Tag Archives: New York Yankees


TODAY IN BASEBALL TAKES US TO SOLVANG, CALIFORNIA ON MARCH 14, 2003. Al Gionfriddo died on this date in 2003. He was 81. Gionfriddo’s major league career only lasted 4 years, a total of 228 games, but the 5-foot 6-inch, 165 lb outfielder ended his short career by taking the spotlight from a Hall of Famer. It guaranteed the Dysart, Pennsylvania native a place in baseball history.

It was the sixth game of the 1947 World Series at Yankee Stadium. More than 74,000 fans were on hand, most hoping the Yankees would close out the Series. They had a 3 games to 2 lead. It was the bottom of the 6th inning. The Brooklyn Dodgers had grabbed an 8-5 lead in the top of the 6th. There were two out, but the Yankees had two men on. Joe DiMaggio was up. He could tie the game.

DiMaggio hit the first pitch from Dodger reliever Joe Hatten.

It looked like it might be a new ballgame.

Gionfriddo raced toward the left field corner. He’d been put in left as a defensive replacement that inning.

He was running out of room.

Surrounded by Yankee fans.

His hat flew off.

At the last moment he reached out and grabbed DiMaggio’s shot – just feet before the 415 mark.

The inning was over.

The Yankees didn’t score.

DiMaggio kicked the dirt.

One of the rare times he showed emotion on the field.

The Dodgers went on to win that game 8-6, but the Yankees closed out the series in the next day. Al Gionfriddo didn’t get in the lineup. He would not play another game. After the 1947 season he retired, feeling pretty good about the day he stole some of the thunder from Joe DiMaggio.

Contributing sources:
MLB box scores etc.,



TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY TAKES US BACK TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA ON MARCH 1, 1969. An American icon of the 1950’s and 60’s retired on this date.  Mickey Mantle made the announcement at the spring training home of the New York Yankees, ending an 18-year career.

It’s remarkable it lasted that long considering “Mick” endured a variety of injuries, mostly to his legs. In announcing his decision, Mantle revealed the frustrations of a proud athlete, whose body would not perform, “I don’t hit the ball when I need to. I can’t steal when I need to, I can’t score from second base when I need to.” It’s cruel how 37 can look so old.

Mantle had superstar numbers, but they could have been better. He was the prototype 5-tool player when he came up to the Yankees at age 19. He could run, hit, hit for power, throw and catch.

Early in his career he was described as the fastest player from home to first, but that was before leg injuries turned him into a 4-tool star.

Career Milestones:

  • 3-time MVP
  • 16-time all-star
  • On 12 pennant winners
  • On 7 World Series championship teams
  • 536 home runs
  • .298 average
  • .421 on-base percentage
  • .557 slugging percentage

Being among the first superstar players to face the best Black ballplayers for an entire career, Mantle put a mark of authenticity on the American athlete. When the news came, “Mickey Mantle Retires,” it was the end of an era.

Contributing sources:
New York Times, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, March 2, 1969
More on Mantle


JANUARY 9, 1903 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK • Here’s an “I didn’t know that” story. On this day in baseball history the owners of the Baltimore Orioles sold the team to New Yorkers Frank Farrell and Bill Devery who moved the franchise to New York City.

The team was called the Highlanders because they played in one of the highest spots in upper Manhattan on, what is now, the Columbia University campus. The team didn’t become known as the Yankees until 1913. So, No, the New York Yankees, the most storied franchise in professional sports, was not an original member of the American League.

*  *  *

Here’s how it evolved, according to several sources including Leonard Koppett, author of, Koppett’s Concise History of Major League Baseball, a good read by the way. The National League (NL) had been in business for a quarter century when Ban Johnson began shaking things up in 1900. He ran a minor league called the Western League. He wanted it to be “major” and compete with the National League. Should the leagues be adversaries or work something out?

The National League was torn. It had a monopoly on professional baseball as the only “major” league. It also knew expanding the major leagues would spread the gospel of baseball. And A. G. Spaulding, a major player in the National League, would sell more sports equipment – his real passion.

Ban Johnson forced the action in 1900 by changing the Western League’s name to the American League (AL). He declared it a “major” league in 1901. The NL and AL worked things out by agreeing to a uniform set of rules, not stealing each other’s players, etc., and began the 1901 season as dual major leagues.

The National League’s New York Giants didn’t want competition from the upstart American League. For two years, it got its way. Instead of putting a team in New York City the American League put a team in Baltimore for its inaugural season and called it the Orioles. Upon the sale of the Orioles to Farrell and Devery (referenced above) the National League could keep the American League out of New York City no longer. A franchise that would become the most prominent in sports, the Yankees, was put in place.

Today’s Baltimore Orioles are a different franchise all together, though, also one of the league’s originals [I know, this is like trying to keep score in an extra-inning game]. It started out as the Milwaukee Brewers (no connection to the current Brewers), but moved to Missouri after one season (1902) and became the St. Louis Browns. The Browns left St. Louis for Maryland in 1954 and changed its name to the Orioles – the Orioles that call The Ballpark at Camden Yards home today.

More information:
The New York Times
, January 10, 1903

NOVEMBER 5, 1998 IN BASEBALL HISTORY-Yankees 27 Astros 1

NOVEMBER 5, 1998 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Houston Astros fans are relishing in the team’s first-ever World Series championship. Compare that to what the New York Yankees accomplished on this date in 2009. They won their 27th World Series. Yankees 27 Astros 1.

That’s more than the next three World Series winning teams combined.

It’s more than double the 11 won by the team with the second-most – the St. Louis Cardinals.

But it’s a start – Yankees 27 Astros 1.

Number of World Series won by each team
Postseason results, BASEBALL-REFERENCE.com
Yankees post-season results  


JULY 11- Babe Ruth makes his debut

1914 | BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – 19-yer old George Herman Ruth played in his first major league game today in baseball history – July 11, 1914. Babe Ruth was the starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox against the Cleveland Naps (today’s Cleveland  Indians). He won the game 4-3 win. The Red Sox had purchased the Babe from the Baltimore Orioles of the International League two days before.

Ruth didn’t astonish fans that first season. He made 4 appearances as a pitcher, three as a starter. He finished with a record of 2-1 and ERA of 5.67. Ruth came to bat ten times, had two hits for a .200 batting average, two RBI, a run scored and struck out four times.

It didn’t take long for Ruth to show star quality. He won 78 games as a pitcher the next four seasons. His hitting was even more impressive, forcing the Red Sox to put him in the outfield just about every game in 1919 and Ruth didn’t disappoint, hitting 29 home runs and driving in 114 runs in 130 games.

Unfortunately for Red Sox fans, its owner needed money to finance a Broadway play, so Ruth was sold to the Yankees after the 1919 season.

And the rest is…