9/25 in Yankee History
The red-letter days:
1962: Whitey Ford beats Washington 8-3‚ as the Yankees clinch the AL pennant for the 26th time in club history. Ralph Houk becomes the 5th ML manager to capture pennants in each of his first 2 seasons.
1960: Ralph Terry clinches the Yankees’ 25th pennant with a 4-3 win over the Red Sox. Luis Arroyo saves the win. It is Casey Stengel’s 10th and final pennant in 12 years at New York.
1943: The Yankees clinch the AL flag, their 14th, with a 2-1 win over the Tigers in 14 innings. Both starters go the distance, Spud Chandler (below) outduelling Detroit’s Frank ‘Stubby’ Overmire.
1929: Three days after turning the team over to coach Art Fletcher, Yankee manager Miller Huggins dies from blood poisoning at New York’s St. Vincent Hospital. He was 49. The team finds out about the death during the 5th inning at Fenway Park and both teams line up along the foul lines for a minute of silent prayer. New York win the game 11-10 in 11 innings as starters Ray Dobens and Bots Nekola‚ teammates at Holy Cross a year ago‚ are gone after 6 innings. Tony Lazzeri is the hitting star with a single‚ double‚ and 2 triples.
1926: The Yankees take two from the Browns to nail down the AL flag, the club’s 4th, winning the opener 10-2 behind Herb Pennock. Babe Ruth’s grand slam is the big blow. In the nitecap‚ Lou Gehrig homers in the 3rd inning‚ off Milt Gaston, while Ruth matches him with a 2-run HR in the 6th off Win Ballou. Ruth adds a solo shot in the 9th‚ his 46th‚ off Joe Giard to seal the Waite Hoyt 10-4 victory. Ruth has 4 RBIs in each game‚ though his official scorecard somehow lists him at two apiece: the incorrect total will not be noted until ASBR member Trent McCotter discovers it in 2004‚ and it raises his RBI total for the year to 150‚ not 146‚ which is his official total.
On other 25ths of September…
2000: The Yankees’ disastrous September slide continues, as the club lose their last regular season home game of the year to the Tigers, 15-4. David Justice blasts his career-high 41st home run, but it isn’t nearly enough, as Detroit jump on Doc Gooden for five runs in the first three innings. Derek Jeter notches his 1,000th career hit with a 5th inning infield single.
1998: The Yankees win‚ 6-1 over the Devil Rays and set an AL record for most wins in a season‚ 112. The 1954 Indians held the record at 111. Orlando Hernandez improves his record to 12-4.
1996: The Yankees clinch the AL East title by pounding out 20 hits in a 19-2 win over the Brewers in the opening game of a doubleheader. The New Yorkers score 10 runs in the 2nd inning after plating 4 in the opening frame. Tino Martinez leads with 5 RBIs and David Cone # (7-2) is the easy winner. The Yanks also take the nitecap‚ 6-2.
1990: One of the few bright spots in a dismal year: the Yankees tie an MLB record when their first 8 batters all hit safely in a 15-3 rout of the Orioles. Anthony Telford gives up the first 6 hits to take the loss. The Yanks hit 6 homers in the game.
1989: In a 7-4 Yankee loss to the Red Sox, Boston’s Wade Boggs goes 4-for-5 to become the first player in Major League history to achieve both 200 hits and 100 walks in 4 consecutive seasons. It is Boggs’ 7th straight 200-hit season overall‚ extending his own modern ML record. Dwight Evans also puts his name in the record books by belting his 20th homer. He is the only current player with 20 or more homers in each of the last 9 years.
1985: Rickey Henderson steals his 75th base of the season in the Yankees’ 10-2 win over Detroit‚ breaking the club record of 74 set by Fritz Maisel in 1914.
1968: Mickey Mantle plays his final game at Yankee Stadium. He slices a two-out first inning single off Cleveland’s Luis Tiant‚ the only hit for the homesiders. Tiant tosses his 9th shutout of the year‚ tops in the AL‚ to win 3-0. El Tiante’s ERA drops to 1.60; the previous low for an Indian pitcher was Stan Coveleski’s 1.87 in 1917.
1955: The Series-bound Yankees split a tune-up with the Red Sox‚ as Casey Stengel uses 17 players in each game of the doubleheader. New York win‚ 9-2‚ then loses 8-1 to righty George Susce. Ted Williams is 1-for-1 in each game and is replaced with a pinch runner. He finishes the season at .356‚ well ahead of Al Kaline’s .340‚ but he does not have enough ABs to win the batting title. The same thing happened the previous year. Williams was walked 136 times in 1954 and 71 times (an AL-leading 17 were intentional) this year. A rule change will be made to recognize plate appearances‚ not times at bat. The Throneberry brothers face in other for the first time in the opener with New York’s Marv collecting 2 hits to Faye’s 0. Haywood and Frank Sullivan‚ the losing pitcher‚ are the Boston battery in game 1‚ but they are not related.
1949: Despite 71 injuries that kept players out of games‚ Casey Stengel and his Yankees have been in first place all season. But today the Red Sox (93-55) move into a tie for first place with a 4-1 victory over Allie Reynolds. Ted Williams hits his 43rd HR‚ and Mel Parnell allows just 4 hits in winning his 25th game of the season. The lefty is 16-3 at Fenway this year‚ while the Sox have won their last 21 games at home. Joe DiMaggio listens to the game from a hospital‚ bedridden with pneumonia. The Yankees return to New York and are greeted at Grand Central Station by a huge crowd of fans‚ including Mrs. Babe Ruth‚ who predicts‚ “Whoever wins tomorrow should go all the way.”
1948: Boston’s Jack Kramer scatters seven hits and the Sox beat up on Allie Reynolds‚ sending the Big Chief to the showers in the 4th inning. The Red Sox win‚ 7-2. The Yanks are now one game out of first, with the Red Sox and the Indians in a dead heat.
1934: In his first major league game‚ Yankee Vito Tamulis shuts out the A’s‚ 5-0. Lou Gehrig plays his 1‚500th consecutive game and hits his 48th HR‚ a personal high.
1921: At the Polo Grounds‚ 38‚000 watch the Yankees thrash the 2nd place Indians 21-7 to move a full game ahead of the Tribe. The Yanks knock out Ray Caldwell in the 2nd and dust up Duster Mails for 10 runs in his 2 innings. In the 4th the Yankees bat around before the first out is recorded. The 10th batter, Roger Peckinpaugh, singles for his 2nd hit of the inning‚ as manager Tris Speaker watches from center field. Bob Meusel adds a triple with 2 on and a homer with 2 on to pace the 20-hit attack. Carl Mays has 3 hits and goes the distance for the win.
1917: Phil Rizzuto is born.
1909: The Highlanders’ eight-game winning streak comes to an end against visiting Tiger pitcher Ed Summers, 2-1, in the first game of a doubleheader. They also lose the second game, 10-4. The New Yorkers hit Summers freely across the first three innings with the help of a signal-stealing scheme. A hat advertisement in center field at Hilltop Park has the crossbar in ‘H’ cut and painted white on one side and black on the other. Using a telescope, a spotter picks up the catcher’s signal and uses a handle to flip the crossbar to indicate fastball or curve. Tigers manager Hughey Jennings sends the team trainer to investigate. He discovers the scam and destroys the crossbar. Jennings isn’t the only manager to suspect the Highlanders are swiping signs. White Sox manager Billy Sullivan will later claim that he had suspicions, but couldn’t prove anything. Joe Cantillon, manager of the Senators, also claims to have been aware of the practice, but didn’t complain because his team was out of the race. He identified the man in center field as former pitcher Gene McCann. Later, at the winter meetings the American League board of directors issues a statement saying that ‘after their investigation, they found no evidence of a signal tipping plan had been in effect.’ The statement also declared that ‘if such a plan was discovered from any team in the league the manager or player responsible would be banned from the league for all time.’ A rule prohibiting signal tipping will be implemented the following year.