On May 27, 2019, Memorial Day, with all of baseball poised to halt the games for a moment of remembrance at 3 pm, the Yankees prevailed over the Padres 5-2. Opener Chad Green combined with “starter” David Hale to strike out the first four, until San Diego scored two off Hale in the second. But New York went up 3-2 almost right away on home runs by Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner in the bottom half. It stayed that way until Adam Ottavino retired DH Josh Naylor on a ground ball to second for out No. two in the top of the sixth, and the “moment” arrived. The Bombers added two in the eighth on a Gary Sanchez home run and a Gleyber Torres double.
The voted-in eventual 2018 Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani and the player who actually earned that honor, Yankee Miguel Andujar, had similar lines in a 3-1 Yankee win over Anaheim in the Stadium on May 27, 2018, 0-for-2 with two walks and 0-for-1 with one free pass, respectively. But Andujar’s walk drove in the third Yankee run, and Ohtani’s two outs were strike outs. Masahiro Tanaka went six innings and struck out eight for the win.
Starlin Castro‘s first-inning sac fly and Matt Holliday‘s two-run, sixth-inning jolt were just enough to carry CC Sabathia and the Yanks to a 3-2 win over the visiting Oakland A’s on May 27, 2017. On just one more day where the team tinkered with the most storied uniform in spectator sports, Yankee players doffed military brown caps with a camo bill. A seventh-inning Josh Phegley home run forged the final score, but the loudest fireworks were reserved for the eighth inning, when second baseman Jed Lowrie and A’s manager Bob Melvin were both tossed for arguing over Will Little‘s strike calls. Tyler Clippard struck Lowrie out swinging following a questionable strike 2 call, then Clippard wilted. allowing a walk and a double. Dellin Betances came on for a five-out save, and Melvin was thumbed during the first of the tall righthander’s three consecutive swinging strike outs.
Michael Pineda was reached for a Mike Moustakas home run in a game against visiting Kansas City on May 27, 2015, but was in control thereafter, as he held the Royals right there into the seventh while striking out eight in a 4-2 Yankee win. The Bombers knotted matters at 1-1 in the second on a Brian McCann home run, then put the game away in the third when Alex Rodriguez went yard for three, a blast that moved Rodriguez past Lou Gehrig on the all-time rbi list. One-time St John’s University star Chris Mullin, newly named the school’s basketball coach, tossed out the ceremonial first pitch.
The Yanks had taken the lead in the AL East from Baltimore on the first day of May in 1996, and they retained it the rest of the year. On May 27 they maintained a one-game edge over the O’s by pounding Anaheim, 16-5, with Bernie Williams getting five hits.
Eddie Lopat‘s 3-1 victory over the Senators on this day in 1953 both extended his winning streak over that team to eight games and started the Yanks off on an 18-game streak of their own, the third longest AL winning streak of the century. Joe Collins, Yogi Berra, and Billy Martin all chipped in with home runs.
The phrase “damned if you, damned if you don’t” comes to mind when discussing Joe Torre‘s handling of veteran righty Mike Mussina in early 2007. Coming off a start where Joe left Moose in after a leadoff walk in the seventh inning in a close game where a flurry of hits ensued, he removed Mike following a strike out and then walk of Casey Kotchman to start the seventh with a 2-1 lead over the Angels on May 27. Scott Proctor had nothing though. He allowed a double to Howie Kendrick, then walked the next three. Anaheim “walked” off with a 4-3 win.
Clint Courtney, using Paul Richards‘s newly designed oversized mitt, caught a 3-2, go-the-distance victory by famed knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm over the homestanding Yankees on this day in 1960.
On May 27, 2005, Randy Johnson and the Yankees trailed the Red Sox 3-1 on a Jason Varitek home run and Johnny Damon rbi single, but the first five Yankees up in the bottom of the sixth reached, and all scored, capped by the rare Upper Deck blast to left field, a shot off the bat of Gary Sheffield. Robinson Cano homered for the first two in the frame, The Unit got the 6-3 win, and Mariano Rivera the save.
On May 27, 1916, The Yanks’ Ray Keating beat Babe Ruth and the Red Sox 4-2 on a three-hitter. Two of the hits were by Ruth.
Steve Ontiveros of the A’s one-hit the Yanks 3-0 on May 27, 1995, with Luis Polonia getting the only Bomber safety.
The Yanks were nursing the 5-3 lead they had built against Bruce Chen on Derek Jeter (leading off the first), Robin Ventura, and Todd Zeile homers, until they put Boston away with a six-run eighth inning in an 11-3 win on May 27, 2003.
Joe Coleman and the Tigers used a wild pitch, two bunts, and a single to beat Mel Stottlemyre and the Yanks 2-1 on May 27, 1972.
On May 27, 2001, Barry Bonds hit the 12,000th home run in Giants history, ironically off Colorado Rockies lefty and (briefly) ex-Yank Denny Neagle. The Giants franchise trails only one club in homers, the one that plays in the Bronx.
Former Yankee Scott Kamieniecki wasn’t particularly effective against his old mates in the Bronx on May 27, 1997, but the Orioles brought their bats. Scott went five for the victory and Baltimore won 10-6.
On this day in 1941, Joe DiMaggio went 4-for-5, scored three runs, and knocked in three in a 10-8 win over the Senators.
After going yard twice against the Yankees two days before, Doug Decinces of the Angels pulled off the trick yet again on May 27, 1981, in a 6-5 California win.
The Yankees also lost by a 6-5 score on May 27, 1948. They outhit the A’s, 14-7 and Phil Rizzuto homered but the A’s won the game.
Mike Thurman made the most of his rare spot start on May 27, 2002, as the Yanks blasted Dan Wright of the White Sox for six runs in the first. Mike got the win as the Yanks coasted, 10-6.
Yankee hurler Johnny Allen attacked umpire George Barr after a balk call on this day in 1943. The Yanks lost the game to the Tigers 3-2, and Allen’s services for 30 days.
Jason Grimsley also made the most of a sudden spot start when it was reported that Orlando “el duque” Hernandez had experienced tightness in his pitching arm while warming up on May 27, 2000. Despite a shaky three-run third inning, Grimsley went five for the win, and the Yanks solved young Brian Rose for an 8-3 victory over the Red Sox.
Bruce Campbell‘s grand slam highlighted the A’s eight-run fourth inning off Red Ruffing on May 27, 1934, and the Browns coasted to a 16-7 win despite the 11 walks allowed by starter Buck Newsom. Newsom, by the way, would be known as “Bobo” by the time he was imported to New York for the stretch run of the Champion 1947 Yankees.
President Eisenhower presented Washington’s Mickey Vernon with a silver bat on May 27, 1954, in honor of his 1953 AL batting title, but Vernon would get no hits in the game that followed. He didn’t need to, as the Senators tallied six unearned runs and beat the Yanks 7-3.
The Yanks swept two games from the Browns on this day in 1945, 10-9 and 3-1, breaking a streak of having lost to them nine times in a row.
Despite holding an 11-3 lead over the Yanks entering the game’s latter stages on May 27, 1933, the White Sox were beaten 15-11 on the strength of a 12-run Yankee eighth.
The Yankees signed free agent righthander Randall Delgado to a minor league contract on May 27, 2019.
On May 27, 2018, the Yankees sent lefthander Ryan Bollinger outright to the AA Trenton Thunder.
On May 27, 2013, the Yankees sent hurler Francisco Rondon outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
The Yankees signed draft picks third baseman Renzo Martini, shortstop Christopher Tamarez, and outfielder Josias Sanchez on May 27, 2011. All three were assigned to play in the Yankee Dominican Summer League the following day.
May 27 is the day that two of the more famous images from baseball in the last 30 years took place. In 1991, Vancouver outfielder Rodney McCray made everyone’s highlight reel when he ran through the plywood fence in right field in a vain attempt to catch a ball hit by Chip Hale.
Ten years earlier on this day in 1981, Seattle Mariner Lenny Randle got down on all fours and blew Amos Otis‘s dribbler down the third base line foul. Despite Lenny’s argument that he was merely pleading with the ball, the umps awarded Otis first base.
Former Yankee (et al) Phil Niekro, pitching for Cleveland, lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Red Sox and Roger Clemens on a Bill Buckner sac fly on May 27, 1987. Phil thereby became the third guy to make a 700th start, reaching that figure after Cy Young and Don Sutton.
We have two more May 27 highlights featuring future or former Yankee players. Luis Polonia, who was a spark to the Yankee offense in three tours in the Bronx, stroked five hits for the Tigers in a 10-5 win over the White Sox on this day in 1999, after being called up from the minors just the day before. Dan McGann‘s only connection to the Yanks is 60-some games he played with the 1902 Baltimore Orioles that would be moved to New York and become the Highlanders the following year. Playing for the Giants, McGann set a National League record with five steals in a 3-1 win over Brooklyn on May 27, 1904. The mark would not be equaled until 1976, and one-time Yank Otis Nixon would eventually break it with six.
Righthander Rip Collins (1968) is the only Yankee player to have died on May 27. He debuted with the 1920-1921 clubs, appearing in 64 games (34 starts) and winning 25, losing 13, and saving one game. He pitched with the Tigers and the Browns mostly from 1922-1931, and finished with overall numbers of 108-82 with five saves.
There were just two noteworthy nonYankee players to have passed this day, until recently: First baseman Ed Konetchy (1947) hit 74 long balls good for 992 rbi’s from 1907-1921, mostly with the Cardinals, the Braves, and the Dodgers; and lefty-hitting outfielder Jesse Burkett (1953), who hit most of his 95 home runs and 952 rbi’s from 1890-1905 with Cleveland. But new to the list is a guy famous for the wrong reason, when you see the body of his work: Lefty first baseman from 1969 through 1990 Bill Buckner (2019) had already played eight years for both the Dodgers and the Cubs by the time he began a five-year stint with the Red Sox. (He also played two years each with the Angels and the Royals.) Bill hit 174 home runs and drove in 1,208 runs over a very effective offensive career, and made one huge error in the World Series.
Players Who Have Died This Day
May 27 may be the day on the calendar most lacking in a Yankee birthday connection. No player who has been under contract with them or who played with them in the field was born this day, and the closest connection I could find is that of righthander Mark Clear (1956), who was once traded by the California Angels with Carney Lansford and Rick Miller to the Red Sox for Rick Burleson and Butch Hobson. Hobson would finish his career with the 1982 Yanks. Clear posted a 71-49 mark over five seasons with Boston and three apiece with the Angels and the Brewers.
Other baseball celebrants: third baseman Pinky Higgins (1909), who hit 140 homers with 1,075 rbi’s with the A’s and the Tigers from 1930-1946; Jim Holt (1944), who played first base and outfield for Minnesota and Oakland from 1968-1976; Gary Nolan (1948), 110-70 in a decade of starting for the Reds; Ron Tingley (1959); Edwin Nunez (1963); Jacob Brumfield (1965); John Jaha (1966); Frank Thomas (1968); Jeff Bagwell (1968); Todd Hundley (1969); Mike Caruso (1977); Miguel Gonzalez (1984); Garrett Richards (1988); Brad Boxberger (1988); Jairo Diaz (1991); Tanner Anderson (1993); Jose Berrios (1994); Yoan Moncada (1995); and Isan Diaz (1996).
Players Born This Day