The names that highlighted the offense in a 6-3 win over Toronto in the Stadium on July 3, 2017, could be referred to as the usual suspects, but the manner of their production was a bit different. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez each scored after stroking back-to-back singles in both the first and eighth innings. Three of the team’s six runs scored on a bases-loaded hit by pitch, then walk in the first, and an error in the four-run eighth, the frame that featured the team’s only run-scoring hit, a Chase Headley two-run double. Masahiro Tanaka was superb, with eight punch outs, just five hits, and one (unearned) run over seven. It was Block Party night, with lots of free food specials and autograph opportunities of former and current players for early-arriving fans before the game.
If your individual enjoyment of baseball games is in agreement with the phrase, “There ain’t nothing like coming from behind,” the July 3, 2015, game in the Stadium pitting the Rays and the Yankees is one for you. The visitors took a 2-0, first-inning lead on Evan Longoria and James Loney rbi’s off Masahiro Tanaka, extending it to 3-0 in the fifth following a Kevin Kiermaier triple. Meanwhile, Chris Archer was holding the Yanks to three hits into the seventh. But on came the bullpen, and Mark Teixeira tied it on a three-run, eighth-inning blast off Kevin Jepsen. However, when 12th-inning walks off Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve scored, Tampa had a 5-3 lead. But a walk and two singles in the bottom half got it close, and yet another three-run jack, this one by Brian McCann, sent the faithful home happy, 7-5 Yankees.
Switch-hitting left fielder Roy White came through with the run-scoring, eighth-inning double that broke a scoreless tie, helping Ron Guidry to a 2-0 win over the Tigers and a second consecutive shutout on July 3, 1977.
Mickey Mantle‘s three-run homer carried the Yankees to a second-game 6-2 victory over Detroit and a doubleheader sweep on July 3, 1960. Ryne Duren preserved the first-game, 7-6 win in front of 50,000-plus in Yankee Stadium by striking Charlie Maxwell out with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth.
It was an oft-repeated stat when Tony Cloninger, who later served in the same capacity with the Red Sox, served as the Yankee bullpen coach. He was the first NL player, and first pitcher ever, to hit two grand slams in the same game, when he performed the feat (with nine rbi’s) in the Braves’ 17-3 drubbing of the Giants on July 3, 1966, in Candlestick Park.
On that same 1966 day, tacking onto a streak he began the day before, Mickey Mantle hit three home runs in consecutive times at bat for the second time in the same week when he went yard in the first and the Yanks went up, 5-0, over the Senators. But it took Bobby Richardson‘s 11th-inning home run to close out the Yankee 6-5 victory.
Reporting that the Yankees fell yet another game behind the Red Sox on any 1978 day is pain-free in light of the glorious way the season ended. Carl Yastrzemski singled twice and doubled and Dennis Eckersley got the win over Ed Figueroa as the Red Sox beat the Bombers 9-5 on July 3. The third-place Yanks fell eight back.
With that glorious comeback 1978 season fresh in our minds, how about a 1977 reminder, which is what the Yankees did on July 3, 2007, by giving out DVDs of Game One of the 1977 World Series to fans arriving for a game against the Twins. In the game that followed, righty Chieng-Ming Wang had one of his better starts, retiring 14 of 21 on ground balls through seven frames of an 8-0 shutout. Robinson Cano hit a two-run home run, and Edwar Ramirez struck out three straight in the ninth to end the game.
Joe Torre let Andy Pettitte throw 143 pitches in a 3-2 win over the Orioles in Yankee Stadium on July 3, 1998. Chad Curtis knotted the game at two with a fourth-inning home run against Mike Mussina, and the Yankee left fielder also scored the winner in the bottom of the ninth on Scott Brosius‘s single off Jesse Orosco.
The 1914 Yankees failed to score at all in a doubleheader against the A’s on July 3, as Chief Bender and Bob Shawkey turned in the 2-0 and 1-0 shutouts.
Bob Meusel and Babe Ruth homered back to back and Carl Mays won his 22nd straight vs. the Athletics in a 12-1 win on this day in 1922, but the most memorable stat on the day was Meusel hitting for the cycle for the second time in his career.
A Municipal Stadium crowd of 73,000-plus witnessed Cleveland’s Wayne Garland two-hit the Yankees 7-0 on July 3, 1980.
The Yanks squeaked by the A’s, 8-7, on July 3, 1962, on the strength of five homers. Bobby Richardson accounted for one, and Roger Maris hit two, but it was Mickey Mantle‘s second of two, in the eighth, that plated the winning run.
The Yankees smacked the Red Sox 13-2 in the first ever Sunday game in Fenway Park on July 3, 1932. George Pipgras got the Bombers’ start but not the win, as that went to Wilcy Moore, whom New York got from Boston just two months before.
It was a failed experiment when Casey Stengel asked Joe DiMaggio to play first base on this day in 1950. Joe handled 13 chances flawlessly but was not happy, and the Yanks lost to the Senators, 7-2.
Cleveland Indian starter (and eventual Yankee) Luis Tiant registered 19 strike outs in 10 innings in a complete-game 1-0 win over Minnesota on July 3, 1968.
It was a rarity when Walter Johnson left a game unfinished, but he was relieved in the sixth inning of a 10-2 win over the Highlanders on July 3, 1912.
Once future Yankee star Reggie Jackson‘s 400-foot drive to center was flagged down, California’s Clyde Wright went on to complete a 4-0 no-hitter over Oakland on this day in 1970. Clyde’s son Jaret Wright pitched for the Yanks in 2005-2006, but was traded to Baltimore.
On July 3, 2017, the Yankees signed righthander Dalton Higgins, and also signed free agent second baseman David Metzgar to a minor league contract.
On July 3, 2016, the Yankees placed righthander Conor Mullee on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 2, with carpal tunnel syndrome-like symptoms; and recalled righty Chad Green from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
On July 3, 2015, the Yankees optioned outfielder Taylor Dugas to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, then recalled infielder Gregorio Petit and outfielder Ramon Flores from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
On July 3, 2014, the Yankees designated shortstop Dean Anna for assignment; optioned third baseman Yangervis Solarte to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders; and selected the contract of Zelous Wheeler from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
As the injury beat went on, the Yankees placed shortstop Jayson Nix on the 15-day disabled list on July 3, 2013, retroactive to the day before, with a right hamstring strain. The team also signed righthander Jose Mesa and free agent third baseman Luis Alfonso Cruz.
Looking back at his 2011 win totals, and those since, it’s a head scratcher to report that on July 3, 2011, the Yankees optioned righthanded starter Ivan Nova to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; they used the roster to spot to recall righty reliever Lance Pendleton. The team also signed free agent outfielder Justin James.
Having designated second baseman Matt Antonelli a few days before, the Yanks released him on July 3, 2012.
On July 3, 2010, the Yankees signed righthander Jean Batista and assigned him to the minor leagues.
It seemed a sure thing when the Yanks signed 16-year-old prospect Jackson Melian on July 3, 1996, but it did not work out that way.
After the A’s squeaked by the Yankees 8-7 in the first of two on July 3, 1911, Frank Baker hit for the cycle in the nightcap and Philly earned the sweep with a 5-1 win.
In the waning years of their time in the “mistake by the lake,” Municipal Stadium, the Indians actually moved out the fences, as they planned to field a speed-burning team led by young Alex Cole. The experiment was abandoned on July 3, 1992 as they traded the young outfielder (.206 ba, nine stolen bases) to San Diego.
Future Hall of Famers Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal waged a scoreless duel for 16 innings on July 3, 1963, until another Hall of Famer, Willie Mays, won it with a homer off Spahn, 1-0.
It was an ugly story from July 3, 1987, as future Yankee power hitter Darryl Strawberry threatened New York Mets teammates Wally Bachman and Lee Mazzilli for criticizing his play.
Cecil Fielder became the third player (joining Harmon Killebrew and Frank Howard) to homer onto the left field roof at Tiger Stadium on this day in 1993.
High on the list of Yankee lore is Game Four of the 1941 World Series, where the Yanks pulled one out when in the bottom of the ninth Brooklyn catcher Mickey Owen couldn’t handle strike three from Hugh Casey with two outs. Given new life, the Yanks took the game and the series. Ten years later the heavy drinking Casey, despondent over the breakup of his marriage, committed suicide with a shotgun blast to his neck on July 3, 1951.
The first of two July 3 highlights affecting former or future Yankee players we’ll add involves the actions of colorful Germany Schaefer, who showed his displeasure with playing in the rain in a 5-0 Tigers loss to the Cleveland Naps on this day in 1906 by wearing a raincoat over his uniform. See today’s birthday list for the other highlight. On July 3, 1977, Frank Tanana recorded his 14th straight complete game in beating the A’s 6-4 for the Angels.
Lefty thrower Hank Robinson (1965) is one of two Yankee players who have died on July 3. His 18 games (three starts) with the 1918 Yankees, to a 2-4 record with no saves, crowned his 1911-1918 career. Otherwise pitching for the Pirates and Cardinals, Robinson won 47, lost 37, and saved two games overall. Righthander Hugh Casey (1951), who spent most of his 1935-1949 career with the Dodgers (mentioned above because of a bitter loss to the Yankees in the 1941 World Series) also ended his career with the Yanks when he won one game while throwing in four (no starts) for the 1949 club. Casey won 75, lost 42, and saved 55 games in his career.
The list of nonYankee players who have passed this day starts with Hall of Fame Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale (1993), who won 209, lost 166, and saved six games for that team playing on both coasts. Fellow righty Dolf Luque (1957) went 194-179 with 28 saves mostly for the Reds, but with the Giants, the Dodgers, and the Braves too from 1914-1935. Lefty-hitting outfielder Pete Hotaling (1928) hit most of his nine home runs with 371 rbi’s from 1879-1888 with the Blues; lefthanded first baseman Fred Tenney (1952) cleared 22 fences good for 688 runs driven in for the Beaneaters and the Giants from 1894-1909; and catcher Bill Killefer (1960) hit four long balls with 240 rbi’s with the Phillies, the Cubs, and the Browns from 1909-1921.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Catcher Buddy Rosar (1914), who played 252 games for the Yanks from 1939 through 1942, is the only one of the eight Yankees with July 3 as a birthday that spent significant time with the club. The Bombers sent Rosar with Roy Cullenbine to the Cleveland Indians for Roy Weatherly and Oscar Grimes in December 1942. Buddy smacked seven homers and drove in 119 runs for New York.
The 88 games that young Yankee outfielder Juan Rivera (1978) played with the team from 2001 through 2003 until his several-years-ago trade rank him in second place in the seniority list among Yankee players born July 3. Juan smacked eight homers, drove 32 tallies across the plate and stole one base for the Bombers. He has hit more than 80 homers with 300 rbi’s by adding to his totals with the Expos and Angels after leaving the Yanks, and has resumed playing after recovering from a 2007 broken leg, and joined the Blue Jays in 2011. Juan made a bid to join the 2013 Yankees in Spring Training as a reserve outfielder/first baseman, but he was one of the last cuts.
Outfielder Curt Walker (1896), who played one game with the 1919 club, went on to amass 64 long balls and 688 rbi’s from 1920-1930, mostly with Cincinnati. Infielder Cesar Tovar plated two teammates in 13 games as a Yank in 1976 once they inked him as a free agent in September. The versatile Tovar, who once played all nine positions during one game, posted the following numbers from 1965-1976: 96 home runs, 435 rbi’s.
Righthander Casey Cox‘s (1941) only decision in six games in New York once the Yanks got him from the Rangers for Jim Roland in August 1972 was a loss; the Bombers released him in mid-April of 1973. Most of Cox’s six years were spent with Washington, and he finished up having won 39, lost 42, and saved 20.
After 20 years and 240 wins with California and Detroit, Frank Tanana (1953) went 0-2 in three games for the 1993 team after the Yanks got him from the Mets for Kenny Greer in mid-September. Christian Parker (1975) was a Yankee via the Hideki Irabu trade at the end of 1999. He pitched in only one game and was battered by Carlos Delgado and the Blue Jays before going under the knife in 2001.
Matt Keough (1955) of the Oakland A’s was acquired for Ben Callahan, Marshall Brant, and cash in June 1983 and posted a 3-4 mark in 12 games that year before being released in November. Keough pitched lots of innings in Oakland, part of the time for Billy Martin, to a 58-84 career mark. And in that vein, even though he played for the Reds and Angels only, Art Fowler (1922) is also worthy of mention, as he served as Yankee pitching coach with Manager Billy Martin several times.
And another non-Yankee player mention goes to left-handed outfielder Al Pilarcik (1930). Al signed with the Yankees as an amateur free agent before the 1948 season, and was shipped to the Kansas City Athletics eight years later. He hit 22 homers with 143 rbi’s for the A’s, the Orioles, and the White Sox in five years.
Other birthdays: Nig Cuppy (1869) went 162-98 for the Cleveland Spiders from 1892-1901; Brooklyn Dodger righty Luke Hamlin (1904), 73-76 from 1933-1944; and another Dodger righthander, but one who spanned the Brooklyn/L.A. years is Ed Roebuck (1931), who won 52 while losing only 31 from 1955-1966; Danny Heep (1957); Warren Newsom (1964); Greg Vaughn (1965); Moises Alou (1966); John Koronka (1980); Dan Meyer (1981); Logan Kensing (1982); Edinson Volquez (1983); Greg Reynolds (1985); Tommy Hunter (1986); Casey Coleman (1987); Zach Putnam (1987); and Brandon Maurer (1990).
Players Born This Day