In the middle of a three-game sweep of the pinstripers on August 8, 2015, the Blue Jays trotted out their newest acquisition, southpaw David Price — the addition to the team that sparked their late surge to the Division title — to the mound, and he did not disappoint, allowing three hits and no runs through seven in a 6-0 win. Sadly, Ivan Nova gamely matched him into the sixth when, with one down, he allowed a walk, single, walk, and Justin Smoak grand slam home run.
Ten the hard way, that is one way to describe the Yankee win over Cleveland in the stadium on August 8, 2014. Quietly but rudely welcoming young Trevor Bauer to the Bronx, the home team put together four singles and three walks in the first inning to score five, with Derek Jeter‘s one-out single that started it tying him with Honus Wagner with his 3,430th career hit. Then once the Tribe closed the margin to 5-2 in the sixth, a Carlos Beltran grand slam keyed a second five-run rally. The latter outburst was sufficient to cash in a 10-6 win despite a four-run Indians rally in the seventh, largely off David Huff and Shawn Kelley.
With Dustin Moseley subbing at the last minute for A.J. Burnett, the Yanks used a five-run fifth inning off Josh Beckett to beat the Red Sox 7-2 in the ESPN Sunday night game on August 8, 2010. Lance Bergman had three hits, scored two runs, and knocked in one, and Derek Jeter celebrated his second-inning rbi single that pushed him past Babe Ruth in total hits by doubling off the right center field wall off Beckett for two more runs in the fifth.
On August 8, 2000, the Yankees came through with a lightning, two-pitch, two-homer, two-run bottom of the ninth for a come-from-behind victory. Bernie Williams went yard, then David Justice, both off Jason Isringhausen, denying Barry Zito and the A’s a victory. The Yanks won, 4-3. It was also Luis Sojo‘s first game in his return to the Yanks. During Luis’s first ab in the second he went the other way on a perfect hit and run single, sending Scott Brosius to third, from where he would score the Bombers’ only pre-ninth-inning earned run of the day.
On August 8, 1995, in the first of two stints in Pinstripes, Yankee Ruben Sierra singled, doubled, and homered and drove in seven runs in an 11-4 Yankee win over the Orioles. Sierra was a huge bat in the Yanks’ successful stretch run in that year’s Wild Card race.
It was yet another Yankee win over the Red Sox when CC Sabathia bested Clay Buccholz and Boston 5-0 in Yankee Stadium on August 8, 2009. Robbie Cano had three hits, and Derek Jeter contributed a two-ru home run.
The Yankees swept two from the White Sox on August 8, 1953, behind lefties Whitey Ford and Bob Kuzava, 1-0 and 3-0 respectively. In the latter tilt Kuzava surrendered only one hit, a double in the ninth inning.
The largest day game crowd to ever attend Comiskey Park (48,000-plus), witnessed southpaw Billy Pierce four-hit the Yankees on August 8, 1960, 9-1. He faced only 31 batters in the complete-game win.
The Yankees played to radically different outcomes 100 years apart on August 8, most recently winning 8-2 over the Blue Jays in 2004. Bernie Williams blasted a first-inning grand slam off Miguel Battista to ease Jon Lieber on his way and two-run extra-base hits from John Olerud (a double) and Gary Sheffield (a home run) closed it out.
The New York Highlanders did not have nearly as good a day one hundred years earlier in Hilltop Park on August 8, 1904. Down to the Cleveland Blues 7-1, Dave Fultz and Manager Clark Griffith were tossed by home plate ump Silk O’Loughlin for arguing a called strike. Both were removed by police after refusing to go to the bench, and the Bombers fell 9-1. O’Loughlin would toss Jack Powell and have the police remove Jimmy Williams the following day, making himself no friends in New York.
A far bigger crowd witnessed the Indians take two from the Yanks on this day in 1948. In the opener, an ailing Lou Boudreau pinch-hit a bases-loaded, seventh-inning, game-tying single, and Satchel Paige got the 8-6 win out of the pen. And Steve Gromek outdueled Yankee rookie Bob Porterfield, who was making his debut, in the 2-1 Tribe win in Game Two in front of more than 73,000.
The Yankees honored Ron Guidry this month in 2003, and in the last few days I have reported ceremonies they’ve held in the past in honor of two of “Louisiana Lightning’s” teammates, Lou Piniella and Bobby Murcer. It was long-time Manager Casey Stengel‘s turn on August 8, 1970. During the festivities, Casey’s number 37 was retired. In the game that followed Mike Kekich allowed third-inning home runs to Boog Powell and Merv Rettenmund, and Dave McNally cashed in a 4-2 Baltimore win.
When Dave Nelson of Texas led off the Rangers/Yankees game on August 8, 1973, with a bunt single, Yankee starter Fritz Peterson injured himself trying to field it. Peterson had left a game four days earlier after one inning, only to have bullpen stalwart Lindy McDaniel pick up the slack and go 13 innings for the win. When Fritz reinjured himself on this day’s fielding attempt, it was reliever Fred Beene‘s turn. And he turned in a remarkable performance once he replaced Peterson, allowing only four hits while pitching nine innings. Gene Michael‘s two-run single in the ninth got Beene the win, 3-2.
Shuffling righthanders in the bullpen, the Yankees designated Matt Daley for assignment on August 8, 2014, and recalled Bryan Mitchell from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to fill the spot.
A key injury to a Yankee infielder that lasted a lot longer than initially expected was finally healed when Robinson Cano returned from the disabled list on August 7, 2006. But Miguel Cairo was lost to a severe hamstring pull on that same day.
On August 8, 1972, the Yankees signed a 30-year lease with the City of New York once the City agreed to make some renovations, an agreement that led to the shuttering of Yankee Stadium for renovations in 1974 and 1975, as the Yankees shared Shea Stadium with the Mets.
Bobby Burke was a little-known lefthander for the Senators, but on August 7, 1931, he threw a 5-0 no-hitter against Boston.
Even though Yankee hurler Tiny Bonham (nothing diminutive about him) lost in his major league debut, 4-1, to the Red Sox on this day in 1940, it was the start of something big, as he finished the season with the Yanks with a 9-3 record, boasting of 10 complete games, three shutouts, and an era of 1.90.
On August 8, 2016, the Yankees sent righthander Bryan Mitchell on a rehab assignment to the Charleston RiverDogs.
On August 8, 2013, the Yankees sent third baseman Brent Lillibridge outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
The Highlanders (Yankees) got third baseman Fritz Maisel from Baltimore (of the International League) for third baseman Ezra Midkiff and outfielder Bert Daniels on this day in 1913. Fritz would earn and hold the Yankee season stolen base record for more than 70 years until Rickey Henderson broke it.
When the Tigers blanked the Yanks 1-0 on this day in 1920, the contestants set the record for shortest game in AL history (for a game that went the full nine innings) at 73 minutes long.
When the Yankees wanted to give veteran Josh Towers and his arm a look on August 8, 2009, they had to make a double transaction move, first transferring southpaw Damaso Marte from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster, then optioning righty Mark Melancon to AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre to clear a spot on the 25.
When the Yankees recalled righty starter Ian Kennedy from AAA Scranton Wilkes/Barre on August 8, 2008, nothing particularly good came of it. They optioned yo-yo-ing righty Chris Britton to AAA to make room.
Designated Hitter Paul Molitor showed off two talents on August 8, 1998, as he had five hits and purloined his 500th base in a 6-3 loss to the Orioles. He was the sixth player to record 500 stolen bases and 3,000 hits.
The ever-active 2005 Yankees transaction wire saw some activity on August 8, as they exchanged infielders with AAA Columbus, recalling Felix Escalona and optioning Andy Phillips back to the minor leagues.
During a Kansas City 8-1 win over Boston on this day in 1989, former Yankee catcher Rick Cerone started the game behind the plate, then later moved to right field for the first time in his career.
And in the first of two other August 8 highlights affecting future or former Yankee players, when Frank Howard and Moose Skowron stroked back-to-back pinch-hit home runs in a 5-4 Dodgers loss to the Cubs on this day in 1963, it was just the second time that that had ever occurred. And when Seattle’s Randy Johnson struck out 19 in a 5-0 five-hitter over the White Sox on August 8, 1997, he became the first pitcher to ever achieve that K number twice in the same year.
Hall of Fame Manager and catcher Wilbert Robinson passed away on August 8, 1934. Before leading the 1916 and 1920 Brooklyn clubs to the NL Pennant, “Uncle Robbie” managed the 1902 Baltimore Orioles club that would relocate to New York as the Highlanders the following season. Robinson served as a catcher in Baltimore in 1901 and 1902, with one home run and 83 rbi’s. He hit 18 long balls with 722 runs driven in during his career. Ironically, the only other Yankee to have died August 8 also owes his “Yankeeness” to an early Baltimore Orioles stint, second baseman Billy Gilbert (1927), who played 129 games with that 1902 team. He hit two home runs with 38 rbi’s, numbers that grew to five and 237 after a 1901-1909 career spent largely with the Giants.
Of the four noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day, even though second baseman/shortstop Gene Mauch (2005) would not make the list due to his five long balls and 62 runs driven in with Brooklyn, the Cubs, the Braves, and the Red Sox from 1944-1957, he is listed here because of his long career as a manager. Lefthander Howie Pollet (1974) posted most of his 131-116 record with 20 saves from 1941-1956 with the Cardinals; and lefty-hitting outfielder Harry Walker (1999) cleared 10 fences good for 214 rbi’s from 1940-1955, mostly with St. Louis. The newest entrant on this list, catcher Red Wilson (2014) poked 24 homers and drove in 189 playing mostly for the Tigers and the White Sox from 1951 through 1960.
Players Who Have Died This Day
I’ll list Frank Howard (1936) with the Yankee August 8 birthdays, even though the gentle giant only coached in the Bronx. Frank hit nearly 400 homers in 16 seasons, mostly with the Senators and the Dodgers.
A relatively new Yankee to the fold who showed a lot of promise is hard-throwing righty Ross Ohlendorf (1982). Acquired from the Diamondbacks in the trade for Randy Johnson, Ross got his start in the Yankee pen in late 2007 (six games) and in the playoffs (one game). Pressed into the long-man role in the 2008 pen, Ohlendorf initially flourished, then struggled. It seemed obvious his future would be as a starter, something Pittsburgh allowed Russ to do since they got him from the Yanks in late 2008. A year lost to injury and lots of losses ended Ohlendorf’s stay in Pittsburgh, and he was recently seen pitching for the 2012 Padres, then the 2013 Nationals, latched on with the Rangers in 2015, and with the Reds in ’16.
We’ll lead off the five other Yankee birthdays with who was until 2008 the most recent: Lefty Ray Fontenot (1957) went 16-11 for the Yanks during the 1983-1984 seasons once he was acquired in the October 1979 trade from the Texas Rangers that sent Mickey Rivers to Texas for Oscar Gamble. Fontenot was in turn traded with Brian Dayett to the Chicago Cubs for Porfi Altamirano, Rich Bordi, Henry Cotto, and Ron Hassey in December 1984. After two years with the Cubbies and one with the Twins, Ray finished up with a 25-26 mark.
Lefty outfielder Jose Cruz (1947) finished his career with the Yankees (as did the two hurlers that follow) by stroking one homer with seven rbi’s during 38 games in the Bronx in 1988. The Yankees signed Jose, father of the Blue Jays, Devil Rays, and Arizona Diamondbacks, etc., outfielder, Jose Cruz, Jr., as a free agent in February 1988, and released him that July.
After playing 18 years in St. Louis and Houston, Marlin Stuart (1918) spent six years in the AL, culminating with his 1954 stint in New York, for whom he went 4-2 with three saves. The Yanks lost Marlin on waivers to the Baltimore Orioles in July of that year, but he tossed his last big game with the Yanks.
Ken Holloway (1897) capped his nine years with Detroit and Cleveland by posting no wins or losses during 16 games for the 1930 Yankees. The Bombers purchased Holloway’s contract from the Indians in June 1930. Holloway’s career mark: 64-52.
And this last guy never actually played for the Yankees. Lefty thrower Gary Timberlake (1948) posted no record in two games with the 1969 Seattle Pilots. Gary was drafted by the Yankees in the second round of the 1966 amateur draft before being lost to Cincinnati in the 1968 expansion draft.
Other birthdays: Southpaw Ken Raffensberger (1917), who went 119-154 with the Phillies and the Reds from 1938-1954; Cecil Travis (1913); Mike Ivie (1952); Ron Karkovice (1963); John Hudek (1966); Matt Whiteside (1967); Brian Sanches (1978); Humberto Quintero (1979); Craig Breslow (1980); Matthew Brown (1982); Donny Lucy (1982); Blake Wood (1985); Greg Garcia (1989); Anthony Rizzo (1989); and Yandy Diaz (1991).
Players Born This Day