It was Old-Timers’ Day in the Bronx on July 29, 1978, when the Yanks made the surprise announcement: Billy Martin would return to manage the Yankees in 1980. Then the Bombers went out and beat the Twins 7-3 with Ken Clay besting Darrell Jackson. The save went to Goose Gossage.
The Yankees squeaked by the White Sox 2-1 on July 29, 1966, as Mickey Mantle hit his 14th home run in 24 games. It moved him past Lou Gehrig on the all-time list, number six at the time.
The first win of a very successful regular-season campaign for newly acquired lefthander J.A. Happ on July 30, 2018 was a beaut, a 6-3 win over the visiting Royals. Happ left up 5-1 after six in a contest in which Aaron Hicks gave him a quick 2-0 lead with a first-inning home run.
All the Yankees had to show for seven innings against the Orioles and righthander Jeremy Guthrie in Yankee Stadium on July 29, 2011, was four hits, one of which was a Mark Teixeira home run in a 4-2 loss. Guthrie, who seemed to have the tendency to win far less than his talent would have warranted, showed even less when he was traded to the 2012 Colorado Rockies; he pitched for KC afterward.
Despite a pretty positive experience, on balance, with the back of the Yankee pen for the last decade or so, keyed of course by the one and only Mariano Rivera, the odds caught up with them in Yankee Stadium on July 29, 2012. Rbi’s from catcher Russell Martin in the seventh and eighth innings tied matters with the Red Sox at 2-2, but a leadoff 10th-inning walk issued to Jarrod Saltalamacchia by David Robertson led to a third run the Yanks failed to match in the 3-2 loss.
The Yankees swept two from the White Sox, 8-3 and 2-0, on July 29, 1951, before a Yankee Stadium crowd of 70,000 plus. Ex-Sox hurler Bob Kuzava won the second game over Saul Rogovin. Two Joe DiMaggio home runs off Lew Kretlow keyed the first-game victory.
First-inning singles by Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada, and Robin Ventura with walks to Nick Johnson and Karim Garcia, ended Kevin Appier‘s July 29, 2003 start in Anaheim early. The Yanks plated four and won the game behind Andy Pettitte, 6-2.
The toughest thing about reporting the 24-6 whipping the Indians put on the Yanks on July 29, 1928, is selecting what offensive feats to highlight. The Tribe scored 17 times in the first two frames, and amassed 24 singles. Johnny Hodapp became the first American League player to get two hits in two different innings in the same game.
The short stay of Raul Mondesi in Pinstripes was about to come to an end when the right fielder reacted angrily when Yankees manager Joe Torre pinch-hit for him on July 29, 2003. Mondesi stormed out of the clubhouse and traveled apart from the team when it left for a West Coast swing. This behavior could not be tolerated, and the Yankees traded him to the Diamondbacks for David Dellucci, Bret Prinz, and catcher Jon-Mark Sprowl. New York also sent cash to Arizona to cover the difference in the salaries between Mondesi and Dellucci.
The Yanks lost a heartbreaker in the Bronx on July 29, 2005, as one bad inning cost Mike Mussina and the club. Down 3-0 to second-inning gopher balls to Garrett Anderson and Bengie Molina, they couldn’t recover against young Ervin Santana and the Angels pen in an eerie foretaste of the coming ALDS. Tino Martinez‘s seventh-inning home run was the only Yankee offense in the 3-1 loss.
It’s fitting to recount the highlights of a Highlanders’ win over Cy Young and Boston on July 29, 1903, after yet another crazy Yanks/Red Sox series. Incredibly, although the Yankees prevailed, 15-14, Young threw a complete game. Patsy Dougherty hit for the cycle behind him, but Young’s defense committed eight errors and the Yankee offense was led by Wee Willie Keeler‘s four hits.
In 1969, Yankee reliever Jack Aker had a great scoreless inning streak going, until July 28. The A’s rallied for three runs to end his run of innings at 33 and to top New York, 6-5.
Among the items unruly Yankee fans in the Bronx tossed on the field at Jose Canseco during a 10-8 Oakland victory on July 29, 1991, were an inflatable doll, a transistor radio, and a head of cabbage.
Two Yankee-related transactions on July 29, 1997, as the Rangers traded with the Angels to get catcher Jim Leyritz, and the Blue Jays acquired infielder Mariano Duncan (“we play today; we win today”) from the Yanks for a minor leaguer and cash. Both Leyritz and Duncan had been huge contributors to the 1996 Championship.
Spud Chandler of the Yankees pitched 15 innings to beat the White Sox 7-3 on this day in 1938.
Although the latter has starred in the Cardinals bullpen, the Yanks are more than happy with their trade of lefty Chasen Shreve and righty Giovanny Gallegos to St. Louis for first baseman Luke Voit and future considerations on July 29, 2018. The team also traded lefthander Caleb Frare to the White Sox for future considerations; and signed free agent righthander Osiel Rodriguez to a minor league contract.
On July 29, 2016, the Yankees sent righthander Conor Mullee on a rehab assignment to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
On July 29, 2015, the Yankees sent outfielder Slade Heathcott on a rehab assignment to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and then made a bullpen adjustment. They designated lefthander Chris Capuano for assignment, and selected the contract of righthander Caleb Cotham from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
More infield musical chairs for the Yankees on July 29, 2013, as they activated infielder Jayson Nix from the 15-day disabled list, after optioning infielder David Adams to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to create the roster space.
Creating roster space, the Yankees transferred righty Sergio Mitre from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day list on July 29, 2011. The team also optioned minor league southpaw Steve Garrison to the AA Trenton Thunder.
The Yankees released veteran righthander Brett Tomko on July 29, 2009.
The repercussions to two Red Sox players abandoning the team bus in Manhattan after a loss to the Yanks on July 27, 1962, continued for days, as pitcher Gene Conley, who walked in two runs as the loser of that game, telegraphed his manager on July 29 that he was “mostly tired,” and had “other plans.” Conley returned to the fold the following day, and was fined $2,000.
The Yankees have a glorious history, but there have been shameful episodes as well. For instance, they were among the last teams in the bigs to integrate. Worse still was the racial insensitivity outfielder Jake Powell revealed in a radio interview on July 29, 1938. Describing his off-season duties as a policeman, Powell gave a litany of tasks that included “beating up n_____s and throwing them in jail.”
Lou Brock of the Cardinals stole his 700th base on July 29, 1974.
We offer two July 29 items featuring future or former Yankee players, starting with the Cubs’ purchase of Joe Pepitone from the Astros on this day in 1970. Joe would drive in 31 runs in the next 31 games. And even with no official at bats, Oakland’s Rickey Henderson scored four runs after walking four times and stealing five bases on July 29, 1989. An interesting Yankee twist is that it was all for naught, as the A’s fell 14-6 to Seattle and (2005-2006 New York starter) Randy Johnson.
George Culver of the Reds threw a no-hitter at the Phillies on this day in 1968, 6-1. And Smokey Joe Wood of the Red Sox tossed a rain-shortened no-no at the Browns, 5-0, on the same day in 1911.
The Yanks gave up hope on the future of lefty Alex Graman and designated him for assignment on July 29, 2005. They filled the spot with lefty bullpenner Wayne Franklin, who would briefly show some promise in the never-ending search for effective southpaw relief.
Much in the news after a similar Sammy Sosa incident in Wrigley a few years back, Chris Sabo of the Reds also suffered the humiliation of a cork-filled bat shattering in competition in a 2-1 Cincinnati loss to the Astros on July 29, 1996.
In 2007, the Yanks added another death to their July 29 list in the person of outfielder Bill Robinson, a quality hitter unappreciated in New York for two huge reasons: Fans were hoping his arrival on the scene before the 1967 season would cushion the blow of the impending retirement of Mickey Mantle, and because the Bombers sent fan favorite Clete Boyer to Atlanta for him. Bill hit 16 home runs and drove in 90 runs in New York from 1967-1969, and 166 long balls good for 641 rbi’s from 1966-1983, mostly with the Phillies and the Pirates. Second baseman/infielder Lute Boone (1982) is one of two other Yankees to have died on July 29. Boone debuted with the 1913-1916 Yankees, playing in 288 games, during which time he hit six home runs and drove in 73 runs. A short stint with the 1918 Pirates added three rbi’s to his total. Lefthanded first baseman Babe Borton (1954) compiled 11 runs driven in in 33 games for the 1913 Yankees. Stints with the White Sox, the Federal League’s St. Louis Terriers, and the Browns between 1912 and 1916 gave him overall totals of four home runs and 136 rbi’s.
The list of noteworthy nonYankee players is headed by two righthanded pitchers and a portsider. Ray Kolp (1967) won 79, lost 95, and saved 18 games for the Browns and Reds from 1921-1934; Elmer Myers (1976) posted a 55-72-7 mark with the A’s, the Indians, and the Red Sox from 1915-1922; and southpaw Vean Gregg (1964) won 92, lost 63, and saved 12 games from 1911-1918 and in 1925 mostly for the Indians and the Red Sox. Shortstop Tommy Thevenow (1957) hit two home runs and drove in 456 runs for the Cards, the Pirates, and the Phils from 1924-1938; catcher Boileryard Clarke (1959) reached 20 fences good for 429 rbi’s from 1893-1903 with the Orioles, the Senators, and the Beaneaters; and lefty-hitting outfielder Burt Shotton (1962) did most of his offensive damage in St. Louis, hitting nine long balls and knocking in 290 runs from 1909-1923 with the Cardinals and the Browns. Last, but certainly not least, is first baseman Lee May (2017), who hit 354 home runs and drove in 1,244 from 1965 through 1982. Lee started by playing seven seasons with Cincinnati, then three with the Astros, and finished by playing two years with the Royals, but the pre-KC six-year stint with the Orioles will be freshest in Yankee fan minds.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Lefty Dave LaPoint (1959) is one of five July 29 Yankee birthdays, as he compiled a 13-19 record in 1989 and 1990 in a career that spanned 1980 through 1991. The Yankees signed LaPoint as a free agent in October 1988, and he was released in February 1991.
Nine-year veteran lefty outfielder Gary Thomasson (1951) chipped in with three homers and 20 rbi’s to the 1978 Championship team. The Bombers got him from the Oakland Athletics for Dell Alston, Mickey Klutts, and cash in June of that year, and Gary was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Brad Gulden the following February.
Righty Walter Beall (1899) posted a 4-5 record with one save while playing all but one of his major league years with the Yanks, from 1924-27. Earl Moore (1879) threw to a 2-6 mark with one save for the 1907 team in the midst of a 14-year career with Cleveland and Philly. The Cleveland Naps traded Moore to the New York Highlanders for Walter Clarkson in May 1907. The Philadelphia Phillies made him a waiver choice from the Highlanders that winter.
Although southpaw Steve Frey (1963) never played for the Yanks, they made him their 15th-round choice in the 1983 amateur draft. They then traded Frey with Phil Lombardi and Darren Reed to the New York Mets for shortstop Rafael Santana and minor leaguer Victor Garcia in December 1987. Frey won 18, lost 15, and saved 28 for the Expos, Angels, Giants, and Phillies from 1989-1996.
Other birthdays: Felix Mantilla (1934); Greg Minton (1951), who got most of his 150 saves from 1975-1990 with the Giants; Dan Driessen (1951); Luis Alicea (1965); Mike Williams (1969); Johnny Ruffin (1971); Seth Greisinger (1975); Mike Adams (1978); Ryan Braun (1980); Chad Billingsley (1984); Mark Hamilton (1984); and Eric Jokisch (1989).
Players Born This Day