November 7 in Yankee History

  • The Yanks engineered a great deal on November 7, 1997, a judgment we can make before we even know who the infamous “Player to Be Named Later” (PTBNL) was, although the plot just took another twist in the 2006 ALDS. Kenny Rogers made three starts for the Yanks in the 1996 playoffs and put the team in an early hole all three times. Jimmy Leyritz‘s homer off Mark Wohlers rescued the Yanks in Game Four of the World Series, but Kenny had to go. But not only was he sent to Oakland for a PTBNL, that no-name would become eventual 1998 World Series MVP Scott Brosius. Brosius wore no. 7 with the A’s, so the later-arriving Jason Giambi was forced to settle for 16; its parts add up to seven, as does his 25 in New York. The connection is that both Scott’s and Jason’s fathers were big fans of Mickey Mantle. Brosius’s stingy defense, classy demeanor, and ability to provide clutch offense was huge, and it culminated with the game-tying home run he hit in the bottom of the ninth of Game Five of the 2001 World Series. But the postscript, of course, is that Rogers had a part in sending the Yanks home in 2006. Continue reading
  • November 6 in Yankee History

  • Joe, Vince, and Dom DiMaggio played together for the first time on November 6, 1938, as they comprised the outfield in an all-star game for charity on the West Coast. Joe had started with the Yankees in 1936, Vince with the Boston Braves the year after, and Dom would make his major-league debut with the Red Sox in 1940. Continue reading
  • November 4 in Yankee History

  • It was a long time coming until I could feel a little better about the report on the big loss that follows this game in today’s history, but fans smiled a wide Yankee smile on November 4, 2009, the day the Yanks rode six rbi’s from Series MVP Hideki Matsui to Championship No. 27. Homering, singling and doubling for two runs each his first three times to the plate, the first two off Pedro Martinez, Matsui gave Andy Pettitte a big lead that held up despite a two-run homer by strikeout-prone Ryan Howard in the sixth. The pen held it from there, impressively on consecutive strike outs of Chase Utley, Howard, and Jason Werth, the first two by the superb southpaw Damaso Marte. The Werth whiff came via the masterful Mariano Rivera, who closed it out by getting the last five outs of the 7-3 Yankee win. Yankee World Series hero from 1998 and 2001 Scott Brosius threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and Kelli O’Hara and Mary J. Blige sang. Lots to sing about! Continue reading
  • November 3 in Yankee History

  • The bold move the Yanks pulled off on November 3, 1992, might stand as a cautionary tale for fans, such as myself, who don’t want to trade any young Yankee talent away today. I was stunned when I heard the Yanks had traded star outfielder Roberto Kelly, and in shock that it wasn’t at least in exchange for the always-in-short-supply commodity: pitching. That the arriving Paul O’Neill had been largely a platoon player added salt to my wounds. But Paul’s incredible performance in the Bronx, where he combined a strong right field arm, and 185 homers with 858 rbi’s over the following eight years, with a passion for the game unmatched in my lifetime, healed those wounds many times over. Continue reading
  • November 2 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees threatened a big come-from-behind win before falling 8-6 to the Phillies in Philadelphia in game 5 of the 2009 World Series on November 2. After the home team jumped on A.J. Burnett for six runs through six outs, the pen held the home team until Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez hit singleton jacks in the seventh. Too bad because the Yanks scored three in the eighth on Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez doubles and one more in the ninth to forge the final score. Continue reading
  • November 1 in Yankee History

  • The Yankees managed only five hits off Miguel Batista in World Series Game Five on November 1, 2001. Mike Mussina allowed only five as well, but two were singleton homers by Steve Finley and Rod Barajas in the fifth, and the Yanks entered the ninth inning down 2-0. Undaunted, Yankee fans spent the better part of an inning cheering Paul O’Neill, playing his last Yankee Stadium game, win or lose. Everyone rooting back then remembers that Scott Brosius duplicated Tino Martinez‘s feat from the day before with a two-run, two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth, game-tying homer off Byung-Hyun Kim. Albie Lopez was the eventual loser when Alfonso Soriano singled in Chuck Knoblauch in the 12th. But in a perhaps forgotten detail, Soriano had made a diving catch of a one-out, bases-loaded, infield-in liner off Reggie Sanders in the 11th to keep the game going. Continue reading
  • October 31 in Yankee History

  • There is a little boy in me who fell for the game of baseball, the New York Yankees, and Mickey Mantle over 40 years ago, but the white-hot ardor and passion were just like brand-new as the clock approached 12 on the night of October 31, 2001. Just making the experience more wonderful was that I had my niece, in whom I had instilled the same love, with me when Tino Martinez drilled the first pitch he saw from Byung-Hyun Kim for a two-run, two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth, game-tying World Series home run. The sense of the unreal and the impossible was heightened by the fact that Kim had looked untouchable until then. He struck out the side in order in the eighth, retired Derek Jeter on a grounder to start the ninth, and recovered from allowing a six-pitch single the other way to Paul O’Neill by whiffing Bernie Williams on three pitches. The Yanks prevailed, 4-3 when “Mr. November,” Derek Jeter, homered to right on the ninth pitch of a two-out at bat in the 10th inning. Wow! Continue reading
  • October 30 in Yankee History

  • On October 30, the Yanks turned the tables on the Diamondbacks and won Game Three in the 2001 World Series behind Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera, 2-1, in Yankee Stadium. Jorge Posada accounted for the first Bomber run off loser Brian Anderson with a homer, and Scott Brosius delivered the game-winner with a sixth-inning single. President Bush threw out the honorary first pitch in a devastated post-9/11 New York. All fans, therefore, were guided through airport-like metal detectors when entering, the only time the Yanks have utilized that level of security. Continue reading