It’s hard to believe that the July 18 is more than double digit years removed already. We all know the almost spooky series of events that day, what with Don Larsen throwing out the first pitch to Yogi Berra, followed by David Cone‘s “Perfect” day against the Expos, in a 6-0 win. And he beat 2004 Yankee Javier Vazquez that day. Almost exactly 14 months after David Wells got his against the Twins on Beanie Baby Day, I’m here to tell you that, although Boomer’s was so startlingly fresh and new, from the standpoint of the diehard fan in the stands, Cone’s was better. There were perhaps 10,000 less people there, but they were all there because they loved Yogi and the Yanks on Yogi Berra Day in the Bronx, not for a free doll. And as we stood and screamed in the eighth inning of both games, no one did the Wave during Coney’s.
It was on July 18, 1987, that Don Mattingly stroked a homer in his eighth consecutive game, tying ex-Pirate Dale Long for the major league record, since equaled by Ken Griffey, Jr. Unfortunately, Don’s blow came during a 7-2 loss to the Rangers.
Individual rbi’s by Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Allen, and Gleyber Torres (the only homer among the group) staked the Yankees to a 3-0 lead over the visiting Red Sox on July 17, 2021, but the game ended as a 9-1 laugher following a four-run home seventh. Additional fence clearers were delivered by Rougned Odor and Ryan LaMarre.
Following a shocking loss to Tampa on July 16, 2019, and a rainout vs them on July 17, the Yankees extracted revenge with a doubleheader sweep on July 18, 6-2 and 5-1. Domingo German went six strong in the opener, and coasted to the win on fifth-inning rbi hits by Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, and Gio Urshela. Urshela had an earlier home run, as did Aaron Hicks. With New York utilizing Chad Green as an opener in the second game, Nestor Cortes, Jr. pitched through the fifth to a 1-1 tie, and the Yanks took control in the sixth with a four-run rally featuring a two-run single from Didi Gregorius.
On July 18, 2021, the Yankees signed free agent shortstop Andrew Velazquez to a minor league contract; and the team sent righthander Corey Kluber on a rehab assignment to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Also the club signed righthanders Brendan Beck, Chandler Champlain, and Danny Watson; second baseman Cooper Bowman, and shortstop Benjamin Cowles.
The crowd size was unfortunately negatively affected by stifling conditions and booming thunderstorms on July 18, 2016, when Ivan Nova outdueled Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman 2-1. Alex Rodriguez and Jonathan Schoop exchanged early home runs, and when Brian McCann drove in Brett Gardner with a third-inning sac fly, the scoring was finished. Joe Girardi got to use his Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman three-man, three-inning closer machine yet again.
Ex-Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano had been held hitless in the Yankee win the night before, but he singlehandedly carried the Mariners to a 4-3 victory in the Stadium on Saturday, July 18, 2015. Cano crushed two 2-run home runs off Michael Pineda, more than eclipsing Brian McCann‘s home run with one on in the home fourth. A one-run rally in the bottom of the ninth keyed by Mark Teixeira‘s leadoff double fell one run short.
Sadly pressed into service as the No. 3 batter in the order, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, with a fairly reliable rbi bat, struck the big blow in a 4-3 Yankee win over the Reds on July 18, 2014, with a two-run, fifth-inning home run. David Phelps got the win, and Derek Jeter had two hits and scored twice.
On a hot, steamy, Wednesday in the Bronx, the Yankees took a rain-delayed, rain-shortened game against the Blue Jays 6-0 on July 18, 2012. Hiroki Kuroda coaxed 10 ground ball outs and struck out five while allowing four hits through seven, and Mark Teixeira‘s two-run first-inning homer keyed the offense. Derek Jeter, Jayson Nix, Dewayne Wise, and Tex had two hits, Mark’s second coming on a single in the third, after Toronto’s Brett Lawrie just missed on a fabulous try for his foul popup. Nix scored twice, and Wise drove in two.
It was another half-happy, half-sad day in the Bronx on July 18, 2010, even though the Bombers beat the Tampa Rays 9-5 on two rbi’s from Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Jorge Posada. But the team, and the crowd, was still subdued via the week-old death of Bob Sheppard, and that of George Steinbrenner five days earlier. But it gets worse, far worse than we in attendance understood even, as lefty starter Andy Pettitte strained his left groin on a 3-1 pitch to Kelly Shoppach. Andy would not be right again that year, and it was a huge blow to the Yankees’ postseason hopes.
New Yankee Stadium hosted a stellar pitchers’ duel on July 18, 2009, as Justin Verlander of the Tigers threw against Yankee lefty CC Sabathia. Both hurlers went seven, and Alex Rodriguez‘s leadoff home run in the home half of the seventh was just the third hit Verlander gave up. The Yanks reached him for another run on three more hits, CC got the win and, after 2010 Yankee Marcus Thames reached Alfredo Aceves for a homer in the eighth, Mariano Rivera cashed in the 2-1 save.
You see this little dance clubs have to perform when they make mid-season acquisitions all the time. Before they can even think of whose place on the 25-man roster the newbie will take, room has to be cleared to place the player on the 40-man list of players eligible. When the Yankees signed first baseman Richie Sexson, recently released by the Mariners, to a major league contract on July 18, 2008, they optioned lefty Billy Traber to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but not until they had transferred righty phenom Phil Hughes to the 60-day disabled list to make Sexson eligible.
And the Sexson signing bore immediate fruit, which sadly can’t be claimed in the longer term. Richie got the Yanks rolling with an rbi single in his first at bat in Pinstripes on Friday night, July 18, in Yankee Stadium, in a 7-1 win vs. the A’s. Robbie Cano pitched in with a three-run bomb, Alex Rodriguez had a homer among three hits, scored twice, and knocked in two, and Mike Mussina struck out six and danced around nine hits through six frames for the win. It was pretty cool when in the fifth inning the Yanks had four of the Bleacher Creatures move the games-remaining counter in the old Stadium from 32 to 31.
There were nervous doings going on in the Bronx on July 18, 2007. Roger Clemens and the Yanks fell behind Toronto 1-0 in the first inning and young righty Shawn Marcum quieted hometown bats on two harmless singles through six innings. But Captain Derek Jeter began a string of four straight hits leading off the seventh and by the time the smoke cleared the Yankees were up 4-1 on two-run hits by Alex Rodriguez and a suddenly resurgent Andy Phillips. The 6-1 win was the third straight over the Jays on Manager Joe Torre‘s 67th birthday.
There are all too many reminders along the way that baseball should be just a game, but sometimes it tragically isn’t. On July 18, 1989, former Angels closer Donnie Moore took his life. Moore remained haunted to the end of his days by a blown save in the 1986 ALCS, when he gave up a game-tying home run to outfielder Dave Henderson in an eventual loss to Red Sox.
It had become routine in 2006 as every Bernie Williams hit, rbi, or appearance seemed to move him one more notch up the Yankee career list, but fans were thrilled the year before when a July 18 contest in Texas moved Bernie past Roy White into fifth place in the number of games played as a Yankee. The game was a wild one, with the disappointing Kevin Brown allowing six runs to his original team while failing to finish five frames. But the Yanks took a 9-6 lead on Jorge Posada, Gary Sheffield, and Hideki Matsui homers. The Rangers stormed back on a few unearned tallies, and Yankee Ruben Sierra‘s two-run double plated the 11-10 winning runs, but at a cost. The switch-hitting DH pulled a hamstring running the hit out.
Kevin Brown was able to make that start as the Yanks activated him that day from the 15-day disabled list, optioning righty reliever Jason Anderson to AAA Columbus to make room. Outfielder Bubba Crosby was recalled from AAA as well.
Jack McDowell had a bad outing, and behaved badly, on July 18, 1995. Blasted by the White Sox in the second game of a doubleheader (the Yanks had already lost the first game), he reacted to the loud disapproving Yankee Stadium crowd by “flipping them The Bird” as he left the mound. The Yanks lost the two games, 9-4 and 11-4.
The Yankees came out storming after a one-hour rain delay in the fifth inning of a game vs. the Indians in the Stadium on July 18, 2003, scoring five runs in a 10-4 win. Roger Clemens earned the win over Brian Anderson, and Jason Giambi hit two home runs.
Just six days after the Yanks acquired Denny Neagle from the Reds, the fanbase was in heaven as the lefty threw five-hit ball at the Phillies in his Yankee debut, and he won, 3-1 on July 18, 2000. David Justice homered for the first Yankee tally, and Bernie Williams delivered Chuck Knoblauch and Derek Jeter with a sixth-inning triple.
A Yankee winning streak that had reached 19 games came to an end on July 18, 1947, as Freddie Hutchinson of the Tigers shut them out, 8-0.
Chairman of the Board Whitey Ford posted the complete game victory as the Bombers scored five runs in the third off Cleveland’s Dick Stigman and prevailed, 9-2, on July 18, 1960.
When the Yanks beat the White Sox 5-4 on this day in 1933, they posted their ninth win in a row, and moved into first place in front of Washington.
The Indians triumphed in a real donnybrook with the Yanks on July 18, 1934, winning 15-14, as 22 different players stroked hits in the game. Struck in the leg by a ball, Babe Ruth would be forced to sit out for the next 10 days.
The Yanks extended still another winning streak with their 13th in a row when they beat the Tigers 6-0 in the first of two on July 18, 1954. But Detroit took the nightcap, 8-6.
Though speed was definitely not part of his game, current Yankee Manager Joe Torre was the back end of a triple steal fronted by Henry Aaron and Joe Adcock by the Braves against the Reds on this day in 1961.
On July 18, 2019, the Yankees recalled lefty Stephen Tarpley from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, a move they made to fill the 26th spot for a doubleheader.
On July 18, 2017, the Yankees recalled righthander Luis Cessa from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and optioned righty Bryan Mitchell to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees activated center fielder Mason Williams from the 60-day disabled list on July 18, 2016, and then optioned him to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Adjusting their bullpen personnel on July 18, 2015, the Yankees optioned righthander Bryan Mitchell to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and recalled righty Branden Pinder from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The drama continued on July 18, 2013, as the Yankees sent third baseman Alex Rodriguez on a rehab assignment to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
On July 18, 2011, the Yankees placed shortstop Ramiro Pena on the 15-day disabled list with appendicitis. To take his spot, the team recalled third baseman Brandon Laird from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Ty Cobb stroked a double against Detroit on July 18, 1927, for his 4,000th hit. On the same day 43 years later, Willie Mays got his 3,000th, in 1970 in a 10-1 Giants win over the Expos.
What extras could having a team in our nation’s capital provide, you ask? Well, before a July 18, 1961, tilt with the Senators, Mickey Mantle teamed with New York Congressman Ed Dooley to win a homer-hitting contest against other Congressperson/player duos. Then the Mick added two more bombs during the regular game to lead the Yanks to a 5-3 win.
On July 18, 1913, Christy Mathewson gave up a walk after not having surrendered one for 68 straight innings.
Kansas City owner Arnold Johnson was grilled by the Celler Congressional Committee on July 18, 1957 regarding whether or not he sold players to the Yankees under conditions favorable to the New York team.
It was a This Week in Baseball favorite for years. On July 18, 1983, George Brett stroked what would probably have been a triple down the right field line, but the bullpen staff had the door to the pen open to get some air, and reliever Mike Armstrong closed the door, but a split-second too late. The ball rolled into the pen and George was “held to” a grounds-rule double.
Major League Baseball voted to add NL franchises in Houston (the Astros) and New York (the Mets) on July 18, 1960.
When White Sox left fielder Pat Seerey blasted four home runs against the Philadelphia Athletics on July 18, 1948, nothing was wasted as the Chisox prevailed 12-11 in 11 innings.
Yankee left fielder Johnny Damon gets top billing in a list of July 18 highlights featuring future or former Yankee players on the strength of his five hits in a 12-4 Royals win over the Cubs on this day in 2000. That four of the five were doubles tied a record. And in a fitting highlight for a ground-ball pitcher, when Tommy John scattered eight hits in a 6-1 White Sox win over the Royals on July 18, 1969, the Chicago outfield recorded no putouts.
For the second straight day, there is but one Yankee player who died on July 18, catcher Fred Jacklitsch (1937), who played in just one game for the 1905 Highlanders. Hitless in three at bats, Fred did manage to knock in one run. In a 1900-1917 career dominated by a lengthy stretch with the Phillies, Jacklitsch hit five home runs and drove in 153 runs.
The aforementioned Donnie Moore (1989) is one of three nonYankee pitchers to have died this day. Moore won 43, lost 40, and saved 89 with the Cubs, the Angels, and the Braves from 1975-1988. Southpaw Ed Killian (1928) won 102, lost 78, and saved six games mostly for the Tigers from 1903-1910; and righty Hod Eller (1961) pitched for the Reds only from 1917-1921, to a 60-40 record with five saves. In addition, third baseman/shortstop Howard Freigau (1932) played most often for the Cardinals and the Cubs in collecting 15 long balls good for 226 rbi’s from 1922-1928; while shortstop/infielder Terry Turner (1960) hit eight roundtrippers and drove in 528 runs mosly for Cleveland between 1901 and 1919.
Players Who Have Died This Day
He never played in the Pinstripes, but 1996-2007 Yankee Manager Joe Torre (1940) deserves to have his July 18 birthday mentioned first after four Championships in 10-plus years. Joe hit 252 career home runs with 1,185 rbi’s with the Braves, the Cardinals, and the Mets from 1960-1977.
Not only have the Yankees added a player to their July 18 birthday club in 2009, but from early looks at his play it is hoped we’ll be seeing contributions from young infielder Ramiro Pena (1985) for years to come. There are two home runs, a triple and seven doubles among the 70 hits he has stroked, good for 29 rbi’s and 38 runs scored (definitely pinch runner material as well) in the Bronx so far. It is anticipated that he’ll be expanding his repertoire to include reps playing outfield after playing it some in 2009 in AAA; he may become a super sub in New York in the very near future, although Eduardo Nunez has certainly passed Ramiro on the depth chart. Pena had three home runs and 12 rbi’s playing for the 2013 Braves before suffering a season-ending injury.
Yankee players born this day include Johnny Hopp (1916), who was an effective Yankee part-timer at the end of his 14-year career, as he played first base and outfield in 80 games for the Yanks in 1950-52. He accumulated three homers and 14 rbi’s in spot duty. Johnny was purchased by the Yanks from the Pittsburgh Pirates in September 1950 and released in May 1952.
Two other Yankees birthdaying: lefty Rudy May (1944) went 26-19 and then 28-27 with seven saves during his two stints with the Yanks during his 1965-1983 baseball career. Rudy was brought over from the California Angels in June 1974, and was traded by the Yanks with Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Scott McGregor, and Dave Pagan to the Baltimore Orioles for Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson, Ellie Hendricks, and Jimmy Freeman in June 1976. He was re-signed as a free agent in 1979.
Al Lyons (1918) went 1-1 in 19 games for the Yanks from 1944 through 1947, until he was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in August 1947.
Other birthdays: first baseman Harry Spilman (1954), who stroked 18 home runs with 117 rbi’s, mostly for the Reds and the Astros, from 1978-1989; switch-hitting first baseman for the Expos Razor Shines (1956), currently coaching with the Mets; Mike Greenwell (1963), a 130-homer man with 726 rbi’s with the Red Sox from 1985-1996; Rolando Arrojo (1968); Torii Hunter (1975); Ben Sheets (1978); Josh Banks (1982); Allan Craig (1984); Conor Gillaspie (1987); Brett Nicholas (1988); Derek Dietrich (1989), who spent some time with the Yankees after a free agent signing leading up to the 2021 season; Eugenio Suarez (1991); Dinelson Limet (1992); Robert Gsellman (1993); Ryan Helsley (1993); Sam Hentges (1996); and Jaime Barria (1996).
Players Born This Day