On July 28, 2006, New York’s Chien-Ming Wang had perhaps his most dominant start yet, at least until he would flirt with a Perfect Game in 2007. He retired the Devil Rays on just 103 pitches through nine in a 6-0 win in Yankee Stadium in a game where he coaxed 18 ground ball outs and allowed just two singles and two walks. Derek Jeter had two hits and two rbi’s, and scored once, and Bernie Williams capped the scoring with a sixth-inning home run to dead center.
Neither Matt Moore of the Rays nor Phil Hughes would be around when a 6-5 win for New York in Yankee Stadium was settled in walkoff fashion on July 28, 2013. Both Ichiro Suzuki and Alfonso Soriano had four hits, but Sori was the star, with a two-run home run early and a ninth-inning single to plate Brett Gardner for the victory. It was Hideki Matsui Day in the Stadium, and Mariano Rivera got the win.
On July 28, 1996, Kevin Appier of the Royals, still a hard thrower before surgery, had the Yanks baffled, and a 2-1 lead through eight, in the Stadium. But the obligatory lefty was brought in to pitch the ninth in the person of Jason Jacome, who promptly surrendered a two-run bomb to Darryl Strawberry. His 300th career homer, Darryl’s drive carried the Yanks to the 3-2 win.
What could have been deemed a heroic come-from-behind, game-tying, eighth-inning two-run home run by Mark Teixeira in Yankee Stadium on July 28, 2012, went for naught, as a routine fly to short center by Boston’s Pedro Ciriaco, misjudged by Curtis Granderson, who stumbled while trying to recover, became the key triple in a two-run Red Sox rally that crowned an 8-6 Boston win.
Seemingly moribund due to injury and ineffectiveness, the 2005 Yankee starting rotation received a huge positive double jolt on July 28, starting with the surprisingly (at the time) effective job Aaron Small came through with in a day game start in Yankee Stadium vs. the Twins. Small went seven, allowing three runs in a 6-3 Yankee win. Gary Sheffield provided much of the offensive spark with a three-run first-inning jack and an rbi single, and young Robinson Cano continued to impress with a two-run, one-base hit of his own.
The other half of the good news reads like a repeat of so many days in ’04 and ’05, as the team placed righty Kevin Brown on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 24, with a lumbar strain. But the repeated unavailability finally provoked the Yanks into action, and they acquired starter Shawn Chacon from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for young righthanders Ramon Ramirez and Eduardo Sierra.
On July 28, 1995, the Yanks acquired David Cone from the Blue Jays for minor league pitchers Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis, and Mike Gordon.
The Yankees beat the Tigers 12-7 on July 28, 1993, overcoming Travis Fryman‘s five hits, including his having hit for the cycle.
The Yankees could not overcome the cycle turned in by Jim Fregosi of the Angels on this day in 1964, falling 3-1. But Mickey Mantle did clear the center field fence in Chavez Ravine for the lone New York tally, one of only two hits allowed by Dean Chance.
A 15-hit barrage that leveled the Orioles in Yankee Stadium 14-2 on July 28, 1977, was highlighted by home runs from Graig Nettles, Thurman Munson, and Roy White.
Chicago used 12 hits in the eighth inning against the Yankees on this day in 1931, scoring 11 runs in a 14-12 defeat of New York.
The Yankees took two from the Indians on July 28, 1960, 4-0 and 9-2. With Tony Kubek, Mickey Mantle, and Clete Boyer homering, Whitey Ford got the win in the opener, though Bobby Shantz finished.
The most memorable player in the July 28, 1970, game between the Yankees and the Angels was California catcher Tom Egan and the bad day he had. He was charged with five passed balls, each from a different pitcher, and made a throwing error that allowed the winning run to score in the 6-5 Yankee win.
It’s rather astounding really, when you think about it, that July 28 was the day on which the 10th and 11th regular-season perfect games in baseball history took place, and only three years apart. Not yet a Yankee (or ex-Yankee), Kenny Rogers hurled his for the Rangers in a 4-0 win over the Angels in 1994, exactly three years after Dennis Martinez of the Expos silenced the Dodgers’ bats with his, 2-0.
On July 28, 1961, the Yanks purchased first baseman Bob Hale from the Indians.
One year later on July 28, 1962, White Sox knuckleballer Eddie Fisher tried to put a damper on the Old Timers Day festivities as he took a 3-0 shutout into the seventh inning of the regular game, but Mickey Mantle and Johnny Blanchard homered and the Yanks prevailed, 4-3.
The four players inducted into the Hall of Fame on this day in 1985 were Lou Brock, Enos Slaughter, Arky Vaughan, and Hoyt Wilhelm. And the “Wizard of Oz,” Ozzie Smith, joined the immortals in the Hall on this day in 2002. “Country” Slaughter played roughly 350 games in the Yankee outfield in two stints in his latter playing years.
The Yankees beat the Athletics 14-7 on July 28, 1958, a game that featured the sixth time in his career that Mickey Mantle homered from each side of the plate.
The Bombers blasted the Tigers 16-6 on July 28, 1936, but lost center fielder Myril Hoag for the season when he collided with young Joe DiMaggio, playing right field at the time. (Unfortunately, Hoag is listed as one Yankee player who would die July 28 as well — see below.) Lou Gehrig singled, doubled twice, and hit his 31st home run of the season. The visiting Yanks scored four each in the first and second, then three each in the fourth and fifth. Johnny Murphy got the win in relief of Monte Pearson, and Tommy Bridges took the loss.
AL President Lee MacPhail threw the rule book out the window on this day in 1983, and overruled his umpires in their call in The “Pine Tar Game,” announcing that George Brett‘s home run stood even though the decision on the field totally complied with the rules as written.
The White Sox took over first place as Billy Pierce bested the Bombers 4-3 on July 28, 1959, on Al Smith‘s two-run eighth-inning home run.
The Highlanders turned a triple play against the Indians on July 28, 1906, and defeated the Tribe, 6-4.
The Yankees optioned righthander Nick Goody to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on July 28, 2015, clearing a spot to recall righty Diego Moreno from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the same day.
Shuffling the bottom of their deck on July 28, 2014, the Yankees designated lefthander Jeff Francis for assignment; and recalled outfielder Zoilo Almonte from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to fill out the 25-man roster.
The Yankees placed DH Travis Hafner on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 27, with a right rotator cuff strain, on July 28, 2013. They filled the roster spot by activating shortstop Derek Jeter from the 15-day disabled list. On the same day, the team also signed free agent third baseman Brady Steiger to a minor league contract.
On July 28, 2011, the Yankees signed another draftee, first baseman Austin Jones.
Ken Griffey, Jr., homered in his eighth straight game on July 28, 1993, tying the mark held by Dale Long and Don Mattingly.
The Giants’ Scott Garrelts lost a no-hitter against the Reds with two down in the ninth inning on this day in 1990. The name of the Cincinnati outfielder who got the spoiling single: Paul O’Neill. And another one-time Yankee playing elsewhere garnered the only safety in a one-hitter on July 28, as the double hit by Otis Nixon of the Blue Jays was the only Toronto hit off Steve Woodard and Mike Fetters in a 1-0 loss to the Brewers on this day in 1997.
In one more July 28 highlight featuring a former or future Yankee player, Phil Niekro posted his 250th career win an 8-6 Atlanta win over San Diego on July 28, 1982.
Hall of Fame Orioles third baseman and defensive whiz Brooks Robertson made three errors on the same play on this day in 1971.
The Yanks split a doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox on July 28, 1940. They took the first game 10-9 on the bat of Charlie “King Kong” Keller, who blasted three home runs. The Chisox won 8-4 in the nightcap.
On this day in 2001, the Pittsburgh Pirates pulled off one of those comebacks only kids dream about, it seems, when they rallied for seven ninth-inning runs to beat the Astros, 9-8. It was not your garden variety come-from-behind recovery, as they began their onslaught with two outs and nobody on base.
The Yankees retook first place on July 28, 1922, as Sam Jones prevailed over Ray Kolp of the Browns, 7-3.
White Sox hurlers John “Blue Moon” Odom and Francisco Barrios collaborated on a no-hitter in a 2-1 win over the A’s on on July 28, 1976.
Because writing about the death of a player people remember can be pretty poignant for a fan and reader, I start off the list of Yankee July 28 deaths with that of the Japanese righthander Hideki Irabu, reportedly by suicide in 2012. He posted a 29-20 record in New York from 1997-1999, but was also humiliated by the team’s owner referring to him as a “fat, pussy toad” due to a slow reaction to a grounder in a Spring Training game. Irabu left the states with a 34-35 mark, with 16 saves, after two years with Montreal and one serving as the closer in Texas. Mentioned in an injury highlight above, outfielder Myril Hoag (1971) is the one of four more Yankee players who have died on July 28 with the longest stay in New York. In 471 games from his debut in 1931 until he finished playing with the Yankees in 1938, Hoag hit 11 home runs with 195 rbi’s, numbers that grew to 28 and 401 after he played with the Browns, the White Sox, and the Indians from 1939-1945. Also one who debuted in Pinstripes, Steve Souchock (2002) played outfield too, and some first base, with five long balls and 21 runs driven in during 91 games in New York in 1946 and 1948. A brief stop with the White Sox and a five-year stint with Detroit pushed his totals to 50 and 186. Outfielder Rudy Bell‘s (1955) entire 17-game career was played with the 1907 Highlanders; he went 11-for-52 with no roundtrippers but three rbi’s. Big first baseman George Scott (2013) tucks in behind Bell because his 16-game stint ending his career with the Yankees in 1979 was one game shorter, but he will be remembered by more fans of today. A first sacker who developed a problem catching balls thrown to the bag, Scott hit one long ball with six rbi’s in New York, but he cleared 271 fences and drove in 1,051 runs playing most of his career from 1966 through 1978 with the Red Sox and the Brewers. And righthander Stan Yerkes (1940) makes this list because he pitched (and debuted in) one game (he started) with the 1901 Baltimore Orioles team that would be moved to New York as the Highlanders in 1903. Stan lost that game, and finished up at 15-24 with no saves after pitching with St. Louis from 1901-1903.
A list of noteworthy nonYankee players to die this day begins with a quintet of righthanded pitchers. Red Ehret (1940) posted a 139-167 record with four saves from 1888-1898, mostly with the Colonels, the Pirates, and the Reds; and switch-hitting Jim Bagby (1954) won almost all of his 127 victories, with 88 losses and 29 saves, with Cincinnati from 1916-1923. Joe Oeschger (1986) went 82-116-8 for the Phillies and the Braves from 1914-1925; and coming in at exactly .500, Red Barrett (1990) both won and lost 69 games, with seven saves, for the Braves, the Reds, and the Cardinals from 1937-1949. Frank Castillo (2013) posted most of his 82-104 mark with two saves from 1991 through 2005 with the Cubs and the Red Sox; fans of the rivalry will remember his latter years starting for Boston. Southpaw Cliff Melton (1986) recorded his entire 86-80-16 mark with the Giants from 1937-1944. On the position player side, portsided first baseman Lu Blue (1958) reached most of his 44 fences good for 695 rbi’s from 1921-1933 for the Tigers; and catcher John Grim (1961) homered 16 times and drove in 330 runs mostly for the Bridegrooms and the Colonels from 1888-1899. And second baseman Doug Griffin (2016) played in 1970 for the California Angels, then the Red Sox from 1971 through 1977. Doug homered seven times, drove in 165 runs, and stole 33 bases.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Outfielder Dick Simpson (1943), who finished his eight-year big-leagues career with the 1969 Yankees by garnering four rbi’s in six games, is one of two ex-Yanks with a July 28 birthday. Dick was acquired from the Houston Astros for Dooley Womack in December 1968, and he was traded to the Seattle Pilots for Jose Vidal in May 1969.
Lefty hitting outfielder Elmer Miller played for the 1921 and 1922 Yankee clubs, chipping in with 12 dingers and 132 rbi’s in that time. The Yanks sent Chick Fewster, Johnny Mitchell, Lefty O’Doul, and cash to the Red Sox for Smith and Joe Dugan in July 1922.
Other birthdays: Hall of Fame Negro Leagues player Bullet Rogan (1889); Freddie Fitzsimmons (1901), who pitched for the Giants and Dodgers from 1925 through 1943; Ted Lepcio (1930), an infielder who spent most of his 1952-1961 career with the Red Sox, with 69 taters and 251 rbi’s; Vida Blue (1949), a 209-game winner from 1969-1986, predominantly with Oakland; Carmelo Martinez (1960); Bob Milacki (1964); Derek Lee (1966); Chad Paronto (1975); Henry Sosa (1985); Darin Ruf (1986); and Jae-gyun Hwang (1987).
Players Born This Day