9/26 in Yankee History
The red letter day -
1961: In New York’s 159th game‚ Roger Maris rips a Jack Fisher fastball into the right field seats at Yankee Stadium for his 60th HR. New York beat Baltimore 3-2. There are fewer than 8‚000 fans on hand to witness the historic event.
1952: The Yanks clinch their 4th straight pennant, and 19th overall, with an 11-inning 5-2 win at Philadelphia behind Ed Lopat and Johnny Sain. Billy Martin’s two out‚ two run single in the 11th clinches it. The loser is starter Harry Byrd‚ who gives up early solo homers to Mickey Mantle and Irv Noren. Gus Zernial’s 2-run homer is all the A’s offense.
On other 26ths of September…
2009: Newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice, Bronx native and Yankee fan Sonia Sotomayor throws out the first pitch at the Stadium. In the game that followed, CC Sabathia reduces the Bombers’ magic number to clinch the AL East title to one with a 3-0 win over Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Red Sox. Robbie Cano breaks a scoreless duel with a sixth-inning home run, and Johnny Damon singles in two in the 8th, but not until after pinch runner Brett Gardner escapes a rundown between home and third by diving back into third under an errant throw.
2004: In a game marred by a bench-clearing brawl, the Red Sox down the Yankees at Fenway, 11-4. Curt Schilling pitches 7 innings of one-hit ball‚ while the Red Sox jump on Kevin Brown in the 1st and Estaban Loaiza in the 2nd inning to post a 7-0 lead. Pedro Astacio, Brad Halsey and Joe Torre all get tossed in the 8th. Bill Mueller homers for Boston while Andy Phillips‚ in his first Major League at bat‚ homers on the first pitch he sees. He is the 20th rookie to pinch hit a homer on his first AB.
2003: Yankee rookie pitcher Jorge De Paula (below) makes his ML debut with 6 1/3 hitless innings in the 2nd game of a doubleheader against the Orioles. He is removed after allowing a single to Larry Bigbie, but does not get a decision as the Orioles win‚ 3-2 in 10 innings. New York take the opener‚ 11-2.
1998: The Yankees defeat the Devil Rays‚ 3-1‚ for David Cone’s 20th win of the year. Cone sets a record for the most years (10) between 20-win seasons‚ having won 20 for the Mets in 1988. Jim Kaat held the previous record at 9. Shane Spencer homers‚ his 6th in 9 days and his 7th in the month‚ a Yankee rookie record..
1997: Four Yankee pitchers combine to 1-hit the Tigers‚ winning by a score of 8-2. Andy Pettitte starts and allows a 2-run single to Travis Fryman, in the 3rd inning‚ giving Detroit a 2-1 lead. Pettitte leaves after 4 frames and is succeeded by Brian Boehringer (3 innings)‚ Mariano Rivera (1 inning)‚ and Jeff Nelson (1 inning). Rivera receives credit for the win when NY explode for 6 runs in the 9th inning.
1978: The Yanks retain their one-game cushion with a 4-1 victory for Ed Figueroa over the Blue Jays, as the Red Sox beat the Tigers 6-0 behind Dennis Eckersley.
Off the field, New York District Court Judge Constance Baker Motley rules that women sportswriters cannot be banned from locker rooms in the state.
1964: Behind rookie Mel Stottlemyre’s 2-hitter‚ the Yankees roll over the Senators 7-0 for their 11th win in a row. Stottlemyre leads the offense with a ML-record-tying 5 hits‚ the last pitcher to collect that many and just the 8th pitcher in the 20th century to do so (Jim Callahan of the White Sox did it twice). With a single in his last at bat in his last game‚ he has hit safely in 6 consecutive ABs.
1956: In his first ML start‚ Charlie Beamon of the Orioles throws a 1-0‚ 4-hit shutout against the Yanks to thwart Whitey Ford’s bid for his 20th win. Ford won’t win 20 until 1961.
1954: Already eliminated, the Yankees try to set a record for most wins by a second-place team. In Casey Stengel’s ‘power line-up‚’ Yogi Berra plays his only game at third base in his career; Mickey Mantle is back at shortstop,; and Moose Skowron is at second, with Eddie Robinson first. But Art Ditmar of the Athletics defeats the Yanks 8-6 in the last game the franchise will play as the Philadelphia A’s before moving to Kansas City.
1949: Before 67‚434 at the Stadium‚ the Red Sox survive a rhubarb-filled 7-6 win when Johnny Pesky scores on a disputed squeeze play. The Sox‚ down 6-3 in the 5th when Joe Page comes in‚ score 4 in the 8th to win. The winning tally comes across when Bobby Doerr drops a surprise squeeze bunt in front of Tommy Henrich‚ who is playing third, and Pesky slides under Ralph Houk’s tag at home. Umpire Bill Grieve disagrees with every fan in the park by calling Pesky safe‚ and three Yanks- Cliff Mapes, Casey Stengel and Houk – are fined for a post-game confrontation with the arbiter. Leading by one game‚ the Sox move on to Washington for a 3-game series before the last 2 games of the year with the Yankees.
1948: Tommy Henrich reaches Mel Parnell for a two-run homer in the 1st inning and Joe DiMaggio adds another pair in the 4th inning on a single. Tommy Byrne stops the Red Sox to give New York a 6-2 win. But Gus Niarhos, New York’s starting catcher since early August when Yogi Berra was injured‚ breaks a finger and is out for the year.
1940: The Yankees stay in the hunt for the pennant by sweeping a pair from the A’s‚ 5-4 and 2-0. New York‚ winners of 8 straight‚ are now 2 1/2 games behind Detroit and a 1/2 game behind Cleveland. Red Ruffing wins the opener with home run support from Joe Gordon and Bill Dickey.. For Gordon‚ it is his 30th round-tripper of the year. Ernie Bonham allows 4 hits in the nitecap.
1929: At Washington‚ the Yankees blast 3 Senator pitchers for a 10-3 win. Lou Gehrig‚ Babe Ruth and Bill Dickey each triple for the victors.
1926: The Browns beat the Yankees twice‚ 6-1 and 6-2‚ in a total time of 2 hours‚ 7 minutes‚ an MLB record for a twinbill. The 2nd game is the fastest in AL history: at 55 minutes. The Yanks total 19 hits‚ while the Browns collect 26 in the two games. Babe Ruth has one at bat‚ then sits‚ and misses reliever George Sisler‚ who tosses 2 scoreless innings to finish for the Browns in game 2 and‚ when the Browns score 4 in the 8th‚ picks up the victory. Ruth has 47 homers – twice as many as the runner-up – and also leads the AL with 139 runs‚ 155 RBI‚ and 144 bases on balls. Ruth is batting .372‚ second to Detroit’s Heinie Manush‚ who will go 6-for-9 on the last day to end at .378. Browns coach Jimmie Austin‚ 46 years old‚ participates in the nitecap and contributes to the win by knocking in a run with a double and then stealing home. He is not the oldest to steal a base (Arlie Latham was 50 when he swiped a bag for the New York Giants in 1909), but he is the oldest ever to steal home. The Yankees use Fred ‘Bonehead’ Merkle in his final game. Merkle replaces Lou Gehrig at first in the 6th.
1925: Late ’50s Yankee reliever Bobby Shantz is born. Happy 87th, Bobby!
1921: Babe Ruth hits homers nos. 57 and 58 plus a double, and collects a walk to beat the Indians 8-7‚ and the Yankees take a 2 game lead. George Burns (below) adds a triple and 3 singles for New York in the come-from-behind win. The Indians load the bases in the 9th inning, but Steve Neill strikes out on a Carl Mays fastball in the dirt to end it.
1919: Carl Mays gives up 2 unearned runs in the Yankees’ 8-2 victory over the A’s. He strikes out 7.
1904: In Philadelphia‚ Connie Mack correctly predicts the AL finish, saying‚ “It certainly looks like the men from Plymouth Rock will take the bunting‚” because of all the postponed games the crippled Highlanders have to make up. The New Yorkers then lose a pair to Cleveland‚ 4-3 and 6-2. Jack Chesbro loses the opener‚ his first defeat in 10 games‚ when George Stovall hits a bases loaded triple in the 8th. Jack Powell struggles to the loss in game 2 after Terry Turner hits a liner off his knee that caroms into the outfield for a double. Meanwhile‚ Boston sweep Detroit‚ 2-0 and 5-3‚ and now lead the AL race by 2 games. Bill Dinneen applies the whitewash in the opener and Cy Young ,coming in relief of George Winter for the last inning, takes game 2.