Down big to the Rangers on June 29, 2016, largely due to a sloppy third-inning, four-run rally off Masahiro Tanaka, with a three-run double by Nomar Mazara being the big blow, the Yankees shocked the visitors and closer Sam Dyson with a six run bottom-of-the-ninth rally, winning 9-7 going away. A three-run Brian McCann jolt tied the game; Didi Gregorius‘s two-run bomb walked it off.
A four-run fourth inning keyed by a Robinson Cano triple and three-run Russell Martin jack, along with a Jorge Posada home run later, suppled the offense, as A.J. Burnett outpitched Shaun Marcum in a 5-2 Yankee win over the Brewers on June 29, 2011. When Mariano Rivera came on for the save, he moved past Roberto Hernandez into 12th place in all-time major league appearances with No. 1,011.
On the “debacle” list of ESPN Sunday night contests was the 8-5 loss to the visiting Red Sox on June 28, 2014. A Mark Teixeira homer, Ichiro Suzuki triple, and Brett Gardner double in the middle innings kept the Yanks in it, but the seven runs starter Chase Whitley allowed in four-plus innings dug too deep a hole. David Ortiz stroked a three-run homer, and Mookie Betts, playing right field, collected a single and a walk in his major league debut.
This is a day where among some great games the biggest and best Yankee news may just have taken place off the field. The Yankees made a significant addition to their team on June 29, 1950, when they brought young lefty Whitey Ford up from AA Kansas City.
The Yankees made a key — and totally unexpected — trade on June 29, 2000. On that day they shipped outfielder Ricky Ledee and two players to be named later (yeah, them again) to the Indians for lefty power-hitting outfielder David Justice.
Taking the mound as the starting pitcher in his major league debut on June 29, 2012, after having been promoted the day before, righthander Adam Warren failed to survive the second inning in a 14-7 White Sox win. This was unfortunate because the Yanks had taken a 4-0 first-inning lead on Curtis Granderson and Andruw Jones home runs.
The Mike Mussina who took the mound in the opener of a homestand on June 29, 2007, was thankfully like the guy we would see through much of 2008, because the team needed it returning from 1-7 road trip. Moose went seven innings in a 2-1 Yankee win, riding a two-run, first-inning Alex Rodriguez home run over the Oakland A’s. Sadly, Mike bested the very game A’s lefty Joe Kennedy, who would die an untimely death due to an undiagnosed heart ailment following the season.
You’d have to go a long way to find a wilder Yankee win than the one they managed on June 29, 1987. They took an 11-4 lead, then fell behind 14-11, only to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on the strength of Dave Winfield‘s eight-inning grand slam (their second on the day; Don Mattingly had already hit one) in a 15-14 win over the Blue Jays.
Mickey Mantle blasted his 37th and 38th career Fenway Park homers beyond the fences on June 29, 1966, tying him with Babe Ruth for most homers in the ancient Boston Park by an opponent. They remain tied in that regard to this day. The second of those two was the middle shot of back-to-back-to-back blasts in the third (after Bobby Richardson and followed by Joe Pepitone), and the Yanks prevailed, 6-5.
Although Gary Sheffield and Tony Clark homered as Javier Vazquez and the Yankees slapped the Red Sox 10-3 on June 29, 2004, most of the scoring was due to a slew of singles and three Boston errors. Johnny Damon homered his first two times up for Boston and Derek Lowe took the loss.
The Yankees tied a major-league record not equaled in almost 40 years when three Bombers stroked sac flies in the same inning in an 8-0 victory over the Tigers in Comerica Park on June 29, 2000. Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, and Jose Vizcaino all delivered.
In another highlight from the long Championship-less years before the glorious 1996 season, Kevin Maas and Jesse Barfield homered and the Yanks scored three in the ninth off Dan Plesac to outlast the Brewers 9-8 on this day in 1991. It was the last major-league appearance of Brewer Teddy Higuera (Don Mattingly respectfully referred to the crafty lefty as “Bad Teddy”), as he was forced to retire after experiencing a tear in his rotator cuff.
Dominant from start to finish, Roger Clemens struck out the side in the ninth inning of a 3-0, complete-game win over the Tigers on this day in 1999. Shane Spencer and Derek Jeter home runs accounted for all the scoring.
Joe DiMaggio had a record day in a doubleheader sweep of the Senators on June 29, 1941. He singled in each game, the first tying the American League consecutive-game-hit record (George Sisler, 41 games), and the second surpassing it. The 9-4 and 7-5 Yankee wins took place at Griffith Stadium in Washington.
Smoky Joe Wood got the shutout on a one-hitter in the seven-inning nightcap as the Red Sox swept two from the Bombers on June 29, 1912. Boston’s Hick Cady could claim two hits on one at bat; he lost a single when it was negated by a balk call in the second game, but doubled when his at bat resumed.
The Yanks and David Cone outlasted the Indians, 11-10, on this day in 1997. Three-run jacks by Tino Martinez and Charlie Hayes carried the day.
The worst Yankee news on June 29, 2017, is that the club had to acknowledge another setback and transferred first baseman Greg Bird from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day list, with a right ankle bruise. Further degrading the situation, the team felt forced, one assumes, to select the contract of first baseman Chris Carter, whom they had designated for assignment, from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In addition, first baseman Tyler Austin had his roster status changed. The Yankees also designated outfielder Mason Williams for assignment; and optioned third baseman Miguel Andujar to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. They selected the contract of center fielder Dustin Fowler from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as well. Then, the club signed free agent catcher Pedro Diaz to a minor league contract; and signed righthanders Shawn Semple and Janson Junk.
On June 29, 2015, the Yankees sent center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury on a rehab assignment to the Tampa Yankees.
On June 29, 2012, the Yankees made several pitching-related moves, designating Danny Farquhar for assignment; optioning Ryota Igarashi to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; claiming righthander Chris Schwinden off waivers from Cleveland, and sending him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; and, finally, recalling David Phelps from A level Tampa.
The Yankees continued to retool the 2005 team on June 29, recalling reliever Jason Anderson from Columbus while optioning outfielder Kevin Reese to AAA in his place.
Thankfully, Tino Martinez and Alfonso Soriano home runs had staked Roger Clemens and the Yankees to a big 7-0 lead over the Rays on June 29, 2001, because two rbi hits by Aubrey Huff and one by Brent Abernathy brought Tampa Bay storming back in a 7-5 Yankee win.
The Yankees halted a Jim Palmer eight-game winning streak on June 29, 1972, when they chased the Orioles’ ace in the second and held on to win, 4-3. Mel Stottlemyre got the win and Sparky Lyle the save.
Mickey Mantle had been hitless in his last 16 at bats against the Athletics on June 29, 1958, until he homered in the third, the only New York highlight in former Yankee Ralph Terry‘s 12-6 win for K.C.
The June 29, 1947, 3-1 Yankee win over the Senators got them started on a 19-game winning streak.
Pitching for the Red Sox on June 29, 1915, Babe Ruth got the win when Boston edged the Yanks 6-5 in 10 frames on Tris Speaker‘s 5-for-5 day.
In a rare instance of two Yankee legends from different eras taking the field on the same day, Mickey Mantle tied the score when he delivered a two-run jack against the A’s in the first of two on June 29, 1968, only to see his team lose when rookie Reggie Jackson homered in the eighth inning of a 5-2 Oakland win. The home-standing Yanks recovered to win the second game, 5-4
In a June 29, 1909 doubleheader split with the Senators, Highlander Ray Demmitt hit the first home run Walter Johnson had allowed since his debut two years before in a 3-1 Washington win, but the Highlanders stormed back to take the nightcap, 11-3.
On June 29, 2011, the Yankees signed free agent righthander Logan Kensing.
Both Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers and Dave Stewart of the A’s threw no-hitters on June 29, 1990, the first such double occurrence since 1917. Stewart shut out the Blue Jays 5-0 and Valenzuela blanked the Cards by a 6-0 score.
Lou Gehrig suffered a concussion when he was beaned in an exhibition game in Norfolk, Virginia, on June 29, 1934.
First Tom Gordon and then Greg Gagne extended the consecutive-saves streak to big numbers in the last decade, but the top mark only became 12 in a row when Steve Bedrosian reached that number in a 6-5 Phillies win over the Pirates on June 29, 1987. In so doing he eclipsed Yankee Sparky Lyle‘s record.
The Bombers lost Roger Maris for 49 games with bone chips in the heel of his right hand on June 29, 1965. And they lost 2-1 to the Senators that day as well.
In an 11-1 Giants victory over the Dodgers on June 29, 1905, Moonlight Graham, made famous in the book and movie Field of Dreams, was a late-inning defensive replacement in this, his only major league game appearance. He had no at bats.
The first of two additional June 29 highlights featuring former or future Yankee players is the single soon-to-be Yank Paul Blair stroked off Rick Wise in Fenway on this day in 1976. Wise shut out Paul’s Orioles that day 2-0, but the bingle broke up his no-hit bid. And when the Mets staged a nine-run comeback over three frames in a 10-8 win over the Pirates on June 29, 1997, 2004 first sacker (who would later become a Yankee) John Olerud led the way with two home runs.
When Willie Mays homered three times on this day in 1961, the last was the game-winner in an 8-7, 10-inning game over the Phillies. The “Say Hey Kid” thereby became the fourth guy in history to bang out three homers in a game twice in the same season.
Jim Northrup of the Tigers hit his third grand slam of the month in a 5-2 win over the White Sox on June 29, 1968, tying the major league record with Rudy York from 1938.
There are no Yankees players who have died on June 29.
Only two nonYankee players of note, both catchers, make the list of player deaths this day. Lefty-hitting catcher Johnny Hassler (1979) hit one home run and drove in 318 runs playing for Cleveland in 1913-1914, and Detroit from 1921-1927. Backstop Ray Mueller cleared 56 fences good for 373 rbi’s from 1935-1951 with the Reds, the Bees, the Pirates, the Giants, and the Braves.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Hall of Fame old-time manager Wilbert Robinson (1863), who led the Brooklyn club from 1914 through 1931, is a June 29 birthdayer, but Wilbert has a Yankee connection too. He notched one homer and 83 rbi’s while catching 159 games for the 1901 and 1902 Baltimore Orioles, the team that would relocate to New York as the Highlanders in 1903. He also piloted that 1902 team to a 24-57 mark while he was field boss.
Southpaw Rick Honeycutt (1954) leads a list of three other Yankee players born this day. He threw three games for the Yanks near the end of a 21-year career when they purchased him from Oakland in the waning days of the 1995 season; then the Yanks sold his contract to St. Louis. He posted a 109-143 mark from 1977-1997.
The other two: Skeeter Skelton (1888), who batted 1-for-40 in 10 games in 1915; and lefty hitting outfielder Bobby Veach (1888), who knocked in 15 rbi’s as he completed his 14 years in the bigs with 56 games in New York in 1925. The Yanks got Veach from the Boston Red Sox with Alex Ferguson in May 1925 for Ray Francis and cash, and he was claimed off waivers by the Senators the following August.
A secondary list of pseudo-Yankees who wore the Pinstripes but never played a game with the club starts with catcher/first baseman John Boccabella (1941), who hit 26 homers with 148 rbi’s for the Cubs and the Expos from 1963-1974. The Yanks first got John from Chicago in December 1967 and returned him before the 1968 season began. Pitcher Jose Alberro (1969) went 0 and 4 with the Rangers in 1995 and 1997, and he was selected off waivers by the Yankees in August 1997. Finally, lefty Jimmy Freeman‘s (1951) two wins, four losses and one save with the 1972-1973 Braves was his only play in the majors, but he was part of the June 1976 blockbuster that saw the Baltimore Orioles send Doyle Alexander, Ellie Hendricks, Ken Holtzman, and Grant Jackson to New York for Rudy May, Tippy Martinez, Dave Pagan, Scott McGregor, and Rick Dempsey.
Hall of Fame home-run hitter for the Twins Harmon Killebrew (1936) heads the list of other June 29 birthdays. Harmon hit 573 bombs, with 1,584 rbi’s. Others: Dizzy Trout (1915), 170-167 in 23 years with the Tigers; Bob Shaw (1933), who won 108 while losing 98 for the White Sox and Giants; Pedro Guerrero (1956), 215 homers and 898 rbi’s; Eddie Miller (1957); John Wehner (1967); Pedro Valdes (1973); Shawn Sedlacek (1977); Trey Hodges (1978); Joe Inglett (1978); Dusty Hughes (1982); Hernan Iribarren (1984); Tom Koehler (1986); Brooks Raley (1988); and Carlos Sanchez (1992).
Players Born This Day