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History Highlights for April 3

Even the most grizzled and veteran Yankee fan will have to admit that April 3, 2009, is a huge day in Yankee history. With the venerable old Stadium being slowly chipped away at across 161st Street, it was on this day that the team opened their new Palace in what would become a Championship season, just as they enjoyed when they opened the original 86 years earlier. Would the magic make it across the street? Most doubts were dispelled when Hideki Matsui hit a two-run home run off the right field foul pole in the third inning and Cody Ransom thudded a high drive off the top of the left field pole for three more runs in the fourth. Chien-Ming Wang started the 8-5 exhibition victory over the NL Chicago Cubs, who started ex-Yankee Ted Lilly. Mariano Rivera pitched a rare sixth inning. Continue reading

History Highlights for April 1

It was only fitting, perhaps, that the final Opening Day in old Yankee Stadium was rained out March 31, 2008, and postponed until April 1. Reggie Jackson threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Tuesday night game, George Steinbrenner was the first of 81 (sometimes) celebrities to advance the home games left counter from 81 to 80 in the fifth inning, and the Yanks prevailed 3-2 over Toronto in a scintillating pitchers’ duel between Roy Halladay and Chien-Ming Wang. Continue reading

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