The Pinstripe Alley Top Moments Tournament continues with the 1980-1999 bracket. Vote for the moment that deserves move on in the poll below.
#1: David Cone's Perfect Game
On July 18, 1999, the Yankees held "Yogi Berra Day" in the Bronx, celebrating Berra's terrific career in pinstripes, a career that saw him make 18 All-Star teams and win 13 World Series championships as a player and coach. Don Larsen, the very man who had tossed a perfect game with Berra behind the plate in the 1956 World Series, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
While memories of that perfect performance began the afternoon, fans would leave with another pitching masterpiece fresh in their minds. On that day, David Cone turned in the best game of his career, throwing just the third perfect game in Yankee history. Coming off a season in which he'd won 20 games, posted a 3.45 ERA and a 5.2 fWAR, Cone hadn't quite replicated those levels of success in 1999. Still, he was 9-4 when the Montreal Expos (remember them?) came to the Bronx, although the Detroit Tigers had roughed up Cone is his last start to the tune of six earned runs in seven innings.
In the top of the first, the Expos' came as close to a hit as they would all afternoon. Center fielder Terry Jones smacked a pitch up in the zone to right-center field, and Cone himself later said, "I was thinking triple, right off the bat." But Paul O'Neill robbed Jones with a diving save, and Cone retired James Mouton to end the inning.
Cone stuck out the side in the third before a 33-minute rain delay halted the game. But even a break in the action couldn't knock Cone out of his rhythm. Once the weather cleared, Cone went back to work, proceeding to strike out ten on the way to retiring 27 straight batters. It was the highlight of his career, made even more special by taking place in front of Yankee legends Larsen and Berra.
#8 - Jim Abbott's No-Hitter
Jim Abbott, despite being born without a left hand, made quite a successful career for himself as a major league pitcher. He joined the Yankees in 1993 for two years after an excellent stint with the California Angels, during which he posted fWARs of 5.4 and 4.4. His career in pinstripes was not as successful (ERAs over 4.00 and fWARs of 2.0 and 1.3 in 1993 and 1994) but still, in September of 1993, Abbott found some magic and managed to turn in a remarkable gem against the Cleveland Indians.
While he had been shelled the week before by the Indians (a game which saw Abbott, upon being pulled in the fourth inning with the Yankees down 7-3, leave the stadium for a cathartic three mile jog), Abbott found the form that made him an 18-game winner with the Angels just a couple years prior. In the middle of a heated pennant race, with the Yankees one game behind the AL-East leading Toronto Blue Jays, Abbott pitched the game of his life.
He might have walked five while only striking out three, but Abbott did not allow a hit in nine innings of work, mainly due to inducing 17 ground balls from the Indians' hitters. Wade Boggs saved a single in the seventh inning when he made a diving stop and threw out Albert Belle by a step. In the ninth, Kenny Lofton's bunt attempt (an attempt, it needs to be added, that enraged the Yankee Stadium crowd) fortunately drifted foul, as it almost certainly would've been a hit had it stayed fair. It was the last real chance the Indians' had to ruin Abbott's outing. The Yankees won 4-0, and Jim Abbott secured a place in the history books.
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