For many, it is the Thurman Munson performance they remember most, as the gutty Yankee catcher’s two-run eighth-inning homer trumped the three by George Brett and the Yanks fashioned a 6-5 win and a 2-1 lead in games over the Royals in the 1978 ALCS on October 6.
With the way the Yankees limped to the end of the regular season, losing three of four to Boston at home, and being swept in three in Baltimore, things did not bode well for them in the AL Wild Card in Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2015. And to top it off they would be facing eventual Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, who had dominated them all year. And unfortunately, it played out totally to that script, as Keuchel held the Bombers to three singles while striking out seven through six frames. Masahiro Tanaka pitched well also, but the home runs he allowed to Colby Rasmus in the second, and to Catrlos Gomez in the fourth, were more than enough in the 3-0 Houston win that knocked the Yankees out of the playoffs.
A day that has festered for a year, the pinstripers were bounced from the 2011 playoffs in game five of the ALDS by the Tigers in Yankee Stadium, 3-2, on October 6. Apparently experiencing a tweak that fans were not aware of, Ivan Nova gave up back-to-back, one-out, first-inning homers to Don Kelly and Delmon Young, and Austin Jackson scored the eventual winner on a Victor Martinez single in the fifth. The Yanks did score on a fifth-inning Robinson Cano home run, but failed to tally after a one-out double in the second, two on with two outs in the third, bases loaded with one down in the fourth, and after two-out singles in the sixth and the eighth. Mark Teixeira did walk with the bases loaded and two down in the seventh, but only after Alex Rodriguez had struck out with one down.
The plethora of October 6 Yankee World Series highlights runs at the bottom of the column just above the deaths and the birthdays. They are a report on their own!
For a guy who put up numbers more by compiling them over a long stretch of time rather than in a burst of excellence over a few-year period, Phil Niekro pitched an uncharacteristically dominating game for his 300th win, an 8-0 shutout of the Blue Jays on October 6, 1985, even if it was against a lineup made up largely of second stringers on the last day of the season.
The Yankees evened the 2004 ALDS with the Twins at a game apiece on October 6. The teams battled to a 5-5 tie after nine, and Torii Hunter homered off Tanyon Sturtze in the top of the 12th for a 6-5 lead. But the Yanks counterattacked after two one-out walks on an Alex Rodriguez double and a Hideki Matsui sac fly for the 7-6 win.
After Boston beat the Yankees 2-0 in the first of two on October 6, 1915, Babe Ruth carried the Red Sox to the sweep when he pitched the Beantown bunch over New York 4-2.
We know all about the supposed “Curse of the Bambino” as it applies to the Red Sox, but the less familiar “goat curse” in Wrigley Field originated from a game on October 6, 1945. Tavern owner “Billy Goat” Sianis allegedly invoked the curse after he and his goat were ushered out of the beautiful old ballpark before that day’s game, in which the Tigers rallied to even their Series with the Cubbies by scoring four in the fourth. Dizzy Trout‘s four-hitter carried the day, 4-1.
It was a rare pre-game misspeak by Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard, as he announced the Yanks as “AL Champions” (not AL East) before the third game of the 2000 ALDS on October 6. His “prediction” held up. And a sign on the back wall of Tier section 7 saluted Luis Sojo, who had stumbled on his own feet on a routine play in the Game Two win. The sign’s message? “Luis, it’s left right, left right.” The Yanks won behind “el duque” Hernandez 4-2 for a 2-1 series lead over the A’s. Derek Jeter knocked in two.
The Yanks evened the 1977 ALCS at a game apiece this day as Ron Guidry three-hit the Royals in a 6-2 win over lefty Paul Splittorff.
Hopeful of the three-game sweep, the Yanks were instead bested by Randy Johnson in Seattle, 7-4, on October 6, 1995.
The Yanks defeated the Indians 7-2 in Game One of the 1998 ALCS on October 6, as they jumped on Jaret Wright for five tallies in the first. Jorge Posada reached safely three times, and he plated three on a home run and a triple.
But the same Jaret Wright had sent the Yanks home one year earlier by beating them 4-3 in the finale of the ’97 ALDS on October 6. Paul O’Neill‘s hard drive to center in the ninth thumped against the center field wall rather than soaring above it, and the Yanks fell one run short.
It was the first unassisted triple play in the National League since 1878 when Braves rookie shortstop Ernie Padgett pulled one off against the Phillies on October 6, 1923.
Boston outfielder Chick Stahl finished his career in style by bashing a two-run homer in his last at bat in the eighth inning against the Highlanders (Yankees) on October 6, 1906. But New York’s “Long” Tom Hughes prevailed with a 5-4 win.
Exactly two years later on October 6, 1908, the AL New York club lost their 100th game in a season in which they would finish with a 51-103 mark.
Lenny Harris of the Mets broke the all-time mark for total pinch hits when he stroked his 151st in a 3-0 Mets win over the Expos on October 6, 2001.
Yankees October 6 World Series highlights, in chronological order: Waite Hoyt beat Art Nehf and the Giants 3-0 on a two-hitter on this day in 1921.
Giants hurler Jack Scott coaxed 18 grounders and beat the Yanks and Waite Hoyt 3-0 in 1922.
Waite Hoyt got another October 6 decision, winning 10-5 over the Cardinals in 1926. Babe Ruth fulfilled a bedside promise to an 11-year-old by crunching three home runs.
One year later, the Yanks took the Pirates 6-2, as they twice put up three-spots against Vic Aldridge. George Pipgras got the win and Mark Koenig had three hits.
Lefty Gomez prevailed in the deciding game of the 1936 Series on this day, as the Yanks pummeled the Giants, 13-5.
The Yanks notched seven in the sixth inning on five singles, three walks, and two errors, and Tony Lazzeri homered as Lefty Gomez bested Carl Hubbell of the Giants in the Series opener 8-1 on October 6, 1937.
It was Lefty Gomez in command again one year later, as he defeated the Cubs 6-3 to go 6-0 in World Series play, on October 6, 1938.
The Yankees’ Ernie “Tiny” Bonham retired the side on three pitches in the seventh inning of their 3-1 win over the Dodgers on October 6, 1941. The win wrapped up the Series in five games.
Suffering from the loss of his father, Robert, Mort Cooper of the Giants pitched against the Yanks in a World Series game on October 5, 1943, and beat the New Yorkers 4-3. Marty Marion and Ray Sanders homered in the win.
The 1947 Series lasted seven games, but the Yanks prevailed over the Dodgers in the final, 5-2, on October 6.
The Phillies provided the competition in the 1950 October Classic, but the Yanks went up three games to none in a 3-2 Tom Ferrick victory over Russ Meyer on the sixth of the month.
Yankee fans of a certain age experienced the recently departed Phil Rizzuto‘s withering disgust with Eddie Stanky for years. The Giants fashioned a big fifth inning in their 6-2 win on October 6, 1951, once Stanky kept the inning alive by kicking the ball out of the Scooter’s glove.
Vic Raschi and Allie Reynolds combined to beat the Dodgers 3-2 in Brooklyn, evening the Series for the third time in 1952. The Pinstripers prevailed despite the Carl Furillo ninth-inning catch that robbed Tony Lazzeri of a home run.
Whitey Ford went the distance in a Yankee 5-3 win over the Dodgers on October 6, 1956, as Enos Slaughter slugged a three-run home run.
Two years later, Bob Turley threw a five-hit, 7-0 win over the Braves, as the Yanks reached Lew Burdette for six in the bottom of the sixth.
The Yanks upped the ante with seven runs in the sixth against the Pirates on October 6, 1960, as Mickey Mantle went yard twice and the visiting Bombers cruised to a 16-3 win.
But the Yanks were shocked in a four-game sweep in 1963, as Sandy Koufax bested them 2-1 on October 6. Whitey Ford took the loss despite surrendering only two hits.
On October 6, 2016, the Yankees sent left fielder Eric Young Jr. outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
In a paper move to straighten out their roster on October 6, 2015, the Yankees reassigned righthanders Michael Pineda, Nick Rumbelow, Branden Pinder, Chris Martin, Nick Goody, Nathan Eovaldi, Caleb Cotham, and Andrew Bailey; lefthanders Chasen Shreve, Chris Capuano, and CC Sabathia; second basemen Jose Pirela and Stephen Drew; first baseman Mark Teixeira; and catcher Austin Romine to the minor leagues.
John Anderson was acquired from the St. Louis Browns by the Highlanders for veteran catcher Jack O’Connor on October 6, 1903.
Jim Palmer of the Orioles became the youngest World Series game winner when he beat the Dodgers 6-0 on this day in 1966.
Future Yankee David Cone was still with the Mets when he tied an NL record for strike outs when he whiffed 19 Phillies on this day in 1991.
In a 7-1, one-game, playoff victory over the Dodgers on October 6, 1980, Joe Niekro earned his 20th victory of that season.
Call it a stunt, call it heroic, at least when fans Bill Craib and Sue Easler visited every major and minor league ballpark — all 178 of them — during the 1991 season, they displayed a sense of place. They finished their journey in Yankee Stadium on October 6.
In a lone additional October 6 highlight by a one-time Yankee player wearing a different uniform, Paul Blair starred in the first American League Championship Series ever when he stroked five hits in Baltimore’s 11-2 win at Minnesota on this day in 1969. Blair would also excel in the postseason when he played with New York from 1977 through 1980.
Lefty-hitting outfielder Guy Zinn (1949) easily wins the seniority race among the four Yankee who have died on October 6 by virtue of his 115 games played with the Highlanders in 1911-1912. With 109 hits in 428 at bats, Zinn hit six home runs and drove in 56 runs, numbers which grow to 15 and 139 once his 1913 stop with the Braves and 1914-1915 stint with the Terrapins are added in. Catcher Dick Gossett (1962) comes next with 49 games played for the 1913-1914 Yankees. Gossett, who like the two players to follow played only with the Yanks, had 20 hits in 126 at bats, and drove in 10 runs with no home runs. Righthander Bill Henderson (1966) posted no record in three appearances (no starts) for the 1930 Yankees; he had no hits or rbi’s in three at bats either. Finally, third baseman Phil Cooney (1957), who hit lefty but threw righty, had no hits in three at bats in his lone big-league game, which he played for the 1905 Highlanders. And while he neither played for the Yankees, and never worked for the club in any capacity, we’ll acknowledge the death of Jerry Girardi (2012), the current Yankee manager’s father, a longtime sufferer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Before discussing the day’s birthdays, we need to report that long-time Negro League ballplayer and raconteur Buck O’Neill, who was incredibly denied Hall of Fame entry in a belated vote just months before his death, died on October 6, 2006. O’Neill is in good company with the two other noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day. Slick-fielding shortstop Mark Belanger (1998) played all but one year of his 1965-1982 career with the Orioles, for whom he hit 20 home runs with 389 rbi’s. And the back-to-back no-hitters ensure that southpaw Johnny Vander Meer‘s (1997) name will endure wherever baseball is part of the conversation. Johnny threw mostly for Cincinnati from 1937-1951, and he won 119 games, lost 121, and saved two.
Players Who Have Died This Day
The 2011 season in pinstripes for the newest Yankee October 6 birthday was a pleasant surprise for Yankee fans as Freddy Garcia (1976) brought his 133-87 record compiled from 1999 through 2010 primarily with the Mariners and the White Sox here and went 12-8 for a club starved for starters. In addition, after a 2012 start that had him banished to the bullpen, he recovered and played a role in the rotation in the middle of the year, pitching, as of this writing, to a 7-6 record in 17 starts.
Recent New York outfielder/DH Ruben Sierra (1965) leads four October 6 Yankee birthdays. Ruben blasted 18 homers and 96 rbi’s in his first stint with the team, which spanned the end of the ’95 season and the beginning of the 1996 one. Ruben arrived with Jason Beverlin via a July 1995 trade with the Athletics for Danny Tartabull, who had worn out his welcome. Twelve months later the Yanks shipped Sierra under similar conditions with minor-leaguer Matt Drews to the Detroit Tigers for Cecil Fielder. Ruben added 27 homers and 125 rbi’s to his Yankee totals from 2003-2005. His career totals: 306 dingers, 1,318 rbi’s.
Righty Steve Kline (1947) posted a 40-37 mark as he debuted with the Pinstriped guys from 1970 through 1974. He closed the ’74 season in Cleveland and finished his career in the bigs with the 1977 L.A. Dodgers. Kline was a Yankee seventh-round pick in the 1966 amateur draft, and was traded with Fred Beene, Tom Buskey, and Fritz Peterson to the Cleveland Indians in April 1974 for Chris Chambliss, Dick Tidrow, and Cecil Upshaw.
Jack Cullen (1939) threw his only major league baseball for the 1962, 1965, and 1966 Yanks, going 4-4 with one save. A 1959 Yankee amateur free agent, Cullen was traded with John Miller and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for John Kennedy in April 1967.
Shortstop/second baseman John Knight (1885) notched six homers and 171 rbi’s for the Highlanders/Yankees from 1909 through 1911 and in 1913, and played some with Philly, Boston, and Washington as well. The Yanks got him off waivers from the Boston Red Sox in 1909, and they traded Knight with Roxey Roach to the Washington Senators for Gabby Street and Jack Lelivelt in December 1911.
Righthander George Washburn (1914) started and lost his only big-league game for the 1941 Bombers.
Jack Dunn (1872), another thrower from the right side, went 3-3 in nine games (six starts) for the 1901 Baltimore Oriole team that would be moved to New York as the Highlanders two seasons later. Dunn jumped to Baltimore from the Phillies before that season, and to the New York Giants after it. In four years in Brooklyn, one in Philadelphia, two in New York and the one in Baltimore, Dunn went 64-59 with three saves.
And finally, there is catcher Tom Padden (1908), who played in Pittsburgh from 1932-1937, and spent time in New York until being traded to the Philadelphia Blue Jays in January 1943 with Al Gerheauser and cash for Nick Etten. Padden hit two career home runs with 110 rbi’s.
Potentially tied for the shortest Yankee resume of all is Matt Wotherspoon (1991), who was drafted by the Yanks in 2014, only to be traded to Baltimore for future international slot money in 2017. Matt pitched in two games for the 2019 Orioles, to no record.
Other birthdays: New York Mets catcher Jerry Grote (1942) and starting pitcher Gary Gentry (1946); Gene Clines (1946); Alfredo Griffin (1957); Greg Walker (1959); Oil Can Boyd (1959); Archi Cianfrocco (1966); Robert Person (1969); Darren Oliver (1970); Benji Gil (1972); Valerie de Los Santos (1972); Joel Hanrahan (1981); Andrew Albers (1985); Edgmer Escalona (1986); Scott Schebler (1990); and Jack Bauers (1995).
Players Born This Day