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History Highlights for April 20

A difficult fourth inning ruined what was shaping up as a good start by Nathan Eovaldi in a 5-2 loss to the A’s in the Stadium on April 20, 2016. Following nine up, nine down to start (Nate took care of a leadoff first-inning single by picking off the speedy Billy Burns), the rally that saw five hits and a sac fly from the first seven up in the fourth plated three, more than enough to offset Didi Gregorius and Carlos Beltran home runs. Branden Pinder allowed two more runs in the eighth.

With historic Bombers exploits few and far between in the 1980s, April 20, 1988 stands out. The three homers they slugged were all-time Yankee home runs no. 9,999 (Dave Winfield), no. 10,000 (Claudell Washington), and no. 10,001 (Jack Clark). They were the first team to reach that five-figure amount. Clark made his first Yankee roundtripper count, as his 10th-inning blast powered the Pinstripers over the Twins, 7-6.

In the only game in baseball history that featured both Lou Gehrig and Ted Williams, the latter doubled off Red Ruffing, but the Yanks prevailed, 2-0, in the home opener in New York, on April 20, 1939. The Iron Horse suffered through an error in the field and two liners into double plays. Other notables in the lineups that day: Joe DiMaggio; Bill Dickey; Jimmie Foxx, who also allowed an error leading to the second Yankee run; Joe Cronin; Bobby Doerr; Red Rolfe; and losing pitcher Lefty Grove.

Happy Birthday, Don Mattingly (1961, a magical Yankee year), who not only hit 222 home runs and 1,099 rbi’s from 1982-1995, all of it with the team that plays its ball in the South Bronx, but he did it after being selected in the 19th round in the 1979 amateur free agent draft. He won the 1985 AL MVP, and led the league in doubles three times; in extra base hits, total bases, and hits twice; and slugging percentage and batting average once. He was denied the deserved 10 Gold Gloves in a row by the (I demand a recount!) one slugger Mark McGwire was given in 1990.

Read more history for April 20 on TakeHimDowntown.com

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