August 4 in Yankee History

  • The Yanks scratched just seven hits off ageless Bartolo Colon of the Mets in a 4-1 loss in the Stadium on August 4, 2016, and didn’t score until the amazing Gary Sanchez (as we were soon to see and marvel at) led off the home seventh with a ringing double; he was driven in by an Aaron Hicks single. The visitors did all their damage with a four-run top of the fifth, which ended with a three-run bomb to right by newly acquired Jay Bruce, who had struggled badly until that at bat. The result in this one had the crosstown rivals with two wins and two losses apiece, as they split two-gamers in their respective ballparks over four days.
  • Although the Yankees already held a 4-3 lead on last place Boston in a game in the Stadium on August 4, 2015, the nine-run deluge in the bottom of the seventh against Jean Machi and Craig Breslow is what stands out in the 13-3 home team win. Chris Young, who scored four times on the day, homered in the frame, as did Brian McCann, the team rbi leader with four in this tilt. Lefty Henry Owens, responsible for just three runs in five innings, made his major league debut starting for the Red Sox in this one, and Masahiro Tanaka went six innings for the win.
  • Once again making Brian Cashman look brilliant for having acquired his services, righthander Brandon McCarthy outdueled Max Scherzer and the Tigers 2-1 in Yankee Stadium on August 4, 2014. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann provided rbi’s in the home third, offsetting Ian Kinsler‘s run-scoring single in the fifth.
  • A CC Sabathia complete-game win in Yankee Stadium the night before took on a little more importance on August 4, 2012, as “King” Felix Hernandez put on a royal show, blanking the home team and hard-luck starter Hiroki Kuroda 1-0 on a two-hitter. It took the dominating righty just 101 pitches and 2:38 to blank the high-powered Yanks.
  • Ending an extended long ball drought, Alex Rodriguez blasted the 600th home run of his career off Toronto’s Shaun Marcum in the first inning of a 5-1 win in Yankee Stadium on August 4, 2010. Phil Hughes pitched into the sixth inning for the victory, and Derek Jeter went 4-for-4 and scored three times, including on the front end of Alex’s historic blast. Mark Teixeira had two hits and three rbi’s, and Brett Gardner was awarded something called MLB’s Heart and Hustle Award before the game.
  • Dream season 1998 had another magical day on August 4. After having won the first game, 10-4, the players and the fans were almost resigned that they would split a doubleheader with the A’s as the Yanks went to bat in the top of the ninth in the nightcap down 5-1. Yankee lovers were therefore delirious as Darryl Strawberry‘s pinch-hit grand slam was part of the nine-run rally that carried the team to their second win on the day, 10-5. Darryl’s second pinch-hit salami of the season set an AL record, and tied him with his ex-manager with the Mets Davey Johnson, and with Mike Ivie , for the NL (and mlb) mark. Those two stroked their two pinch-hit grand slams back in the same season, 1978.
  • A stiff-legged Mickey Mantle, just off the DL where he had missed 61 games, pinch-hit for lefty Steve Hamilton in the seventh inning of the second of two games vs. Baltimore on August 4, 1963. The Yanks were trailing the Orioles, 10-9. The Mick’s blast tied the game, which the Yanks would eventually win, 11-10. The Orioles had taken the first of two 7-2.
  • August 4, 2007, was a very good day for one young Yankee, and a middling one for another. Hopes were high when the team reinstated righthander Phil Hughes from the 60-day disabled list, optioning lefty Sean Henn to AAA to clear a spot on the 25-man squad, and designating righty Colter Bean for assignment to get Phil on the 40-man list. But Kansas City drove Phil from the mound during the fifth inning. Small matter, though, as second baseman Robbie Cano tripled, doubled, and drove in three runs with four hits in all in a 16-8 Yankee win. Later, we took the ferry from downtown Manhattan to see the Staten Island Yankees retire Cano’s number, joining just Chien-Ming Wang and Jason Anderson in that honor. The Baby Yanks beat the visiting Lowell Spinners that night.
  • On a gorgeous Friday evening in the Bronx after a two-week hot-and-humid spell had just broken, Seattle’s Alex Rodriguez homered and Edgar Martinez reached safely five times and scored three runs, but the Yanks prevailed over the Mariners 13-6 on August 4, 2000. Bernie Williams‘s three-run first-inning bomb kept it close, and Glenallen Hill‘s two run shot crowned a five-run home seventh inning.
  • The team niftily survived what could have been a big blow when Yankee starter Fritz Peterson pulled a muscle in the second inning on August 4, 1973. Lindy McDaniel provided incredible relief, allowing only one run in 13 innings, and the Yanks hung on for a 3-2 win over Detroit. The game winner was a home run by Bombers second baseman Horace Clarke. This would not be the last of the Peterson injury, or the heroics in the New York pen.
  • Dave Stieb of the Blue Jays retired the first 26 Yankees on August 4, 1989, until Roberto Kelly broke up the party with a two-out double in the ninth. Kelly would score, but Stieb got a 2-1, two-hit win.
  • Cutting and slashing as always, Gary Sheffield drilled a ninth-inning, one-out, two-run bomb to left off Octavio Dotel to tie the A’s at 6-6 after regulation on August 4, 2004 in Yankee Stadium. Mariano Rivera allowed a walk and two singles in the 10th and a double, then walk in the 11th but muddled through for the win once Alex Rodriguez homered following Shef’s one-out single for an 8-6, 11-inning Yankee win.
  • Yankee southpaw Ron Guidry suffered his second loss of his glorious 1978 campaign, falling to 15-2, as Mike Flanagan and the Orioles beat the Yanks 2-1 in Yankee Stadium on August 4.
  • Hideki Irabu outpitched Kelvim Escobar of the Blue Jays in an 8-3 win in Yankee Stadium on August 4, 1999. Chili Davis and Bernie Williams home runs led the Yankee way.
  • The thing that stands out from the 4-1 Yankee victory over the Indians on August 4, 1925, is that every player in both lineups recorded at least one putout in the game.
  • I can tell you from personal (and very upset) experience that most of the fans in Yankee Stadium were cheering the opposing pitcher on Phil Rizzuto Day on August 4, 1985, when Tom Seaver, in a White Sox uniform, won his 300th game, 4-1. Needless to say, I was not a member of that delirious majority.
  • On that same day in 1985, Rod Carew collected his 3,000th hit.
  • It was August 4 of 1983 that a between-innings throw from Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield struck and killed a seagull in Toronto, an act for which he was initially charged for cruelty to animals, though the charge was dropped the next day. The Yanks won that day’s game by a 3-1 score.
  • When the Yanks beat the Brewers 9-4 on this day in 1972, the hitting star was recently deceased Bobby Murcer, who chipped in two scores on walks along with his grand slam home run.
  • Vic Raschi‘s big day: On August 4, 1953, he got the win in a 15-0 whitewashing of Detroit, and he set a then-record of seven rbi’s for a pitcher, doubling in three teammates once and singling in two twice. His fellow players filled his locker with bats after the game.
  • The Yanks appeared to be on their way to a doubleheader sweep over Cleveland on August 4, 1929. Tom Zachary had won his seventh straight by a 12-0 score in the first game, and the Bombers had a 6-5 lead in the nightcap with two outs in the top of the ninth. But the Indians rallied for nine runs and a 14-6 Game Two win.
  • After a month’s suspension, Yankee catcher Bill Dickey returned to the lineup with a vengeance on August 4, 1932. His grand slam home run and three singles carried New York to a 15-3 drubbing of Chicago.
  • Mickey Mantle homered off A’s hurler John O’Donoghue for the third time in 1964 in a Yankee tilt in Kansas City on August 4, but it was the New Yorkers’ only offense and the A’s won 5-1.
  • In the 80s the Yankees had both Dock Ellis and “Doc” Medich, but only Medich was a doctor. The Yankee (Highlanders) battery for an August 4, 1905 game vs. the St. Louis Browns featured Doc Newton throwing to Mike “Doc” Powers, but only Powers was a physician. The prescription was right, however, and the Highlanders prevailed 7-3.
  • Playing for the Reds on August 4, 1960, former Yankee second baseman Billy Martin, believing that Jim Brewer of the Cubs was throwing at him, punched the Chicago hurler in the eye when it came to blows. He decked Frank Thomas too, and would be fined, and would owe Brewer money after Jim took him to court as well.
  • On August 4, 2016, the Yankees shuffled their pitching staff a bit, recalling righthander Johnny Barbato from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and optioning righty Chad Green to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • On August 4, 2015, the Yankees placed utility player Dustin Ackley on the 15-day disabled list, with a right lumbar strain; and recalled righty reliever Caleb Cotham from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to fill the roster spot.
  • Attempting to patch a hole in their pitching staff, the Yankees placed righthander David Phelps on the 15-day disabled list on August 4, 2014, with right elbow inflammation, and recalled righty Matt Daley from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
  • When the Mariners beat the Angels 4-2 on August 4, 1994, former Yankee closer Goose Gossage got the win, pitching in his 1,000th career game. He was the third pitcher to reach that figure, after Hoyt Wilhem and Kent Tekulve.
  • The Yankees sold the contract of pitcher Al Lyons to the Pirates on August 4, 1947. Lyons had posted a 1-1 mark in three years of limited play in New York and would retire after stops with the Pirates and Braves with a 3-3 mark.
  • It was August 4, 1982, when Joel Youngblood notched base hits for two different teams on the same day. The two hits came off Hall of Famers, Ferguson Jenkins of the Cubs in a Mets win, and then off Steve Carlton in a losing cause. He was traded to Montreal and played in their game in Philadelphia after having already played with the Mets that day.
  • New York Giant Mel Ott scored a record six runs in a game as the Giants overwhelmed the Phillies, 21-4, in the second game of a doubleheader on August 4, 1934. Phillies reliever Reggie Grabowski gave up 11 hits in the ninth inning of that game.
  • In August 4 highlights featuring future or former Yankee players, a young Doc Gooden was on the top of the baseball world as he won his 11th straight game for the Mets on this day in 1985, 4-1 over the Cubs. Doc triggered the three-run third inning with a double. And although Phil Niekro would dispute including this as a “high”light, he set a modern major-league record with four wild pitches in the fifth inning and six in the game in a 6-2 Braves loss to the Astros on August 4, 1979.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Two Yankee players have died on August 4, but only lefty-hitting outfielder Camp Skinner (1944) enjoyed a marginally significant career. Playing 22 games while debuting with the 1922 team, Skinner went 6-for-33, good for two rbi’s but no home runs. In seven games with the 1923 Red Sox, Camp added one rbi. Second baseman George Batten‘s (1972) one game for the 1912 Highlanders was his only one. He went 0-for-3, and obviously, therefore, failed to either homer or knock in a run.
  • There are two pitchers, two shortstops, and a catcher among the noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day. Southpaw Harry Coveleski (1950) won 81, lost 59, and saved nine games for the Phillies, the Reds, and the Tigers from 1907-1918; and righty Eldon Auker (2006) posted most of his 130-101 mark with two saves from 1933-1942 with the Tigers and the Browns. Catcher Sammy White (1991) hit most of his 66 long balls good for 421 runs batted in from 1951-1962 for the Red Sox. The shortstops: Frank Fennelly (1920) played mostly for the Red Stockings from 1884-1890, good for 34 home runs and 408 rbi’s; and Dick Bartell (1995) cleared 79 fences and knocked in 710 runs for the Giants, the Phillies, and the Pirates from 1927-1946.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens (1962), having a few years ago reached both the 300 wins and 4,000 strike outs marks in New York, is the first of several Yankee August 4 birthdays. Now with 350-plus wins, Clemens went 77-36 from 1999-2003 in the Bronx, and recently returned to the Bronx as a free agent. He was acquired from Toronto in a February 1999 trade for Homer Bush, Graeme Lloyd, and David Wells. Mr. Clemens has made many headlines since, which we refuse to go into.
  • If you count Dallas Green (1934), who managed the Yankees to a 56-65 record and fifth-place finish in 1989, there are eight other Yankees who celebrate this day.
  • Paddy O’Connor (1879) caught one game for the 1918 team, with one hit in three at bats; and outfielder Tuck Stainback (1911) chipped in with five homers and 47 rbi’s from 1942 through 1945. The Yankees purchased Stainback in December 1941 and released him in April 1946.
  • Righty Jim Coates (1932) achieved an impressive 47-15 record with 12 saves in 1956 and from 1959 through 1962, before throwing four years for Washington, Cincinnati, and California. A 1952 Yankees amateur free agent signing, Coates was traded to the Senators for Steve Hamilton in April 1963.
  • Southpaw Bob Meyer (1939) went 0-3 in seven games, with one start, for the 1964 Yankees. They got him from the Detroit Tigers in May 1960, and sold his contract to the Los Angeles Angels in June 1964. Lefty starter Jeff Johnson (1966) pitched for the Yankees only, and won eight of 24 decisions for the 1991 through 1993 teams that were soon to break out of their doldrums. Jeff was drafted by the club in the sixth round of the 1988 amateur draft, and was released in September 1993.
  • Although he got off to a great start with the Phillies in 2004, lefty starter with the Twins Eric Milton (1975) has developed an unfortunate reputation for allowing the long ball in that town and in Cincinnati. Eric, who was a Yankee farmhand but never played for the parent club, was a Yankee first-round selection (20th pick) in the 1996 amateur draft. Milton was traded with Brian Buchanan, Cristian Guzman, Danny Mota, and cash to the Minnesota Twins for Chuck Knoblauch in February 1998. He was 57-51 with the Twins. The Yanks signed Eric following medical difficulties to a minor-league deal in July 2008, a move that did not pan out.
  • The newest member of the Yankee August 4 birthday club is righthander Domingo German (1992), who was acquired in the trade that brought Nick Evaldi to the Bronx from Miami in 2014. German, who has now made his big-league debut in 2017, with no decisions or saves and a low era in five games as of this writing, was released in December 2015, but re-signed nine days later.
  • Finally, in the Yankee Honorable Mention list are B.J. Surhoff (1964); and Bob Keegan (1920). Surhoff, from Rye, New York, was originally drafted by the Yanks but went unsigned. He was a valuable corner outfielder for the Orioles and Braves for years. Keegan was a 1946 Yankee amateur draft selection whom the Yanks sold to Syracuse in 1952 before he ever appeared on the Stadium mound. Keegan won 40 games and lost 36 for the Chicago White Sox from 1953-1958.
  • Other birthdays: Hall of Fame first baseman for Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis Jake Beckley (1867); Cincinnati righty Dolf Luque (1890), 194-179 from 1914-1935; and Cardinals southpaw Bill Hallahan (1902), 102-94 from 1925-1938. Also: infielder with the White Sox and Tigers from 1940-1953 Don Kolloway (1918); Mets outfielder Cleon Jones (1942); Troy O’Leary (1969); Bobby Howry (1973); Scott Linebrink (1976); Paxton Crawford (1977); Josh Roenicke (1982); Alex Castellanos (1986); Mike Freeman (1987); Hiram Burgos (1987); Brian Ellington (1990); and Orlando Arcia (1994).