The big blow in the Yanks’ stirring 13-7 victory over visiting Cleveland on August 5, 2016, was Starlin Castro‘s grand slam off Josh Tomlin, highlighting a five-run home third. But the remarkable thing about this one was all the tack-on runs the Bombers added along the way, including two-run rallies in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. First baseman Mark Teixeira, who had earlier in the day announced that he would be retiring at the end of the season, had two hits and scored twice. In one of their more popular promos in recent years, this one took place on Star Wars Night in Yankee Stadium. Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner went yard back to back in the seventh.
Rookie righthander Luis Severino, who was activated earlier in the day for this start, gave up just two hits with no walks while striking out seven over five innings facing the Red Sox in Yankee Stadium on August 5, 2015, but he was doubly unfortunate. First, the two safeties were long balls off the bats of Alejandro de Aza and David Ortiz. And second, the Yankees were facing knuckleballer Steven Wright, who allowed four hits and two walks while striking out nine in eight frames. One of the four was Carlos Beltran‘s seventh-inning bomb, in the 2-1 Boston win.
On a first-ever “Photo Day” in the Bronx, on this day in 2012, legions of Yankee season ticket holders got to assemble along the Yankee Stadium warning track before the Sunday afternoon game and meet and greet all the Yankee players, a time where I got to have a several-minute conversation with Alex Rodriguez, who unfortunately became persona non grata in the game in 2013. His tide thankfully turned in 2015. In the game that followed, the Bombers outscored the Mariners 6-2 on three Raul Ibanez rbi’s and three runs scored by Chris Stewart.
Even in the lean times of the late sixties and late and mid-eighties, one of the best things about being a Yankee fan was all the special days they would have in honor of great players, as on August 5, 1984, when Lou Piniella Day was held in the Stadium. The Yankees won the game after the ceremonies, 4-0 over the Indians, behind Ray Fontenot.
The Yanks had a decent shot at beating David Price and the Tigers in the stadium on August 5, 2014, when home runs from Brian McCann and Martin Prado and a double from light-hitting Brendan Ryan gave Hiroki Kuroda a 3-1 lead through five, but the Yankee offense was done for the day, and Detroit came back to tie on singleton runs in the sixth and the seventh. Netting just two singles from the fifth inning on, the Yanks fell 4-3 in 12 when Alex Avila homered off Matt Daley.
When Mike Mussina and the Yankees outdueled Gil Meche and the Royals 8-5 in Yankee Stadium on August 5, 2007, both teams and 50,000-plus fans were in agreement on one thing: The strike zone of home plate ump Adam Dowdy was among the most bizarre and inconsistent any of us had ever seen. Hideki Matsui hit his 100th Yankee home run, and Melky Cabrera and Bobby Abreu both drove in two runs on multiple hits.
On August 5, 1959, Don Mossi of the Tigers and Bobby Shantz of the Yanks carried a scoreless duel into the eighth, until Mickey Mantle delivered a two-run homer in an eventual 3-0 Yankee win.
Some 100-year-old Yankee highlights: First, on August 5, 1904, the Highlanders (Yankees) beat Cleveland 5-0 to send the AL race into a virtual three-way tie, with New York (.614) technically first over Chicago (.613) and Cleveland (.611).
And one year later in 1905, the Yankees swept the visiting Browns, 3-1 and 6-5, as first baseman Hal Chase set a record with 38 putouts.
And on this day in 1901, the AL Baltimore Orioles outfit that would be relocated to New York about 18 months later split a double dip with Boston, coming back for a 9-0 win after falling in the first, 3-1. Orioles first baseman Burt Hart responded to being called out on a play at third base by punching umpire John Haskell.
Leading off, Derek Jeter went yard on Texas righty Colby Lewis‘s seventh pitch on August 5, 2003, and then homered for two more runs with two down in the second, with both shots going to right center. Roger Clemens pitched seven innings for the 6-2 Yankee win, and Hideki Matsui and Jason Giambi homered as well.
Derek Jeter reached base four times, with three hits, but it was not enough as tallies off Ramiro Mendoza in the eighth and Jay Witasik in the ninth gave the visiting Angels a 4-3 win on this day in 2001.
On August 5, 1983, the same AL President Lee MacPhail who had already overruled his umpires in disallowing the Yankees’ win in the “Pine Tar” Game suspended Yankees Manager Billy Martin for the second time on the year for abusing umpires. This ruling followed Billy referring to ump Dale Ford as a “stone liar.” One wonders if standing behind the umps’ on-field calls, particularly those based on the rulebook, would have better defended them against abuse.
In one of the most memorable ESPN games, the Indians staged a huge comeback to overcome the Mariners, 15-14, in 11 innings on August 5, 2006. Trailing 12-0 and then 14-2, the Indians scored three runs in the seventh inning, four in the eighth, and five in the ninth, capped by Omar Vizguel‘s bases-loaded triple off Kaz Sasaki. In the 11th, Kenny Lofton, Vizguel, and Jorbert Cabrera singles plated the game-winner.
Former Yankee Cliff Johnson broke the major league record for career pinch-hit homers when he stroked his 19th in a 4-3 Blue Jays win over the Orioles on August 5, 1984.
Lou Gehrig had to leave a rain-soaked battle with the Red Sox on August 5, 1935 with a lumbago attack, and both teams’ managers were fined for using hurry-up and stalling tactics, though the Yankees prevailed in the game, 10-2.
Lefty Gomez‘s one-hit, 3-0, victory over the A’s on August 5, 1934 could have been a no-hitter, as Jimmie Foxx‘s fly ball fell among three Yankee fielders, either one of whom could have fielded it.
The first seven Phillies batters hit safely against Bill Bonham of the Cubs on this day in 1975, setting a record. The second of those seven straight safeties was a single by recent Yankee third base coach Larry Bowa. The Phils went on to win, 10-0.
Babe Ruth toyed with batting righthanded several times in his career, including late in a 9-8, 11-inning win over the Browns on August 5, 1923. The Babe homered twice, and Bob Meusel‘s single plated the winning run after Ruth received his second intentional walk (batting right-handed).
On August 5, 2021, the Yankees optioned center fielder Greg Allen to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders; sent righthander Clarke Schmidt on a rehab assignment to the AA Somerset Patriots; and placed catcher Gary Sanchez on the 10-day injured list. The team also activated lefthander Wandy Peralta and selected the contract of catcher Rob Brantly from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
On August 5, 2020, the Yankees activated righthander Luis Cessa from the 10-day injured list.
As reported in the game report at the top of this column, the Yankees selected the contract of righthander Luis Severino from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on August 5, 2015, making room by optioning righty Nick Rumbelow to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team also activated right fielder Garrett Jones; optioned righty Caleb Cotham to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; and designated righthander Danny Burawa for assignment.
Although he had helped quite a bit in 2008, third baseman Cody Ransom struggled in 2009 when he had an opportunity as Alex Rodriguez missed the early season with hip surgery. But Ransom, who has resurfaced with the 2010 Phillies, was designated for assignment by the Yankees on August 5, 2009. The Bombers recalled Anthony Claggett from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre to fill Ransom’s spot.
August 5, 2014, moves around the Yankees had to do with (trying to) fix lefthanded relief, as the team released Jeff Francis as the Washington Nationals claimed lefty Matt Thornton off waivers from the Yankees. Then, New York selected the contract of southpaw Rich Hill from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Braves knuckleballer Phil Niekro no-hit the Padres 9-0 on August 5, 1973. And on this day in 1940, John Whitehead of the Browns threw a six-inning, rain-shortened no-no at the Tigers, 4-0.
A very confusing day in the Bronx, August 5, 2013, as the Yankees placed catcher Francisco Cervelli on the restricted list the same day they activated third baseman Alex Rodriguez from the 60-day disabled list. The team also placed shortstop Derek Jeter on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 3, with a right calf strain; designated utility player Brent Lillibridge for assignment; and yet again recalled infielder David Adams from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
The most recent of three sets of players inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 5 occurred in 2001. The elevation of Dave Winfield, along with Kirby Puckett, Bill Mazeroski, and Negro Leagues star Hilton Smith is a problematic one for some Yankee fans, but not this one. Winny played hard here. We rejoice in Dave’s accomplishment regardless of cap worn that day. But most acknowledge that Mazeroski beat out many peers at second based primarily on the Game Seven home run that beat the Yanks in the 1960 World Series, not his career body of work. And New York fans also scratch their heads looking at Puckett’s numbers (in on his first try!) and wonder how it’s possible that Don Mattingly received so little support.
Jim Palmer and Joe Morgan were inducted into the Hall on this day in 1990, no complaint there, nor is there any with Willie Mays, NL President Warren Giles, and Hack Wilson being so honored in 1979.
August 5, 1921, marked the first broadcast of a major league game, when Harold Arlin announced the Phillies/Pirates game on the radio.
Yesterday we feted future Yankee Doc Gooden for having won 11 in a row for the 1985 Mets. On August 5, 1985, eventual Bomber Darryl Strawberry hit three home runs as the Mets took first place in the NL East. In another big day for a one-time Yankee player, Bobby Shantz of the Athletics was way ahead of the pack when he won his 20th game of the season on August 5, 1952.
Until recently, catcher Herb Crompton (1963) was easily the seniority leader among the two Yankee players who have died on August 5 based on the 36 games he played with the 1945 club, but the loss in 2020 of long-time switch-hitting, righty-throwing second baseman Horace Clarke changed all of that. Debuting with 1965 club, Horace played 1,230 games in the Bronx, with 27 home runs and 300 rbi’s through 1974, a year in which he finished off his career with four more runs driven in (with no additional long balls) in 42 games with the Padres. Clarke, though not a star, was much beloved of a whole generation of Yankee fans. Compton, on the other hand, went 19-for-99, drove in 12 runs, but did not homer; his only other play was two game appearances with no numbers with the 1937 Senators. And righthander Jim Marquis‘s (1992) two games (no starts) for the 1925 Yankees were his only big-league games. He allowed 12 hits and six walks in 7.33 innings, but pitched to no record.
Hall of Famer Tommy McCarthy, a top outfielder in the 1890s, passed away on August 5, 1922 at the age of 58. He tops a long list of nonYankee players to have died this day. He hit 44 home runs and drove in 735 runs mostly with the Browns, the Beaneaters, and the Phillies from 1884-1896. Jocko Conlan (1987) drove in just 17 runs with no homers playing second base for 1923 Braves, but he makes the list based on his long service as an umpire. Four righty throwers make the list: Bob Caruthers (1911) won 218, lost 99, and saved three games with the Browns and the Bridegrooms from 1884-1892; Jesse Haines posted most of his 210-158-10 mark from 1918-1937 with the Reds; Willis Hudlin (2002) won 158, lost 156, and saved 31 playing primarily in Ohio too but in Cleveland from 1926-1944; and George Chalmers (1960) threw for the Phillies only from 1910-1916, to a 29-41-6 record. Lefty-hitting outfielder Ed Coleman (1964) reached 40 fences and knocked in 246 runs from 1932-1936 with the A’s and the Browns; and portsided-hitting catcher Darrell Porter (2002) hit 188 roundtrippers good for 826 rbi’s from 1971-1987 for the Brewers, the Royals, the Cardinals, and the Rangers. And righthander Vito Valentinetti (2021) pitched from 1954-1959, to a 13-14 record with three saves. He tossed for the Cubs in 1956 and 1957, and the Senators in 1958 and 1959, plus three other stops.
Players Who Have Died This Day
The first five August 5 Yankee birthdayers listed here played a total of 73 games for the team in the Bronx, and are presented in a descending pyramid of service. First baseman John Olerud (1968) took over the seniority lead once he signed a free agent contract with the team in 2004. John played 49 games in Pinstripes, collecting four home runs with 26 rbi’s in that season. John had an awesome 1993 with Toronto where he played the first eight of his 17 seasons. The battling title winner that year at .363, he led in OPS, On-base percentage, doubles, times on base, and intentional walks as well.
Lefty Jerry Nielsen (1966) went 1-0 in 20 games for the 1992 Yanks and finished his career by throwing in 10 more games for the Angels the following year. He was an 18th round choice in the 1988 amateur draft, and the Yanks sent him with J.T. Snow and Russ Springer to the California Angels for Jim Abbott in December 1992.
After three years in Detroit, Sam Gibson (1899) went 0-1 in two games for the 1930 Yanks, and finished up with the Giants in 1932.
Doc Adkins (1872) posted no wins or losses but one save in two games for the 1903 team, after having thrown in four games for the 1902 Boston club.
And last to be mentioned, until 2009 anyway, because he did not play any games with the parent club in the Bronx is outfielder Ossie Chavarria (1937). The Yankees acquired Ossie with Danny Cater from the Oakland Athletics for Al Downing and Frank Fernandez in December 1960. One year later they sent him to the Mexico City Tigers for third baseman Celerino Sanchez. Chavarria hit two home runs with 14 rbi’s with the 1966-1967 Kansas City A’s.
New York added another player to the Yankee birthday fold once Eric Hinske (1977) was acquired from Pittsburgh in July 2009. A 2002 Rookie of the Year with Toronto, this infielder/outfielder accumulated more than 130 home runs and 500 rbi’s since his debut, and plays for the Braves from 2010-2012, and in Arizona in 2013. Eric, who hit seven home runs and drove in 14 runs for the Yanks in 2009, played in the World Series in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Once he was acquired with three other players from Cleveland for Andrew Miller in a trade deadline deal in 2016, righthander Ben Heller (1991) became the seventh Yankee to share this birth date. Drafted by the Indians in 2013, Ben has posted a win in each year, with 10 appearances with the Yanks in ’16, and nine in 2017. Ben had arm surgery before the 2018 season, pitched in six games in 2019, and six more in 2020. He holds a 2-0 record with no saves in 26 games, all in New York, and was released to create roster space in February 2021.
Other birthdays: Tommie Aaron (1939); Cardinals righty Nelson Briles (1943), who went 129-112 from 1965-1978; Bernie Carbo (1947); Rick Mahler (1953); Dave Rozema (1956); John Wasdin (1972); Bobby Kielty (1976); Mark Mulder (1977); Carl Crawford (1981); Tim Fedorowicz (1987); Chasen Bradford (1989); Nick Martinez (1990); Andrew Bellatti (1991); Domingo Santana (1992); and Braxton Garrett (1997).
Players Born This Day