Fans concerned that Luis Severino surrendered a two-run, second-inning Wellington Castillo home run in the Stadium on September 15, 2017, needn’t have been, as it was the second of just three hits he would allow through eight dominant innings. The position player star on both sides of the ball was shortstop Didi Gregorius, who not only knocked in four runs on a home run and two sac flies, but who also contributed eight assists and two putouts in the field. The 8-2 victory, achieved in a nifty 2:37, was Joe Girardi‘s 900th win as Yankee manager.
In just one more post-September 1 game it was a “delight” to score, the Yankees outpointed Tampa 5-3 in the Stadium on September 15, 2012, as the Rays used 17 players in nine innings. Back-to-back Curtis Granderson and Eduardo Nunez homers gave Ivan Nova an early lead, and Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez rbi’s outstripped eventual Rays scoring.
Phil Coke, and not starter Alfredo Aceves, got credit for the 4-2 win over the White Sox in Yankee Stadium on September 15, 2008. It was one of outfielder Xavier Nady‘s better days in Pinstripes, as his two-run second-inning homer got the scoring started, and his leadoff walk in the seventh started the winning rally once DeWayne Wise tied it with a jolt of his own. Bobby Abreu led the way with three hits but curiously none of them figured in the scoring. The honor of moving the games remaining counter in the old Stadium down from seven to six went to a group of New York Yankee beat writers for all the local papers.
The Yankee march continued in September 1978 even though they had already passed the Red Sox in the standings a few days after the four-game Boston Massacre. On September 15, the Yanks hosted the Sox in the first of three at the Stadium. Ron Guidry responded with his second two-hit shutout of Boston in a week, 4-0, as the Bombers put up four in the fourth behind Chris Chambliss and Graig Nettles homers.
When Alfonso Soriano, Jason Giambi, and Bernie Williams homered in a six-inning, rain-shortened Andy Pettitte 8-4 win over the White Sox on September 15, 2002, the latter two of that trio went yard back-to-back in the fourth inning.
Pete Wilson of the Highlanders (Yankees) made his major league debut on September 15, 1908, and shut out Boston, 1-0.
The 1961 Yankees set a new season home run record on September 15 as they reached 222 on Moose Skowron and Yogi Berra dingers in the first game of a doubleheader with the Tigers. They beat Detroit 11-1 and Whitey Ford won his 24th. The Tigers took the nightcap, 4-2.
Another magical moment in the Mets’ 1969 Championship season happened on September 15 when they fell victim to 19 strike outs by the Cardinals’ Steve Carlton, but prevailed anyway on two Ron Swoboda two-run homers, 4-3. Swoboda would close his career playing 100-plus games for the Yankees.
In a Yankee doubleheader sweep of the Browns on September 15, 1921, 10-6 and 13-5, Babe Ruth hit his 55th homer of the season in the first game.
The Yanks traded Jim Deshaies to the Astros for 40-year-old Joe Niekro on September 15, 1985, reuniting the Niekro brothers for the first time since they played together with the 1974 Braves.
When the Cardinals clinched the 1968 NL pennant with a 7-4 win at Houston, former Yankee Roger Maris hit his 275th career home run (not counting his work in the postseason), the last regular-season home run of his career.
Johnny Mize hit three homers in the same game for the sixth time in his career on September 15, 1950, but the Yanks fell 9-7 to the Tigers.
Seventh-inning rbi’s from Paul O’Neill and Bernie Williams carried Andy Pettitte and the Yankees to a 7-6 win over Aaron Sele and the Red Sox on September 15, 1997.
On a beautiful Friday evening in the Bronx, the Yankees avoided a shutout on a ninth-inning Glenallen Hill home run in an 11-1 loss to Cleveland, on September 15, 2000. Ironically, Hill was awarded the U.S. Postal Service Player of the Month Award for August before the game.
The Yankees were forced to replay what had been a win against Cleveland on August 6, 1937, because the AL President upheld the Indians’ protest. They replayed it as Game Two on August 15, after the Yanks lost the regular game, 5-4. But they won the protested game yet again, this time by a 3-1 score.
Detroit’s Denny McLain recorded his ninth shutout of the 1969 season on September 15, in a 2-0 win over the Bombers at Yankee Stadium.
Yankee Bob Shawkey beat the Indians 6-4 on September 15, 1926, as Bob Meusel tied a record by driving in three runs with sacrifice flies. This equals the major-league record, and would be tied by Yankee Don Mattingly in 1986.
The Yankees fell 8-3 to Boston southpaw Babe Ruth on September 15, 1917. Ruth, who carried a shutout into the ninth before allowing three runs, stroked his second and last home run of that season in the win.
New York and Boston played yet another doubleheader in which the nightcap ended in a 1-1 tie on September 15, 1904. In the lid lifter Boston crept back into first place on a 3-2 win as Jesse Tannehill bested Al Orth while allowing nine hits in victory.
On September 15, 2016, the Yankees transferred righthander Nathan Eovaldi from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list, with a right elbow tendon injury. The club also signed two free agents to minor league contracts, lefthander Daniel Calderon and first baseman Nicholas Vizcaino.
Roster experimentation continued on September 15, 2010, as the Yankees designated Chad Huffman for assignment, and then called up southpaw Royce Ring from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
When Baltimore catcher Mark Parent homered in his team’s 16-6 victory over the Tigers on September 15, 1996, the Orioles eclipsed the season home run record by a team that the Yankees had held since 1961.
On September 15, 1963, the San Francisco Giants fielded an outfield of Felipe, Matty, and Jesus Alou in a 13-5 clubbing of the Pirates. The first two would spend time with the Yankees later in their careers in stints that had them playing as teammates for a time yet again.
Say what you will about the quality of play on the field with today’s bigger and more specialized ballplayers, early pro ball wins hands down in any contest centering on the great nicknames combatants were assigned. “Big Poison” Paul Waner and “Little Poison” Lloyd Waner were the only brother tandem to ever hit consecutive home runs in the big leagues when they both went yard in a Pirates tilt against the Giants on September 15, 1938. Hall of Famer Paul would end his long career with a handful of at bats playing for the Yankees.
Yankee Jason Giambi made headlines when he notched seven rbi’s vs. Kansas City in late August 2005. It equaled Giambi’s career high, which he recorded in an Oakland 17-3 drubbing of the Devil Rays on September 15, 2000.
Cleveland’s Johnny Allen won his 20th game of the 1936 season on September 15, 10 months after the Yanks traded him to that Ohio city’s team; and Gaylord Perry (see birthdays below) won his 20th for the Indians too on the same day in 1974, besting Ross Grimsley and the Orioles 1-0. Two years earlier Steve Carlton outdid them both when he won his 24th, 5-3 over Montreal on September 15, 1974.
Nap Lajoie of the Indians notched the 3,000th hit of his career off Detroit’s Pug Cavet on September 15, 1914.
Righthander Humberto Sanchez would debut and appear in two games, and catcher Francisco Cervelli three games, shortly after both were recalled from AA Trenton on September 15, 2008.
A few September 15 highlights involving one-time Yankees with other clubs begin with the cycle Bob Watson hit for Boston in a 10-2 win over Baltimore on this day in 1979. Watson was not only a Yankee DH soon thereafter, he served as GM for the 1996 Championship team as well. And when Rickey Henderson scored twice in a 10-2 Mariners win over the O’s on September 15, 2000, he moved into second place on the all-time runs-scored list.
Winner of more than 100 career games, former Yankees and Pirates hurler Ernie “Tiny” Bonham died from complications of appendicitis and stomach surgery on September 15, 1949, just 18 days after his last performance for Pittsburgh. He posted an 89-50 mark with the Yankees from 1940-1946. The other two Yankee players who have died on September 15 had nice careers as well. First baseman Frank Chance (1924), immortalized in the early baseball poem and song, “Tinkers to Evers to Chance,” had five hits in just 24 at bats in 13 games for the 1913-1914 New York club because by then he was managing primarily. The zero homers and six rbi’s garnered in New York grow to 20 and 596 when added to his production playing for the Orphans and the Cubs from 1898-1912. Second baseman Snuffy Stirnweiss (1958) gets less credit than he perhaps deserves because his best playing years were during World War II, but he was all over the leader board in offensive numbers in 1944 and 1945. He had almost 900 hits playing 884 games to start his career with the Yanks from 1943-1950, with 27 home runs and 253 runs batted in. Those numbers grew to 29 and 281 while playing for the Browns and the Indians from 1950-1952. Stirnweiss was killed in a train wreck in Red Bank, New Jersey.
Lefty-hitting catcher and pinch hitter extraordinaire Smoky Burgess (1991) is the first of three noteworthy nonYankee players we’ll mention who have died this day. From 1949-1967, he reached 126 fences good for 673 rbi’s with the Pirates, the Phillies, the Reds, the White Sox, and the Cubs. Righthander Max Butcher (1957) won 95, lost 106, and saved nine games with the Dodgers and the Pirates from 1936-1945; and outfielder Ethan Allen (1993), playing mostly with the Reds, the Giants, the Phillies, and the Browns from 1926-1938, hit 47 homers and drove in 501 runs.
Players Who Have Died This Day
There are a few colorful characters who both played for the Yanks and who share September 15 as a birthday. Slow Joe Doyle‘s (1881) 1906-1910 career was spent almost totally with the Yankees, except for a few games in Cincinnati that last year. He went 22-21 in New York with one save. He was neither slow of foot nor incapable of throwing a fastball, as the “slow” referred to the methodical way he pitched a game, much like Steve Trachsel of the Mets, Orioles, etc., in recent seasons. The Reds purchased Joe’s contract from the Highlanders in May 1910.
Third baseman Charley Smith (1937) hit 10 homers and 45 rbi’s for the ’67-’68 club and played for six others, but he is perhaps best known for the trade that cluelessly (for the Yankees) brought him to New York from the Cardinals in exchange for Roger Maris. Although the later swap of Smith to the Giants for Nate Oliver in December 1968 was not as disastrous to the Yankees as the move that brought him to New York, it wasn’t particularly helpful either.
Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry (1938) won 314 games, mostly with the Giants, but he did pitch 10 games (eight starts) and posted a 4-4 record for the 1980 Yanks. Famous for allegedly throwing a spitter, Gaylord beat the Yankees on May 6, 1982, in the Seattle Kingdome 7-3 for win no. 300. The Bombers acquired the crafty vet in August 1980 from the Texas Rangers for Marvin Thompson and Ken Clay. Perry was granted free agency after that season.
Reliever Dave Pagan (1949) went 2-4 debuting for the Yanks from 1973-1976 before pitching briefly in Baltimore, Seattle, and Pittsburgh. A 1970 Yankees amateur free agent signing, Pagan was traded by the Yankees with Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May, and Scott McGregor to the Orioles for Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson, Ellie Hendricks, and Jimmy Freeman in June 1976.
John Pacella (1956) posted an 0-1 mark in three games for the 1982 Yankees. The players who accompanied John in transactions to New York and away from the Yankees had more memorable careers than his. He arrived with Jerry Mumphrey in an April 1981 trade from the Padres for Ruppert Jones, Joe Lefebvre, Tim Lollar, and Chris Welsh, and was packaged with Pete Filson, Larry Milbourne, and cash to the Minnesota Twins for Butch Wynegar and Roger Erickson in May 1982.
And lastly (until 2014) we have George Rohe (1875), a third baseman who got his start playing 14 games for the 1901 Baltimore Orioles. That is the franchise that would relocate to New York as the Highlanders, and eventually the Yankees, in 1903. Rohe earned four rbi’s with that club, and hit three homers with 92 rbi’s overall in a career that consisted mostly of three seasons with the Chicago White Sox. Also worthy of mention here, though, is Damian Rolls (1977), who had a shot at the backup infield position with the 2005 Yanks in Spring Training. He was one of the last cuts. Rolls formerly played in the bigs for the Devil Rays.
The new entry into the September 15 Yankee birthday club was lefty reliever (he has started one of 665 career games) Matt Thornton (1976), who toiled mostly with the White Sox from 2006 through 2013, when he was traded to Boston. He had a brief start in Seattle, was signed by the Yanks for 2014, was dfa’d, and has been picked up by Washington. As of this writing, Matt has 23 career saves and a 34-46 win-loss mark, with two of the wins and one loss coming with the Nats, and three of the losses with the Yanks.
Other birthdays: lefty Fritz Ostermueller (1907), who went 114-115 in a 15-year career ending in 1948, about half of which he spent with the Red Sox; Paul Abbott (1967); Rich Robertson (1968); Herbert Perry (1969); Dan Smith (1975); Javier Cardona (1975); Elvis Pena (1976); Luke Hochevar (1983); Wander Suero (1991); and Dakota Hudson (1994).
Players Born This Day