The Yanks beat the visiting Blue Jays 5-3 behind Masahiro Tanaka on Labor Day, September 5, 2016. The hitting star was Jacoby Ellsbury, who had three hits and drove in three, two of them on a first-inning home run that put the Bombers up early. Playing first base base, Tyler Austin had two doubles and drove in two, and Dellin Betances earned the save.
Following a two-hit game the day before, Yankee prospect Jesus Montero had something of a coming out party in Yankee Stadium on September 5, 2011. Starter Freddy Garcia had nothing this day, and the Yanks were pressed in the middle innings despite a six-run second inning featuring Robinson Cano‘s grand slam, giving the Bombers an 8-5 lead over Baltimore. So even though Montero’s two homers and three rbi’s came late in this game, they were key to the long-fought 11-10 Yankee win. Prodigal pitcher Scott Proctor, brought back to the pinstriped party as a free agent just a few days earlier, made his 300th Yankee appearance in this contest.
The Yankees failed to recover from three early runs Nate Eovaldi allowed to Tampa in the Stadium on September 5, 2015, with a two-run rally in the fifth coming up short. Their best chance died when Didi Gregorius lined out hard to second with the bases loaded and two down in the home eighth.
Sadly typical of the offense-challenged 2014 team, the Yanks dropped a 1-0 decision to Kansas City that September 5, making Michael Pineda the tough-luck loser on an unearned run, which scored after Chase Headley‘s third-inning error. Held to three hits by righthander James Shields (the same number Pineda allowed), the Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira middle-of-the order tandem went 0-for-9 with five strike outs, the kind of production they had given for much of the season. This was unfortunately one of two games that season I witnessed from the Delta Suite seats.
One of the more painful losses in the 2013 season occurred when the Yanks dropped a 9-8, 10-inning decision to the Red Sox on September 5. Down 7-2 in the seventh, the Bombers stormed back with a six-run inning, featuring rbi hits from Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson, and Lyle Overbay. But pinch running for Mike Napoli with two down in the ninth, Quinton Berry stole a base and scored on a Stephen Drew single, and Jacoby Ellsbury reached and scored in the 10th.
In a bid to further close a tight Wild Card race, Seattle’s Jarrod Washburn held a 2-1 lead and had allowed just two hits through six innings in Yankee Stadium on September 5, 2007, when Alex Rodriguez keyed an eight-run seventh inning with a leadoff home run and capped it with a two-run bomb. Derek Jeter kicked in with a triple, Phil Hughes allowed two runs over six innings, and Joba Chamberlain pitched a one-two-three seventh inning for the 10-2 win.
It turned out to be a pretty good career, but not on its first day, as the young A’s hurler gave up a first-inning, opposite-field, three-run homer to Mickey Mantle. Blue Moon Odom‘s major-league debut on September 5, 1964 thus became a 9-7 loss to the Yankees.
Phil Hughes continued to struggle as the 2010 season came to a close and gave up two-run home runs to Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill early in a 7-3 loss to the Blue Jays on September 5. Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada had the Yankee rbi’s, with A-Rod collecting his on the day he returned from the disabled list.
The Yankees also held on to beat the Tigers on September 5, 1971, 6-5, despite the record-setting six pinch hitters Detroit used in the seventh inning.
When the Yankees beat the Senators 6-1 on September 5, 1961, Washington fell in their 20th game in the last 21. Mickey Mantle hit his 51st home run of the season.
The 1997 season continued to head south in September on the fifth, as Andy Pettitte had to leave a game against the Orioles in Yankee Stadium after one inning due to injury. Hideki Irabu did not respond well when called into emergency service, allowing nine runs (six earned) in a 13-9 Yankee loss.
Two early rbi’s from Jason Giambi and one each from Jorge Posada, Robin Ventura, and Raul Mondesi got Orlando “el duque” Hernandez off to a good lead, so by the fifth inning of his 9-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on September 5, 2002, he was experimenting with his “eephus” pitch.
The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues was formed on September 5, 1901.
When the Orioles jumped on Javier Vazquez for three quick scores in the first inning in Yankee Stadium on September 5, 2004, it looked to be another bad start in a season’s second half that had seen lots of them. But Javy stiffened right there, the Yanks chipped away, and when Jorge Julio walked Jorge Posada in the bottom of the ninth with the sacks filled, the Yanks had a 4-3 win. Derek Jeter reached base safely four times, and scored three runs, including the winner. Jeter also stole his 200th career base in the first inning.
The Yankee parent club was embarrassed when they were slapped around by the minor league Baltimore Orioles 18-9 in an exhibition game on September 5, 1926. In the midst of an 0-for-5 day, Babe Ruth tangled with shortstop Mark Koenig in the Yankee dugout about loafing in the field.
On September 5, 2017, the Yankees recalled first baseman Tyler Austin from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
On September 5, 2016, the Yankees placed outfielder Aaron Hicks on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to September 1, 2016, with a right hamstring strain.
On September 5, 2014, the Yankees sent outfielder Zoilo Almonte outright to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, exactly one year after they had sent him on a rehab assignment to the AA Trenton Thunder, which they did on September 5, 2013.
You get a pretty good indication of how the 2006 season went in the Bronx just by witnessing in September the litany of guys coming off the Disabled List. Some were coming off after two-plus weeks, some after an almost season-long stay. Mike Mussina, who qualified for the first list, was activated on September 5. In other news fans would become numb to, Carl Pavano was moved from the 15-day to the 60-day list the same day.
The Yankees acquired veteran righty Pedro Ramos on September 5, 1964, as pennant insurance, and he did not disappoint, recording a win and eight saves in 13 games down the stretch. The trade for Johnny Hopp on the same day back in 1950 proved helpful, but not as clearly as the deal for Ramos.
Still trying to fine-tune their roster and get ready for the postseason, the Yankees made two moves affecting veteran ballplayers on September 5, 2009. First they released catcher Kevin Cash, then using the open spot created on both the 40-man and 25-man rosters, the team called up righrhanded pitcher Josh Towers from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre.
Walter Johnson held the Yankees to just four hits in a 6-0 Washington shutout on September 5, 1908.
Washington Senator Jim Lemon got six rbi’s on two homers in the third inning of a 14-2 thrashing of the Red Sox on September 5, 1959.
One of the most “unbreakable” of records was about to fall, as Cal Ripken, Jr., tied Lou Gehrig‘s hitherto unmatched consecutive-games-played streak on September 5, 1995.
After falling 3-2 to the Red Sox in Fenway on September 5, 1936 in the first of two, the Yankees managed a 7-7 tie in the nightcap despite the fact that the home team turned a triple play against them.
Shades of Drew Henson, only in a much more successful vein, as Purdue AD Red Mackey criticized the Yankees on September 5, 1950, for signing away 19-year-old pitcher/shortstop Bill Skowron, who would have been the starting right halfback in the Boilermakers’ backfield. “Moose” contributed 165 dingers, 672 rbi’s, and even 14 stolen bases to the Yankee cause from 1954 to 1962.
Andy Pettitte failed to finish the third inning against the Red Sox on September 5, 2003, and Pedro Martinez struck out nine Yanks in six frames in a 9-3 win over the Bombers in Yankee Stadium.
Chicago White Sox player Carlton Fisk hit his 300th home run off Danny Jackson on this day in 1987, but the White Sox fell to the Royals, 4-2.
It was an 8-2 loss the Yanks suffered in Fenway on September 5, 1921, but they did set an AL record with five outfield assists, four of them by Bob Meusel. Strong-armed Bob led the league in assists that year and the next.
Brooklyn Dodger Don Newcombe won his 20th game of the 1955 season on September 5, 11-4, over the Phillies. Don chipped in with his seventh home run of the season, a new NL record for a pitcher.
It’s a wonder they didn’t try this promo every night, as when the Cleveland Indians held its first “I Hate the Yankee Hanky Night” on September 5, 1977, they swept a pair form the Bombers, 4-3 and 5-4.
The Yanks lost Game 1 to the Red Sox, 12-11, in 18 innings on September 5, 1927, but they came back to win the nightcap, 5-0.
Brooklyn’s Nap Rucker pitched a no-hitter in a 6-0 win over the Boston Doves on September 5, 1908.
On a crowded Philadelphia streetcar, Phils third baseman Harry Wolverton was struck in the head with a pole on September 5, 1900. But the story had a happier ending, as Wolverton recovered and finished his big-league career as a player-manager for the Yankees in 1912.
We’ll start a list of September 5 game highlights involving future or former Yankee players with the record outfielder Elmer Smith crowned on this day in 1921, when he had seven straight extra-base hits over three games. Smith, who would patrol the Yankee outfield in 1922 and 1923, blasted two home runs off Urban Shocker in a 10-5 Indians win, then another bomb in a 12-8 loss to the Browns. Shocker would end his career in Pinstripes. Babe Ruth pitched a 9-0 one-hitter and blasted his only career minor league home run in a Providence win over Toronto of the International League on September 5, 1914. And former Yank Deion Sanders ended his 1997 season with Cincinnati on September 5 to play in the NFL leading the NL in stolen bases, but future Yankee Tony Womack would surpass his total of 56 before the season ended.
Lefty-hitting first baseman Jack Fournier (1973), who played 27 games with the 1918 team in the middle of a 1912-1927 career, is the only Yankee player to have died on September 5. A 12-rbi man on 35-for-100 hitting in New York, most of Fournier’s impressive career numbers of 136 home runs with 859 runs driven in came in a stop with the White Sox before his Yankee year, and with the Cardinals and Dodgers afterward.
Of the four noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day, one pitched and three played the field. Righty-hitting, lefty-throwing Hank Aguirre (1994) posted a 75-72 record with 33 saves from 1955-1970 with the Indians, the Tigers, the Dodgers, and the Cubs; first baseman/second baseman Dots Miller (1923) hit 32 home runs with 715 rbi’s with the Pirates, the Cardinals, and the Phillies from 1909-1921; and second baseman Billy Herman (1992) cleared 47 fences good for 839 runs driven in from 1931-1947 mostly with the Cubs and the Dodgers. Lefty hitting, righty throwing often bench player and outfielder Tom Wright (2017) makes the list mostly because he managed to play nine years in the bigs, from 1948 through 1956, mostly with the Red Sox, Senators, and White Sox. He hit six home runs and drove in 99 in 341 games.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Leading off the five September 5 Yankee birthdays, Randy Choate (1975), the young lefty reliever who struggled with his control while in Pinstripes, was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 1997 amateur draft. He posted a 3-2 win-loss record in 82 games with the team in 2000 through 2003, and had only played for the Yanks until he was sent to Montreal with Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera for Javier Vazquez after the 2003 season. The Expos traded Randy to the Diamondbacks before the next campaign. His pre-2007 overall record: 5-7. He has pitched with the Rays in 2009.
Gil Patterson (1955) was drafted by New York in the first round (the seventh pick) of the 1975 amateur draft (Secondary Phase). After going 1-2 with one save with the 1977 Yanks for his only big-league experience, Gil has done well in coaching including serving as the Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll have to assume that Al Orth (1872) didn’t have much of a breaking ball, as he was called “The Curveless Wonder.” Al amassed 72 wins and 73 losses with the 1904 through 1909 Yanks, but those numbers were negatively affected by his 16-34 in ’07 and ’08. Al spent 1895 through 1901 with Philly before jumping to the Washington Senators before the 1902 season. The Senators then traded him to the New York Highlanders for Tom Hughes and Barney Wolfe in July 1904.
Lefty-hitting first baseman Buddy Hassett (1911) had five home runs and 42 rbi’s for the 1942 Yanks after dividing the six years before that between the Brooklyn and Boston clubs in the NL. The Boston Braves traded Hassett with Gene Moore to New York for Tommy Holmes in February 1942.
There are other three guys who spent time with the Yanks while not playing a regular-season game with them. The most recognizable name may be that of southpaw Tim Birtsas (1960), a 1982 Yankee amateur draft pick who was traded with Jay Howell, Stan Javier, Eric Plunk, and Jose Rijo to the Oakland Athletics for Rickey Henderson, Bert Bradley, and cash in December 1984. Tim went 14-14 in two seasons each with Oakland and Cincinnati.
Left-handed first baseman Wayne Belardi (1930) arrived in the Bronx with Art Ditmar, Jack McMahan, Bobby Shantz, and Clete Boyer in a big trade for Irv Noren, Milt Graff, Mickey McDermott, Tom Morgan, Rip Coleman, Jack Urban, and Billy Hunter in February 1957. Before arriving, Wayne had hit 28 homers with 74 rbi’s with the Dodgers and the Tigers. And once lefthander Gene Bearden (1920) was traded by New York with Al Gettel and Hal Peck to the Cleveland Indians for Sherm Lollar and Ray Mack in December 1946, he won 45 and lost 38 with Cleveland, Washington, and Detroit from 1947-1951.
Breaking news had it that Chris Young (1983) joined the Yankee birthday family in September 2014. A power-hitting outfielder given to the strike out, Young had hit 152 long balls and driven in 476 runs, mostly with Arizona, where he played from his debut in 2006 through the 2012 season. He played with Oakland in 2013, and the Mets in ’14, until his release a week before the Yanks signed him. Chris has continued to be a solid righthanded power bat and fourth outfielder in the Bronx in 2015, when he stroked 14 homers with 42 rbi’s as the fourth outfielder. Young was allowed to leave after the season, played with the Red Sox in 2016 and 2017, and Anaheim in ’18.
Other birthdays: Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie (1874), who played second base mostly for Philly and Cleveland from 1896 through 1916; fellow Hall member Bill Mazeroski (1936) who, although a fine defensive second baseman in Pittsburgh, probably made the Hall mostly based on the clutch Game 7 World Series-winning homer he hit in 1960 to beat the Yanks in a wild back-and-forth Classic; Lefty Leifeld (1883), who went 124-97 mostly with Pittsburgh from 1905-1920; Candy Maldonado (1960); Jeff Brantley (1963); Jimmy Haynes (1972); Calvin Maduro (1974); Rod Barajas (1975); Ryan Spilborghs (1979); Jeff Stevens (1983); Tyler Colvin (1985); Scott Barnes (1987); Zach Walters (1989); Nick Maronde (1990); Blake Trahan (1993); Pablo Reyes (1993); and Jason Martin (1995).
Players Born This Day