The victory in Game Two of the 2009 ALDS had to be pretty special to move to the front of October 9 history in front of the several postseason beauties that follow, and it was. Nick Blackburn and A.J. Burnett pitched the Twins and Yanks, respectively, to a 1-1 tie through six, but Minnesota reached Phil Hughes for two runs in the eighth. But Alex Rodriguez got his great postseason started in earnest with a two-run blast off closer Joe Nathan in the ninth to send it to extras. It got tense in the 11th when Minnesota’s first three batters singled off Damaso Marte and David Roberston, but a liner, then a grounder, to first base and a fly out got the Yanks up still tied, when Mark Teixeira sent everyone home happy with a leadoff home run off the top of the wall in left for a 4-3 Yankee win, and a two-games-to-none lead in the ALDS.
Even though it was a series clincher and one year more recent, we’ll run the October 9, 2010, postseason highlight second, because there was no tension whatsoever to the 6-1 Game Three win and sweep of yet another series against the Twins. Because the Yanks were the Wild Card, this was their first home game of the postseason, and Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher extra base hits in the second and third innings, and rbi singles by Jorge Posada and Mark Teixeira, gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead good enough for the win. But Phil Hughes, who would go seven for the win, certainly appreciated the three-run fourth forged on a Marcus Thames two-run homer and a Brett Gardner sac fly. The latter delivered Curtis Granderson, who had gotten into that position by stealing both second and third base after walking.
The Yankee teams in the seventies had a sense of the moment. Many recall that they reached the World Series three straight years by beating the K.C. Royals in the (at the time) five-game ALCS. But in the first two of those, they won it by scoring the winning run in the ninth inning of the fifth game. Most famous, perhaps, is the walk-off home run with which Chris Chambliss beat the Royals on a Mark Littell offering in 1976. In 1977, Mickey Rivers knocked in the game winner in the ninth inning too, in a 5-3 Yankee victory, wrapping the Series on October 9.
Bernie Williams rose to the moment in the 11th inning on October 9, 1996, but he was granted the chance because of what 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier did three innings earlier. The Yanks tied the opening game of the ALCS with Baltimore on Derek Jeter‘s eighth-inning Maier-aided homer. The switch-hitting Williams, batting righty, blasted one off lefty Randy Myers to win the game, 5-4.
Lefty Al Leiter was not with the Yankees long in his second stint with the team, in 2005, but he made it count on October 9, cashing in a win over Anaheim in ALDS Game Four with just five pitches, inducing a double play from the only batter he faced. Shawn Chacon and John Lackey battled into the sixth, and the Yanks took the lead on Derek Jeter‘s sixth-inning fielder’s choice. The 3-2 Yankee victory squared the five-gamer at two wins apiece.
Great players make big plays happen. In his first year in the Pinstripes, Alex Rodriguez scored the 2004 ALDS-winning run in the top of the 11th inning in Minnesota on October 9. Before Alex’s heroics, Ruben Sierra capped a four-run eighth-inning game-tying rally with a three-run double. Rodriguez doubled with one out in the 11th, stole third base, and scored on a wild pitch. The Yankees won the game 6-5, and the series, three games to one.
Babe Ruth stars in our October 9 highlight of a one-time Yankee with another team because on this day in 1916 he went the distance on the mound in a 2-1, 14-inning Boston win over the Brooklyn Robins in Game Two of the World Series.
Casey Stengel signed a two-year contract to manage the Yanks on October 9, 1950. He lasted a bit longer than that.
The Yankees rode a two-run Nick Johnson home run and Jorge Posada‘s two-run double to a 6-2 win over the Red Sox on October 9 in the 2003 ALCS, giving the Yankees Game Two. Andy Pettitte righted the Yanks after a loss as usual, with Derek Lowe taking the loss.
In one of the biggest upsets of the sixties of my youth, the lightly regarded Baltimore Orioles outpitched the vaunted L.A. Dodgers during the 1966 World Series. The sweep over the defending Champion West Coast club was completed when Dave McNally blanked them on a four-hit, 1-0 shutout on October 9, 1966. The 33 consecutive scoreless innings the Baby Birds managed is a World Series record.
Darryl Strawberry‘s three-run, first-inning homer was the only scoring of the game in a 3-0 Yankee win on October 9, 1999. Roger Clemens completed the three-game Yankees sweep of the Texas Rangers in the season’s ALDS.
In the opener of the 1976 ALCS vs. the Royals (the last game of which is mentioned above), on October 9, Catfish Hunter vanquished the Royals, 4-1. The Yanks scored two in the first on two George Brett errors.
But the Yanks suffered some Playoff game losses on October 9, too. They lost a third base coach and then their manager after Willie Randolph was thrown out at the plate to end a 3-2 loss to Kansas City in 1980. It gave the thirsty-for-revenge Royals a two games to none lead in games in the best of five.
A year later, the Yanks lost 5-3 to the Brewers on Ted Simmons and Paul Molitor home runs on October 9, 1981.
Jim Thome hit two of the four homers the Indians bashed in defeating the Yanks in the ’98 ALCS, 6-1, on October 9, with three of the bombs coming off Andy Pettitte in the fifth inning.
When the Red Sox beat the Phillies 2-1 on October 9, 1915, in the City of Brotherly Love, President Woodrow Wilson became the first in that office to attend a Series game.
Phil Douglas bested Carl Mays in front of 36,000-plus, 4-2, in the Giants’ win over the Yanks in a World Series game on October 9, 1921, despite Babe Ruth‘s first Fall Classic dinger. It was the only Sunday game Mays ever pitched.
St. Louis Cardinal hurler Grover Cleveland Alexander scattered eight hits in a 10-2 win over the Yanks on this day in 1926, as the Cardinals ganged up on Bob Shawkey, Urban Shocker, and Myles Thomas for 13 hits.
The Yanks won their second Series in a row as they finished strongly what had been a pitchers’ duel between the Cards’ Bill Sherdel and Waite Hoyt on October 9, 1928. Sherdel was leading, 2-1, as late as the seventh. But Babe Ruth hit a second and third home run, Lou Gehrig added one, and Cedric Durst closed the Yankee scoring with one of his own, as the Bombers prevailed, 7-3.
The Yanks were going for the sweep on October 9, 1937, but Carl Hubbell delayed the celebration for a day with a six-hit, 7-3 victory. The Giants scored six in the second inning.
The Yanks managed a World Series Three-Peat in 2000. The first time they (or any team) managed that feat was when the New Yorkers beat the Cubs, 8-3, on October 9, 1938. Red Ruffing won his second game of the Series in the Bombers’ sweep.
Bobby Brown, pinch hitting and playing third, provided the offensive spark for the Yanks’ five-game Series victory over the Dodgers in 1949, as he batted .500 and knocked in five runs. The Yanks won the deciding game 10-6 on October 9.
In a 13-1 destruction of the Giants on October 9, 1951, Gil McDougald became the first rookie to hit a grand slam in the Fall Classic, and Eddie Lopat notched his second win.
The Dodgers beat the Yanks 1-0 on this day in 1956, as reliever Clem Labine got the start and fashioned a 10-inning victory.
The Yanks exacted their revenge against Lew Burdette and the Braves one year after losing a clincher. Yogi Berra doubled in a 2-2 tie with two outs in the eighth inning, and Elston Howard scored him with a single. Andy Carey singled and Moose Skowron homered for the 6-2 lead and the win, and a 4-3 win in the Series.
It was the Yanks’ turn to lose a game in the 1960 World Series vs. Pittsburgh on October 9, 1960. In this Series, a Pirates win meant close game. Vern Law won, 3-2, on his own rbi single and the two-run base hit by Bill Virdon. Roy Face saved it by retiring the last eight Yanks in a row.
Ralph Houk became the third rookie pilot to win a World Series as super subs Johnny Blanchard and Hector Lopez sparked a five-run first and a 13-5 Yankee win over the Reds on October 9, 1961. Each homered and Lopez drove in five.
On October 9, 2013, the Yankees signed free agent righthander Luis Rosario to a minor league contract.
We revealed in yesterday’s column that it was on October 9, 1916, that lefty starter Babe Ruth began accruing what would be his long-held World Series record streak of 29.7 consecutive innings with no runs allowed. Pitching for the Red Sox, the Babe also set a record by going all 14 innings in the 2-1 win over Sherry Smith and the Brooklyn Robins.
Chicago Cubs hurler King Cole posted his 20th win of the 1910 season on October 9 with a 4-3 win over the Cardinals despite allowing 10 walks in the game.
Debuting with the Highlanders from 1904-1910, catcher Red Kleinow (1929), one of two Yankee players who have died on October 9, hit two home runs with 127 rbi’s on 328 hits in 1,496 at bats playing 522 games in New York. Followup short stints with the Red Sox and the Phillies garnered him one more home run and eight more runs driven in. Outfielder Jim Jackson (1955) makes this list because his first 99 games were played with the 1901 Orioles, the team that would be relocated to New York as the Highlanders in 1903. Jackson hit two long balls and drove in 50 runs on 91-for-364 hitting, numbers he increased to four home runs and 132 rbi’s once he played with the Giants in 1902 and Cleveland in 1905-1906.
Pirates pitcher Bob Moose was killed in an auto accident on the way to his 29th birthday party (see below) on October 9, 1976. He died with a 76-71-19 record, and he leads a list of 10 noteworthy nonYankee player deaths this day. Lefty-hitting first baseman Jake Daubert (1924) hit 56 fence clearers with 722 rbi’s from 1910-1924 with Brooklyn and Cincinnati; righthander Hank Gastright (1937) won 72, lost 63, and saved two games for the Colts and five other teams from 1889-1896; and righthander Howie Fox (1955) posted a 43-72-6 mark mostly with the Reds from 1944-1954. Catcher Butch Henline (1957) hit 40 long balls and drove in 268 from 1910-1924 with the Phillies, the Dodgers, and the White Sox; third baseman Don Hoak (1969) hit 89 roundtrippers and knocked in 498 runs with the Pirates, the Dodgers, the Reds, and the Phillies from 1954-1964; and switch-hitting shortstop Dave Bancroft (1972) played with the Phillies, the Giants, the Braves, and the Dodgers from 1915-1929, and hit 32 homers with 591 rbi’s. Third baseman/shortstop Mark Christman (1976) cracked 19 long balls and drove in 348 from 1938-1949 with the Tigers, the Browns, and the Senators; lefty-hitting outfielder Jo-Jo White (1986) hit most of his eight long balls with 229 rbi’s from 1932-1944 with Detroit; and catcher Mike Guerra (1992) cleared nine fences good for 168 runs driven in from 1944-1951 with the Senators and the A’s.
Players Who Have Died This Day
There are two big names with October 9 birthdays who played for the Yanks. Beloved character and New Yorker Joe Pepitone (1940) debuted in the Bronx and played most of his ball here, blasting 166 homers with 541 rbi’s in his 1962 through 1969 stay. Joe Pep was signed as a Yankee amateur free agent in 1958, and was traded by the Yankees to the Houston Astros for Curt Blefary in December 1969. After several years with the Cubs sandwiched between Houston and Atlanta stints, Joe improved the career numbers to 219 home runs and 721 rbi’s.
Hall of Fame lefty-batting shortstop/third baseman Joe Sewell (1898) put up much of his numbers during 11 years in Cleveland, but he finished his career in the Bronx from 1931 through 1933, with 19 homers and 186 rbi’s.
It was surprising that, surpassing minor leaguers with much higher profiles, AAA starter David Phelps (1986) became the newest Yankee ballplayer born October 9 fairly early in the 2012 season. He would spend more time in the minors to lengthen his output after serving out of the pen for a while but, as of this writing, Phelps pitched to to a major league 4-4 record in 33 games, nine of them starts. Phelps, who was selected by the Yankees in the 14th round of the 2006 amateur draft, made the rotation early in 2013 and pitched well, going 6-5 in 21 games, 12 of them starts, before he did what much of the 2013 team did, lose a chunk of his season to injury. Alas, that pattern held for 2014, where he relieved early, then started, then had arm trouble, returning late in the pen, with a 5-5 record and one save on the season. The Yanks traded Phelps and Martin Prado to Miami for Nate Eovaldi and two other players before the 2015 season. Phelps went 13-18 with with four saves in Miami until they traded him to Seattle for the ’17 pennant chase; David went 2-1 in 10 games, all in relief, for the Mariners.
Furthermore, there are four other birthdayers with little or no game experience with the Bombers. Lefthander Pete Wilson (1885) posted a 9-8 mark with the 1908-1909 Yanks, his only experience in the bigs. Righty Danny Mota (1975), who posted no record in four games with the 2000 Twins, was signed by the Yanks as an amateur free agent in April 1994. In February 1998, he was included with Brian Buchanan, Cristian Guzman, Eric Milton, and cash in the package the Yanks sent Minnesota for Chuck Knoblauch.
A 1970 amateur Yankees free agent signing, Kevin Jordan (1969) was traded with Ryan Karp and Bobby Munoz to the Phillies for Jeff Patterson and Terry Mulholland in February 1994. Kevin contributed 23 dingers and 175 rbi’s to the Phillies from 1995-2001. And finally, shortstop Felix Fermin (1963), who hit four home runs with 207 rbi’s with the Pirates, the Indians, the Mariners, and the Cubs between 1987 and 1996, signed as a free agent with the Yankees for 14 days in May 1996.
A former first round pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2005, Chaz Roe (1986) pitched in 21 games (no starts) for Arizona in 2013 to a 1-0 mark with no saves, was subsequently selected by the Rangers, and then the Marlins, from whom the Yankees purchased him in August 2014. Then he was a September callup, pitching to a 9.00 era in three games in New York. The Pirates selected Roe from the Yankees at the end of that season, then the Orioles, for whom he pitched out of the pen in 2015 and 2016, selected him from Pittsburgh. Atlanta selected him off waivers in August 2016; he pitched there until a stretch run trade to Tampa in ’17. He posted no record but a nifty .104 era in nine games with the Rays.
Other birthdays: Dodger Manager Walter O’Malley (1903); K.C. shortstop Freddie Patek (1944); Jimmy Qualls (1946); Bob Moose (1947); Brian Downing (1950); Bill Pulsipher (1973); Brian Roberts (1977); Alay Soler (1979); Mark (Steven) McLemore (1980), the 2007 rookie lefthanded pitcher for Houston, not to be confused with the infielder with the same first and last name whose 19-year career ended in 2004; Jason Jaramillo (1982); Jason Pridie (1983); Derek Holland (1986); Cory Burns (1987); Starling Marte (1988); Tim Melville (1989); Jake Lamb (1990); and Ryan Brett (1991).
Players Born This Day