With the superb Gerrit Cole going in a September 16, 2020, game against visiting Toronto, it was more than OK that outfielder Aaron Judge, on his first day off the Injured List, had an oh-fer, as the rest of the team pounded the Jays 13-2. Clint Frazier and Luke Voit homered; DJ LeMahieu went yard twice; but the star of the game was catcher Kyle Higashioka, who cleared the fences three times.
On that same 2020 day that the Yankees reinstated Aaron Judge from the Injured List, as just mentioned, the team optioned infielder Thairo Estrada to the team’s Alternate Training Site; transferred lefthander James Paxton from the 10-day Injured List to the 60-day List, with a left flexor strain; then optioned catcher Wynston Sawyer to the Alternate Training Site, and selected his contract from the Site.
Following a pregame ceremony honoring the 10-year anniversary of the victory in Super Bowl 42 by the New York Football Giants on September 16, 2017, the Yanks continued the tribute by kicking in a couple of field goals of their own. Well, not really, but they did open the scoring on two 3-run homers, by Didi Gergorius in the third, and Greg Bird in the fourth. A Todd Frazier two-run jolt in the seventh had the home team up 9-0, but Chasen Shreve could do no right in the ninth inning, one in which Giovanny Gallegos had to come in for the last out in the 9-3 win over Baltimore.
With the Yanks one up on Baltimore in a month where one or the other of the division/wild card opponents seemed perpetually within a game of first place, and one in that spot, Russell Martin‘s three-run third-inning homer finished off a five-run outburst that carried the home team to a 6-4 win over the Rays on September 16, 2012. Yankee righty Hiroki Kuroda and Tampa southpaw Matt Moore fashioned between them the first nine outs of the game on strike outs.
A brand-new member joined the pie party on September 16, 2009. An early 2-0 lead on Toronto on first-inning rbi’s by Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui melted through the middle innings with Chad Gaudin on the mound to a 4-2 deficit when Matsui’s two-run homer tied it in the home eighth. Johnny Damon stroked a single to start the bottom of the ninth, moved to second on a fielder’s choice, and scored on a walkoff single off the bat of Francisco Cervelli for the 5-4 Yankee victory. Mariano Rivera pitched the top of the ninth for the win.
An unfortunate Dellin Betances tune-up on September 16, 2018, turned a 2-1 win into a 3-2 loss to visiting Totonto. The Yanks had taken a 2-0 lead in the first, then did no more until the Jays jumped Dellin for two in the eighth.
In light of recent events at new Yankee Stadium, we pay tribute to Captain Derek Jeter, who on September 16, 2008, eclipsed the hits mark at The House Ruth Built that had been held by Lou Gehrig with a first-inning single. In the game though, the great 2009-2010 seasons Andy Pettitte had would surprise some after the disturbing string of disappointing starts he had in late 2008, including one in this 6-2 loss to the Chisox. No sooner had the Yanks tied matters on a Brett Gardner single and steal and Johnny Damon‘s double following an Alexi Ramirez third inning home run than six of the first seven batters in the top of the fourth reached against Andy on three walks, a double, and two singles. Looking like he could still mash one into the upper deck, Moose Skowron moved the games-left in the old Stadium counter from six to five.
The Massacre Part Two? Not really, and the Red Sox began a comeback the next day, but the Yanks beat them again for the second time in a row in New York on September 16, 1978, by a 3-2 score after having swept four in Fenway the week before. Reggie Jackson homered, but a ninth-inning Willie Randolph triple and a Thurman Munson sac fly decided it. Mike Torrez and Catfish Hunter went the distance, perhaps the last great start by the crafty Yankee vet. Though not as good as on this day, Catfish would get the win in the deciding Game Six of the ’78 Series, about a month later.
One year later, on September 16, 1979, the Yanks held Catfish Hunter Day for the retiring vet in Yankee Stadium, but the New Yorkers lost to the Tigers in 12, 8-4.
On September 16, 1997, the Yanks swept the Red Sox, 2-0 and 4-3, with Andy Pettitte and Willie Banks getting the wins. The first-game highlight was Pettitte’s career-high 12 K’s in eight innings. Some less than familiar Yanks accounted for the offense in the nightcap, as Rey Sanchez, Mike Stanley, and Andy Fox doubled and Scott Pose tripled, among them accounting for all four Yankee tallies.
It was a good thing that Boston’s 2006 season collapsed in August, because when the Yanks and the Bosox were forced to play back-to-back doubleheaders in Yankee Stadium on September 16 and 17, the home team would win just one, the second of two on the 16th. It ended in the bullpens as there was a 5-5 tie after five-plus innings of both Julian Tavares and Randy Johnson. Scott Proctor would earn the 7-5 win on seventh-inning rbi’s by Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada. The win gave the Yanks a magic number of four to eliminate Boston, something the Stadium crowd punctuated with a lusty “season’s over” chant in the bottom of the eighth.
On Tim Raines‘s 37th birthday (see below) on September 16, 1996, he clubbed two three-run homers in a 10-0 Yankee win over the Blue Jays. His second shot traveled 457 feet to dead center and was the longest home run hit in Yankee Stadium that year.
The Yanks beat the Orioles in the first of a four-game duel for first place in Yankee Stadium on September 16, 1960, 4-2. Hector Lopez and Roger Maris homered and winner Whitey Ford extended his home streak during which he was not scored upon to 33.7 innings, before needing help closing it out from Bobby Shantz in the ninth.
Young Yankee southpaw Sterling Hitchcock took the loss as his first major-league decision when Chicago’s Big Hurt, Frank Thomas, notched five hits in a 9-6 White Sox win over New York on September 16, 1992.
It was unconventional enough on September 16, 1905, that the Highlanders needed to use right fielder Willie Keeler at second base due to a dearth of infielders. Far more rare, though, is that Keeler, who played the position in both games, threw with his left hand and played there. The New Yorkers split two with the Senators in Hillside Park, winning 5-2, and falling by a 3-0 score.
When first-year man Johnny Lucadello of the Browns hit home runs from each side of the plate in a 16-4 St. Louis victory over the Yankees on September 16, 1940, he became the first player in the American League to accomplish the trick since Wally Schang pulled it off in 1916. The next AL guy to do the double deed would be Mickey Mantle in 1955. Amazingly, these were the only two dingers Lucadello hit that year.
The Yankees arrived in a pennant-fevered town when they came to play the Browns in St. Louis on September 16, 1922, with a tiny half-game lead. But Bob Shawkey outpitched Urban Shocker in a 2-1 win. In the contest Browns first sacker George Sisler tied Ty Cobb by hitting in his 40th straight game. Once Yankee outfielder Whitey Witt was hit in the head with a bottle chasing a fly ball in the ninth inning, it would lead to a ban on glass bottles in ballparks that stands to this day.
When Dickie Kerr of the White Sox beat the Yankees 8-3 on September 16, 1920, it knocked the New Yorkers out of first place and behind eventual pennant winner Cleveland.
Cincinnati Red Tom Browning threw the 14th Perfect Game in major league history in beating the Dodgers 1-0 on September 16, 1988; it was the only no-hitter of that season.
Dave Morehead of the Red Sox no-hit the Indians, 2-0, on September 16, 1965. Certainly more impressive was the no-no 39-year-old lefty Warren Spahn used to beat the Phillies, 4-0, on the same day in 1960. Not only did Warren allow no hits, the win also earned him his 11th 20-win season.
Allie Reynolds bested Bob Feller and the Yanks leapfrogged the Indians into first place with a 5-1 win on September 16, 1951. Much of the damage came on a two-run Joe DiMaggio triple in the fifth inning.
And one year earlier it was the Tigers that the Yanks overcame to take first place on September 16, 8-1, behind rookie Whitey Ford‘s six-hitter. Joe DiMaggio hit his 30th homer and the Yanks scored seven in the ninth to win it.
Ex-Yankee Dave Winfield stroked the 3,000th hit of his career in a 5-4 Twins win over the A’s on September 16, 1993.
The Yanks clinched their 15th pennant, and fourth in a row, when they beat the Tigers 8-5 on September 16, 1939.
One of the more recent Hall of Fame inductees, Paul Molitor of the Twins notched his 3,000th major-league hit with a triple in a 6-5 Minnesota loss to Kansas City on September 16, 1996. The game holds a significant sub-highlight for Yankee (and Twins) fans as Paul’s teammate, future Pinstriped second sacker Chuck Knoblauch, notched his 1,000th hit in the same contest.
On September 16, 2017, the Yankees placed lefthander Caleb Smith on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to September 13, with a viral infection. The team also recalled righthander Jonathan Holder and third baseman Miguel Andujar from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
On September 16, 2016, the Yankees sent righthander Anthony Swarzak on a rehab assignment to the AA Trenton Thunder.
In a move fans had been screaming for for months in light of a second baseman hitting under.200, the Yankees finally selected the contract of second baseman Jose Pirela from the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on September 16, 2014. The team had not knuckled under to their fanbase, however. The move became a necessity when they placed recently acquired infielder Martin Prado on the 60-day disabled list, when he required an emergency appendectomy.
The Yankees signed free agent righthander Edison Rodriguez to a minor league contract on September 16, 2013.
Pittsburgh Pirate second baseman Rennie Stennett tied a record from 1892 when he hit 7-for-7 in a nine-inning game on September 16, 1975. This highlight was much discussed in the Bronx in 2004 when Omar Vizquel of the Indians stroked hits his first six times to the plate in a 22-0 Cleveland demolishing of the Yanks. Vizquel failed to equal the mark in his seventh and last at bat.
Two September 16 highlights involving Detroit Yankee Killer Frank Lary, who became the third pitcher in history (and the first since 1916) to beat the Yanks seven times in the same season when he doubled them up, 4-2 on this day in 1958.
In 1961, Roger Maris reached Frank Lary for his 57th homer, but Frank (as usual) beat Ralph Terry and the Yanks 10-4 for his 21st win of the year.
Other pitchers who notched their 20th (or better) win on this day include Carl Hubbell of the Giants with his 22nd in a 2-1 win over the Cubs in 1933; fellow Giant Sal Maglie with his 23rd in a doubleheader sweep of the Pirates in 1951; and Angels pitcher Clyde Wright, father of 2005-2006 Yankee hurler Jaret Wright, who beat the Twins 5-1 for his 20th win on September 16, 1970.
The Yanks beat the Red Sox 5-4 as Hank Bauer and Yogi Berra homered in the ninth and the Bombers took over first place on September 16, 1955. But it was a costly win as Mickey Mantle pulled a hamstring muscle running out a bunt. He pinch-hit two times in September and only batted 10 times in the World Series that season.
The ’67 Tigers took first place in the American League with a 9-1 win over the Yankees on September 16, 1967. Norm Cash drove in five runs and John Hiller went the distance for the win.
We go a little further afield than usual in the daily feature sharing highlights by one-time Yanks wearing other uni’s with the day former Pinstriped All Star second baseman and then manager of Sacramento of the PCL Joe Gordon had on September 16, 1952. He inserted himself as a pinch hitter in both games of a double dip vs. L.A. and homered each time, with the first being a game-winning grand slam in a 4-1 win. Joe was recently posthumously added to the roster of the Hall of Fame. And we include one more in honor of recent situational lefty in the Bronx Mike Myers, whose rookie record for 83 appearances was broken by Sean Runyan of the Tigers on this day in 1998.
No Yankee players have died on September 16.
Righthander Terry Larkin (1894), who posted most of his 89-80 record with no saves from 1876-1880 with the White Stockings, is the first of two pitchers and four noteworthy position players who have passed away on September 16. Fellow righty Johnny Niggeling (1963) won 64 and lost 69 with no saves for the Browns and the Senators from 1938-1946; and outfielder George Gore (1933) hit most of his 46 home runs with 618 runs driven in from 1879-1892 with the White Stockings and the Giants. Righthanded first baseman Earl Sheely (1952) hit most of his 48 long balls good for 747 rbi’s from 1921-1931 with the White Sox; portsided first sacker Eddie Waitkus (1972) reached 24 fences and drove in 373 runs playing for the Cubs, the Phillies, and the Orioles in 1941 and from 1946-1955; and third baseman Charlie Deal (1979) went yard 11 times and knocked in 318 runs from 1912-1921, playing more often than not with the Cubs, the Tigers, and the Braves.
Players Who Have Died This Day
I’ll lead off with Tim Raines (1959) as the first of five Yankee September 16 birthdays because Tim is well remembered in the Bronx. A switch-hitter, “Rock” belted 18 homers and knocked in 118 rbi’s for the Bombers during the 1996 through 1998 seasons. OK, quick quiz. What minor league player did the Yankees send to the White Sox in December 1995 for Raines? Save the brain waves: The player to be named later was Blaise Kozeniewski. The vastly popular Raines accumulated 170 home runs with 980 rbi’s in 23 seasons, and hung around long enough to play minor league ball as a teammate with his son. Tim is the 2009 Manager of Atlantic League Newark Bears.
Although some remember Mel Hall (1961) less fondly, I’m not one of them, as it’s hard not to like a ballplayer who hit walk-off homers at two games you attended. Mel blasted 63 homers with 265 rbi’s in the Bronx from 1989 through 1992 after evenly splitting his first eight seasons between the Cubs and the Indians. The Yankees got Mel from the Cleveland Indians in March 1989 for Joel Skinner and Turner Ward.
Outfielder Buster Mills (1908) hit one homer with 15 rbi’s in 34 games for the 1940 team. He was traded by the St. Louis Browns with Oral Hildebrand to New York in October 1938 for Joe Glenn and Myril Hoag. Joe Vance (1905) posted a 1-0 record in five games for the ’37-’38 club; and George McConnell (1877) struggled to a 12-28 mark for the 1909, 1912, and 1913 Yanks. New York sold his contract to the Chicago Cubs in September 1913.
Other birthdays: Hall of Famer Robin Yount (1955), who won an AL MVP Award at shortstop and then another as a center fielder playing for the Milwaukee Brewers; Orel Hershiser (1958), who owns the longest scoreless-innings streak in baseball history; Mickey Tettleton (1960), who along with Andy Pettitte comprises the only two guys ever to play in the bigs and have four “T”s in their last name; Mark Parent (1961); Mark Acre (1968); Paul Shuey (1970); Desi Relaford (1973); Chad Harville (1973); Chris George (1973); Bobby Korecky (1979); Chris Carter (1982); Michael Martinez (1982); Brandon Moss (1983); Matt Harrison (1985); Gordon Beckham (1986); Robbie Grossman (1989); Jake Junis (1992); Dylan Coleman (1996); Matt Vierling (1996); and Tucupita Marcano (1999).
Players Born This Day