July 26 was another big day for Johnny Blanchard in 1961, just one more guy on that team who had a magical year. It’s the year that indelibly glued the boy in me to the Yanks, but sometimes I think the man in me now would not only have enjoyed that season, but would have appreciated what he was seeing far more. When Blanchard homered in his first two at bats against the White Sox that day, it brought his tater total to four in a five-at-bat period over three days. The Yanks went yard four times in a 5-2 win, including a Mickey Mantle shot back-to-back behind Johnny’s in the first. Blanchard became the first player ever to hit more than 20 homers in a season of less than 250 at bats (21/243) that year.
As it turned out the last of three July 26, 2021, transactions listed for the Yankees would become the most important. First, the team sent righthander Clarke Schmidt on a rehab assignment to the Florida Coast League Yankees; and then catcher Rob Brantly was returned to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. But finally the Bombers traded shortstops Hoy Park and Diego Castillo to Pittsburgh for righthander Clay Holmes.
The Yankees reached the Nationals bullpen for three late runs in a 3-2 win in Washington on July 26, 2020. The fireworks were supplied by seventh-inning home runs by Luke Voit and Gleyber Torres, and an eighth-inning rbi single by Torres.
A quick look at the line score of the Yanks’ 7-2 win over visiting Kansas City on July 26, 2018, could fool one into thinking it a good day, a great one perhaps when you consider that Sonny Gray went five scoreless for the win. But it turned out to be a pivotal point in the year, as in the first inning, KC starter Jakob Junis hit Aaron Judge in the wrist with a pitch, breaking a bone and keeping the power-hitting right fielder on the DL for much of the season’s stretch run. The star on offense was Didi Gregorius, who homered, drove in three runs, and scored two.
On July 26, 2020, the Yankees optioned outfielder Clint Frazier and righthander Ben Heller to the Yankees Alternate Training Site, then recalled righthanders Brooks Kriske and Nick Nelson from the Alternate Training Site.
A pitchers’ duel between Cinncy’s Homer Bailey and Luis Severino that stood at 2-0 Yankees after five exploded in the latter innings, and the Bombers cruised through to a 9-5 win. Home runs by Didi Gregorius and Todd Frazier in the five-run seventh were the big blows.
Melky Cabrera and Steve Tolleson fifth-inning rbi’s off Chris Capuano equaled the Yanks at 2-2 following a Brian McCann two-run bomb, but the real damage was to come off the bat of lefty first baseman Dan Johnson, DH’ing for Toronto in the stadium on July 26, 2014. He would knock in a third run in the seventh, then his three-run homer in the ninth off Jeff Francis negated the Carlos Beltran two-run shot in the bottom half, 6-4 Blue Jays.
The Yankees bested Doug Fister and the Seattle Mariners 4-1 behind CC Sabathia in Yankee Stadium on July 26, 2011. Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira homered, and CC struck out 14 batters. The Yanks would have more trouble with Fister once he was traded to the Tigers later in the season.
Although he did not get the win, Sergio Mitre left with a 4-3 lead after five innings of a 7-5 victory over Oakland in his first start at Yankee Stadium on July 26, 2009. Robbie Cano had a three-run triple in the first, and Derek Jeter, passing Bernie Williams for fifth place in games played as a Yankee with his 2,071st, drove in two runs with a single in the pivotal bottom of the sixth.
Waite Hoyt of the Yankees and Vic Sorrell of the Tigers dueled to a 1-1 tie after 11 innings on July 26, 1928. But the Yanks compiled 12 hits and two walks in the 12th (the biggest extra inning ever) to walk away with a 12-1 win.
Speaking of a deluge of hits, the Yanks and Jimmy Key rode 21 of them to a 15-1 win over the Royals on July 26, 1996. On the down side, second baseman Pat Kelly, coming back from surgery, made his return debut and promptly injured a hamstring.
Randy Johnson had one of his finest starts as a Yankee in a 4-0 win over Minnesota in New York on July 26, 2005, striking out 11 while allowing but two hits over eight innings. Alex Rodriguez‘s leadoff second-inning home run was all the offense that was needed.
To all current signs, the July 16, 2008 trade that brought outfielder Xavier Nady and lefty reliever Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Yanks in exchange for righthanders Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen, and Ross Ohlendorf and outfielder Jose Tabata will be either a bad swap for New York, or a not very good one. Nady, a Scott Boras-affiliated free agent in 2010, barely played in 2009 before season-ending surgery, and Marte threw a couple of innings in early 2009, but rebounded with a fine postseason. In Pittsburgh, Ohlendorf is doing well (though not winning), and the contributions of McCutchen and Tabata are showing some promise as well. Meanwhile, to make room for their new players, the Yankees optioned outfielder Brett Gardner to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, designated righty LaTroy Hawkins for assignment, and outrighted lefthander Kei Igawa to AAA as well.
One year later center fielder Brett Gardner was parted from the big club again, but on the July 26, 2009, it was because he was placed on the 15-day disabled list. The Yankees recalled righthander Jonathan Albaladejo from AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre to fill Brett’s spot.
Nine different Yankees scored two or more runs when they overwhelmed the White Sox in the second of two on July 26, 1931, 22-5. Alas, they could have used two of those runs in the 5-4 Game One loss.
A 6-2 win in the first of two vs. the Twins on July 26, 1967, removed some of the sting of the 18-inning, 3-2 loss in the second game. It was their second game of that length on the season. Rod Carew walked, stole, advanced on a bad throw, and scored on a fielder’s choice to make Al Worthington a winner over Thad Tillotson.
Both Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada homered and scored two in a 6-3 David Wells win over Jaime Navarro and the White Sox on July 26, 1998.
July 26 was a good day in Mickey Mantle‘s career, though you could have fooled the Detroit Tigers. First, he hit his first grand slam home run on that day in 1952, in a 10-6 loss to the Tigers in Detroit.
Mickey Mantle notched his 200th career bomb exactly five years later, on July 26, 1957, in Yankee Stadium. But the Bombers fell to the Tigers yet again, 3-2.
Yankee catcher Bill Dickey drilled three straight home runs in a 14-1 win over the Browns in Yankee Stadium on July 26, 1939.
Yankee fans would claim that the Senators got a huge lucky break in their 8-3 win over the Yanks on this day in 1935. A Jesse Hill line drive off Washington hurler Ed Linke‘s head caromed back to catcher Jack Redmond on the fly, and Redmond doubled Ben Chapman off second base. Hospitalized for two days, Linke didn’t feel all that lucky.
Babe Ruth‘s excursion to witness the premiere of The Babe Ruth Story on July 26, 1948, marked his last public appearance, three weeks before his death.
The (now) late, and much beloved, Jim Catfish Hunter was inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Billy Williams and Ray Dandridge on this day in 1987.
The former Yankee featured in this highlight also hit a home run in the 2003 Old Timers Game. On July 26, 1977, Cliff Johnson hit a two-run pinch tater in the ninth to tie the Orioles, and the Yanks won it on a Reggie Jackson dinger in the 10th.
When the Yankees beat the White Sox 10-2 on July 26, 1940, the offensive star of the game was pitcher Spud Chandler. One of his two homers was a grand slam, he added a single, and he knocked in six runs.
California’s Von Hayes garnered three rbi’s on a single on this day in 1992. Jason Giambi duplicated that feat a few years ago against the Indians in a 6-4 Yankee triumph, with Derek Jeter scoring from first with the third tally.
After the Yanks beat Boston 2-0 in the first of two on July 26, 1933, Lou Gehrig was ejected from the 9-2 loss in the nightcap. Had he been tossed in the first game, his games-played streak could have ended.
As an 18-year-old rookie in the Pacific Coast League, Joe DiMaggio flashed some of the brilliance that was to come; his 61-game hitting streak came to an end on this day in 1933.
On July 26, 2019, the Yankees activated outfielder Cameron Maybin from the 10-day injured list; and optioned lefthander Stephen Tarpley to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to open a roster spot.
On July 26, 2018, the Yankees optioned righthander Luis Cessa to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and selected the contract of outfielder Shane Robinson from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The team also activated lefthander Zach Britton.
On July 26, 2016, the Yankees optioned lefthander Chasen Shreve to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, and activated righthander Adam Warren, whom they had reacquired in a trade the day before. In a corresponding move, the Cubs activated lefthander Aroldis Chapman, who was their principal target in that same trade.
The Yankees optioned left fielder Thomas Neal to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on July 26, 2013; the same day that outfielder Vernon Wells changed his number to 22.
The Yanks made a change at the backup catcher position on July 26, 2006 as they acquired Sal Fasano from Philadelphia for minor league infielder Hector Made. They then designated Kelly Stinnett for assignment.
Strange things befell the Red Sox team after Jim Bouton pitched six scoreless innings in a 13-3 Yankee victory in The Stadium on July 26, 1962. Boston players Gene Conley and Pumpsie Green left the team bus in New York traffic to use a restroom and did not return. Conley, distraught after walking in two of eight runs allowed and being tagged with the loss, would end up at the airport, where he was eventually barred from flying to Israel because he had no visa.
On July 26, 2011, the Yankees activated third baseman Eric Chavez from the 60-day disabled list, optioning Brandon Laird to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room.
The Yankees announced that catcher Wil Nieves had cleared waivers and he was outrighted to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on July 26, 2007, but his Yankee career was apparently over.
An umpire was physically abused by home fans during the Yankee doubleheader sweep over the White Sox in Comiskey Park, 12-3 and 11-8 (in 11 innings), on July 26, 1936.
Both Johnny Bench of the Reds and Orlando Cepeda of the Braves slugged three consecutive homers on July 26, 1970, Bench in a Reds 12-5 win over the Cardinals, but Cepeda in a 7-6 loss to the Cubs. And Bench picked the same date eight years later to blast his 300th career home run in a 12-3 loss to the Mets.
Two one-time Yankee players had long hitting streaks ended on July 26 while playing elsewhere. Wade Boggs had his 28-gamer stopped on this day in 1985 as Boston beat Seattle 6-2; and Jack Clark failed to hit safely for the first time in 27 games in the Giants’ 2-1 loss to the Cardinals on July 26, 1978.
Also worthy of mention is the 1-0 loss Mark Gardner of the Expos suffered on July 26, 1991. Gardner threw a nine-inning no-hitter, but allowed two singles and the decisive run in the 10th. Eventual Yank Darryl Strawberry drove in the lone run in the Dodgers win.
Former Yankee President Mike Burke passed away on July 26, 1973. There are also two Yankee players who have died on July 26, though they played just two games with the club between them. Lefthanded outfielder Tommy Madden (1930) played the last game of his career with the 1910 Highlanders. He went hitless in one at bat and is listed as playing no position that day. He had been blanked in homers or rbi’s but went 4-for-15 in four games for the 1906 Beaneaters in his only other play. He scored a run and walked once. Righthander Walter Bernhardt (1958)’s only major league appearance was in the .7 inning he threw in one game (not a start) for the 1918 Yankees. He walked none, struck out none, and allowed no hits or runs.
Two righthanders comprise the list of significant nonYankee players to pass away July 26. Pitching mostly for the Giants and the Phillies from 1953-1962, Ruben Gomez (2004) won 76, lost 86, and saved five games; while Bob Savage (2013) went 16-27 with nine saves in 1942 and between 1946 and 1949 in Philadelphia too, but his service was with the A’s.
Players Who Have Died This Day
Nine Yanks or ex-Yanks share July 26 as a birthday. Lefty thrower Roy Castleton (1885) went 1-1 for the 1903 Yanks, and would toe a rubber in Cincinnati in 1909 and 1910 too. Sam Jones (1892) pitched for the Yanks five years (of 22 all told) in the twenties with a 67-56 mark and 22 saves. Sam arrived with Joe Bush and Everett Scott in a December 1921 trade from the Boston Red Sox for Roger Peckinpaugh, Jack Quinn, Rip Collins, and Bill Piercy. He was in turn traded by the Yankees to the St. Louis Browns for Cedric Durst and Joe Giard in February 1927.
Third baseman Eddie Bockman (1920) made the most of his one hit and one walk in four games for the ’46 team, scoring two runs. The trade that sent him with Joe Gordon to Cleveland in October 1946 was good for the Yanks too, as it brought back Allie Reynolds. Although third baseman Leo Thomas (1923) did not play with the parent club, he arrived in the Yankees organization with Tom Ferrick, Joe Ostrowski, and Sid Schacht in a June 1950 trade that sent Jim Delsing, Don Johnson, Duane Pillette, Snuffy Stirnweiss, and cash to the White Sox.
Southpaw Bill Miller (1927) recorded one save to go with his six wins and eight losses during the 1952 through 1954 seasons. Bill arrived in the Bronx in a 1951 blockbuster trade that sent Gene Woodling, Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald, Hal Smith, Gus Triandos, and Willy Miranda to the Orioles for Bob Turley, Don Larsen, and Billy Hunter. Lefty-hitting outfielder Norm Siebern (1933) blasted 29 homers with 129 rbi’s over three seasons in the Bronx in the late fifties. Norm was a 1951 Yankee amateur free agent selection, and was traded with Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, and Marv Throneberry to the Kansas City Athletics for Roger Maris, Joe DeMaestri, and Kent Hadley in December 1959.
Pete Ward (1939) hit from the left side, and he played both corner infield positions. His one homer and 66 rbi’s contributed to the 1970 team effort. The Yanks sent Mickey Scott to the White Sox for Pete in December 1969, and released Ward in March 1991. Philly righty Marty Bystrom (1958) finished his six-year career by going 5-4 over a few months of the ’84 and the entire 1985 season with the Yankees. The Yanks got him from the Phillies with Keith Hughes for Shane Rawley in June 1984.
The newest entry into the official Yankee July 26 birthday club is lefthander Vidal Nuno III (1987), who posted a 1-2 mark but low 2.25 era throwing five games (three starts) for the parent club in 2013 before going on the AAA disabled list. Drafted by Cleveland in 2009 but released by them two years later, Nuno, a veteran of the Mexican League, was signed to a free agent contract in June 2011. He posted a 2-5 record (but with a 5+ era) in 2014 until being traded to Arizona for Brandon McCarthy, perhaps one of Brian Cashman‘s best ever trades. Nuno was traded to Seattle in June 2015, and worked out of their bullpen until he was traded to the Dodgers that November. He’s been a bullpenner since, in 12 games (0-1) with Baltimore in 2017, and nine games with the Rays in ’18, as of this writing (3-0).
Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm (1922) won 143 while losing 122 and saving 227 with the Giants, the Orioles, and the White Sox, etc., from 1952-1972. The other nonYankee baseball birthdays include Red Sox righty Ellis Kinder (1914), who went 102-71 from 1946-1957; Jody Reed (1962); Mike Mohler (1968); Greg Colbrunn (1969); Kevin Barker (1975); Joacquin Benoit (1977); Jason Botts (1980); Kevin Jepsen (1984); Brandon Morrow (1984); Matt Gamel (1985); Alex Burnett (1987); Ryne Stanek (1991); Brendan Brennan (1991); Christhian Adames (1991); Paul Fry (1992); Jefry Rodriguez (1993); Ryan O’Hearn (1993); Wes Benjamin (1993); and Paul Campbell (1995).
Players Born This Day