July 28, 2018, was a win-win in Yankee Stadium, as J.A. Happ, activated that day and making his Yankee debut, struck out nine Rangers in six strong innings in a 7-3 win. The offense was doubly delightful, with two-run homers from Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andujar, and two singleton shots off the bat of Neil Walker.
Both Marco Estrada and Masahiro Tanaka allowed three hits through six in the Sunday, August 9, 2015, game in Yankee Stadium, only two of Toronto’s were Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista homers in a 2-0 Yankee loss. The same two guys had homered in the Friday night 2-1 Blue Jays win, and the home team scored just one run in losing all three games that weekend.
The third of Brett Gardner‘s three singles (with a walk) plated Jayson Nix with the 4-3 game winner over the Tigers in Yankee Stadium in 10 innings on August 9, 2013. Ivan Nova went seven strong, but in a rare occurrence, Mariano Rivera blew the save on a two-run home run from a hobbling Miguel Cabrera. This represented Alex Rodriguez‘s first 2013 game in Yankee Stadium, but he struggled with three strike outs and a fly to right.
Brandon McCarthy pitched well yet again against Cleveland on August 9, 2014, but not nearly as well as Corey Kluber, who struck out 10 pinstripers through six innings. An early two-run home run from shortstop Jose Ramirez (who hit just two for the year) and a late singleton from Michael Brantley were more than enough for the 3-0 Indians win.
An ex-Yankee extracted revenge on August 9, 2011, as the Yanks faced the Angels in the stadium. Bobby Abreu‘s leadoff home run in the sixth inning off A. J. Burnett tied the score 1-1 and ushered in a four-run rally, but the Yanks responded with a game-tying three runs in the seventh, crowned by Derek Jeter‘s two-run single. But Abreu was not done, and his two-run home run off Mariano Rivera in the ninth gave Anaheim a 6-4 victory.
The Yankees completed a four-game sweep of the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium on August 9, 2009, in a pitcher’s duel between John Lester and Andy Pettitte, a scoreless battle until Alex Rodriguez homered leading off the bottom of the seventh off the Boston lefty. But Victor Martinez homered for two runs off Phil Coke in the top of the eighth. Then back-to-back, one-out home runs by Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira off Daniel Bard carried the day in a 5-2 Yankee victory. Actor Kurt Russell was pictured in the crowd on the scoreboard and identified as Snake Plissken.
Unfortunately, John Lester had his revenge one year later, outdueling Phil Hughes in a 2-1 Boston win in the Bronx on August 9, 2010. The Yanks loaded the bases against the southpaw with none down in the seventh on a Jorge Posada single, Marcus Thames double, and hit by pitch, but Lester then struck out the side. Mark Teixeira homered off Daniel Bard in the eighth, leaving the Yanks one run short.
On August 9, 2001, Joe Torre was enraged when baseball discipline honcho Frank Robinson issued a six-game suspension to Yankees lefty Ted Lilly for having hit the Angels’ Scott Spiezio in the head with an errant curve ball the Sunday before, even though the umpires in charge on the day of the game saw no reason to eject Lilly.
On August 9, 1997, the Yanks eked out a win over Brad Radke and the Twins, 4-1, snapping Radke’s 12-game winning streak. Luis Sojo‘s two-run blast in the eighth was the big blow.
Scott Brosius got the Yanks started with a second-inning home run on August 9, 1998, but Bernie Williams was the offensive hero with two singles, two rbi’s, and a sac fly in a 5-4 win over the Royals in Yankee Stadium.
As the pitching wheel turned, the Yankees activated righthander Chad Gaudin and designated veteran righty Josh Towers for assignment on August 9, 2009.
Although I might not have admitted it at the time, you had to suspect the White Sox had something special going when on August 9, 2005, they swamped the Yanks 2-1 in the middle of a sweep in Yankee Stadium on the strength of intimidating pitching and stellar defense. Jose Contreras bested a game Shawn Chacon when Tadahito Taguchi reached the Yankee righty for a fourth-inning home run. Paul Konerko‘s ninth-inning bomb off Alan Embree was the difference, making Alex Rodriguez‘s leadoff homer in the bottom half too little too late.
After a sparkling 11-1 record pitching for the Yankees in 1939, it was a disappointment when Steve Sundra didn’t win his first tilt of the 1940 season until August 9, in a 2-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Athletics in Yankee Stadium. Following a 4-6, 1940 campaign, the Yanks would sell Sundra to Washington the following spring.
On August 9, 2004, the Pinstripers lost a squeaker in Yankee Stadium to the Blue Jays, 5-4. Newly acquired Esteban Loaiza allowed all five runs over six frames, but one scored in the second when both Kenny Lofton in right field and Enrique Wilson at second made errors on a Reed Johnson single. Scott Proctor, C.J. Nitkowski, Tom Gordon, and Paul Quantrill blanked Toronto over the final three as Bernie Williams and Hideki Matsui two-run bombs closed the gap, but the ninth-inning rally that featured the second blast fell short.
As touched upon in the 2018 win atop this column, the Yankees activated southpaw J.A. Happ from the 10-day disabled list this day, creating space for him by optioning righthander Chance Adams to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
On August 9, 2016, the Yankees signed free agent lefthander Tommy Layne, and claimed righthander Blake Parker off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. The club also optioned lefty Richard Bleier to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
The Yankees addressed three areas on August 9, 2014, placing catcher Brian McCann on the 7-day disabled list, with a concussion, and recalling backstop Austin Romine from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders; releasing second baseman Brian Roberts, and signing free agent third baseman Scott Sizemore to a minor league contract; and finally optioning righthanded reliever Matt Daley to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The 1901 Baltimore Orioles, the franchise that would relocate to New York and become the Highlanders 18 months later, split two games with the Boston Red Sox on August 9, falling 6-2 after their 11-9 first-game victory. They would also lose third baseman Jack Dunn for a week after he was knocked out on a foul ball off his own bat.
It was, and is, a disappointment to all Yankee fans from the early nineties that the words “flash in the pan” really did apply to 1992 rookie pitcher Sam Militello. Sam won his debut on August 9, 1992, in about as fine a fashion as possible when he shut out the Red Sox, 6-0. But he soon thereafter succumbed to injuries and his career was short-circuited.
Pittsburgh Pirate lefty John Candelaria no-hit the Dodgers 2-0 on August 9, 1976. To do it he had to survive a bases-loaded scare in the third inning. I noted later in his career when the Candy Man was with the Yanks that on any given day he could be virtually unhittable.
On August 9, 1978, the Yanks mounted a five-run rally in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Brewers, 8-7.
The Yanks were honored to be a part of a record when, on August 9, 1999, five grand slams were hit on the same day for the first time ever. Bernie Williams hit one of the five in a 12-8 victory in Oakland where the Yanks used an eight-run inning early to take the lead. They withstood a furious A’s comeback on the strength of singleton home runs from Ricky Ledee, Chuck Knoblauch, and Derek Jeter. Ramiro Mendoza got the Yankee win in relief of an ineffective Hideki Irabu.
After giving the Yanks a real boost toward the Wild Card in 1995, Ruben Sierra chafed against management in 1996 and was traded to Detroit for Cecil Fielder. Sierra got a little taste of revenge for the move, as he knocked in all five runs on this day in 1996 in a 5-3 win by the Tigers over the Yankees.
When the St. Louis Browns beat the Yankees 3-2 in New York on August 9, 1944, it marked their second nine-game win streak of the season. They would follow with their only AL pennant before the franchise would be moved to Baltimore nine years later.
Baseball between brothers: After going hitless in four trips against the Yanks’ Vic Raschi, Dom DiMaggio looked a lock to extend his 34-game hitting streak with a sinking liner to center on August 9, 1949, but brother Joe DiMaggio speared the shot and ended the streak. Dom, whose Red Sox beat the Yankees 6-3 this day, started his streak after going hitless against Raschi the last time he faced him.
On August 9, 1987, it was the second time in three weeks that catcher Rick Cerone was pressed into service as a relief pitcher. As in his first appearance, he gave up a walk but no runs, in a 15-4 Yankees’ loss to the Tigers.
Yankee 2003 ALCS hero Aaron Boone blasted three home runs in a Reds 12-10 defeat of the Padres on August 9, 2002. He stroked the first two during the nine-run first inning.
Felipe Alou‘s leadoff home run off Sandy Koufax in the Braves’ 3-1 win over the Dodgers on August 9, 1966 is the first of two additional highlights this day featuring one-time Yankee players. The other one is a minor-league item, as one-time Yankee bench player Bubba Trammell went 4-for-7 with four home runs and five rbi’s in the Toledo Mud Hens’ 11-10 win over Richmond in 13 innings on this day in 1997.
Satchel Paige, who carved most of his legendary career toiling in the Negro Leagues, was one of seven Hall of Fame inductees on August 9, 1971.
Righthander Ed Klepfer (1950) used to barely win out in seniority among the three Yankee players who have died on August 9. Ed debuted in 10 games (one start) with the 1911, 1913 Yankees with a loss, but no wins or saves. Playing with the White Sox and the Indians from 1915-1919, he finished with a career mark of 22-17 with three saves. Third baseman Hank Majeski (1991) went 1-for-12 with no home runs or rbi’s in eight games with the 1946 Yankees. In a 1939-1955 career spent mostly with the A’s and the Indians, he hit 57 home runs and drove in 501 runs. Outfielder Danny Walton (2017) played but five games for the 1971 Yankees in a nine-year career between 1968 through 1980 spent mostly with the Brewers, the Twins, and the Astros. He hit one home run with two rbi’s for the Yanks, numbers that increase to 28 and 107 all told. However, leaping to the top of the games played for the Yanks list now is infielder John Kennedy (2018), who played 78 games for the 1967 Yankees, in which he hit one home run and drove in 17. His overall numbers in a career that included two brief stops, along with playing with the Senators from 1962 through ’64, 1965-66 with the Dodgers, and 1970-74 with the Red Sox are 32 long balls and 185 rbi’s.
Among noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day are switch-hitting shortstop Billy Rogell (2003), who hit most of his 42 home runs good for 609 rbi’s from 1925-1940 with the Tigers; and lefty-hitting catcher Glenn Myatt (1969), who cleared 38 fences and drove in 387 runs from 1920-1936, largely with the Indians. Of the remaining players, there is a lefty-hitting outfielder, a lefty-hitting third baseman, and third baseman/oufielder Joe Evans (1953), who hit three long balls with 210 rbi’s from 1915-1925 with Cleveland. Outfielder Duff Cooley (1937) hit 26 roundtrippers and knocked in 557 runs from 1893-1905 with the Browns, the Phillies, and the Beaneaters; and third sacker Harry Lord (1948) went yard 14 times from 1907-1915, driving in most of his 294 runs for the White Sox and the Red Sox. New to this category is shortstop Johnny Logan (2013), who played most of his games from 1951 to 1963 with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves, during which time he hit 93 home runs and drove in 547 runs. Also new is righthander Glen Hobbie (2013), who played primarily with the Cubs from 1962 through 1981. Glen won 61, lost 82, and saved six games.
Players Who Have Died This Day
There are eight Yankee August 9 birthdays, including the Major, Ralph Houk (1919), who managed the team twice and also was a catcher for the Yanks, the only team for which he played in 91 games from 1947 to 1954.
In no particular order, the others are: shortstop Johnny Mitchell (1894), with two rbi’s over 17 games in 1921-22. Mitchell was traded by the Yankees with Chick Fewster, Elmer Miller, Lefty O’Doul, and cash to the Boston Red Sox for Joe Dugan and Elmer Smith in July 1922.
Fred Sanford (1919) went 12-10 for the 1949 through 1951 teams once the Yanks got him with Roy Partee from the St. Louis Browns in December 1948 for Sherm Lollar, Red Embree, Dick Starr, and cash. The Yanks shipped Sanford with Tom Ferrick and Bob Porterfield to the Washington Senators for Bob Kuzava in June 1951.
Eli Grba (1934) went 8-9 with one save in 1961-1963. The Yanks got him from the Red Sox before the 1959 season but lost him to the Los Angeles Angels in the 1960 expansion draft.
Southpaw Paul Lindblad (1941) posted no record in seven games for the ’78 club; he was purchased from the Texas Rangers in August 1978, and was moved by the Yanks to the Seattle Mariners three months later. Linblad pitched from 1965-1978, mostly with the K.C. Royals, to a 68-63 record with 64 saves.
Backstop Jerry Moses (1946), with three rbi’s in 21 games in 1973, follows. He arrived from Cleveland with Graig Nettles in the November 1972 trade for John Ellis, Jerry Kenney, Charlie Spikes, and Rusty Torres. Moses was sent to Detroit as part of a three-team trade in March 1974 that saw the Yanks receive Rick Sawyer and Walt Williams from the Indians and Ed Farmer from Detroit.
Lefty reliever Dale Polley‘s (1965) 1-3 mark in 32 games in 1996 was his only major league experience. He was signed as a free agent by the Yankees in December 1995, and was released the following October.
Lastly, two-sport star Deion Sanders (1967), with five homers and 16 rbi’s in 1989 and 1990, was drafted by New York in the 30th round of the 1988 amateur draft, and was released in September 1990.
Other birthdays: Cardinals second baseman Julian Javier (1936); Claude Osteen (1939), 196-195 with the Reds, the Senators, and mostly the Dodgers from 1957-1975; Tommie Agee (1942); Bill Campbell (1948); Ted Simmons (1949); Troy Percival (1969); Pat Mahomes (1970); Scott Karl (1971); Jeff Zimmerman (1972); Juan Alvarez (1973); Matt Morris (1974); Mike Lamb (1975), who flirted with Yankee-ness when signed as a free agent after Aaron Boone‘s 2003 offseason injury but before the trade that solidified third base in the Bronx in the person of Alex Rodriguez; Brian Fuentes (1975); Jason Fraser (1977); Drew Butera (1983); Graham Godfrey (1984); Jason Heyward (1989); Steven Moya (1991); and Brendan Rodgers (1996).
Players Born This Day