July 5 in Yankee History

  • The inside-the-park homer, a grand slam, that Lou Gehrig hit on July 5, 1934, was the big blow in the Yanks’ 8-3 win over the Senators. It was the 17th of the Iron Horse’s career-record 23 grand slams, a record that would not be matched for more than 70 years, until Alex Rodriguez tied it in 2012. Continue reading
  • July 4 in Yankee History

  • “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” More recent achievements on the Yankees field of battle notwithstanding, the day in 1939 that Lou Gehrig addressed a full house in the Baseball Cathedral, and became the first ballplayer to have his number (No. 4) retired, will always be the biggest moment in July 4 Yankee baseball history. It is a rarely reported side note that on the day the Yanks split two games, falling 3-2, but rebounding strongly to blast Washington 11-1 in the nightcap. Continue reading
  • July 3 in Yankee History

  • The names that highlighted the offense in a 6-3 win over Toronto in the Stadium on July 3, 2017, could be referred to as the usual suspects, but the manner of their production was a bit different. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez each scored after stroking back-to-back singles in both the first and eighth innings. Three of the team’s six runs scored on a bases-loaded hit by pitch, then walk in the first, and an error in the four-run eighth, the frame that featured the team’s only run-scoring hit, a Chase Headley two-run double. Masahiro Tanaka was superb, with eight punch outs, just five hits, and one (unearned) run over seven. It was Block Party night, with lots of free food specials and autograph opportunities of former and current players for early-arriving fans before the game. Continue reading
  • July 2 in Yankee History

  • Righty journeyman Sydney Ponson seemed headed for a loss when two-run, sixth-inning homers by Milton Bradley and Kris Davis gave the Rangers a 7-6 lead in Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2008, but the first five Yanks to bat in the seventh scored and an eight-run seventh and three-run eighth carried them to an 18-7 win. Jason Giambi drove in six with a grand slam and a two-run double, Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez delivered three rbi’s each, and Johnny Damon had three hits, scored three times, and drove in two. Retired switch-hitting Yankee outfielder Roy White moved the games-left in the old Stadium counter from 39 to 38. Continue reading
  • July 1 in Yankee History

  • I thought the “bummer” highlight from 1990 that follows would remain the lead-off July 1 item, but the Yankee Captain and gang proved me wrong in 2004. Tony Clark and Jorge Posada home runs propelled Brad Halsey and the Yankees into a 3-0 lead over Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox in a Thursday night classic in Yankee Stadium, but Boston tied it on a two-run Manny Ramirez home run and a David McCarty double that heartbreakingly glanced off Bernie Williams‘s glove in the seventh. Onto bonus play, the Sox loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk against Mariano Rivera in the 11th, but Alex Rodriguez turned a miraculous 5-UA, 5-2 double play that would have been a triple play on a 2-5, but the latter throw retired Ramirez coming from second for the second time on the play, a twist you won’t find in the rule book. A second-and-third, two-out threat against Tanyon Sturtze the following frame was averted when Derek Jeter dove face first into the left-field boxes after snaring Trot Nixon‘s flair into no man’s land. Was it all for naught when Ramirez homered deep to left leading off the top on the 13th? Of course not. After two quick outs, Ruben Sierra, Miguel Cairo, and John Flaherty delivered hits in succession, and the Yanks and their fans celebrated a 5-4 victory in the darnedest game you could ever see. Continue reading
  • June 30 in Yankee History

  • Having walked off the game the day before in a traditional manner, with two ninth-inning home runs, the Yankees scored a much quieter 2-1 “walk”-off win on June 30, 2016, as two walks around a sac bunt off righty Tony Barnette, followed by a fielder’s choice grounder to first, set it all up, and Chase Headley scored the game winner on Robert Chirinos‘s passed ball. Michael Pineda pitched six strong and, following a frame apiece by Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman got himself a “W” on the miscue. Continue reading
  • June 29 in Yankee History

  • Down big to the Rangers on June 29, 2016, largely due to a sloppy third-inning, four-run rally off Masahiro Tanaka, with a three-run double by Nomar Mazara being the big blow, the Yankees shocked the visitors and closer Sam Dyson with a six run bottom-of-the-ninth rally, winning 9-7 going away. A three-run Brian McCann jolt tied the game; Didi Gregorius‘s two-run bomb walked it off. Continue reading
  • June 28 in Yankee History

  • You don’t earn a name like the Bronx Bombers lightly, but putting up numbers like the Yanks did on June 28, 1939, sure helps. The eight home runs they hit in the first game of that day’s doubleheader was a record. When they made it 13 on the day with five more in the second game, that was another, as were the 53 total bases they earned in the two games. Joe DiMaggio, Babe Dahlgren, and Joe Gordon each hit three home runs as the Yankees swept the A’s, 23-2 and 10-0. Continue reading
  • June 27 in Yankee History

  • I had my worst ever experience in Yankee Stadium on June 27, 2016, when a rain delay declared with one down in the top of the ninth — a 3:56 rain delay! — halted what should have been a hard-fought 6-5 Yankee win over the visiting Rangers. A Mark Teixeira seventh-inning home run gave the Yanks a 6-4 lead, and Rougned Odor halved the Yankee edge with a blast off Andrew Miller in the eighth. With a hard rain having fallen for innings, Aroldis Chapman couldn’t even stand on the soaked mound in the ninth, much less push off from it. Each team had batted for eight innings, with the visitors having scored last; the field was unplayable, with the rain expected to continue for hours — it did not disappoint. It should have been called right then, an eight-inning, rain-shortened 6-5 Yankee win. Kirby Yates had a disastrous ninth inning four hours later, twice hitting batters with pitches when it seemed he might escape early trouble. Texas scored four, and had themselves a 9-6, eight-hour win, played before 25 or 30 rain-drenched fans. That home plate ump John Tumpane still has his job in 2017 baffles and infuriates me. Continue reading
  • June 26 in Yankee History

  • It’s not earth-shattering news that the Yanks often have days honoring ex-players, but they took advantage of the Old Timers Day festivities on June 26, 2011, to give tribute to retiring trainer Gene Monahan. In pregame ceremonies, Geno was given a Garth Books 10-gallon hat (and concert tix), a multi-signed Nascar helmet, a trip to the Alps, a Ford truck (perhaps with dog?), and a sitdown lawnmower. But the best were the funny player tributes by Derek Jeter: “He’s been here 100 years, I think”; and on tape from Don Mattingly: “He worked on Babe Ruth, you know.” Tino Martinez followed a Bernie Williams double with a home run to right to lead the Bombers past the Clippers in the three-inning 2-0 win in the OTD game. Then the Yanks used back-to-back Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada fifth-inning jacks, and another by Mark Teixeira in the eighth, to beat the Rockies 6-4. Continue reading