Derek Jeter went 1-for-3 and Alex Rodriguez 0-for-2 as Mariano Rivera got five outs while being unscored upon in the All Star Game that took place in old Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008. The American League finally won the 15-inning affair 4-3 on a Michael Young sac fly, but the Yankee fans in the crowd had their most enjoyable moment when Boston’s Jonathan Papelbon, who alienated fans every time he opened his mouth during the three-day extravaganza, blew a potential save in regulation. You read correctly. Yankee fans rooted for the AL, except when the hated Red Sox closer was on the mound.
The phenomenon that was Babe Ruth continued to grow, as he tied his 1919 record of 29 home runs in a season on July 15, 1920, in this, his first Yankee season. The homer was a 13th-inning game winner, and the Yanks beat the Browns, 13-10. He would extend this record shortly.
The Yankees squeaked by the at-the-time World Champion White Sox in the first and third games of a series in the Bronx, but they put the hammer to them in the middle game, a 14-3 drubbing on July 15, 2006. Both Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams doubled twice for three rbi’s apiece, and the Yanks drove Chicago lefty Mark Buehrle from the mound in the home fourth after battering him for eight runs. Johnny Damon homered in the eighth, and Andy Phillips tacked on four runs on a two-run double and a two-run home run in the game’s latter innings.
The Yankee 12-6 win over the Indians on July 15, 1997, is remembered for two reasons. Although the newly acquired Hideki Irabu notched his second win in as many starts, his five-run, nine-hit, five-inning outing failed to impress. And Cecil Fielder tried to score from first on a double and broke his thumb with a head-first slide, an injury that would sideline him for eight weeks. The Yanks won the game on a six-run third inning off Charles Nagy, featuring doubles by Scott Pose and Charlie Hayes, and Tino Martinez‘s three-run home run.
Although it was a 10-7 loss, the Yankees/Royals tilt on July 15, 1990, is memorable to anyone who witnessed it, and particularly to fans of two-sport, baseball/football stars. Bo Jackson hit three home runs in succession, including his career 100th, but then separated his shoulder diving for a line drive off the bat of Yankee Deion Sanders. “Neon Deion” turned that shot into an inside-the-park home run, which remains probably the most exciting play in baseball.
The Bombers trailed the Senators 1-0 on July 15, 1965, until Mickey Mantle tied the game with a fifth-inning homer off Phil Ortega. The Yanks would pull out a 2-1 victory.
In a sloppy 9-3 loss to the Phillies on July 15, 2001, Jorge Posada was charged with three passed balls and Derek Jeter made a critical error. Jimmy Rollins stole his 26th consecutive base in the Philly win.
After falling 7-6 in the first of two to the Red Sox on this day in 1969 on the strength of five straight hits off the bat of Reggie Smith, the Yanks recovered to take the nightcap, 4-1.
Mickey Mantle blasted a three-run home run off Don Mossi in Briggs Stadium on July 15, 1960, but the Tigers rallied to beat the Yanks 8-4.
The New York nightmare known as Edgar Martinez struck yet again on July 15, 1991, as he stroked a single, a double, and a triple in a 5-1 Seattle win over the Yankees.
Chairman of the Board Whitey Ford shut the Orioles out 2-0 on this day in 1964, sending the Bombers into first place.
Lou Gehrig went 4-for-4 with three doubles off Schoolboy Rowe on July 15, 1934, but Detroit prevailed in the game, 8-3.
When the White Sox humiliated the Highlanders in a 15-0 shutout on July 15, 1907, it was the second win over New York by that score that season. It remained the Yankee team record for most runs by an opponent in a shutout, though that total was matched in 1950, once again by the White Sox. All that changed, of course, with the 22-0 loss to the Indians in August 2004.
An ill Mickey Cochrane rejoined the Tigers for a doubleheader in Yankee Stadium on July 15, 1936. Detroit took the first game 5-1, but the Yanks won Game Two 7-4.
Tom Glavine and Roger Clemens allowed six hits apiece in six-plus innings in Yankee Stadium on this day in 1999, but Roger walked five and hit one, and the Braves took a 6-2 victory.
After 2,216 consecutive games at shortstop for the Orioles, Cal Ripken shifted to third base on July 15, 1996.
The Yanks traded outfielder Lee Magee to the Browns for outfielder Armando Marsans on July 15, 1917. Not a very big deal really, as Lee managed 53 rbi’s in 1916 and part of 1917, while Armando recorded 44 in what was left of 1917 and then 1918.
The 1952 Indians had a power-hitting crew, so they took the Yankees by surprise on July 15 when Al Rosen (who scored), Larry Doby (took third), and Luke Easter (swiped second for his only major-league steal) pulled off a triple steal in a 7-3 Cleveland win in Yankee Stadium.
On this day in 1973, Nolan Ryan recorded his second no-hitter of the season, shutting out the Tigers 6-0, and striking out 17. And 72 years earlier 22-year-old Christy Mathewson no-hit St. Louis, 5-0. He saved his own gem as he recovered an Otto Krueger carom off first baseman Chick Ganzel and made the throw for a rare 3-1-3 putout.
A Honus Wagner baseball card netted the top price ($1.1 million) in a baseball memorabilia auction on eBay on July 15, 2001, but the Sultan of Swat got his usual respect as well. Coming in third behind a ball autographed by the entire 1919 “Black Sox” team and the umpires who worked the last game of that fixed World Series ($93,000+), a Babe Ruth autographed ball sold for $76,020.
When umpire Dave Phillips confiscated Albert Belle‘s bat under suspicion of corking on July 15, 1994, teammmate and eventual Yankee bullpenner Jason Grimsley switched the bat after crawling more than 100 feet between floors to gain access to the evidence in the umpires’ room.
When the Yankees placed third baseman Alex Rodriguez on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 8, on July 15, 2011, with a meniscus tear in his right knee, they filled the roster spot by recalling outfielder Greg Golson from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team also assigned righty Kanekoa Texeira to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and signed free agent lefty J.C. Romero. And finally, in a move that would affect the Yankees in the coming months, the Colorado Rockies optioned outfielder Cole Garner to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
The July 15, 1978, highlight featuring one-time Yankee infielder Larry Milbourne could have merited mention due to its strangeness alone, but his three brief stints in Pinstripes a few years away ensured it. Playing for Seattle, Larry homered from each side of the plate in a 7-6 win over Cleveland. Not that strange? Well, these were his only two home runs of that whole year, in almost 100 games, and close to 250 at bats.
And former Yankee mound stalwart Waite Hoyt led the Pirates to a 5-0 blanking of the Braves on July 15, 1934, going the distance in a one-hitter.
Rod Carew tied the major league record when he stole home for the seventh time in the 1969 season on July 15.
Players Who Have Died This Day
None of the three Yankee players who have died on July 15 had a lot of major league experience. The 11 games catcher Eddie Kearse (1968) played for the 1942 Yankees represented his whole career; he went 5-for-26 with no home runs and two rbi’s. Shortstop Tommy McMillan (1966) ended a 1908-1912 career playing 41 games for the 1912 Highlanders; he went 34-for-149, cleared no fences, and knocked in 12. Stints in Brooklyn and Cincinnati were homerless too, but increased the rbi total to 54. Claud Derrick (1974) played shortstop too, and around the infield. He hit his lone career home run and notched seven rbi’s in 23 games for the 1913 Yankees. Playing for the A’s from 1910-1912 and for the Reds and White Sox in 1914, he upped the rbi total to 33.
The first of two noteworthy nonYankee players to pass this day was righthander Tully Sparks (1937), who did most of his pitching from 1897-1910 for the Phillies, to a 121-136 record with eight saves. Third baseman Johnny Vergez (1991) hit 52 long balls and drove in 292 runs from 1931-1936, mostly with the Giants, but with the Phillies and the Cardinals too.
Players Born This Day
The unlucky Anthony Claggett (1984) became the newest addition to the Yankee July 15 birthday list when he took the ball from Chien-Ming Wang in a 22-4 Indians destruction of the Yankees in the new Stadium in April 2009. He got five outs, but returned to AAA with a 43.2 era.
Backup infielder Wilson Delgado (1972), who landed with the Mets in 2004, is one of five Yankees with July 15 birthdays. Delgado played 31 games in the New York infield in 2000, and he did hit a home run while here. The Yanks got him from the Giants for Juan Melo in March 2000, and shipped him to Kansas City for minor-leaguer Nick Ortiz that August.
Outfielder Jake Powell (1908) sandwiched two stints in Washington around his 1936-1940 stay in the Bronx, during which time he contributed 18 home runs and 124 rbi’s. The Yanks got Jake from the Senators in June 1936 for Ben Chapman.
Catcher Bubbles Hargrove (1892) finished his career with the Bombers while playing 45 games in 1930 after serving 16 years in Cinncy. He notched 12 Yankee rbi’s. Hargrove got the start in the first 1930 game in Yankee Stadium over Bill Dickey, in a lefty/righty switch.
And last, switch-hitting first baseman Dan McGann (1871) drove in 42 runs for the 1902 Baltimore Orioles, the franchise that would fold its tent and relocate to New York as the Highlanders the next year. Dan jumped from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Orioles before the 1902 season.
Other birthdays: 1969 home-run hero for the Mets Donn Clendenon (1935); Cardinals outfielder Mike Shannon (1939), who hit 68 homers with 367 rbi’s from 1962-1970; Kurt Manwaring (1965); Scott Livingstone (1965); Tim Harikkala (1971); James Baldwin (1971); Miguel Olivo (1978); Chris DeNorfia (1980); Reggie Abercrombie (1980); Fernando Nieve (1982); Ryan Wagner (1982); Brandon Gomes (1984); and David Carpenter (1985).