Results tagged ‘ Babe Ruth ’

Tanaka offers unnecessary apology

Masahiro Tanaka had a message for Yankees fans Friday:

“As recently announced from the team, I will be going through some treatment and rehab on my injured elbow over the next several weeks. I give everything I have every time I take the ball. With that, I also know that there will always be a risk of injury when playing this game that I love.

“Right now I feel that the most important thing for me is to keep my head up, remain focused on the task at hand and devote all my energy into healing the injury in order to come back strong.

“I want to apologize to the Yankees organization, my teammates and our fans for not being able to help during this time. I accept this injury as a challenge, but I promise to do everything I can to overcome this setback and return to the mound as soon as possible.”

I am sure Yankees fans did not feel an apology was necessary. Injuries can occur at any time, and no player wants to have to deal with them. Yankees fans are hopeful that Tanaka will respond to treatment and be back on the mound as soon as possible.

It was somewhat appropriate that the Yankees were in Baltimore Friday, which was the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s major-league debut. Ruth, a Baltimore native, was a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher for the Red Sox and allowed three runs (two earned) and eight hits in seven innings with no walks and one strikeout in earning his first big-league victory, 4-3, over the Indians July 11, 1914 at Fenway Park. At the plate, Babe was 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

75th anniversary of Lou’s “luckiest man” speech

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Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium July 4, 1939

One of baseball’s most memorable moments had nothing to do with a ball being pitched or hit. It was a speech delivered July 4, 1939 by Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium as he bid farewell to the game and his fans.

Having been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Gehrig took himself out of the lineup May 2, 1939, in Detroit, thereby ending a consecutive game streak of 2,130 games that lasted as a record until broken in 1995 by Cal Ripken Jr.

On the Fourth of July that year, the Yankees honored the “Iron Horse” at the Stadium before a sellout crowd of nearly 70,000 people. Along the baselines stood his teammates from the current Yankees and those from years gone by, the famous “Murderers Row” teams of the 1920s, including Babe Ruth.

Gehrig had not prepared a speech. He did not expect to talk but just to wave his cap in appreciation. Yankees manager Joe McCarthy whispered to Gehrig, “Lou, you’ve got to say something,” and out of the first baseman’s mouth came words of emotion and dignity.

Here is what Lou Gehrig said:

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

“Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

“So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”

That moment will be celebrated this week. At Yankee Stadium Wednesday, the first 18,000 customers will receive a Lou Gehrig bobblehead that depicts him the day he gave that speech.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate the Diamond Anniversary of Lou Gehrig Day in Cooperstown, N.Y., with special programming while teaming up with the ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter to honor the Hall of Fame first baseman.

The Museum will offer tributes throughout the day Friday, July 4 as well as provide complimentary admission for those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and a care-giver, pre-arranged through The ALS Association UNY Chapter.

Gehrig was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939 in a special election by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America before passing away June 2, 1941.

Special programs offered by the Museum Friday, July 4 – all included with Museum admission – will feature:

10 a.m. – The Plaques of the Gallery (Buck O’Neil Award, 1st Floor)
Learn about the history of the Hall of Fame Gallery and the process by which each plaque is made and installed in this 20-minute guided tour.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Operation Gratitude (Learning Center, 1st Floor)
Honor the military personnel and veterans by taking some time out of your visit to write a letter to our soldiers and veterans. All letters will be sent to Operation Gratitude. In honor of the 4th of July we will be handing out American Flags participants in this Museum program.

11 a.m. – Guided Tour: Lou Gehrig (Location, 2nd Floor)
Gehrig’s career will be highlighted in a guided tour throughout the Museum focusing on artifacts that relate to the Iron Horse.

1 p.m. – Artifact Spotlight: Lou Gehrig (Bullpen Theater, 1st Floor)
Get an up-close look at artifacts highlighting Gehrig’s career not currently on exhibit, and learn about the stories behind them.

2 p.m. – A Tribute to Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” Speech
A tribute features a first baseman from each major league team reciting a line from Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech.

3 p.m. – Lou Gehrig Trivia (Bullpen Theater, 1st Floor)
Test your knowledge of Gehrig in this interactive game show. Make your way through nine ‘innings’ of questions, and win a free year-long membership to the Museum.

4 p.m. – “The Pride of the Yankees” (Bullpen Theater, 1st Floor)
A special screening of the 1942 film starring Gary Cooper as Gehrig and featuring Babe Ruth as himself. Gehrig died only one year before its release at the age of 37.

For more information about Lou Gehrig, please visit http://www.baseballhall.org/hof/gehrig-lou.

Sunday twin bill has become a rarity

There was a time when Sunday doubleheaders were just about a weekly occurrence for major league teams. That has not bee the case for quite some time. Take this Sunday, for example.

Friday night’s rainout of the scheduled game between the Yankees and the Pirates at Yankee Stadium, Saturday’s game being locked into the FoxSports television schedule and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball forced the Yankees to re-schedule the postponed game to a single-admission twin bill Sunday.

How rare is that? According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it will be the first single-admission doubleheader at the current Stadium, which is in its sixth season, and the first in the Bronx since Sept. 29, 2004 against the Twins, a 5-3, 5-4 Yankees sweep. It will be the first single-admission doubleheader anywhere for the Yanks since May 13, 2013 at Cleveland (a 0-1, 7-0 split) and the first on a Sunday at the Stadium since April 13, 1997 against the Athletics (a 3-2, 4-7 split).

In the years when Sunday doubleheaders were regular parts of teams’ schedules, the players often had two open dates during the week, which eased travel concerns. But as television increasingly became a major source of revenue through prime-time advertising rates, the single-admission doubleheader went the way of getaway day games and pitchers hitting in the National League.

The Pirates are visiting the current Stadium for the first time and the Bronx for the first time since 2007. Pittsburgh is the 26th different opponent to play at the current Stadium. The Yankees are 20-5 in an opponent’s debut at the current Stadium.

The Yanks and Bucs opposed each other twice famously in World Series play. The Yankees’ “Murderers Row” team of 1927 featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig swept Pittsburgh. The Pirates got revenge in 1960 with an upset victory in seven games in which they were outscored, 55-27, but still survived with Bill Mazeroski nailing the Series with a leadoff home run off Ralph Terry in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 at Forbes Field, one of the most exciting postseason games in history. The final score was 10-9. It remains the only World Series game in history in which no player struck out.

Jacoby Ellsbury was a late scratch from Saturday’s lineup because of the flu. The revamped lineup had Brett Gardner shifting from left field to center and opening up a start in left for Zoilo Almonte.

The Yankees’ Class A Tampa affiliate won an 18-inning marathon, 7-6, over the Palm Beach Cardinals Friday night at Steinbrenner Field. The winning pitcher was Wes Wilson, who in his first professional pitching appearance supplied four shutout innings in which he allowed one hit and no walks with three strikeouts. What made that so unusual is that Wilson played the first 14 innings behind the plate in his regular role as the team’s catcher and was 1-for-6.

‘Babe’ back at the Stadium

The Babe returned to Yankee Stadium Tuesday night. Well, Babe Ruth’s Hall of Fame plaque did anyway.

For the first time since the plaque was positioned in the National Baseball Hall of Fame for its opening in 1939, it was taken out of Cooperstown. The plaque was placed on a podium behind the batting cage before the game where players got to see it and was on view in the Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America after the first pitch and through the eighth inning.

The plaque will also be on display Wednesday in the Vanderbilt Room of Grand Central Terminal in support of Metro-North’s “Getaway Day Staycation Showcase Featuring I Love NY’s Path Through History.”

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Next month, the Hall of Fame will celebrate Ruth’s unparalleled legacy with a new exhibit dedicated to a true American icon.

Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend will debut with a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, June 13, at the Cooperstown shrine as the baseball world marks the 100th anniversary season of his big league debut. The Museum has long allocated precious exhibit space to Ruth – a member of the inaugural Class of 1936 at the Hall of Fame – but the new 180-square foot presentation will feature a completely fresh look at a player who set standards that have yet to be eclipsed.

“The name ‘Babe Ruth’ is recognized around the world even today, more than three-quarters of a century after his election to the Hall of Fame,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “The Museum’s Babe Ruth Gallery has long been one of our most popular exhibits, and the re-curated presentation will bring to life the story of a player who truly transcended the game.”

Made possible by gifts from Jay and Patty Baker, the Ford Motor Company an anonymous benefactor, Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend presents the story of the Sultan of Swat in scrapbook form, taking the visitor from Ruth’s earliest days to his peak as a player and through his post-career life as one of America’s most beloved figures. The new exhibit will be located on the Museum’s second floor.

Born Feb. 6, 1895 in Baltimore, Ruth emerged from an orphanage to debut in the big leagues July 11, 1914. After spending his first years in the majors as a dominant left-handed pitcher, Ruth moved from the Red Sox’s rotation to the Yankees’ outfield – and became the game’s biggest drawing card on the strength of his prodigious power. His record of 714 career home runs stood for almost four decades.

Ruth became the first star of a world where virtually every citizen could share in common media experiences. The Museum’s new exhibit will allow visitors to encounter Ruth’s grandeur in the words of the people who witnessed his legendary exploits.

Featuring rare documents like the agreement that transferred Ruth from the Baltimore Orioles of the International League to the Red Sox in 1914 and memorable artifacts such as the jersey Ruth wore June 13, 1948 at his retired number ceremony, Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend is poised to stand the test of time – just like Ruth himself.

For more information, please visit http://www.baseballhall.org/hof/ruth-babe.

Yanks hobble into Subway Series

The Yankees came off a 3-3 trip to Anaheim and Milwaukee, during which they lost yet another starting pitcher to injury, for a week’s load of games in New York that begins with the home-and-away Subway Series in its 18th season.

For the second straight year, the series will be played in consecutive two-game sets Monday and Tuesday nights at Yankee Stadium and Wednesday and Thursday nights at Citi Field. The format did not work out so well for the Yankees last year as the Mets won all four games.

The Yankees have had the upper hand for the most part throughout the Subway Series, however, including the one that counted most, the 2000 World Series, which they won in five games over the Mets. The Yanks’ overall record against the Mets in regular-season play is 54-40, including 29-18 at Yankee Stadium (9-5 in the current Stadium). The Yankees have a 25-22 record in Queens (8-6 at Citi Field, 17-16 at Shea Stadium).

This week’s all-New York matchup marks the final one for a player who has been at the center of it from the beginning, Derek Jeter. The Captain is a .368 career hitter against the Mets with 13 home runs and 43 RBI in regular-season play. He was also the Most Valuable Player of the 2000 World Series in which he batted .409 with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and two RBI in 22 at-bats.

Hiroki Kuroda was paired against former teammate Bartolo Colon in Monday night’s opener. The Yanks will have Vidal Nuno Tuesday night and Masahiro Tanaka Wednesday night as starters. No decision has yet been made about the Yankees’ starter Thursday night, which was to have been CC Sabathia before he was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to fluid buildup in his right knee. Alfredo Aceves could be in line as the Thursday night starter but only if he is not needed out of the bullpen in the first three games of the series.

With Sabathia’s disabling, the Yankees have lost 60 percent of their Opening Day rotation to injuries. Ivan Nova is gone for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Michael Pineda is still probably a month away while recovering from a right shoulder ailment.

“Our surplus is not a surplus anymore,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the rotation situation. “We have to fight our way through it.”

The Yankees were also without Mark Teixeira Monday night. Tex complained of what he called “cement legs,” but Girardi indicated that the first baseman has been bothered by a tweaky groin. Kelly Johnson started in Tex’s place.

Yogi Berra on his 89th birthday made an appearance at the Stadium and had a chat with Teixeira in the clubhouse runway before the game. Yogi was unaware of Tex’s groin situation and said, “You better stay healthy.”

Tuesday, the Stadium will be the first stop of a special tour by the National Baseball Hall of Fame showcasing Babe Ruth’s Hall of Fame plaque. Following a pregame ceremony with the plaque and members of the Hall of Fame, the plaque will be on display in the Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America during that nights game from approximately 7:30 p.m. through the end of the eighth inning.

The Yankees will return to the Stadium Friday night to start another inter-league series against the Pirates that will continue at 4:05 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday’s game will be a Youth Game. All fans 14 and younger, when accompanied by an adult (18 and older), are eligible for half-price tickets in designated seating locations. Tickets may be purchased only the day of the game at Yankee Stadium Ticket Windows, adjacent to Gate 4.

Also on Saturday, the Yankees will host honorary bat girl Elizabeth Tague. A lifetime Yankees fan and native of Roselle Park, N.J., Tague was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in May 2011. After undergoing surgery, 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation, she returned to work as a sixth-grade teacher in January 2012, just eight months after her initial diagnosis. Tague will watch batting practice, take part in a pregame ceremony at the plate and bring the lineup card out to the umpires prior to the game.

The stretch of home games this week will also feature the following promotional items and dates:

Friday, May 16 – Yankees vs. Pirates, 7:05 p.m.

Yankees Reusable Tote Night, presented by MLB Network, to all Guests.

Saturday, May 17 – Yankees vs. Pirates, 4:05 p.m.

Yankees Keychain Day, presented by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, to first 18,000 guests.

Sunday, May 18 – Yankees vs. Pirates, 1:05 p.m.

Yankees Drawstring Backpack Day, presented by Kumon, to first 18,000 guests, 14 and younger.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.yankees.com, http://www.yankeesbeisbol.com, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Office, via Ticketmaster phone at (877) 469-9849, Ticketmaster TTY at (800) 943-4327 and at all Ticket Offices located within Yankees Clubhouse Shops. Tickets may also be purchased on Yankees Ticket Exchange at http://www.yankees.com/yte, the only official online resale marketplace for Yankees fans to purchase and resell tickets to Yankees games. Fans with questions may call (212) YANKEES [926-5337] or email tickets@yankees.com.

Babe’s Hall plaque to visit city

Babe Ruth’s Hall of Fame plaque will be leaving Cooperstown, N.Y., for the first time and will travel to New York City next week. It will be on display Tuesday at Yankee Stadium and Wednesday at Grand Central Terminal in support of Metro-North’s “Getaway Day Staycation Showcase Featuring I Love NY’s Path Through History.”

Elected in the original class to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in 1936, Ruth made his major league debut 100 years ago this season July 11, 1914. In honor of his 100th anniversary in the majors, the Hall is opening a new gallery in his honor, Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend, Friday, June 13, one day after the museum celebrates its 75th anniversary.

Tuesday, the Ruth plaque will be a part of an on-field pre-game ceremony hosted by the Yankees in recognition of the Ruth exhibit opening in Cooperstown. The Ruth plaque will then be on display for fans to see in the Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America at the Stadium, from approximately 7:30 p.m. through the end of the eighth inning of the Yankees’ game against the Mets.

The plaque will be featured in Metro-North’s “Getaway Day Staycation Showcase Featuring Path Through History” from 11:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal. The plaque will be a part of the museum’s presence to promote New York State’s “Path Through History” Weekend to Cooperstown and the central Leatherstocking Region June 12-14. The Path Through History, launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, highlights historically and culturally significant sites and events throughout New York State, and the special Path Through History weekends are designed to make it easy to experience the Empire State’s rich heritage and diverse attractions.

The Ruth plaque will remain on display at the Hall of Fame through Sunday, May 11 and will be back on display in the Hall’s Gallery Thursday, May 15. For more information, please visit http://www.baseballhall.org/hof/ruth-babe.

MLB: No discipline against Pineda

In the latest much ado about nothing episode in baseball, Major League Baseball has no plans to discipline Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda for his apparent use of pine tar on his right hand in Thursday night’s victory over the Red Sox.

“The umpires did not observe an application of a foreign substance during the game and the issue was not raised by the Red Sox,” MLB said in a statement. “Given those circumstances, there are no plans to issue a suspension, but we intend to talk to the Yankees regarding what occurred.”

The incident was spurred by social media as photos of Pineda’s hand circulated across the Internet. Boston manager John Farrell said before Friday night’s game that the Red Sox were made aware of the situation, but by the time they knew about it Pineda had washed off the substance.

Pitchers often resort to using pine tar in cold weather to improve their grip. The Red Sox had two separate incidents last year of their pitchers putting foreign substances on the ball.

Derek Jeter’s two hits Thursday night moved him past Joe DiMaggio into third place on the Yankees’ career hit list against the Red Sox. DJ entered play Friday night with 324 career hits against Boston pitching, one more than Joe D. The only Yankees players with more career hits against the Red Sox than Jeter not surprisingly are Babe Ruth with 404 and Lou Gehrig with 347.

Happy Birthday to Mark Teixeira, who turned 34.

Jeter re-ups for 20th big-league season

Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte may be leaving the Yankees but not Derek Jeter. The captain signed a one-year contract for $12 million Friday and intends to be healthy for the 2014 season.

Jeter, 39, is a career .312 hitter with the ninth highest total of hits (3,316), among which are 525 doubles, 65 triples and 256 home runs. DJ has scored 1,876 runs, driven in 1,261 and stolen 348 bases in 2,602 games over 19 major-league seasons, all with the Yankees (1995-2013). A five-time World Series champion (1996, 1998-2000, ’09), 13-time All-Star (1998-2002, ’04, ’06-12) and five-time Gold Glove Award winner (2004-06, ’09-10), Jeter will become the longest-tenured player in franchise history with his first game played in 2014, breaking the record he currently shares with Rivera.

In 2013, Jeter batted .190 with eight runs, one double, one home run and seven RBI in 17 games (13 starts at shortstop, four at designated hitter) and 63 at-bats. He missed 145 games during four stints on the disabled list. Prior to last season, he had been on the DL only five times and missed just 82 games.

Jeter is a five-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (2006-09, ’12) with eight career 200-hit seasons, including a majors-leading 216 hits in 2012. Prior to last season, Jeter had a 17-season streak (1996-2012) of at least 150 hits per season, matching Hank Aaron (1955-71) for the longest such stretch in major-league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Jeter, who was named the 11th captain in team history June 3, 2003, is the Yankees’ all-time leader in hits, games, stolen bases, at-bats, singles (2,470) and hit by pitches (164). He also ranks second in doubles (Lou Gehrig-534), third in runs (Babe Ruth -1,959, Gehrig-1,888) and ninth in homers. No active player has appeared in more games for his current team than DJ, who is 10th all-time in games played among big leaguers who have spent their entire careers with one club.

Additionally, Jeter is one of just two players in Major League history, along with Willie Mays, to record at least 3,000 hits, 250 home runs, 300 stolen bases and 1,200 RBI in their careers.

Born in Pequannock, N.J., and raised in Kalamazoo, Mich., Jeter was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 1992 First-Year Player Draft (sixth pick overall). In 1996, he established the “Turn 2” Foundation to create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “Turn 2″ healthy lifestyles. As a result of Turn 2’s programs and his other good works off the field, Jeter was honored by Major League Baseball with the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.

A-Rod helps Yankees to a ‘grand’ victory

The Yankees keep coming off the mat. After a 4-6 trip that included two losses in three games to the last-place Blue Jays, the Yankees opened the final homestand of the season in a big way with a 5-1 victory over the Giants, who are trying to stay out of last place the year after winning the World Series.

The matchup of a pair of former Cy Young Award winners, CC Sabathia and Tim Lincecum, had the potential to be a riveting a game, which it was for six innings. The Yankees broke it open in the bottom of the seventh on a record-breaking grand slam by Alex Rodriguez. Lincecum was out of the game by then, but he had put the three runners A-Rod drove home on base. Hitting Brendan Ryan with a pitch was a huge blunder by Lincecum. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval’s failure to complete a double play on a grounder to third by J.R. Murphy kept the inning alive, and Lincecum dug himself in deeper by walking Ichiro Suzuki.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy replaced Lincecum at that point by George Kontos, who may be a familiar name to Yankees fans. The righthander was the Yankees’ fifth-round draft choice out of Northwestern University in 2006 and pitched in seven games for them in 2011. He went to the Giants in April 2012 in the trade for catcher Chris Stewart.

Rodriguez, who had one hit in his previous 25 at-bats, was certainly overdue. He batted. 182 on the trip but did have two home runs. A-Rod drove a 2-1 fastball to right field that made a 1-1 game 5-1 Yankees lead that held up in the steady hands of David Robertson in the eighth and Mariano Rivera in a non-save situation in the ninth.

The 654th career home run for Rodriguez was his 24th with the bases loaded. That broke the tie he had for most grand slams with Lou Gehrig. This was one of those records I thought when I was a kid would never be broken.

Of course, I thought the same thing about Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 games, Babe Ruth’s home run records for one season (60) and career (714), Ty Cobb’s stolen-base marks for one season (96) and career (897), Cobb’s career standard for hits (4,189) and George Sisler’s mark for hits in a season (257).

They are all gone.

This was a record set not in some obscure game in the middle of the season but during a game in the last week for a team that is trying to win a playoff spot under increasingly difficult odds.

Sabathia bounced back after two straight losses with one of his best games of the season. This was a tight game for nearly all the time he was in it. He gave up seven hits and three walks but was helped by a couple of double plays. The Yanks turned a third double play in the eighth behind Robertson after he entered the game following a leadoff single off Sabathia.

The Yankees still need some help from other teams to make their way through this wild-card maize, but for one night at least they helped themselves.

Ichiro knuckles down for 4,000th hit

I was thinking on the drive into Yankee Stadium Wednesday what a tough break Ichiro Suzuki had on a night he was seeking his 4,000th hit combined in Japanese and American baseball. The Blue Jays were starting knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey, last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner with the Mets.

It reminded me of the night in 1961 when the Orioles brought knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm out of the bullpen to pitch to Roger Maris who was trying for his 60th home run within the 154-game schedule to tie Babe Ruth’s record.

This wasn’t really dirty pool on the part of Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. It was Dickey’s turn in the rotation, but that would only make it tougher for Ichiro, or so I thought. He had 2-for-13 (.154) in his career against Dickey, so it promised to be a long night. Shows you what I know.

Suzuki didn’t wait very long to get the job done. In his first at-bat, he lashed a quintessential Ichiro single past third baseman Brett Lawrie and into left field for No. 4,000. While the crowd at the Stadium gave him a standing ovation, Ichiro was surrounded at first base by his teammates who had exited the dugout as the ball reached the outfield.

It was a poignant moment. Ichiro made a hand gesture toward his mates not to come out, but they ignored it as well they should have. The Yankees players did not overdo it. They merely paid their respects to a unique individual who has spent a lifetime spraying out base hits over two continents.

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