The Yanks held on to beat the White Sox, 8-6, on June 5, 1977, but it took six home runs to do it, the most they had hit in three years. Most of the homer hitters are well-known names: Bucky Dent, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, and Graig Nettles — even DH/outfielder Carlos May, who did most of his career hitting with the opposing team — but it was little-known George Zeber‘s first career homer that was the game winner.
Mike Epstein of the Senators turned a 200-foot drive down the left-field line off Yankee rookie Thad Tillotson into an inside-the-park home run on June 5, 1967, but Mickey Mantle‘s eighth-inning home run off Darold Knowles won it for the Yanks, 4-2.
Things looked bleak in Yankee Stadium on June 5, 2008, even though the Yanks got Jorge Posada back from injury, catching no less. Lyle Overbay‘s two-run fifth-inning home run against Chien-Ming Wang had the visitors up 7-2, but the Yanks rallied and eventually won on Jason Giambi‘s two-run walkoff tater with two down in the ninth. Yankee employee Tony Morante, best known for conducting tours of the old ballpark, moved the games-remaining counter from 53 to 52 in the fifth inning.
Do I have to explain my joy about the 13-5 pummeling the Bombers planted on Josh Beckett and the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium on June 5, 2006? The six straight safeties to start the home second featured an Andy Phillips three-run home run to left. Jason Giambi followed with another three-run tater once the string was broken by a fielder’s choice ground ball. Mike Mussina, celebrating his 57th career complete game in a 6-1 victory in Detroit the week before, benefitted from all the offense and went six for the win.
Frustrated by the fact that the Yankee offense had failed to score in 24 straight innings, Mel Stottlemyre homered off Gary Peters in the fourth inning of a game against the visiting White Sox on this day in 1965. Mel went the distance for a 4-3, 10-inning win, Mickey Mantle homered in the sixth, and Elston Howard singled in the winning run.
Bobby Valentine‘s trip to Yankee Stadium to manage the Mets in a June 5, 1999 contest could not have been a happy one, as he found out that Bob Apodaca, his pitching coach, was fired by reading it in the paper. When he arrived in the Bronx, he discovered two more coaches had been let go. Then the Yanks used a Tino Martinez home run and doubles by Tony Tarasco, Chuck Knoblauch, Chili Davis, and Derek Jeter off Masato Yoshii to lead the Bombers and Orlando “el duque” Hernandez to a 6-3 Yankee victory.
After a decade toiling in the minor leagues, Orioles hurler Travis Driskill beat the Yankees in the Stadium 4-3 on this day in 2002. Four straight hits off David Wells in the third and a Tony Battista sixth-inning homer had the O’s up 4-1 until Jorge Posada finished Driskill’s night with a two-run jack in the home eighth, but the Yankee comeback ended there. Perhaps the only Yankee player to have faced Driskill before, outfielder Juan Rivera doubled and lined out hard twice in his first ever game in Pinstripes.
The Yankees beat the Indians 4-3 on June 5, 1936, as Lou Gehrig played in his 1,700th consecutive game.
At the end of action on this day in 1961, Mickey Mantle had tied Roger Maris and Rocky Colavito with 15 home runs by going yard in the eighth inning in a 6-2 win over the Twins. The home-standing Yanks doubled up the Twins by winning the nightcap 6-1.
It only took Andy Pettitte 102 pitches to beat the Marlins 5-1 in an interleague contest on June 5, 1998, with Todd Zeile scoring the only Florida run on a Chuck Knoblauch error in the seventh. But Chuck would knock in two, the first plating Joe Girardi after his double in that inning’s bottom half. In a preview of the kind of performance he would give later in the Bronx, eventual Yankee bullpenner Felix Heredia teamed with Brian Edmondson to give the Pinstripers four walks and a hit by pitch (for Knoblauch’s second rbi) to hand the Yanks two tallies in the eighth.
The Yanks continued to waer out the AAA Scranton to New York shuttle on June 5 2007, with righthander Matt DeSalvo and outfielder Kevin Thompson being sent down and reliever Chris Britton and southpaw Sean Henn taking their place.
With the Yanks behind the Orioles 6-1 in the Bronx after five frames on this day in 2001, Joe Torre brought in Brandon Knight to relieve Mike Mussina in Knight’s major league debut. He struck out Jerry Hairston, Jr., but felt the cold slap of reality as Brady Anderson and Mike Bordick followed with back-to-back jacks in the Baltimore 10-3 win.
The M&M boys took care of June 5, 1960′s first-game 5-4 win over the Red Sox as Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris both homered. Art Ditmar pitched a full nine innings in the nightcap and the Yanks completed the sweep with an 8-3 win.
First, the Yanks pummeled the Red Sox 12-1 in Yankee Stadium on June 5, 1932. Then they purchased the contract of veteran hurler Danny MacFayden. After posting a 26-32 record with the Sox, MacFayden improved to 14-10 with the Yanks over two seasons. MacFayden would have his best years with the Boston Braves from 1935-1939.
The Yanks beat Milt Pappas and the Orioles 4-3 behind Whitey Ford on this day in 1963, but they lost Mickey Mantle for 61 games when he fractured a bone in his foot running into a chain-link fence trying to corral Brooks Robinson‘s blast.
The Indians turned a triple play in their 15-3 win over the Yanks on June 5, 1926.
Mickey Mantle scored on his third inside-the-park home run in a month as the Yanks beat Early Wynn and the White Sox 12-5 in a doubleheader split in the Bronx, on June 5, 1958. Chicago took the nightcap 3-2.
Future (at the time) Yankee setup man Tom “Flash” Gordon was the closer for the Red Sox when Atlanta knicked him for two runs in top of the ninth for a 6-5 Braves win on June 5, 1997. It ended Tom’s major-league (since surpassed) consecutive-saves record streak at 54 games.
It was on June 5 of 2002 that Bud Selig announced that major-league baseball would be contracting two teams before the 2003 season. It would not come to pass.
Toronto had the hottest facility in the sport when they opened Skydome by losing 5-3 to the Brewers on this day in 1989.
The Yankees’ amateur free agent selections made on June 5, 1989, made no mark on the games, but two guys who played key roles in their Championships of the late nineties were taken by other teams. Chuck Knoblauch was a 25th-round Minnesota choice, and Chad Curtis became an Angel after being tabbed in round 45. Knoblauch, by the way, would hit a grand slam in a Twins 14-3 win over Curtis’s Angels on June 5, 1996.
Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez tied Roger Maris (from May 22, 1962) for the AL record when he was given four intentional walks in a 4-3 win over the Tigers on June 5, 2001. Andre Dawson holds the major-league record of five though he was eventually tied by 2006-2007 Yankee outfielder Bobby Abreu, who pulled it off with Philly.
Raising his total to 1,777, Nolan Ryan passed Early Wynn on the all-time walks-allowed list during a 3-0 win over the Mets on June 5, 1981. He struck out 10 and gave up only five hits.
Images of the combative Oakland A’s of the early seventies are not overplayed. Eventual Yankee World Series hero Reggie Jackson injured his shoulder while fighting A’s teammate Billy North on June 5, 1974, and when catcher Ray Fosse tried to break it up, he suffered a back injury and missed the next 12 weeks.
Current Yankee third sacker Alex Rodriguez became the first Seattle player to hit for the cycle in a nine-inning gaame as the Mariners beat the Tigers 14-6 on June 5, 1997. Ironically, the one previous Seattle cycle, achieved in 13 innings in 1993, was turned in by ex-Yank Jay Buhner.
Players Who Have Died This Day
The two Yankee players who have died June 5 both played with the team two years, and both played for the Yanks and no other team. Catcher Bill Reynolds (1924) played 10 games with the 1913-1914 Yankees, and got two hits but no home runs or rbi’s in 10 at bats. Righthander Pete Wilson(1957) pitched 20 games (18 starts) for the 1908-1909 Highlanders to a 9-8 record with no saves.
The only nonYankee player to have passed this day we’ll mention is lefty pitcher Phill Knell (1944), who compiled most of his 79-90 record with no saves from 1888-1895 with the Colonels.
Players Born This Day
Hall of Famer Jack Chesbro (1874), who went 128-89 for the 1903-1909 Yanks, and had a career year at 41-12 in 1904, leads the Yankees born June 5. Jack jumped from the Pirates to the Highlanders prior to the 1903 season, and was lost via waivers to the Red Sox in September 1909. Chesbro posted a career mark on 198-132.
Outfielder Darryl Jones (1951) was drafted by the Yanks in the fifth round of the 1972 amateur draft. He knocked in six runs in spot duty with the 1979 club in his only major-league service. Mike Coolbaugh (1972) played in the bigs only for St. Louis and Milwaukee, but he was a free agent signee with the Yanks in October 1999; they released him one year later. Mike died in a freak accident when hit by a batted ball in the temple coaching first base in a minor-league game in July 2007.
Catcher Truck Hannah (1889) leads a string of Yankee players who used the “tools of ignorance” in their careers. He played all 244 of his major league games for the 1918-1920 Yanks, contributing five home runs and 66 rbi’s to the cause. Backstop George Yeager (1874) ended a seven-year career in the bigs by driving in one run in 11 games with the 1902 Baltimore Orioles (after jumping to that club from the Giants). That is the team that would relocate to New York the following year, becoming the Highlanders, and then the Yankees.
Fred Mitchell (1878) pitched and caught in seven big-league seasons, but he spent his 68 games with the 1910 Highlanders crouched behind the plate; Fred drove in 18 runs and stole six bases in New York. And also a catcher, Duke Sims (1941) got into only nine games in the mid-70s in the Bronx once he was selected off waivers from the Detroit Tigers in September 1973. He hit one tater and knocked in three runs before being traded to the Texas Rangers for Larry Gura and cash in May 1974.
Other birthdays: Eddie Joost (1916); Bill Spiers (1966); Ray Lankford (1967); Russ Ortiz (1974); Bill Bray (1983); and Robinson Chirinos (1984).