Tony Kubek homered in his final major league at bat in a Yankee win over the Red Sox on October 3, 1965. The clout came off Dick Radatz in an 11-5 Yankee victory in Boston, in Whitey Ford‘s 232nd win, which made him the winningest Bomber hurler ever. As for Kubek, an offseason diagnosis of a childhood football injury would prompt him to retire rather than risk further damage.
You would have had a hard time convincing any of the 56,291 paying customers who watched the Yankees beat the Tigers 8-4 in Game One of the 2006 ALDS in Yankee Stadium on October 3 that this would be the the Bombers’ only postseason win. The home team plated five when the first six batters in the third inning stroked base hits. A three-run Jason Giambi home run was the big blow. Captain Derek Jeter wowed the home crowd with a 5-for-5 game, capped by an eighth-inning home run.
The Brooklyn Dodgers won their only World Series vs. the Pinstripers when they beat the Yanks 2-0 on October 4, 1955, but the Yankees sent it to a seventh game with a 5-1 win behind Whitey Ford on October 3. The Bombers scored five in the first, and Moose Skowron had the lone home run of the game.
It is truly strange how certain days just seem to be good ones for a given team and some not. Although Yankee fans are well aware of their storied postseason history, recent history has shown us that they lose in the Classic too. But in addition to the aforementioned win against the Dodgers on this day in 1955, they lost seven Series games on the third of October, and won only one more. And this despite the fact that they eventually prevailed in four of those eight multi-game battles. A synopsis of Yankee October 3 World Series history:
The Yanks fell to the Cardinals on this day in 1926 as part of a seven-game battle of attrition that the Yankees would eventually lose. The pinstripers scored twice in the second off Grover Cleveland Alexander, who then stiffened and retired 21 in a row. Billy Southworth and Tommy Thevenow homered in the St. Louis 6-2 win, with the latter collecting one of his only two career four-base hits.
One of the two October 3 Series games the Bombers won was in a Game Three 2-1 victory over the Giants in 1936, one of the four Classics that the Yanks would put in their pocket as well. Lou Gehrig and the Giants’ Jimmy Ripple matched solo taters, and the Yanks eked it out on a late infield hit.
The New Yorkers fell to the Cardinals on this day in 1942 in a five-game set in which the Yanks won just the first game. Ernie White shut them out 2-0 on six hits. Joe Gordon and Frank Crosetti received $200 fines for arguing, and the latter had to sit through a 30-day 1943 suspension for shoving an umpire.
The Yanks would win the Championship in 1947 in seven games, but they fell to Brooklyn on October 3 in Game Four. Pinch hitter Cookie Lavagetto doubled home two runs in the bottom of the ninth to break up Floyd Bevens‘s dramatic no-hit bid, handing the Dodgers a 3-2 win in Ebbets Field.
It was another seven-game win over the Dodgers in 1952, but another October 3 game loss as well. Preacher Roe got the 5-3 win in Yankee Stadium as Brooklyn plated two in the ninth on Yogi Berra‘s passed ball.
After the strangeness of a Dodger win the world returned to normal in 1956, and the Yanks beat Brooklyn in seven games yet again, with Don Larsen‘s Perfecto playing a huge part. But the Yanks had to be scratching their collective heads after falling to Sal Maglie on October 3 in Game One, 6-3.
Milwaukee’s Lew Burdette beat the New Yorkers three times in the 1957 Classic, starting with an October 3, 4-2 win over Bobby Shantz in Yankee Stadium.
And 1963 was perhaps the cruelest blow of all as the Yanks were swept by the now-L.A. Dodgers. Johnny Podres bested Al Downing 4-1 in Game Two on the third, as Tommy Davis tripled twice, Willie Davis knocked in two, and ex-Yank Moose Skowron chipped in with a Dodger home run.
Mike Gardner beat the fourth-place Yanks for the toothless sixth-place Red Sox on the last day of the 1992 season. Including Scott Cooper and Phil Plantier roundtrippers in the 7-5, October 3 Red Sox win, Boston totalled just 84 homers on the year, the only non-strike-affected season they failed to reach 100 since 1945.
After a 14-year absence from extended October play, Yankee Stadium was truly buzzing as they hosted Seattle in Game One of the 1995 ALDS on October 3. And the Yanks did not disappoint, winning 9-6 despite two Ken Griffey, Jr. home runs.
In another ALDS Game One in the Bronx, however, the Bombers fell 5-3 to Oakland on October 3, 2000. Catcher Ramon Hernandez gave the A’s the lead with a sixth-inning double off Roger Clemens.
On October 3, 2001, in the last 2001 regular-season home game of the year, the Yanks beat Chicago’s Jon Garland, 2-1, on Paul O’Neill‘s two-run sixth-inning shot. The White Sox score was a Jose Canseco homer off Mike Mussina.
Becoming the first player in the AL since Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in 1961 to surpass the 50-homer mark, Cecil Fielder of the Tigers hit his 50th and 51st of the 1990 season in a 10-3 destruction of the Yanks this day in New York. Gary Ward and Kevin Maas went yard for the Yanks, with Kevin notching his 21st. One of Fielder’s shots was a bomb deep into the rarely reached Yankee Stadium upper deck in left field.
A Yankee starter in 2004, Jon Lieber won his 20th game for the Cubs on October 3, 2001, in a 13-7 victory over the Reds.
On October 3, 1948, the Red Sox tied Cleveland for the AL lead by whacking the Yankees 10-5 despite the four hits by Joe DiMaggio.
The 1964 Yankee club clinched their 29th pennant, and fifth in a row, in an 8-3 win over the Indians on October 3.
Walter Johnson notched his 33rd win and moved his Senators into second place on October 3, 1912, by besting the Highlanders 4-3.
On October 3, 1978, Reggie Jackson delivered a single and double in addition to his three-run home run to lead the Yankees to a 7-1 win over K.C. in the opener of the ALCS.
The San Francisco Giants missed the playoffs in 1993 even though they won 103 games when Atlanta notched their 104th in a 5-3 October 3 win over Colorado.
The Highlanders (Yanks) beat Boston 2-1 on October 3, 1914, scoring on an error in the first, and winning the game off reliever Guy Cooper in the ninth.
The Yankees lost Darryl Strawberry in their 1998 World Series drive when he had a cancerous tumor removed on October 3.
On October 3, 1951, Bobby Thompson hit the “shot heard ’round the world” to complete the Giants’ improbable comeback. “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” Russ Hodges, the New York broadcaster who will always be known for that victorious call, passed away in 2005.
One reason to remember the 4-1 Highlanders loss to Boston in the first of two on October 3, 1911, is that New York allowed Boston to use a “courtesy runner,” subbing a player for another on the bases, only to have the original play the field the following frame. The other is that it began a streak of 18 straight Red Sox wins on enemy territory in New York. Ouch.
The Yankees have backed into a few pennants over the years when rivals have lost. The “Hitless Wonders” 1906 Chicago White Sox sat through a rainout October 3 only to cop the title when the Highlanders fell to the Athletics in Philadelphia 3-0. Meanwhile, the Giants were falling to the Phillies in the Polo Grounds, ending a season when they were outdrawn by the upstart soon-to-be-called Yankees by some 20,000 fans.
On October 3, 2016. the Yankees activated right fielder Aaron Judge from the 15-day disabled list; recalled lefthander Jacob Lindgren from the Tampa Yankees; and recalled righthander Johnny Barbato from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
On October 3, 2013, the New York Yankees sent southpaw Mike Zagurski outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Playing in an exhibition game in those same Polo Grounds for John McGraw on October 3, 1923, Babe Ruth hit the first ever home run over the right field roof.
October 3 is the anniversary of two big moments in black baseball history. The Homestead Grays beat the Birmingham Black Barons in the fourth of a five-game Negro World Series on this day in 1948, the last year that battle took place, with integration taking hold in the majors. And on October 3, 1974, Frank Robinson was named the first black manager in the bigs when the Indians inked him for the 1975 season.
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki earned a lot of well-deserved press for breaking George Sisler‘s 84-year-old season hits record in 2004. The St. Louis Browns star set the mark with his 257th hit in a 16-7 win over Chicago on this day in 1920.
The first of two October 3 highlights affecting one-time Yanks in other uni’s involves “Sudden” Sam McDowell, who wrapped up the AL lead in era (2.18) and strikouts (325) on this day in 1965 despite Cleveland’s 2-1 loss to Baltimore. Sam would pitch in New York in 1973-1974. In more recent times, Jimmy Leyritz extended a reputation for hitting huge postseason home runs that he had earned in New York when his seventh-inning drive catapulted the Padres to a 2-1 win over Houston, giving San Diego a two-games-to-one lead in the NLDS on October 3, 1998.
There are no Yankee players who have died on October 3, but we’ll bend the rule a bit and include a guy who feels like a team member by family association, the oldest and least well known of the three DiMaggio brothers. An outfielder like Joe and Dom, Vince DiMaggio (1986) had a fine career, playing mostly with the Pirates, the Bees, the Reds, and the Phillies from 1937-1946. Vince crushed 125 home runs and drove in 584.
Two catchers, two first basemen, and two hurlers, who threw from opposite sides, comprise the list of other noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day. The catchers: Morgan Murphy (1938) hit most of his 10 long balls and 227 rbi’s from 1890-1901 with Cincinnati; while Pinky Hargrave (1942) cracked 39 home runs and drove in 265 runs from 1923-1933 manning the plate with the Senators, the Tigers, the Browns, and the Braves. First basemen: Fritz Mollwitz (1967) cleared just one fence and knocked in 158 runs playing parts of three seasons with the Reds, the Cubs, and the Pirates from 1913-1919; and Nippy Jones (1995) did most of his 25 homers and 209 rbi’s worth of damage from 1946-1952 and in 1957 with the Cardinals. Righthander Elmer Knetzer (1975) both won and lost exactly 69 games, with six saves, from 1909-1917 throwing for the Dodgers, the Rebels, and the Reds; and southpaw John Cerutti (2004) posted almost all of his 49-43-4 record from 1985-1991 with the Blue Jays.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Hall Of Famer Dave Winfield (1951) leads a list of four Yankee October 3 birthdays. Dave smacked 205 homers with 718 rbi’s in the Bronx, 1981 through 1990. The Yanks signed him as a free agent in December 1980, and traded Dave to the California Angels for Mike Witt in May 1990, though his departure was a foregone conclusion in the aftermath of the George Steinbrenner/Howie Spira debacle. Winfield, who smacked a World Series-winning hit with the Blue Jays in 1992, finished a 22-year career with 465 home runs and 1,833 rbi’s.
Outfielder Armando Marsans (1887) finished his career collecting 24 rbi’s for the 1917-1918 club once the Yanks got him from the St. Louis Browns in July 1917 in a trade for Lee Magee. Johnny Broaca (1909) went 40-27 with three saves from 1934 through 1937 until Cleveland purchased his contract in November 1938. Lastly, Larry McClure (1885) went 0-for-1 in his one at bat in his only big-league action, one game with the 1910 Highlanders.
Other baseball birthdays of note: Hall of Fame outfielder and manager Fred Clarke (1872); effective starter and then dominating closer Dennis Eckersley (1954); Darrin Fletcher (1966); Wil Cordero (1971); Kerry Robinson (1973); Scott Cassidy (1975); Eric Munson (1977); Matt Murton (1981); Brett Carroll (1982); Matt Young (1982); Mike Belfiore (1988); Philip Gosselin (1988); Brock Stewart (1991); and Jen-Ho Tseng (1994).
Players Born This Day