Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. Now that spring training is officially open, it’s time to get amped for the upcoming season. 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 (February 24)
73 years ago
The White Sox trade Ed Lopat to the Yankees for Aaron Robinson, Bill Wight, and Fred Bradley. The 29-year-old southpaw spent eight seasons with the Bombers from 1948-1955. “The Junkman” was part of the “Big Three” of the Yankees’ pitching staff with Allie Reynolds and Vic Raschi. He pitched in the All-Star Game in 1951 for the American League, and in 1953 he led the AL in ERA with a 2.42 mark. He won the World Series five times in a row while in pinstripes from 1949-1953.
Eight years ago
The Yankees lose a big piece of their team when Curtis Granderson breaks his forearm after being struck by a pitch by then Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ in a Grapefruit League game during spring training. Granderson led the majors with 84 homers over the past two seasons and was also tied for third with 225 RBI in that two-year stretch. The “Grandy Man” would miss 10 weeks, only adding to the many maladies of the 2013 Yankees.
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Happy birthday to Mike Lowell!
Lowell was drafted by the Yankees in the 20th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. He made his debut in pinstripes as a September call-up in 1998 and played eight games that season. Although Lowell did not play in the 1998 postseason, he still received a World Series ring as the Yankees won the World Series against the San Diego Padres.
Lowell was traded to the Florida Marlins in 1999 for Mark Johnson and Ed Yarnall. Talk about a lopsided trade! Johnson never even played for the Yankees and Yarnall pitched just 20 innings in New York before leaving to play in Japan.
Lowell would go on to play seven years with the Marlins and five with the Red Sox. He finished with a career OPS of .805 and 1,619 hits. He was a four-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion, including being awarded the 2007 World Series MVP, and was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. Safe to say the Yankees regret trading him away for 20 innings of Ed Yarnall.
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We thank the Baseball Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.