Over the next six weeks of Spring Training, there will be plenty of time to breakdown the Yankees’ roster and assess the team’s prospects for the 2012 season. Before looking ahead, however, I thought it might be fun to travel back 26 years and see how the Yankees looked heading into the 1986 season.
Provided below are two clips from the exclusive Captain’s Blog archive. The first clip features two scoreless innings pitched by Dave Righetti in a March 30 exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles (the Yankees wound up losing the game 1-0 in 15 innings; today, such a game would probably have been declared a tie after 10 innings). The WPIX broadcast, which includes commentary by Phil Rizzuto and Jim Kaat, includes a discussion on whether Righetti should have been converted back to a starting pitcher after two seasons as a closer (Joba Chamberlain fans might want to turn the sound down). In addition, the clip includes a rare error by Don Mattingly as well an at bat by Cal Ripken Jr. (two All Stars playing nine innings in an exhibition game is another vestige of a bygone era). The video also provides a look at Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, where the Yankees played their spring games before moving to what is now called Steinbrenner Field.
The second clip is from a television show called “This Is Next Year”, which previewed the Yankees’ and Mets’ 1986 roster. The program, which aired on WNYW and was narrated by sportscaster Tom McDonald, features interviews with Righetti, Mattingly, Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, Mike Pagliarulo, Brian Fisher, Joe Niekro and Ron Guidry.