Typing words I hope to change sooner rather than later, the Yanks had their last great postseason moment on October 12, 2012, when they finally prevailed in a scintillating five-game ALDS over Baltimore with a 3-1 win in Yankee Stadium. Shocking not only the O’s but many of the fans, Mark Teixeira, on via a leadoff fifth-inning single, stole second and then scored on Raul Ibanez‘s rbi single to get it started. Ichiro Suzuki doubled Derek Jeter home in the sixth, Curtis Granderson homered the next frame, and CC Sabathia pitched a nine-inning, three-hit, complete game in the 3-1 pinstriper win.
Most Yankee fans could tell you that the Yanks made it to their first World Series in over a decade when Chris Chambliss hit a walk-off dinger to decide the best-of-five 1976 ALCS with Kansas City, but Chris also had a huge home run two games earlier in that Series. The first baseman’s come-from-behind blast and three rbi’s in the Yanks’ 5-3 victory gave them a two games to one lead on October 12, 1976.
Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from the unfettered joy this fan experienced in the Bronx on a cool Tuesday night, October 12, 2004, but it was a rush. As it was, the Yankees jumped all over Curt Schilling in Game One of the ALCS, reaching him for six runs over three innings, largely on several walks, a Gary Sheffield double, and two of the same from Hideki Matsui. In attendance were Jack Nicholson and Lorne Michaels, and Mike Mussina kept the Sox off the board until he tired in the seventh of a 10-7 Yankee win. Unfortunately, Schilling would prove to have something left later in that postseason after a medical tweak.
Aside from being the time for postseason baseball, the Yanks have often used October 12 to solidify their future managing plans. They re-signed Joe McCarthy to a contract on this day in 1932, hired Casey Stengel to take over the reins for the 1949 season on October 12, 1948, and gave a two-year extension to Ralph Houk on the same day in 1961.
And speaking of Joe McCarthy, he got his first big-leagues shot behind the bench when the Cubs plucked him from Louisville of the American Association on October 12, 1925.
The Yankees doubled up the Orioles, 8-4, in taking a three games to one lead in the 1996 ALCS on October 12 on the strength of four home runs, two by Darryl Strawberry and one each by Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill.
It was a great day for the Red Sox, and a sad — and eventually tragic — one for the Angels on October 12, 1986. Entering the ninth inning of Game Five of the ALCS down three to one in games and trailing 5-2, the Red Sox rallied to take a 6-5 lead off Angels closer Donnie Moore. The Angels would tie the game, but lose in 11, and then lose the next two to go home. The despondent Moore would eventually commit suicide.
The Yanks fell behind early in the 6-1 beating Catfish Hunter took in Game Two of the World Series October 12, 1977, but the team and Catfish both knew he didn’t have it that day. But the Yankee rotation was tired and the yeoman work Hunter gave them allowed Mike Torrez and Ron Guidry much-needed rest. Those two starters followed by putting the Yanks up, three games to one, when they won Games Three and Four, respectively.
Phil Douglas and the Giants beat Carl Mays and the Yanks 2-1 in a World Series game on October 12, 1921.
Playing for the crosstown Giants, Casey Stengel homered to beat the Yanks, 1-0, two years later in the 1923 October Classic, as Art Nehf outpitched Sam Jones.
The Yankees coasted to a 12-0 win behind Whitey Ford‘s seven-hit shutout over the Pirates on October 12, 1960. Among the New York bombs that drove Bob Friend from the mound were Bobby Richardson‘s two triples that gave him a record 12 rbi’s in the Series.
On October 12, 2013, the Yankees signed four free agents to minor league contracts: second baseman Welfrin Mateo; righthanded pitchers Leyfer Ramirez and Amauris Sanchez; and lefthander Orby Tavares.
In the aftermath of another season that ended too soon, the Yankees took care of some business, activating outfielder Justin Maxwell and righthander Joba Chamberlain from the 60-day disabled list on October 12, 2011.
Milwaukee’s Paul Molitor became the first player to accumulate five hits in a World Series game and teammate Robin Yount added four safeties as the Brewers bombed St. Louis in the opening game of the 1982 World Series on October 12, 1982, 10-0.
Luther Farrell pitched the Bacharach Giants to a 3-2 win over the Chicago American Giants by throwing a no-hitter on October 12, 1927, in the opening game of the Negro Leagues World Series.
Three guys who at one time wore the Yankee Pinstripes appeared in the first (and last) Hispanic American League All Star Game on October 12, 1963. A young Felipe Alou was a neophyte player eight years prior to his Yankee stint, one-time Yankee prospect Vic Power was given a pregame award as number one Latin player, and Pedro Ramos, who would toe the Stadium mound during the next season, took the loss in the game.
When Oakland topped Toronto 6-2 in the ALDS on October 12, 1992, the two home run hitters in the contest had a Pinstriped connection. Former Yank Dave Winfield and future Bomber Ruben Sierra connected.
A four-time All Star outfielder with the Phillies of the National League, Johnny Callison stroked 10 homers with 44 rbi’s for the Yankees at the end of his career. Callison, who died on October 12, 2006, is one of two Yankee players to pass away this day. He played 137 games with the Yanks in 1972-1973, and delivered 95 hits in 411 at bats. He played short stints in Chicago before (the White Sox) and after (the Cubs) a 10-year (1960-1969) stay with the Phillies. His overall numbers: 226 home runs and 840 rbi’s. There isn’t much to say about center fielder Alex Burr (1918). He played one game for the 1914 Yankees, and is listed as having no hits in no at bats, with no defensive stats either.
Detroit Tiger power-hitting first baseman Norm Cash tragically drowned at the age of 51 on October 12, 1986. A portsider, Cash played for the Tigers from 1960-1974 after a two-year debut with the White Sox. He homered 377 times, good for 1,103 runs driven in. Righthander Curt Davis (1965), who won 158, lost 131, and saved 33 games for the Phillies, the Cubs, the Cardinals, and the Dodgers from 1934-1946, is the second of four noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day, and he is the lone pitcher in the group. Switch-hitting, lefty-throwing first baseman Walter Holke (1954) cleared 24 fences and knocked in 487 runs playing several years each for the Giants, the Braves, the Cardinals, and the Phillies from 1914-1925 before finishing up with the Cubs that last year; and third baseman Joe Foy (1989) hit most of his 58 home runs with 291 rbi’s from 1966-1971 with the Red Sox.
Players Who Have Died This Day
A lefty hitting shortstop who played all of his 1957 through 1964 years with the Yanks, Tony Kubek (1935) is the first of five October 12 Yankee birthdays. Tony contributed 57 homers and 373 rbi’s to the Yankee cause. Tony was a 1954 Yankee amateur free agent, and remained with the franchise until he retired.
Tanyon Sturtze (1970) was a 2004 Yankee godsend. A 1990 Oakland free agent signing, Tanyon started the 2004 season with a 29-39 record in the bigs, most with Tampa Bay. The Yanks got him from the Dodgers in May 2004 for minor league infielder Brian Myrow. Sturtze struggled more in 2005, and was lost to arm surgery early in 2006.
In his three tours of duty in the Bronx, portsided-hitting outfielder Luis Polonia (1964) amassed six home runs, 88 rbi’s and 44 stolen bases. Luis arrived in New York in June 1989 with Greg Cadaret and Eric Plunk in a trade from the Oakland Athletics for Rickey Henderson. The following April, Polonia was shipped to the California Angels for Claudell Washington and Rich Monteleone. Luis’s second New York stint began with a free agent signing in December 1993. In August 1995, he was traded to the Braves for minor leaguer Troy Hughes. He returned for end-of-season backup duty in 2000.
And righty Jim Lewis (1955) did not get a win, loss or save in the one game he appeared in for the 1982 Yanks. He played with the Mariners in ’79 and ’85, and with the 1983 Twins, but only in 11 more games, with an overall mark of 0-1. The Yanks got Lewis from Seattle in November 1979 with Ruppert Jones for Jim Beattie, Rick Anderson, Juan Beniquez, and Jerry Narron. The Yanks lost him to Minnesota via the minor league draft.
A late 2012 season trade of reliever Chad Qualls to the Pirates brought the Yankees their newest October 12 birthdayer, third baseman Casey McGehee (1982). Having arrived in New York with 60 home runs and about 275 rbi’s over five years with the Cubs, Brewers, and Pirates once he was drafted by Chicago in the 2003 draft, Casey filled in at first and third base over 22 games, contributing a home run and six rbi’s. McGehee has had an eye-opening year playing in Japan in 2013, and drove in 76 runs for the offense-challenged Marlins in 2014.
Most fans think of the Blue Jays in reference to former player Garth Iorg (1954), because he played there once the Yanks lost him to Toronto in the 1976 expansion draft. But Garth was originally selected by New York in the 1973 amateur draft. Iorg hit 20 homers with 238 rbi’s for the Jays from 1978-1987.
Other birthdays start with two Hall of Famers: Long-time Boston shortstop and manager Joe Cronin (1906), and Rick Ferrell (1905), who caught for 19 years with the Red Sox, the Senators, and the Browns. Also: Glenn Beckert (1940); Sid Fernandez (1962); Jose Valentin (1969); Tony Fiore (1971); Paul Janish (1982); Nolan Reimold (1983); Charlie Morton (1983); Trevor Bell (1986); Nick Tepesch (1988); Jose Ortega (1988); Francisco Pena (1989); JT Riddle (1991); Jandel Gustave (1992); Sal Romano (1993); and Ketel Marte (1993).
Players Born This Day