A fanbase livid at an inexplicable two years of light-hitting Stephen Drew starting at second base exploded in anger during a 5-3 loss to visiting Baltimore on September 9, 2015. Drew actually had one hit in this one, but his bobble of what should have been a 4-6-3 double play in the first, and a following error on a third-inning grounder, led to three Baltimore runs, the only tallies they would manage until the Birds scored singleton runs in the eighth and ninth against the weaker end of the Yankee bullpen. Facing Ubaldo Jimenez, the Yanks amazingly managed to score three runs on just four hits, and would have had a lead worth “saving” once the late innings arrived, if not for the sloppy work of the usually sure-handed Mr. Drew.
Game Three of the 1978 Boston Massacre leads things off for September 9 highlights, as Ron Guidry threw a two-hit shutout and the Yanks rode a seven-run fourth inning off Dennis Eckersley to a 7-0 victory. Gator’s shutout was the first by a lefty in Fenway in four years.
It was a sad day in the Bronx on September 9, 1999, as the news arrived that Catfish Hunter had passed away. It was difficult to not feel that the franchise had been unfairly treated with the loss of a second of its brightest lights to Lou Gehrig‘s Disease. The “numbers” will tell you that Cat won three of his five rings in Oakland, and that he won his Cy Young and threw a Perfect Game there as well. But he did win two rings in New York, and went 63-53 there from 1975-1979. And last, despite the incredible year teammate Ron Guidry had with his 25-3 mark in 1978, there is little doubt that the Yankee climb from 14 games back to snare a title could not have been achieved without Hunter’s 6-0 August.
The Yankees threw a Whitey Ford Day celebration in the Bronx on September 9, 1961. After the festivities, the fans who stayed for the long haul got their money’s worth as the Bombers used a four-run ninth to enable reliever Luis Arroyo to notch a fourth straight victory, 8-7 over the Indians. Roger Maris hit his 56th homer off Mudcat Grant.
An Edgar Renteria double crowned a four-hit, three-run second inning vs. Aaron Small and the Yanks on September 9, 2005, lifting ex-Bomber David Wells to a 3-1 lead he could not hold. Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez homers tied matters, Derek Jeter singled in the lead run in the fourth, and a four-run Yankee fifth-inning uprising was keyed by a Bernie Williams single that was his 2,200th career hit. Small pitched into the seventh to earn the 8-4 Yankee win over Boston.
The Bronx Bombers beat the White Sox 9-3 on September 9, 1953, when Mickey Mantle hit a two-run homer off Billy Pierce to cap a seven-run fifth inning.
The Yankees showed signs of emerging from a particularly bad time when they beat the Red Sox 6-3 in Fenway Park on September 9, 1974. They hadn’t won in Boston since July of the previous season in a streak of futility that had them winning just two of 24 in Massachusetts.
Mickey Mantle‘s leadoff home run on the first pitch from Dick Starr of the Senators got the ball rolling, so to speak, and the Yankees went yard five times (four off Starr) to take the first of two, 7-5, on September 9, 1951. Vic Raschi completed the sweep with a 2-0 win in the nightcap, which lasted six innings.
Yankee rookie Juan Rivera drew a line in the batter’s box with his bat’s handle before Baltimore lefty B.J. Ryan‘s 1-0 offering with two on and two down in a seventh-inning 1-1 tie with the Orioles on September 9, 2002. The marking’s meaning became apparent when he stroked an rbi single to right in an eventual 5-2 hometown win in Yankee Stadium.
Even though the “Yankee” nickname did not become official for the team still referred to as the Highlanders until 1913, another in a series of recorded usages of the new moniker appeared in the Boston Globe on September 9, 1904, with the report that “the Yankees take 2.”
The brief and unsuccessful playoff run that was to follow was largely unaffected by the recalls of righthanders Matt DeSalvo and Jeff Karstens, lefties Kei Igawa and Sean Henn, and outfielder Bronson Sardinha from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on September 9, 2007. But the purchase of the contract of righty Ross Ohlendorf from AAA did play a part, as Ross did make the postseason roster, though he failed to pitch well.
Despite being the third eight-rbi game of Lou Gehrig‘s career, including a grand slam, the Yanks fell 14-13 to the Tigers on September 9, 1932. In the game Frank Crosetti struck out four times, including twice in the same inning. Making matters worse, the two teams finally completed the replay of an August 1 protested game, which they had tried to do the day before, only to have it end in a tie. Detroit prevailed 4-1 in five innings, with New York garnering but two hits with their one score.
Brett Halsey was unable to take advantage when the Yankees jumped on Tampa’s Rob Bell for eight hits and seven runs in the home second on September 9, 2004, in a 10-5 New York win. When Halsey walked a Ray to load the bases in the fourth after allowing two runs in the third, Joe Torre came out with the hook, and Tanyon Sturtze got the win in relief. In the first game of the day/night double dip, Mike Mussina beat Dewon Brazelton 9-1.
Andy Pettitte rode a two-run homer by Nick Johnson off Hideo Nomo and a three-run blast from Tino Martinez against Rolando Arrojo to beat the Red Sox 6-2 in Yankee Stadium on September 9, 2001.
In an attempt at a phonetic twist, let me say that history seems to bear out that 9/9 is no-no day. In 1914, Boston Brave George Davis held the Phillies hitless in a 7-0 shutout; Philadelphia Athletic Dick Fowler allowed four walks but no hits in a 4-0 blanking of the St. Louis Browns in 1945; Brooklyn Dodger Rex Barney made it through a one-hour rain delay to throw one three years later, 2-0 over the crosstown Giants; and the Dodgers had relocated to LA by the time Sandy Koufax crowned the list by throwing a Perfect Game to whip Bob Henley and the Cubs, 1-0 in 1965. Ironically the only run scored two innings before Henley gave up his only hit, as the teams set a record in playing the only completed regulation game in history with only one hit allowed.
It was the earliest date to that time for a pennant clincher when the Yankees won their eighth with a doubleheader sweep over Cleveland on September 9, 1936. The Bombers brought their sticks; they won 11-3 and 12-9.
It was the “Stump years” in 1990, with the a dismal Yankee team being managed by Stump Merrill, and when the A’s beat New York 7-3 on September 9 of that year, it completed a 12-game season sweep of the Yanks, the first time the Pinstripers had ever “achieved” that dubious distinction against any one team.
George Pipgras and Waite Hoyt (see birthdays, below) earned the wins in front of 85,000-plus in Yankee Stadium on September 9, 1928. Pipgras blanked the visiting Philly A’s 3-0, while Hoyt won the nightcap 7-3 on the strength of an eighth-inning Bob Meusel grand slam off Ed Rommel.
Even though the Yankee 2-0 win over Washington on this day in 1938 was Lou Gehrig‘s 2,100th consecutive game, his role was a lot more than honorary. He stroked four safeties, lifting his batting average above .300.
Nomar Garciaparra had a big day for the Red Sox vs. the Yanks on September 9, 1997, as he hit two homers and increased his rbi number for the year to 87, a new record for a leadoff man. Unfortunately for Nomar, the only number that didn’t work out was the final score, which was 8-6, Yankees.
The Yankees beat the Browns 9-3 on September 9, 1927. It was the second win of a 17-4 stretch in Yankee Stadium at the end of the season. The Bombers honored second-year man Tony Lazzeri that day.
Dick Radatz and Lou Clinton were the Red Sox heroes of a 9-3 Boston win over the Yankees in 16 innings on this day in 1962. Radatz went nine innings in relief, while outfielder Clinton made four stellar catches, and contributed a home run, a triple, and a single.
On September 9, 2017, the Yankees activated catcher Austin Romine.
The Yankees recalled southpaw Richard Bleier from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on September 9, 2016.
Once no team claimed him once the Yanks released him, the team sent infielder Tyler Austin outright to the AA Trenton Thunder on September 9, 2015. The Yankees also activated southpaw CC Sabathia from the 15-day disabled list this day.
The Yankees activated left fielder Zoilo Almonte from the 15-day disabled list on September 9, 2013. At the time there was some hope that Almonte would be a player in New York, but he would be dfa’d at the close of the 2014 season.
In Yankee news on September 9, 2011, the Houston Astros claimed righthander Lance Pendleton off waivers from New York; and the Yankees recalled righty Dellin Betances from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
With their eyes always on the future, the Yankees designated left-handed pitcher Wilkin De La Rosa for assignment on September 9, 2010, and claimed lefty Steve Garrison off waivers from the San Diego Padres, then assigned him to AA Trenton. Garrison would make his major league debut in a brief appearance with the parent club in 2011.
In the throes of the Great Depression, the Yankees, (Brooklyn) Robins, and the Giants agreed to a round-robin series of benefit games in 1931. On September 9, Babe Ruth homered and the Bombers beat the Giants 7-2.
One of the most memorable Negro League games took place on September 9, 1934, in Yankee Stadium. In the contest Satchel Paige of the Pittsburgh Crawfords battled Slim Jones of the Philadelphia Stars to a 1-1 stalemate, called after nine due to darkness.
It is with some purpose that I include the fact that Bruce Sutter garnered his 300th save, joining Rollie Fingers and Rich Gossage in that achievement, on this day in 1988. As a Yankee and a Gossage fan, I found the until recently rectified Hall of Fame snub of Sutter to be perhaps the most egregious of all. I am delighted that the Hall finally dropped the other shoe and voted in “The Goose.”
It was as a center fielder that Robin Yount stroked the 3,000th hit of his career in a 5-4 Milwaukee loss to the Indians on September 9, 1992. The thing most observers credit Yount with primarily though is the fact that he attained All Star status at shortstop first, and then again in the outfield.
In light of several electric Wild Card races in the last 10 years, one has to give a tip of the baseball cap to the action the major leagues took on September 9, 1993, when they voted to split off a third division in each league and add the Wild Card.
Two pitchers who achieved the 20-win mark in a season on September 9 have a Yankee paragraph on their resumes, even if they did their most extended work elsewhere. Sal “the Barber” Maglie of the Giants won his 20th of the 1951 season 2-1 over Ralph Branca and the Dodgers. And knuckleballer Phil Niekro‘s (Braves) 2-1 win that matched the number in 1969 was against the Dodgers as well.
A Mets star hurler for a decade, Doc Gooden earned some plaudits with the Yankees later in his career, particularly with some big wins and a no-hitter in 1996. But he had a big moment wearing yet another uni on September 9, 1998. When Toronto’s Alex Gonzalez tied a record by striking out six times in a 6-3 loss to the Indians, Gooden recorded the first three K’s.
Honored above, righthander Jim Catfish Hunter (1999) is foremost among four Yankee players who have died on September 9. In addition to the Yankee achievements listed, Catfish won 224 games, lost 166, and saved one in his 1965-1979 career with the A’s and Yankees. Veteran Yankee hurler Urban Shocker died of pneumonia at the age of 38 on September 9, 1928. Shocker posted an 18-6 mark in 1927, but pitched only one game in 1928. Shocker both began and ended his career with the Yanks, posting a 12-8-1 mark from 1916-1917 and a 49-29-4 record from 1925-1928. The 1918-1924 stint with the Browns in the middle brought his career mark to 187-117-25. Outfielder Rube Oldring (1961) got his start in the bigs by playing eight games with the 1905 Highlanders, for whom he stroked nine hits in 30 at bats, good for one home run and six rbi’s. Like Mr. Shocker, Oldring had a second New York stint too, as he added another home run and 12 rbi’s hitting 37-for-158 in 43 games for the 1916 Yankees. Rube played with the A’s in between and in 1918 too, with overall numbers of 27 and 471. Lastly, outfielder Chappie Snodgrass (1951) makes the list because his only play was in three games for the 1901 AL Baltimore Orioles franchise that would be relocated to New York as the Highlanders in 1903. Snodgrass had one hit in 10 at bats, and drove in one run.
Hall of Famer Al Spalding (1915) leads off a list of seven noteworthy nonYankee players to have died this day, not only due to his pitching numbers, but his imprint on the game and his sporting goods empire as well. He threw 65 games (61 starts) to a 48-12-1 mark with the 1876-1877 Chicago White Stockings. There are three lefty-hitting outfielders: John Dobbs (1934) hit seven home runs with 207 runs driven in from 1901-1905 with the Reds, the Cubs, and the Brooklyn Superbas; Doc Cramer (1990) cleared 37 fences good for 842 rbi’s with the A’s, the Tigers, and the Red Sox from 1929-1948; and Richie Ashburn (1997) hit most of his 29 roundtrippers with 586 runs knocked in from 1948-1962 with the Phillies. Lefty-hitting shortstop Frank Shugart (1944) hit the better part of his 22 long balls with 384 rbi’s from 1890-1901 with the Pirates and the Browns; lefty thrower Ed Karger (1957) won 48, lost 67, and saved three from 1906-1911 mostly with the Cards and the Red Sox; and righthander Jesse Barnes (1961) posted a 152-150-13 mark from 1915-1927 with the Giants, the Braves, and the Dodgers.
Players Who Have Died This Day
I’ll dispose of the two 2003-team Yankee September 9 birthdays first, as Todd Zeile (1965) had some fine moments, and Dan Miceli (1972) turned in a nice relief appearance or two after he was acquired from the Indians along with Karim Garcia. Zeile, with six homers and 23 rbi’s in the Bronx, accumulated 253 career homers. Miceli earned one of his 33 career saves (through that time) with the Yankees.
Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt (1899) rightly leads off the other six. He amassed a 157-98 record and 28 saves during his 1921 through 1930 stay in New York, after playing a few seasons with the Giants and Red Sox and before finishing up with the Tigers, Phils, and Pirates. The Yanks raided the Red Sox in December 1920 for Waite, getting him with Harry Harper, Mike McNally, and Wally Schang for Muddy Ruel, Del Pratt, Sammy Vick, and Hank Thormahlen. New York traded Hoyt with Mark Koenig to the Detroit Tigers for Ownie Carroll, Yats Wuestling, and Harry Rice in May 1930.
Jerry Mumphrey‘s (1952) 1981-1983 stay in the Bronx was disappointing, more for the small amount of stolen bases (27) he provided after putting up big numbers in San Diego, than for his other offense (22 homers, 136 rbi’s). The cost in players to get Mumphrey and John Pacella from the Padres in April 1981 was Ruppert Jones, Joe Lefebvre, Tim Lollar, and Chris Welsh. Jerry was traded to the Astros for Omar Moreno in August 1983.
Hall of Fame player/manager Frank Chance (1877) led the Yanks in the 1913 and 1914 seasons while playing a little first base, the same position he played with the 1898 through 1912 Cubs. There he became etched into a nation’s consciousness as the keystone of “Tinkers to Evers to Chance.”
Infield utility guy Mike McNally (1892) supplied one homer and 45 rbi’s in the 1921 through 1924 seasons after six years in Boston and before finishing up with one in Washington. McNally arrived in the same 1920 Boston trade that brought Hoyt, and he was traded back to the Red Sox for Howie Shanks four years later.
Lefty-hitting outfielder Dan Costello (1891) went 1-for-2 in two games with the 1913 club before playing in Pittsburgh from 1914 through 1916 once they took him on waivers in January 1914. Southpaw Ambrose Puttmann (1880) went 6-7 with one save during 29 games with the 1903-1905 team and played four games for the 1906 Cardinals.
Not just because he signed a free agent deal with New York in February 2015, we include righthander Kyle Davies (1983) on this list because he actually did pitch with the club in an early-season game, and toils in the Yankee minors now. Kyle allowed three hits but no runs in 2.33 frames, striking out two, that day. In the preceding three years in Atlanta, then five years with Kansas City, Davies compiled a 43-65 record, starting 144 of 151 games during those seasons.
Finally, honorable mention goes to righthander Jim Corsi (1961) and second baseman Jay Ward (1938). Corsi won 22 and lost 24 mostly with Oakland and Boston until 1999, but he was a 25th round selection by the Yankees in the 1982 amateur draft. He was released in April 1984. Ward hit no homers but delivered four rbi’s to the Twins (1963-1964) and the Reds (1970), after starting his career as a 1956 Yankee amateur draft choice.
Hall of Fame Giants second baseman Frankie Frisch (1898) tops the list of other September 9 baseball birthdays of note; he is followed by: Tom Foley (1959); Alvin Davis (1960); Joey Hamilton (1970); Mike Hampton (1972); Kazuhisa Ishii (1973); Kyle Snyder (1977); Kurt Ainsworth (1978); Todd Coffey (1980); Edwin Jackson (1983); Alex Romero (1983); Mike Costanzo (1983); Brett Pil (1984); Michael Bowden (1986); Joey Terdoslavich (1986); Will Middlebrooks (1988); Anthony Ranaudo (1989); Billy Hamilton (1990); and Pat Valaika (1992).
Players Born This Day