July 27 in Yankee History

  • It is amazing that the Yanks benefited so long from the input of long-standing pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, who after years on the job attended spring training and offered guidance to Ron Guidry in 2006, and Yankee Vice President Gene “Stick” Michael. Those two vets collaborated on a 5-2 win over the Angels way back on July 27, 1970. Mel held on during a 2-2 tie that was finally broken by the Yanks in the 10th, and Stick helped get him there by pulling the Hidden Ball Trick on pinch runner Jarvis Tatum in the ninth. In one of the most moving ceremonies in the Stadium in years, Mel shared with Willie Randolph having their number 30 retired on Old Timer’s Day, in July 2015; each received a Monument Park plaque. Continue reading
  • July 26 in Yankee History

  • July 26 was another big day for Johnny Blanchard in 1961, just one more guy on that team who had a magical year. It’s the year that indelibly glued the boy in me to the Yanks, but sometimes I think the man in me now would not only have enjoyed that season, but would have appreciated what he was seeing far more. When Blanchard homered in his first two at bats against the White Sox that day, it brought his tater total to four in a five-at-bat period over three days. The Yanks went yard four times in a 5-2 win, including a Mickey Mantle shot back-to-back behind Johnny’s in the first. Blanchard became the first player ever to hit more than 20 homers in a season of less than 250 at bats (21/243) that year. Continue reading
  • July 25 in Yankee History

  • Great games, featuring great players — what fan can resist them? Al Downing fell behind the Twins in the first 1-0 on the strength of a Harmon “Killer” Killebrew home run on July 25, 1967. Twins starter Jim Kaat held the Yankees scoreless until, with two outs in the ninth, Mickey Mantle went yard on a 457-foot shot, and the game was rained out with the score, 1-1. The replay was won by the Yankees on August 18, 1-0. Continue reading
  • July 24 in Yankee History

  • The Yanks took the third of a four-game set vs Texas 4-2 in Yankee Stadium on July 24, 2014, behind the continued strong pitching of recently acquired Brandon McCarthy, who went six for the win. J.P. Arencibia‘s home run off Adam Warren, his second of the series, was the only long ball, but the home team persevered on rbi’s from Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Chase Headley, and Francisco Cervelli. Continue reading
  • Masterful Ma Kun

    Bronx, N.Y., July 23, 2015; Yankees 9, Orioles 3 — Breaking out from a string of tightly played contests, the Yankees swept the visiting Orioles Thursday afternoon by scoring in four of the five first innings, bashing their way to a 9-1 lead. Chase Headley reached Ubaldo Jimenez for a three-run double in the first, and Jacoby Ellsbury homered for his first of four rbi’s in the second. Continue reading

    The Long Goodbye

    Bronx, N.Y., July 22, 2015; Yankees 4, Orioles 3 — The Yanks ensured themselves a series victory against the Orioles Wednesday night with yet another one-run win, going 11 games over .500 for the first time this year, and pushing Baltimore six full games back. Ivan Nova was able to go six once his team handed him a 3-0 lead in the first, and chipped in with some key defense along the way. Continue reading

    July 23 in Yankee History

  • We got to see a view of Charley Brown, Japanese style, on July 23, 2014, and although it gave the Yanks a win, it was a crying shame. Up 2-1 on the Rangers in the middle of the fifth, on a Brett Gardner home run, and a score by Francisco Cervelli, whom was balked home by Rangers righty Yu Darvish, the Yankee Stadium grounds crew failed badly in trying to get the field covered when a true downpour hit. Even though the rain was gone in a half hour, all the drying agent, sand, and repeated raking couldn’t get the infield back into playing shape. Poor Darvish stood on the mound, a lonely player all by himself, during much of the crew’s work, and you could tell he was devastated when the game was called an hour later, 2-1 Yankees. Continue reading
  • A Brendan Ryan Bargain

    Bronx, N.Y., July 21, 2015; Yankees 3, Orioles 2 — The Yanks took game one of a key three-game series with division rival Baltimore Tuesday night, but in retrospect the only easy things about the night were the minuscule rain delay in the second inning, and the way the back of the hometown pen closed out the 3-2 win. Nate Eovaldi held the O’s hitless until an Adam Jones 60-foot roller with two down in the fourth, more than two innings after the Yanks plated their second run with their fourth hit in the second inning. Continue reading

    July 22 in Yankee History

  • Two things about the July 22, 2-1 Yankee victory over Texas in the stadium that were typical of the 2014 season were that long stretches of innings passed with no scoring, and that two Yankee players had their debuts with the team. Traded for that day (for Yangervis Solarte and Rafael de Paula), third baseman Chase Headley didn’t enter the game until the eighth of 12 straight scoreless innings to start it. Stubbornly clinging to my seat in the grandstand through five hours of offensive ineptitude and drudgery, I finally shifted to the terrace for the bottom of the 14th, after we had stood and sung to the 14th-inning stretch. Strangely, the Yanks had finally scored in the 13th on a Brett Gardner double and Jacoby Ellsbury single once J.P. Arencibia homered off David Huff in the top half. And then lefty Jeff Francis, debuting in pinstripes, got a win pitching the 14th, because Headley became a first-day hero by driving in Brian Roberts as the clock struck midnight. Continue reading
  • July 21 in Yankee History

  • I wish I had a good reason to offer why the July 21, 2014, game deserves to be atop that calendar day’s Yankee highlights, but there was nothing good about the bedlam that befell the Stadium and its environs when an apparent broken-down truck (they had the nerve to blame my long-time adopted state New Jersey for this!) resulted in tens of thousands of fans waiting just outside the turnstiles being barred entrance because the night’s giveaway — a Derek Jeter figurine — was not present and could not be handed out to entering ticket holders, as had been promised. The immense popularity of the soon-to-be-retired captain brought forth unprecedented numbers of early arrivals, further adding to the crush outside the gates. The Yankees eventually allowed the fans in, and then to line up inside the Stadium to get a figurine, or to accept a voucher, in about the fifth or sixth inning of the night’s game. Ironically, the game turned in the top of the sixth as young Shane Greene, who had allowed the visiting Rangers a run on three hits through five, surrendered two hits and a walk with two down in the sixth, and southpaw Matt Thornton saw to it that all three scored, resulting in a 4-2 loss to Texas. Jeter walked and scored and Jacoby Ellsbury homered for the two Yankee runs. Continue reading