July 17 in Yankee History

  • RBI hits by DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres carried the Yankees to a 3-1 victory over visiting Boston on July 17, 2021. Gerrit Cole struck out 11 in six innings with no relief in this one, as the game was called after six due to rain.
  • Beating lefty David Price, whatever uni he’s wearing (three, all AL East competitors so far), has become a fun and regular accomplishment of the Yankees, and they did not disappoint their fanbase in the ESPN Sunday night game on July 17, 2016, with a 3-1 victory. Off to an ominous start with a Dustin Pedroia home run off Masahiro Tanaka in the first, the Japanese righty stiffened and held the Red Sox right there on just two more hits through the sixth. The Yanks put up a three-run fourth on Starlin Castro, Austin Romine, and Jacoby Ellsbury rbi’s, and utilized their three-headed bullpen game-ending gang of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman for one of the last times before big-time trades would have a huge effect on the team’s present, and its future, to put this one away.
  • On July 17, 2021, the Yankees signed free agent shortstop Andrew Velazquez to a minor league contract, and sent righthander Corey Kluber on a rehab assignment to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The team also signed righthanders Brendan Beck, Chandler Champlain, and Danny Watson; second baseman Cooper Bowman, and shortstop Benjamin Cowles.
  • At first view, July 17, 1961, looked to be a good day in Yankee land. They beat the Orioles in the first game of a double dip in Baltimore 5-0, as Whitey Ford notched his 13th straight win and Mickey Mantle and Moose Skowron hit long home runs. But around the same time, Commissioner Ford Frick was ruling that to break Babe Ruth‘s record for home runs in a season, it would have to be done in 154 games, a slap at Roger Maris. Meanwhile, back in Baltimore, the second game went into rain delay one out before becoming an official game with the Yankees leading, 4-1. In 65 minutes the game was called, wiping out Mantle and Maris home runs. Had Roger’s dinger stood, he would have tied Ruth in 154 games.
  • A stark indication of how much better a year Alex Rodriguez had in 2015 than he would in ’16 can be seen in the 4-3 victory over visiting Seattle on July 17. The Mariners took a 3-2 lead on Cory Seager‘s second home run off Masahiro Tanaka in the fifth, but Alex scored the tying run in the bottom half following his leadoff single, and then he forged the final score with a home run to right center in the seventh. Of some note, this was Rob Refsnyder‘s first game in Yankee Stadium. With a home run and a double, Chris Young scored the other two runs for New York.
  • It was another emotional day in Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2010, as the team held the Old Timers Day ceremonies just a few days after both Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner had died. Still, the Old Timers managed to have a fun game, with the Bombers beating the Clippers 3-2 (although Rick Cerone, held up into a dp after singling in the second, can rightfully claim 4-2). Mickey Rivers scored twice on two hits, the second one the game winner. In one note of interest, former righthander David Cone played third base for a few outs. In the game that followed, however, A.J. Burnett had one of many bad 2010 days, and the Yanks fell 10-5 to the Tampa Rays.
  • On a hot day where ace CC Sabathia, on the day he came off the disabled list, only lasted six innings, it was one of the last good 2012 games in the Bronx for left fielder Andruw Jones, whose three-run second-inning bomb off Brett Cecil was a difference maker in the Yanks’ 6-1 win over Toronto on July 17. Seventh-inning hits by Jayson Nix, Chris Stewart, Derek Jeter, and Curtis Granderson produced three more runs to fill out the final score.
  • Former Yankee Shane Spencer staked the Indians to a 1-0 lead over the Bombers with a home run in the Stadium on July 17, 2003, but an Alfonso Soriano homer in the sixth tied things at two. Chris Hammond, in relief of Andy Pettitte, gave up two in the seventh, but Derek Jeter‘s two-run shot in the eighth tied things yet again. Then Hideki Matsui hit a walk-off game-winning home run on the second pitch of the home ninth, and the Yanks won, 5-4.
  • On July 17, 1950, Yankee Chairman of the Board Whitey Ford notched his first career victory, in a 4-3 win over Chicago. Tom Ferrick picked up the save.
  • Johnny Damon stroked the second of his three singles to crown a three-run second inning that carried the Yanks to a 4-2 win over Jarrod Washburn and the Seattle Mariners in a steamy Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2006. Chien-Ming Wang cashed in 16 ground-ball outs in seven innings for the win.
  • Jason Grimsley allowed a Bobby Abreu grand slam in relief of David Cone, who had already surrendered a three-run shot to young Pat Burrell in an interleague contest in Yankee Stadium on July 17, 2000. It was too much of a cushion for the Bombers to overcome, as they fell to the Phils, 10-8.
  • It was a conflicted day for Yankee fans on July 17, 1990. Mel Stottlemyre, Jr., the son of the former Yankee star, made his major league debut, allowing three runs while pitching one inning of relief for the K.C. Royals against the Bombers. While fans were happy Mel’s kid got to play, the bleak season Yankee starter Andy Hawkins was fashioning continued as he fell to 1-8 in the 10-7 loss.
  • Joe DiMaggio‘s 56-game hitting streak was stopped by the Indians on this day in 1941. The pitching was handled by Al Smith and Jim Bagby, Sr., but the man who stopped it most directly was third baseman Ken Keltner via several spectacular plays. Taking a little sting out of the frustrating day, the Yanks won the game, 4-3.
  • The Yanks had one of their best days of a trying, frustrating, and demanding season on July 17, 2005. First, they purchased the contract of righthander Aaron Small from AAA Columbus, designating infielder Russ Johnson for assignment and optioning outfielder Melky Cabrera to AAA to make room. No one anticipated the 10-0 record that would follow.
  • But it gets better. Yesterday we reported that the Bombers had acquired veteran lefty Al Leiter from Florida in 2005 also. On July 17, Al shut down the Red Sox in Fenway Park, allowing just three hits and one run over seven while striking out eight. Two-run homers by Jorge Posada (in the second) and Gary Sheffield (in the third) gave Al more offense than he needed, and Alex Rodriguez crowned the win with an eight-inning singleton jack in a 5-1 Yankee victory.
  • July 17 was not a good day in the Yanks’ ongoing rivalry with the Royals in the late 70s. When they fell to the Royals 9-7 on that day in 1978, it marked the second consecutive July 17 on which they suffered a third loss in a row to K.C. The 8-4 defeat in 1977 had pushed the Yanks three games back of the Orioles in the East. But the ’78 loss was worse, as it was in this game that slugger Reggie Jackson ignored Billy Martin‘s instructions and attempted to bunt. Martin suspended Jackson without pay for five days, and the Yanks sank to fourth place, 14 games behind the Red Sox.
  • The Yankees optioned righthander Domingo German to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on July 17, 2017.
  • On July 17, the Yankees activated infielder Brendan Ryan from the 15-day disabled list, clearing roster space by optioning infielder Gregorio Petit to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The team also signed lefthander Joshua Rogers.
  • The Yankees signed free agent lefthander Alexander Figueredo to a minor league contract on July 17, 2013.
  • On July 17, 2012, the Yanks made room on their 25-man roster for the returning CC Sabathia (from the 15-day disabled list) by optioning left fielder Darnell McDonald to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • Catching for the White Sox, Carlton Fisk stroked his 2,000th career hit in a Chicago 7-3 win over the Yankees on this day in 1989.
  • July 17, 2010, marked a southpaw bullpen in transition, as lefty reliever Damaso Marte was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 8 with a sore left shoulder, and the team recalled lefty Boone Logan from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Marte’s place.
  • On july 17, 2011, the Yankees optioned outfielder Greg Golson to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and recalled outfielder Chris Dickerson from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nothing would come of it when the Yanks signed first baseman Erubiel Durazo to a minor league contract and assigned him to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on July 17, 2007.
  • Eddie Lopat gave up 11 hits to the Browns on this day in 1948, but he spaced them nicely, getting his second shutout in a row and third on the year in a 4-0 win.
  • It was just a temporary reprieve the Baltimore Orioles received when the league took over the franchise after the team suffered a forfeit on July 17, 1902 because they were unable to field a team with just five players left. They finished the year with borrowed players from other teams, but it was clear the city was a no-go for an AL franchise at the time. It would be relocated to New York as the Highlanders in 1903.
  • The Yanks were in a streak in 1947. The newly acquired veteran hurler Bobo Newsom closed in on his 200th career win, and his first as a Yankee, and the team won its 18th in a row, 3-1, behind Newsom in the first game of two over the Indians on July 17 of that year. Vic Raschi got the win in the latter game, 7-2, as the ballclub’s winning streak reached 19.
  • Babe Ruth drew his 2,000th walk on July 17, 1934. His record of 2,056 was finally bested by Rickey Henderson more than 65 years later. Cleveland defeated the visiting Yankees 13-5 that day.
  • Two years later the Yanks rode third-inning homers by Red Rolfe, Lou Gehrig, and Bill Dickey to a 9-4 victory over the Tigers on July 17, 1936.
  • On July 17, 1998, both Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Belle hit their 300th career home runs, Palmeiro in a 4-1 Baltimore win over the Angels, while Belle’s carried the White Sox to a 4-3 victory against Cleveland.
  • Sometimes a moment in history triggers a baseball memory. Sometimes it’s the opposite. When I read that on July 17, 1996, the Yanks stormed from 9-2 behind Boston to take an 11-9 lead in Fenway, only to lose, 12-11, I remembered the game, mostly because I could neither hear it nor see it when it happened. I was running a long errand to the Jersey shore, comfortable in the belief that I could at least listen to the game — until Flight 800 fell out of the sky off the Long Island coast. Tragically, I listened to a very different kind of radio coverage all night, as hundreds of lives were lost.
  • When Bob Gibson struck out Cesar Geronimo in a 12-7 Cardinals loss to the Reds on July 17, 1974, he became the second pitcher to accumulate 3,000 career punch-outs.
  • Yankee hurler Ralph Terry and Chicago’s Early Wynn pitched shutout ball for eight innings in Yankee Stadium on July 17, 1959, but ninth-inning hits by Jim McAnany and Jim Landis led to two White Sox tallies in the ninth in a 2-0 win for the visitors.
  • The Yankees outhit the visiting St. Louis Browns 21-17 on July 17, 1919, but the Brownies prevailed 7-6 in 17 innings on a squeeze play.
  • Designated hitter Sam Horn, who may have hit the longest homer I ever saw, and who took his power show through Boston and New York as well, set a record playing for the Orioles on this day in 1991 when he struck out six times. The only player to achieve this indignity before was a pitcher, back in 1913.
  • Cleveland blasted the Yankees and Carl Mays, who surrendered all 13 runs, when they gathered 20 hits in a 13-0 win on July 17, 1923.
  • The Cardinals’ Jesse Haines threw a 5-0 no-hitter vs. the Braves on July 17, 1924. And on that day way back in 1903, Dan McClelland of the Cuban X-Giants threw the first Perfect Game in black baseball history, as he shut out the Penn Park Athletic Club of York, 5-0.
  • One recently retired Yankee starter, and one who much more sadly spent time with the team and stopped playing a few years back, took part in Baltimore’s 8-0 victory against Texas on July 17, 1992. Mike Mussina threw a one-hitter for the win, and Kevin Brown fell to 14-5 with the loss.
  • We have two more July 17 highlights affecting former or future Yankees. We include one from longtime Yankee broadcaster Bill White, who had eight hits (8-for-10) in a Giants doubleheader sweep of the Cubs on this day in 1961. The next item involves a double dip as well, as David Wells earned both victories in the first ever twin bill in Skydome on July 17, 1989. Boomer earned both wins over the Angels for the Blue Jays in relief.
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    Players Who Have Died This Day

  • The only Yankee player to have ever died on July 17, the best we can say here is that lefty-hitting catcher Ken Sears‘s (1968) two-city career was dominated by the 60 games he played in debuting with the 1943 Yankees. He had two home runs and 22 rbi’s while collecting 52 hits in 187 at bats, and added just one rbi to those numbers in playing seven games with the 1946 Browns.
  • Two Hall of Famers lead off the list of nonYankee players to have died this day. Lefty-hitting outfielder and downright vicious baserunner Ty Cobb (1961) hit almost all of his 117 long balls with 1,937 runs driven in with the Detroit Tigers from 1905 through 1927. Righthander Dizzy Dean (1974) won 150 games, lost 83, and saved 30 in an injury-shortened career throwing for the Cardinals from 1930-1937, and with the Browns through 1942. The four remaining are two outfielders and two pitchers. Lefty hitter Lee Maye (2002) cracked 94 home runs good for 419 rbi’s mostly for the Braves from 1959-1971, with brief stops with the Astros, the Indians, the Seantors, and the White Sox; and Pat Duncan (1960) was playing primarily with the Reds from 1915-1924 when he reached 23 fences and drove in 374 runs. Righty Ed Reulbach (1961) posted his 182 wins, 106 losses, and 13 saves mostly for the Cubs from 1905-1917; and southpaw Chief Hogsett (2001) recorded the majority of his 63-87-33 mark with the Tigers from 1929-1938 and in 1944. Perhaps more important, historically, than the Hall of Famers (!) is the 2019 death of switch-hitting, righty throwing infielder Pumpsie Green, who played for the Red Sox from 1959 through 1962, and with the Mets in 1963. Despite uninspiring numbers of 13 career home runs with 74 rbi’s, Green stands out as the first black to play for Boston, the last team in mlb to integrate. One of Pumpsie’s brothers is Cornell Green, a cornerback-safety with the NFL Dallas Cowboys.
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    Players Born This Day

  • Deron Johnson (1938) played first base, third base, and outfield over 17 years for eight clubs, but the birthdaying slugger did play 19 games at the beginning of his career with the Yankees in 1960-61, getting two rbi’s. He was a 1956 amateur free agent signing by the Yanks, and they traded Johnson with Art Ditmar to the Kansas City Athletics for Bud Daley in June 1961.
  • And although he never played for the Yanks, lefty-hitting outfielder Jerry Lynch (1930) was acquired from Greenville (Cotton States) before the 1951 season. He was lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1953 rule-V draft. Lynch hit 115 homers with 470 rbi’s for the Pirates and the Reds between 1954 and 1966.
  • Hall of Fame player and manager Lou Boudreau (1917) was also born on July 17. Other birthdays: slick-fielding shortstop Roy McMillan (1929); Don Kessinger (1942), who filled that same position mostly with the Cubs from 1964-1979; Pete Ladd (1956); Bobby Thigpen (1963); Jason Jennings (1978); Steve Delabar (1983); Adam Lind (1983); Leonel Campos (1987); Nick Christiani (1987); Leonel Campos (1987); Matt Purke (1990); Silvino Bracho (1992); and Cole Sands (1997).