8/20 in Yankee History
The red-letter day -
1964: The ‘Harmonica Incident.’
On the New York team bus following a 5-0 White Sox win‚ Phil Linz begins to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ on his harmonica. Manager Yogi Berra orders Linz to stop‚ then slaps the instrument out of his hands when he continues playing. The incident is reported as indicating dissension on the club and Berra’s lack of control‚ as well as the level of Linz’s humour.
On other 20ths of August…
1990: In the wake of the Howie Spira-Dave Winfield scandal, George Steinbrenner resigns as managing general partner of the Yankees.
1986: Dave Winfield hits his 300th career homer in a losing cause as the Yanks fall to Seattle‚ 5-2. Mike Trujillo wins his first game for the Mariners.
1961: Roger Maris hits his 49th and Mickey Mantle his 46th as the Yankees sweep a pair from the Indians‚ 6-0 and 5-2. Both come in game one as Ralph Terry pitches a 4-hitter. Moose Skowron homers in the nitecap and the Mick notches an RBI with his 101st walk‚
following a single and 2 HPBs to load the bases.
1957: Bob Turley pitches a 2-hitter for the Yanks against Kansas City‚ but loses 1-0 to former Bomber Ralph Terry. Both A’s hits come in the 6th when Tim Thompson drives in Woody Held with a single. Thompson won yesterday’s 1-0 game with a single.
1955: The Yankees stay a game ahead of the White Sox and Cleveland by clipping the Orioles 3-2. Lefty Bill Wight allows just one hit until the 4th‚ when he gives up a walk‚ a single and a double. Paul Richards then brings in George Zuverink to Elston Howard‚ moving Wight to first base, replacing Gus Triandos. Howard doubles in 2 runs‚ Zuverink gets the next 2 hitters before Wight returns to the mound and pitches shutout ball the rest of the way. Tommy Byrne (below) wins his 12th game against 3 losses.
1944: Graig Nettles is born. Happy 69th, Puff!
1938: Lou Gehrig hits a first-inning grand slam‚ the 23rd and last of his career for a record of which he is still a co-holder. It comes off Buck Ross in an 11-3 victory over the A’s. Larrupin’ Lou ends the day with 6 RBIs.
1931: At St. Louis‚ Lou Gehrig hits his 33rd homer in the 4th to tie Babe Ruth for the ML lead‚ but the Babe answers in the 9th with his 34th‚ a grand slam over the right field roof‚ to give the Yanks a 7-3 win over the Browns. Lefty Gomez almost has New York’s first shutout of the season‚ but he weakens in the 9th.
1923: At Comiskey Park‚ the Yanks are winning a laugher‚ 16-5‚ when a dog wanders into left field in the 9th inning. Babe Ruth briefly plays with the pup‚ then tosses his mitt at it to chase it away. The dog promptly grabs the mitt in its teeth and takes off at the same moment that Sox rookie pitcher Paul Castner lofts a fly to left. Babe casually catches the fly bare handed.