July 5 in Yankee History

  • The inside-the-park homer, a grand slam, that Lou Gehrig hit on July 5, 1934, was the big blow in the Yanks’ 8-3 win over the Senators. It was the 17th of the Iron Horse’s career-record 23 grand slams, a record that would not be matched for more than 70 years, until Alex Rodriguez tied it in 2012.
  • In another highlight featuring that most productive of hits, Joe DiMaggio hit his first grand slam in a doubleheader sweep over the Red Sox on July 5, 1937. The Yankees prevailed, 15-0 and 8-4.
  • The Yankees suffered an “opposites” day in their bullpen in a 7-6 loss to Toronto at home on July 5, 2017. Once they stormed back from 5-0 down to take a 6-5 lead largely on two-run jacks off the bats of Aaron Judge and Ji-Man Choi, inconsistent southpaw Chasen Shreve delivered two innings of effective relief in place of Michael Pineda. But the painful loss came against the more effective Chad Green (a game-tying home run in the seventh) and Dellin Betances, who suffered through perhaps his worst inning ever, as he walked four of the first five Jays batters in the eighth to surrender the wimning run. Adding insult to injury, the tying home run and the run-scoring walk both came from at bats by ex-Yank Russell Martin.
  • The final year of Orioles closer Jim Johnson in Baltimore had one of its bad days on July 5, 2013, as the bullpen handed him a 2-1 lead over the Yanks after Miguel Gonzalez held New York to four hits, including a Luis Cruz rbi single, over six innings. Matt Wieters‘s two-run homer off Ivan Nova in the second looked to be the winner, until a David Adams single, an error, two walks, and a Vernon Wells one-base hit in the bottom of the ninth made a loser of Johnson, 3-2.
  • The Yankees battered Toronto rookie Brett Cecil for seven runs, and the soon-to-retire B.J. Ryan for another three in new Yankee Stadium on July 5, 2009 but, shockingly, they would need almost all those runs, as Joba Chamberlain allowed eight of his own, even if all five runs in the top of the third were unearned after an Alex Rodriguez error. Both Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada had four hits, and Hideki Matsui homered and drove in four in the 10-8 Yankee win. Posada passed Paul O’Neill for 20th on the all-time hit list.
  • Two moves on that July 5, 2009 day would have big effects, as the Yanks placed righthander Chien-Ming Wang on the 15-day disabled list, and recalled righty Jonathan Albaladejo from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre to fill the roster spot. Wang’s Yankee days were numbered, while Albaladejo got the win that day once Chamberlain had to leave the game described in the graph above this one.
  • A sinking batting average and hobbled play on a deteriorating knee in need of surgery eventually sapped much of the good from Hideki Matsui‘s 2007 season, but his July AL Player of the Month Award was well earned. Homering for the second straight day, his two-run tape-measure shot off Minnesota setup man Pat Neshek in the eighth inning lifted the Yanks to a 7-6 victory on July 5. Staked to an early 5-2 lead, Kei Igawa failed to make a quality start yet again, and four relievers carried the home team to victory.
  • Batting leadoff, Bernie Williams doubled, homered, walked twice, scored three times, and knocked in three in a 10-3 win over the Tigers in Yankee Stadium on July 5, 2004. Jon Lieber benefited from an early 7-0 lead, and Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez, and Ruben Sierra homered as well.
  • When Scott Erickson, pitching for the Orioles, hit Chad Curtis with a 1-0 pitch following Luis Sojo and Paul O’Neill singles and a walk to Tim Raines on July 5, 1998, he forced in the only run of the game. David Cone allowed seven hits with no walks while throwing 110 pitches through eight, and Mariano Rivera recorded a 12-pitch save of the 1-0 Yankee win.
  • Despite the fact that Baltimore’s Rodrigo Lopez threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of 22 Yankee batters, the Pinstripers hammered him for a 12-3 win in Yankee Stadium on July 5, 2005. Cruising to the victory, Randy Johnson‘s only blemish over seven was a Chris Gomez sixth-inning home run. The Bombers’ attack featured home runs from Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, and Jason Giambi.
  • Yankees rookie Atley Donald won his 10th game without a loss on July 5, 1939. It was a 6-4 victory over the Senators in Yankee Stadium.
  • When Yankee Frank “Home Run” Baker, who earned the nickname before becoming a New York player, hit a 13th-inning inside-the-park blast off Walter Johnson in a 5-4 win over the Senators in a doubleheader split on July 5, 1917, it was his fifth homer off Hall of Famer-to-be Johnson. The Senators won the first game, 2-1.
  • In corresponding moves that actually worked out for the best through a few games at least, the Yankees designated first baseman Chris Carter for assignment on July 5, 2017, then selected the contract of first sacker Ji-Man Choi from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
  • On July 5, 2013, the Yankees sent third baseman Alex Rodriguez on a rehab assignment to the Tampa Yankees.
  • On July 5, 2010, the Yankees signed free agent righthander Derbin Reyes and assigned him to the minors the next day.
  • Pitching for the Orioles, Mike Mussina rode Cal Ripken and B.J. Surhoff home runs to a 9-1 win over the Yanks in the Stadium on July 5, 1999, as Andy Pettitte allowed eight hits and walked five over six.
  • Tommy Byrne gave up six hits while walking six and hitting four batters in five innings, but he got the 12-8 win over the Athletics on July 5, 1950, anyway. Cliff Mapes came to the rescue, as he drove in five tallies with a home run and a single.
  • Although both the Yankees and the Red Sox collected 16 hits on July 5, 1971, Boston prevailed 12-7 because they homered four times. They plated six in the sixth on a Rico Petrocelli bases-loaded triple and George Scott and Joe Lahoud home runs.
  • I’ll give the Yanks a pass on the ugly sixth inning on July 5, 2000, when the Orioles tallied six on seven hits and a walk against Andy Pettitte, Jason Grimsley, and Mike Stanton before Jeff Nelson restored some order. Small matter actually, as the Yanks battered Pat Rapp and Darren Holmes in a 12-6 Yankee Stadium win. The Yanks had built a 4-0 lead on Scott Brosius and Derek Jeter home runs, and they answered the Os’ six-spot with one of their own in the bottom of the sixth.
  • One unique thing about the 2006 Yankee team was on display on July 5 of that year, as the Yankees twice looked to players who had been released by Kansas City for serious help. The promotion of righthander Kris Wilson from AAA Columbus that day would provide no help at all, but the team would benefit by claiming outfielder/first baseman Aaron Guiel off waivers that same day.
  • The Yanks were swept by the Red Sox 8-7 and 6-5 on July 5, 1948, even though they held Ted Williams hitless on the day. Denny Galehouse won the first game, and he earned the save in Game Two.
  • During a Yankees/Indians July 5, 1961 doubleheader split, Roger Maris was erroneously credited with an rbi single along with the rbi he earned for a home run. The error was discovered and rectified in 1995, and from that point on, correct baseball records reflect that Roger and Jim Gentile were co-leaders of the American League in rbi’s for the 1961 season. The Bombers took the opener 6-2 that day, with the Tigers winning the nightcap, 4-3.
  • Roger Clemens garnered his 4,000th career strike out a few years back the same night he got his 300th win. It was July 5, 1998, that he made it to 3,000 K’s, in a 2-1 Toronto win over Tampa Bay.
  • July 5, 1930 marked the first time that two Negro-League teams played in Yankee Stadium. The New York Lincoln Giants and the Baltimore Black Sox split two games in front of a crowd of 20,000 fans. Visitor Rap Dixon homered three times, while Giants player Chino Smith slugged two jolts and tripled.
  • And it was this day in 1947 that Larry Doby of the Indians became the first black player to see game action in the American League when he struck out as a pinch hitter in a 6-5 Cleveland loss to the White Sox.
  • Babe Ruth was still a Red Sox player when he hit two homers in a game on July 5, 1919. It was his first of 72 two-homer games, but it went for naught on that day, as the Red Sox were swept in a doubleheader by Philly.
  • The Highlanders beat Boston 8-3 on July 5, 1906, largely on the strength of nine Red Sox errors.
  • A Barry Bonds home run in a Pittsburgh 6-4 loss to San Fran on July 5, 1989, increased the father/son total he shared with his father Bobby Bonds to 408. By doing so they broke the record (of 407), which until then was shared by the Bells (Gus Bell and Buddy Bell), and by Dale Berra and Yogi Berra.
  • On July 5, 2016, the Yankees recalled southpaw reliever Chasen Shreve from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and optioned righty swingman Luis Cessa to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team also signed free agent shortstop Eduardo Torrealba to a minor league contract.
  • On this day in 2012, the Yankees optioned righthander David Phelps to the AA Trenton Thunder.
  • On July 5, 2011, the Yankees outrighted righty reliever Buddy Carlyle to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • A few years ago I posted that I believed that the July 5, 2002, three-team trade that brought Jeff Weaver to New York was one from which the team would benefit. The trade brought Weaver to New York from the Athletics for lefthander Ted Lilly, righty Jason Arnold, and outfielder John-Ford Griffin as part of a three-way trade involving the Detroit Tigers, who along with Jeremy Bonderman, got first baseman Carlos Pena. Amazingly, Pena has recently resurfaced in Texas; he tried to make the Yankee team in 2006. In 2005, my faith (hope?) held that the original swap wasn’t all bad as long as the Yanks got a quality season from Kevin Brown, for whom Weaver was later swapped. Needless to say, I’m resigned to the fact that it was a bad trade now.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • The only Yankee player to die July 5 earns that distinction from having ended his playing with 11 games for the 1902 Baltimore Orioles, who would be relocated to New York as the Highlanders the following year. Catcher George Yeager (1940) had seven hits in 38 at bats and one rbi for Baltimore, and accumulated five home runs and 73 rbi’s overall playing from 1896-1902 with the Beaneaters, the Blues, the Pirates, and the Giants.
  • Hall of Fame lefty-hitting outfielder Ted Williams (2002) is easily the most famous ballplayer to die July 5. Playing exclusively with the Red Sox from 1939-1942 and 1946-1960, the Splendid Splitter hit 521 home runs and knocked in 1,839 runs. An outfielder with considerably more modest numbers, Pete Fox (1966) played with the Tigers and the Red Sox from 1933-1945, hitting 65 long balls good for 694 rbi’s along the way.
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    Players Born This Day

  • The cream of the crop of good Yankee players born July 5 are mound men Jack Quinn (1883) and Rich “Goose” Gossage (1951). Knuckleballer Quinn went 81-65 in two New York AL stints that spanned seven years, and he was traded with Rip Collins, Roger Peckinpaugh, and Bill Piercy to the Red Sox for Everett Scott, Joe Bush, and Sam Jones in December 1921. Quinn, who pitched until he was almost 50 years old, won 247 and lost 218 all told.
  • The King of Intimidation, reliever Gossage (1951) saved 151 games for the Bronx Bombers. His career total of 310 is truly amazing when you consider that he won 124 as well. The Veterans Committee finally righted a wrong, and inducted Goose into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Dave Eiland (1966) is the most recent Yankee July 5 player birthday, but his 6-10 record in four years of spot duty was the least significant of this group’s contributions until he assumed the Pitching Coach mantle in 2008. He was originally a 1987 Yankee amateur draft choice, and returned to the Bronx as a free agent in 1994.
  • Outfielder Curt Blefary (1943) kicked in 10 homers and 39 rbi’s to the Yankee cause in 1970 and 1971. He, too was an original Bomber signee before the 1962 season, but Baltimore claimed him the following year. The Yanks shipped Joe Pepitone to the Houston Astros for Blefary in December 1969, and they traded him (Curt), in turn, to the Oakland Athletics for Rob Gardner in May 1971.
  • Southpaw Hank Thormahlen (1896) had two saves and a 28-20 record in New York from 1917 through 1920, when he was sent north in the blockbuster that brought Waite Hoyt to New York from Boston. Bump Hadley (1904) went 49-31 with six saves in his five-year (of 16 big league years) stay in the Bronx. He was acquired from the Washington Senators with Roy Johnson for Jimmie DeShong and Jesse Hill in January 1936, and was sold to the Giants five years later. Finally, Dom Demola (1952) was a seventh-round Yankee selection in the 1970 amateur draft, although his only major league contribution was a 5-7 record with the 1974-1975 Expos.
  • Other birthdays: Superb defensive whiz in center field Gary Matthews (1950), who also hit 234 homers with 978 rbi’s with the Giants, the Braves, the Phillies, and the Cubs from 1972-1987; Jeff Innis (1962); Tim Worrell (1967); Doug Bochtler (1970); the pitcher Alberto Castillo (1975, to be distinguished from an identically named journeyman catcher who toiled in New York and elsewhere); Jesse Crain (1981); Marco Estrada (1983); Andre Rienzo (1988); Tony Cingrani (1989); Felipe Vazquez (1991); Jorge Polanco (1993); Shohei Ohtani (1994); and Austin Hays (1995).