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This Day in Yankees History: Matsui welcomes himself to the Bronx in grand style

Hideki Matsui hit a grand slam in New York’s home opener in 2003, for his first home run in the majors.

Matsui hits home run Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

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 8)

17 years ago

Hideki Matsui hit his first major league home run, a grand slam into the right-field bleachers in New York’s home opener. Godzilla received a roaring applause and curtain call from the sold-out Yankee Stadium crowd.

Six years ago

Yankee third baseman Yangervis Solarte became the first player in major league history to record six doubles in the first seven games of his career. The 26 year-old rookie was later traded to the Padres in July for Chase Headley.

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Happy birthday to Roger Holt, Catfish Hunter, and Ted Kleinhans!

Holt, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 1977 MLB Draft, turns 64-years-old today. He played two games in his one-year career. He had one hit in six at bats and a walk.

Catfish Hunter would have turned 74 today. The Hall of Fame pitcher played five years with the Yanks, including two All-Star seasons and finished second in Cy Young voting in 1975. He finished his career with a 3.58 ERA in pinstripes.

Ted Kleinhans, who was born in 1899, pitched 19 games out of the bullpen in his only season with the Yankees in 1936. He would record a 5.83 ERA with New York before going to the Cincinnati Reds to finish his four-year career.

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