June 9 in Yankee History

  • In a June 9, 2017, game tied 2-2 in the second inning on Jonathan Schoop and Starlin Castro home runs, Yankee southpaw Jordan Montgomerey outlasted Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy once Aaron Hicks homered for the first of two times leading off the home sixth. Highlighted by Hicks’s two-run shot in the seventh, the Yankees pounded the Orioles pen late in an 8-2 win in this game, on Reggie Jackson Bobblehead Night.
  • A five-run fifth inning decided the Yanks’ 6-3 victory over visiting Anaheim on June 9, 2016, with Ivan Nova benefiting from the run explosion. Batting third and fourth in the order, respectively, Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez knocked in two runs apiece. After a flurry of offense in the last few days, first baseman Chris Parmalee was lost to season-ending injury playing defense in the seventh inning.
  • Having a very bad defensive year, Ian Desmond continued on a path that would end his time playing with Washington, and perhaps his days manning shortstop, when he flubbed Alex Rodriguez‘s two-out ground ball in the home seventh in a 6-1 Yankees win on June 9, 2015. The error broke up a 1-1 tie, and sent Max Scherzer to the showers. Max was replaced by one-time Yankee lefty Matt Thornton, who promptly issued an intentional walk and allowed singles by Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran for three more runs. Masahiro Tanaka went seven and grabbed the fortunate win on the tainted four-run rally.
  • Not only was the Mets/Yankee tilt in the Bronx on June 9, 2012, a pitcher’s duel, with Phil Hughes bettering Dillon Gee by a 4-2 score, Derek Jeter passed Ted Williams on the all-time runs scored list when he crossed with the game’s first run after being balked to second for his 1,800th career tally. A sixth-inning Mark Teixeira two-run homer made the difference, and Curtis Granderson added an insurance shot in the home eighth.
  • Any three-game sweep by the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium is bound to be depressing and distressing, but the manner of the 8-3 loss to Boston on June 9, 2011, made it much worse. The Yanks went up 2-0 in the first on a Curtis Granderson home run off Josh Beckett, who not surprisingly hit three Yankee batters with pitches, perhaps the subject of a discussion with home plate ump Hunter Wendelstedt before the bottom of the fourth (though maybe not because when Josh hit Granderson in the fifth, no punishment was forthcoming). But CC Sabathia, shutting down the visitors on two singles through six, inexplicably was reached for six hits and six runs in an eventual eight-run Boston seventh. Derek Jeter passed Willie Keeler for 22nd on mlb’s all-time runs scored list in the first inning with his 1,721st run.
  • On June 9, 1961, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris homered in the same game for the third time that year as the Yanks hung on to beat Kansas City 8-6 in a rain-shortened contest.
  • On the same day, former Yank reliever Ryne Duren seemed to be adjusting to his new club of less than two months as he struck out seven straight Red Sox for the Anaheim Angels.
  • The Yanks won the rubber game of an electrifying three-gamer with the visiting Giants, 4-2, on June 9, 2002, when they rallied for three in the eighth on a Nick Johnson double and a Rondell White single. Roger Clemens struck out nine over eight frames for the win, and the Yanks took considerable heat for the hands-off approach they took with Barry Bonds, who was hit by a pitch and walked four times, the last three intentionally.
  • Begging your pardon for violating baseball column etiquette, I pause here to report that on June 9, 1973, Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes to complete horseracing’s Triple Crown in an astonishing performance.
  • In a season that was one of the best ever compiled for saves, Mariano Rivera established a disturbing pattern of taking losses in games he entered in nonsave situations in 2008. On June 9 of that year, Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar and Mike Mussina of the Yankees carried a scoreless duel through six, then each fell victim to two-run seventh-inning home runs, by Miguel Olivo and Alex Rodriguez. But Mo, on in the ninth of the 2-2 tie, was reached for a home run by slugger Jose Guillen leading off, and the Yanks fell, 3-2. In the game’s fifth inning, bicycling champion Lance Armstrong moved the remaining games counter in the old Stadium from 49 to 48.
  • The ultimately flexible reliever Chris Britton was demoted to AAA Scranton on June 9, 2007, to make room for the much-awaited season debut of Roger Clemens, who was activated, got the start, and proceeded to get the 9-3 win over the Pirates in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate until the later innings.
  • Two days ago we reported that the Yanks had traded with the Braves to get pitcher Pat Dobson in 1973. On June 9, he pitched five innings in relief and allowed only one hit as the Yanks rallied for five in the ninth for a 6-4 win over the Royals.
  • Even though Mickey Mantle homered in the fourth inning of a 9-8 victory over Kansas City on this day in 1959, it was Hector Lopez‘s 13th-inning single that was the game winner.
  • It was a toxic mix southpaw Randy Johnson brought with him to the mound in a game vs. Oakland on June 9, 2006. Not only did the three home runs he allowed include Bobby Kielty and Antonio Perez jolts in the four-run fourth, he walked three that frame too. The Yanks posted a four-run uprising of their own in the home seventh on a Jason Giambi home run and a Robbie Cano triple, but the rally fell short in the 6-5 A’s win.
  • The Yanks took Jimmie Foxx‘s major-league record-tying fifth home run in three days in stride on June 9, 1933, and went on to defeat the A’s, 7-6.
  • The Yankees got quite a bit more than they bargained for when they traded David Weathers to the Cleveland Indians for Chad Curtis on June 9, 1997. One hint that not much was expected of Curtis was that it was weeks before his picture was displayed on the Scoreboard in the Stadium, with just the generic Yankee cap shown next to his name until then.
  • The strange thing about the two 1928 triple plays left fielder Charlie Jamieson of the Indians would start is that Cleveland would lose both games. He had started one in a 4-3 loss to the White Sox on May 23. And the Yanks would beat the Tribe 7-3 on June 9 despite Jamieson’s starting another triple killing.
  • The 66,545 fans in Yankee Stadium on June 9, 1946, allowed the club to break the million mark in attendance the earliest ever in the season to that point. They would split a double dip with the Indians, falling 9-5 in the first game, and rallying for a 7-4 win in the nightcap.
  • A 12-1 loss to the Mets on this day in 2000 was bad enough. But the Mets garnered base hits that struck bases in consecutive innings, as Mike Piazza‘s grounder hit the third-base bag in the 6th, and Jay Payton‘s bouncer up the middle caromed off the second base bag in the 7th. There are fans who believe that the 1-0 grand slam Piazza drilled to dead center off Roger Clemens to put the Mets up 4-0 in the top of the third started the wheels turning toward future events. The theory is that it precipitated the high and tight ball Clemens would throw to Piazza 29 days later that would hit him in the batting helmet and take a passionate Yankees/Mets rivalry and turn it to red-hot.
  • The strange practice of using a “courtesy runner,” alluded to in June 8 history in a 1922 Yankee loss, was employed by the Yankees on June 9, 1922 in yet another loss. Al De Vormer replaced the injured catcher Wally Schang on the basepaths after a collision at first base in the sixth, with Schang able to retake his position behind the plate after that inning. De Vormer ran for him again in the eighth, and this time Al stayed in to catch. The home-standing Chisox would prevail in the game, 10-6.
  • In the seventh inning of a June 9, 1927, contest vs. Chicago, Ray Morehart hit a three-run homer on the relief pitcher’s first pitch. Babe Ruth followed with a triple and a steal of home in an 8-3 Yankee win.
  • The Yankees signed right fielder Jhalan Jackson on June 9, 2015.
  • The Yankees, who had sent righthander Shawn Kelley to AA Trenton on a rehab assignment two days earlier, transferred him to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on June 9, 2014.
  • On June 9, 2012, the Yankees signed first baseman Saxon Butler.
  • It was a very small 3,000-hit club that Honus Wagner joined on this day in 1914, as Cap Anson was the only player to precede him.
  • It was June 9, 1999, that an already ejected Mets Manager Bobby Valentine was caught in the dugout in a mustache-and-glasses disguise, a ploy that earned him a two-game suspension and a $5,000 fine.
  • Eddie Murray‘s feat of homering from each side of the plate in a game for the 10th time on this day in 1990 tied him with Mickey Mantle for the lead in that category.
  • The question arose early in the 2005 season when Alex Rodriguez hit three homers for three, then two, then four runs if any player had ever hit for the home run cycle, which A-Rod would have if he could have blasted a singleton drive in the rest of that game. Not in the majors I believe, but Jerrod Wong of Atlanta’s minor league Myrtle Beach club pulled the feat off in a Class A game on June 9, 1999.
  • There are more Yankees/Mets trades than one might assume from two clubs who don’t like each other on the one hand, and can’t afford to be burned in such a transaction on the other. The two teams exchanged pitchers on June 9, 1992, with the Yanks sending Lee Guettermann to Flushing for Tim Burke.
  • In an additional June 9 highlight involving future or former Yankee players, Darryl Strawberry stroked his 200th career home run in a 4-3 Mets loss to Pittsburgh on June 9, 1989.
  • It was a rarity when soon-to-be 300-game winner Don Sutton (298 wins) faced Tom Seaver (with 306 wins) on June 9, 1986. Sutton’s Angels beat Seaver’s White Sox, 3-0.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • June 9 is a day when no Pinstriper has died.
  • Six nonYankee players of note have died on June 9. Utility player Charlie Dexter (1934) hit 16 home runs and drove in 346 runs with the Colonels, the Orphans, and the Beaneaters from 1896-1903; lefty-hitting first baseman Del Bissonette (1972) did all his 66-long-ball, 381-rbi, 1928-1933 career damage with Brooklyn; and second baseman/third baseman Odell Hale (1980) collected most of his 73 homers good for 573 rbi’s from 1931-1941 with Cleveland. Shortstop Zoilo Versalles (1995) played most of his 1959-1971 career with the Twins and the Senators, good for 95 home runs and 471 rbi’s; and southpaw Thornton Lee (1997) won 117, lost 124, and saved 10 games from 1933-1948, mostly with the White Sox and the Indians. And righthander Bob Welch (2014), who had history with Yankee Reggie Jackson in the 1978 World Series, is the latest entrant. A Dodger at that time, Bob posted a 211-146 record with eight saves in 506 games, 462 of them starts, from 1978 through 1994, all of it in LA, and with Oakland of the AL later.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Re-signed by the Yanks in 2005, the greatest distinction held by righty Jason Anderson (1979) is perhaps that he was the first Staten Island Yankee to make the parent club. Only one of two June 9 birthday celebrants to have actually played in Pinstripes, Jason posted a 1-0 record with the 2003 Yankees in 22 appearances. He added another victory in three 2005 games, after posting no record with the Mets and Indians in late 2003 and in 2004.
  • Righthander Jonathan Holder (1993) got into eight games down the stretch in 2016, but he became a cog in the ’17 bullpen, making 37 appearances, with one win and one loss. A fast riser, Jonathan was drafted by New York in the sixth round of the 2014 amateur draft three days before his birthday. As of this writng he has posted the same 1-1 win-loss record in ’18, in 14 games.
  • Bill Virdon (1931), who managed the Yanks to second- and third-place finishes in 1974 and 1975, makes the list for two reasons. Aside from that tour behind the bench, Bill was signed by the Yankees in his playing days as an amateur free agent before the 1950 season, and was traded with minor-leaguer Emil Tellinger and Mel Wright to the St. Louis Cardinals for Enos Slaughter in April 1954. As a lefty-hitting outfielder mostly with the Pirates, Virdon smacked 91 homers with 502 rbi’s.
  • And I thought I had an additional June 9 Yankee birthday, but the Roy Smalley born this day in 1926 was apparently the one I remember’s father. The older Smalley played shortstop too, toiling in the National League for 11 seasons. Another birthdaying player who did not play for the Yankees is righty Justin Kaye (1976), who barely makes the list based on his 17-day free-agency stint with the team. He was signed and released by New York in June 2004 after his only big-league experience, three games with the 2002 Mariners, to no record.
  • Switch-hitting outfielder Randy Winn (1954), who was just released as May 2010 came to a close, signed a free agent contract with the Yanks after 2009. Playing with Tampa and Seattle in the the AL and San Fran in the NL from 1998 through 2009, Randy accumulated just over 100 homers, 600 rbi’s, and 200 stolen bases, but he managed just one long ball and eight rbi’s in 29 games before the release.
  • Others: outfielder Irish Meusel (1893), with 106 dingers and 819 rbi’s with the Giants from 1914-1927; righthander Mike Ryba (1903), who won 52, lost 34, and saved 16 with the Red Sox and the Cardinals from 1935-1946; Reds first sacker Frank McCormick (1911), who from 1934-1948 drilled 128 homers and 951 rbi’s; Tom Egan (1946); Dave Parker (1951), with 339 bombs and 1,493 rbi’s with the Pirates; Tom Edens (1961); the colorfully named Scarborough Green (1974); Mike Fontenot (1980); Buck Coats (1982); Danny Richar (1983); Yuri Gurriel (1984); Joe Kelly (1988); Zac Rosscup (1988); Joel De La Cruz (1989); and Tony Wolters (1992).