the Braves' batting order in the 6th inning. When switch-hitter Brooks Conrad steps to the plate, home plate umpire Mike Reilly reminds Venditte of rule 8.01 that states that he must commit to one arm, in order to avoid the fiasco of his professional debut with the Staten Island Yankees in 2008, when he and switch-hitter Ralph Henriquez Jr. changed sides repeatedly in a cat-and-mouse game. Venditte chooses to face Conrad right-handed, and retires him on a ground ball to end his turn on the mound; Venditte is expected to start the 2010 Minor League season with the Class-A Tampa Yankees (FSL), where he was 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 21 games last season. 

2013- Former Yankees Pitcher “Bullet” Bob Turley (1955-1962) passed away.  (1930-2013)

Bob Turley was originally signed by the St. Louis Browns. He appeared with the team during the 1951 and 1953 AL seasons. In 1954, when the Browns moved to Baltimore, Bob went 14-15 with a 3.46 ERA, while leading the AL Pitchers in strikeouts with 185. In November of 1954, the Yankees obtained Starter Robert “Bullet Bob” Turley from the Orioles along with P Don Larsen in the huge 17-player trade. In 1955, he went 17-13 with 210 strikeouts making the AL All-Star team. His best Yankees season was in 1958, with Bob going 21-7 with a 2.97 ERA in 33 games; while winning the 1958 MLB Cy Young Award and the 1958 World Series MVP Awards. Bob appeared in 5 World Series (1955-1958,1960) for the Yankees; while posting a 4-3 mark with a 3.19 ERA in 15 games. After the successful 1958 AL season, he battled with pitching arm troubles with the 1960 AL season as being his best, while posting a 9-3 mark with a 3.27 ERA in 34 games. Bob went 1-0 in 2 starts in the 1960 World Series against the Pirates. After winning Game 2, he had started for the Yankees in Game 7 of the Series, but the Bucs rocked him for 4 runs in 2 innings of work. Bob would not appear in 1961-1962 World Series against the Reds and Giants for the Yankees. In 1961, Bob went 3-5 with a 5.75 ERA in 15 games before elbow problems stopped his season. He would have elbow surgery that winter. With the 1962 Yankees, Bob had posted a 3-3 record with a 4.57 ERA in 24 games. He finished with his Yankees Pitching career with an 82-52 career mark (WP .612) with 909 strikeouts. On October 29,1962, Bob was sold by the Yankees to the Angels. Bob was pitching in winter baseball league with the San Juan team, when he learned of his trade. He spent the 1963 AL season split between the Angels (2-7) and the Red Sox  (1-4); while posting an overall 3-11 record with a 4.20 ERA in 30 games. In the Fall of 1963, Bob retired as an active MLB player. In 1964, he was the Red Sox MLB Pitching Coach. Overall, Bob’s MLB Pitching career record was a 101-85 mark with a 3.64 ERA in 310 games (1951-1962).

March 31st

1884- Former Yankees INF Frank Truesdale (1914) was born. (1884-1943)

INF Frank Truesdale had originally come to the MLB with the St. Louis Browns. Then he played in the Minor Leagues for 3 season with the AA Buffalo Bisons (IL). In 1914, after the 1st game of the IL season the AA Buffalo Bisons traded Truesdale to the Yankees. The Yankees gave the Bisons outfielders Frank “Flash” Gilhooley and Lester Channell. The deal turned out to be a steal for the Bisons, as both players they obtained for Truesdale brought them huge benefits. Frank Truesdale  would appear in 77 games with the 1914 Yankees, hitting only .212 with No HRs and 13 RBIs his fielding was poor performance at .949 mark.The Yankees cut their losses and sold Frank to the International League’s Jersey City franchise for the 1915 season.

1894- Former Yankees Pitcher (1921) and MLB Manager (1960) Thomas Sheehan was born. (1894-1982)

Tom Sheehan won 260 games as a Minor League Pitcher between 1913-1934; he pitched several years in the MLB. In 1915, Sheehan reached the MLB with the  Philadelphia A’s; he went 1-16 with a respectable 3.69 ERA with the last place team. He then played several years with the AA Atlanta Crackers, leading the Southern Association with 26 wins in 1920. On September 7,1920, Tom Sheehan was purchased by the Yankees from the AA Atlanta Crackers (SA). Tom went 1-0 with a 5.45 ERA in 12 games for the 1921 Yankees. In 1921, he returned to the Minors with the AA St. Paul Saints (AA). After going 7-9 with the Saints in 1921, Sheehan went 26-12 with a 3.01 ERA, the next season, leading the American Association in wins and ERA. In 1923, he once again led the circuit in victories and ERA, when he went 31-9 with a 2.90 ERA for the Saints. He spent parts of the next 3 seasons in the MLB with the Reds and Pirates before going back to the Minor Leagues once again. He joined the AA Kansas City Blues (AA) in 1926. Tom led the AA with 26 wins the next season. After 6 seasons with the Blues, he pitched 3 seasons with the AA Hollywood Stars (PCL), retiring following the 1934 PCL campaign. After his playing days had ended, Sheehan was on the MLB Coaching Staff of the 1935-1937 Reds. Then he managed the AA Minneapolis Millers (American Association) from 1939 to 1943. He was an MLB Coach for the 1944 Braves, then he scouted for the 1945-1946 Giants. He returned to managing in the Minor Leagues with the AA 1946-1947 Millers. Then he went back to MLB Scouting for the Giants (1948-1960,1962-1975), taking a brief turn at MLB Managing, replacing fired Giants Manager Bill Rigney during the 1960 NL season.

1957- Former Long-Time Yankees Minor League Manager (1932-1947) and MLB Manager (1948-1952) Billy Meyer passed away. (1892-1957)

Billy Meyer managed the AA Louisville Colonels (American Association) from 1926-1928. In 1932, he entered the Yankees Minor League system, where he would stay for the next 16 seasons. Among his stops in the Yankees farm system were the 2 top Yankees AA teams: 1938-1941,1946-1947 Kansas City Blues (American Association) and the 1942-1945 Newark Bears (International League). By 1946, Meyer was considered the likely replacement for long-time Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy. Billy had suffered a heart attack in 1945. He had taken time off to recover. Later, he moved up to manage in the MLB with the 1948-1952 Pirates. Overall, his Minor League teams were 1,605-1,325 in 19 seasons. In 1949, he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. His Pirates uniform number “1” was retired by the team in 1954. 

1971- The Yankees released veteran MLB INF Pete Ward. On December 18,1969, INF Pete Ward was traded by the White Sox to the Yankees for Minor League P Mickey Scott and Cash. Pete was a slugging 3B with the White Sox during the 1960’s by the time; he reached the Yankees in 1970, he was playing with a bad back and at 1B.  Ward will appear in 66 games for the Yankees, while hitting .260 with 1 HR with 18 RBIs. Later, he became a Yankees Minor League Manager.

 1972- The Yankees re-purchased OF/1B Frank Tepedino (1967,1969,1971-1972) from the Brewers for Cash. Frank originally was signed by the Orioles, later the Yankees in the MLB Rule 5 Player Draft had selected him. He saw limited action with the Yankees appearing in just 44 games. Frank was traded twice by Yankees, once to the Brewers for OF Danny Walton in 1971 and then to the Braves for Starter Pat Dobson in 1973. After retiring from baseball, he returned to New York City, becoming a NYC Fireman. He was involved in the September 11th rescue operations at Twin Towers crash site.

1974- Former Yankees Minor League Manager Elmer “Doc” Bennett (1937-1942) passed away. (1897-1974)

Elmer “Doc” Bennett was a Minor League Pitcher and Player, who later became a very successful Minor League Manager; leading 5 teams to league championships in 13 seasons of managing. He spent much of his career as a Player-Manager. He managed in the Yankees Minor League system with the 1937-1939 Norfolk Elks (Nebraska State League/Western League). His 1938 Norfolk Tars, team won the Piedmont League championship. During the 1941-1942 Minor League seasons, he managed the Joplin Miners (Western Association). His 1941 Joplin team were the league champs. Later, Doc Bennett spent time as an MLB Scout. He scouted for the 1943-1949 Red Sox and the 1950-1969 White Sox.

1979- Former Yankees Minor League P Charlie Manning was born.

The Yankees in the 9th round of the 2001 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected P Charlie Manning. He quickly rose through the Yankees Minor League system. He was traded to the Reds in exchange for veteran MLB 3B Aaron Boone. After 2 seasons in the Reds organization, he was sent back to the Yankees in a trade for MLB Reliever Gabe White. In 2006, he pitched for the AA Trenton Thunder (EL). He made the Eastern League All-Star team. He split 2007 between AA Trenton Thunder and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA and 3 saves. After the 2007 MLB season had ended, Charlie moved to the Nationals organization. He made his MLB Pitching debut with that team on May 24, 2008. He had gone 19 games with a 1.95 ERA and 6 saves for the AAA Columbus Clippers (IL) prior to getting the call-up to the MLB. He would go 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 7 games with the 2008 Nats. 

1980- Former Yankees Starter Chien-Ming Wang (2005-2009) was born.

In 2000, the Yankees signed hurler Chien-Ming Wang as an MLB Amateur Free Agent. Wang went 55-26 with a 4.16 ERA and 1 save in 109 games for the Yankees. His best season as a Yankees starter was in 2006, when he posted a 19-6 record with a 3.63 ERA in 34 games. He continued his string of success in 2007, going 19-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 30 games, while increasing his strikeouts from 76 to 104 in almost the same time on the mound. However, he was roughed up during the 2007 AL postseason, losing both of his ALDS starts against the Indians, while giving up 12 earned runs on 14 hits in only 5 2/3 innings of work. He was 1-3 in the AL Postseason Playoffs for the Yankees. Wang was off to another good start in 2008, with a record of 8-2, when he broke his right foot on June 15th while running the bases in an MLB Inter-league game against the Astros at Houston. He was expected to be sidelined for at least 6 weeks, but he never pitched again in 2008 season for the Yankees. Wang then struggled mightily in 2009, going only 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA in 12 games. He was shut down early once again, and completely missed the Yankees' run to a World Series title. After the 2009 World Series, Wang left the Yankees as an MLB Free Agent, signing with the Nationals. He didn’t pitch in 2010 because of injuries. Wang made his return to the MLB in 2011, making his 1st appearance for the Nationals on July 29th. He lost that start to the Mets, lost again in his 2nd start, then earned his 1st win in over 2 seasons on August 9th, when he beat the Cubs by the score of 3-1. He gave up no runs with only 1 hit and 2 walks over 6 innings in that game. He made 11 starts in his 2011 MLB comeback season, going 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 62 1/3 innings. In 2012, he was slated to be the Nationals' 5th starter in spring training, but he suffered another setback, pulling a hamstring when he landed awkwardly on 1B after fielding a ground ball from the Yankees' Russell Martin in a Grapefruit League game. In 2016, he pitched for the Royals as a Relief Pitcher, posting a 6-0 record in 38 games in his final MLB season. Overall, in 9 seasons, he posted an MLB lifetime record of 68-34 with a 4.36 ERA and 1 save in 174 games.

1982- The Yankees traded 2 Pitchers: Gene Nelson and Bill Caudill and a Player to be Named Later to the Mariners for Reliever Shane Rawley, who would join the Yankees bullpen with Closer Goose Gossage and Set-Up Man Ron Davis. Instead, they decide to use him as a Starter, he went 11-10 with a 4.06 ERA and 3 saves with 17 starts in 47 games. Gene Nelson had gone 3-1 with a 4.81 ERA in 8 games as a 1981 Rookie for the team. In 1982, Yankees MLB spring training camp, he was going to be named the Yankees No. 4 Starter by Yankees Manager Bob Lemon. Nelson balked at going to Mariners AAA team, Salt Lake City (PCL) telling the Seattle front office that I just made the No 4 spot in the Yankees starting rotation. They eventually made an agreement that Nelson would be called up to Seattle later in that season. Veteran MLB Reliever Bill Caudill had just been obtained from the Cubs, when the Yankees made the trade with Seattle. The Player to be Name Later by the Yankees was Reserve OF Bobby Brown, who had hit .255 with 14 HRs and 33 stolen bases in 3 seasons with the Yankees. Mariners sent him down to AAA Salt Lake City (PCL), but he would return to Seattle later in the season.

1984- The Yankees sold Reserve Catcher Juan Espino to the Indians. Espino had played in the Yankees farm system since 1975, reaching the MLB with the team in 1982, while appearing in 3 games, then 10 games in 1983 as a Reserve Catcher for the team. On January 8,1985, Juan was purchased by the Yankees from the Indians, who had sent him to their AAA club, the Maine Guides (IL). He had hit .251 for the 1984 Guides team. The Yankees placed him on their AAA club roster, the Columbus Clippers (IL). Overall, Juan would play for the Yankees for 4 seasons, appearing in a total of 49 games, while hitting .219 with 1 HR and 8 RBIs. At the end of the 1987 MLB season, the Yankees granted him MLB Free Agency. He would be signed by the Braves, spending the 1988 season with their AAA team, the Richmond Braves (IL).

1992- Former Yankees Reserve Catcher, MLB and Minor League Manager, Coach, Ken “Hawk” Silvestri passed away (1916-1992).

A native Chicagoan, Catcher Ken Silvestri made his MLB Player debut with the 1939 White Sox. He managed to survive parts of 8 seasons in the MLB, despite a no-hit tag with a .217 MLB career BA. He served in the  Army from December 1941 to November 1945. On December 30,1940, the White Sox traded Ken to the Yankees for Reserve INF Bill Knickerbocker. Ken Silvestri was a Catcher for the Yankees in 1941 and again in 1946-1947, appearing in 33 games, while hitting .254 as a Reserve Catcher for veteran starter Bill Dickey. In the winter of 1948, Ken was selected by the Phillies from the Yankees organization in the MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. He was a member of the 1950 Phillies “Whiz Kids” team. He appeared in 1 game of the 1950 World Series against the Yankees with no hits. After his MLB playing career was over in 1951, Ken was a Yankees Minor League Manager from 1955-1958. In 1955, he started the Minor League season with the Winston-Salem Twins (Carolina League); then he was moved to the Owensboro Oilers (Kitty League). In 1956, Ken managed the St. Petersburg Saints (Florida State League). For the 1957 season, Ken managed the Alexandria Aces (Evangeline League); his team won the league championship. In 1958, he led the Fargo-Moorhead Twins (Northern League) to their league championship. Ken was an MLB Coach with the 1959-1960 Phillies. Next, he was with the 1961-1962 AAA Louisville Colonels (AA). He was then an MLB Coach with 1963-1975 Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. Ken served as Interim Manager for the 1967 Braves, replacing the fired Manager Billy Hitchcock. The Braves front office would bring in Lum Harris to finish out the 1967 NL season. Also, Ken Silvestri was an MLB Coach for the 1976 and 1982 White Sox.

2011- On Opening Day 2011, the Yankees are successful beating the Tigers by the score of 6-3 at Yankee Stadium. Yankees CF Curtis Granderson, whose health was a concern before the start of the game because of a strained right oblique muscle, makes a diving catch of a line drive hit by Will Rhymes in the 1st inning, then he breaks a 3-3 tie with a solo HR off of former Yankees Reliever Phil Coke in the 7th inning. Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira had earlier hit a 3-run HR blast to tie the score in the 3rd inning. New Yankees starting Catcher Russell Martin scores twice in his player debut in Yankee pinstripes as Joba Chamberlain picks up the win and Closer Mo Rivera picks up a save. 

2017- The Atlanta Braves new SunTrust Park located in Cobb County, GA is inaugurated with an MLB Exhibition game between the Braves and Yankees. The contest is held in spite of the collapse of a span of I-85, which bisects downtown Atlanta, GA, creating huge traffic problems. The new suburban ballpark will get its official MLB game opening in 2 weeks, when the 2017 NL season starts for the Braves.

2017- Former Yankees INF and Minor League Manager, MLB Scout  Ruben Amaro Sr. (1966-1968) passed away. (1936-2017) 

Ruben Amaro was originally signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953. He appeared in 40 games with the team in 1958. He was traded by the Cardinals to the Phillies in December of 1958. Ruben spent the 1959 season in the Minor Leagues. He played for the Phillies from 1960 to 1965. On November 29,1965, Ruben was traded by the Phillies to the Yankees for INF Phil Linz. The Yankees had high hopes for Ruben; a former 1964 NL Golden Glove winner to take over starting Shortstop position after veteran starting Shortstop Tony Kubek was forced to retire from MLB as an active player with neck and back injuries. He was a failure with the bat and getting OF Tom Tresh seriously hurt on routine fly ball play in 1966 did not help out matters any. In 1967, he recovered from his injuries becoming the Yankees regular Shortstop hitting .223. In 1968 Yankees Manager Ralph Houk removed him at Shortstop, replacing him with Tom Tresh, who had originally come up to the Yankees as a Shortstop in 1961. Ruben only appeared in 47 games for the team as a Reserve INF, hitting just .122. Overall, Ruben had appeared in 191 games for the team, hitting just .214 with 1 HR and 20 RBIs. The Yankees left him exposed to the 1968 AL Expansion Team Player Draft with the Seattle Pilots and Kansas City Royals, both teams had passed on him. On November 6, 1968, he was sold by the Yankees to the Angels for Cash. He later became a Minor League Manager for the Phillies and Cubs organizations. Also, he was an MLB Scout. His son Ruben Amaro Jr. was an MLB Player, MLB Coach with the Red Sox and an MLB General Manager with the Phillies.

April 1st

1912- Former Yankee Reliever Jacob “Whistlin’ Jake” Wade (1946) was born. (1912-2006)

On December 15,1944, veteran lefty P Jake Wade was traded by the White Sox to the Yankees for P Johnny Johnson. He missed the 1945 MLB season due service time with the Navy. In 1946, he posted a 2-1 mark with a 2.29 ERA and 1 save in 13 games for the Yankees. On August 5,1946, he was purchased by the Senators from the Yankees. He pitched in the MLB for 8 seasons finishing with a 27-40 record along with a 5.00 ERA and 3 saves in 171 games. In 1935, Jake was originally signed as MLB Amateur Free Agent by the Tigers.

1922- Former Yankees Minor League Player and Manager Vern Hoscheit was born. (1922-2007)

From 1941-1947, Vern Hoscheit was Minor League Catcher and OF in the Yankees Minor League system. In 1948, He took over as Manager for the Yankees farm club, the McAlester Rockets (Sooner State League), leading them to the best record in the league. He stayed with the McAlester team through the 1951 season, taking league titles in 1950 and 1951. Then Vern moved up to the Joplin Miners (Western Association) in 1952, guiding them to the best team record and a playoff win. He moved to the Three-I League, next taking over the 1953-1956 Quincy Gems and winning league titles in 1953 and 1954 (his 4th and 5th in a row). When the Yankees switched their affiliate team from Quincy to the Peoria Chiefs; Hoschiet moved to Peoria in 1957. In 1958, he moved to the Greensboro Yankees (Carolina League) and guided them for 2 seasons. Hoscheit was the last President of the Three-I League in 1960-1961. He was also the Manager of the 1983 GCL Mets. Hoscheit was then an Orioles MLB Scout from 1962 to 1967. From 1965-1967, he also was in charge of the Orioles team in the Florida Instructional League. In 1968, he was an Orioles MLB Coach Then Vern was a member of the Oakland A’s MLB Coaching staff from 1969-1974. In 1976, he joined the Angels MLB Coaching staff. In 1983, Hoscheit guided the Class A GCL Mets. From 1984 to 1987, he was an Mets MLB Coach.

1934- Former Yankees Minor League and MLB INF Rod “Hot Rod” Kanehl was born. (1934-2004)

In 1954, the Yankees originally signed INF Rod Kanehl as Amateur MLB Free Agent. He played in their farm system until the fall of 1961, when he was drafted in the Minor League Player Draft by the expansion Mets on advice from their new Manager Casey Stengel. Rod never saw MLB action with the Yankees, but Manager Casey Stengel remember him from a Yankees spring camp training session, where he jumped on a bike to run down a fly ball. He played for the 1962-1964 Mets. He appeared in 340 games with the team, while hitting .241 with 6 HRs and 47 RBIs. Rod played 7 different positions for the team. The Yankees wanted to give him a shot at 3B job in their 1967 MLB spring training camp, but the Mets front office refused to release him from his lifetime MLB reserve clause in his MLB player contract, even though they had him on their AAA Buffalo Bisons (IL) team roster for the 1967 IL season.

1939- Former Yankees and Hall Of  Fame Pitcher Phil Niekro (1984-1985) was born. (1939-2020)

Phil Niekro will make his MLB Pitching debut with the 1964 Milwaukee Braves. He will win 318 games over a 24-year MLB pitching career. Phil went 32-20 with a 3.59 ERA in 65 games as a Yankees Pitcher during the 1984-1985 AL seasons. The last day of 1985 AL season, Joe beat the Blue Jays for his 300th MLB victory. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.

1955- Former Yankees Reserve OF Larry Murray (1974-1976) was born.

 Larry Murray was selected in the 5th round of the 1971 MLB Amateur Player Draft by the Yankees. He debuted with the Johnson City Yankees: his .172 BA was rather unimposing. He stole 6 in 8 tries and fielded just .881 in the outfield. In 1972, Larry improved drastically. He batted .244 for the Oneonta Yankees, leading the New York-Penn League with 66 walks. His 60 runs were 2nd to teammate Terry Whitfield, he stole 59 in 66 tries and his 10 outfield assists tied him for the league lead. His OBP and base-running skills were clearly excellent, making him a fine leadoff prospect. He only hit .133 and fanned 15 times in 45 AB with the 1972 Fort Lauderdale Yankees. By age 20, Murray was doing well in high Class A, producing at a .253 for Ft. Lauderdale (FSL), stealing 29 bases in 38 tries, while throwing out 14 runners. In 1974, Larry returned to Fort Lauderdale again as he was 1 of 2 switch-hitting Murrays to lead the Florida State League in something. Eddie Murray led in doubles and total bases, while Larry led in steals (62 in 73 attempts), 21 more than runner-up Ron LeFlore. Larry Murray's BA average fell to .207 that season, as he fielded .984. He drew 88 walks, 30 more than Eddie Murray and 2nd in the FSL to Wayne Harer. He got a September call-up to the Bronx. Larry appeared in 6 games for the 1974 Yankees, 4 of them as a Pinch-Runner and 2 in the outfield. Moving up to AA with the West Haven Yankees (EL), Slick stole 28 of 36 in 1975 while hitting .250. He got into 6 games for the 1975 Yankees in May and June, acquiring only 1 AB as he again was being used for pinch-running and defensive purposes. Murray had arguably his best all-around season in 1976, with AA West Haven. The 23-year-old Outfielder batted .286, as he stole 59 bases in 71 tries, hitting 12 HRs and scored 92 runs. His 268 outfield putouts were 6 shy of the Eastern League lead. He led the league in both steals and runs and making the EL All-Star team. Getting a September call-up, he actually got 10 AB after only 2 in his 2 previous seasons with the Yankees. He even started 1 contest, playing the full game in center. Larry began the 1977 season with the Syracuse Chiefs (IL) and hit .300 in his 1st 9 games at AAA level, scoring 11 runs and going 6 for 6 in steals. He averaged a walk a contest and had no errors charged to him. On April 27, 1977, he was traded by the Yankees to the Oakland A’s along with veteran Starter Dock Ellis and Reserve INF Marty Perez for veteran MLB Starter Mike Torrez. He played regularly for the 1977 A’s, while batting a very weak .179, though he was 12 for 15 in steals and fielded .992, while moving around the 3 Outfield spots. On a bad A's team, he hit 1st, 2nd or 8th in most of his starts. He also spent part of June with the San Jose Missions, batting .364 and going 15 for 16 in swipes in 21 games. Overall, he had scored 29 in 30 AAA games that season and stole 21 bases.

1969- New York Yankees AL All-Star OF/1B Mickey Mantle (1951-1968) retires from MLB. He ends his MLB playing career with .298 BA, with 2,415 hits and 536 HRs in 18 MLB seasons with the team. His MLB career numbers that would have certainly been higher if not for his persistent knee injuries. He spent his last 2 Yankees seasons as a 1B. He was the last active player from the Yankees Dynasty years (1949-1964) to retire from MLB. He will be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with his longtime Yankees teammate Pitcher Whitey Ford in 1974.

2008- The Yankees set an MLB record by winning their 11th straight home opener. Oddly, the MLB record had been held by the 1945-1954 Pirates, a club which lost 100 or more games 3 times in that period. The Yankees beat the Blue Jays by the score of 3-2. Yankees Starter Chien-Ming Wang only allows 2 runs in 7 innings for the win over the Blue Jays Ace Roy Halladay.

2012- Former Yankees Minor League OF and MLB Player OF Jerry Lynch passed away. (1930-2012)

Jerry Lynch became the greatest pinch-hitter of his era, and one of the best pinch-hitters of all time. Although he appeared in 1,184 MLB games, only 710 of them were in the field (mostly as a LF). He had 116 career pinch-hits. He had only 1 season with more than 400 at-bats, that being 1958, when he hit .312 with 16 HRs in 420 at-bats with the Reds. In 1950, he was acquired from Greenville (Cotton League) by the Yankees organization. He spent the 1951-1952 seasons serving in the military. He returned to the Yankees in 1953, playing for their Class B team the Norfolk Tars (Piedmont League) appearing in 132 games, while hitting .333 with 21 HRs. After the season, he was placed on the AAA 1953 Kansas City Blues (American Association) roster. In the 1953 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft, Jerry Lynch was selected by the Pirates from the Yankees organization. He became more or less a regular outfielder (he appeared in 98 games) as a Rookie with the 1954 Pirates, making his MLB Player debut at age 23 on a team whose average age was 26. That season, he and Toby Atwell had back-to-back HRs twice in 1 game; no Pirate duo would copy them until Neil Walker and Gaby Sanchez in 2014. He played for the Pirates until 1956, and then the Reds drafted him in the MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. He played with the Reds until 1963, when he was traded back to the Pirates for veteran OF Bob Skinner. He finished his MLB playing career with the 1966 Pirates. He was a member of the Reds' 1961 World Series team, going 0 for 3 with a walk as the Reds lost in 5 games to the Yankees; he had hit a career-high .315 in 96 games that season. His 25 RBIs as a pinch-hitter that year are still tied for the MLB record (with Joe Cronin in 1943 and Rusty Staub in 1983). After his MLB Player retirement, he went into business with former Pirates teammate Dick Groat, owning and managing Golf courses in the Atlanta, GA area.

2014- The Yankees and Astros are the last 2 MLB teams to open their 2014 MLB season, meeting before a crowd of 42,117 fans at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. The game does not follow the expected script as the Astros, coming off 3 straight 100-loss seasons and having lost their last 15 games of the 2013 AL season, but they defeat the Bronx Bombers by the score of 6-2. Scott Feldman pitches 6 2/3 scoreless innings, while Jesus Guzman and L.J. Hoes hit HRs against the Yankees veteran Starter CC Sabathia.

2020- Former Yankees Reliever, MLB Player and Broadcaster Ed Farmer (1974) passed away. (1949-2020)

On March 19,1974, Reliever Ed Farmer was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Tigers to the Yankees. The Yankees sent C/DH/1B Jerry Moses to the Tigers. While Detroit sent veteran Starter Jim Perry to the Indians. Then the Tribe sent Pitcher Richard Sawyer and OF Walt Williams to the Bronx. Ed’s stay in Yankees pinstripes was very short, just 2 days, never appearing in a game with the team. He had been assigned to AAA Syracuse Chiefs (IL) by the team, he refused to report to the club. On March 21,1974, the Phillies purchased Ed from the Yankees. He pitched in the MLB with the Indians, Tigers, Yankees, Phillies (twice), Orioles, Brewers, Rangers, White Sox and finished his pitching career with the A’s. Ed had posted a 30-43 record with a 4.30 ERA and 75 saves in 370 games.  He was on the 1980 AL All-Star team. Farmer was an MLB Scout in the Orioles organization between 1988-1990, also he briefly had a White Sox front office role. In 1991, Farmer took a part-time role on White Sox radio broadcasts, then he was a full-time color commentator from 1992 to 2005. He became well-known among fans by the nickname "Farmio." In 2006, he took over play-by-play from John Rooney, he served in that role through the 2019 AL season, along with broadcast partners Chris Singleton (2006–2007), Steve Stone (2008) and Darrin Jackson (2009–2019). Farmer served a total of 29 seasons as a White Sox Broadcaster; 28 of them full-time and 14 giving play-by-play. On April 1, 2020, Ed Farmer died of kidney disease at the age of 70. His final broadcast had been a Cactus League game during White Sox MLB Spring Training camp in February 2020.

8 months ago  ::  Mar 27, 2021 - 7:58PM #2
Posts: 16,037


This Week in Yankees History March 28th-April 3rd Part Two

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April 2nd

1930- Former Yankees Minor League Pitcher Art Ceccarelli was born. 

Despite being in the Yankees organization twice, hurler Art Ceccarelli never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level. On May 4,1954, Art was purchased by the Yankees from the Dodgers. On November 22,1954, Art was drafted by the Philadelphia A’s from the Yankees organization in the 1954 MLB Rule 5 Player Draft. On May 19,1960, Art was traded by the Cubs to the Yankees for Pitcher Mark Freeman. He was assigned to the AAA Richmond Virginians (IL) in May of 1960, where he went 9-4 with a 3.96 ERA. He never appeared with the Yankees at the MLB level.

1931- At Engel Stadium, Miss Jackie Mitchell strikes out Yankees Sluggers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game held in Chattanooga, TN. The 17-year-old girl, a member of the Chattanooga Lookouts roster, also walks Tony Lazzeri in Chattanooga's 14-4 loss to the Yankees. In 1933, Mitchell will pitch for the House of David Baseball team.

1945- Former Yankees Pitcher Mike Kekich (1969-1973) was born.

Mike Kekich is known more for off the field actions as a Yankee than as a Pitcher. His Yankees teammate Fritz Peterson and Mike swapped their wives and families 1 year, causing a quite a media stir. In one of the stranger deals in baseball history, Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson swapped wives, children and their dogs during the winter of 1972-1973. Kekich never married the former Mrs. Peterson, but Peterson did marry Susanne Kekich. They had 4 children of their own. They are still married today. Mike came over from the Dodgers to the Yankees in the Andy Kosco trade in December of 1968. He went 31-32 with a 4.31 ERA with 1 save in 125 games for as a Yankees Pitcher before being exiled to the Indians, after the wife/family swap was revealed to the public during the 1973 Yankees spring training camp. On June 12,1973, he was traded by the Yankees to the Indians for hurler Lowell Palmer. 

1955- Former Yankees OF/DH Billy Sample (1985) was born.

On February 27,1985, OF/DH Bill Sample was traded by the Rangers along with a Player to be Named Later to the Yankees for veteran INF Toby Harrah. He had played for the Rangers his whole MLB career, hitting .275 in 675 games. On July 14, 1985, the Rangers would send Minor League Class A P Eric Dersin to the Yankees to complete the trade. Billy had hit .288 with 1 HR and 15 RBIs in 59 games for the 1985 Yankees before being traded on December 6,1985 to the Braves for Minor League INF Miguel Sosa. The 1986 NL season with the Braves would be Billy’s last MLB season as an active player.

1957- Former Co-Owner of the Yankees Hank Steinbrenner was born. (1957-2020)

Hank Steinbrenner was the Co-Owner and Managing General Partner of the New York Yankees alongside his younger Brother Hal Steinbrenner. He inherited the team on his Father, George Steinbrenner's death in 2010, although the 2 brothers had been running the team since 2007, when their father's illness forced him to curtail his daily activities. While the 2 brothers would let GM Brian Cashman make most baseball-related decisions since taking over the team. Hank quickly developed a reputation for being outspoken and for making ill-informed comments, in the mold of his father. Among some his more infamous statements in 2008, he said that the idea that there was a mass of  Red Sox fans across the country as a creation of ESPN, then he criticized members of the Rays for picking fights with Yankee players when they were being subsidized by the richer team through luxury tax payments. In spring training of 2011, he made another sortie that reminded everyone of his father's less-inspired moments, blaming the team's "poor" performance in 2010 on the fact that players had celebrated too much following the 2009 World Series and, in a dig clearly aimed at Team Captain Derek Jeter, who had built a luxury home in Tampa, Fla over the previous off-season, were "too busy building mansions" and had become complacent. He was conveniently forgetting that the Yankees had been fighting neck-and-neck with the Rays all season for the best record in the MLB, and made it all the way to the ALCS, where they lost a tightly-fought series against the Rangers; no independent observers had accused the team of slacking off at all during the season. Steinbrenner had to apologize immediately for his remarks and clarify that he was not singling out Jeter, but dug himself a deeper hole by stating that his remarks were a "euphemism", thereby indicating that he did not know the meaning of that word either. His outburst brought him a rebuke from MLB  Commissioner Bud Selig as well, as Steinbrenner stated that the Commissioner supported changes to the revenue sharing and luxury tax system in the current round of collective bargaining with the Players Association; the Yankees are of course the largest payers into the system, given their enormous payroll. Selig had to publicly remind Steinbrenner that MLB Owners were not authorized to speak on labor-related issues during the ongoing negotiations. After these initial outbursts, he decided to step back from being the face of Yankee ownership, letting his much more temperate brother Hal take over, although he remained involved in key decisions. He retired to his first love, his thoroughbred farm in Ocala, FL. His health then deteriorated starting in the mid-2010s, further lowering his profile.He passed away in April 2020 at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, although the Yankees stated that his passing was die to his long-standing health issues and not because of COVID-19.

1960- Former Yankees Minor League INF Tom Barrett was born.

The Yankees in the 26th round of the 1982 MLB Amateur Player Draft selected INF Tom Barrett. He never played for the Yankees at the MLB level. He was the Brother of Red Sox INF Marty Barrett. Tom played in the Yankees organization from 1982-1986. On December 11,1986, Tom was traded by the Yankees along with veteran OF/1B Mike Easler to the Phillies for P Charles Hudson and Minor League P Jeff Knox. He would play for the Phillies and Red Sox, before becoming a Minor League Manager for the Red Sox organization.

1964- Former Yankees DH Pete Incaviglia (1997) was born.

Veteran MLB DH/OF Pete Incaviglia was with the 1997 Yankees for just 21 days, while appearing in only 5 games, hitting .250 before being released by the team.

1970- Former Yankees Pitcher Jon Lieber (2003-2004) was born.

Signed as an MLB Free Agent in 2003, veteran MLB Starter Jon Lieber went 14-8 with a 4.37 ERA in 27 games with the 2004 Yankees before leaving the team as an MLB Free Agent to sign with the Phillies, who out-bid the Yankees in salary; both teams had offered the same contract length (3 Years) to Lieber, but the Phillies offered him a higher player salary. 

1975- The Yankees traded 4 Minor League Players and Cash to the White Sox for MLB Catcher Ed Herrmann. The 4 Yankees Minor League Players were P Fred Anyzeski, OF Ken Bennett, Catcher Terry Quinn and 1B/Catcher John Narron. In 1974, as lefty hitter Catcher Ed Herrmann had hit .259 with 10 HRs and 39 RBIs. He asked the Chicago front office for a pay raise from $42,00 to $52,000. The White Sox offered him only a raise to $48,000. Ed decided to play without a player contract, while asking the White Sox to trade him. After the Yankees had agreed to the $50,000 player salary, the White Sox sent him to the Bronx.  He would be the 1975 Yankees 3rd Catcher on the MLB roster with Thurman Munson and Rick Dempsey being the right-handed batters. None of the Yankees Minor League players ever reached the MLB with the White Sox. Ed Herrmann would appear in 80 games for the 1975 Yankees as a Catcher/DH, hitting .255 with 35 games as the Yankees DH. On February 20,1976, he would be sold by the Yankees to the Angels.

1992- The Yankees signed veteran MLB Free Agent OF Dion James. He had lifetime MLB BA of .284 in 7 seasons. He would hit .262 in 67 games for the 1992 team. In 1993, he hit .332 with 7 HRs and 36 RBIs in 113 games. In 1994, he became an MLB Free Agent. He would sign with the Chunichi Dragons in the Japanese Central League.

1997- Tino Martinez leads the Yankees to a 16-2 romp over the Mariners at the Kingdome. The former M's 1st baseman hits 3 HRs -- a solo job, a 2-run HR and a 3-run shot. With the game out of reach and the crowd chanting his name, he has 2 opportunities to hit a Grand Slam HR, but he fails to become the 1st MLB player to hit HRs for the cycle. He ends the game with a 4-6 performance at the plate with 7 RBIs, a walk and 5 runs scored.

2001- On Opening Day 2001, Yankees Starter Roger Clemens becomes the all-time AL Career Strike Out leader passing Hall OF Fame Washington Senators Starter Walter Johnson. Royals INF Joe Randa is his 3,509 AL strikeout victim. By passing Walter Johnson, Roger Clemens now takes over the 7th spot in MLB Pitchers Strikeout history.

2003- Orioles Shortstop Mike Bordick's record streak for games played and total chances without an error by a Shortstop ends as Yankees OF Bubba Trammell's  3rd inning grounder tips off his glove.

2003- Veteran Todd Zeile hits a HR in his 1st at-bat for the Yankees, becoming the only MLB to hit a HR for 10 different MLB teams. In addition to hit a HR with the Yankees, Zeile had also gone deep for the Cardinals, Cubs, Phillies, Orioles, Dodgers, Marlins, Rangers, Mets and the Rockies. He will add the Expos to the list before then end of the 2003 MLB season.

2011- The Commissioner's Office demands that the Yankees stop relaying hand signals from the stands to their hitters at New Yankee Stadium, something which is expressly prohibited by a directive from Major League Baseball. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman apologizes to Joe Garagiola Jr. and says the team will comply.

2012- Former Yankees Reserve OF Allie Clark (1947) passed away. (1923-2012) 

Before the start of the 1941 MLB Season, OF Allie Clark was signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by the Yankees. Clark missed most of 1943 and all of 1944-1945 baseball seasons, while serving in the military service. Allie was a back-up Outfielder, who had played 7 seasons in the MLB. As a Rookie, he played on the 1947 Yankees, appearing in 24 games, while hitting .373 with 1 HR and 14 RBIs. December 11,1947, Allie Clark was traded by the Yankees to the Indians for veteran P Red Embree. In his 2nd MLB season, he played for the 1948 Indians, while hitting .310. He appeared in 2 World Series: 1947 (Yankees) and 1948 (Indians). Also, Allie would play for the Philadelphia A’s and the White Sox. Following his MLB player days, he was with the AAA Rochester Red Wings (IL) from 1953 to 1957, hitting .306 with 75 HRs and 340 RBIs during that time span.

2017- Opening Day 2007 for the Rays and Yankees, the Rays jump on Yankees Ace Masahiro Tanaka for 7 runs in 2 2/3 innings, including HRs by Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison to cruise to a 7-3 win. Chris Archer, who led the MLB in losses in 2016 with 19, starts off the year with a win.

April 3rd

1879- Former Yankees Pitcher John Frill (1910) was born. (1879-1918)

On August 6,1909, Pitcher John Frill was sent from the AA Newark (Eastern League) to the Yankees in an unknown transaction. John went 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA and 1 save in 10 games for the 1910 Yankees. On July 13,1910, he was purchased by the AA Jersey City Skeeters (Eastern League) from the Yankees.

1919- One of the most bizarre off-the-field spring training incidents in Yankees team history takes place in Jacksonville, Florida. Yankees OF Ping Bodie competes against an Ostrich named "Percy" in a spaghetti-eating contest! Bodie wins the eating competition, when Percy passes out after his 11th plate of pasta.

1926- Former Yankees Minor League INF and MLB player/Manager Alex Grammas (1953) was born. (1926-2019)

Shortstop Alex Grammas was in the Yankees organization playing for the 1953 AAA Kansas City Blues (American Association). He was with the Reds organization; apparently Alex was loaned to the Yankees AAA team, the Kansas City Blues. He played Shortstop for the team. He appeared in 140 games, while hitting .307 with 2 HRs and 62 RBIs. The White Sox originally signed him in 1949, who later traded him to the Reds. The Reds would trade him to Cardinals in the winter of 1953. Alex would play in the MLB from 1954-1963 with the Cardinals (twice), Reds (twice) and the Cubs. He later became an MLB Manager with the 1969 Pirates and the 1976-1977 Brewers.

1929- Former Yankees Pitcher Art Ditmar (1957-1961) was born.

In 1948, Art Ditmar was originally signed as an MLB Amateur Free Agent by the Philadelphia A’s. Ditmar would get his 1st look at the MLB in 1954, when the A’s used him in 14 games. He posted a 1-4 record. Also, he spent time in 1954 with AAA Ottawa (IL), going 6-12 with a 3.56 ERA. One of Art's highlights in MLB Baseball came in 1954. As he was the winning pitcher in the final game ever played by the A's at Shibe Park in Philadelphia before their franchise shifted to Kansas City. "It was a game against the Yankees," recalled the rubber-armed right-hander. "Casey Stengel wanted to get every good hitter he could into the lineup. Yogi Berra played 3rd base and Mickey Mantle played Shortstop. I pitched 6 innings and Marion Fricano finished." On February 19,1957, Art was traded by the A’s along with Players to be Named Later, Infielders Wayne Belardi, Jack McMahan and Pitcher Bobby Shantz to the Yankees for a Player to be Named Later, MLB OF Irv Noren, INF Milt Graff, Pitchers Mickey McDermott, Tom Morgan, Rip Coleman and INF Billy Hunter. The Yankees would later send Minor League P Jack Urban to the A’s to complete the trade. The Kansas City would send 2 Infielders: Curt Roberts and Rookie INF Clete Boyer to the Bronx to complete the trade. With the 1957 Yankees, Art went 8-3 with a 3.26 ERA with 6 saves in 46 games with a 3.25 ERA. In 1958, he went 9-8 with a 3.42 ERA with 4 saves in 38 games. He would go 13-9 with a 2.90 ERA with 1 save in 1959. Then he posted a 15-9 record with a 3.06 ERA in 34 games, as a Starter for the 1960 Yankees. He failed to win both of his 2 1960 World Series starts against the Pirates. He appeared in 3 World Series with the Yankees in 1957-1958 against the Braves, then against the Pirates in 1960. He went 1-2 in 5 World Series games for the Yankees with a 3.18 ERA. In the 1960 World Series against the Pirates, he lost the 1st and 5th games. Yankees Manager Casey Stengel is still the target of criticism as to why he started Ditmar in the opening game instead of Whitey Ford. Ditmar defended his manager's decision. "Whitey had arm trouble. I think Casey figured he would be better off pitching the 2nd game in Forbes Field rather than Yankee Stadium with the short right field. The controversy was that Ford could have pitched 3 games if necessary. The thing is he didn't even pitch the 2nd game. The Yankees veteran right-hander Bob Turley started the 2nd game and won 16-3."

During the start of the 1961 AL season, while suffering from arm problems, Art only went 2-3 with a 4.64 ERA in 12 games for the Yankees, before being traded back to Kansas City on June 14th along with Rookie OF/INF Deron Johnson for veteran Starter Bud Daley, where he finished out his MLB Pitching career in 1962 with a 72-77 record with a 3.98 ERA and 14 saves in 287 games. His overall Yankees Pitching career record was an 47-32 record with a 3.24 ERA and 11 saves in 168 games. A graduate of American International College in Springfield, MA, Art Ditmar became the Director of Parks and Recreation in Brook Park, Ohio. He coached the baseball and basketball teams at the school, while working on his Master's Degree. He retired to Myrtle Beach, SC; he will be the 1st to tell you that he wasn't the pitcher of record when Pirates 2B Bill Mazeroski hit his epic shot HR in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

1952- Former Yankees Minor League Pitcher Rick Earle (1976) was born.

Richard Earle was selected selected by the Yankees in 2nd round of the 1970 MLB June Amateur Player Draft from Highland Park High School, Highland Park NJ. He never pitched for the Yankees at the MLB level. He pitched in the Yankees Minor League system from 1970-1974 .He finished his professional pitching career with a 61-23 record with a 3.50 ERA in 94 games.

1960- Former Yankee Minor League OF Jose Vidal was born. (1960-2011)

On May 19,1969, OF Jose Vidal was traded by the Seattle Pilots to the Yankees for Reserve OF/INF Richard Simpson. Jose never plays for the Yankees at the MLB level. After the 1970 AL season, he left the Yankees organization to play in Japan. In 39 games, he hit only .221 with 2 HRs and 9 RBIs for the Nitshitetsu Lions. From 1972-1975, he played in the Mexican Baseball League before retiring as an active player. He passed away on January 7, 2011.               

1961- The Yankees reacquired veteran hurler Duke Maas (1958-1960) from the AL Expansion Angels for Reserve INF Fritz Brickell (1958-1959).  Fritz Brickell had briefly appeared in 20 games with the 1958-1959 Yankees, hitting .256 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs as a Reserve Shortstop. He spent the 1960 season with the AAA Richmond Virginians (IL), appearing in 97 games, while hitting .256 with 9 HRs. He had suffered a knee injury during the 1959 IL season. The expansion Angels had planned to use him as their 1961 starting Shortstop. Duke Maas didn’t appear in a game for the 1961 Angels. After appearing in 1 game for the 1961 Yankees, Duke injured his pitching arm. Maas never pitched again in MLB, despite having surgery and a several comebacks attempts in the Yankees Minor League system that finally ended in 1964. He had been acquired by the Yankees on June 15,1958 along with veteran Starter Virgil Trucks from Kansas City for Yankees veteran Reliever Bob Grim and OF/1B Harry “Suitcase” Simpson. Duke’s best season as a Yankees Starter was in 1959, winning 14 games with a 4.43 ERA and 4 saves in 48 games. Maas had appeared in 2 World Series with the Yankees in 1958 against the Braves and in 1960 against the Pirates with no record in 2 games. In 1960, he posted a 5-1 record with a 4.21 ERA and 8 saves in 35 games, mainly working out of the Yankees bullpen. In December of 1960, he was drafted by the Angels in 1960 AL Expansion Team Player Draft. His Yankees Pitching career record was a 26-12 record with a 4.21 ERA and 8 saves before the pitching arm injury finished his MLB Pitching career. Overall, Duke posted an MLB Pitching career record of 45-44 with a 4.19 ERA in 195 games. He had pitched for the Tigers, A’s and the Yankees. Both players passed away at young ages, Fritz Brickell at 30 in 1965 from Cancer, while Duke Maas passes away at the age of 47 in 1976.

1962- Former MLB player, Manager and Yankees Minor League Manager Dave Miley (2006-2015) was born. 

Catcher Dave Miley was signed with the Reds in 1980. He spent 7 seasons in the Minor Leagues. Miley was an MLB Coach for the Reds in 1993. He was managing the team's AAA affiliate at Louisville, when he was named interim MLB Manager in 2003. His position was confirmed after a few weeks. Dave led the Reds until 2005, when Jerry Narron replaced him, with the team holding the worst record in the NL. He never managed to push the team over .500 during his 3 seasons at the helm. Dave then returned to managing in the Minor Leagues signing with the Yankees organization. In 2006, he was with the AAA Columbus Clippers (International League). Then in 2007, he moved to Scranton with the Yankees. Dave was named International League Manager of the Year in 2007 for his work with the Scranton Yankees. In 2008, he led the Scranton team to the IL championship. His 2009 Scranton team lost in the International League playoffs. He would win the award again in 2012 for leading the Yankees to the playoffs despite having no home stadium. In 2014, he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. After the 2015 IL season had ended, Dave was released by the Yankees organization.

1967- The Yankees had obtained INF John Kennedy from the Dodgers for Reserve OF/1B John Miller, P Jack Cullen and the temporary transfer of INF Roy White to the Dodgers Spokane AAA farm club in (PCL). Pitcher Jack Cullen had appeared with Yankees during the 1962,1965-1966 AL seasons; while posting a 4-4 record with a 3.07 ERA in 19 games. Reserve 1B/1B John Miller had battled .087 in 6 games with the 1966 Yankees. John Kennedy had previous played 3B for the Senators and Dodgers. Yankees Manager Ralph Houk plan to use him at Shortstop. He would play in 78 games for the team as a Reserve INF, while hitting only .196. The Yankees had arranged for the Dodgers work with Roy White on his infield play (2B), but in the end, he became an Outfielder. He would return to the Yankees during the 1967 AL season.

1972– The Yankees released 2 veteran MLB Pitchers: Jim Hardin (1971) and Gary Waslewski (1970-1971). Both players were washed up as MLB Pitchers. Jim Hardin never fully recovered from his arm problems that developed, while he was with the Orioles, He went 0-2 with a 5.08 ERA in 12 games for the Yankees. He will be picked-up by the Braves. Gary Waslewski originally came up with the 1967 Red Sox. The Yankees had acquired him in a trade with the Expos for Reserve 1B/OF Dave McDonald. He went 2-3 with a 3.80 ERA with 1 save in 50 games for the team. He would be picked by the Oakland A's for his final MLB pitching season

1979- Former Yankees Reserve OF/1B Harry “Suitcase” Simpson (1957-1958) passed away. (1925-1979)

Harry Simpson originally came up to the MLB with the 1951 Indians. He played for the Tribe in 1952-1953 AL seasons. He spent the 1954 baseball season with the AAA Indianapolis Indians (American Association), missing the Tribe’s 1954 AL pennant run. In May of 1955, the Tribe traded him to the Kansas City A’s. Yankees Manager Casey Stengel once called him the best defensive RF in the AL. His best MLB player season was in 1956, when he batted .293 with 21 HRs and 105 RBIs for the A's. On June 15,1957, Harry Simpson was traded by the A’s along with P Ryne Duren and OF Jim Pisoni to the Yankees for INF Billy Martin, P Ralph Terry, INF/OF Woodie Held and OF Bob Martyn. Harry appeared in 99 games for the 1957-1958 Yankees. Harry hit 9 triples in 1957, giving the Yankees 3 players with the same number, with Yankee teammates Hank Bauer and Gil McDougald. In the 1957 World Series against the Braves, he played in 5 games for the Yankees. He was only 1 for 12 at the plate with 4 strikeouts. On June 15,1958, Harry was traded by the Yankees along with veteran Reliever Bob Grim back to Kansas City for 2 veteran hurlers: Duke Maas and Virgil “Fire” Trucks. During his MLB playing career, Harry Simpson had hit Grand Slam HRs for 4 different MLB teams (Indians, Yankees, A’s and the White Sox).  In 1959, Harry ended his MLB playing career, after playing for the A’s, White Sox and finishing the season with Pirates. After playing in the high-level Minor Leagues for 2 seasons, he went to Mexico to play pro baseball before retiring as an active player in 1964.

1980- Former Yankee Reserve OF Justin Christian (2004) was born.

Outfielder Justin Christian was undrafted out of college. Justin would sign to play with an Independent League team, the River City Rascals in 2003. He played parts of 2 seasons for the Rascals, hitting .374 with 45 steals in 68 games, before the Yankees signed him to fill a roster spot on the Class A Staten Island Yankees in 2004. Justin appeared in 24 games as a Reserve OF; while hitting .250 with the 2008 Yankees. On December 12, 2008, he was granted MLB Free Agency by the team. On May 8, 2010, he was signed as an MLB Free Agent with the Yankees. He doesn’t appear with the 2010 Yankees at the MLB level, instead playing for AAA Scranton (IL.) On November 6, 2010, the Yankees granted Justin MLB Free Agency. He would sign with the Giants for the 2011 NL season, appearing in only 3 games with them, spending most of the season at AA level. Since then, he has played in the Cardinals and Blue Jays organizations.

1984- After rainy weather washes out yesterday's Opener at Royals Stadium in Kansas City, Actor Yul Brynner tosses out the 1st ball as the Royals opens with a 4-2 win over the Yankees. The threat of snow holds the crowd to just 10,006 fans. Royals Starter Bud Black with relief help from Closer Dan Quisenberry, tops Yankees Starter Ron Guidry, who is still winless in Season Opener starts. Onix Concepción hits Guidry's 1st pitch of the game for a HR, while All-Star OF Dave Winfield hits a 2-run HR for the Yankees.

1987- Current Yankees OF/1B/DH Jay Bruce (2021) was born.

Veteran OF/DH 1B Jay Bruce, 33, spent the 2020 MLB season with the Phillies hitting .198 (19-for-96) with 11 R, 4 doubles, 2 triples, 6 HRs and 14 RBIs in 32 games. Overall, the left-handed hitter has batted .245 (1,451-for-5,930) with 836 R, 311 doubles, 32 triples, 318 HRs and 948 RBIs in 1,640 games over 13 MLB seasons with Reds (2008-2016), Mets (2016-2017, 2018), Indians (2017), Mariners (2019) and Phillies (2019-20). The Beaumont, Tx. native is a 3-time NL All-Star (2011-2012, 2016) and 2-time NL Silver Slugger Award winner (2012-2013). He was originally selected by the Reds in the 1st round (12th overall) of the 2005 MLB 1st-Year Player Draft. On March 27, 2021, the Yankees selected his Minor League contract to add him to their MLB 40-player roster to replaced the injured 1B Luke Voit, who had suffered a knee injury that will need surgery. Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said that he will be the team’s starting 1B for the 2021 AL season, until Voit returns healthly to play 1B.

2005- In his 1st start for the Yankees, MLB All-Star Starter Randy Johnson allows a run and 5 hits in 6 innings as New York opened the 2005 AL season with a 9-2 triumph over the 2004 World Champion Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Johnson will win 17 games for the 2005 Yankees.

2013- The Red Sox start a season 2-0 for the 1st time since 1999, when they defeat the Yankees by the score of 7-4 behind the pitching of Starter Clay Buchholz, who allows only 1 Yankees run in 6 innings of work. Yankees Starter Hiroki Kuroda isn't so lucky, having to leave the game in the 2nd inning after being struck on a finger by a line drive off the bat of Red Sox batter Shane Victorino. For the 2nd straight game, New Yankee Stadium is virtually empty by the end of the game, as the home side falls behind early and never threatens the Sox's lead.



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