Great games, featuring great players — what fan can resist them? Al Downing fell behind the Twins in the first 1-0 on the strength of a Harmon “Killer” Killebrew home run on July 25, 1967. Twins starter Jim Kaat held the Yankees scoreless until, with two outs in the ninth, Mickey Mantle went yard on a 457-foot shot, and the game was rained out with the score, 1-1. The replay was won by the Yankees on August 18, 1-0.
July 25, 1961, just one more stop on the M&M trail. Roger Maris went yard for the 37th, 38th, 39th, and 40th times on the season during a doubleheader sweep over the White Sox, 5-1 and 12-0. Mickey Mantle hit his 38th home run off Frank Baumann in the first game.
Freddy Garcia pitched into the eighth inning in a 10-3 Yankees win over Seattle on a rain-delayed Monday night (first pitch, 9:02) in the Bronx on July 25, 2011. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira both homered and knocked in three runs, and southpaw Steve Garrison made his major league debut wearing Pinstripes when he got the last two outs in the ninth.
Derek Jeter led the way in the 12-6 win the Bombers fashioned over Kansas City in Yankee Stadium on July 25, 2010, with three hits, a walk, an rbi, and two runs scored. Strangely, the Yanks battered righty Sean O’Sullivan for five runs in five innings, despite having fallen to the same pitcher a week earlier when he was a member of the Anaheim Angels. The Royals deliberately traded for him based on that outing and their coming trip to New York, but it didn’t work out. Curtis Granderson scored three runs and knocked in two on two hits, the same number of safeties Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano had as well. Phil Hughes pitched into the sixth for the win.
Yankee fans looked to be in for a magical afternoon on July 25, 2009, having won eight straight, and they finally edged ahead of the A’s 1-0 in Yankee Stadium when Brett Gardner tripled in Derek Jeter in the home sixth. But stingy until then, Andy Pettitte surrendered six hits and a walk to the next nine batters, and the Yanks fell 6-4 despite Jeter and Mark Teixeira home runs in the eighth.
July 25 marked the date of the Old Timers Day festivities in 1998, and Jim Bouton was welcomed back for the first time in 28 years, since the publishing of Ball Four. Bouton was invited back after his son had suggested it in a Father’s Day Op-Ed piece in The New York Times. In the game that followed, Hideki Irabu had a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde performance. He retired 15 of 16 White Sox batters through innings one to four and during the sixth, but allowed singles to the first three batters in the fifth and the first four in the seventh in a 6-2 loss to Bill Sirotka and the White Sox.
The Hall of Fame lists July 25, 1966, as the date of former Yankee Manager Casey Stengel‘s induction.
Cementing his rep for not being able to handle the Red Sox during his pressure-packed stay in New York, former Cuban defector Jose Contreras squandered the 2-0 lead his teammates gave him in a July 25, 2004 contest in Fenway Park. Two walks and two hits netted the Sox a first-inning tie, and they scored four more in the second on Johnny Damon and Mark Bellhorn home runs in an eventual 9-6 Red Sox win.
A great place for a rookie and an unknown pitcher to make their name (if they throw with their left arm) is on the big stage at Yankee Stadium. First-year Kansas City southpaw Jose Rosado blanked the Yankees 7-0 on four hits in the Bronx on July 25, 1996, for his first major league win.
Name your cliche. I’ll take, “Every dog has his day.” Yankee left fielder Ricky Ledee struck out swinging three times against Indians righty Bartolo Colon on a mere 12 pitches in a July 25, 1999 contest in Yankee Stadium. The game stood at 1-1 through seven on Derek Jeter‘s fourth-inning home run off Colon and Manny Ramirez‘s rbi single against Roger Clemens that scored Kenny Lofton in the sixth. But Ledee blasted Ricardo Rincon‘s 1-1 pitch over the right field wall with one down in the bottom of the ninth to send 55,000 paying customers (OK, 54,944) home happy.
The Highlanders had a 3-2 lead on the Tigers until an eighth-inning Ty Cobb triple plated two on July 25, 1908. New York Manager Kid Elberfeld then swapped pitcher Jack Chesbro and first baseman Hal Chase to face lefty Claude Rossman, reversing them to their usual roles for the next batter after a sac fly scored Cobb. It was a 5-3 New York loss in Chase’s only pitching appearance in a 15-year career.
Second baseman Randy Velarde stroked a home run and four singles in an 8-1 win over the Royals on July 25, 1995.
The Yanks took two from the White Sox on this day in 1948, 5-3 and 7-3, behind the offense supplied by Joe DiMaggio, who had six hits on the day. His Game Two triple and two doubles drove in three.
With interim manager Dick Howser having suffered a loss in his one-day 1978 stint on the bench after replacing Billy Martin on July 24, Bob Lemon took over the reins on July 25, and the Yanks posted a 4-0 win over Kansas City behind Ron Guidry.
Outfielder Buck Freeman and shortstop Freddy Parent stroked two doubles apiece and the Pilgrims hit seven all together in a 7-5 win over the New York Highlanders on July 25, 1903.
In his first start for the Highlanders, “The Curveless Wonder” Al Orth matched zeroes with Yip Owen of the White Sox until New York outfielder Patsy Dougherty and Willie Keeler collaborated on a run in the bottom of the ninth. Dougherty tripled and Keeler got one through the drawn-in infield for the 1-0 New York win on July 25, 1904.
In a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Browns on July 25, 1939, Yankee rookie Atley Donald remained unbeaten, and extended his record to 12-0.
Babe Ruth‘s 35th homer of the year keyed the Yanks’ 8-2 win over the Red Sox on July 25, 1920, despite the triple play turned by Boston.
On July 25, 2011, the Yankees signed a drafteee, third baseman Matthew Duran.
George Brett, Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan, and Orlando Cepeda were inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 25, 1999.
As part of the pregame ceremonies to a game in San Diego on July 25, 1990, comedienne Roseanne Barr made no new fans in a screeching rendition of the National Anthem. Her reaction to the crowd’s displeasure did not help matters.
When Steve Carlton outdueled the Dodgers and Jerry Reuss 1-0 on this day in 1982, it was his 50th career shutout.
In a repeat of a catastrophic injury at first base that befalls someone defending that bag every 10 years or so, Moose Skowron had his arm broken in two places as he reached into the path of Tiger baserunner Coot Veale to catch an errant throw on July 25, 1959. Marv Throneberry replaced the out-for-the-year Skowron at first. The Yanks won the game on a ninth inning two-run homer by Yogi Berra, 9-8.
We have two July 25 highlights featuring future or former Yankee players. First, Long Tom Hughes teamed with Walter Johnson and Joe Engel in setting a record when among them they struck out Browns pitcher Carl Weilman six times in the same game on this day in 1913. And when the Braves beat the Pirates 1-0 on July 25, 1992, they did so while garnering just one hit off Danny Jackson, a second-inning home run by David Justice.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Lefthanded outfielder Mike Chartak (1967), who debuted with the 1940, 1942 Yankees, is the only guy who played for the team to have died on July 25. In 16 games, Chartak went 2-for-17, hit no homers, but drove in three runs. Playing mostly for the Browns from 1942-1944, with a brief ’42 stop with the Senators, he finished up with 21 long balls and 98 rbi’s.
Switch-hitting righthander Ted Lyons (1986) is one of three noteworthy nonYankee players to die July 25. He pitched for the White Sox only from 1923-1946, to a 260-230-23 record. Outfielder Frank Welch(1957)hit most of his 41 home runs with 295 rbi’s from 1919-1927 with the Philly A’s; and catcher Chief Meyers (1971) cleared 14 fences good for 363 runs driven in with the Giants from 1909-1915, the Dodgers in 1916 and 1917, and the Braves in 1917 too.
Players Born This Day
The Yankee family of July 25 birthdays expanded from three to four when the team traded Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera for Expos starter Javier Vazquez (1976) before the 2004 season. Javy had a 64-68 in Montreal from 1998-2003, and evened it at .500 with his 14-10 in the Bronx in 2004. He was the principal in the trade for southpaw Randy Johnson before the 2005 season. Vazquez failed to do well in a second Yankee stint in 2010, and was signed by Florida in 2011.
I would celebrate the birthday of 1986 Yankee rookie Doug Drabek (1962) more vigorously, but for the painful memory. After a 7-8, first-year mark with the Yanks, he was traded to the Pirates in the offseason in one of the moves that solidified the Yanks’ 1980s rep for trading away young pitching talent for small (or no) gain. Actually a White Sox 1983 no. 1 selection, the Yanks got Doug in June 1983 for Roy Smalley. But going for the vet over the kid, they traded him in November 1986 with Logan Easley and Brian Fisher for Pittsburgh’s Rick Rhoden, Cecilio Guante, and Pat Clements. Comparing the principals, Rhoden went 28-22 in two years in Pinstripes, while Drabek would post a lifetime 155-134 win/loss record and cop a Cy Young Award to boot.
Light-hitting middle infielder Torey Lovullo (1965) hit .176 with two rbi’s in 22 games for the 1991 Yankees once they traded Mark Leiter to the Detroit Tigers for him that March. Torey was granted free agency in October 1992.
We round out the list with a guy who never played with the Yanks, as lefthander Mickey Scott (1947), a 17th round 1965 Yankee amateur draft choice, won eight while losing seven with the Orioles and Angels from 1972-1977. Scott was traded by the Yanks to the White Sox for Pete Ward in December 1969, and Chicago shipped him to the Orioles one year later.
Other birthdays: Giants lefty-hitting outfielder Whitey Lockman (1926), who hit 114 homers with 563 rbi’s from 1945-1960; righthander Larry Sherry (1935), 53-44 with the Dodgers and the Tigers in the 11 years starting with 1958; southpaw Fred Scherman (1944), 33-26 with 39 saves for Detroit in the early seventies; Atlanta backstop Biff Pocoroba (1953); Ed Sprague (1971), who patrolled third base in Toronto for quite a few years; ex-Houston and Philly closer now with the Mets, though disabled, Billy Wagner (1971); former Marlins reliever Guillermo Mota (1973), who had quite a feud going with Mets catcher Mike Piazza while still playing for the Dodgers; Travis Phelps (1977); Shawn Riggans (1980); Santiago Casilla (1980); Kevin Kouzmanoff (1981); and Alex Presley (1985).