The Yankees made one of their more significant moves of the new millennium when they signed Mariano Rivera to a four-year deal on February 16, 2001. It was chapter two of an uber Yankee success story.
And Then Came Alex
Pulling off the blockbuster that the Red Sox attempted but failed to complete two months earlier, the Yankees nabbed All Star shortstop Alex Rodriguez on February 16, 2004. The team sent Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later to Texas. The Rangers also paid part of A-Rod’s mammoth contract, and Alex agreed to slide to third in deference to Yankee Captain and shortstop Derek Jeter. Alex had some up-and-down times since, with steroid use revelations and significant injury leading into the 2009 season. But he turned it all around with a dominant postseason offensive performance as the Yanks won the World Series.
Top Yankee Righthander
Yankee pitcher Red Ruffing, the winningest righthander in team history, won selection to the Hall of Fame on February 16, 1967. He would put together four consecutive 20-win seasons. Red amassed a 7-2 record in the World Series, appearing in seven Classics (six victories). Before being sold to the Yanks, Ruffing was headed toward a very mediocre career in Boston, where his record had fallen to 39-96, and he lost 47 games in 1928 and 1929 alone. The Bronx was where he was meant to be.
For Every Successful Acquisition …
On February 16, 2017, the Bombers signed free agent first baseman Chris Carter, who was coming off a 41-homer season. Chris would be pressed into starting service once Greg Bird was lost to injury coming out of Spring Training. The reaction of most Yankee fans when he was released in early July? “It’s about time.”
One of the two Yankee players to have died February 16 is outfielder Cedric Durst (1971), who hit six home runs with 28 rbi’s in New York from 1927-1930. And the Hall of Fame career of righty Dazzy Vance (1961) is telling. He was ineffective early in his career, including three losses with the 1915 and 1918 Yanks in 10 games (three starts). But once he was given more time to rest between starts Vance soared to 197-140 through 1936, much of the time pitching for Brooklyn.