Following a dearth of both Yankee birthdays and Yankee celebrants with stellar credentials in the last few days, we are truly blessed on both counts on May 12. The only Hall of Famer born this day is none other than our very own “Lawrence Peter” Yogi Berra (1925).
Yogi blasted 358 homers and knocked in 1,430 runs from 1947-1963. In that time he played on 14 pennant winners and 10 of his clubs won it all. He managed the Yankees to the American League pennant in 1964, and the crosstown Mets to the NL title nine years later.
On May 12, 2006, Chien-Ming Wang had one of his best starts in besting Barry Zito and the Oakland A’s in Yankee Stadium 2-0. He got 20 of 24 outs through eight innings on ground balls, and allowed just three singles before Mariano Rivera finished up.
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The Yankee scoring was on home runs, a fifth-inning shot by Alex Rodriguez with a Bernie Williams insurance blast in the eighth.
The next Yankee birthday belongs to righthander Hank Borowy (1916), who got his start in the Bronx, as he went 56-30 during World War II from 1942 through 1945; third baseman Joe Dugan (1897), who played for the Yanks from 1922 through 1928, during which time he stroked 22 homers and collected 383 rbi’s; Felipe Alou (1935), who actually played more first base than outfield in his 1971-1973 stay in the Bronx, during which he hit 18 home runs and drove in 133. and lefty Al Schulz (1889), who won nine while losing 17 while starting his time in the bigs with the 1912-1914 Yankees.
Finally, first baseman Josh Phelps (1978) was the first player to make the Yankee team (in 2007) after being selected as a Rule-5 selection in years, but he was released after hitting two long balls and driving in 12 in 36 games.