2014: Masa Puts On the Pinstripes
After beating the Blue Jays in Toronto five days earlier to earn the victory in his first MLB game, Masahiro Tanaka makes his highly anticipated Yankee Stadium debut. While the Yanks lose to Baltimore, 5-4, Tanaka impresses by striking out 10batters over seven innings in a no-decision. Shawn Kelley was charged with the loss out of the bullpen.
2013: A Minor Milestone for ... Youk?
In a 14-1 Yankees romp over the Indians in Cleveland, Kevin Youkilis -- beloved by Red Sox fans during his eight-plus seasons in Boston -- is wearing a Yankees uniform when he hits the 150th and final home run of his career. It's a two-run homer off Brett Myers in the top of the sixth inning and the second of just two homers hit by "The Greek God of Walks" in his 28 games with the Yanks in 2013, which were the final MLB games of his career.
1999: The Father of an MVP Debuts
Rain shortens the Yankees home opener, a 12-3 win over the Tigers in seven innings. With the Yanks leading by 10 runs, Clay Bellinger makes his MLB debut off the bench, pinch-hitting for Tino Martinez in the bottom of the sixth inning and playing first base in the seventh. Bellinger appeared in 181 games for the Yankees from 1999 through 2001 before playing his final two MLB games with the Angels. By virtue of his days in the Bronx, Clay is a two-time World Champion and he's gained a bit more exposure in recent years through the success of his son: 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger.
1996: A Successful Snow Day
After five road games to start what would be a championship season, the Yankees play their home opener against Kansas City. With snow falling, the Yanks seize control in the bottom of the fifth inning; three runs score on back-to-back singles off Chris Haney by Paul O'Neill and Jim Leyritz, giving the Bombers a 4-1 lead in a game they'd win, 7-3. Joe Torre gets the victory in his first home game as Yankees manager, Joe Girardi and Tino Martinez make their home debuts with the team and Andy Pettitte throws 6 1/3 innings to earn the win.
1989: Run Rickey Run
About two-and-a-half months before being sent back to the same A's team that traded him to the Yankees in December of 1984, Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson records the 800th stolen base of his career. In the bottom of the third inning of a 4-3 Yanks loss to the Indians, Rickey steals second base on the Cleveland battery of knuckleballer Tom Candiotti and catcher Andy Allanson. It was just a pit stop for Henderson on the way to becoming MLB's all-time leader in steals with 1,406, 326 of which he recorded with the Yanks from 1985 until he was dealt back to Oakland in mid-June of 1989. Those 326 swipes rank second in franchise history behind the 358 of another Hall of Famer: Derek Jeter.
On Opening Day against Texas, fan favorite Bobby Murcer thrills the crowd in the Bronx by coming off the bench and delivering a pinch-hit grand slam off Steve Comer in the bottom of the seventh inning, capping the scoring in a 10-3 Yankees win. It's also the Yankees debut of Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who goes 2-for-3 with a run scored and a couple of walks. A single by Winfield started the seventh-inning rally that led to Murcer's slam.
1965: The Mick Opens the Astrodome
Heralded as "The Eighth Wonder of the World," the Astrodome opens its doors for the first time for an exhibition game between the Yankees and the newly re-christened Houston Astros, who had previously been the Houston Colt .45s but were renamed to maintain a theme of Houston playing upon its relevance to the United States' space program. On a night in which President Lyndon B. Johnson attended amid performances from Judy Garland and The Supremes, the Astros win, 2-1, on a walk-off in 12 innings, giving them the victory in the opener of a three-game exhibition series. Mickey Mantle -- who led off the game with a single, giving him the first hit in the history of the building -- homered off Turk Farrell, also recording MLB's "first-ever" indoor home run (though it obviously did not count in the statistics, since this was just an exhibition game).