Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. With the start of the 2020 season delayed for the foreseeable future, the Pinstripe Alley team decided to revive the program in a slightly different format. These daily posts will highlight a few key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
This Day in Yankees History (March 21)
84 years ago
Here’s an odd story: A rookie outfielder by the name of Joe DiMaggio pushed his spring training batting average to .600 on this day. After the game, DiMaggio left his foot in a diathermy machine, which is supposed to help alleviate muscle and joint pain via heat. DiMaggio burned himself and delayed his major league debut a couple months in the process. He still managed to hit .323 and drive in 125 runs that year.
47 years ago
Another weird story! In 1973, Fritz Peterson made his first start since announcing that he and Yankee teammate Mike Kekich had swapped families. Peterson was apparently booed by the crowd, but tossed five innings and secured the win. You can read more about Peterson in Andrew Mearns’ writeup for our Top 100 Yankees series.
19 years ago
The Yankees sent outfielder Wily Mo Pena to the Reds for prospects Drew Henson and MIchael Coleman. This was a pretty significant trade at the time, as Baseball America considered all three players to be top-100 prospects at some point in their careers. Before the 2001 campaign, BA ranked Henson inside their top-15 global prospects. Alas, the three combined for two wins below replacement for their careers by Baseball Reference’s WAR. Prospects, they’ll break your heart, no matter the era.
Bill Lamar and Bill Stumpf, who each played for the Yankees in the 1910’s, were born on this day in the late 19th century. We also have Tim McIntosh, who recorded three at-bats with the Yankees in 1996 before retiring.
We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.