October 22 in Yankee History

  • On October 22, 2001, the Yanks confronted the Seattle Mariners in Yankee Stadium after the M’s had played a season better than the one New York had put together in 1998, but the Bombers sent them home one round short of the World Series. Andy Pettitte got the 12-3 win over Aaron Sele, and Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, and Tino Martinez went yard. My favorite sign from that night in The Big Ballpark graced the Tier facade on the first base side in Section 11:

    1998 New York Yankees 125 wins
    2001 Seattle Mariners 120 wins

  • One year earlier, on October 22, 2000, the Yanks took a two games to none World Series lead as Roger Clemens dominated the Mets in a 6-5 Yankees win. That is what you saw from the stands anyway. If what I’m told is true, however, TV viewers got to hear Tim McCarver obsess about the Roger Clemens/Mike Piazza first-inning broken-bat incident for more than three hours. It was a truly bizarre play, it’s true, but the TV viewer was badly misserved if the coverage basically ignored the rest of the game (a game, by the way, in which Jorge Posada reached safely four times, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, and Paul O’Neill stroked three hits apiece, and each of those four players scored one run). Clemens was dominant, and the close final score was due to five runs on two ninth-inning home runs.
  • With a chance to close out the 2009 ALCS, A.J. Burnett had a rough four-run first inning in Anaheim on October 22, 2009, then toughened through four solid frames. Then, punctuated by Robbie Cano‘s two-run triple, the Yanks plated six in the top of the sixth. But A.J. allowed two to reach leading off the bottom half, and the Angels reached Phil Hughes for a walk and two singles, and the three runs gave Anaheim a 7-6 lead, which their bullpen held. The Yanks loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth but Nick Swisher popped out to short to send the series back to New York with the Yanks up 3-2 in games.
  • On days like this in Yankee land, it’s best to remember that October 22 features a 1996 highlight that may represent the biggest win of the Joe Torre tenure, if you think about it. After devastating losses by 12-1 and 4-0 in New York to the mighty Atlanta Braves and their “Chop,” David Cone drew a line in the sand with his Game Three 5-2 victory in Atlanta, and Bernie Williams knocked in three. John Wetteland notched the first of four consecutive saves that earned him the Series MVP Award.
  • Nice memory and/or historical tidbit, huh? Well, focus on it, because no day is perfect. The Yankees made one of their classic postseason comebacks on this day in 2003, crowned by a Ruben Sierra two-out, two-run, ninth-inning triple that tied the Marlins at three. Young Miguel Cabrera keyed a three-run Florida first with his two-run home run off Roger Clemens once the Rocket had dusted him, and the Yanks spent the whole game in the hole. But ALCS hero Aaron Boone failed in the 11th, striking out against Braden Looper with the bases loaded and one down. Jeff Weaver relieved and retired the side in the bottom half, but Alex Gonzalez homered off him on a 3-2 pitch leading off the 12th. The home-standing Marlins won 4-3 and the Series was tied at two games apiece.
  • October 22, 1992, was a sad day in Yankee land, as that is the day the “old Redhead,” Red Barber, passed away at the age of 84. A Hall of Fame broadcaster, Red was a man of integrity who teamed with Mel Allen on Yankee coverage for years.
  • His one-year stay in New York was a success for Bobby Bonds once he was traded to the Yanks on October 22, 1974, but the deal had a devastating effect on the faithful and on fan favorite Bobby Murcer. Murcer had links to the days when Mickey Mantle donned the Pinstripes, a sacred time in Yankee lore, equal (if that’s possible) to the days of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The stay in Shea had killed Murcer’s career, and the trade didn’t help, as he suffered through tough years in San Francisco and Chicago before returning to his beloved Yanks.
  • On October 22, 2017, the Yankees activated righthanders Ben Heller, Ronald Herrera, Jonathan Holder, Bryan Mitchell, Domingo German, and Giovanny Gallegos; lefthanders Chasen Shreve and Caleb Smith; left fielder Clint Frazier; shortstop Tyler Wade; catcher Erik Kratz; and first baseman Garrett Cooper. In addition, catcher Kyle Higashioka; first baseman Tyler Austin; and third baseman Miguel Andujar had their roster status changed by the team.
  • On October 22, 1963, Roy Harney retired as Yankee GM, and his surprise replacement was Ralph Houk, stepping up from the field boss job after winning three pennants in the same amount of years.
  • On this day in 1967, Charley Finley hired Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio as executive vice president of the A’s.
  • Kansas City outfielder Bob Hamelin outpaced Cleveland’s Manny Ramirez to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award on October 22, 1994.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Righthander Jack Dunn (1928) is the sole representative on the Yankee players to have died on October 22 list on the basis of his nine games (six starts) with the 1901 AL Baltimore Orioles team that would move to New York and become the Highlanders in 1903. In that time he earned three of the wins and three of the losses in the 64-59-3 mark he posted from 1897-1904 with Brooklyn, with the Phillies, and with the Giants.
  • The list of noteworthy nonYankee players who have died on October 22 includes three pitchers, two lefty-hitting outfielders, a first baseman, and a third baseman. Southpaw Earl Whitehill (1954) pitched 10 years with Detroit, four with Washington, and two with Cleveland in between 1923 and 1938, good for a 218-185-11 record; and Hank Wyse (2000) won 79, lost 70, and saved eight games mostly with the Cubs from 1942-1951. The two outfielders are Ross Youngs (1927), who played just with the Giants from 1917-1926, pitching in with 42 home runs and 592 rbi’s; and Taffy Wright (1981), who cleared most of his 38 fences and drove in 553 runs from 1938-1942 and 1946-1949 with the White Sox. Switch-hitting first baseman Tommy Tucker (1935) hit 42 long balls and knocked in 932 runs from 1887-1899, playing much of it with the Beaneaters (eight years) and the NL Baltimore Orioles (three); and third sacker Babe Pinelli (1984) went yard five times and drove in 298 runs from 1918-1927, much of it with the Reds. Newest to this list is righthanded hurler John Tsitouris (2015), who pitched mostly for the Reds and the Kansas City A’s from 1957 through 1968 to a 34-38 record with three saves.
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    Players Born This Day

  • When it comes to October 22 birthdays, Yankee fortunes took a huge upturn with the addition of Robinson Cano (1982) in 2005. Signed by New York as a free agent in January 2001, the second baseman with the ready smile and the sweet line-drive swing many compare to that of Hall of Famer Rod Carew contributed almost 50 home runs and over 200 rbi’s in his first three seasons. After a slow start in 2007, Robbie came oh so close to some very nice round numbers with 19 homers and 97 rbi’s. But after signing a big contract, Cano failed to rebound significantly after a bad first half in 2008. But Robbie answered all of his critics and more with a solid 2009, with 25 homers, 85 rbi’s, and a .320 ba, and an even better 2010-2011 seasons during which he seriously contended for the AL MVP title. The 118 rbi’s in 2011 was a new personal best, and he won the Home Run Derby at the All Star Game as well. Robbie took a step back, along with the rest of the team, in 2012, not driving in runs as expected in the regular season, and not hitting in the post. Still, 33 home runs was a career best, and he remains the best Yankee player, and one of the best in the American League, an assessment that a 27-homer/107-rbi 2013 did nothing to dispel. Unbelievably, the Yankees allowed themselves to be outbid on Cano by Seattle once Robbie insisted on a 10-year deal. He had another great year in 2014, though was low on the home run list, and his lowly Mariners remained alive in the playoff hunt a few more days than the Yanks, frustrating many of his fans, and haters. He continued to struggle in 2015, but the Yankees would have killed for the 20 home runs and about 80 rbi’s with a .280-ish batting average he recorded from second base that season. He is an MVP candidate in 2016.
  • Until 2005, righty Myles Thomas (1897), who posted a 14-12 mark during 1926-1929 in the Bronx before finishing up in Washington for a year and a half, was the only one of five October 22 Yankee birthdays who played on the team for any length of time.
  • Lefty-hitting catcher Jamie Quirk (1954) got two hits in 24 at bats during 13 games for the 1989 Bombers. Quirk was signed as a free agent in December 1988, and he was released the following May. Outfielder Bobby Mitchell (1943) debuted with the 1970 club after being selected in the rule-V draft from the Red Sox in 1968. He notched four rbi’s in 10 games before playing five years in Milwaukee once he was traded there with Frank Tepedino in June 1971 for Danny Walton.
  • Righty Cecil Upshaw (1942) went 1-5 with six saves in 30 games for the 1974 Yankees after playing most of his 10-year career in Atlanta. Upshaw arrived in a big Yankee trade, and departed in one less so. He accompanied Chris Chambliss and Dick Tidrow in joining the Yankees in an April 1974 trade from Cleveland for Fritz Peterson, Steve Kline, Fred Beene, and Tom Buskey. That December, Upshaw was swapped for Eddie Leon of the White Sox. Finally, righty Bill Fulton (1963), selected in the second round of the 1983 draft, went 1-0 in three games for the 1987 Bombers in his only big-league play.
  • Whether Ichiro Suzuki (1973) will spend much time playing in the Bronx is open to question. The Japanese ball legend has been solid since joining the major leagues in 2001, and was stupendous to start, earning a Rookie of the Year award and Most Valuable Player award his first year, and eclipsing an 80-year-old hits record when he surpassed George Sisler‘s 257 with his 262 in 2004. But as Ichiro continued to produce, with 200-plus hits in 10 straight years, the Mariners with whom he went to (and lost) the ALCS vs. the Yanks in his first year (see the first entry in this October 22 history), did not, and a weary Suzuki lobbied for a trade in 2012. He was superb for the Yankees down the stretch, and for much of 2013 was a solid contributor in the Yankee outfield. But he faded badly down the stretch, and was particularly ineffective once Brett Gardner went down to injury. With a seven-home-run/35-rbi year behind him, Ichiro had one homer and 22 rbi’s in 2014, then one long ball with 20 rbi’s with Miami in 2015 once the Yanks let him go.
  • Other birthdays: Hall of Fame first baseman Jimmie Foxx (1907), who played 11 years with the Philly A’s and seven with the Red Sox, accumulating 534 homers and 1,922 rbi’s from 1925 through 1945; knuckleballing White Sox hurler Wilbur Wood (1941); Gerald Young (1964); Keith Osik (1968); Ariel Prieto (1969); Hector Carrasco (1969); Michael Barrett (1976); Brad Thomas (1977); Eli Whiteside (1979); Darren O’Day (1982); Carlos Torres (1982); Brian Bixler (1982); Chris Rusin (1986); Drew VerHagen (1990); Barrett Astin (1991); Jesse Biddle (1991); Alen Hanson (1992); and Corbin Burnes (1994).