October 20 in Yankee History

  • We’ll depart the usual history template today by leading off with a birthday, perhaps the biggest Yankee birthday ever, at least to this fan. Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle (1931) was born on October 20, and to our delight, found his way to the roster of the New York Yankees. He amassed 536 homers and 1,509 rbi’s in the Bronx from 1951 through 1968, sadly experiencing his superb career batting average dip below .300 to.298 in his final years, slowed by injury and age. Some of us found the admitted problems with alcohol that led to his death from liver disease, and the way he dealt with that in his final days, to be as inspirational as his marvelous playing career, if not more so. A three-time AL MVP, Mickey was proud of his plaque in Monument Park indicating that he was “a great teammate.” Continue reading
  • October 19 in Yankee History

  • A shutout the day before notwithstanding, the Yanks’ 10-3 loss to Texas in Game 4 of the 2010 ALCS on October 19, 2010, was probably the most frustrating loss, because behind A.J. Burnett, the Bombers led 1-0 and then 3-2 through five innings. But when Bengie Molina turned the game with a three-run sixth-inning home run, New York had to try to fight back from a three games to one deficit. Also of note: Mark Teixeira was lost to injury in the fifth inning. Continue reading
  • October 18 in Yankee History

  • He wasn’t “Mr. October” until the 18th of the month in 1977. The Yanks had fallen behind the Dodgers, but not for long. Reggie Jackson hit three home runs on three pitched balls on October 18, 1977, and the Yankees prevailed over the Dodgers, 8-4, to win the game and the Series. Despite the return to near glory the year before, it was the first Yankee Championship in 15 years. Continue reading
  • October 17 in Yankee History

  • I used the word “stirring” to describe the Yankee victory in Game Three of the ALCS over Houston yesterday, but it really rightfully applies to the come-from-behind gem they pulled out of a hat on October 17 in Game Four. Fans may be surprised to read that Sonny Gray matched zeroes with Lance McCullers, Jr. through five, but a leadoff walk and catcher’s interference in the sixth were the first two of three runs to score on a Yuri Gurriel double off David Robertson. Carlos Beltran doubled off Chad Green in the seventh to make it 4-0, but that’s when the fun began. An Aaron Judge home run started a two-run rally in the bottom half, then his double and one off the bat of Gary Sanchez propelled the four-run rally in the eighth that brought home the 6-4 victory. Didi Gregorius tripled and singled in the two rallies as well. Continue reading
  • October 16 in Yankee History

  • A miraculous and stirring three days in the Bronx began with an 8-1 thrashing of Charlie Morton and the Astros in Game Three of the ALCS (they had gone 0-2 in Houston) on October 16, 2017. Three-run home runs from Todd Frazier and Aaron Judge propelled the offense, and CC Sabathia surrendered three singles, four walks, and no runs through six. The beloved Bernie Williams threw out the first pitch on a cool, becoming cold, and breezy Monday night in the Bronx. Continue reading
  • October 14 in Yankee History

  • The Yanks were going back to the Series after a 15-year absence! George Brett‘s three-run homer in the eighth had tied it, but Yankee first baseman Chris Chambliss hit a moon shot that appeared to scrape the back of the wall in right off Mark Littell in the bottom of the ninth on October 14, 1976, and all was beautiful bedlam in the Bronx. It’s almost quaint to view the TV feed today and see thousands in a pre-”global terror” world swarming the field as Chambliss fights his way to the Yankee dugout. He would touch third base and home plate afterward with a police escort. Continue reading
  • October 13 in Yankee History

  • It was Ron Guidry‘s year, and he got the Yanks’ first World Series victory of the 1978 season, 5-1 over the Dodgers, on October 13. But what will (rightly) most be remembered from this game is the incredible defense Graig Nettles provided at third base, saving multiple Dodgers’ runs with one outstanding play after another. Continue reading
  • October 12 in Yankee History

  • Typing words I hope to change sooner rather than later, the Yanks had their last great postseason moment on October 12, 2012, when they finally prevailed in a scintillating five-game ALDS over Baltimore with a 3-1 win in Yankee Stadium. Shocking not only the O’s but many of the fans, Mark Teixeira, on via a leadoff fifth-inning single, stole second and then scored on Raul Ibanez‘s rbi single to get it started. Ichiro Suzuki doubled Derek Jeter home in the sixth, Curtis Granderson homered the next frame, and CC Sabathia pitched a nine-inning, three-hit, complete game in the 3-1 pinstriper win. Continue reading
  • October 11 in Yankee History

  • The postseason would be the worst possible time for a team to experience a 21-inning scoreless streak, but the Yanks survived theirs when they exploded for seven runs in the eighth inning of a 7-1 win over the Mariners in the ALCS on October 11, 2000. Bernie Williams‘s rbi base hit broke the logjam, Jorge Posada homered, and Orlando “el duque” Hernandez extended his postseason record to 7-0. The Yanks evened the Series at a game apiece, as Derek Jeter also pounded a home run. Continue reading