September 8 in Yankee History

  • The Yanks outlasted the Tampa Rays 5-4 in sweltering conditions in the Bronx on September 8, 2016. Brian McCann was the hitting star, at least until late, in this one, as he drilled singleton home runs his first two times to the plate, but Tyler Austin received much of the adulation due to his two-out walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth. In the “things you don’t see every day” category was the fifth-inning replay reversal of a called balk against Yankee reliever Jonathan Holder, which removed a run from the scoreboard in what ended as a one-run game.
  • Game Two of the 1978 Boston Massacre took place on September 8, as the Yanks scored two in the first and six in the second, and the Red Sox committed seven errors in a 13-2 Yankee win. Reggie Jackson‘s three-run homer and a double, triple, and homer by Lou Piniella carried Jim Beattie to victory.
  • The superb Masahiro Tanaka pitched brilliantly in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of visiting Baltimore on September 8, 2015. Striking out 10 and coaxing eight ground ball outs while allowing six hits through eight, the only blemish on his outing was a Ryan Flaherty home run in the sixth. Yet another Alex Rodriguez blast in the frame’s bottom half solved that problem. But when Chris Davis went yard against struggling southpaw Chasen Shreve leading off the ninth, the Yankees had no response.
  • Speaking of magic, as the following report does, how about hitting walkoffs on the same day in back-to-back years? One year after Nick Swisher hit one of 16 Yankee walkoffs, many of them home runs, during the 2009 Championship season, he hit one yet again, this one snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Trailing 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel with the visiting Orioles on September 8, 2010, started by righties Brad Bergeson and Ivan Nova, Nick followed an Alex Rodriguez single leading off the bottom of the ninth and an out by hitting his blast to left off lefty Mark Hendrickson.
  • As the magical 2009 season in the Yankees’ new palace unfolded, one player after another joined the list of last-inning heroes who were “pied” after hitting walkoff hits in Yankee victories. Some players were obviously more comfortable with the celebrations, some less, but not one embraced the honor any more wholeheartedly than Nick Swisher, who hit a walkoff ninth-inning home run to beat Tampa 3-2 on September 8, 2009. Chad Gaudin left with a 2-1 lead over Tampa ace David Price in the seventh, but Jason Bartlett shocked Phil Hughes and the 45,000-plus in attendance with a game-tying home run in the eighth. The winner was Swisher’s second homer of the game, and the win gave the Yanks a 90-50 mark.
  • The Yankees were trailing the Red Sox 6-1 in the second of two on September 8, 1937, until they scored eight runs in the ninth for a 9-6 victory and a doubleheader sweep (first game, 3-2) in Yankee Stadium.
  • Chien-Ming Wang‘s first start on September 8, 2005, after returning from the DL was not a good one. Continuing a masterful season against the boys from the Bronx, the Devil Rays jumped on Wang for four hits and two runs in the first, and went on to record a 7-4 win. Carl Crawford led the way with three hits, two of them doubles.
  • The Yanks and the Tigers actually waged a good battle for the pennant in 1961, but it fell apart in late August. The Bombers’ win over Cleveland, 9-1, on September 8 was their ninth straight, which coincided with eight consecutive Detroit losses, resulting in a 10-game Yankee lead. Mickey Mantle hit his 52nd homer.
  • Despite a three-run Tigers fourth inning against Roger Clemens in Yankee Stadium on September 8, 2002, he hung on for a 7-4 victory on the strength of singleton home runs by Jason Giambi and Derek Jeter, and a three-run shot by Designated Hitter Rondell White.
  • It was lightning that caused the September 8, 1939, 4-1 Yankee victory over the Red Sox to be called after seven, though Red Sox fans can be forgiven for thinking that a “higher power” was against them too.
  • On September 8, 2017, catcher Austin Romine had his roster status changed by the Yankees, and then the team activated fellow backstop Gary Sanchez.
  • The Yankees activated lefthanded reliever Ron Villone from the 15-day disabled list on September 8, 2007.
  • The Yankees activated righthander Humberto Sanchez, the biggest cog in the Gary Sheffield trade to the Tigers, from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to AA Trenton on September 8, 2008. Believe it or not, Sanchez is back and throwing decently, I wrote here in early 2009. One for the nonbelievers. The team designated righty Scott Patterson for assignment on September 8, 2008 too.
  • It was September 8, 1998, when Mark McGwire stroked his 62nd homer to finally break Roger Maris‘s single-season record. Roger held the record longest, however, and there is no controversy, let’s say, swirling around Maris’s total.
  • Despite the protestations of many a Yankee fan who do not remember any days that good, Danny Tartabull drove in nine runs in a 16-4 win over the Orioles on September 8, 1992, helping Scott Sanderson to the win. Danny included two homers and a double in his 5-for-5 line on the day.
  • Toby Harrah is another Yankee not generally held in high regard by fans, but his four hits paced the Yankee 15-hit attack in a 12-6 victory over the Red Sox on September 8, 1984. Dave Winfield extended his hitting streak to 20 with a double, and Joe Cowley got the win.
  • Houston’s Darryl Kile, who since passed away suddenly and tragically, no-hit the Mets, 7-1, on September 8, 1993.
  • The Yankees honored Joe McCarthy at Old Timers Day in the Bronx on September 8, 1951. In the regular game, Mickey Mantle‘s seventh-inning blast to the last row of the right field bleachers, estimated at 460 feet, broke a scoreless tie, and Eddie Lopat shut out the Senators in a 4-0 win.
  • Even though the Yankees beat Washington 6-3 behind Babe Ruth‘s three-run homer on September 8, 1928, they fell into second place behind the A’s, who were sweeping two in Fenway. The Boston crowd actually cheered the A’s in their own home ballpark as they beat the Red Sox, because the sweep edged Philly past the Yankees.
  • Warren Spahn of the Braves tied Christy Mathewson with his 13th 20-win season when he beat the Phillies on September 8, 1963, 3-2. Other hurlers who reached the 20-win total this day include both Ferguson Jenkins (Cubs) and Mickey Lolich (Tigers) in 1972; 20-year-old Bob Feller (Indians) in 1939; Walter Johnson (Senators) in 1924. And Dizzy Dean (Cardinals), who did them all five better with his 25th in 1935. Finally, the aforementioned Mathewson went 11 innings for his 30th in a 1-0 win over the Brooklyn Superbas on September 8, 1908.
  • It was Ron Guidry‘s 10th straight victory when the Yanks beat the Tigers, 5-4, on September 8, 1979. Graig Nettles‘s eighth-inning homer was the game winner.
  • The Yankees beat the Red Sox 4-0 in Fenway Park on September 8, 2000, but the most gripping moment was when Ryan Thompson, unsuccessfully making a bid for a postseason spot in the Yankee outfield, smacked a ninth-inning line drive to the face of Boston reliever Bryce Florie.
  • The big blow in the Yankees’ 8-1 victory over Walter Johnson and the Senators on this day in 1922 was Wally Pipp‘s three-run sixth-inning home run. This win behind Carl Mays while the Browns were losing to Detroit moved New York into first place for good that season.
  • Foretelling powerful years to come, Babe Ruth‘s 26th 1919 home run in a Boston doubleheader sweep over New York on September 8 broke Buck Freeman‘s 1899 home run record of 25 in a season. The tater came off Jack Quinn as the Red Sox won 3-1 and 3-0.
  • New York’s Ray Caldwell fashioned his only 1917 shutout in a 2-0 blanking of Washington in the first of two on September 8, 1917. Senators hurler Doc Avers won the nightcap 5-0 over Yankee Nick Cullop.
  • Now two days removed from his return from a Yankees suspension, Babe Ruth hit his 300th career home run off Boston’s Chester Ross in a 7-4 Yankee win over the Red Sox on September 8, 1925.
  • Wally Schang of the A’s became the first switch hitter to homer from both sides of the plate in one game in a September 8, 1916 Philadelphia 8-2 victory over the Yankees.
  • Despite a season-ending pregame freak injury to free-agent outfielder Steve Kemp, the Yanks beat the Brewers 6-5 on September 8, 1983. An Omar Moreno line drive fractured Kemp’s cheekbone in batting practice before the game.
  • After the Yanks won the regularly scheduled game over Detroit 5-4 on September 8, 1932, the two teams replayed the August 1 victory by the Yanks, as Detroit’s protest was upheld. But that game ended in a 7-7 tie this night. Sam Byrd, subbing for an ailing Babe Ruth in the opener, notched five hits with two home runs.
  • On September 8, 2012, the Yankees activated righthander Ivan Nova from the 15-day disabled list.
  • Current Yankee VP Gene Michael was fired from his job managing the Cubs on September 8, 1987.
  • And speaking of managers, Billy Martin was hired to take over the Rangers in that capacity on September 8, 1973.
  • On the way to a series with the Indians, the Yanks played an ill-advised exhibition game with the Pirates on September 8, 1920, as starting everyday players Muddy Ruel and Ping Bodie were both injured.
  • Bob Feller racked up his 300th strike out of the season on September 8, 1946.
  • During a 9-3 Cinncy Reds victory over the Phillies in Shibe Park on September 8, 1954, Richie Ashburn fouled off 14 straight strikes after going to a 3-2 count, and then he walked on no. 15.
  • Cubs reliever Bruce Sutter struck out the first six men he faced in a 3-2 Chicago win over the Expos on this day in 1977. Sutter struck out the side in the ninth on nine pitches. It was delayed justice that he finally earned entry into the Hall of Fame.
  • And we’ll use that 3-2 Cubs win to begin a look at some September 8 highlights involving one-time Yankees wearing other uni’s, as new New York bullpen coach Joe Kerrigan took the loss. Mr. Kerrigan had a better day one year sooner, coming away with both wins as the Expos swept the Cards 7-5 and 8-7 on September 8, 1976. And on this day in 1965, Kansas City A’s player Bert Campaneris, who would play his final 60 games for the 1981 Yankees, played all nine positions.
  •  
    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • Righthander Oral Hildebrand (1977) is the first of four Yankee players to have died on September 8 on our list. The 11-5 mark with two saves he posted during 34 games (15 starts) for the 1939-1940 Yankees ended his career. Added to his 1931-1938 tours with the Indians and the Browns, his numbers grow to 83-78-13. Second baseman/shortstop Bill Knickerbocker (1963) had 64 hits in 165 at bats playing 97 games with the 1938-1940 Yankees, with two home runs and 32 rbi’s. Bill spent much of his 1933-1942 time in the bigs with Cleveland, and he accumulated 28 long balls and drove in 368 runs overall. Switch-hitting righthander George Prentiss (1902) makes the list based on the two games (both starts) he pitched for the 1902 Orioles, the franchise that would relocate to New York as the Highlanders the next season. He lost one game in Baltimore, and posted an overall mark of 3-3-0, combined with his 1901-1902 tour with the Americans. And newest to the list, lefthanded first baseman Bob Hale (2012) played the last 11 games of his big-league career with the Yanks, with a single home run knocking in his lone rbi. Playing mostly with Baltimore from 1955 to 1962, Bob had two home runs with 89 rbi’s.
  • First baseman/catcher John Kerins (1919), who hit most of his 20 home runs with 217 rbi’s from 1884-1890 with the Colonels, is the first of five noteworthy nonYankee players who have died on September 8. Southpaw Joe Boehling (1941) won 55, lost 50, and saved five games from 1912-1920 with the Senators and the Indians. Honestly, I only include righthander Earl Mattingly (1993), who went 0-1-0 in eight games (no starts) with the Dodgers in 1931, because he shares his last name with my second-favorite Yankee. Righthander George Zuvernik (2014) posted a 32-36 mark with 40 saves from 1951 through 1959 playing mostly for Baltimore, with stops in Detroit and Cleveland too. Another righthander (though a switch hitter), Joaquin Andujar(2015), who is the newest member of this group, pitched from 1976 through 1988 to a 127-118 mark with nine saves, mostly for Houston and St. Louis.
  •  
    Players Who Were Born This Day

  • Seven of the nine games in Larry McCall‘s (1952) major league career were with the 1977 and 1978 Yankees, qualifying him as the only Yankee September 8 birthday. He went 1-2 in the Bronx, giving up 32 hits and getting seven strike outs, before finishing his career with two games for the Texas Rangers in 1979. Signed as a free agent with the Yankees in April 1976, McCall was traded by New York with Mike Heath, Sparky Lyle, Dave Rajsich, Domingo Ramos, and cash to the Texas Rangers for Dave Righetti, Juan Beniquez, Mike Griffin, Paul Mirabella, and minor leaguer Greg Jemison in November 1978.
  • Worthy of Yankee birthday mention, however, are two other guys who were with the team, though not for any regular-season play. First baseman Ossie Blanco (1945), who knocked in 10 runs during stints with the 1970 White Sox and the 1974 Indians, was sent from Kansas City to the Yankees in an unknown transaction before the 1967 season; one year later, New York moved Ossie to the White Sox. And lefty Lou Sleater (1926), 12-18 from 1950-1958 mostly with the Browns and the Tigers, was traded by St. Louis with Bobby Hogue, Tom Upton, and Kermit Wahl to the Yankees for Cliff Mapes in July 1951. The Kansas City Athletics purchased Sleater from the Yankees in April 1955.
  • Other birthdays lead off with Hall of Fame Negro Leagues player Buck Leonard (1907); and Ken Forsch (1946), who with his brother, Bob Forsch, became the first set of brothers to each throw a no-hitter in the bigs. Also: Jim Bagby (1916), who went 97-96 mostly with the Red Sox and the Indians from 1938-1947; Don Aase (1954); Mike Rivera (1976), who got a look as a potential Yankee backup catcher in March 2010; Gil Meche (1978); Nick Hundley (1983), who does catch, but is not related to former catchers Todd or Randy Hundley; Bobby Parnell (1984); Logan Schafer (1986); Alex Sanabia (1988); Chance Ruffin (1988); Gerrit Cole (1990), a painful case for the Yankees because before landing with Pittsburgh, he was drafted by New York and refused to sign; Dan Altavilla (1992); and Nick Williams (1993).