Maybe the Bombers were angered after losing two straight to the A’s at home, or perhaps once the skies closed and stopped pouring rain on the field, Yankee bats took their place, raining hits all over the field in a 22-9 win on August 25, 2012. Oddly, the visitors led in this one, 7-1 after three, which was before not one, not two, but three different Yankees chipped in with grand slam home runs. Of the three, Russell “the Muscle” Martin gets first billing because he knocked in six runs and scored four times, while Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson had five rbi’s apiece; they scored once and three times, respectively. Derek Jeter moved into 20th place on the all-time runs scored list, but in maybe the coolest highlight of the day, Joe Girardi inserted Jorge Posada into the game playing second base in the ninth; he got the game-ending assist, though almost threw the ball past Nick Swisher at first.
Having just feted the career of Ron Guidry in 2003 and after commemorating Red Ruffing‘s work the season after, we know that Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park holds many honors. On August 25, 1996, Mickey Mantle was elevated from plaque status, as he received a monument every bit as big as the ones dedicated to Babe Ruth, Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio.
Paul O’Neill hit a home run in the Yanks’ 7-5 win over the Angels on August 25, 2001, and thereby became the oldest player to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases in the same season.
Mickey Mantle stroked an opposite-field, two-run homer off Mike Garcia to help the Yanks beat the Indians 7-3 before 66,000+ fans in Municipal Stadium, on August 25, 1951.
One of the subplots floating around Yankee Stadium on August 25, 2005, when Toronto lefty Gustavo Chacin took the mound after having dominated the Bombers the year before in his major league debut was whether or not he would prove to be a Yankee Killer. And it was also intriguing that he would be facing Yankee starter Shawn Chacon, as their last names were so similar. But the battle never developed as the Yanks plated their first four batters on Gary Sheffield and Alex Rodriguez home runs. Chacon and the Yanks went on to win 6-2.
It was on this day in 1968 that the Yanks turned to Rocky Colavito to win a game both with his bat and his arm, as the career outfielder got the win in relief when he tossed 2.7 innings against the Tigers in a 6-5 Yankee victory. Colavito came in with the Bombers down 5-0, and he scored the go-ahead run too. In the same game Yankee reliever Lindy McDaniel tied an AL record, as the first Tigers player he retired gave him 32 consecutive over four games. And it just keeps getting better, as the New Yorkers bested Mickey Lolich 5-4 in the second of two for the sweep.
On August 25, 1978, the aforementioned Louisiana Lightning, Ron Guidry, won his 18th game of the year in a 7-1 win over the A’s, as Reggie Jackson‘s homer carried his 1,001st career rbi across the plate.
One year earlier the Yanks came from behind to beat the Twins on a two-run Mickey Rivers single, and a late rbi by Reggie Jackson, 5-4, on August 25, 1977.
And then another year earlier (August 25, 1976) the Yanks beat the Twins again, this one in 19 innings by the same score (5-4). Grant Jackson got the win, with the birthdaying Pete Redfern taking the loss.
The Yanks were no-hit by Detroit’s Virgil Trucks on August 25, 1952, by a 1-0 score. When Phil Rizzuto’s grounder to short could not be handled, it was ruled an error, though some felt it was an infield hit. Walter Johnson threw a rain-shortened, seven-inning no-hitter on August 25, 1924, 2-0 over the Browns.
Way back on August 25, 1906, the Yanks swept the Indians (well, Naps, actually, but the same Cleveland franchise) by identical 2-0 scores in Hilltop Park. In one, New York rookie Slow Joe Doyle pitched, getting a win in his big league debut.
The name that stands out in a doubleheader sweep over the Browns in St. Louis on August 25, 1939, is that of Yankee third sacker Red Rolfe, who scored in his 18th consecutive game, as the Bombers cruised to wins by 11-0 and 8-2 scores.
On the same day in 1929, however, the Browns had the Yankees’ number. Babe Ruth finally broke a long Yankee scoreless streak against St. Louis when he homered in the fourth inning after the Browns had shut the Yanks out three days in a row, but St. Louis still won the game, 3-2.
Before the White Sox/Yankees tilt on August 25, 1931, Yankee Ben Chapman beat Chicago’s Carl Reynolds in a 100-yard dash. In the game that followed, Chapman tripled and singled, scored twice, and stole two bases, and southpaw Herb Pennock recorded the Yanks’ first shutout of the season in a 6-0 win.
Red Rolfe and teammate Earle Combs had a tougher time on this day in 1935. Combs suffered a serious shoulder injury in a collision with Rolfe during a split with the White Sox. The Bombers fell 6-3, and then won 6-1. The Combs injury precipitated the retirement of the Yankee center fielder after that season.
It was this day in 2001 that a brawl was begun between former teammates Jose Mesa and Omar Vizguel when the latter challenged the former’s right to wear an earring on the mound, claiming the sun shining off it was blinding him.
The Yanks released the Scooter, Phil Rizzuto, on August 25, 1956, to make room on the roster for the newly purchased Enos Slaughter.
On August 25, 1902, AL founder Ban Johnson announced that there would be a franchise in New York in 1903, with Clark Griffith as manager. The Baltimore Orioles became the New York Highlanders the following year.
The great Yankees southpaw Whitey Ford had surgery for a circulatory problem in his left shoulder on August 25, 1966.
Nothing went right in a 15-1 Cleveland pasting of the Yankees on August 25, 1921, unless you take some satisfaction that New York pitcher Harry Harper hit three Indians players in the eighth inning. Not a great stat, sure, but preferable to Bob Meusel‘s four errors in the game.
It seemed like a great move at the time, but the Yankees’ claim of lefthander Felix Heredia off waivers from the Reds on August 25, 2003, did not produce good results.
The Yankees split a double dip with the Browns in the Polo Grounds on August 25, 1922. Urban Shocker bested Waite Hoyt by a 3-1 mark in Game One, but Hoyt halted Ken Williams‘s 28-game hit streak. In the nightcap, Babe Ruth‘s two-run triple got the Yanks off, and they extended their lead to 6-1 behind Joe Bush; the Bombers held off the closing Browns to post a 6-5 win.
Nine years before he caused double-barrel joy in the Bronx, Rocky Colavito homered twice to lead the Tribe past the Yanks 6-3 on this day in 1959.
On August 25, 2011, the Yankees outrighted righty reliever Jeff Marquez to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
A big strike-out number is the tie that binds two August 25 highlights involving one-time Yanks when they played for other teams. Randy Johnson struck out 16 Cubs in a 7-0 Arizona win on this day in 2002, a total which lags behind the 18 notched by Roger Clemens in Toronto’s 3-0 shutout of KC on August 25, 1998. And a pitcher makes our final item in this category too, as eventual Yankee Walt Terrell surrendered the first career home run by Mark McGwire in Oakland’s 8-4 win over Detroit on this day in 1986. Whatever may have followed in Mac’s long career, it’s fair to surmise that his first jack was not aided by anything against the rules.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Hall of Fame righthander Waite Hoyt (1984) leads off the list of three Yankees to have died August 25 with a 157-98-28 in New York from 1921-1930. Two years with Giants and the Red Sox before being a Yankee, and seven years mostly with the Pirates afterward, increase those numbers to 237 wins, 182 losses, and 52 saves. Righty-hitting, lefty-throwing Snake Wiltse (1928) makes the list in two ways, sort of. He finished up his career pitching four games (three starts) with the 1903 New York Highlanders to an 0-3 record with one save, but he also pitched for that team the year before when they were still the AL Baltimore Orioles, going 7-11-0 in 19 games (18 starts). Previous work with the Pirates and the Phillies in 1901-1902 bring his overall record to 29-31-2. And shortstop Jim Brideweser (1989) went 16-for-49 at the plate, driving in five with no home runs as he debuted in 51 games with the 1951-1953 Yankees. Jim played with the Orioles and the White Sox from 1954-1957 for career numbers of one long ball and 50 runs batted in.
Made famous in the W.P. Kinsella book Field of Dreams and in the Kevin Costner movie, Moonlight Graham, who played in one game for the 1905 Giants and never batted, passed away on August 25, 1965. Other noteworthy nonYankee players to have died: Second baseman/utility player Yank Robinson (1894) hit 15 homers and drove in 399 mostly with the Browns from 1882-1892; righthander Red Donahue (1913) went 165-175-3 for the Browns, the Phillies, and the Blues between 1893 and 1909; and fellow righty Mule Watson (1949) won 50, lost 53, and saved four games with the Braves, the A’s, and the Giants from 1918-1924. Southpaw Sam Zoldak (1966) posted a 43-53-8 mark with the Browns, the Indians, and the A’s from 1944-1952; and outfielder Cliff Lee (1980, not to be confused with the lefthander of the same name pitching for the Tribe in 2008, traded to the Phillies in 2009) reached 38 fences good for 216 rbi’s with the Phillies from 1919-1926.
Players Born This Day
In all fairness the reason I’m listing Bobby Meacham (1960) first of the five Yankees born on August 25 is that I remember his years so clearly, though the name Dooley Womack (1939) is familiar to me too. Meacham, who played a bunch of games at shortstop for the Yankees from 1983 through 1988, accounted for eight home runs and 114 rbi’s in his Yankee career. The Yanks got Bobby along with Stan Javier from the St. Louis Cardinals for minor leaguers Bob Helsom, Marty Mason, and Steve Fincher in December 1982, and they traded him to the Texas Rangers for Bob Brower in December 1988. When Joe Girardi became manger in 2008, Meacham was his first third base coach.
Righthander Womack not only went 15-16 with 24 saves for a team (1966-1968) even more mediocre than the ones Meacham played on, he got 18 of those saves in 1967 alone. A 1958 Yankee amateur free agent signing, Womack was traded to the Houston Astros for Dick Simpson in 1968.
The 1957-1958 Yankees were one of seven teams Darrell Johnson (1928) played for, and in New York Darrell chipped in with one homer and eight rbi’s, before he managed in both Boston and Seattle. Johnson arrived in the same blockbuster 1954 trade that brought Bob Turley, Don Larsen, and Billy Hunter to New York for a group of players from Baltimore, including Gene Woodling, Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald, Hal Smith, Gus Triandos, and Willy Miranda. The Bombers then lost Johnson to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1959 rule-V draft.
Also lost in the rule-V draft was second baseman Don Wallace (1940), grabbed by the Angels in 1966, two years after the Yanks had purchased him from the White Sox. Although Don went hitless in six tries in his only big league service for the 1964 White Sox, he did walk three times and scored twice.
And with 2012, the club has grown to five, as righthander Adam Warren (1987), in a brief callup from AAA, has as of this writing started one game for the Yanks. He did not do well, allowing eight hits and six runs into the third inning, in a no-decision, before heading back to Scranton.
Other birthdays: Choo Choo Coleman (1937); flamboyant Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers (1946), with 341 career saves; Pete Redfern (1954); Albert Belle (1966); Doug Glanville (1970); Gary Matthews, Jr. (1974); Pablo Ozuna (1974); Pedro Feliciano (1976); Neil Musser (1980); Logan Morrison (1987); and Justin Upton (1987).