On August 23, 2003, when Ron Guidry Day was celebrated in Yankee Stadium, the team played uninspired baseball in a 7-2 loss to the Orioles in the game that followed. No such problem occurred on August 29, 1964, when the Yanks held Elston Howard Day. The Yanks took two from the Red Sox, 10-2 and 6-1. Joe Pepitone went yard three times, including a grand slam, and Roger Maris hit six singles. It was highlights all around, as Mickey Mantle hit his 447th career homer in the first game, and tied Babe Ruth‘s career strike out record (1,330) in the second.
On August 29, 1972, the Yankees split two games with the Texas Rangers, winning 7-6, and falling 7-4. In the first game Bobby Murcer hit for the second-most recent cycle in Yankee history. This is a much bigger deal to today’s Yankee fans, now that the beloved Murcer has passed on, than what had been the most recent cycle, accomplished by Tony Fernandez, who duplicated Bobby’s feat in 1995. Fortunately for all in Yankee land, the title of most recent Yankee player to cycle has now been passed onto center fielder Melky Cabrera, who recently pulled off the feat in an August 2009 win in Comiskey Park (or what ever they want to call the AL park on Chicago’s south side).
Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar had a monster game in Yankee Stadium on August 29, 2012, in an 8-5 Blue Jays win. CC Sabathia struck him out swinging in the second inning, but thereafter he had four straight hits — three doubles and a home run — scored three runs and drove in five. The Jays didn’t need any help, but the Yanks chipped in with three errors nonetheless.
Yankee fans will accuse me of distorting the truth when I report that still a Yankee in name Carl Pavano bested Toronto’s A.J. Burnett 2-1 in a pitchers’ duel in Yankee Stadium on August 29, 2008. Pavano allowed three hits and one run over six frames and Bobby Abreu and Jason Giambi rbi’s carried the day. A fan ran on the field and slid into second base during a strike out of Marco Scutaro in the eighth inning, and long-time Bombers clubhouse guy Pete Sheehy moved the games left in the old Stadium counter down from 13 to 12.
Roger Clemens bested Josh Beckett as the Yanks took their second straight over the Red Sox 4-3 in Yankee Stadium on August 29, 2007. Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon second-inning rbi singles gave the Yanks an early 3-0 lead in a game swarmed by celebrities, including Alec Baldwin, Lorne Michaels, Kevin Bacon, and Paul McCartney.
Left fielder Ricky Ledee had one of his best days as a Yankee on August 29, 1999, in an 11-5 Yankees victory over the Mariners in the Stadium. Ledee reached safely all four times, homered and doubled, and drove in three. Andy Pettitte got the win over Paul Abbott, and Mariano Rivera ended the game by striking out all three Seattle batters in the ninth.
Anaheim Angels outfielder Garret Anderson knocked in seven runs in a 14-3 thrashing of the Yankees on this day in 1996. Anderson did much of the damage with two doubles and a home run.
One more feather in the crown of the wonderful 1998 season was the 11-6 win over the Mariners on August 29, a victory that allowed the Yanks to become the first team to qualify for that year’s postseason.
The doubleheader the Yanks split with the Red Sox on August 29, 1967, was not a conventional one. There was nothing bizarre about the Boston win in Game One, 2-1, but the two teams played 20 innings in the nightcap, before the Yanks prevailed, 4-3. Winning pitcher Fred Talbot set up the game winner off Darrell Brandon with his hit, and then Horace Clarke delivered it with a single.
Some Red Sox supporters took issue with certain Yankee fans (myself included) for reacting very negatively to the 2003 Red Sox/Yankee tilt where Pedro Martinez hit the first two Yankee batters and sent them to the hospital. Team members and fans of the Devil Rays were just as furious on August 29, 2000, when Pedro started their game off by hitting the first Tampa batter. Before recent Yankee backup catcher and current YES broadcaster John Flaherty broke up Pedro’s no-hitter with a single in the ninth, eight different Devil Rays had been ejected in their attempts to “even the score.”
In a similar vein, the AL record for being hit by a pitch belonged to Minnie Minoso, at 189, until the August 29, 1985, Yankee win over the Angels, when Bomber DH Don Baylor broke it with his 190th, on a pitch thrown by Kirk McCaskill. Knuckleballer Phil Niekro shut out the Angels 4-0 in Yankee Stadium, and handed McCaskill the loss as well.
In a little-remembered chapter to his career, a recently retired Mickey Mantle joined the Yankee staff as first base coach on August 29, 1970, and served out the rest of that season. Other August 29 Yankee player news is not as good. In 1969, Joe Pepitone left the team after he was fined $500 for leaving the bench during a game. And Babe Ruth was suspended by Miller Higgins and fined $5,000 when he showed up late for batting practice on the same day in 1925. Because owner Jake Ruppert backed Huggins, Ruth was forced to apologize before being allowed to return nine days later. The next day, he hit his 300th career home run.
Despite a sixth-inning Lou Gehrig grand slam, Lefty Grove of the A’s prevailed over the Yankees on August 29, 1931, 7-4. Jimmie Foxx knocked in five runs for Philadelphia’s AL club.
When the A’s traded for St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Willie McGee on this day in 1990, it had the unwitting side effect of deciding the NL batting crown. With Willie’s average frozen at .335, several guys leading him dipped below his number before the season’s end, while his held, regardless of his day-to-day hitting results. McGee was originally a Yankee draft choice, lost in one of many unfortunate trades in those years.
It’s not surprising that the 11-inning contest on August 29, 1978, between the Angels and the Yankees was decided in the bullpens, with Goose Gossage of the Yanks prevailing over Dave LaRoche, 4-3. The five intentional walks the Yanks received that game put them in the record books.
On August 29, 1977, Chris Chambliss delivered a three-run, eighth-inning pinch home run, leading the Yanks to victory over the Royals, 5-3.
The Yankee 15-2 demolition of the St. Louis Browns on August 29, 1951, featured four rbi’s by Mickey Mantle, including a three-run homer.
When the Yankees beat the Browns 8-3 in St. Louis on August 29, 1927, it marked the New York club’s 18th consecutive win against that team.
The Yanks avoided the indignity of a no-hitter (a fate they finally suffered in 2003) yet again on this day in 1973, as a pop by Thurman Munson in the first inning fell harmlessly between two confused fielders for a hit. Incredibly, it would have been one more no-hitter for Nolan Ryan, pitching this season for the Angels. Ryan settled for a one-hit, 5-0 triumph.
Expos third sacker Doug Strange homered and then scored the game winner after reaching on a Rey Sanchez ninth-inning error in a 4-3 Montreal victory in Yankee Stadium on August 29, 1997. Southpaw Carlos Perez started and got the win over Doc Gooden.
You might logically assume that my inclusion of Bert Campaneris‘s three triples in a 9-8 Kansas City loss to Cleveland on August 29, 1967, is in honor of the 60 games Campy spent in the Bronx to end his career in 1983. But a more direct connection is that ex-Yankee Ben Chapman had been the last to accomplish that particular feat, in 1939.
Jim Dygert and Rube Waddell of the A’s collaborated on a five-inning no-hitter in a 4-3 win over the White Sox on August 29, 1906.
On August 29, 2017, the Yankees sent DH Matt Holliday on a rehab assignment to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Building on a move they started the day before, the Yankees activated southpaw Josh Outman on August 29, 2014, creating room on the roster by designating lefty Rich Hill for assignment.
On August 29, 2011, the Yankees activated righthanded starter Freddy Garcia from the 15-day disabled list.
In honor of his brief service in the Yankee infield in 2005, we’ll lead a short list of August 29 achievements featuring future or former Yankee players with Mark Bellhorn‘s home runs from both sides of the plate in the same inning in the Cubs’ 13-10 win over the Brewers on this day in 2002. It was a first in National League history. And this highlight is particularly fitting, as it was on the very next day after this one in 2005 that Mark was signed by the Yanks.
We end the list with the Mark Whiten grand slam with two down in the ninth inning that gave the Mariners a 9-6 win over Baltimore on August 29, 1996. Future Yankee Alex Rodriguez got five Seattle hits that day, including a double and two home runs. Whiten would contribute five home runs and 24 rbi’s to the Yankee cause the very next year.
Lefty Hall of Fame outfielder Paul Waner (1965) is one of two Yankee players to have died on August 29 based on the 10-game stint in the Bronx that crowned his career in 1944-1945. As a Yankee, he had one hit in seven at bats, and drove in one run. Most of his numbers playing from 1926-1945 were earned with the Pirates: “Big Poison” hit 113 home runs and drove in 1,309 runs overall. Catcher Al DeVormer (1966) went 29-for-108 with no home runs but 18 rbi’s in 46 games for the 1921-1922 Yankees, numbers that grow to two long balls and 57 runs driven in when his results from having played one year each with the White Sox (1918), the Red Sox (1923), and the Giants (1927) are added in.
The list of noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day includes three position players, two righthanded pitchers, and southpaw Willie McGill (1944), who won 72, lost 74, and saved one game from 1890-1900, mostly with the Colts and the Phillies. Righty Ben Sanders (1930) posted an 80-70-2 mark with the Phillies, the Quakers, the A’s, and the Colonels from 1888-1892; and Dick Selma (2001) recorded most of his 42 wins, 54 losses, and 31 saves from 1965-1974 with the Mets and the Phillies. Outfielder Curt Welch (1896) hit 16 roundtrippers with 503 rbi’s playing the majority of his games from 1884-1893 with the Cardinals, the A’s, and the (NL) Orioles; and catcher/first baseman Jocko Milligan (1923) played the same years, reaching 49 fences good for 497 rbi’s mostly with the A’s and the Cards. The most recent entrant to this club is catcher Les Moss (2012), who hit 63 home runs and drove in 276 runs from 1946 to 1958, mostly with the Browns annd the White Sox.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Don Mattingly was excellent, but never made the World Series. And the one and only Ernie Banks never played in the postseason. On the other side of the spectrum, you have the birthdaying former Yankee infielder George Zeber (1950), who played 28 games in the bigs, all with the Yanks, during the World Series-winning seasons of 1977 and 1978. It’s doubtful that he would have gotten a ring in ’78 (only three games that year, and not on the postseason roster), but he must have in ’77, as he made the October roster that year, and came to bat twice, even if he struck out both times. He also hit the game-winning home run on June 5, 1977, when the Yanks’ six dingers were the most they had hit in one game in three years. George was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 1968 amateur draft.
The other Yankee born this day was lefty Ensign Cottrell (1888), who went 0-1 in seven games with the 1915 team. That experience capped his career but formerly he had played a smattering of games in Pittsburgh, Chicago (the Cubs), Philadelphia (the A’s), and Boston (the Braves), in 1911, 12, 13, and 14, respectively. The Yankees purchased Cottrell from the Boston Braves in April 1915.
Other birthdays: White Sox righty from 1940 through 1949 Orval Grove (1919), who took a no-hitter into the ninth against the Yanks in 1942 until Joe Gordon broke it up; Doug DeCinces (1950); Henry Blanco (1971); Aaron Rowand (1977); Roy Oswalt (1977); Ryan Shealy (1979); Anthony Recker (1983); Marc Rzepzcynski (1985); Alex White (1988); Logan Watkins (1989); Robby Scott (1989); Brent Suter (1989); Chris Taylor (1990); Noah Syndergaard (1992); and Alex Reyes (1994).
Players Born This Day