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.
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This Day in Yankees History (April 4)
31 Years Ago:
Tommy John took the ball on Opening Day for the Yankees in the final season of his 26-year career. The start tied him with Deacon McGuire for the most seasons played in modern baseball history (after the year 1900), a mark that would only be beaten by Nolan Ryan four years later. TJ got the win, tossing seven innings and allowing 10 hits but just two runs, for his 287th out of 288 career victories.
26 Years Ago:
The Yankees set a record attendance for Yankee Stadium II on Opening Day in 1994. 56,704 people were on hand to watch the Yankees take down the Ranger 5-3, led by 7.1 innings of strong pitching from Jimmy Key. The Yankees were still in transition from their rebuild to the beginning of their next dynasty, but several recognizable names from the championship seasons were in the starting lineup already: Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill and Wade Boggs.
One Year Ago:
It’s not often that something from recent memory could be included in a historical post, but this one certainly belongs. Gleyber Torres went 4-4 against the Orioles on this date, smashing a pair of home runs off of Baltimore’s Alex Cobb and Mike Wright. Those two dingers would be the beginning of an incredible run for Torres off of Baltimore pitching. Torres ultimately hit 13 home runs against the division foe, the most that any one player has hit against one team in the divisional era.
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Happy birthday to Cameron Maybin, a member of last year’s Bronx Bombers. Maybin was one of the key clubhouse members on the team, an uplifting teammate who became a significant contributor in the lineup as well when injuries moved him up the depth chart. He slashed .285/.364/.494 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 269 at-bats that year, posting a career-high 127 wRC+.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.