August 18 in Yankee History

  • Those of us of a certain age generally agree that Roy White was a better player than he was perhaps given credit for, mostly on a bad ballclub, but the Yanks had improved by 1976, and on August 18 of that year the switch-hitting outfielder homered from each side of the plate in an 8-6 win over the Rangers. Unlike later Yankee hero Don Mattingly, White would play a long frustrating career in Pinstripes, but last long enough to earn a couple of rings.
  • Mike Pelfrey and CC Sabathia battled to a 1-1 tie through six in the Stadium on August 18, 2015, but things looked bleak when Miguel Sano reached the big Yankee southpaw for a two-run jolt in the seventh. Not to worry though, as Alex Rodriguez reacted quickly, with a grand slam in the frame’s bottom half. Chase Headley did not enter the game until the seventh, but had two hits, scored twice, and drove in two in the 8-4 Yankee win.
  • The Athletics (in Kansas City at the time) made it two in a row over the Yankees when they beat them 5-4 on August 18, 1962. And Mickey Mantle homered yet again in a losing cause as well.
  • When Joe DiMaggio slugged his 22nd homer of the year on August 18, 1950, it was the only hit A’s lefty Lou Brissie allowed in the game’s last five innings, but it was the winner in a 3-2 Yankee victory.
  • The hard fact is that when Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run home run off David Phelps in the top of the first in Yankee Stadium on August 18, 2012, it was a lead the Yanks would never equal in a 4-1 Boston victory. The only dent the home team put in John Lester‘s outing was a fourth-inning Curtis Granderson home run.
  • August 18, 1967, is a tragic day to all baseball fans who remember it, as it was then that the Angels’ Jack Hamilton crushed Boston outfielder Tony Conigliaro‘s left cheekbone with a fastball.
  • When Ty Cobb stole home in the first inning of a 9-4 win over the Highlanders on August 12, 1912, it was his third swipe of home plate that season, each of them in the first inning.
  • Although Lou Gehrig failed to get a hit on August 18, 1931, it was the 1,000th consecutive game in which he played. The Tigers beat the Yanks 5-4 that day.
  • Wee Willie Keeler was playing for the Highlanders (Yankees) on this day in 1906 when Chicago knuckleballer Ed Walsh struck him out for only his second whiff of the season. The New Yorkers were crushed 10-0 in Hilltop Park that day.
  • The Yankees moved pitcher Ray Burris to the Mets on August 18, 1979.
  • Although it was an inexpensive gamble that did not pay off, the Yankees signed outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. to a minor-league contract on August 18, 2007. Several years earlier, Cruz had hit eight home runs in Yankee Stadium when playing with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • When the Detroit Tigers hosted their first Sunday home game since 1902 on August 18, 1907, they celebrated by blasting the Highlanders 16-3 at Bennett Field. The Tigers would take the AL Crown that year, but fall to the Cubs in the World Series.
  • The Sunday New York Daily News published a shocking article on August 18, 1940, suggesting that the fifth place Yankees had been struck by a “mass polio epidemic” in the wake of Lou Gehrig‘s illness. In the furor that followed the paper eventually published a public apology to the very upset “Iron Horse” in September.
  • On August 18, 2017, the Yankees sent two players on rehab assignments, DH Matt Holliday to the Tampa Yankees, and second baseman Starlin Castro to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
  • On August 18, 2016, the Yankees sent righthander Bryan Mitchell on a rehab assignment to the AA Trenton Thunder.
  • On August 18, 2014, lefthander Anderson Diaz was assigned to the Yankees; and the team signed free agent righthander Wilking Rodriguez to a minor league contract.
  • Only 27 batters came to the plate against Milwaukee hurler Lew Burdette on August 18, 1960, when he threw a 1-0 no-hitter against the Phillies. Tony Gonzalez was the only one to reach when he was hit by a fifth-inning pitch, but he was removed on a double play.
  • The late Yankees Hall of Fame ex-shortstop and announcer Phil Rizzuto retired from broadcasting (although he would return for the 1996 season) on August 18, 1995, after WPIX in New York refused to let him miss a game to attend Mickey Mantle‘s funeral. Yankee land became a sadder place when Phil unfortunately passed away in August 2007.
  • In a far happier off-the-field moment for most Yankee fans, Dallas Green was fired as Yankee manager and replaced by Bucky Dent on this day in 1989.
  • Adding to the indignity and unfairness of the whole situation, the K.C. Royals used reliever Dan Quisenberry to close the remainder of the “Pine Tar” Game on this day in 1983, despite the fact that he would have been unavailable during the original game due to overuse. Don Mattingly played second base and Ron Guidry center field in the 12-minute, 16-pitch conclusion, a Yankee loss.
  • The Yankees signed draftee catcher John Murphy on August 18, 2009.
  • Hank Aaron passed Stan Musial on the all-time extra base hit list with 1,378 on August 18, 1973.
  • A Mo Vaughn homer and run-scoring singles by Darin Erstad and Orlando Palmeiro plated three to tie the Yanks against Mariano Rivera on August 18, 2000. Erstad’s home run off Mike Stanton in the 11th inning gave the Angels a 9-8 win. Home runs by Glenallen Hill in both the fourth and fifth innings would be wasted in the loss.
  • The Yanks eventually succumbed to the Mariners, 13-12, on August 18, 1996, but they battled back valiantly in a game they trailed 8-0 at one time. After scratching and crawling back to a tie, they answered Seattle’s three-run game-winning rally in the 12th with two runs of their own.
  • Player-coach Arlie Latham stole a base in the Giants’ 14-1 demolition of the Phillies in August 18, 1909, becoming the oldest player to steal a base, at 50 years old.
  • On August 18, 2015, the Yankees placed righthander Bryan Mitchell on the 7-day disabled list, with symptoms of a concussion, then optioned righty Caleb Cotham to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The club filled out the 25-man roster by selecting the contract of lefthander Chris Capuano from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and recalling righthander Nick Rumbelow from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as well.
  • Banished to Columbus just the day before, Mike Thurman was re-called on August 18, 2002, when Mariano Rivera was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bad right shoulder.
  • He had shown some promise months earlier in Spring Training but he never got the call to the bigs. The Yankees released nonroster outfielder Jason Lane on August 18, 2008.
  • He was signed to platoon at third base in New York in 1998, but ended up a bit player. But Dale Sveum had a good day playing for the Pirates on August 18, 1999, as he homered from each side of the plate in a 12-6 win over Cincinnati. And former Yankee Dan Pasqua managed the only hit for the Palehose as Danny Darwin of the Red Sox shut them out 5-0 on the one safety, a triple in the eighth inning, on August 18, 1993.
  • And the final August 18 items involving one-time Yankees feature guys with five-hit days, Alex Rodriguez of the Rangers in 1998, and Paul Waner of the Pirates in 1935.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Righthander Jack Enright (1975), whose only big league game (he started) was a loss with the 1917 Yankees, is the only Yankee player to have died on August 18. He allowed three earned runs in five innings.
  • Switch-hitting first baseman Candy LaChance (1932) is one of two noteworthy nonYankee players to die this day. Playing from 1893-1905 mostly with the Bridegrooms and the Americans, LaChance hit 39 home runs with 690 rbi’s. Lefty-hitting outfielder George Harper (1978) hit 91 long balls good for 528 runs driven in from 1916-1929 playing more often than not with the Tigers, the Reds, the Phillies, and the Giants.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Hall of Famer Burleigh Grimes (1893) went 269-210 elsewhere, particularly with Brooklyn, in his major league career, but he is also one of several guys who had very limited action with the Yanks and who were born on August 18. Grimes posted a 1-2 record with one save for the 1934 club once he was purchased from the Pirates that May.
  • Third baseman Mike Ferraro (1944), who recorded one rbi in 33 games for the 1966 and 1968 Yanks after signing with them as an amateur free agent in 1962, finished up with a year in San Francisco and one in Milwaukee. Once the Bombers signed Mike as a free agent in May 1973, he spent more time coaching for the Bombers than playing for them. Lefty thrower Jim Magnuson (1940) went 0-1 for the 1973 team after spending the 1970-1971 seasons with the White Sox. The Yanks got him from Chicago in the 1971 rule-V draft.
  • Switch-hitting outfielder Marcus Lawton (1965) went 3-for-14 with one stolen base during 10 games with the 1989 Yankees after they traded Scott Nielsen to the New York Mets for Lawton that year. And although he never got into a game with the Yanks, and he posted an ugly 5-18 mark mostly with the Phillies in the bigs, Lowell Palmer (1947) did serve a role. Following the messy brouhaha stemming form the wife-swapping incident in 1973 Spring Training, the Bombers sent Mike Kekich to the Cleveland Indians for Palmer that June. Lowell was then sold to the San Diego Padres in May 1974.
  • And new to the Yanks in 2015, hard-throwing lefty reliever Justin Wilson (1987) was a cog in the pen, with a 5-0 record in 74 appearances, all in relief. Traded to New York in a swap that has helped both clubs, for catcher Francisco Cervelli, Wilson arrived with a 9-5 record after having pitched in 136 games for the Pirates over three years. Justin was traded prior to the ’16 campaign to the Tigers for young righties Chad Green and Luis Cessa. He was moved to the Cubs at the trade deadline in 2017.
  • Other birthdays include another Hall of Famer: Roberto Clemente (1934), who died a heroic death on a mission of mercy in 1972 after stroking his 3,000th hit in his last game; lefty thrower Max Lanier (1915), who went 108-82 mostly with the Cardinals from 1938-1953; Joe Azcue (1939); Bruce Benedict (1955); Mike LaValliere (1960); Jack Howell (1961); Bob Zupcic (1966); Bobby Higginson (1970); Albie Lopez (1971); Patrick Misch (1981); Josh Rupe (1982); Evan Gattis (1986); Tony Cruz (1986); Daniel Webb (1989); Yimi Garcia (1990); and Austin Hedges (1992).