September 23 in Yankee History

  • Righty rental Brandon McCarthy had a rare, relative stinker pitching for the Yanks against first place Baltimore in the stadium on September 23, 2014, though the home team fought back gamely before falling, 5-4. Doing what they did best that year, the O’s relied on the long ball, as Kelly Johnson (who had worn pinstripes much of the ’14 season), Nick Markakis, and Nelson Cruz homers off McCarthy had the visitors up 5-1 in the fifth. The Yankees responded with a Stephen Drew sac fly and a Brian McCann two-run jack, but that was all they could muster.
  • After two crushing one-run, extra-inning losses in Yankee Stadium in late September 2012, the A’s got out of town with a 5-4 win on the 23rd. Second baseman Cliff Pennington did much of the damage, scoring two and driving in three on a second-inning home run and a sixth-inning single that capped the scoring. The Yanks plated four runs in the fourth on a Nick Swisher two-run homer and rbi’s from Raul Ibanez and Eduardo Nunez, but mounted nothing in the other eight innings.
  • A great night turned dramatically ugly on September 23, 2010, when CC Sabathia took the mound in the sixth inning with a 3-1 lead over the Rays in a game vs. Tampa Bay in Yankee Stadium on September 23, 2010. Four hits and two walks around a strike out and a seven-run inning was well on its way. Kareem Abdul Jabbar was in the house as Tampa inched toward an AL East title with a 10-3 win.
  • Shawn Chacon had one of his best games in Pinstripes in a 5-0 win over Toronto on September 23, 2005, allowing but three singles and a walk over eight innings. He got an immediate lift from his offense as Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano led off the home first with back-to-back jacks.
  • The Yanks had yet another victory over Toronto in Yankee Stadium on September 23, 2007. Mike Mussina outpitched young Dustin McGowan in a game where Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Doug Mientkiewicz, and Robbie Cano had rbi singles, but the big offensive star was Jose Molina with three hits in four tries and three rbi’s. President Leonel Fernandez Reyna of the Dominican Republic threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 7-5 Yankee win.
  • Whitey Ford only lasted five innings in the 8-3 Yankee win over the Red Sox on September 23, 1961, long enough to get his 25th win. In this contest, ailing Mickey Mantle hit his 54th — and last — home run of the season.
  • The Yanks swept two from the St. Louis Browns on September 23, 1915, 7-0 and 5-1. Hall of Famer George Sisler, who played about 2,000 games at first base, pitched a perfect inning of relief for St. Louis in the first game.
  • When the Bombers swept two from Cleveland 6-4 and 4-3 on September 23, 1964, it extended their winning streak to nine games. Elston Howard homered off Luis Tiant to break an 11th-inning tie in the first game, John Romano of the Indians homered in both, and newly acquired Pedro Ramos closed out both victories for the Yanks on the mound.
  • The Yankees clinched the 1955 AL pennant by beating Boston 3-2 on September 23.
  • The first of five hits Eddie Lopat allowed to Boston on September 23, 1950, was Dom DiMaggio‘s lead-off triple, but Lopat wiggled off that hook and the Yanks defeated the Sox, 8-0. The scoring began with Joe DiMaggio‘s first-inning home run.
  • Jim Deshaies of Houston broke the major league record of seven consecutive strike outs when he whiffed eight Dodgers in a row in a two-hit, 4-0 win on September 23, 1986. This record would eventually fall to New York Mets ace Tom Seaver.
  • The 3-2 Yankee loss to the Devil Rays on September 23, 2002, was frustrating in several ways, as Victor Zambrano stifled Bomber threats inning after inning once Jorge Posada drove in two with a third-inning single. Aubrey Huff reached Orlando “el duque” Hernandez for the Rays’ game-winner with a fifth-inning double. Then as the Yanks strived to mount an eighth-inning rally, a drunken fan ran onto the field to disrupt any momentum they may have mounted.
  • When Sparky Anderson became the first manager to win 100 games in a season with two different teams on September 23, 1984, he did it at the expense of the Yankees. After three 100-win seasons with the Reds, the Tigers’ 4-1 win over the Yanks brought them to the century mark in victories that season.
  • When the Indians came to town on September 23, 1921, they were ready for a showdown with the Yankees, whom they trailed in the AL standings by two percentage points. But Waite Hoyt pitched well, and Babe Ruth blasted three doubles in the New York 4-2 win in the first of four.
  • It was a different story when the Cleveland Naps played the Highlanders on this day back in 1908. Bob Rhoades‘s 9-3 win over Jack Chesbro was Cleveland’s 10th in a row. Nap Lajoie of the Naps had no official at bats, as he was walked once and hit by a pitch the other three times he strode to the plate.
  • Both Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth hit their 31st homers of the 1933 season on September 23, and it was a good thing too, because the New Yorkers would need all the firepower they could get to overcome the seven errors they committed, three by Frank Crosetti. Gehrig added a single and two doubles and Crosetti, Sammy Byrd, and Ben Chapman had three hits apiece. A Sox comeback in the sixth drove eventual winner Herb Pennock from the mound and closed the margin to 13-9, but the Yanks held on and reliever Wilcy Moore knocked in the Bombers’ last run in the wild 16-12 New York win.
  • Detroit Tiger Bill Madlock notched his 2,000th career hit in a 4-0 win over the Red Sox on September 23, 1987.
  • The Yanks were embarrassed on September 23, 1997, when the Indians came all the way back from a 9-2 deficit (that was crafted with the help of a Tino Martinez homer) and beat the Bombers, 10-9.
  • Mark Mulder of the A’s won his 20th game of the 2001 season on September 23. On the same day in 1950, the Braves’ Johnny Sain failed in his bid for no. 20, but he hit his first career home run in a 4-3 loss to the Giants. Cy Young posted his 32nd win of 1902 as Boston pummeled the A’s, 14-1, on the 23rd. And one season after winning 20 games for the Cubs, Larry Jackson lost his 20th on September 23, 1965. Other nice win numbers on September 23 belong to Sal Maglie, who won his 22nd that day in 1951 by beating the Braves 4-1; and Grover Cleveland Alexander, who posted win no. 30 in beating the Cubs 5-1 on September 23, 1915.
  • The Yanks took it on the chin to the St. Louis Browns, 9-5, on September 23, 1937, but clinched the pennant anyway when the Red Sox beat the Tigers.
  • The infamous play by Fred “Bonehead” Merkle occurred on September 23, 1908, in a ninth-inning, 1-1 tie. Standing on first base with teammate Harry McCormick on third, Fred left the field before reaching second base and ran off once he saw Harry score on a base hit by Al Bridwell. After the Cubs threw to second and the umps eventually ruled him out on a force play, the game reverted to a tie, as the fans had already overrun the field. The Cubs would win the replay and the pennant with it, and Merkle’s name went down in infamy.
  • The Yankees recalled hurler Andrew Brackman from the AA Trenton Thunder on September 23, 2010, although he would not get into a game. Andrew is with the big club in 2011 as well, but still has not gotten into a game in he Bronx.
  • When Highlanders Manager George Stallings suspected that his first baseman Hal Chase had thrown a game, he had no proof. Then he was replaced on September 23, 1910, by none other than Chase himself. The club had been in second place with Stallings, but they would drop to sixth under Chase in 1911.
  • Things got uncomfortably tight on September 23, 1978, when the Indians beat the Yanks 10-1, decreasing the Yanks’ lead over Boston to one game.
  • Twelve days ago we reported that John Miller homered for the Yankees in his first major league at bat on September 11, 1966. On September 23, 1969, he went yard in his last-ever major league at bat, off the Reds’ Jim Merritt in a 6-3 Dodgers loss. Those two long balls were Miller’s career output.
  • When Bucky Harris tended his resignation from the manager’s job with the fifth-place Tigers on September 23, 1933, Babe Ruth was strongly rumored to be in line for the job. Sadly for the aging Babe, it was not to be. By the way, Harris would later manage the Yankees to the 1947 World Championship.
  • The first of two September 23 items regarding future or former Yankee players is hardly a highlight, as eventual Yankee reliever Steve Howe was disqualified from finishing an 18-save, 1.44 era season with the Dodgers when he was suspended for drug abuse on this day in 1983. But Alex Rodriguez‘s 48th home run in a 5-2 Rangers win over Anaheim on September 23, 2001, sets a more positive tone, and was a new season record for shortstops as well.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Southpaw-hitting, but righty-throwing Cy Barger (1964) is the only Yankee player to have died on September 23. He lost one game, while not winning or saving any in three appearances (one start) for the 1906-1907 Highlanders. Subsequently pitching for Brooklyn from 1910-1912 and the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League in 1914-1915, his final record was 46-63-9.
  • All three noteworthy nonYankee players to die this day passed many years ago, and all three were righthanded pitchers. Doc McJames (1901) posted a 79-80-4 mark throwing mostly for the Washington Senators and the Brooklyn Superbas from 1895-1901; Brickyard Kennedy (1915) teamed with McJames on the Superbas following a few years with the Bridegrooms in compiling 187 wins, 159 losses, and nine saves from 1892-1903; and Charlie Buffinton (1907) threw to a 233-152-3 record from 1882-1892, mostly with the Beaneaters and the Phillies.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Hopes for the future regarding the latest member of the Yankees September 23 birthday club, Joba Chamberlain (1985), are not high after a dreadful 2013 campaign that resulted in Joba being a free agent. He was not scored upon in his first 11 games as a Yankee reliever in 2007. He pitched in the pen and then in the Yankee rotation in 2008, and slowly recovered from an injury. Following the 2008 season his career mark stood at 6-3 with one save, and he started in much of 2009. After struggling for part of the 2010 season as the setup man in the pen, he flourished once manager Joe Girardi made that a shared role among several relievers. But Joba needed arm surgery in 2011, suffered an ankle injury in March 2012, and has had very poor results since returning to the fold in August 2012. Nothing he has done in 2013 has changed a bleak outlook, and a two-year stay in Detroit has not added to his resume. Joba bounced around some, but has retired in 2018.
  • Neither of the other two Yankee players who had September 23 as a birthday played a great deal in New York. Lefty reliever Tony Fossas (1957) ended his 12-year career during five very forgettable outings during the 1999 season as the Yanks searched for lefty help after the departure of Graeme Lloyd in the trade that brought Roger Clemens to the Bronx. The Pinstripers signed Fossas as a free agent in March, and parted ways with him just a couple of weeks later.
  • And George Murray (1898) debuted with the Yanks, going 4-2 in 22 games for the 1922 club. Murray went on to pitch two years with the Red Sox, two with the Senators and, after five years out of the bigs, a final season with the White Sox in 1933. His greatest Yankee moment, really, was that he was traded in January 1923 along with Norm McMillan, Camp Skinner, and cash to the Red Sox for southpaw Herb Pennock. Pennock became the first lefty starter purchased specifically to pitch in the House That Ruth Built, which was about to open. Over 11 seasons the former Red Sox southpaw posted a 162-90 record in the Bronx, while Murray’s career mark was 22-26.
  • And in the one-time Yanks who did not play with them category, there is lefty thrower Jim Rooker (1942), who won 103 while losing 109 from 1968-1980, mostly with the Pirates. The Yanks purchased Rooker’s contract from Detroit in 1966, but they lost him before he ever took the field of play to the K.C. Royals in the 1968 expansion draft that stocked that club.
  • A member of that same club is reliever Gonzalez Germen (1987), whom the Yanks obtained from the Mets in December 2014, only to sell his contract to Texas almost exactly one month later. Germen went 1-2 with one save with the Mets in 2013-2014, but he posted no record pitching games with the Cubs and Rockies (after a trade to the mile-high team, in 2015, including the only start in his first 89 games), but he went 2-1 in relief for the ’16 Rockies.
  • Other birthdays: Southpaw thrower Lefty Stewart (1900), who won 101 and lost 98 from 1921-1935, spending most of his time with the Browns; Woody Woodward (1942); Dennis Lamp (1952); Pete Harnisch (1966); Jeff Cirillo (1969); Willie Greene (1971); Pep Harris (1972); Brent Abernathy (1977); Mike Gosling (1980); Matt Kemp (1984); Chris Volstad (1986); Xavier Scruggs (1987); Jedd Gyorko (1988); and Trevor May (1989).