Results tagged ‘ Red Ruffing ’
Whitey Ford never did it. Red Ruffing never did it. Ron Guidry never did it.
A.J. Burnett did do it.
Strike out four batters in an inning, that’s what.
That is what Phil Hughes did in the fourth inning Thursday night at Yankee Stadium against the Blue Jays. Obviously, one of the batters reached base, which is how it can happen. The second strikeout victim, Adeiny Hechevarria, reached first base on a passed ball by Russell Martin. Hughes struck out J.P. Arencibia before Hechevarria and Anthony Gose and Brett Lawrie after that for a four-K inning.
Hard to believe that it was only the second time in franchise history the feat was accomplished. Perhaps even harder to believe that the first time was just last year, by Burnett June 24 in the sixth inning of a 4-2 loss to the Rockies at the Stadium. The victims were Chris Iannetta, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Nelson (who reached base on a wild pitch) and Todd Helton.
The good, old Elias Sports Bureau, the keeper of all of baseball’s numbers, came up with another gem after the Yankees’ 4-0 victory over the Reds Friday night at Yankee Stadium in which Andy Pettitte was the winning pitcher and Raul Ibanez hit a home run.
Pettitte and Ibanez became the first 39-year-old teammates to post a victory as a starting pitcher and hit a homer in the same game, respectively, for the first time since Detroit’s Kenny Rogers and Gary Sheffield, a couple of former Yankees, did it Aug. 18, 2008.
It was also the first time two Yankees did so in the same game. Elias was quick to point out, however, that three Yankees pitchers won games in which they also homered after their 39th birthday – Red Ruffing in 1945, Spud Chandler in 1947 and Sal Maglie in 1958.
Jack Benny, the late comedian who never admitted to beind older than 39, would have loved all this.
Friday marked the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, so it was appropriate that the Yankees were the visitors as they were a century go in the last season in which they were known as the Highlanders. The Yankees’ public relations staff with the assistance of the Elias Sports Bureau put together the following list of memorable games at Fenway in the American League’s most heated rivalry. Which is your favorite? It is pretty tough to top that 1978 playoff game. On the downside, those losses in Games 4 and 5 of the 2004 AL Championship Series were the Yanks’ worst moments.
January 3, 1920: The Yankees purchase the contract of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox for $125,000 and a $350,000 loan against the mortgage on Fenway Park.
September 28, 1923: The Yankees get 30 hits in a 24-4 victory. The hit total remains the most in a nine-inning game in Yankees franchise history. The run total marks the second highest by the club in a road game and the Yanks’ most at Fenway.
September 8, 1925: Babe Ruth hits his 300th career home run, off Buster Ross in a 7-4 Yankees victory.
June 23, 1927: In an 11-4 Yankees victory, Lou Gehrig becomes the first player in franchise history to hit three home runs in one game against the Red Sox. The feat was matched by Mark Teixeira May 8, 2010 at Fenway.
September 5, 1927: The Yankees lose, 12-11, in 18 innings in the second longest road game in franchise history (in terms of innings played). It was the first game of a doubleheader. The Yanks score two runs in the top of the ninth to send it to extra innings. Both teams score three runs in the 17th. Red Sox starter Red Ruffing pitches 15 innings.
September 24, 1929: On Babe Ruth Day, the Yankees win, 5-3. Ruth has 2-for-3 with a double.
July 3, 1932: The Yankees defeat the Red Sox, 13-2, in the first Sunday game at Fenway. Due to the park’s proximity to a church, the Red Sox had played Sunday games at nearby Braves Field until the law was changed.
June 6, 1934: Myril Hoag becomes the first Yankees player to go 6-for-6 in a 15-3 victory in the opener of a doubleheader. The feat was matched by Johnny Damon June 7, 2008 against the Royals.
September 22, 1935: The Yankees sweep a doubleheader from the Red Sox, 6-4 and 9-0, in front of 47,267 fans – the largest crowd ever to see a baseball game at Fenway Park.
April 20, 1939: The Yankees beat the Red Sox, 2-0, on Opening Day. Red Ruffing throws a complete game shutout, allowing seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Bill Dickey hits a solo home run. An ailing Lou Gehrig goes 0-for-4 in his final Fenway appearance. Ted Williams has 1-for-4 in his major league debut in the only game to feature both players.
July 9, 1946: In the All-Star Game, Yankees right fielder Charlie Keller hits a two-run home run in the first inning of the American League’s 12-0 victory.
April 18, 1950: On Opening Day, the Yankees overcome a 9-0 deficit to win, 15-10. They score 11 runs (without any home runs) over the final two innings.
April 14, 1955: Elston Howard becomes the first black player in Yankees history, making his major-league debut in an 8-4 loss. Ellie has an RBI single in his only plate appearance.
September 21, 1956: In a 13-7 Yankees loss, Mickey Mantle hits what is considered the longest known homer to straightaway center field in Fenway Park history. The second-inning blow off Frank Sullivan carries approximately 480 feet before striking one foot below the top brick barrier located behind Section 36.
July 21, 1961: The Yankees score five runs in the top of the ninth for an 11-8 victory. Johnny Blanchard’s pinch-hit grand slam off Mike Fornieles seals the game.
September 11, 1966: Johnny Miller makes his major league debut, homering in his first plate appearance in the second inning off Lee Stange. Bobby Richardson’s two-run homer in the 10th gives the Yankees the 4-2 victory.
April 6, 1973: The Yankees’ Ron Blomberg becomes the major league’s first designated hitter, batting in the top of the first inning. He walks with the bases loaded off Luis Tiant and finishes the day 1-for-3 with 1RBI in a 15-5 loss.
October 2, 1978: The Yankees defeat the Red Sox, 5-4, in only the second one-game playoff in AL history. Trailing by 14 games in mid-July, Bucky Dent caps the Yankees’ comeback with a three-run, seventh-inning home run.
June 19, 2000: The Yankees defeat the Red Sox, 22-1. Five different Yankees homer in the game, including Jorge Posada, who also scored four runs. The Yankees score 16 runs over the final two innings, including seven in the ninth off Tim Wakefield.
September 2, 2001: Mike Mussina comes within one out of a perfect game before Carl Everett singles with two outs in the ninth.
October 16-18, 2004: The Yankees win Game 3 of the AL Championship Series, 19-8, to go up three games to none. Boston wins the next two nights at Fenway Park with consecutive extra-inning, walk-off victories and goes on to become the first baseball team to overcome a 0-3 deficit in a best-of-7 series.
August 18, 2006: The Yankees and Red Sox play their signature marathon game with the Yanks winning, 14-11, in 4 hours, 45 minutes in the second game of a doubleheader. It marks the longest nine-inning game in baseball history in terms of time.
April 22, 2007: In a 7-6 loss, Yankees starter Chase Wright yields four consecutive home runs in the third inning (to Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek). The lefthander becomes only the second pitcher in major league history to allow four consecutive home runs in an inning, joining Paul Foytak, who did so July 1, 1963 for the Angels against the Indians.
September 28, 2009: On the final day of the season – and what turns out to be his final career outing – the Yankees’ Mike Mussina becomes a 20-game winner for the only time in his 18-season career, in a 6-2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
I have come full cycle with Old Timers Day, one of the great traditions at Yankee Stadium where it all began with a day to honor Babe Ruth in 1947. The first one I attended was in the late 1950s and getting to see Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez, Tommy Henrich, Red Ruffing and other stars of my parents’ generation’s youth. My father was actually a Giants fan when they still played in New York, but my mother’s family was all Yankees fans.
When I started covering the Yankees in the 1980’s, Old Timers’ Day was a favorite because I would not only get to see the Yankees stars of my youth such as Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Hank Bauer and Moose Skowron but also to talk to them. Bauer was one of the best interviews ever; blunt, outspoken, colorful.
One of my favorite stories came from Bauer’s old platoon partner, Gene Woodling. (Bauer, by the way, was not crazy about Casey Stengel, who platooned him early on in the outfield before he became the regular right fielder.)
Back to Woodling; he talked of a time when players were so worried about keeping their jobs that he played for about a week with a broken bone in his heel. It swelled so much, Woodling said, that he cut out the back of his cleat and spread black shoe polish on the heel so no one would notice and stayed in the lineup. Finally, Dickey, the Hall of Fame catcher who was then Casey’s first base coach, saw Woodling’s shoe with the big hole in it in his locker and told him that he needed treatment.
Think of something like that happened today when disabled lists are almost as big as rosters!
At Sunday’s Old Timers’ Day, I was reminded of the passage of time when I encountered so many players whom I covered when they broke into the majors – Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and David Cone in my years on the Mets and Bernie Williams, Pat Kelly and Kevin Maas during my time with the Yankees. I had them as rookies, and now they’re Old Timers, so what does that make me.
Don’t answer that.
This was Bernie’s first Old Timer’s Day, and he was one of the big hits of the afternoon. He got a rousing ovation from the crowd during the introduction ceremonies. Fans were on their feet again when he doubled to the warning track in left-center in the two-inning Old Timers’ game. Then the Stadium really exploded when Bernie’s old teammate, Tino Martinez, popped a two-run home run to right off Cone, another old teammate.
I teased Bernie around the batting cage before the game after he had told writers that he still did not consider himself retired. “But I think that’s closer now,” he said.
I told him that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America was in the process of putting together the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot that will go out to voters in December, and that he would be on it; in other words, like it or not, Bernie, you’re retired.
He was asked during the press conference what his favorite memory from his playing career was. Williams could not limit it to just one and gave a very thoughtful answer.
“I would say that three things stick out – winning our first World Series championship in 1996, winning the batting title in 1999 and being on the field before the last game at the old Stadium,” he said. “I got announced after Yogi, which was pretty cool.”
Bernie officially joined the pantheon of Yankees legends Sunday, and he sounded proud of it.
“It’s a really big thing for me,” he said. “If you take the word ‘old,’ I think I’d be a little uncomfortable with it. But when I was playing, I looked forward to these days. To me, it was a reminder of the fact that we’re part of a family that has been going on for 100 years, and thinking I was part of something that was bigger than myself. And now I’m on the other side, being in the same situation, so it’s good. It’s great. I’m just really proud of this organization. When I chose to stay and have my whole career as a Yankee, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”
Also back for the first Old Timers’ Day appearance were former managers Lou Piniella and Joe Torre. “Sweet Lou,” who served the Yankees in nearly every category there is (players, coach, manager, general manager, broadcaster) put on the pinstripes for the first time since 1988. He had been busy elsewhere after that, winning a World Series with the Reds in 1990 and helping to build the Mariners into a viable franchise.
The pinstripes looked good on Torre, too, even while wearing a sling after recently undergoing right rotator cuff surgery. The man who won six American League pennants, four World Series and had the Yankee in post-season play all 12 of his seasons as manager had been invited before but was unable to attend because he was managing the Dodgers. Joe is now vice president for baseball operations in the commissioner’s office, but it is not really a desk job as he gets to spend a lot of time in ballparks.
With Jack McKeon (Marlins) and Davey Johnson (Nationals) back in big-league dugouts, I was curious if that gave either Lou or Joe the itch to return.
“There comes a time when you have to walk away, and I knew last year was that time for me,” Piniella said. “It was the same when I was a player. I was never one who wanted another at bat.”
“I was shopping with my wife recently,” Torre said, “and she told me how strange it was that here we were in the middle of a baseball season together and I wasn’t stressed out. I don’t miss all that stress.”
Both proudly wore rings linking them to their Yankees careers – Lou the World Series ring of 1977 and Joe of 1996. Those were the first championships for each.
“You never forget the first time,” Joe said on a day at Yankee Stadium that never gets old.
When Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera made their 2011 debuts Thursday, they also continued to make history. The Elias Sports Bureau reported that they are the first trio of teammates in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League to play together in each of 17 consecutive seasons, extending the record they established in 2010.
Jeter, Posada and Rivera have been teammates since 1995. Mo is the senior member of the trio. He came up in May of ’95 and pitched in 19 games, including 10 as a starter. He gained nation-wide attention for his outstanding work in that year’s first Division Series against the Mariners (0 runs, 3 hits, 8 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings).
Jeter played in 15 games in May and June as a replacement for injured shortstop Tony Fernandez and hit .250 in 48 at-bats. Posada played behind the plate in only one inning of one game as a September call-up and did not bat.
The previous pro sports record for consecutive seasons by three teammates was 15 by the Brewers’ trio of Jim Gantner, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount from 1978 through 1992. Tied for the second longest trio of Yankees who played 13 years together: Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing from 1930 through 1942 and Whitey Ford, Elston Howard and Mickey Mantle from 1955 through 1967.
I realize I am in the minority here, but so what. I believe the Yankees caught a big break with Cliff Lee going to the Phillies.
OK, hear me out. It would have been terrific to have Cliff Lee paired with CC Sabathia to give the Yankees a 1-2 punch that would be something out of Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens or David Cone and Jimmy Key or Whitey Ford and Bob Turley or Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez. Yes, for 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and maybe 2014, it may have been a beautiful thing to watch Sabathia and Lee try to outdo each other with every start.
Then again, something could have gone wrong. Sabathia, after all, is coming off knee surgery. Lee is 32 years old, and that is no small thing when you consider the Yankees’ offer was for seven years for money believed guaranteed at $138 million.
Forget about the money for a minute and look at the term – a seven-year contract. That was what the Yankees gave Sabathia after the 2008 season (for 161 large) when the big guy was 28, four years younger than Lee is now. CC’s deal will take him to age 35, but Lee’s would have gone until he was 39. I am uncomfortable signing any pitcher any age to a seven-year contract, but a 32-year-old who had some back issues last year?
Everyone expected Lee to stay in Texas if he decided against coming to New York, but again, the Yankees caught a break. He went to the National League where he can be a major headache for the Mets. Speaking of the Mets; how is that seven-year contract they gave Johann Santana a few years back looking now?
It is now up to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to be creative in improving the rotation after being rejected by Lee. Cash is skillful enough an executive to do this. It could have been worse. Think of the Rangers having given up a major prospect in first baseman Justin Smoak to get Lee from the Mariners and having nothing now to show for it. The Yankees at least still have Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez.