To my handful of loyal readers:
I normally maintain this chronicle on a daily basis from Opening Day of the Grapefruit League until the 4th of November, the latest date on which the Yankees have ever played a game.
. For me, Yankee history has always been primarily a matter of what goes on between the foul lines; anything that happens off the field – trades, birthdays and deaths, etc. – appears on my radar only if the occurrence is on a day when the Yankees still have games to play. I’m sure that the hot stove moves have their historical importance as well, and deserve to be studied, but I choose to leave them to others.
I never look at the stats page of this blog, so I have no idea how many people visited this year, and since I can literally count the number of comments on the fingers of one hand, I’ve no idea what most of said visitors thought. I hope that someone got something useful out of my work, drawing added inspiration from it during good times, and consolation in the reminder that the team had been there before in bad.
Thanks for reading this year, then, and I hope to see you again when Mission 28 resumes in March.
Have a good winter,
The red-letter day ~
2009: Back at the Stadium, the Yankees ride 6 RBI from Series MVP Hideki Matsui to Championship No. 27. Homering, singling and doubling for two runs each his first three times to the plate, the first two off Pedro Martinez, Matsui gives Andy Pettite a big lead that will hold up despite a two-run homer by strikeout-prone Ryan Howard in the 6th. The bullpen will hold it from there in impressive fashion, with consecutive strike outs of Chase Utley, Howard, and Jason Werth, the first two by Damaso Marte. The Werth whiff comes courtesy of Mariano Rivera, who wraps things up by getting the last five outs of the 7-3 Yankee win.
On other 4ths of November…
2001: The Yankees suffer one of the most heartbreaking postseason defeats in their history in game 7 of the World Series. Roger Clemens throws another strong game, and Alfonso Soriano reaches Curt Schilling for an 8th-inning tie-breaking home run. But the game slips away when the normally rock-solid Mariano Rivera muffs a throw on a bunt in the bottom of the 9th. Randy Johnson gets the win in relief and Luis Gonzalez pokes a broken-bat flare over Derek Jeter to knock in the winning run in the 3-2 victory. Johnson and Curt Schilling share the Series MVP award.
1948: Former Yankee outfielder Jake Powell, 39‚ shoots and kills himself in a Washington‚ D.C.‚ police station.
Powell, who had been arrested for writing checks on a false account, was the start of the 1936 World Series, going 4-for-4 in game 1 against Carl Hubbell, and finishing the series with a .455 average and 8 runs.
2004: Willie Randolph resigns as a Yankee coach in order to become manager of the Mets.
2001: The Diamondbacks even the World Series at 3 games apiece with a 15-2 thrashing of the Yankees in Game 6. Randy Johnson gets the win for Arizona while Danny Bautista drives in 5 runs. Arizona deliver a WS-record barrage of 22 hits‚ and score 8 runs in the 3rd inning, chasing starter Andy Pettitte in the process.
1992; One of the most important trades in recent Yankee history goes through, as Paul O’Neill arrives from Cincinnati in exchange for Roberto Kelly and minor league prospect Joe DeBerry.
1982: Early Yankee workhorse pitcher Ray Fisher dies at the age of 95.
1954: The Yankees’ tour of Japan opens in Osaka. The first game against the All-Japan Stars draws a record crowd of 64‚000. Andy Carey belts 13 HRs‚ and Elston Howard bats .468 on the 25-game tour.
1942: Yankee second baseman Joe Gordon is voted American League MVP by a margin of 21 votes, even though Ted Williams won the Triple Crown. Moreover, Gordon led the league in strikeouts‚ GDPs, and errors at his position.
1911: Johnny Keane, Yankee manager who presided over the initial phase of the club’s ’60s decline, is born.
On the 1st of November down through the years…
2009: With the Yanks up 2 to 1 in games in the World Series, CC Sabathia outpitches Joe Blanton through 7 2/3 innings when Chase Utley closes the score to 4-3 with a home run. Joba Chamberlain strikes out two in the 8th, only to have Pedro Feliz tie it with a two-strike homer of his own. Johnny Damon takes over at that poin – battling to a two-out single in the 9th, he steals second and continues onto third when the shifted Phillies infield fails to cover. Following a hit by pitch, doubles from Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada plate three off Brad Lidge, and Mariano Rivera closes out the 7-4 Yankee win.
2001: Deja vu all over again…
In an amazing case of history repeating itself‚ the Yankees again come from 2 runs down with 2 outs in the 9th inning to defeat the Diamondbacks‚ 3-2 in 12 innings.Byung-Hyun Kim is again victimized‚ this time by Scott Brosius 2-run home run in the 9th. Alfonso Soriano’s single wins it in the 12th. Steve Finley and Rod Barajas homer in the 5th for Arizona’s runs.
1979: After a disappointing fourth place finish, the Yankees begin their offseason wheeling and dealing. In separate transactions, they Yanks acquire outfielder Ruppert Jones from the Mariners, and catcher Rick Cerone and pitcher Tom Underwood from the Blue Jays, giving up 7 players‚ including popular first baseman Chris Chambliss, shortstop Damaso Garcia, outfielder Juan Beniquez and pitchers Jim Beattie and Paul Mirabella. Chambliss will be with the Blue Jays for a month before they swap him to Atlanta.
1978: Ron Guidry is the unanimous choice for the AL Cy Young Award. The southpaw led the league in wins 25)‚ percentage (.874)‚ shutouts (9)‚ and ERA (1.74).
1974: ‘Bullet’ Joe Bush, who won 19 games for the Yankees first World Championship team in 1923, dies at the age of 81.
…and on the 2nd:
2009: The Yankees threaten a big come-from-behind win before falling 8-6 to the Phillies at Citizens’ Bank Park in game 5 of the World Series. After the home team jump on A.J. Burnett for six runs through six outs, the bullpen hold the home team in check until Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez hit solo homers in the 7th. They will make all the difference, as the Yanks score three in the 8th on Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez doubles and one more in the 9th to forge the final score
1995: A new era begins: the Yankees name Joe Torre as their new manager‚ replacing Buck Showalter.
1964: The CBS purchase of the Yankees goes into effect, precipitating a sharp decline in the club’s fortunes afield. The neglect-driven decline will not be reversed until George Steinbrenner’s consortium buy the team in 1973.
1960: Roger Maris edges out Mickey Mantle for the AL’s Most Valuable Player award‚ 225 votes to 222‚ the second-closest vote ever‚ after the Joe DiMaggio-Ted Williams race in 1947
66-year-old George Weiss resigns his position as general manager of the Yankees.
Former Yankee shortstop Everett Scott ,who had the only Major Leagues’ only 1,000 + consecutive games played streak until Lou Gehrig, dies at the age of 67.
The red-letter day ~
2001: Derek Jeter becomes ‘Mr. November.’
In a thrilling contest‚ the Yankees defeat the Diamondbacks‚ 4-3 in 10 innings‚ to tie the World Series at 2 games apiece. Tino Martinez’s 2-out‚ 2-run homer in the bottom of the 9th ties the game‚ and Derek Jeter’s blast in the bottom of the 10th after midnight wins it for New York. Both homers come off Byung-Hyun Kim, who relieved Curt Schilling in the 8th inning. Mariano Rivera gets the win in relief for the Yankees.
On other 31sts of October…
2009: Andy Pettitte survives a three-run Philly uprising in the 2nd inning in an 8-5 Yankee win in Citizen’s Bank Park in Game 3 of the World Series. The Yanks rally for five runs off Cole Hamels in the 5th and 6th. The big blow for the Yanks is a two-run homer by A-Rod off a Fox Sports camera hanging over the right field fence. The call, which comes after the first use of instant replay in Series history, goes in the Bombers’ favour. Nick Swisher doubles and homers, and even in an NL, non-DH park Hideki Matsui pinch-hits a homer in the top of the 8th.
1960: Mike Gallego (shown here with Jim Leyritz giving pointers to recently signed draft pick Derek Jeter), Yankee utility infielder of the early ’90s, is born, Happy 54th, MG!
1957: Yogi Berra tells the Daily News that the Yankee front office returned the money collected in fines to the players involved in the ‘Battle of the Copacabana’ (see May 16th).
1948: Mickey Rivers is born. Happy 66th to Mick the Quick!
2001: Roger Clemens and Mariano Rivera hurl the Yankees to a 2-1 victory in Game 3 of the World Series. Jorge Posada homers for New York while Scott Brosius’ 6th-inning single drives home the winning run. President George W. Bush throws out the ceremonial first pitch, and Brian Anderson takes the loss for Arizona.
1982: Former Yankee hurler Jonathan Albaladejo is born. Happy 32nd to JT!
1962: Danny Tartabull, early ’90s Yankee DH, is born. Happy half century plus two, DT!
1941: Jim Ray Hart, who shared Yankee DH duties with Ron Blomberg during the inaugural season of the designated hitter in 1973, is born. Happy 73rd, JRH!
2009: A.J. Burnett makes his name and earns his Yankee credibility with a dominant performance in Game 2 of the World Series, registering a 3-1 win over veteran righty Pedro Martinez. Following a Philadelphia score in the second inning, Mark Teixeira evens things up with a fourth-inning home run. Hideki Matsui then clears the right-field fence with the game winner in the sixth. Jorge Posada delivers an insurance run with a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh.
1975: Karim Garcia is born, ¡Feliz cumpleaños, KG!
1962: The Yankees sell Bob Turley (82-52 over 8 years in New York ) to the LA Angels.
1920: The Yankees sign Red Sox manager Ed Barrow as GM, completing the front office team that will build the game’s most successful franchise, which will win 14 American League pennants and 10 World Titles in the 25 years that Barrow serves in the job. Hugh Duffy replaces Barrow in the Boston.dugout.
2009: The World Series opens at the Stadium. Yogi Berra, Michelle Obama, and Jill Biden throw out ceremonial first pitches before the game. In the contest that follows, Cliff Lee makes his name as a postseason ace, besting CC Sabathia. The 6-1 final score is deceptive, as Philly reach relievers David Robertson, Brian Bruney, and Phil Coke for four runs in the last two frames. Bruney, wearing the number 99 that may have represented the place he now held on the Yankee bullpen depth chart, and outfielderEric Hinskewere activated and added to the World Series roster earlier that day.
2001: Arizona jump out to a 2-0 Series lead as Randy Johnson hurls a 3-hit complete game shutout. Matt Williams hits a 3-run homer for the Diamondbacks. Andy Pettitte takes the loss for the Yanks.
1981: Pedro Guerrero drives in 5 runs and Burt Hooton and the Dodgers beat the Yankees 9-2 to win the World Series in 6 games. In a remarkable post season‚ the Dodgers came from behind to win 3 series (down 2-0 to Houston and 2-1 to Montreal in the best-of-5 series). Guerrero‚ Ron Cey and Steve Yeager (2 home runs) are named co-MVPs‚ while outfielder Dave Winfield and reliever George Frazier are the goats for New York. Winfield was just 1-for-21‚ while Frazier tied a Series record by losing 3 games. The record was set by the Lefty Williams of the White Sox in 1919; since Williams was one of the 8 Black Sox‚ one might assume that he was not trying very hard.
1979; George Steinbrenner announces that Billy Martin has been fired again as a result of his recent barroom fight. Third base coach Dick Howser is named to replace him.
1953: The ‘Old Redhead‚’ Red Barber‚ resigns from the Dodger broadcast booth and takes a job with the Yankees.
1917: ’40s Yankee closer Joe Page is born.
The red-letter day ~
1999: The Yankees defeat the Braves 4-1‚ to win their 25th world championship. Roger Clemens gets the win‚ hurling 4-hit ball before leaving the game in the 8th inning. Mariano Rivera gets the save‚ his 2nd of the Series. Jim Leyritz hits a solo HR in the 8th inning to finish the NY scoring. Rivera wins the Series MVP award.
On other 27ths of October…
2001: The Diamondbacks hammer the Yankees in the World Series opener by a score of 9-1 behind Curt Schilling. Schilling hurls 7 innings to win his 4th game of the postseason. Craig Counsell and Luis Gonzalez homer for Arizona as Mike Mussina takes the loss.
1985: Billy Martin is fired by the Yankees for an unprecedented 4th time and is replaced by former Yankee outfielder Lou Piniella‚ who had been the team’s hitting instructor since retiring as a player in 1984.
1972: The Yankees ship Danny Walton to the Twins for catcher Rick Dempsey (below). Walton spent the 1972 season in the minors‚ while young Dempsey had cups of coffee with the Twins the past 4 seasons.
1955: Clark Griffith, the first manager of the New York Highlanders/Yankees, dies at the age of 85.
The red-letter days ~
2000: The Yankees defeat the Mets‚ 4-2‚ to win their 26th World Series title‚ 4-games-to-1. Luis Sojo’s single in the top of the 9th drives home the winning run for NY. Bernie Williams (who makes the final putout) and Derek Jeter homer for the Yankees‚ and Jeter is named Series MVP.
1996: The Yankees take their 4th game in a row from the Braves‚ 3-2‚ giving them their 23rd World Championship, and their first in 18 years. Joe Girardi’s 3rd-inning triple is the key blow. Starter Jimmy Key gets the win with help from John Wetteland. The Yankee closer, who has save all four of his team’s victories, is awarded the MVP trophy.
On other 26ths of October…
1999: Down 5-1 in Game 3 of the World Series‚ the Yankees bounce back to defeat the Braves 6-5 in 10 innings. Chad Curtis’ leadoff HR in the bottom half of the frame – his 2nd of the game – is the walkoff blow. Tino Martinez and Chuck Knoblauch also homer for NY‚ with Knoblauch’s 2-run blast in the 8th tying the score at 5-5. Mariano Rivera picks up the win for the Yankees‚ hurling 2 scoreless inning of
1977: Yankee fireman Sparky Lyle becomes the first reliever to win the AL Cy Young Award. Lyle led the league with 72 appearances‚ posting a 13-5 record with 26 saves and a 2.17 ERA.
1950: The Baseball Writers of America select Phil Rizzuto as the AL MVP.
1919: New York Supreme Court Justice Robert Wagner (below) rules in favor of the Yankees and makes permanent the team’s temporary restraining order against the AL. Wagner was persuaded that Ban Johnson acted incorrectly in banning Carl Mays two days after the pitcher was traded to New York. Johnson sent telegrams to all the owners except Boston’s Frazee telling them not to negotiate for Mays.
1918: Late ’40s Yankee second baseman and 1945 AL batting champion George ‘Snuffy’ Stirnweiss is born.
1917: Miller Huggins, who managed the Cardinals to a 3rd-place finish this year‚ is signed to run the Yankees by owner Jake Ruppert. Co-owner T.L. Huston‚ who favoured Wilbert Robinson for the job‚ has a falling out with partner Ruppert. The rift will widen over the coming years to the point where Huston sells his half interest in the club to Ruppert in 1923.