A trip to see the Staten Island Yankees is usually a hoot, as attending most minor league games is, and the round trip to the game on the Staten Island Ferry is always fun. But we got a real treat on August 19, 2016, when 2016 second-round pick and second baseman Nick Solak had two hits, scored a run, and drove one in. On a fast track to the majors, Solak played in Staten Island the full year, started in Tampa in ’17, and has jumped to AA Trenton as August of that year arrived. Shortstop Angel Aguilar led the offense with a double and home run in a 4-1 victory over the rival Brooklyn Cyclones. And the fun of the evening was highlighted by it being Pat Venditte Bobblehead Night. The former Yankee draftee is famous for being an ambidextrous pitcher, a feature displayed in the giveaway.
A strong Nate Eovaldi outing vs Minnesota in Yankee Stadium on August 19, 2015, crumbled when the Twins bunched four singles and two walks into a three-run sixth inning, eclipsing the 2-0 lead the Yanks had posted in the fourth on rookie Greg Bird‘s two-run jack. But the lefty swinger and first baseman, pressed into service with Mark Teixeira out with an injury, blasted another two-run poke in the bottom of the sixth, and Eovaldi and the Yanks had a 4-3 win.
Both Derek Jeter and Ichiro Suzuki had three hits as Hiroki Kuroda outpitched Josh Beckett in a 4-1 Yankee victory in the Bronx on August 19, 2012, but the star of the game was new Yankee Ichiro, who reached the Boston righty for two singleton home runs. Curtis Granderson contributed an rbi double in this ESPN Sunday night game.
Had this game happened in 2015 — when Houston has surprised with a strong start out of the gate — and not 2014, it would not have been a big deal, but the Yanks were stunned when Cris Carter of the Astros reached David Robertson for a tie-breaking three-run jack in the ninth inning of a Houston 7-4 win in the Bronx on August 19. The Yanks had an early lead on a Brian McCann two-run shot, but Chris Capuano weakened in the sixth, allowing three tallies for a 4-2 deficit. It was Martin Prado to the rescue via a two-run double, but this was not one the Yanks would win.
Robinson Cano led the way in an 11-5 destruction of the Tigers in Yankee Stadium on August 19, 2010, with three rbi’s and three runs scored on three hits, including a home run and a double. But the ballpark was abuzz about a terrific defensive fourth inning, crowned by a long Curtis Granderson run and catch of a fly to center following an unbelievable sprawling catch of a foul ball off first by Mark Teixeira, who had the ball in his glove twice before securing the catch.
Every once in a while it’s good to win a good old-fashioned barn burner, like the 21-7 Yankee spanking of the A’s on August 19, 1962. Despite consecutive homers by A’s Gino Cimoli, Wayne Causey, and Billy Bryan in the seventh to make it interesting, the real offensive stars were Elston Howard, with two dingers and eight rbi’s; Mickey Mantle, a grand slam and seven rbi’s; and Moose Skowron, who went yard once and knocked in four.
Moving to 2.5 games behind Boston, the Yanks beat the Rangers, 8-1, on August 19, 1977, on the strength of Reggie Jackson and Bucky Dent home runs, and Mike Torrez‘s sixth complete game in a row.
Johnny Damon singled and scored to start the Yankee offense in the first and homered in the sixth, and the hometeam scoring was capped by a Wilson Betemit three-run, eighth-inning double in a 9-3 win over Detroit on August 19, 2007. Chien-Ming Wang outpitched Jeremy Bonderman and Hideki Matsui had three rbi’s.
Mike Cameron‘s three-run jack capped a four-run first against Andy Pettitte during a hot and steamy Sunday 10-2 Seattle win over the Yankees in the Stadium on August 19, 2001. When Pettitte was threatened yet again in the seventh, the Yanks brought in unreliable Jay Witasik, who promptly walked Bret Boone and threw a 1-0 gopher pitch to Cameron for a grand slam. It was barely noticed that Derek Jeter scored a run from first on an eighth-inning Bernie Williams single.
The highlight of the Yanks’ 9-1 victory over the Angels on this day in 2000 was the record-tying three sac flies they managed in the third inning.
Outfielder Albert Selback, playing an August 19, 1902 game for the Baltimore Orioles franchise that was less than a year from being moved to New York and becoming the Highlanders, set a record by committing four errors in an 11-4 loss to the St. Louis Browns.
Bill Veeck definitely made his reputation as the number one entrepreneur in the bigs when he signed 3’7″ midget Eddie Gaedel on August 19, 1951, to bat for the Tigers with the number 1/8 on his back. Gaedel walked on four pitches in his only appearance before major league baseball put a stop to it.
When the Indians beat the Yankees 3-2 on August 19, 1920, it gave them a half-game lead over Chicago and 1.5 on the Yanks, in the tightest AL race since 1908.
The Yankees obviously had good reason to eagerly activate DH Hideki Matsui from the 15-day disabled list on August 19, 2008. The team optioned outfielder Justin Christian to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room.
The Yankees built a 6-0 lead against Kevin Appier and the Royals on August 19, 2003 on home runs by Alfonso Soriano, Bernie Williams, and Karim Garcia, but Andy Pettitte lost his shutout in the visiting seventh when Kansas City plated three on three Yankee errors in a 6-3 final.
David Cone left a 1-1 tie with the Royals after seven, and it remained that way until Kansas City reached Jason Grimsley for three runs and a 4-1 win in the 11th inning on August 19, 1999.
The other day we reported that lefty Bob Kuzava shut out the Athletics 9-0 despite giving up 11 hits in a 1953 game. He could have used the game Jack Chesbro turned in back on August 19, 1908, as a template, as Jack shut out the Tigers, 7-0, while allowing that same number of safeties.
Reds hurler Jim Maloney threw his second 10-inning no-hitter of 1965 on August 19 when Leo Cardenas broke the game up by hitting the Wrigley Field foul pole for a 1-0 win over the Cubs. While four years later on this same day in 1969, it was the Cubs’ Ken Holtzman who shut down the Braves, 3-0, in the first no-no without a strike out recorded since 1923.
The longest losing streak ever (nine games) under Yankee Manager Joe McCarthy ended when the Yanks won the first game of a double dip over the White Sox on August 19, 1945, 4-2, but Chicago took the nightcap 2-0 behind Lefty Grove‘s five-hitter.
And on that same 1945 day, 37-year-old slugger Jimmie Foxx, in a reversal of the career path of Babe Ruth, made his first start pitching in the majors, going seven innings and earning the win in a 6-2 Philadelphia victory over Cincinnati in the second of two.
The magical run 1990 Yankee fans had with Kevin Maas, which unfortunately did turn out to be a flash in the pan, had one of its landmarks on August 19, as he became the quickest to 14 home runs (128 at bats) in a 3-1 win over the Mariners in Yankee Stadium. Tim Leary won the game, Matt Young lost it, and Dave Righetti cashed in the save.
Braves rookie Pascual Perez missed his start in a game in Montreal on this day in 1982 when he circled the ballpark several times on the freeway while failing to find it. Another Braves hurler with a Yankee stint in his future, Phil Niekro, took the mound and won, 5-4.
The Yanks were beating the White Sox 12-5 in Yankee Stadium on August 19, 1922, while the Browns and A’s split a pair, allowing the Bombers to move back into first place.
On August 19, 2017, the Yankees optioned lefthander Jordan Montgomery to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and activated fellow southpaw CC Sabathia from the 10-day disabled list.
On August 19, 2010, the Yankees placed first baseman and DH Lance Berkman on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to August 16, with a sprained right ankle, and filled the spot on the 25-man roster by recalling shortstop Eduardo Nunez from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
We enjoyed a crazy and baseball-filled day on August 19, 2004. We started by attending our first game in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, pitting the Phillies vs. the Astros. The Phillies were up 7-2 in the fifth with the bases loaded and reserve catcher Todd Pratt up when things went south in the City of Brotherly Love. Pratt bounced into a conventional 5-4-3 triple play and Houston stormed back for a 12-10 win, giving Philly a 1-9 homestand in their beautiful new ballpark.
Then driving back to New York we both cheered and cringed at the radio coverage of the Bombers’ tilt in Minnesota. The Yanks rode a Gary Sheffield home run to a 6-1 lead over Carlos Silva and the Twins. But Orlando “el duque” Hernandez tired and the home team battered Paul Quantrill for a 10-9 lead. But a second Sheffield home run and a two-run Ruben Sierra single off Twins closer Joe Nathan carried the Yanks to a 13-10 win. Forty-five runs in two games in one day. Wow.
On August 19, 2011, the Yankees placed righty starter Freddy Garcia on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 9, 2011, with a lacerated right index finger, an injury that would prove troublesome as it affected Garcia’s grip on his split finger fastball. The Yanks also designated catcher Gustavo Molina for assignment, and then claimed lefthander Aaron Laffey off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.
We honor Felipe Alou‘s 521st win as manager of the Expos on August 19, 1998, a victory that moved him into first place all-time for that franchise. Alou delivered 18 home runs and 133 rbi’s to the Yankee team as an outfielder from 1971-1973. And in one other August 19 achievement for a one-time Yankee, Roy Smalley‘s home run off Danny Darwin was the Twins’ only hit in a 2-1 loss to the Brewers on this day in 1985. Smalley’s New York stay also spanned parts of three seasons; 45 dingers and 155 rbi’s were his contribution.
One of the most storied and hilarious artistic images in baseball history stems from an actual event that took place on August 19, 1941. A famous Norman Rockwell painting from his Saturday Evening Post days entitled “Rain Delay” depicts Pirates Manager Frankie Frisch protesting the playing conditions in the second of two games in Ebbets Field on this day to umpire Jocko Conlan by appearing on the field with an umbrella. Conlan did not laugh, and promptly tossed Frisch from the game.
The only Yankee to have died on August 19 earns that designation by virtue of a stint with the 1901 AL Baltimore Orioles, the team that would move to New York and become the Highlanders in 1903. Lefthanded utility player Bill Keister (1924) went 145-for-442 in 115 games for 1901 O’s, with two home runs and 93 rbi’s. He spent most of his 1886-1903 career with the earlier NL Baltimore Orioles, and with the Beaneaters, the Cardinals, and the Senators too for overall totals of 18 and 400.
There are three noteworthy nonYankee righthanded players to die this day, along with portsided first baseman Dee Fondy (1999), who hit most of his 69 home runs with 373 runs driven in from 1951-1958 with the Cubs. Most of Jesse Duryea‘s (1942) 59 wins, 67 losses, and three saves from 1889-1893 came with the Reds and the Senators; Alex Carrasquel (1969) posted the better part of his 50-39-16 record with the Senators and the White Sox from 1939-1945; and Bob Klinger (1977) won 66, lost 61, and saved 23 games from 1938-1943 and 1946-1947 with the Pirates and the Red Sox.
Players Who Have Died This Day
All Star second baseman Bobby Richardson (1935), who made a 1962 World Series-winning catch on a screaming line drive by Willie McCovey, and who chipped in with solid defense, 34 homers and 390 rbi’s in a Yankee career that spanned 1955 through 1966, is the first of four Yankees born on August 19. The Bombers signed Richardson as an amateur free agent in 1953.
Righthander Atley Donald (1910) joined Bobby as another guy who played only in the Bronx; he posted a fine 65-33 record from 1938 through 1945.
Catcher Al De Vormer (1891) contributed 18 rbi’s in 46 games to the 1921-1222 Yanks, after a year with the White Sox and before finishing up with the Red Sox and Giants, once the Yanks sent him north with cash to Boston for George Pipgras and Harvey Hendrick in January 1923.
Finally, infielder Jim Finigan (1928), who collected 19 homers and 168 rbi’s with the A’s (both in Philly and K.C.), the Giants, and the Orioles, was with the Yanks until they traded him with Don Bollweg, Johnny Gray, Vic Power, Bill Renna, and Jim Robertson to the Philadelphia Athletics for Harry Byrd, Eddie Robinson, Tom Hamilton, Carmen Mauro, and Loren Babe in December 1953.
Drafted by Arizona, for whom he first pitched in 2003, Chris Capuano (1979) was a fairly solid starter with the Brewers through 2012, but has been a journeyman southpaw ever since. He pitched to a 2-3 mark in the Bronx in 2014 once brought here, and was surprisingly re-signed for the ’15 season. Chris had an 0-4 mark through 16 games as of this writing, bringing his overall record to 76-91.
Righthander Chris Smith (1988) stands on the periphery of Yankee August 19 birthdayhood by virtue of the fact that he was signed by the club as a minor league free agent in both 2013 abd 2015, only to be released both times. But the third time was the charm, as after being picked up by Toronto in the latter year, he made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in June 2017. As of this writing, he has no record in four games.
Other birthdays: Terry Harper (1955); Ned Yost (1955); Ron Roenicke (1956); Gary Gaetti (1958), who blasted 360 dingers with 1,341 rbi’s mostly with the Twins from 1981-2000; Ron Darling (1960); Woody Williams (1966); Matt Franco (1969); Jeff Tam (1970); Britt Reames (1973); Brian Cooper (1974); Matt White (1977); Lance Cormier (1980); J.J. Hardy (1982); Marcos Carvajal (1984); Josh Fields (1985); and Austin Adams (1986).
Players Born This Day