September 21 in Yankee History

  • September 21, 2008, will be bittersweet to this Yankee fan as long as they continue to play the game, as it was the day they played the last game in old Yankee Stadium. The ballpark was open all day, with fans circling the infield and paying their final respects in Monument Park. In the pregame ceremonies Yankee employees, dressed as old-time ballplayers, portraying the starting nine from the opener in 1923, took the field along with Manager Miller Huggins. Then players from yesteryear were honored position by position. Several were invited to take to the field at their old positions, with Yankee widows and children taking the place of their deceased fathers and husbands in several spots. The bat that Babe Ruth used to hit the game-winning home run that day was laid across home plate, and Derek Jeter was presented with a silver bat in honor of his having eclipsed Lou Gehrig‘s record for most hits stroked in the old Stadium just weeks before. Ageless emcee Bob Sheppard greeted the fans from home on the video board several times, and recited a poem in honor of the old place. Broadcaster Michael Kay appeared on the Scoreboard in the fifth inning when it came time to reduce the games remaining in the old Stadium counter from the “1″ displayed, changing it to Forever because the magic would be moving across the street to the new Stadium. Although not at his sharpest, Andy Pettitte got the start and the win. Johnny Damon‘s third-inning three-run home run wiped out an early 2-0 Birds lead, and once the visitors scored for a tying tally, unlikely offensive hero Jose Molina hit the last home run in the old Stadium for a 5-3 lead. Later, Jason Giambi stroked the last hit, and Brett Gardner scored the last run in the Cathedral pinch-running, on a sac fly by Robbie Cano, the last rbi in Yankee Stadium, in a 7-3 win. Aside from Gardner, other reserves Manager Joe Girardi let play in the historic game were Melky Cabrera, Wilson Betemit, Cody Ransom, and Ivan Rodriguez. Relievers who pitched in the game were Jose Veras, Phil Coke, and Joba Chamberlain, with the game started by Pettitte being finished by the one and only Mariano Rivera, of course. Once the game was over, Captain Jeter led the players around the field, and he exhorted us to bring our memories to the new Stadium in 2009. People just hung out until well after midnight, as some just did not want to leave. Sitting in the Upper Deck at the new place across the street, I still can’t believe they have torn down the old structure, the House That Ruth Built, with its upper deck hanging right over the field, and not hundreds of feet back from the field like in the new place. Continue reading
  • September 20 in Yankee History

  • Roger Maris blasted his 59th home run of the 1961 season off Milt Pappas on September 20 in a 4-2 win over Baltimore. Because this was the Yanks’ 154th game of the year, AL Commissioner Ford Frick had determined that Roger neither tied nor broke Babe Ruth‘s single-season home run record of 60, because Roger would hit numbers 60 and 61 in the eight games that were to come, while Ruth had hit his during a season composed of just 154 tilts. It is worth adding, I think, that Rajah came close to no. 60 in this tilt, and that he lost a tater earlier that season in a Baltimore four-inning-plus rainout. The Yankees, meanwhile, clinched their 26th AL pennant with the win. Continue reading
  • September 17 in Yankee History

  • With a chance to sweep visiting Baltimore in a four-game set, new Yankee Sonny Gray came up short in a 6-4 loss on September 17, 2017. A Didi Gregorius homer and Matt Holliday‘s two-run double more than made up for the single runs the O’s scored in the second and the third, but not the three-run bomb Tim Beckham stroked in the top of the fourth. Continue reading
  • September 16 in Yankee History

  • Following a pregame ceremony honoring the 10-year anniversary of the victory in Super Bowl 42 by the New York Football Giants on September 16, 2017, the Yanks continued the tribute by kicking in a couple of field goals of their own. Well, not really, but they did open the scoring on two 3-run homers, by Didi Gergorius in the third, and Greg Bird in the fourth. A Todd Frazier two-run jolt in the seventh had the home team up 9-0, but Chasen Shreve could do no right in the ninth inning, one in which Giovanny Gallegos had to come in for the last out in the 9-3 win over Baltimore. Continue reading
  • September 15 in Yankee History

  • Fans concerned that Luis Severino surrendered a two-run, second-inning Wellington Castillo home run in the Stadium on September 15, 2017, needn’t have been, as it was the second of just three hits he would allow through eight dominant innings. The position player star on both sides of the ball was shortstop Didi Gregorius, who not only knocked in four runs on a home run and two sac flies, but who also contributed eight assists and two putouts in the field. The 8-2 victory, achieved in a nifty 2:37, was Joe Girardi‘s 900th win as Yankee manager. Continue reading
  • September 14 in Yankee History

  • You don’t win as many pennants as the Yankees have without having some memorable mid-September moments. First, the Yankees resurrected their season in what was a very bad September when they won a come-from-behind contest in Toronto on the 14th in 1999. Hitting two grand slams in the same game for only the third time in their history, Bernie Williams tied the game at six with his in the eighth inning, and the Bombers won behind Paul O’Neill‘s salami in the ninth, 10-6. Continue reading
  • September 13 in Yankee History

  • Thanks to the superb Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees restored a little dignity to their season, and finally won the last of a four-game set over Toronto in the Stadium, 5-0, on September 13, 2015. The staff ace allowed four hits with no walks and seven strike outs through seven innings, and Dustin Ackley supplied the offense with three rbi’s on a sac fly and two-run bomb off flutter baller R. A. Dickey. Continue reading
  • September 12 in Yankee History

  • September 12, 2015, was the day most Yankee fans turned from the expectation that they would wrest the AL East title from Toronto — who had blown past them to take a 2.5 game lead the night before after the Yanks had been in front of the division for months — and started to root for a Wild Card slot. With the home team up 4-1 in the middle innings of the first of two, Ben Revere and Edwin Encarnacion reached Michael Pineda with fifth-inning homers that tied the game 4-4. The game went to extras 5-5, until, in a disastrous frame, Bryan Mitchell and Chasen Shreve allowed four scores on one lone single, a slew of walks, and a hit by pitch. After dropping that one 9-5, the Bombers lost the nightcap 10-7, this despite two 3-run home runs off the bat of Brett Gardner. Continue reading