September 10 in Yankee History

  • The superb Masahiro Tanaka held the visiting Rays off the board until catcher Bobby Wilson homered off him with one down in the eighth inning of a 5-1 Yankee victory on September 10, 2016. The Yanks didn’t score until they put up a three spot in the sixth on home runs from Jacoby Ellsbury and Gary Sanchez, and they closed the scoring in the eighth on back-to-back sac flies from Sanchez and Didi Gregorius. It was a hot, steamy Saturday afternoon in the Bronx, and also Dellin Betances Bobblehead Day.
  • The four-game Boston Massacre was concluded on September 10, 1978. The Yanks outhit the Sox 67-21 and outscored them 42-9 in that set, finishing with a game-four final of 7-4. Desperate for a spark, the Red Sox started lefty rookie Bobby Sprowl, who would go on to start four games in his career and finish with an 0-3 mark. But he was removed after just four batters (three walks and a base hit). The Yanks won behind Ed Figueroa and Goose Gossage, and the series capped their comeback that brought them from 14.5 back to dead even.
  • Despite the four-run, first-inning uprising the Tampa Rays staged against Chris Capuano on September 10, 2014, the Yankees were able to outlast the visitors 8-5, due to strong bullpen work, notably Chase Whitley‘s three innings after relieving the lefty with just one down in the first. Tampa would not score again until Evan Longoria homered off Esmil Rogers with two down in the ninth. The offensive stars were Brian McCann, with two runs scored and three driven in on two hits; and Chris Young, who stroked three hits, scored twice, and knocked in two. Both Brian and Chris homered.
  • September 10 is another good day for a mini Mickey Mantle fest. We start it in 1959, where he went 5-for-6, including a tater, in a 12-1 obliteration of Ray Herbert and the Kansas City A’s.
  • One year later Mickey Mantle hit a three-run shot off Paul Foytack in the sixth inning that cleared the right field roof in Detroit and was later measured to have traveled 643 feet, in a 5-1 Yankee win on September 10, 1960. It is widely believed to be the longest recorded mlb home run in history.
  • Then again one year later, in a doubleheader home-standing sweep of the Indians, 7-6 and 9-3, Mickey Mantle hit his 53rd homer of the season in the nightcap, while the birthdaying (see below) Roger Maris held steady with 56.
  • And once again, one year later (September 10, 1962, if you’ve lost track), Mickey Mantle smacked the 400th homer of his career off Detroit’s Hank Aguirre to tie the game 1-1 in the fourth. The Yanks pushed across two in the ninth for the 3-1 win.
  • Former batting champ Alex Johnson was acquired by the Yanks in 1974 and arrived during their September 10 game with Boston. Alex played 62 games in New York and hit two home runs, but the first was a pinch-hit shot on that day that he arrived, winning it for the Yanks in 12 innings, 2-1.
  • On September 10, 2002, Yankee pitching held the visiting Orioles to 11 hits in a doubleheader Bomber sweep. Juan Rivera drove in Jorge Posada with the lead run of Andy Pettitte‘s 5-2 win in the first game, during which failed prospect Drew Henson scored the only run (of three all told) of his 2002 campaign. Jeff Weaver allowed four hits over eight innings in the 3-1 Yankee win in the nightcap in which Raul Mondesi‘s fourth-inning bomb garnered a home-team lead.
  • On September 10, 1958, the Indians attracted 50,000+ fans in Cleveland with “Back the Indians” night, but the Yanks silenced the throng with an 8-3 win.
  • It is without any pain that I report that White Sox hurler Joel Horlen no-hit the Tigers, 5-0, on September 10, 1967, but I begrudgingly include the fact that former Yank Ray “Slim” Caldwell, throwing for the Indians two weeks after being hit by lightning, blinded the Yankees with a 3-0 no-hitter in the Polo Grounds on the same day back in 1919.
  • It’s hard to believe that the A’s managed a split with the Yanks on September 10, 1925. Bob Meusel, Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the fourth inning of a Game One Yankee 7-3 victory, but the A’s prevailed in the nightcap, 5-4, despite the back-to-back fourth-inning shots from Babe Ruth and Ben Paschal.
  • The birthdaying Randy Johnson (see below) got no decision in Arizona’s 12-inning, 4-3 loss to the Marlins on September 10, 2000, but when he struck out Mike Lowell (one of 14 K’s in seven frames) to end the fourth, he notched his 3,000th career whiff.
  • The Yanks swept the A’s, 10-3 and 2-1, on September 10, 1922, the last regular-season games they would ever play in the Polo Grounds. They finished the season with 18 games on the road and opened the Big Ballpark across the Harlem River from the Giants’ park in 1923.
  • The Yanks have had a couple of bad September 10 games too. In 1977, the still expansion-quality Blue Jays beat the Yanks’ brains out in the Bronx, 19-3.
  • And on September 10, 1999, Pedro Martinez shook off a second-inning Chili Davis homer and struck out 17 Yankees in a 3-1 Red Sox win. Pedro faced the minimum 27 plus the one for the Davis home run, retiring the side in order eight out of nine times.
  • As reported above, the Blue Jays battered the Yankees 19-3 in 1977. It was by that same score that the Yankees crushed the A’s on September 10, 1921. Catcher Wally Schang stroked five of the Bombers’ 21 hits, and they set a record when five different teammates notched two hits each in the ninth inning. Despite allowing 13 hits, Carl Mays beat Philadelphia for the 16th straight time.
  • When the Yankees transferred DH Travis Hafner from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day list, with a right rotator cuff strain, and signed free agent Mike Zagurski on September 10, 2013, it was unlikely either transaction would have long-term effects. Hafner was done, and Zagurski would not last.
  • The long career of first baseman Andy Phillips in Pinstripes was over on September 10, 2007, when the snakebitten and oft-injured Phillips was moved from the 15- to the 60-day DL. Following a hot July with the parent club, Andy had had his hand broken by a wayward pitch.
  • If the name of Wambsganss is ever spelled correctly in the annals of baseball history, it will be thanks to the unassisted triple play turned in by Cleveland shortstop Bill Wambsganss in a September 10, 1921 World Series victory over the Brooklyn Robins. This 8-1 win also featured the first WS grand slam and the first pitcher home run in the Championship round as well.
  • When the Yankees fell 9-8 to the White Sox on September 10, 1955, the winning Chicago run was set up by a passed ball by Hank Bauer. Pressed into emergency service behind the plate, this was Bauer’s only time catching in 1,450 games played.
  • A pitching duel was expected when the 1996 AL Cy Young Award winner met the runner-up in Yankee Stadium on September 10, 1998. But Pat Hentgen (he won that award) went just three frames, and Andy Pettitte outlasted him. Jose Canseco‘s three-run second-inning bomb off the Yankee southpaw crowned a five-run Toronto frame, but Paul O’Neill drove in four on two home runs and a single in the first four innings of the 8-5 Yankee win.
  • As we have reported before, the Yankee franchise first played in New York as the Highlanders in 1903. But the franchise did play in Baltimore as the Orioles in 1901 and 1902. On September 10, 1902, Rube Waddell of the A’s pitched eight innings of relief in Game One and two more in the nightcap, garnering both wins in a 9-5, 5-4 Philadelphia sweep over Baltimore.
  • Joe DiMaggio became the first player to drill three dingers in one game in Griffith Stadium on September 10, 1950, in an 8-1 win over the Washington Senators.
  • The 1969 Miracle Mets took over first place in the National League East for the first time, a lead they would never relinquish, with a 3-2, 7-1 sweep of the Expos while the Cubs lost on September 10.
  • One of your rarer stats for former Yankee players was the punt return for a TD in Deion Sanders‘s September 10, 1989 debut with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, five days after he had hit a home run in a Yankee 12-2 win over the Mariners.
  • Giants Manager Alvin Dark used Jesus Alou, Matty Alou, and Felipe Alou to pinch-hit, in order, in a 4-2 loss to the Mets on September 10, 1963. Felipe and Matty would be Yankee teammates 10 seasons later.
  • Lou Brock broke Maury Wills‘s single-season stolen-base record in a September 10, 1974, 8-2 loss to the Phillies, nabbing his 104th and 105th.
  • Bob Friend of the Pirates won his 20th game of the 1938 season 6-4 over the Giants on September 10, a feat equalled by L.A.’s Orel Hershiser in a 5-0 blanking of the Reds on September 10, 1988.
  • Other September 10 highlights for future and former Yankee pitchers aside from the 3,000th Randy Johnson strike out mentioned above have come in early career seasons. Eventual Hall of Famer Stan Coveleski, who won five of six decisions with the 1928 Yankees to conclude his 215-142 career record, won his first in his initial big-league appearance when he shut out Detroit 3-0 for the Philly A’s on this day in 1912. Three years later, second-year man Babe Ruth won his 15th for the Red Sox 7-2 over Philadelphia on September 10, 1915. And Expos neophyte Bill Gullickson, who would pitch to a 4-2 mark with the Yanks down the stretch in 1987, but who couldn’t wait to get out of New York, set a major league rookie record by striking out 18 Cubs in a 4-2 Montreal win on this day in 1980.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Lefty-hitting outfielder Roy Johnson is the only Yankee player to have died on September 10. With his 54 hits in 198 at bats playing 75 games for the 1936-1937 Yankees, Johnson reached one fence and drove in 25 runs. In a career that spanned 1929-1938, he accumulated 58 long balls and 556 rbi’s playing with the Tigers and Red Sox before his New York stop, and with the Bees afterward.
  • The list of noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day features outfielders too, four of them, all righthanded, with just Lance Richbourg (1975) hitting from the left side like Mr. Johnson. Richbourg hit most of his 13 long balls with 247 runs knocked in between 1921 and 1932 with the Braves; Pete Browning (1905) went yard 46 times with 659 rbi’s from 1882-1894, mostly with the Colonels; Shano Collins (1955) hit 22 roundtrippers and drove in 709 runs with the White Sox and the Red Sox from 1910-1925; and Eddie Brown (1956) played with the Giants, the Dodgers, and the Braves from 1920-1928, contributing 16 long balls and 407 rbi’s during that time. In addition, catcher Hank DeBerry (1951) hit 11 homers and drove in 234 runs with the Indians and the Dodgers from 1916-1930; and lefty-hitting, righty-throwing hurler Johnny Marcum (1984) won 65, lost 63, and saved seven games from 1933-1939 pitching most of that time with the A’s and the Red Sox. Most recently, righthander George Spencer (2014) posted a 16-10 record with nine saves from 1950 through 1960, pitching mostly for the Giants and the Tigers.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Lefty-hitting home run hitter Roger Maris (1934), whose achievement earns him a Hall of Fame spot in any universe where stars are featured and not simply good players who played long enough to compile big numbers, is unquestionably the most deserving of the seven Yankees who celebrated September 10 as their birthday, but he has more competition in fandom since 2005 than he did formerly. In his Yankee years, 1960-1966, Roger contributed 203 homers and 548 rbi’s and two MVP seasons. He also played two years in Cleveland and K.C. before playing in the Bronx, and in St. Louis afterward. The Yankees made a great move when they traded Don Larsen, Hank Bauer, Norm Siebern, and Marv Throneberry to the Kansas City Athletics for Maris, Joe DeMaestri, and Kent Hadley in December 1959. The December 1966 swap of Maris to the St. Louis Cardinals for Charley Smith, on the other hand, was an unconscionable blunder.
  • It is his baseball achievements and not those specifically with the Yankees that focus attention on “the Big Unit,” Randy Johnson (1963), who threw a Perfect Game during the 2004 season. When a pounding fastball and a devastating slider are emanating from Johnson’s elongated frame with grace and precision, he is virtually unhittable. With well over 100 more wins than losses on his record, and five Cy Young Awards and nine times leading his league in strike outs, Johnson will be a first-time Hall of Famer, particularly now that he has succeeded in reaching the 300-wins mark, the last W’s coming with the Giants.
  • A midseason addition to the 2006 Yankee roster, Nick Green (1978), joined the Pinstriped birthday list that year. Although Nick’s primary contribution is with his glove around the infield, he homered eight times with 55 rbi’s playing for Atlanta and Tampa Bay in ’04 and ’05, and he had a big home run vs. the crosstown Mets in one of his first games in the Bronx. The Yanks pounced on Green once the Devil Rays released him. Yankee fans have been somewhat less enamored of Green’s recent fine work with the rival Red Sox.
  • Outfielder/second bagger Harry Niles (1880), who hit four homers and 24 rbi’s for the 1908 Highlanders, played for the Browns before, and for the Red Sox and Indians afterward. The Yankees purchased Niles from the St. Louis Browns in November 1907. They shipped him to the Boston Red Sox for Frank LaPorte in July 1908.
  • Until 2016, the newest Yankee to the list was righthander Lance Pendleton (1983), who made a stellar debut appearance, then fell back a bit as a long man in the Yankee pen for a while, in 2011. Drafted by the Astros in 2002, then the Yankees in 2005, Lance was taken by Houston yet again as a rule-5 pick, but returned, in 2010, and had no record in 11 appearances, before guess who?, Houston claimed him on waivers.
  • Signed by the Yankees as a free agent in January 2016, righthanded reliever Anthony Swarzak (1985) had appeared in 191 games over five years with Minnesota, who drafted him in 2004, and one with Cleveland — he started 32 games early in his career. Although technically still with the Yankee team (and on the disabled list), his horrid numbers (10 home runs allowed in 29 innings pitched) have clearly earned him an exit. Swarzak stands at 17-26 with no saves after going 1-2 in New York in 25 games. His last two outings were particularly disastrous, as he allowed three home runs in less than an inning in losses to Toronto and Seattle, both games in which the Yanks had seemingly comfortable leads. After spending much of the 2017 season on the South side of Chicago with the White Sox, he has recently returned to the Wild Card-chasing Twins.
  • The Yankees took advantage of a poor free agent market to add [primarily] second baseman Neil Walker (1985) to their roster just before Opening Day in 2018, and he struggled for much of the year in a spot role. But coinciding with DL stints by several fellow teammates, Neil has been a key player since July, adding games at third base, first base, and even right field to his resume. As of this writing in late August, he has hit eight home runs for 37 important rbi’s, bringing his career totals to 138 and 559. A first-round pick for Pittsburgh in 2004, he has played most of his games for the Pirates, but also had a two-year stint for the Mets before an end of the ’17 season trade to Milwaukee.
  • Other birthdays: Hall of Fame New York Giant first baseman from 1915 through 1932 George Kelly (1895); power hitter Ted Kluszewski (1924); Chad Hermanson (1977); Danys Baez (1977); Kameron Loe (1981); Connor Robertson (1981); Joey Votto (1983); Andrew Brown (1984); Matt Angle (1985); Paul Goldschmidt (1987); Mitch Walding (1992); Philip Evans (1992); Chad Kuhl (1992); and Dustin Peterson (1994).