September 13 in Yankee History

  • Thanks to the superb Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees restored a little dignity to their season, and finally won the last of a four-game set over Toronto in the Stadium, 5-0, on September 13, 2015. The staff ace allowed four hits with no walks and seven strike outs through seven innings, and Dustin Ackley supplied the offense with three rbi’s on a sac fly and two-run bomb off flutter baller R. A. Dickey.
  • The Yanks pretty much had what was going to be a 5-3 win vs. Baltimore behind CC Sabathia in the Stadium wrapped up on September 13, 2008, but I guess many team members felt the need for more batting practice, so they sent 14 men to the plate and scored eight runs in the bottom of the eighth. It wasn’t all fun, as both Joe Girardi and Alex Rodriguez were tossed in the fifth for continuing to argue Marty Foster‘s call strike three on Alex to end the fourth inning. Derek Jeter scored a 100th run in a season for the 12 time on a two-run double in the sixth by Hideki Matsui, who also got the eighth-inning onslaught going with a three-run bomb. Jeter and Robbie Cano had three hits apiece and scored five runs between them.
  • The only highlight of the first-game 7-1 loss of a doubleheader split with Tampa Bay in Yankee Stadium on September 13, 2008 was that Mike Mussina tied, then passed Cy Young for 19th on the list of career strike outs. It looked to be a long day when Sydney Ponson was driven from the mound by a four-run Rays fourth-inning rally in the nightcap, but Phil Coke stopped the bleeding, pitching through the seventh, and aWilson Betemit home run and Xavier Nady and Bobby Abreu rbi’s led the 6-5 Yankee comeback. The games-remaining counter in the old Stadium was moved from nine to eight by the “Perfecto” trio of Don Larsen, David Wells, and David Cone.
  • When the Yanks whipped Minnesota 2-0 on September 13, 1963, Jim Bouton won his 20th game of the year and the Bombers clinched their 28th pennant.
  • The Yankees of yore could beat teams with overwhelming offense, but they knew how to play and win close games too. They swept the Tigers on September 13, 1931, 2-1 and 4-3. Lou Gehrig‘s two-run homer was one of only six Yankee hits in the nightcap, and Tony Lazzeri stole second base and then home in the 12th inning of the first game, giving Lefty Gomez the one-run win.
  • After the long climb from fourth place and 14 games back, the Yanks finally took first place on September 13, 1978, in a 7-3 win over the Tigers.
  • In honor of his passing a few years ago, let’s honor Bobby Bonds, as he became the fourth 30/30 (homers/stolen bases) player in major league history on September 13, 1969, though the Expos beat his Giants, 6-4. Bonds would have a 32-homer, 85-rbi year with the Yankees in 1975, even if his arrival in the Bronx was bought by sending fan favorite (and recently deceased) Bobby Murcer away.
  • When Waite Hoyt became the only Yankee to win 20 games in 1927 on September 13, the Yanks swept two from the Tribe by identical 5-3 scores. Babe Ruth hit his 51st and 52nd homers, and the team clinched the pennant with a 98-41 mark.
  • Mike Mussina has been on the right end of a couple of September 13 games involving the Yankees. He held the Yankees to one hit through eight innings in a 6-1 Orioles victory in New York in 1997.
  • But on this day in 2003, Yankee Moose Mussina beat the Devil Rays 6-2 behind a Jason Giambi home run and three rbi’s from Ruben Sierra. It was the night portion of a day/night doubleheader sweep, as the Bombers had won the first game 6-5.
  • The White Sox were apparently on their way to a close win in a game vs. the Yankees on September 13, 2002, until they added eight runs in the ninth inning for 13-2 victory. This was one of five games one-time prospect Brandon Knight finished that year, his last with the Bombers. Knight recently resurfaced and threw in a game with the 2008 Mets.
  • Toronto’s Jose Cruz, Jr. homered in Yankee Stadium yet again in a 5-3 Blue Jays win on this day in 1998. Kelvim Escobar pitched into the sixth for the win, as did David Cone, in taking the loss.
  • The 1901 and 1902 Baltimore Orioles would be relocated to New York as the Highlanders in 1903. On September 13, 1901, they outlasted Connie Mack‘s Philadelphia A’s, 12-10, as the Philly Manager pinch hit for his star Nap Lajoie in the ninth inning.
  • The Yankees clinched their seventh pennant with a 9-3 win over the Indians in Cleveland on September 13, 1932.
  • A 12-2 Chicago Cubs win over St. Louis on September 13, 1902, marked the first game that the Cubbies fielded Tinkers, Evers, and Chance as their shortstop, second base, first base tandem. Although he would not team with that famed double-play combo for much of their time together, one-time Yankee Germany Schaefer played third base this time.
  • Despite much of the interest during the Yankees/Toronto tilt on September 13, 1996 being on catcher Charlie O’Brien‘s hockey-style mask, the Yanks won the game, 5-4, behind Andy Pettitte.
  • Brooklyn’s Dazzy Vance threw a 10-1 no-hitter at Philadelphia on this day in 1925. Vance pitched 10 games for the Yankees at the very beginning of his career.
  • They would play much bigger roles in the 2009 bullpen and on the 2010 team than they did that year, but the Yankees recalled righties Phil Hughes and David Robertson from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on September 13, 2008.
  • Carl Mays had failed on the mound the day before, but he started for the Yanks again on September 13, 1920, beating Detroit 4-2 behind Babe Ruth‘s 49th home run and his own rbi.
  • On September 13, 2011, the Yankees placed catcher Francisco Cervelli on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to September 9, with a concussion. With several head injuries on his record, this injury threatened to end Francisco’s career, but he has returned for the 2012 season, although it has been spent in AAA.
  • A rite of autumn? With an extended roster, the Yankees outrighted Wilkin De La Rosa to the Trenton Thunder on September 13, 2010, and recalled Kevin Russo and Juan Miranda from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • Ty Cobb clinched the AL home run title in 1909 when he hit his ninth season dinger on this day in 1909. All nine were of the inside-the-park variety.
  • Mickey Mantle gave an early sign of his prowess when he hit a home run leading off against Detroit’s Virgil Trucks on September 13, 1951. The dinger might have traveled 600 feet had it not struck the right field facade in Detroit, but the Yanks lost the game, 9-2.
  • In a development so rare that it was the first of its kind in the 20th century, the Cardinals played a doubleheader against two different teams on September 13, 1951. They beat Sal Maglie and the Giants 6-4 in the day game, and lost 2-0 to Warren Spahn and the Braves in the nightcap.
  • We’ve mentioned that Waite Hoyt won his 20th game on September 13, 1927, and that Jim Bouton notched his in 1963. Other guys who joined that club this day include Astros lefty Mike Hampton, 13-2 against the Phillies in 1999; Steve Carlton of the Phillies, 2-0 over St. Louis in 1982; and Warren Spahn, who became the first southpaw to reach that figure nine different times in an 8-2 win over the Cardinals in 1958. Pete Donohue of the Reds won his 20th 5-2 over the Cubs on September 13, 1925; and Juan Marichal‘s 22nd win of the 1965 season was only one big Giants moment, witness the next highlight:
  • Willie Mays hit his 500th home run in a 5-1 Giants victory over Houston on September 13, 1965, behind Juan Marichal‘s 22nd victory. Exactly six years later Frank Robinson joined the 500 HR club as he homered in each game of an Orioles doubleheader split with the Tigers.
  • Former Yankee Joe Lefebvre, already in the record books for having homered in his first two debut at bats with the Yankees, stroked six hits, including a home run and double, in a 16-inning San Diego 4-3 loss to the Dodgers on September 13, 1982.
  • Two more September 13 highlights involving future or former Yankees both involve stolen bases: Cleveland’s Kenny Lofton, who played for the Yanks in 2004, broke the American League rookie steal record when he swiped his 53rd and 54th in an Indians’ 2-1 win over Chicago on this day in 1992. And when Rickey Henderson stole three bases in a 6-5 Oakland win over Texas on September 13, 1983, it gave him three straight seasons with 100 thefts or more. Henderson played in Yankee left field from 1985 through 1989.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • The only Yankee player to have died on September 13 is portsided first baseman Tim Johnson (1949), who had one hit with no homers or rbi’s in eight at bats playing two games for the 1903 Highlanders. Adding in a brief stop in Washington before that and a 1906-1910 stint playing in Brooklyn afterward, his career numbers were 32 and 232.
  • Lefty-hitting first baseman Johnny McCarthy (1973) joins three righty pitchers as noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day. McCarthy hit most of his 25 home runs with 209 runs driven in between 1934 and 1948 with the Giants. Cy Blanton (1945) won 68, lost 71, and saved four games from 1934-1939 with the Pirates and the Phillies; and Bill Lohrman (1999) pitched in 1934 and from 1937-1944, with a 60-59-8 record, most of it attained with the Giants. And most recent to pass, Dan Osinski (2013) threw to a 29-28-18 record from 1962 to 1970, mostly with the Cal Angels and the Red Sox. I was tempted to include this most recent September 13 player death in the Yankee column, given how involved we all became with his health during the glorious 1996 season, Joe Torre‘s first managing the Yanks. But although surgery to prolong his brother Frank Torre‘s life was successful then, Frank finally succumbed on this day in 2014. A lefty first baseman playing mostly for the Braves and the Phillies from 1956 through 1963 — including the two seven-game Series played between Milwaukee and the pinstripers in 1957 and 1958 — Torre hit 13 long balls and drove in 179 runs in his career.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Graceful switch-hitting center fielder Bernie Williams (1968) stands head and shoulders above the other six Yankees that were born on September 13. Playing only for the Yanks, Bernie climbed up the Yankee ladder into the Top Ten in several offensive categories, and assuming that the 2006 season contiues to be his last, he hit 287 home runs with 1,257 rbi’s. Bernie was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in September 1985. He tested free agency for a month in 1998 before re-signing with New York. He also leads all players in postseason home runs.
  • Third baseman Russ Davis (1969) had two homers and 13 rbi’s in his 1994-1995 major league debut with the Yanks before moving on to play several years with Seattle and then San Francisco. Davis was drafted by the Yankees in the 29th round of the 1988 amateur draft, and he was traded with Sterling Hitchcock to the Seattle Mariners for Tino Martinez, Jim Mecir, and Jeff Nelson in December 1995.
  • Southpaw Denny Neagle (1968) went 7-7 for the 2000 Yanks, and has played also in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Colorado. The Yanks sent Ed Yarnall, Drew Henson, Brian Reith, and Jackson Melian to Cincinnati for Neagle and outfielder Mike Frank in July 2000, and he was allowed to leave as a free agent after that season.
  • Utility infielder Mike Fischlin (1955) got three rbi’s for the 1986 Yanks. He was drafted by New York in the seventh round of the 1975 amateur draft, and he was traded by the Yankees with Dave Bergman and Randy Niemann to the Houston Astros for Cliff Johnson in July 1977. Catcher Rick Dempsey (1949) contributed three homers and 25 rbi’s to the ’73-’76 clubs as backup catcher before having a fine career in Baltimore. Acquired by the Yankees in a trade from the Minnesota Twins for Danny Walton in October 1972, Rick was part of a June 1976 blockbuster with Baltimore that did them a lot more good than it did the Yanks. Baltimore got Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, Scott McGregor, and Dave Pagan for Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson, Ellie Hendricks, and Jimmy Freeman.
  • Catcher Pat Collins (1896) provided some power to the 1926-1928 teams, with 20 taters and 85 rbi’s, until he was purchased by the Boston Braves from the Yankees in December 1928. And lefty Dutch Ruether (1893) went 15-9 with the 1926 and 1927 Yanks, and pitched in Cincinnati, Brooklyn and Washington as well. Dutch compiled a fine 137-95 career record. The Yanks got Ruether from the Washington Senators for Garland Braxton and Nick Cullop in August 1926.
  • Other birthdays: Righty Eddie Rommel (1897), who posted a 171-119 mark with the Philly A’s from 1920-1932; southpaw Thornton Lee (1906), with 117 wins and 124 losses mostly for the Indians and the White Sox from 1933-1948; Rick Wise (1945), a good-hitting pitcher who went 188-181 from 1964-1982, and who is infamous for being traded even up for Steve Carlton; Rodney McCrae (1963), famous for a televised image where he ran through an outfield wall in the minors; Greg Hibbard (1964); Nelson Cruz (1972); Wade Miller (1976); Grant Roberts (1977); Daisuke Matsuzaka (1980); Richie Weeks (1982); Andy LaRoche (1983); Lucas French (1985); Andy Wilkins (1988); Marcus Walden (1988); Steve Hathaway (1990); and Zach Lee (1991).