The red-letter days ~
2004: The ‘Derek Jeter dive’ game.
One of the most thrilling contests in recent years in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry takes place at the Stadium. Home runs by Tony Clark and Jorge Posada propel starter Brad Halsey into a 3-0 lead over Pedro Martinez. but Boston tie it on a two-run Manny Ramirez homer and a David McCarty two-bagger that glances off Bernie Williams’ glove in the 7th. The Sox load the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk against Mariano in the 11th, but A-Rod turns a miraculous 5 (UA), 5-2 double play that would have been a triple play on a 2-5, but the latter throw retires Ramirez coming from second for the second time on the play, a twist that one won’t find in the rule book. A second-and-third, two-out threat against Tanyon Sturtze in the following frame is snuffed out when Jeter dives face first into the left-field boxes after snaring Trot Nixon’s flair into no man’s land. The Sox pull ahead again on another Manny blast to lead off the 13th, but with two out in the home half of the inning, Ruben Sierra, Miguel Cairo and John Flaherty deliver a single, a double and a single in succession, and the Yanks and their fans celebrate a 5-4 victory.
1941: Joe Dimaggio ties Wee Willie Keeler’s Major League record hitting streak at 44 games whilst leading the Yanks to a doubleheader sweep of the Red Sox, 7-2 and 9-2.
On other 1sts of July…
2007: The contract of righty reliever Edwar Ramirez, who has been all the buzz in Scranton, is purchased, and the spindly hurler is brought to New York. Infielder Chris Basak is optioned out to create room, and injured righty Jeff Karstens is shifted to the 60-day disabled list.
1990: Yankee starting pitcher Andy Hawkins has a frustrating day’s work, holding the White Sox hitless through seven when New York third baseman Mike Blowers makes an error on a Sammy Sosa grounder leading off the next inning. Two walks follow, and then back-to-back errors by Jim Leyrirz and Jesse Barfield on wind-blown outfield flies, and the Sox are up, 4-0, the final score of the game despite the fact that Hawkins succeeds in finishing the no-hitter.
The 4-0 loss was the largest margin of a no-hitter loss in the 20th century, and Hawkins became the first Yankees pitcher to lose a no-hitter. On September 4, 1991 the Committee for Statistical Accuracy, appointed by Commissioner Fay Vincent, changed the definition of a no-hitter to require that a pitcher throw at least nine full innings and a complete game. Since Hawkins played for the visiting team, the White Sox never batted in the ninth inning and Hawkins lost the credit for a no-hitter.
1964: It’s ‘Taxi Day’ at the Stadium, with nearly 5,000 cab drivers and their families in attendance. The Kansas City A’s spoil the party, though, by beating the Yankees 5-4 in 11 innings.
1962: Angels reliever (and future Yankee pitching coach under Billy Martin) Art Fowler earns the win in the second of two vs. the Bombers with his throwing and with his bat. Fowler drives in four runs with two singles in the 12-5 nightcap after the Yanks win the opener 6-3. Halos outfielder Albie Pearson becomes first player in MLB history to go hitless in 11 at bats in a twinbill consisting of two nine-inning games.
1957: In a game against the Yankees, Baltimore pitcher George Zuverink and his catcher Frank Zupo become the first ‘Double Z’ battery in Major League history. But the 26th-letter mojo isn’t enough, as the Yanks prevail 3-2.
1950: At Fenway, Whitey Ford makes a considerably less than auspicious MLB debut, coming on in relief of Yankee starter Tommy Byrne. The young lefty is slapped around by the Red Sox for seven hits and five earned runs, while walking six, as Boston roll to a 13-4 win.
1935: At the suggestion of Yankee outfielder George Selkirk, the Stadium gets a six-foot-wide cinder path in front of the fences to alert fielders when they are approaching the wall. Yankee Stadium is the first Major League ballpark to have the feature, which will subsequently become known as the ‘warning track’.