Starter Joba Chamberlain was of course not around long enough for the win in a 5-4 Yankee extra-inning victory over Boston in Yankee Stadium in the ESPN Sunday night game on July 6, 2008, but he did have some fun before leaving by throwing yet another pitch above the head of Kevin Youkilis. Alex Rodriguez homered off Tim Wakefield in this one, and Robinson Cano had a key two-run triple that tied the game in the seventh. But the star of the game award goes to Brett Gardner, who got the start in center in place of Johnny Damon, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained left shoulder earlier that day. The speedy rookie singled and scored in the sixth, and drove in Cano with the game winner in the bottom of the tenth. Astronaut and Yankee fan Garrett Reisman, who in April had thrown out the first pitch in a Stadium game from the International Space Station, threw out the first pitch in person this day, having returned to Earth in the interim. He also moved the games counter down to 34, following Elston Howard‘s granddaughter, who had moved it down the day before. The Yanks recalled outfielder Justin Christian from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill Damon’s spot.
The Yanks and Orioles had another close game in the Stadium on July 6, 2013, something they’ve been doing often the last few years, and the 5-4 home town victory could be pointed to as much as any as the key win that settled the season series in the Yanks’ favor, 10-9. Andy Pettitte pitched into the seventh for the win, Travis Hafner scored twice, and Eduardo Nunez knocked in two runs. Mariano Rivera closed out his one-inning save by striking out recent Yankee and pinch hitter Chris Dickerson.
Although the rally fell short, the Yanks had another one of those 2009 games in new Yankee Stadium on July 6 that made fans begin to believe the team would find a way to win most of the time regardless of the circumstances. Down to Toronto 7-3 on seventh-inning home runs by John McDonald and Scott Rolen, they rallied for three late runs highlighted by a Hideki Matsui two-out, two-run pinch single in the bottom of the ninth. Right fielder Eric Hinske, who had homered for the first Yankee run back in the fourth, struck out for the last out.
By scores of 8-4 and 3-1, the Yanks swept two from the Philadelphia Athletics on July 6, 1941, in Yankee Stadium. By hitting safely in both games, Joe DiMaggio extended his hitting streak to 48 games. But the day is most memorable because it was that Sunday that a monument was dedicated to the memory of Lou Gehrig: “A Man, A Gentleman, and A Great Ball Player.”
Midweek day games can be pretty stressful for this Yankee fan, particularly if I try to put in an appearance at work first and then make for the Bronx. This is what I did on July 6, 2000, for a Thursday 1:00 pm series closer vs. Sidney Ponson and the Orioles. Baltimore had the Yanks in a seven-run hole by the time I made it to my seat. But then the Bombers used some key hits and the four consecutive walks Ponson issued in the bottom of the second to score eight, Scott Brosius tied a major-league record by starting four double plays as a third baseman, and the Yanks made my day with a 13-9 win.
John Wetteland tied Lee Smith by garnering a save in his 20th consecutive appearance by pitching the ninth inning in Jimmy Key‘s 2-0 win over the Brewers on July 6, 1996. The Yanks purchased Darryl Strawberry‘s contract from Columbus during the game.
Five days after his disastrous and demoralizing 4-0 loss to the White Sox in 1990, despite having thrown a no-hitter, Andy Hawkins fell to ignominious defeat yet again, on July 6, 1990. He threw shutout ball at the Twins into the twelfth inning, only to lose, 2-0, in that frame; his win-loss record dipped to 1-6.
Angels righty Bartolo Colon suffered yet another meltdown against the Yankees on July 6, 2007, when the Yanks drove him from the mound with a six-run third inning in a 14-9 win. Melky Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, and Robbie Cano each stroked three hits, and Posada (three) and Rodriguez (two) combined for five rbi’s. It was one day before the Old Timers Game and three before the All Star Break.
Roger Clemens outpitched Ramiro Mendoza in a 2-0 Blue Jays win on July 6, 1997. In his first shutout of the season, the Rocket allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out 10 Yanks, and by winning the game he became the AL’s first 1997, 13-game winner.
The Yankees jumped out to a 7-0 lead over the Mets after three innings on Friday, July 6, 2001, on two rbi singles by Scott Brosius and an Alfonso Soriano home run. The home team then coasted to the 8-3 win, with Andy Pettitte winning over fellow lefty Al Leiter.
Boston reliever Don McMahon became just the second pitcher to beat the Bombers in both ends of a doubleheader, 5-3 and 5-4, when he pulled off the trick on July 6, 1966. But Don earned his booty with 2/3 of an inning in Game One, and two frames in Game Two. When Dave Davenport of the Browns first achieved the double-W over the Yankees in 1916, he threw two complete-game victories.
Bill Mueller of the Red Sox jumped on Andy Pettitte for a home run and a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on July 6, 2003, but that’s when the Red Sox scoring both began and ended. The Yanks plated a pair off John Burkett in the first, added one in the fifth, and sent him to the showers when hearing-impaired Curtis Pride homered to center in the sixth. Three seventh-inning tallies closed out the 8-1 Yankee win.
It was the third time in four games that the M&M boys went back to back when they homered off Camilo Pascual in the first inning of a 7-5 win over the Twins on this day in 1962. Both Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle homered twice in the game. Mantle’s taters in his first two at bats gave him four in succession over two games.
Power-hitting Tigers first baseman Norm Cash drilled two three-run homers in a 12-7 win over the Yankees on July 6, 1971, as Mickey Lolich went the distance for the win.
Babe Ruth starred in the first ever All Star game, held in Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 6, 1933. The Babe hit a two-run home run in the 4-2 American League win.
On July 6, 1986, Bob Horner became the 11th player to hit four homers in a game, but only the second one to do it in a losing cause.
The record the Yankees set when they scored 14 runs in the fifth inning of a July 6, 1920, 17-0 win over Washington stood for 33 years, until the Red Sox scored 17 in one frame in 1953.
Commissioner Ford Frick inaugurated the Cy Young Award to honor the outstanding pitcher of the year on this day in 1956. For over a decade only one pitcher a year was honored, but in 1967, they began presenting one award to a pitcher in each league.
On July 6, 2017, the Yankees sent center fielder Mason Williams outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The club also signed free agent infielder Jose Carrera to a minor league contract.
On July 6, 2015, the Yankees sent southpaw Andrew Miller on a rehab assignment to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The club also signed two free agents, third baseman Sandy Acevedo and catcher Samuel De La Cruz, to minor league contracts.
On July 6, 2014, the Yankees designated left fielder Alfonso Soriano for assignment; and then selected the contract of reliever Bruce Billings from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Although neither was to have much effect on the 2013 team, the Yankees sent shortstop Derek Jeter and righthander Michael Pineda on rehab assignments to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on July 6, 2013. In addition, first baseman Mark Teixeira was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list, following right wrist surgery; and righty David Phelps was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to the day before, with a right forearm strain. Finally, infielder Eduardo Nunez had his roster status changed.
On July 6, 2012, the Yankees signed righthanded pitcher Brady Lail and outfielder Robert Refsnyder.
The Yanks purchased the contract of Boardwalk Brown from the A’s on this day in 1914, but he would only post a 7-11 win-loss record with them.
The Yankees released Urban Shocker after one appearance in 1928 on this day, due to his poor health.
On July 5, 2011, the Yankees activated righthander Phil Hughes from the 60-day disabled list. To create room on the 25-man roster they optioned righty Lance Pendleton to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, and to open a slot on the 40-man, they released righthander Kanekoa Texeira.
The first July 6 feature involving a future or former Yankee we’ll include is the double Fred Merkle hit in the second inning of Grover Cleveland Alexander‘s third one-hitter of the 1915 season. Famous for a “bonehead” baserunning play with the Giants, Merkle finished his career in the mid-twenties playing eight games for the Yankees.
In the same category, future Yankee power hitter Danny Tartabull became the first Royal to ever homer three times in a game in a 9-7 K.C. loss to Oakland on July 6, 1991. And finally, when Johnny Keane was hired to replace Solly Hemus as manager of the Cardinals this day in 1961, it was his last job as field boss before taking the same position with the Yanks four years later.
The Yankees signed shortstop Jose Rosario on July 6, 2009.
Fred Lynn hit the first ever grand slam in All Star competition as the AL beat the NL 13-3 in the 50th anniversary game on July 6, 1983.
When Whitey Herzog resigned from his job as manager of the Cardinals on July 6, 1990, Red Schoendienst replaced him temporarily. But in less than a month, the job would become Joe Torre‘s last managing job before he joined the Yanks in that capacity in 1996.
Both Yankee players who have died July 6 were pitchers who threw with different hands, but righty Sam Jones (1966) definitely had the more notable career. Jones won 67, lost 54, and saved 22 games with the Yanks from 1922-1926, and with stints with the Red Sox both before and after and stops in Washington and Chicago, all between 1914 and 1935, finished with a career record of 229-217-31. Southpaw Ray Francis (1934) had no record in New York during four games (no starts) in 1925, and his career mark between 1922 and 1925 with Washington, Detroit, and Boston (AL) was 12-28-3.
Just two of three noteworthy nonYankee players to pass this day pitched, starting with righthander Jimmy Ring (1965). Throwing mostly for the Reds and Phillies from 1917-1928, Ring won 118, lost 149, and saved 11. Outfielder Bob Johnson (1982) played 10 years of his 1933-1945 career with the A’s, with stops with the Senators and Red Sox at the end. He hit 288 home runs and drove in 1,283 runs. Righthander Dom Zanni (2017) makes the list by virtue of his seven seasons in the bigs, even though he appeared in just 111 games (three starts). Hurling for the Giants, White Sox, and Reds between 1958 and 1966, Dom went 9-6 with 10 saves.
Players Who Have Died This Day
It’s a special Yankee birthday day, as the former second baseman, former captain, former third base coach and bench coach Willie Randolph was born July 6, 1954. Willie was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates with Ken Brett and Dock Ellis for Doc Medich in December 1975. The Yanks re-signed him in 1987, but he was, in effect, traded to the Dodgers before the 1989 season once the Yanks signed free agent Steve Sax to be their second baseman. Willie hit 54 home runs and knocked in 687 runs in Pinstripes. He became the manager of the rival crosstown Mets for the 2005 season, and coaches for the Milwaukee Brewers now.
Five other Yankee birthdays: Lefty-hitting catcher Ken Sears (1917) played one (1943) of his two years in the bigs with the Yanks; he hit two home runs and drove in 22 runs. Roy Hartzell (1881) contributed eight home runs and 266 rbi’s playing infield in the Bronx from 1911 through 1916. Hartzell was acquired from the St. Louis Browns in 1911 for Jimmy Austin and Frank LaPorte.
Lance Johnson (1963) finished off a 14-year career by playing 18 games and batting .300 for the 2000 Yankees. Lance stole two bases and contributed two rbi’s. Lance’s overall numbers in 14 years: 34 taters, 486 rbi’s, and 327 stolen bases. And catcher Steve O’Neill (1891) cleared 13 fences with 531 rbi’s from 1911-1928, mostly with Cleveland. But he blasted one home run with 13 rbi’s in 35 games for the 1925 Yankees once they selected him off waivers from the Boston Red Sox in December 1924.
Righthander Nick Goody (1990) opted not to sign with New York once selected in the 22nd round in the 2011 amateur draft, a good move, as when he did sign in 2012, he was selected in the sixth round. Nick pitched to no record and a 4.88 era for the Yanks in 34 games during the 2015 and ’16 seasons. He was traded to the Indians for a player to be named later, who became pitcher/catcher Yoiber Marquina, and pitched very well in Cleveland in 2017, less so in 2018.
Other birthdays: Righthander Cy Blanton (1908), who won 68 while losing 71 with the Pirates and the Phillies from 1934-1942; Jason Thompson (1954); Omar Olivares (1967), who posted much of his 77-86 record with the Cardinals from 1990-2001; Greg Norton (1972); Mike Ryan (1977); Preston Tucker (1990); Manny Machado (1992); and Andrew Benintendi (1994).
Players Born This Day