With the arrival of the 4th of November, we reached 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 off-season moves have their historical importance as well, and deserve to be studied, but I choose to leave them to others.
I don’t have a hit counter, so I have no idea how many people visited my blog this year, and since I can literally count the number of comments on the fingers of one hand, I’ve no idea what said visitors thought. I hope that someone got something useful out of my work, and drew 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.
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 held 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 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.
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.
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.