In its initial season (2009), new Yankee Stadium was a walkoff house of horrors for visiting teams, but it hasn’t featured those kinds of home celebrations quite as often since. But on June 16, 2011, the Yanks rode an unexpected start from journeyman free agent Brian Gordon, signed that day, who allowed two runs into the sixth, to a 2-2 tie in regulation, with the tie forged on DH Jorge Posada‘s sixth-inning double. Mariano Rivera and Cory Wade retired 12 of 13 in innings 9 through 12, until Brett Gardner‘s rbi single drove in Curtis Granderson with the game winner in the bottom of the 12th, 3-2 Yanks.
Seemingly riding high off an 8-3 victory over Doc Halladay and the Phillies the night before that stretched their home winning streak to nine games, the Yanks put up a stinker in a 6-3 loss to Philly on Wednesday night, June 16, 2010. A.J. Burnett had one more in a string of bad innings that turned a promising start to the season into his worst year when the visitors reached him for four runs in the second, capped by a Shane Victorino triple. But the worst of it was that the “Bombers” stroked all of three hits off ancient lefty Jamiie Moyer over eight innings, even if two of them were Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada home runs.
When you have more great players and personalities than all the other teams, that means you have to say good-bye more often too. Long-time “Voice of the Yankees” Mel Allen, also the long-time star of TV’s This Week in Baseball, passed away on June 16, 1996.
An historic first on June 16. Way back in 1903 the Yanks (Highlanders) beat the White Sox, 1-0, in the team’s first ever shutout, tossed by Clark Griffith.
Bernard Gilkey and John Olerud both singled and doubled in what may have been Dave Mlicki‘s best ever major league start as he went the distance in a 6-0 win over the Yanks in a packed house in the Bronx in the first regular-season interleague game in New York on June 16, 1997.
Ron Guidry, who had his no. 49 retired in the Bronx a few years ago, threw his first complete game on this day in 1977, a 7-0 shutout over Kansas City.
With the six-game (all starts) Tyler Clippard debut in the Yankee 2007 rotation finally at an end, he was sent to AAA Scranton on June 16, with outfielder Kevin Thompson taking his place. Clippard had a no decision in the Yankee 11-8 victory over the Mets that day, but he did finish with a 3-1 record, though with a high era. He would be traded in the subsequent offseason to the Washington Nationals for reliever Jonathan Albaladejo.
Few Mets fans recall any highlights of Mo Vaughn‘s days in Flushing, but June 16, 2002, was one of them as he blasted a three-run jack off David Wells in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 3-2 interleague win over the Yanks.
Back when it was a Yankee farm, it was on June 16, 1950, that the Yanks recalled Johnny Mize from Kansas City. He made a strong case for staying, as he proceeded to post 25 homers and 90 rbi’s during the remainder of the year.
That same 1950 day was a good one for the Bombers all around. Newly acquired relievers Joe Ostrowski and Tom Ferrick starred as the New Yorkers held on to defeat the Browns, 7-5.
Unfortunately, it had become virtually a certain case of when, not if, when the Yankees faced reality and designated righthander Jose Veras for assignment on June 16, 2009.
On June 12, 1998, Sidney Ponson and Arthur Rhodes subdued the Yankees, 2-0, allowing only two hits between them. As the second Oriole win of the three-game series, it snapped the Yankees’ record-breaking streak of 24 winning series in a row.
The Yanks beat hard-throwing Sam McDowell on this day in 1966. Mickey Mantle was robbed of a first-inning home run by a great Rocky Colavito catch, but he came back and stroked one to the opposite field in the third in the Yank’s 7-6 win. Hitting the other way was often the ticket when facing “Sudden Sam.”
Chicago righty James Baldwin persevered for a 3-1 win over the Yankees in a June 16, 2000 contest in the Bronx. Mike Stanton allowed Chris Singleton a leadoff triple, and subsequent score, in the seventh after relieving David Cone in a 1-1 tie. A clueless Stadium crowd gave a Bronx cheer on a 4-3 in the ninth, not realizing that Clay Bellinger had taken over for Chuck Knoblauch, whose tentative throws had brought on the hometown invective.
Yankee Manager from 1996-2007 Joe Torre was available when the Yanks were looking for a skipper after Buck Showalter left because he was fired from the same job with the St. Louis Cardinals on June 16, 1995.
The Yankees managed only four hits off Rangers righty Rick Helling and two relievers in a 3-0 loss to Texas in Yankee Stadium on June 16, 1999. Lee Stevens homered off Orlando Hernandez for two in the second and scored the third run after singling in the seventh.
Boston Red Sox pitcher Boo Ferris started his career in Beantown with eight straight victories, four of them shutouts. But the Yankees beat him, 3-2, on June 16, 1945, to put an end to that.
A hobbled Mickey Mantle gave the Yanks just what they needed on this day in 1962, as his eighth-inning pinch three-run blast gave the Yanks a 9-7 lead against the Indians, but the pen couldn’t handle the new-found prosperity. Jerry Kindall‘s two-run ninth-inning home run was the winner, as New York fell 10-9.
Long Tom Hughes threw nine innings without giving up a hit for the second time on June 16. His earlier achievement (throwing for the Yankees) went for naught as he lost, 5-0, in 11 innings, but he earned the no-hitter this day in 1916, pitching the Braves to a win over the Pirates.
After many close calls over 12 years, and of course after leaving Flushing (the Mets still haven’t had one), Tom Seaver finally threw a no-hitter on June 16, 1978, beating the Cardinals 4-0 for the Reds.
Phil Regan of the Tigers tamed the Yanks by a 4-2 score in the Motor City on June 15, 1961, and Detroit climbed into first place.
To create space on the roster for free agent starter Brian Gordon, signed this day, the Yankees optioned righthander Lance Pendleton to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 16, 2011. They also signed free agent lefty Jose Ortegano, released righthander Amaury Sanit, and signed a long list of recent amateur free agent selections: righty pitchers Mark Montgomery, Philip Wetherell, Robert Paullus, Corey Maines, and Branden Pinder; lefty Matthew Tracy; and outfielder Robert Pinard.
Two “sixes” on the 16th. The Braves’ Otis Nixon stole six bases on this day in 1991, and Jimmie Foxx was walked six consecutive times on the 16th back in 1938.
Sadly, it was Olympian Jim Thorpe‘s service with Rocky Mountain of the East Carolina League that began on June 16, 1909, that would be the cause of the superb athlete losing all the medals he had earned in the 1912 Olympics.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Although there is an impressive list of five Yankee players who have died on June 16, their impact on the team was minimal, a point that is clearly made when I say that lefty Marlin Stuart‘s (1994) 10 games (no starts) for the 1954 club represents more games played in New York than the other four combined. The 3-0 record with one save ended a big-league 1949-1954 career that finished with a 23-17-15 mark, earned mostly with the Tigers and the Browns. Righties Ned Garvin (1908) and Wally Hood, Jr. (2001) pitched two games each for the New York team. Garvin (in two starts) went 0-1 with the 1904 Highlanders, and 57-97-4 from 1896-1904 with the Dodgers and Orphans; while Hood’s (0 starts) two games for the 1949 Yanks were the only games in his career, pitched to an 0-0-0 mark. Both debuting with the team with just one game played apiece were second baseman Mack Hillis (1961) and catcher Clint Courtney (1975). Though hitless in his one at bat in 1924, Hillis scored one run for the Yanks, then he hit a home run with seven rbi’s with the 1928 Pirates; and Courtney, 0-for-2 in New York in 1951, hit 38 home runs good for 313 rbi’s from 1952-1961 with the Senators, the Browns, and the Orioles.
The only significant nonYankee player death we’ll mention was to second baseman Eddie Stanky (1999), a player who could not count Yankee shortstop and broadcaster Phil Rizzuto among his fans. Stanky made stops with the Cubs, the Braves, the Giants, and the Cards, but most of his career 29 home runs and 364 rbi’s from 1943-1953 were collected with the Dodgers.
Players Born This Day
June 16 Yankee birthdays: Bobby Keefe (1882) posted a 3-5 record for the Highlanders in 1907, and also pitched in Cincinnati, where he went 15-16. Outfielder and third baseman Allie Clark (1923) chipped in with a homer and 14 rbi’s in his rookie year with the 1947 Yanks. He was shipped to the Cleveland Indians for Red Embree that October. Over the next five years he increased his career numbers to 32 home runs with 149 rbi’s playing with the Indians, the Athletics, and the White Sox.
Righthander Ken Johnson (1933) pitched in 12 games in the Bronx, to a 1-2 record in 1969, near the end of his 13-year career. Ken was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in June 1969 and sold to the Chicago Cubs two months later. Doing most of his pitching from 1958 to 1970 with Kansas City, Houston, and Atlanta, he posted 91 wins, with 106 losses and nine saves.
Veteran righty Kerry Wood (1977) increased the size of the Yankee June 16 birthday club once he was acquired for the stretch run in 2010, a run where he was superb, pitching to a 2-0 record controlling the eight inning for the Yanks to an era of 0.69 over 26 games.
Other baseball birthdays of note: righty Ernie Johnson (1924), who won 40 and saved 19 while losing but 23 games for the Braves in Boston and Milwaukee from 1950-1959; Bob Miller (1926), with a dead-even 42-42 mark with the Phillies from 1949-1958; Joe Decker (1947); Ron LeFlore (1948); Salome Barojas (1957); Calvin Schiraldi (1962); Wally Joyner (1962), who cleared 204 fences for 1,106 rbi’s from 1986-2001; first baseman Kevin Young (1969), who garnered most of his 144 taters and 606 rbi’s from 1992-2003 with the Pirates; Chris Gomez (1971); Jose Nieves (1975); Dewon Brazelton (1980); Joe Saunders (1981); and Jonathan Broxton (1984).