It was all good in the Bronx on September 7, 2014 — all, that is, except for the baseball. The Yankees held Derek Jeter Day, and in addition to the shortstop and captain’s family, the Steinbrenner family, several of the great players who were Derek’s teammates, Davie Winfield (Jeets’s childhood idol), Cal Ripken, and a message from the International Space Station, all-world Michael Jordan showed up to offer tribute. In addition, Jeter received a 10-day trip to Tuscany, Waterford crystal with Derek’s final-season logo etched in, and a $222,222.22 check for the Turn 2 Foundation. The highlight of the video messages came from Washington manager Matt Williams, who referred to Derek as “The Captain of Major League Baseball.” Unfortunately, in the game that followed, the Yanks were blanked 2-0 on four hits by Kansas City. Jeter went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strike out.
The Yankees made a 2-0 score a happier experience on September 7, 2016, as Bryan Mitchell, making his 2016 debut performance, made the start and got the win by going five frames. The righthander, who has had a spotty career in the bigs since, allowed the Blue Jays just four hits and two walks while retiring 15, and benefitted from a two-run Yankee third, courtesy of a Starlin Castro home run and a Brian McCann rbi single.
Despite pitching well overall, Yankee righthander Michael Pineda succumbed to the one-bad-inning scenario again in an 8-6 win over the visiting Orioles on Labor Day (though, as has become the norm, it looked more like the ubiquitous military appreciation day than a tribute to the American worker), September 7, 2015. Big Mike allowed five of six hits given up through six frames, plus a walk and a hit by pitch, in a four-run Baltimore second. But home runs by Alex Rodriguez, John Ryan Murphy, and Greg Bird saved the day. Rookie Bird’s three-run shot in the seventh gave the Yanks their final tally.
September 7 was Labor Day in 2009, and a big one. After beating Tampa 4-1 in the regularly scheduled game, the Yanks pounded the Rays 11-1 in a night game that was a makeup of a June rainout. In the early game, when Mariano Rivera came on for the save, it was his 907th career appearance, moving him past the legendary Cy Young for 20th on the all-time appearance list. In the nightcap, Mark Teixiera keyed an eight-run home third inning with a three-run home run, then hit a second fence clearer in the three-run sixth. Derek Jeter, three hits short of Lou Gehrig‘s Yankee hits mark, had a tough 0-for-8 day but he passed Yogi Berra on the Yankee games played list. A.J. Burnett got the win in the nightcap, and two now ex-Yanks, Melky Cabrera and Jose Moilna, equaled Teixeira with three hits apiece.
In light of a recurrence of the event in Fenway in 2006, it’s worthwhile to reflect on and rejoice in what happened in Yankee Land 30-plus years ago, on September 7, 1978. In the first of the four games that made up the Boston Massacre, the Yanks amassed 21 hits against the Red Sox in Boston in a 15-3 drubbing. Thurman Munson, Roy White, and Willie Randolph had three hits apiece, with Willie’s accounting for five rbi’s. Ken Clay got the win and Mike Torrez the loss.
If fans were breathing a sigh of relief that the game started on time and played through on a nasty wet Wednesday in the Bronx on September 7, 2011, following the four-hour delay the night before, they shouldn’t have. The leadoff hitters reached in the first three innings off A.J. Burnett, leading to a 4-2 Baltimore lead, but a two-run single by DH Jesus Montero tied the game in the fourth. It stayed that way until the 11th, when the fourth Yankee error of the game, and the second charged to shortstop Eduardo Nunez, led to a Baltimore tally off Hector Noesi, resulting in a 5-4 Orioles win.
CC Sabathia, having a rare bad start, failed to retire any of the first five Orioles who came to the plate in a 6-2 loss to Baltimore on September 7, 2010, then allowed a two-run homer to Nolan Reimold in the third. Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada had the Yankee rbi’s.
The Yankee 2003 season was on the line, and nervous fans were in the throes of despair. The Red Sox had charged from 7.5 games back, and after blasting the Yanks in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday in the Stadium (9-3, 11-0) had closed to within 1.5. But in the midst of his own personal losing streak, David Wells matched zeroes with Jeff Suppan into the late innings. Manny Ramirez‘s leadoff seventh-inning double was Boston’s fourth hit, while Jeter’s fourth-inning single was all of the Yankee offense. But once Boomer kept Ramirez off the board, Bernie Williams went yard in the home seventh after a leadoff walk to Jorge Posada, and the Yanks turned a corner behind a 3-1 win.
Roger Maris bunted in an early at bat and then hit his 55th homer of 1961 on September 7 in a 7-3 Yankee win over the Senators despite the three-run, sixth-inning, inside-the-park home run delivered by Tito Francona off Bill Terry. But all was not perfect, and Maris bristled when queried about his bunt after the contest.
Whitey Ford became the fifth pitcher ever to hurl consecutive one-hitters on September 7, 1955, as Jim Finigan broke up his bid for a no-no with a two-out single in the seventh inning of a 2-1 Yankee win over the A’s.
In what felt like (and was) a rare occurrence, the 2005 Yankees came back with a late two-run rally to beat the Devil Rays on September 7. A leadoff first-inning walk and his own error got Jaret Wright into immediate trouble, and a Jonny Gomes triple and a Damon Hollins triple put Tampa up 4-0 before the Yanks came to bat. But a home run and a two-run double by Hideki Matsui closed the gap. Jason Giambi followed an Alex Rodriguez two-out, eighth-inning single with a game-winning home run off former Yankee Joe Borowski. It was Matsui’s 400th career (Japan and U.S. combined) home run in the 5-4 Yankee win.
In two September 7 no-hitters, Boston’s Howard Ehmke blanked the A’s 4-0 in 1923; and Dave Davenport of the St. Louis Terriers of the Federal League zipped the Chicago Whales 3-0 in 1915. The weird quirk to Ehmke’s achievement was that opposing pitcher Slim Harriss actually overcame the Red Sox hurler’s attempt with a blast to the wall in the seventh, after which he reached second base. But the sure hit was lost because Harriss did not touch first base in his rush to get into scoring position.
The Yanks prevailed over Washington on September 7, 1952, as Johnny Mize‘s pinch-hit grand slam provided the difference in a 5-1 win.
On September 7, 2016, the Yankees placed righthander Chad Green on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to September 3, with a right forearm tendon injury.
On September 7, 2015, the Yankees recalled lefty Jacob Lindgren from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and changed righty Nick Rumbelow‘s number to 50. The club also selected the contract of southpaw Chris Capuano from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre yet again.
On September 7, 2013, the Yankees received reinforcements on both sides of the mound, as the team selected the contract of righty Jim Miller and recalled lefty Vidal Nuno from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
The Yankees recalled Shelley Duncan from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre on September 7, 2009.
Jeffrey Hammonds continued his inspired play in an Orioles/Yankees game in Yankee Stadium on September 7, 1997, but he was alone in that. Overcoming Hammonds’s 4-for-4 with a walk, the Yanks got a double and a home run apiece from Paul O’Neill, Bernie Williams, and Jorge Posada. Kenny Rogers got the 10-3 win over Mike Mussina.
The two-run homer Jon Lieber allowed to Tampa’s Rocco Baldelli in the top of the first on September 7, 2004, put the Yanks in a no-outs hole, but the game turned from there. A Hideki Matsui two-run double knotted things in the first, and doubles from Derek Jeter and John Olerud and a Bernie Williams home run highlighted the 11-2 Yankee victory that unfolded.
The Yanks gave up all of a 13.5-game lead over the Athletics over two months in 1928 once they dropped two to Philly on September 7, 1928. Bump Hadley shut out the Yanks 11-0 in the first game and hit three singles, and Fred Marberry won the nightcap 6-1 over Waite Hoyt.
Tempers flared in the Bronx after the Red Sox jumped on Orlando “el duque” Hernandez for two quick first-inning runs with Pedro Martinez toeing the mound for the visitors on this day in 2001, but the Yanks used singles by Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neill, and Alfonso Soriano around a David Justice double to plate three in the home third. Tim Wakefield took over and stopped the Yanks cold, but the damage was done in a 3-2 New York victory.
Playing first base in his first major league game, Eric Munson of the Tigers homered in his initial at bat in a 2-1 win over the home-standing Yankees on September 7, 2002.
Fay Vincent may not have been the best Baseball Commisioner ever, but when he was forced to resign on September 7, 1992, it opened the door for an owner to take the post. The supposedly “reluctant” Bud Selig has held that spot ever since, initially in an interim capacity.
The highlight of the Yanks’ 3-2 win over the A’s on September 7, 1985, was Dave Winfield‘s steal of home with the deciding run in the seventh inning. He was hung up in a rundown after a pitch out, and scampered home once he worked his way free on the failed play.
In a morning start in the first of two games in Philadelphia on September 7, 1931, eight Yankees walked and scored in the first inning, and by the time the day ended they had won 15-3 and 9-4. Babe Ruth homered twice in the nightcap and Lou Gehrig once.
Sonny Siebert homered and garnered his 12th win of the season and Tommy Harper and Rico Petrocelli hit three-run bombs in a 10-4 Red Sox win over the Yankees on this day in 1972.
The two home runs Babe Ruth blasted in a 12-10 over the Red Sox on September 7, 1927, gave him five over three games, increasing his lead over Lou Gehrig in the season totals to 49-45.
Returning from a Miller Huggins-imposed suspension on September 7, 1925, Babe Ruth apologized to his teammates before collecting one hit in a 5-1 loss to Boston.
When the Red Sox lost a 4-2 decision to the Yankees on September 7, 1926, it was their 17th consecutive defeat.
The 4-0 shutout Washington’s Walter Johnson threw at the Highlanders on this day in 1908 was his third in four days against the same team. The Big Train outdueled Jack Chesbro while allowing but two hits and one walk.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Mark Whiten, who would later serve with the Yanks, tied the big-leagues record when he knocked in 12 runs via four home runs, the first one a grand slam in the first inning, on September 7, 1993.
Toronto’s Juan Guzman was rushed from Yankee Stadium to the hospital for successful appendix surgery before he could take the mound for his September 7, 1996 start. But his mates rose to the occasion, beating the Yankees and David Cone 3-2 behind eventual New York reliever Paul Quantrill.
It was in hopes of seeing some late life to the career of former Yank Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens that we caught an Independent Atlantic League game between Rick Cerone‘s Newark Bears and the Atlantic City Surf in a September 7, 1999 game. But the star of the game was former and future Yankee Ruben Sierra, who led the visiting Surf to a 5-2 win with a two-run home run. Sierra proved that he had not yet matured as a player to the point he showed in his second Yankee tour of duty when he was tagged out at second on a ball off the right center field wall on which he did not hustle, assuming he had hit a second home run.
Yankees slugger Babe Ruth was hospitalized with pains in his side on September 7, 1932. He would be off his feet for five days.
It was not one of Yankee Graig Nettles‘s finer moments when he lost a single when it was discovered he was using a corked bat on September 7, 1974. Amazingly, the Yanks prevailed 1-0 on an earlier home run by the Yankee third baseman that was allowed to stand.
When Houston’s Randy Johnson, years before a stint in the Bronx, struck out 14 Reds in a 1-0 Astros win on September 7, 1998, it was the 100th time in his career that he posted a double-digit number in strike outs.
Two years before joining the Yankees team with which he would become a winner after losing three times more often than winning in Boston, Red Ruffing had a negative effect on the Yankees’ season on September 7, 1928. He took the loss in the first of two in a Philly A’s sweep over Boston that allowed the A’s to tie the Yanks for first place in the standings.
Two guys who posted a 20th or better win on September 7 did so in back-to-back years for the Atlanta Braves. Future Yankee Denny Neagle won his 20th in a 4-0 shutout of the Padres on this day in 1997, one year after John Smoltz won his 21st in a 6-1 win over the Mets.
We have three more September 7 highlights involving future or former Yankee players while with other teams, starting with five-time New York manager Billy Martin, just fired in Detroit himself, being considered for that job in Texas, where the Rangers had just let Whitey Herzog go on this day in 1973. Baltimore’s Mike Mussina won his 19th of the year 6-0 over the Tigers for the Orioles’ only season shutout on this day in 1996, the same day that lefty swingman Donovan Osborne hit a grand slam as his first career home run in a Cardinals 9-3 win over San Diego. Moose retired as a member of the Yankee rotation after his 20-win 2008 season, while Osborne finished his career by going 2-0 in nine games for the 2004 Yanks.
Yankee righty reliever from 1961-1966 Hal Reniff, who posted all but six decisions of his career 21-23 record in Pinstripes, passed away on September 7, 2004. Hal, who recorded 41 saves for the Yanks, was sold to the fledgling New York Mets ballclub in June 1967. But Reniff is not the only Yankee player to have died on September 7. Famous for the “Miranda line” designation around which his batting average often hovered, switch-hitting shortstop Willie Miranda (1996) had 42 hits in 174 at bats while playing in 140 games for the 1953-1954 Yankees. The two home runs and 17 rbi’s in New York grow to six and 132 respectively when his 1951-1959 career, spent largely with the Orioles and the Browns, is considered as a whole. But as significant as those two names are, neither carries the heft of one-time shortstop and long-time Yankee executive Gene Michael (2017). “Stick” got his start with the 1966 Pirates and the ’67 Dodgers, and finished with the Tigers in 1975, but the switch-hitting, righty throwing infielder played the 789 games in between with the Yankees. Twelve of his 15 career home runs, and 204 of his 226 rbi’s came with the Bombers, for whom he actually pitched three innings in one game (no record, no runs allowed) in 1968. Gene managed the Yankees in both halves of the strike-split 1981 season, and in 1982, he was the only one of three (along with Bob Lemon and Clyde King) skippers to post a winning record. It was during his second stint as Yankee GM, from 1990 through 1995, that he is credited with assembling the players who would win four World Series titles under manager Joe Torre in the years that followed. And on the lighter side of the ledger, the wily shortstop pulled off the “hidden ball” trick several times is his career.
Beloved brother of one-time Yankee star third baseman Clete Boyer, fellow third sacker and All Star Ken Boyer (1982) is the first of three position players, all infielders, who comprise the list of noteworthy nonYankee players who have died this day. Ken bashed 282 home runs and drove in 1,141 runs in a 1955-1969 career that ended with stops with the Mets, the White Sox, and the Dodgers, but that began with an 11-year stint in St. Louis with the Cardinals. He is joined by Hall of Fame shortsop Joe Cronin (1984), who got his start with the 1927 Pirates, but who hit most of his 170 long balls with 1,424 rbi’s from 1928-1945 with the Red Sox and the Senators. Next to those stalwarts, the numbers third baseman Wally Gilbert (1958) posted with Brooklyn from 1928-1931 and with Cincinnati in 1932 (seven homers, 214 rbi’s) sound insignificant.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Two former Yankee players were born on September 7. Lefty-hitting Darren Bragg (1969) played until very recently. He got into five games with the 2001 Yankee club, getting a double in four ab’s. Since 1994 he has played with Seattle, Boston, St. Louis, Colorado, the Mets, the Braves, the Padres, and the Reds. Bragg is a rarity, at least in recent years, as he was selected off waivers by the Yankees from the New York Mets in June 2001.
And outfielder Bill Holden (1889) debuted with the Yanks, playing 68 games with 20 rbi’s in 1913 and 1914. He finished his career that latter year, by playing 11 games with Cincinnati. The Reds selected Holden off waivers from the Yankees in August 1914.
There are also three players that celebrate September 7 too and who were with the Yanks at one time but who did not play for them. Lefthander Rafael Quirico (1969), whose only big-league experience consisted in a loss in one appearance with the 1996 Phillies, was signed by New York as an amateur free agent in May 1987. The San Francisco Giants took Quirico from the Yankees in the 1991 rule-V draft. Infielder Tom Matchick (1943) and catcher Roy Partee (1917) came to New York in the opposite manner, arriving here after playing elsewhere, only to never crack the Yankee lineup. Matchick was traded to New York by the Baltimore Orioles for Frank Baker in April 1973 after having hit four home runs with 64 rbi’s playing in Detroit (three seasons), Boston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Baltimore from 1967-1972. Partee got his two home runs and 114 rbi’s with the Red Sox from 1943-1947 and the Browns in 1948 before St. Louis sent him and Fred Sanford to the Yankees for Sherm Lollar, Red Embree, Dick Starr, and cash in December 1948.
Other birthdays: former Phillies owner Bill Giles (1934); Hooks Wiltse (1880), a lefty thrower who won 139 while losing only 90 mostly for the Giants from 1904-1915; Joe Rudi (1946); Jason Isringhausen (1972); David Newhan (1973); Brian Stokes (1979); Nathan Haynes (1979); and Mark Prior (1980). Prior, too, almost has a Yankee pedigree, but he refused to sign with them after they selected him in the 1998 free-agent draft. Further, he spent 2011 Spring Training with the Yanks, and rehabbed (or tried to) in their minors all year. And new to the list since 2009: Mauro Gomez (1984); Wade Davis (1985); Gorkys Hernandez (1987); and Sandy Alcantara (1995).
Players Born This Day