October 8 in Yankee History

  • It’s more than 50 years now, and nobody has equaled Don Larsen‘s stellar achievement (though Doc Halladay‘s not perfect no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS–still not in the World Series, has come close), as he tossed a Perfect Game in the World Series on October 8, 1956. He blanked the Dodgers, 2-0, besting Sal “The Barber” Maglie, who matched him until Mickey Mantle broke the tie with a fourth-inning home run. We’ll cover the more recent Yankee playoff exploits next, and return to the long list of Bombers World Series successes (with a few failures) later.
  • The Yankees shut out the Brewers 3-0 on October 8, 1981, with some pretty fair arms blanking the Milwaukee team. Dave Righetti started, and was relieved by Ron Davis and then Goose Gossage, Reggie Jackson, and Lou Piniella homers accounted for all the scoring.
  • The Yankees lost the first game of a classic ALCS on October 8, 2003, 5-3 to the Red Sox in New York. Deuces were wild as Tim Wakefield recorded two strike outs and allowed two hits, but the two walks to lead off the seventh became the only two runs he allowed. David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and Todd Walker home runs did in Mike Mussina and the Yanks.
  • Riding a rare effective Kevin Brown late-season start, the Yanks took a two games to one lead in the 2004 ALDS over the Twins on October 8 with an 8-4 win. The visiting Bombers strung five straight singles together in the second inning off Carlos Silva for three runs, with Miguel Cairo, Kenny Lofton, and Derek Jeter gathering the rbi’s. Jeter drove in two more in the sixth, and Bernie Williams and Hideki Matsui homered.
  • The heavy lifting portion of the Yankees ALCS victory over Kansas City on October 8, 1977, was turned in by Sparky Lyle, who tossed 5.7 scoreless innings in the 6-4 win. Mickey Rivers chipped in with four hits.
  • The Yanks won Game Five over the A’s to clinch the 2000 ALDS on October 8 by scoring six runs in the first behind a three-run Tino Martinez double and holding on. The relentless charge of the A’s that brought them within two at 7-5 was squashed by the masterful relief work of Yankee lefty Mike Stanton. That final score was forged by a David Justice fourth-inning home run.
  • It was a crusher that we witnessed sitting on line at Yankee Stadium for ALCS tickets that would never be sold. Edgar Martinez completed the Mariners comeback from two games down as he drove in two with an 11th-inning double in the Mariners’ 6-5 win over the Yanks on October 8, 1995. Edgar hit .571 with 10 rbi’s in the five-game series, and Seattle won, three games to two. It would be Yankee legend Don Mattingly‘s only postseason appearance, to rave reviews.
  • Art Nehf outlasted Joe Bush and the Giants beat the Yankees 5-3 to win the 1922 World Series in five (four wins and a tie) on October 8.
  • The Yankees managed to win their second World Series as they swept the Pirates in four, besting the NL team 4-3 on October 8, 1927. The Yanks took a 3-1 lead on Babe Ruth‘s home run, but the Pirates came back to tie, only to lose the game on a wild pitch in the ninth.
  • Monte Pearson and Johnny Murphy combined on a five-hitter and the Giants committed four errors in a 5-1 Yankee win on October 8, 1937.
  • Monte Pearson grabbed the win again one year later, as the Series moved to Yankee Stadium and the Bombers beat Clay Bryant of the Cubs, 5-2, behind Bill Dickey and Joe Gordon homers.
  • The Reds made three errors in the 10th inning of a 7-4 Yankee win on October 8, 1939, helping the Yankees complete the four-game Series sweep. It was four Series victories in a row as well.
  • Eddie Lopat received some superb relief from Allie Reynolds on October 8, 1949. Superchief came in with two on and two outs in the sixth, struck out Johnny Jorgensen on three pitches, and calmly retired the next nine, as the Yanks beat the Dodgers, 6-4.
  • Joe DiMaggio was hitless in the 1951 Series no longer as he homered and singled in the 6-2, October 8 Yankee victory over the Giants. Allie Reynolds went the distance as the Yanks evened the Classic with the win.
  • A year to the day after Don Larsen‘s Perfecto, Bob Turley threw a four-hitter and the Yanks evened their Series with the Braves at three apiece on October 8, 1957. Hank Bauer homered off the foul pole in left in the 3-2 Yankee victory.
  • After the ensuing disappointing Game Seven outcome that followed the highlight in the graph above, the Yankee victory over Lew Burdette to take the 1958 Series on October 8 was particularly satisfying. Moose Skowron broke up a close battle with a three-run eighth-inning home run, and the Yanks prevailed 6-2. The seven-gamer allowed Casey Stengel to tie Joe McCarthy with seven Series won.
  • It was Pittsburgh Skipper Danny Murtaugh‘s 43rd birthday (see below), but the Yanks showed no mercy in Game One of the 1960 Classic. Whitey Ford threw a four-hitter and Bobby Richardson knocked in six, including his first-inning grand slam off Clem Labine, as the Bombers bashed the Pirates, 10-0.
  • Whitey Ford‘s five scoreless innings on October 8, 1961, ran his World Series streak to 32, breaking Babe Ruth‘s record of 29.7, as the Yanks beat the Reds, 7-0. Hector Lopez and Clete Boyer plated two apiece and Jim Coates threw four scoreless to finish the job Whitey had started. It perhaps does not qualify as ironic, with World Series history dominating early October until quite recently, but The Babe began his run-denying streak the next day (October 9) way back in 1916, toiling in Boston.
  • Tom Haller and Chuck Hiller led the Giants to a Series-tying 7-3 win over the Yankees on October 8, 1962. Haller’s two-run blast gave the Jints the lead, and the surprising grand slam from Hiller put the New Yorkers away.
  • It sounds out of whack for anyone familiar with the St. Louis fireballer’s work in the sixties to hear that Yankee rookie Mel Stottlemyre beat Bob Gibson, 8-3, in a World Series game on October 8, 1964, until you learn that the Yanks added four in the ninth once Gibson had been relieved.
  • It was a frustrated Kansas City Royals club with revenge on their minds who played the Yankees in the opening game of the 1980 ALCS on October 8. Ex-Yankee southpaw Larry Gura went the distance despite allowing 10 hits, and K.C. won going away, 7-2.
  • On October 8, 2012, the Yankees designated righty reliever Cory Wade for assignment.
  • It’s hard to surpass hitting a home run in a 1-0 World Series victory, so we start a list of October 8 achievements by Yankee players when they were with other teams with Paul Blair‘s singleton jack in Baltimore’s Game Three victory over the Dodgers on this day in 1966. Also, one-time Yankee Germany Schaefer pulled the first (only?) hidden-ball trick in World Series history when he did so against Detroit’s Jimmy Slagle in the Cubs/Tigers 3-3 tie on October 8, 1907. Lastly, future Yankee Manager Miller Huggins ripped three triples against St. Louis in an 8-1 Cincinnati win on this day in 1904.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • First baseman Johnny Sturm, who played just one year in the bigs, passed away on October 8, 2004. Sturm played 124 games for the 1941 Yanks during which he hit .239 (125-for-524) with three home runs and 36 rbi’s. Johnny remains the lone Yankee player to have died on October 8.
  • Switch-hitting, righty thrower Red Ames (1936), who pitched to a 204-189-6 record with the Giants (1903-1913), the Reds (1913-1915), and the Cardinals (1915-1919), is the first of four noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day. Switch-hitting second baseman/third baseman Jim “Junior” Gilliam (1978) hit all 65 of his home runs with 558 rbi’s from 1953-1966 with the Dodgers, playing in both New York and L.A.; and righty Max Surkont (1986) won 61, lost 76, and saved eight games with the Braves, the Pirates, and the Giants from 1949-1957. New guy on the list is outfielder Andy Pafko (2013), who cleared 213 fences and drove in 976 runs from 1943 through 1959, mostly with the Cubs, and with the Braves in their Milwaukee years.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Few Yankees fans took the acquisition of Cody Eppley (1985) seriously when they picked him up on waivers from Texas at the end of Spring Training in 2011, but he would not only become the newest Yankee birthdayer on the day when he joined the parent club in April, he served as a righthanded bullpen cog, more often than not able to retire righty-hitting opponents on ground balls with his sidewinding delivery. After earning a 1-1 record and 8.00 era in 10 games for the 2011 Rangers, Eppley went 1-2 in 59 games with New York, and two more games in 2013 before he was released.
  • The strange thing about the six other players with Yankee credentials born October 8 is that two of them were born on the same day, as second baseman Bryan Little and righthanded nomad Mike Morgan share October 8, 1959, as their birthday. Morgan finished his career in Pinstripes by playing 14 games for the 1986 club. He went 7-11 in the Bronx in 1982, once he arrived from Oakland via a trade for Fred Stanley in November 1980. Twenty-five months later, the Yankees packaged Morgan with Dave Collins, Fred McGriff, and cash to the Blue Jays for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd. The loss of Collins and Morgan was no big deal, but Murray would implode regularly in the Yankee pen, and McGriff would blossom into a power-hitting star in other cities. Morgan played with 12 teams in his 22-year career, 13 if you count both stints with the Cubs separately.
  • Bryan Little, purchased by the Yankees from the Chicago White Sox in July 1986, went 8-for-41 with no homers or rbi’s in spot duty before being released that October. Over parts of seasons with the Expos and the Sox he accumulated three home runs and knocked in 77.
  • Righty Paul Schreiber (1902) finished up with the Yanks by going 0-0 in two games in 1945. Outfielder Ping Bodie (1887) bashed 16 homers and collected 196 rbi’s for the Yanks from 1918 through 1921 once he was acquired in a trade for George Burns from the Philly A’s in March 1918. Finally, catcher Rick Stemaszek (1948), who was traded by the Cubs to the Yankees for Gerry Pirtle in January 1976, never made it to the field of play with the Bombers. He did hit one home run with 10 rbi’s in 60 games with the Senators, the Rangers, the Angels, and the Cubs from 1971-1974.
  • We don’t know what the future holds for Antoan Richardson (1991), but if nothing else his image is etched in eternity as he scored the run Derek Jeter drove in, a walkoff, to win his last game in Yankee Stadium. A switch-hitting right fielder and pinch runner originally drafted in 2001, Richardson played nine games with the 2009 Braves, and 13 with the 2013 Yankees; the last of four career runs he has scored is his calling card so far. He has stolen six bases without being caught, five of them with the Yanks.
  • Other birthdays: Switch-hitting Tigers shortstop Donie Bush (1887), who played from 1908 through 1923; Wally Moses (1910); Pittsburgh Manager Danny Murtaugh (1917); K.C. Royals lefty Paul Splittorff (1946); Olmedo Saenz (1970); Sandy Martinez (1970); Dave Doster (1970); Adron Chambers (1986); Erik Davis (1986); Taylor Featherston (1989); Albert Suarez (1989); and Robbie Erlin (1990).