By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, July 2- The Yankees and their fans celebrated and commemorated the organization’s glorious history at the 66th annual Old Timers’ Day on Sunday afternoon. Yankee heroes from the past 65 years were on the field prior to the regularly scheduled game between the Yankees and Chicago White Sox.
After the introduction of the more than four dozen former Yankees and the widows of Elston Howard, Catfish Hunter, Bilrly Martin, Thurman Munson and Bobby Murcer, the former players took part in a two inning “game”. The annual festivities entertained those in attendance and brought back heartfelt memories to several generations of Yankees fans.
The continuity between the generations of Yankees players remains to the present as the current Yankees and those of the past meet and get to know one another at the yearly ceremony.
At 2:07 pm, the scheduled contest began, Yankees starter Phil Hughes gave up two runs in the first inning as singles by Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rios each drove in a run.
Those two were the only runs scored by the Sox on Sunday. Hughes blanked Chicago during the seven other innings he pitched. He surrendered only six hits and one walk while fanning seven during his stint on the mound.
Manager Joe Girardi was especially pleased by the performance of Hughes in such an unbearably hot and humid day, “I thought he made some mistakes with location [in the first] and then he was able to make some adjustments. He was effective all day. To pitch eight innings on this kind of day is amazing.”
The win was the eighth for Hughes in his last ten decisions.
The long ball by the Yankees hitters, as it has throughout 2012, made an immediate impact. Raúl Ibañez led off the second with a single and scored on a two-run homer by Eric Chavez, at third base in place of Alex Rodriguez. The four-bagger tied the game at two.
Another two-run homer, this hit by Robinson Cano on a 3-2 count in the third put the Yankees ahead, 4-2.
The homer was Cano’s ninth in his last 14 games. The Yankees second sacker has driven in at least one run in each of his last 11 games against Chicago.
Cano was one of four Yankees named to the American League All-Star Team on Sunday. He will start at second, Derek Jeter will start at shortstop and Curtis Granderson will start in the outfield and CC Sabathia will be on the pitching staff.
The first place Yanks now embark on a seven game pre-All-Star game road trip, three games in Tampa and four games in Boston.
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
Paulie’s Back in Pinstripes: Yankee legends braved the heat and returned to the Bronx to be a part of Old Timer’s Day.