The first (historically and tradition-wise) of two huge June 1 Yankee days took place as Lou Gehrig pinch-hit for shortstop Paul Wanninger in 1925 in a 5-3 loss to the Senators. The next day Lou played first for Wally Pipp, making what was to become his record consecutive-games streak two games old.
This time of year major league baseball’s amateur draft takes place, and the Yanks had a rare great day on June 1, 1992, when the Houston Astros and four other teams did not select Derek Jeter in the first round, so they could. The Astros selected Phil Nevin with the very first pick.
The atrocious “walk” season of Phil Hughes had another bad day on June 1, 2013, and the Yanks fell to the Red Sox in the Stadium 11-1. A five-run third inning was crowned by a Mike Napoli grand slam. The visitors used two more home runs to score three more in both the eighth and ninth off Adam Warren to make the devastation complete.
Ironically, a returning Phil Hughes had a very good day in the Bronx against the Yanks on June 1, 2014, although it took a rare ugly late-inning bullpen implosion to save him from the loss. New York bunched all three of their hits (over eight innings) with two walks and a sac fly for two tallies that had them set to win, 2-1, through eight. But David Robertson struggled badly, allowing an instant tie on a ninth-inning, leadoff Josh Willingham home run, then joined with Matt Daley and Mark Thurmond to hand the Twins six runs on five hits and a couple of walks in a 7-2 Yankee loss.
The Yankees had built-in drama as Roger Clemens went after his 300th win yet again on June 1, 2003, with high expectations in cellar-dwelling Detroit. But Roger couldn’t hold a 4-1 lead after four, and 7-1 in the fifth, as light-hitting Gene Kinsale homered and the Tigers added four singles, a walk, and an error and plated five in their half. Todd Zeile went yard next frame, but Detroit tied it at eight in the seventh, and that’s where it stayed until Alfonso Soriano homered on the first pitch of the 17th inning, with David Wells tossing almost seven scoreless frames in relief. Jorge Posada thankfully doubled the Yankee lead with a one-out jack, because the Bengals plated one off Juan Acevedo in the bottom half. Thanking the schedule makers for the off day, the Yanks just about limped into Cincinnati for a three-gamer to start June third.
June 1, 2004, was a rainy Tuesday night in the Bronx, and Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the delayed time of 7:43. The Yanks pounded Sydney Ponson and the Orioles for a 7-3 lead through seven, and the crowd cheered Derek Jeter‘s second home run that added run number eight in the eighth on principle. But it turned out to be necessary as Baltimore charged back with four in the ninth to lose 8-7. Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui slugged hometown homers, but Jeter had the big night, complementing his two dingers with a double and single for two runs scored and three driven in.
Mickey Mantle ruined Juan Pizzaro‘s shutout bid with a ninth-inning homer in Chicago on June 1, 1966. The Yanks scored another, but the Sox took the game 6-2.
It was the confirmation that the Yanks were in for a trying year when Gary Sheffield returned to the Disabled List on June 1, 2006, with Columbus (AAA) outfielder Kevin Thompson taking his place. Much of the season would be played without starters Sheffield and Hideki Matsui in the outfield.
And the moves they made on June 1, 2007, bespoke another season begun with a losing record: Jason Giambi was placed to the Disabled List and righty Matt DeSalvo was sent down to AAA Scranton, with reliever Chris Britton and outfielder Kevin Thompson being recalled to take their places.
The Red Sox briefly tied things with a two-run fifth inning vs. Mike Mussina on June 1, 2002 in the Bronx, but Rolando Arrojo walked two and hit Derek Jeter with a pitch in the sixth and Enrique Wilson “made him pay” by drilling a grand slam to right field in an 8-2 Yankee win.
Not having stroked a three-base hit in six years, Boston veteran Vic Wertz tripled in a 7-5 win over Bob Turley and the Yankees on June 1, 1961.
The Yankees set a major league record on this day in 1935 when Frank Crosetti, Ben Chapman, George Selkirk, Red Rolfe, and Bill Dickey (twice) all hit singleton home runs in a 7-2 win over the Red Sox.
A 400-foot home run by Mickey Mantle in the first inning is the only hit the Yanks earned in a 4-1 loss to Hal Brown and the Orioles in Baltimore on June 1, 1960.
Frank Baker (often depicted with the middle name “Home Run”) made his mark on June 1, 1918, with his third baseman’s glove. Trailing the Yanks 5-4 in the ninth, the Tigers loaded the bases with no one out, and Chick Gandil lined a ball back at Baker, who turned it into a game-ending triple play.
Derek Jeter equaled a Yankee record from 1961 when he reached base safely in the first 50 games of the year when he had two hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch and scored three runs to support Roger Clemens‘s 11-5 victory over Cleveland in Yankee Stadium on this day in 1999.
Baltimore righty Jim Palmer was in a rare groove in May and June of 1978, and the 1-0 win he eked out over the Yankees in The Stadium on June 1 was the second of three identically scored games he threw in 18 days. He had blanked the Tigers on May 24, and would dominate the A’s on June 10.
The June 1, 2003 highlight that began the column had the Yanks beating the Tigers 10-9 in 17 innings. On the same day back in 1944, Detroit took the Yanks in 16, as Don Ross knocked in the winner and Hal Newhouser got the win in relief, 4-3. And on this day in 1930, the Yanks fell in 14, this time to the Red Sox and Danny MacFayden, 7-4.
When Phil Niekro won his 314th game on June 1, 1987, he and brother Joe took over the lead in total wins recorded by brothers from Gaylord and Jim Perry.
Nolan Ryan tied Sandy Koufax by throwing his fourth no-hitter on this day in 1975, pitching the Angels to a 1-0 victory over the Orioles. And White Sox pitcher Bill Dietrich threw a no-hitter against the Browns on June 1, 1937, 8-0.
On June 1, 2001, at-the-time Indians hurler C.C. Sabathia was awarded with the 7-2 win over the Yanks even though he only threw four innings. The game was stopped due to rain after five innings, and it is a rarely mentioned and not very well known rule that in those circumstances a starter needn’t go five for the win. Robbie Alomar walked, homered, doubled, singled, and scored three runs and knocked in two on the shortened day. Orlando “el duque” Hernandez was supposed to get the start in the first of three against Cleveland, but he bowed out with a sore foot. Ted Lilly stepped in and was battered, as Yankee no. 61 pitched in 61-degree weather on 6/1.
On June 1, 2017, the Yankees sent first baseman Greg Bird on a rehab assignment to the Tampa Yankees.
On June 1, 2015, the Yankees signed free agent outfielder Teodoro Martinez to a minor league contract.
In a minor player move, Cleveland claimed righthander Shane Lindsay off waivers from the Yankees on June 1, 2010.
Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn did Jim Bouton and his publisher a huge favor on June 1, 1970, when he reprimanded the ex-Yankee in private for writing the controversial book Ball Four. Sales picked up dramatically.
June 1, 1987, is probably newsworthy as the day that KC Royal George Brett hit his 200th home run in a 5-3 win over Texas, but we’re including it because it was also the game in which Yankee Designated Hitter and reserve Outfielder from recent years Ruben Sierra got his first major league hit, a three-run homer for all the Rangers’ runs.
“Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?” was the musical question Paul Simon posed in his 1968 hit, Mrs. Robinson. On June 1 of that year the song became number one in the nation.
Legendary Yankee Manager Miller Higgins, appearing as a player before his managing days and batting leadoff for the Cardinals in a 10-5 win over Philadelphia on this day in 1910, set a record for having no official at bats in six plate appearances. He walked his first three times to the plate, followed with a sac fly and then a sac bunt, and then he walked with the bases loaded to force the lead run across in the eighth inning.
An additional June 1 item affecting one-time Yanks affects recent fifth starter Jaret Wright, who as a Cleveland starter at the time was interviewed by AL President Gene Budig on this day in 1999 regarding his proclivity for hitting opposition batters with pitches.
Just one more March hope that went by the wayside: The Yankees designated infielder Morgan Ensberg for assignment on June 1, 2008. Righthander Scott Patterson was recalled from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill the spot.
We have pitchers from each side of the plate and one position player as Yankees who have died on June 1. Righthander Pete Schneider (1957) ended his career by pitching seven games (four starts) to an 0-1 record with no saves for the 1919 Yankees. Having pitched for Cincinnati from 1914-1918, his career mark was 59-86-4. Southpaw Fred Heimach (1973) won 13, lost nine, and saved four games for the 1928-1929 Yankees, appearing in 48 games (19 starts). He pitched to an overall mark of 62-69-7 from 1920-1933, mostly with the A’s and the Dodgers. Last, lefty first baseman/outfielder Johnny Hopp (2003) hit three home runs and drove in 14 runs in 80 games in New York from 1950-1952. In a career that spanned 1939-1952, mostly with the Cardinals, but a few years each with the Braves and Pirates too, Hopp reached 46 fences good for 458 runs driven in.
Hall of Fame lefthander Rube Marquard (1980) is the first of two nonYankee players we’ll mention who passed this day. Spending much of his 1908-1925 career with the Giants, Rube pitched for the Braves and Dodgers too in compiling 201 wins, 177 losses, and 19 saves. Lefty-hitting outfielder George Watkins (1970) hit 73 long balls with 420 rbi’s for the Cardinals and the Phillies from 1930-1936.
Players Who Have Died This Day
There are now four Yankee June 1 birthdays, with one added in 2012, and we’ll lead off with left-handed batter and thrower Bud Metheny (1915). He played all four of his years in the Yankee outfield from 1943 through 1946, during which time he chipped in with 31 homers and 156 rbi’s.
Catcher Homer Thompson (1891) played for no other major league team but the Yankees too, but he only appeared in one game. He played in his game in 1912, and had no at bats. Hank Sevareid (1891) was also a catcher, but he capped his 15-year career by playing for the 1926 Yankees. Hank drove in 13 runs in 41 games playing for New York; he drilled 17 homers and knocked in 539 runs in his career, most of which he spent with the St. Louis Browns. St. Louis traded him to Washington for George Mogridge and Pinky Hargrave in June 1925, and the Yankees got him from the Senators on waivers a year later.
A new Yankee was welcomed from an unlikely location when the Yanks bolstered their pitching staff by signing ex-Red Sox hurler Derek Lowe (1973) when Texas released him midseason in 2012. Serving as a swingman, Lowe went 1-1 with one save in 17 games, bringing his career record since he made the majors with Seattle in 1997 and was traded with Jason Varitek to Boston for Heathcliff Slocumb 176-157-86.
Other birthdays: Ray Moore (1926), who won 63 while losing 59 pitching for the Dodgers, the Orioles, the White Sox, and the Twins from 1952-1963; Dean Chance (1941); Ken McMullen (1942); Randy Hundley (1942); Derek Lowe (1973); Brad Wilkerson (1977); Carlos Zambrano (1981); Wilkin Castillo (1984); Francisco Peguero (1988); and Andrew Stevenson (1994).
Players Born This Day