After four games, the Yankees are 2-2 and have scored 27 runs. That's a pretty good start to the season. In 1955, the Yankees got off to a almost perfect start to the season.
The 1955 Yankees were coming off a 100-win season in 1954. They had 23-year-old Mickey Mantle, 29-year-old Yogi Berra and 26-year-old Whitey Ford. They were quite good. The opponent on Opening Day in 1955 was the Washington Senators. The 1955 Senators did have a 19-year-old Harmon Killebrew, but he wasn't around for Opening Day and didn't have a particularly great season that year. They were not so good.
Ford started for the Yankees that day, and he didn't have that much trouble early. Through three innings, Ford hadn't allowed a hit. In the bottom of the third, the Yankees' offense rewarded him with some run support. After a couple walks, third baseman Andy Carey hit a two-run triple, giving the Yankees the lead.
The Yankees tacked on more in the fourth following another scoreless inning by Ford. The Hall of Famer helped his own cause with a two-run single. After a few more hits from the top of the order, Mantle crushed a three-run home run. That broke the game open and gave the Yankees a 7-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Ford again helped himself out. He hit another two-run single, making it 9-0. In the top of the sixth, the Senators managed to get on the board. With two on and one out, Ford balked home a run, cutting the Yankees' lead to just eight runs.
Ford wouldn't allow another run for the rest of the game. The Senators, on the other hand, did allow more runs. Quite a few more, in fact. In the sixth, Berra and Bill "Moose" Skowron hit back-to-back home runs as part of a four-run inning. They scored another three in seventh when Bob Cerv hit a bases-loaded triple. In the eighth, Mantle and Skowron both added RBI singles.
After everything finished, the Yankees had won the game 19-1. The Senators used four pitchers on the day, with starter Mickey McDermott lasting just 3.1 innings. Meanwhile, Ford pitched a complete game for the Yankees. He allowed just one run on two hits and five walks.
The Yankees' offense was led by (not surprisingly) Mickey Mantle, (not totally unexpectedly) Bob Cerv, and (fairly surprisingly) Whitey Ford, who all picked up four RBI.
The 1955 Yankees finished first in the AL and went to the World Series, where they lost to the Dodgers in seven games. The 1955 Senators finished in last place in the AL and won just 53 games. It turned out Opening Day was a sign of things to come for both teams.
I think most Yankee fans will be happy starting this season by taking two out of three against against a Astros team that made the playoffs last year. They would be even happier if they had started like they did in 1955.