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This Day in Yankees History: Babe Ruth opens Yankee Stadium with a bang

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The House that Ruth Built opened on April 18, 1923

Babe Ruth at Bat

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.

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This Day in Yankees History (April 18)

97 years ago

Yankee Stadium opened its doors on this day in 1923. The House that Ruth built lived up to its moniker, as Babe Ruth crushed a two-run homer for the Stadium’s first dinger. The Bombers routed Boston by a score of 4-1, making this an all-around excellent day for New York.

15 years ago

You know what’s fun? Winning a game 19-8. The Yankees bested the Rays back in 2005, after unleashing a 13-run second inning on Tampa Bay. Tino Martinez delivered the coup de grâce, blasting a grand slam off Lance Carter. To the highlight reel!

There’s never enough Tino content, if you ask me.

11 years ago

You know what’s not fun? Losing a game 22-4. The Yankees fell to the Indians in an embarrassing blowout on this day in 2009. Chien-Ming Wang, the erstwhile staff ace, never recovered from a baserunning injury suffered the year prior. He had a nightmarish outing, allowing eight earned runs in 1.1 innings of work. Wang made just nine more appearances for the Yankees—none after July 4—before getting non-tendered in the offseason. Chien-Ming Wang forever.

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Happy birthday to Billy Butler, who tuns 34 today. County Breakfast made a cameo for the Yankees in September 2016, and let me tell you, that was one of the stranger acquisitions I’ve covered. I don’t remember this happening, but he apparently slugged a pinch-hit home run against the Red Sox. Here’s the proof.

It’s also the birthday of Alberto Gonzalez. The Attorney General infielder had two stints with the Bombers, playing in portions of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, then again in 2013. He was part of the revolving door of infielders that also featured the likes of Brent Lillibridge, Reid Brignac, and Jayson Nix. What a cast.

We also extend birthday wishes to Dennis Rasmussen, Rich Bordi, Steve Kraly, Tommy McMillan, and Duffy Lewis.

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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.