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 two or three key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane with us!
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This Day in Yankees History (April 11)
103 years ago
Babe Ruth is arguably the greatest player in baseball history, and certainly the best to ever wear pinstripes. Of course, before he was breaking every home run record imaginable, he was a very capable starter, especially in his Red Sox career.
In 1917, Ruth stymied the Yankees, pitching a three-hit shutout on Opening Day, with Boston winning the season opener 3-0. The start would be a harbinger of things to come for the Babe, who would win 24 games with a 128 ERA+ on the season, one of the twenty best marks in the game.
1917 would also be Ruth’s big season as a pitcher, as the next season he threw half the number of innings, making his near-full transition to the game’s best slugger.
64 years ago
The Yankees have never shied away from acquiring stars, even ones who may be a little past their prime. In 1954, the team brought Cardinals great Enos Slaughter to the Bronx, in exchange for a package of four minor leaguers. Slaughter’s Yankee career was a bit of a roller coaster, being a fair enough hitter without much value, while being dealt between the Yankees and Athletics more than once in the waning years of his career.
If it weren’t for one of the prospects in that package, this might have just ended up one of those forgotten trades in history. Outfielder Bill Virdon went to St Louis as part of the deal, and won the NL Rookie of the Year the very next season, posting a .281/.322/.433 slash line.
2 years ago
Hopefully, we all remember this one:
Joe Kelly is definitely on a list of players I very much dislike, and his actions in 2018 only make that more clear. After a hard slide by Tyler Austin into second early in the game, Kelly drilled Austin with a 97 mph fastball, that led to the second benches-clearing kerfuffle of the game.
My favorite part of this more recent touchstone in The Rivalry is the way Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton seemingly single-handedly push the entire Red Sox squad back into their dugout. If you have to start a brawl in a ball game, you should really try to have two professional wrestler-sized teammates when you do it.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.