The 2009 Yankee postseason got off to a great start on October 7, with the Captain and the ace leading the way. Once the Twins reached CC Sabathia for two third-inning runs on three singles, a double play, and a passed ball, Derek Jeter equaled matters almost immediately with a two-run home run following an earlier single, then walked twice and scored two more runs in the 7-2 Yankee win in Yankee Stadium. CC struck out eight pitching into the seventh, and Hideki Matsui got his superb postseason going with a two-run jack of his own. The Wednesday evening game got off on a surprisingly early 6:07 pm first pitch.
On October 7, 1904, Highlander (Yankee) Jack Chesbro beat Boston 3-2 for his 41st victory of the season. The 41-12 season mark gave Jack the wins title, and he had the highest winning percentage that season too.
It’s worth taking a look at Herb Pennock‘s 8-1 World Series win over the Pirates on October 7, 1927 here. In front of 60,000-plus, Herb was throwing a Perfect Game until he gave up a single with one out in the eighth. The long list of additional Yankee World Series achievements will fall nearer the end of the column, above the deaths and the birthdays.
New York Yankees shortstop Everett Scott predated Lou Gehrig‘s consecutive-game streak with one of his own. He extended it to 1,138 games in a 9-7 loss to the A’s in the season finale on this day in 1923.
The Yanks took the next step after having beaten the Red Sox in Fenway in THE playoff game, as veteran Roy White‘s tie-breaking sixth-inning homer led them to a 2-1 win over the Royals for the AL pennant behind Ron Guidry on October 7, 1978. Graig Nettles scored the other run with a homer of his own.
On October 7, 2011, the Yankees activated veteran righthanders Bartolo Colon and Scott Proctor; southpaw Aaron Laffey; young righties Hector Noesi, Kevin Whelan, Andrew Brackman, George Kontos, and Dellin Betances; catcher Austin Romine; center fielders Melky Mesa and Greg Golson; third baseman Brandon Laird; and shortstop Ramiro Pena.
October 7, 2009, wasn’t only the day the Yanks got their postseason going; they also completed some book work going for the off-season. On that day the team reassigned first baseman Juan Miranda; righthanded pitchers Edwar Ramirez, Sergio Mitre, Ian Kennedy, Mark Melancon, Jonathan Albaladejo, and Josh Towers; lefthanded pitcher Michael Dunn; left fielder Freddy Guzman; right fielder Shelley Duncan; and infielder Ramiro Pena to the minor leagues.
October 7 has been a tough day for Yankee front-office personnel. GM Larry MacPhail resigned on that day in 1947; Manager Stump Merrill was fired on October 7, 1991; and Lou Piniella was let go from the field boss job for the second time on this day in 1988. And wait, the news get worse: Dallas Green took Piniella’s place.
In last place in the American League, the New York Highlanders fell 1-0 in 11 innings to Walter Johnson and the Senators on October 6, 1908, that season’s final day.
Although the Yankees have fared pretty well in the additional playoff series that have been added on the way to the World Series, they’ve lost several of these games that were held on October 7 too. Most recently there was Randy Johnson‘s worst Yankee day on this day in 2005. Taking the Anaheim mound with the teams tied at a game apiece in the five-game ALDS, Johnson allowed a three-run bomb to lefty batter Garrett Anderson in the first and a two-run job to Benjie Molina in the third. The Yanks rallied gamely and actually took a brief 6-5 lead on a Robbie Cano double, but Aaron Small, Tom Gordon, and Al Leiter allowed two runs apiece and the Angels prevailed 11-7.
Another bad October 7 came five years sooner when they were blasted by the A’s 11-1 behind Barry Zito on this day in 2000. Summer Olympics gold medalists Lenny Krazelburg and Rulon Gardner threw out ceremonial first pitches to Jose Vizcaino and Jose Canseco, and Ellie‘s daughter Cheryl Howard would have made him proud with her stirring rendition of the national anthem before that game.Olmedo Saenz had three rbi’s and a home run.
The Bombers went up two games to none over the Texas Rangers in the 1999 ALDS, as Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera carried them to a 3-1 victory on October 7.
The memorable moment in the 12-inning, 4-1 loss to Cleveland on October 7, 1998, was when Chuck Knoblauch, in shock that Umpire Ted Hendry had failed to call Travis Fryman out for blatantly running in the baseline, held the ball as Omar Vizguel scored. Earlier Scott Brosius knotted the contest at one by driving Bernie Williams in with a seventh-inning single after David Justice had put the Tribe up with a fourth inning home run. On the world’s biggest stage it is fair play that Chuck would be called a blockhead for his mistake; that few remember that Umpire Hendry’s brainlock caused it is anything but.
The Mariners evened the 1995 ALDS with the Yanks at two games apiece, when they beat the visiting New York club, 11-8, outhomering them, four to one, on October 7.
The Yanks beat the Brewers in the opening game of their 1981 series 5-3 as relievers Ron Davis and Goose Gossage shut Milwaukee down.
Dennis Leonard‘s four-hitter beat the Yanks 6-2 in their ALCS contest on October 7, 1977.
We’ll start our presentation of more Yankee October 7 World Series highlights with losses. They fell to the Giants 13-5 in 1921, as Jesse Barnes bested Bob Shawkey.
They lost to the Giants again 4-3 exactly one year later in the 1922 Classic. The Yankees would not win either Series, but the next year would be different.
And an ailing Whitey Ford succumbed to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1964 opener 9-5 on October 7.
But the Bombers had the ship righted when Herb Pennock battled Bill Sherdel of the Cards on this day in 1926. The Yanks won 3-2 in the 10th, as Tony Lazzeri‘s sac fly delivered Mark Koenig.
It was Tom Zachary over Jesse Haines of the Cards on October 7, 1928, 7-3, as Babe Ruth had two hits and Lou Gehrig went yard twice and knocked in six.
Red Ruffing chipped in with two hits and three rbi’s while whiffing eight Giants in an 8-1 win in the second game of the 1937 Series on October 7.
Charlie “King Kong” Keller blasted two homers and Lefty Gomez and Bump Hadley shut down the Reds in a 7-3 victory on this day in 1939.
The Yankees bested the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-1, on October 7, 1943, as the visitors wilted in front of almost 70,000 New Yorkers to the tune of four errors.
Roy Campanella‘s and Luis Olmo‘s bases-empty homers in the bottom of the ninth fell short as the Yanks had plated three in the top half, breaking a 1-1 tie in a 4-3 win at Ebbets Field on this day in 1949.
The Yanks swept the Phillies by taking the fourth game on October 7, 1950, 5-2, as Whitey Ford won his first Series game, over Bob Miller.
The most famous play from the Yanks’ Series-deciding 4-2 victory over the Dodgers on October 7, 1952, was Billy Martin‘s game-saving, charging, lunging catch of Jackie Robinson‘s infield pop.
The Yanks evened the Series at two games apiece in a 6-2 win over the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium on this day in 1956, with Tom Sturdivant getting the victory.
Milwaukee Braves ace Lew Burdette shut out the Yanks 1-0 on October 7, to give his club a three games to two lead in the 1957 Series.
The Yanks won 4-3 in 10 innings, and they pulled even with the Braves at three games apiece on October 7, 1958, as Hank Bauer delivered his fourth homer in the six games.
Reliever Luis Arroyo got the “W” in the Yanks’ 3-2 win over the Reds, as Johnny Blanchard tied the game with a homer in the eighth, and Roger Maris won it by going yard off Bob Purkey in the ninth, on this day in 1961.
Bill Stafford and Billy Pierce held the Giants and Yanks scoreless, respectively, through six, but Yankee Stafford prevailed, 3-2, despite Ed Bailey‘s two-run homer in the ninth, on this day in 1962.
The way Tigers starter Mickey Lolich blamed Jose Feliciano‘s unique musical interpretation of the National Anthem for his (Lolich) having allowed a few early runs in the World Series game against the Cardinals on October 7, 1968, grates on me to this day. Lolich had a huge Series for Detroit, but he was a little man that day.
As had been the case with Joe Torre before he took over the Yankees’ managing job, Casey Stengel did not enjoy a lot of success before he arrived in the Bronx. The seventh-place Dodgers fired Stengel on October 7, 1936.
On October 7, 2001, the Yanks cashed in their 95th win of the year on the final day of the season, a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay. Getting his rotation in shape, Joe Torre had Mike Mussina go four innings, Orlando “el duque” Hernandez pitch four more, and Mariano Rivera closed for his 50th save. The strike out totals matched the three men’s innings, four, four, and one. And the season total they crowned with that day’s work, 1,266, was a new American League record.
Also that October 7, Rickey Henderson got his 3,000th hit, and Barry Bonds extended the single-season home run record to 73.
Continuing with roster shuffling on October 7, 2015, the Yankees activated righthanders Chris Martin, Michael Pineda, Nick Rumbelow, Andrew Bailey, Caleb Cotham, and Nathan Eovaldi; lefties CC Sabathia, Chris Capuano, and Chasen Shreve; first baseman Mark Teixeira; second basemen Jose Pirela and Stephen Drew; and catcher Austin Romine. And righthanded pitchers Branden Pinder and Nick Goody had their roster status changed by the club as well.
On October 7, 2013, the Yankees signed free agent catcher Sammy De Jesus to a minor league contract.
Recent retiree from the Yankee broadcast booth and one-time Pinstriped hurler Jim Kaat is featured in the first of two October 7 highlights about one-time Yanks with other teams, as he gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead in World Series games by besting Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers 5-1 on this day in 1965. And Andy Kosco managed the only two Cincinnati hits off Jon Matlack in a 5-0 Mets win in the playoffs on October 7, 1973.
Leo Durocher passed away on this day in 1991, the only one-time Yankee player to die on October 7. Leo began his career as a Yankee shortstop, but won three pennants and one World Series managing the Dodgers and the Giants. He collected 164 hits and 95 rbi’s (no home runs) in 638 at bats playing 210 games with the Yanks in 1925, 1928, and 1929, numbers that grew to 24 long balls and 567 rbi’s after playing four years each with the Reds and the Cardinals, and five with the Dodgers.
Legendary Giants hurler Christy Mathewson died of tuberculosis at the age of 45 in Saranac Lake, New York, on October 7, 1925. The first of three significant nonYankee player deaths, the Hall of Fame pitcher won 373 games, lost 188, and saved 28 games from 1900-1916, with all but half a season being accomplished with the Giants. First baseman Bill Phillips (1900) hit 17 home runs and drove in 534 runs between 1879 and 1888 playing with the Blues and the Trolley Dodgers. And center fielder Jim Landis (2017), played most of his 1957-1967 career with the White Sox; he hit 93 home runs and drove in 467.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Although Jose Cardenal (1943) never played in Pinstripes during his 18-year playing career, we’ll mention the warmly remembered 1996 Yankee batting coach first along with five October 7 birthday guys who played for the Yanks. Jose played outfield with nine different teams, but accumulated many of his 138 homers and 775 rbi’s with the White Sox.
Righty Jim Bruske (1964) posted a 1-0 record in three games for the 1998 club. Playing with the Dodgers, the Brewers, and the Padres from 1995-2000 around his New York stop, Jim went 9-1 with two saves. The Yanks got Bruske from the Padres in August 1998 with minor-leaguer Brad Kaufman for minor-leaguers Ray Ricken and Shea Morenz, and New York released him the following March.
Lefty Joe Giard (1898) managed no record and no saves during the 16 games he pitched in for the 1927 Yankees, after tossing for the Browns the two previous years. Giard was traded with Joe Bush and Milt Gaston to the St. Louis Browns for Urban Shocker in December 1924, and returned to New York in February 1927 with Cedric Durst from the St. Louis Browns for Sam Jones.
Lefty Bud Daley (1932) finished up with the Yanks from 1961 through 1964 with an 18-16 line and six saves, after three years in Cleveland and four in K.C. The Yanks got Daley from the Athletics in June 1961 for Art Ditmar and Deron Johnson. They shipped him to the Cleveland Indians in November 1964 to complete the earlier deal that had the Yanks send Ralph Terry out for Pedro Ramos.
Lefty-hitting outfielder Russ Derry (1916) got his start in the Bronx, slugging 17 homers with 59 rbi’s for the 1944 and 1945 teams, then played in Philly in 1946, and St. Louis in 1949. And finally second baseman George Batten (1891) played one game for the 1912 Highlanders, going hitless in three at bats. It was his only major-league game.
Other birthdays: old-time gloriously named pitcher Brickyard Kennedy (1867); Hall of Famer Chuck Klein (1904); Rudy Law (1956); Rich DeLucia (1964); Butch Henry (1968); Milt Cuyler (1968); Ryan Rohlinger (1983); Evan Longoria (1985); Kris Medlen (1985); Alex Cobb (1987); Brandon Cunniff (1988); Michael Foltynewicz (1991); Adrian Sampson (1991); Mookie Betts (1992); and Kohl Stewart (1994).
Players Born This Day