September 25, 2014, put an exclamation point on the career of Hall of Famer-to-be Derek Jeter, Yankee captain and shortstop, who manned that infield position for the last time on that day, his final home game in pinstripes. Derek was honored by ex-teammates Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Gerald “Ice” Williams, Tino Martinez, and Bernie Williams, and manager Joe Torre, in pregame ceremonies. Baltimore threatened to run away with the game on this prized occasion, rocking starter Hiroki Kuroda with back-to-back leadoff home runs from Nick Markakis and Alejandro de Aza to begin the game, but Jeter would not hear of it; his rbi double deep to left off young Kevin Gausman keyed the tying rally in the inning’s bottom half. The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh when the Yanks scored three, two on a Jeter grounder mishandled at short and one on a sac fly. Though key to the tying rally, and in the middle of the go-ahead one, it was a bit of a letdown that it was on an error and not a hit that Derek knocked in the lead run. Then amazingly, closer David Robertson gave up a two-run and then a singleton home run, to Adam Jones and Steve Pearce, respectively, to tie the game in the ninth. The stuff of legend followed, as Jose Pirela singled to start the bottom half, pinch runner Antoan Richardson was sacrificed to second, and “Derek Jeter, Derek Jeter” singled in Richardson on the next pitch, 6-5 Yankees!
Having reluctantly left the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium five days earlier following an 11-3 thrashing of Minnesota, the Bombers returned to the Bronx on September 25, 2017, and duplicated that lopsided score against visiting Kansas City. A team populated by young players flexing their muscle, both Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez homered. But the star of this one was right fielder Aaron Judge, who went yard twice, with the second blast in the home seventh breaking the all-time rookie season home run record with his 50th. This was, in effect, a one-game series, as the Royals flew to New York on a scheduled mutual off day to make up a rainout from May 25.
The Yanks fell 5-2 to the White Sox in the Stadium on September 25, 2015. The visitors reached CC Sabathia for singleton runs on two hits each in the second and third innings, the only safeties the big southpaw would allow through six frames. And the Bombers tied the game in the fourth on a two-run Didi Gregorious single. But Mike Olt and Gordon Beckham homered around a groundout starting the seventh, enough to carry Chicago to victory.
The year of the made-up rainouts continued on September 25, 2011, as the Yanks hosted the Red Sox in their third day/night doubleheader in a week, this one making up the Friday night game suspended just two days before. The Yanks prevailed in the day game as A.J. Burnett bested Tim Wakefield 6-2 with DH Jorge Posada‘s two-run home run being the big blow. The night game, the last regular-season game in the Stadium of the year, while featuring messages of thanks and appreciation from players broadcast on the Scoreboard all night, was a long and ultimately frustrating experience, as the Red Sox won 7-4 in 14 innings on Jacoby Ellsbury‘s three-run shot off Scott Proctor.
The Yankees celebrated Spanish Heritage Month on September 25, 2009, by having Panama President Riccardo Martinelli throw out the ceremonial first pitch, as Yankee fans celebrated the first win in a three-game home sweep against the Red Sox, 9-5. Joba Chamberlain went six innings for the win over John Lester, and Alex Rodriguez led the way offensively with three runs scored and four rbi’s on two walks and three hits, one of them a two-run third inning jack that helped drive the Bosox lefty from the mound.
The Yanks unfortunately had less success against John Lester and the Red Sox one year later, losing to visiting Boston 7-3 on September 25, 2010. The southpaw blanked the Yanks on two hits and eight strike outs through seven, and Ivan Nova took the loss after allowing four runs into the fifth. Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez home runs in the last two frames made the score a respectable one.
We continue September 25 highlights with a slew of pennant clinchers. Babe Ruth keyed the Game One, 10-2 victory over the Browns in 1926 with a grand slam, easing the way for winner Herb Pennock. Lou Gehrig got the Bombers going with a homer in the third inning of the nightcap, and Ruth followed with two more taters in the 10-4 win, for the sweep, and the 1926 pennant.
On September 25, 1929, Yankee Manager Miller Huggins died from blood poisoning at the age of 49. The American League cancelled all of its games on the day of the funeral. Leading the Yankees from 1918 until his death, Hall of Famer Huggins won six American League Pennants with the team, and led them to their first three World Championships as well. More about his playing career appears below.
Casey Stengel earned his 10th pennant in 12 years managing in New York, as Ralph Terry won the 1960 clincher on the same day with a 4-3 win over the Red Sox. Luis Arroyo came on for the save.
Two years later to the day, Ralph Houk guided the Yanks to the pennant, their second in his two years at the helm, as Whitey Ford beat the Senators 8-3 in the clincher on September 25, 1962.
But on September 25, 1996, when the Yanks pounded the Brewers, 19-2, in the first of two to clinch their first flag in 15 years, there was a brand-new manager (Joe Torre), who had just taken over the job from the last in a long line of field bosses who failed to win in New York (and the last one who did well, Buck Showalter, who succumbed to creative differences with the owner, so to speak). The Yanks made it easy on their fans as they scored four in the first inning and another 10 in the second, with Tino Martinez knocking in five and David Cone getting the win. Pouring it on, they took the second game too, 6-2.
The Yankees topped the AL record for wins in a season with their 112th on September 25, 1998, in a 6-2 win over the Devil Rays. The record had belonged to the 1954 Indians with 111. Orlando “el duque” Hernandez moved to 12-4 on the year with the win.
In the midst of all those flags with which we began, perhaps it’s time to honor a few things that happened in those lean years, like the late 1960′s and the 15 years before Mr. Torre came along. On September 25, 1990, the Yanks tied a major league record in a 15-3 pummeling of the Orioles when their first eight men up stroked base hits. Anthony Telford allowed the first six in taking the loss, and the Bombers went yard six times.
Five years earlier, Rickey Henderson stole his 75th base of the season in a 10-2 victory over the Tigers on September 25, 1985, breaking the team record of 74 set by Fritz Maisel way back in 1914.
Robinson Cano and Gary Sheffield dingers keyed an 8-4 Yankee win over Toronto in Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2005, with Chien-Ming Wang getting the win over Josh Towers. A happily prescient tier facade banner spoke volumes about the opinion of the fanbase at the time: “Boss, Bring Bernie Back.” Bernie Williams did return in 2006, and did very well. The 2007 season (and 2008-2009), however, was a different matter.
Perhaps it was his appearances against Roger Clemens and the Yankees in back-to-back years on September 25 that made me think (correctly, it turns out) that we had picked up a valuable pitching staff member when the Yankees made a minor trade for righty Tanyon Sturtze early during the 2004 season. On this day in 2001 Devil Ray Sturtze took the Yankee Stadium mound with a first-inning 2-0 lead on Brent Abernathy, Ben Grieve, and Toby Hall singles and rode it to a 4-0 shutout. Sturtze allowed four base hits through seven and Victor Zambrano finished.
And the Rays jumped on Roger Clemens for three first-inning tallies one year later, as well, on September 25, 2002. The Yanks’ steady comeback eventually plated a fourth run for a 4-3 win that went to Jeff Weaver, who carried the action in the sixth through eighth. On a night when a group including ex-Yankee Rusty Torrez presented Alfonso Soriano with their Latino Player of the Year Award, the young second sacker scored the tying run after doubling in the fifth and plated the winner with another double in the sixth. Derek Jeter contributed three hits, two rbi’s, and one run scored to the cause.
Yesterday we reported on Babe Ruth‘s last ever appearance as a home-standing Yankee player. On September 25, 1968, Mickey Mantle did the same, in a 3-0 loss to Luis Tiant and the Indians. But The Mick did come through that day, in a manner of speaking, as the two-out single he spanked in the first inning was the only safety for the home team, denying the opposition yet another no-hitter.
Seizing on a Washington miscue as Sam Rice dropped an eighth-inning fly ball, the Yanks responded with a five-run rally and an 8-3 win on September 25, 1931. Babe Ruth stroked two singleton homers in the victory.
Still a mainstay in Boston’s hot corner at the time, Wade Boggs went 4-for-5 in a 7-4 win over the Yankees on September 25, 1989. With the safeties Boggs became the first player in major league history to record both 200 hits and 100 walks in four consecutive seasons.
Despite a Washington hot streak that had seen them win 10 in a row, and 15 straight at home, the Yanks clinched the 1943 AL pennant when they beat the Tigers in 14 innings on September 25.
David Justice blasted his career-high 41st home run in the Yanks’ last scheduled home game of 2000 on September 25, but it wasn’t nearly enough as the visiting Tigers scored an 11-4 triumph. Detroit jumped on Doc Gooden for five runs in the first three innings, and Derek Jeter notched his 1,000th career hit with a fifth-inning infield single.
The Yankees took a full game lead on second-place Cleveland with a 21-7 shellacking of the Indians in the Polo Grounds on September 25, 1921. After sending former New York hurler Ray Caldwell to an early shower in the second, the Yanks piled 10 runs on Duster Mails in two frames. Carl Mays went the distance for the Bombers win.
When Mike Scott shut out the Giants 2-0 on September 25, 1986, he threw a no-hitter and clinched the National League West title for the Astros. And on the same day in 1956, Brooklyn Dodger Sal Maglie threw a 5-0 no-hitter against the Phillies in Ebbets Field.
The Billy Martin-managed Tigers beat the Yankees 10-7 behind two homers from rookie receiver Tim Hosley on September 25, 1971. Les Cain, who pitched six innings for the win, later successfully sued the Detroit ballclub, saying Martin ruined his career by forcing him to pitch with a sore arm.
Lou Gehrig hit his 48th homer of the year on September 25, 1934, in a 5-0 win over the A’s in Philly. It was the 1,500th game of his streak.
The 1949 pennant race reached fever pitch when the Red Sox moved into a first-place tie with the Yankees with a 4-1 win over Allie Reynolds on September 25. Ted Williams belted his 43rd home run, and Mel Parnell won his 25th victory of the season, as the pneumonia-stricken Joe DiMaggio listened to the game from the hospital.
The first two moves the Yankees made on September 25, 2013, made almost no sense, and the third had no effect. Inexplicably, the club activated DH Travis Hafner from the 60-day disabled list, making roster space for the move by placing southpaw CC Sabathia on the 60-day disabled list, with a left hamstring strain. Hafner would play in the last game, on September 29, striking out once in four hitless tries, but why? Whatever the reasoning, the Yankees also signed free agent righthander Jairo Garcia to a minor league contract on the same day.
The Yankees added two and subtracted two on September 25, 2012, first activating righthanded pitcher David Aardsma and outfielder Brett Gardner from the 60-day disabled list. The club then designated first baseman Steve Pearce and lefthander Justin Thomas for assignment.
September 25, 20-game winners (and better): Tom Glavine of the Braves in 2000; Brewer lefty Teddy Higuera in 1986; California Angel Dean Chance in 1964; Lou Warneke of the Cubs in 1935; and St. Louis Cardinal Jesse Haines in 1923. Giants rookie Larry Jansen won his 21st in 1947; Early Wynn won his 23rd — and the 111th of the season for the Indians — in 1954; Alvin Crowder of the Senators managed his 26th in 1932; Cardinal Dizzy Dean notched no. 28 in 1934; and Boston’s Cy Young won his 33rd in 1901. In addition, Oakland’s Dave Stewart notched no. 22 on this day in 1990; and with his own twist is Bobo Newsom of the Tigers, who won no. 20 in relief before copping his 21st of the season by going the route in the second of two in 1940. And Brian Kingman of the A’s lost his 20th on this day in 1980. Kevin Tapani of the Cubs failed at his attempt for his 20th on September 25, 1998.
In the same vein, Boston’s Smoky Joe Wood won his 33rd game of the 1912 season with a 6-0 two-hitter over the Yankees on September 25. The Boston ace struck out 10 New Yorkers.
Ex-Yankee but often Expo, Tim Raines joined Ted Williams and Rickey Henderson as the only three to steal at least one base in four different decades when he purloined one in Montreal’s 2-0 shutout of the Mets on September 25, 2001.
Unfortunately for them, the 11-1 Cleveland victory over Detroit behind Early Wynn on September 25, 1954 was the highlight of their season. In copping their 111th “W,” they eclipsed the record of 110, which had been set by the 1927 Yankees. In one of the biggest upsets in professional sports history, the Indians would be swept in four by the underdog New York Giants in the ensuing World Series.
In September 25 highlights involving one-time Yanks playing with other teams, two one-time Yanks earn mention in the 1993 Cincinnati 6-0 win over the Rockies: Jose Rijo threw the one-hit win, and Charlie Hayes stroked the lone Colorado safety. And the 50th steal San Diego’s Jerry Mumphrey garnered in a 5-3 loss to the Reds on September 25, 1980, serves only to stress the few (27) he managed in New York from 1981-1983. And finally, Paul Waner, who finished his career with the Yanks, set a National League record for doubles with his 62nd in a Pirates win over the Cardinals on this day in 1932.
As referenced above, a list of September 25 Yankee deaths has to lead off with Manager Miller Huggins (1929), who brought New York and AL World Series Championships together. As a player, the switch-hitting, righty-throwing second baseman hit nine home runs with 318 rbi’s from 1904-1909, mostly in Cincinnati. But there are three more Yankee player deaths, led by second baseman/third baseman Frank LaPorte (1939), who hit five homers and drove in 217 runs while going 507-for-1,850 at the plate in 516 games for the Highlanders from 1905-1910. Overall numbers after he extended his career through 1915 playing for the Red Sox, the Browns, and the Senators, among others, grew to 15 and 560. Five of the 45 rbi’s (with no career home runs) that third baseman/shortstop Nolen Richardson (1951) collected in his 1929-1939 stay in the bigs, largely with the Tigers and the Reds, came in 12 games he played with the 1935 Yankees. And righthander Ken Holloway (1968) ended his 1922-1930 career pitching in 16 games (no starts) for the 1930 Yankees, to no record. Pitching most often with Detroit and Cleveland, he posted a career mark of 64-52-18.
The more significant of the two noteworthy nonYankee September 25 deaths prior to 2016 was that of righty Red Faber (1976), who pitched for the White Sox only from 1914-1933, during which time he won 254, lost 213, and saved 28 games. Finally, catcher Ray Hayworth played mostly with the Tigers from 1926-1945. He cleared five fences and drove in 238 runs. But a young star was lost when starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (2016) died in a boating accident. Jose posted a 38-17 win/loss record with Miami from 2013-16, appearing in 76 games, all of them starts. With the bat he hit two home runs, and drove in 14 runs.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Yankee birthdays for September 25 feature the one and only Hall of Fame shortstop and long-time voice of the Yankees, the Scooter, Phil Rizzuto (1917). He played for the Yanks only, from 1941 through 1956. Rizzuto hit only 38 home runs in those 16 seasons, but he stroked another two in World Series play. He notched 563 career rbi’s, delighted generations of Yankee fans with his offbeat announcing (and rooting) style. His name is mentioned to this day anytime a current Yankee manages to make a great bunt, or sadly fails in that aspect of the game, one that Phil raised to an art in his days on the diamond. Sadly, The Scooter passed away in August 2007.
It’s only logical to list Johnny Sain (1917) first of the three pitchers who share the birthday with Phil, because he was born the very same day (and year). After almost 10 years with the Braves, Sain went 33-20 with 39 saves for the Yankees from 1951 through 1955, finishing that last season with Kansas City. The Yanks got Sain from the Boston Braves in August 1951 for Lew Burdette and cash, and sent Johnny with Enos Slaughter to the Kansas City Athletics for Sonny Dixon and cash in May 1955. Sain posted an overall record of 139-116 with 51 saves.
To appreciate what David Weathers (1969) brought to the Yankee table, one needs to forget the regular season 0-3 record with no saves in ’96 and ’97 after he was acquired from the Marlins for Mark Hutton in July 1996. David made his name with a win in the 1996 ALDS and another in the ALCS that immediately followed. And the Yanks got the valuable Chad Curtis from the Cleveland Indians for Weathers in June 1997.
After pitching for the Cubs from 1928 through 1934, Pat Malone (1902) finished up in Pinstripes with a 19-13 mark and 18 saves from 1935 through 1937, once the Yanks got him from the St. Louis Cardinals in March 1935.
No one’s fault really, but a double negative image strikes Yankee fans when envisioning Tony Womack (1969). He played a big part in the 2001 Game Seven World Series Diamondbacks rally that cost the Yanks a ring, and the futility of his play in the 2005 season after signing with the Yankees as a free agent will not be soon forgotten. Womack stroked none of his 15 career home runs with the Yanks; he contributed 15 rbi’s playing in the Bronx.
Backup catcher Wil Nieves (1977) played 28 games for San Diego in 2002 before the Yanks acquired him from the Anaheim Angels for reliever Brett Prinz in March 2005. He played 35 games for the Yanks from then until 2007, 26 of them as the primary backup catcher to Jorge Posada in the latter year. But with a dipping batting average and trouble making throws to second base, the Yanks traded for Jose Molina to replace him. Wil has done a decnt job as a backup catcher with Washington in 2008-2009.
Other birthdays: Glenn Hubbard (1957); Geno Petralli (1959); Reggie Jefferson (1968); Joel Piniero (1978); Rocco Baldelli (1981); Jay Bergmann (1981), another alum of the on-a-role Rutgers University; Argenis Reyes (1982); Michael Crotta (1984); Brad Bergesen (1985); Bo Schultz (1985); Vance Worley (1987); Lars Anderson (1987); Tyler Wilson (1989); and Kyle Ryan (1991).
Players Born This Day