July 27 in Yankee History

  • It is amazing that the Yanks benefited so long from the input of long-standing pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, who after years on the job attended spring training and offered guidance to Ron Guidry in 2006, and Yankee Vice President Gene “Stick” Michael. Those two vets collaborated on a 5-2 win over the Angels way back on July 27, 1970. Mel held on during a 2-2 tie that was finally broken by the Yanks in the 10th, and Stick helped get him there by pulling the Hidden Ball Trick on pinch runner Jarvis Tatum in the ninth. In one of the most moving ceremonies in the Stadium in years, Mel and Willie Randolph, who both wore No. 30, each received a Monument Park plaque on Old Timer’s Day, in July 2015.
  • July 27, 2014, was another day a Yankee was awarded a plaque in Monument Park, as on that day the Warrior, Paul O’Neill was so honored. Unfortunately, the Yankees could have used Paul’s bat in the tight contest that followed, as Toronto pulled out a 5-4 win by scoring off David Robertson in the ninth. The Blue Jays won despite back-to-back home runs in the Yankee fifth by Chase Headley and Francisco Cervelli. Ex-Yank Dioner Navarro knocked in the winning run.
  • The misimpressions one can receive from checking a game’s outcome just from the box score and stats could be illustrated by looking at the Yankees’ 10-3 win over the Red Sox in the Bronx on July 27, 2012. What stands out is a grand slam home run by Curtis Granderson, but truth be told, that eighth-inning blast was added to the 6-3 run lead the Yanks already held, on two rbi’s apiece from Mark Teixeira, Raul Ibanez, and Russell Martin, the latter two from two-run fence clearers of their own. Amazingly, this was the first 2012 game vs. the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium, almost matched in 2013 on the other side, as the Yanks first played in Fenway on July 19.
  • Give his poor 2011 season, you might assume it was another bad day when Phil Hughes and the Yanks fell 9-2 to King Felix Hernandez and the Mariners on July 27, 2011, but not so: Phil left the game down 2-1 after six. But the visitors jumped on Cory Wade and Boone Logan for five runs in the seventh, and reached Hector Noesi for two more runs in the ninth.
  • It may have been a major league baseball first when Yankee lefty Tommy John made three errors on one play in a game vs. the Brewers on July 27, 1988, but much of the sting of the play was removed by the fact that the Yanks were blowing their Milwaukee-based rivals out, 16-3.
  • On July 27, 1973, the Yanks outlasted Jim Colborn and the Milwaukee Brewers in 12 innings 1-0, as the game-winner came home on a Thurman Munson single.
  • Delaying games under threatening skies is a time-honored baseball tradition that former Orioles Manager Earl Weaver elevated to an art form, but Casey Stengel knew a thing or two about it too. Yankee infielder Gil McDougald was thrown out for stalling in a game the Yanks led 3-2 after the White Sox plated one in the top of the ninth on July 27, 1951. But the five pitching changes Casey made that inning finally did the trick, as the rains came and the game was stopped and eventually called, handing the victory to the home-standing Bombers.
  • The 2003 Yankees certainly had pitching issues, particularly in the pen. Jeff Weaver, the Black Sheep of the starters, had a rare good outing, and he carried a 3-0 two-hitter into the seventh in an ESPN Sunday night game in Fenway on July 27. But Weaver was removed after a walk and a hit by pitch and Chris Hammond allowed back-to-back homers by Jason Varitek and Johnny Damon. Jesse Orosco and Armando Benitez failed as well, and the Sox scored six and won, 6-4.
  • On this day in 1984, Pete Rose chose a pitch thrown by Hall of Famer Steve Carlton off which to strike his 3,053rd career single, thereby breaking Ty Cobb‘s all-time record for that most commonly occurring of hits.
  • One more sad sign of the blunder the team had made months earlier occurred on July 27, 2007, when the Yankees optioned southpaw Kei Igawa to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalled infielder Chris Basak.
  • A Yankee now since 2004, Alex Rodriguez singled in the second tally of a three-run third-inning rally off Andy Pettitte in Yankee Stadium playing for the Mariners on July 26, 1997. He then stole second and scored on Ken Griffey, Jr.‘s single. Joe Girardi‘s two-run seventh-inning double off Seattle southpaw Jeff Fassero was all the Yanks could muster in the 3-2 loss.
  • Known mostly for his funny speech and dangerous bat, Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra started a 148-game errorless streak on July 27, 1947. The Yanks split a pair with the White Sox in Yankee Stadium on the day, winning 7-4 and falling 5-4.
  • When the Tigers lost catcher Bob Wood to a dislocated elbow in 1904, they purchased backstop Monte Beville from the Highlanders on July 27 to replace him.
  • The Cubs purchased the 10-5 Hank Borowy from the Yankees on July 27, 1945, and he helped the Chicago team to the pennant with an 11-2 record, including three wins against the Cardinals. A New Jersey boy with a 56-30 mark in New York before the trade, Borowy passed away in August 2004.
  • The Mets released 1969 World Series star outfielder Cleon Jones on this day in 1975.
  • Ex-Yank prospect Vic Power and future Bomber Hector Lopez each had five hits for the Athletics vs. the Yanks in a 14-inning game on July 27, 1956, but to no avail. New York prevailed 10-9.
  • When Cecil Cooper of the Brewers became the fourth AL player in a month to hit three home runs in a game in a July 26, 1979 contest with the Yankees, it was just enough to carry Milwaukee to a 6-5 victory.
  • The Yanks slapped Cleveland with an 11-0 loss in the first of two on this day in 1978. But the Indians charged back with a vengeance, destroying the Bombers 17-5 on the strength of two Duane Kuiper bases-loaded triples.
  • St. Louis native Hank Arft homered, tripled, and knocked in three off Yankee pitcher Frank Hiller in a 4-0 Browns win on July 27, 1948. When fans began cheering for “Arft, Arft,” his nickname promptly became: “Bow Wow.”
  • Wally Pipp homered against the Browns on July 27, 1922, but the Yanks trailed 2-1 until they erupted for four in the eighth. St. Louis tied things on three of their own in the top of the ninth. But when umpire Brick Owens examined a ball thrown by Browns hurler Dave Danforth in the bottom half, he ruled that the ball was doctored, and ran Danforth from the game (with a 10-game suspension to follow). Reliever Wayne Wright then served up a homer to Wally Schang, and the Yanks won, 6-5.
  • On July 27, 2015, the Yankees sent infielder Gregorio Petit outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
  • On July 27, 2014, the Yankees sent righthander Chris Leroux outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
  • The desperate-for-starters 2005 Yankees signed Hideo Nomo to a minor-league contract on this day, but he never made the parent club.
  • The formerly pitiful Yankees were rounding into shape as a contender during their two-year sojourn in Shea Stadium in 1974 and 1975, and they would finally return to the World Series the following year after their return to the Baseball Cathedral. But July 27, 1975, was a bad day in Flushing, which probably cost the team their postseason chance and their manager. Boston center fielder Fred Lynn‘s great catch saved Bill Lee‘s Game-One 1-0 victory, and Roger Moret made it a double zero with a 6-0 win later. Skipper Bill Virdon‘s job would soon belong to Billy Martin.
  • The lack of a World Series way back in 1904 was tied in very much with the powers at work in New York City, as the “Senior Circuit” Giants in the person of John McGraw, vowed on July 27, 1904 not to play an AL team after they [presumably would have] won the NL crown. Ban Johnson and his AL upstarts were not beloved, yes, but the fact that the same-city Highlanders were challenging for the lead in their second season also played a part. The Highlanders would finish in second place 1.5 games behind the the Boston Pilgrims.
  • The Kentucky Colonel, Yankees center fielder Earle Combs, was inducted into the Hall of Fame with Lou Boudreau, Ford Frick, and Jesse Haines on July 27, 1970.
  • Future Yankee, et al, hurler Gaylord Perry joined Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton as the third pitcher to reach the 3,500-career-strike-out mark during the 1983 season when he pulled off the trick in his first Royals win, a 5-4 victory over the Indians on July 27.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Outfielder Jack Little (1961) is the only Yankee player to have died on July 27, a day where a big group of noteworthy nonYankees have passed. Little’s entire career consisted of three games for the 1912 New York Highlanders; he went 3-for-12, hit no homers with no rbi’s, and he scored two runs.
  • Hall of Fame shortstop Joe Tinker died on his birthday (see below) in 1948. He hit 31 long balls and knocked in 782 from 1902-1916, mostly with the Cubs. Also a Hall of Famer, catcher Rick Ferrell (1995) cleared 28 fences good for 734 rbi’s from 1929-1947 with the Browns, the Senators, and the Red Sox. A quartet of righthanded pitchers comes next. Nig Cuppy (1922) won 162, lost 98, and saved five games mostly for Cleveland from 1892-1901; and Hooks Dauss (1963) posted his 222-182-40 record exclusively with Detroit from 1912-1926. Babe Adams (1968) threw all but one game from 1906-1926 for the Pirates to a 194-140-15 mark; and Joe Wood (1985) won 116, lost 57, and saved 11 games pitching for the Red Sox and Indians from 1908-1920. Finally, shortstop Travis Jackson (1987) played only for the Giants from 1922-1936, collecting 135 home runs and 929 runs driven in during that time; and outfielder Bill Tuttle (1998) stroked 67 roundtrippers with 443 rbi’s for the Tigers, the A’s, and the Twins from 1952-1963.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Enrique Wilson (1973) celebrated his July 27 birthday two days early in 2003 by leading the Yanks with two hits and two runs against Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox in a 4-3 win in Fenway Park. Wilson, one of 10 Yanks birthdaying this day, was acquired from the Pirates for one-time White Sox reliever Damaso Marte in June 2001, and hit six homers with 38 rbi’s in the Bronx through the 2003 season.
  • What follows is what I had written in earlier years, but who expected that a late chapter of the Alex Rodriguez (1975) story would be among the most compelling? A lock for the Hall once he retires, should voters allow it, Alex had his best year in 2015 in several after serving a 1 1/2-year suspension for PEDs. Along with the rejuvenated Mark Teixeira he led the 2015 Yankees into the pennant race, with a power swing and a high batting average. Alex passed both the 500-homerun mark and 1,500-career-rbi marks in 2007, and hit a home run for hit No. 3,000 in May, 2015. After one home run reached the old Yankee Stadium left field bleachers from 1976 through 2007, Alex reached them twice in 2008 alone! He was signed by and played for the Mariners, signed a huge free agent contract with the Rangers, and the Yanks got him for Alfonso Soriano once the Red Sox failed to close a deal after the 2003 season. Alex, who kept a double-digit-years streak alive by hitting two home runs with seven rbi’s the last day of the 2009 season for both 30 home runs and 100 rbi’s, largely led the Yanks to Championship Number 27 in 2009. Given up for dead after two hip surgeries, and his PED troubles, Alex once again proved just how great a baseball player he is in 2015, but a year later, his production fell off prodigiously, and the Yankees bought out the 2017 portion of his contract, eager to get a quick turn on rebuilding.
  • Leo Durocher (1905) is more remembered for managing, but as an infielder he got his start with the Yanks in 1925, 1928, and 1929, during which time he knocked in 63 runs and stole four bases. He was selected off waivers by the Reds in February 1930, and as a manager he won NL pennants with the Dodgers in 1941 and Giants in 1951. His Giants swept the 1954 World Series from the Indians in a big upset.
  • Three-year lefty big-league outfielder Irish McIlveen (1880) spent two of those years with the Highlanders (1908 and 1909) and drove in eight runs during that time. Catcher Benny Bengough (1898) drove in 81 runs for the Yanks from 1923 through 1930, and finished playing two years for the Browns. Outfielder Don Lock (1936), though he never played in Pinstripes, was a 1958 Yankee amateur free agent signing. He recorded 122 homers with 373 rbi’s with the Senators and the Phillies from 1962-1969 once the Yanks shipped him to the former for Dale Long in July 1962.
  • Johnny Kucks (1933) went 42-35 with six saves while wearing Pinstripes from 1955 through 1959. He was traded with Jerry Lumpe and Tom Sturdivant to the Kansas City Athletics for Ralph Terry and Hector Lopez in May 1959. Southpaw hurler Shane Rawley (1955) recorded a 27-27 win-loss record with four saves as he finished his career in a 1982 through 1984 stint in the Bronx. Shane won 111 and lost 118 overall in 12 years for several teams, primarily Seattle and Philly. As recorded in yesterday’s (July 26) birthdays, Shane was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Marty Bystrom and Keith Hughes in June 1984. The Yanks had acquired Rawley from the Seattle Mariners for Bobby Brown, Bill Caudill, and Gene Nelson in April 1982.
  • Another backstop, Zack Taylor (1898) got one hit and struck out once in four games with the 1934 Yankees near the end of a 15-year career he spent mostly with the Dodgers, the Braves, and the Cubs.
  • The newest Yankee member of the July 27 birthday club has pitched in only one big-league game, and it wasn’t for the Yankees. Righthander Vicente Campos (1992) arrived in the Bronx with Michael Pineda in a 2012 trade from Seattle in exchange for Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi. (Even with the recent loss of Pineda to 2017 season-ending injury, by the way, this trade was still a plus for New York.) Campos would be granted free agency, then re-signed, both in December 2014, by the Yanks, and was traded to Arizona for Tyler Clippard in July 2016. He pitched 5.67 innings in one game for the D’Backs, to no record and a 3.18 era, then was selected off waivers by the Angels in November 2016.
  • Other birthdays are represented by Hall of Fame infielder Joe Tinker (1880); and lefthander Rube Wallberg (1896), who won 155 while losing 141 with the Athletics and Red Sox from 1923-1937. Still others: three-generation baseball patriarch Ray Boone (1923); Larry Biitner (1945); Bump Wills (1952); Orioles second baseman Rich Dauer (1952); one-time 20-game loser Brian Kingman (1954); Tom Goodwin (1968); Brian Sikorski (1974); Shea Hillenbrand (1975); Tsuyoshi Nishioka (1984); Max Scherzer (1984); Ryan Flaherty (1986); Preston Guilmet (1987); Yoervis Medina (1988); Wandy Peralta (1991); and Raul Mondesi (1995), son of the same-named former major league outfielder, mostly with the Dodgers, but also with the Yanks. Raul the son, oddly, had never played a regular season game in the majors, when he did get into a postseason one with the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals.