Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. The 2020 Yankees season may have come to an end, so let’s dig into the history books. These daily posts will highlight two or three key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane with us!
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56 Years Ago
Despite leading the team to the World Series, Yogi Berra is fired as manager of the Yankees. In just his first year as a manager, he helmed the team to a 99-win season and an AL pennant. However, they fell to the Cardinals and World Series MVP Bob Gibson in the Fall Classic in seven games, and Berra was let go a few days later.
In a weird twist of fate, the man to replace Berra would be Johnny Keane, who was St. Louis’ manager and had just beat Berra and the Yankees. His tenure in the Bronx would last just two seasons. Berra would eventually return to the Yankee Stadium dugout, but that stint ended even more controversially than his first one.
42 Years Ago
Thanks to seven solid innings from Catfish Hunter and a three-RBI performance from Bucky Dent, the Yankees win their 22nd all-time and second consecutive World Series.
After falling behind 2-0 in the series, the Yankees won four-straight capped off with their Game Six win at Dodger Stadium. LA took a lead in the bottom of the first, but that was immediately erased in the second with Dent giving the Yankees the lead with a two RBI single. He had another big hit in the sixth while Hunter and Goose Gossage combined to allow three hits and no runs in the final six innings, clinching the title.
20 Years Ago
David Justice’s three-run home run gives the Yankees a lead they would never relinquish as the Bombers beat the Mariners to win a third straight AL pennant. With a 3-2 series lead, the Yankees fell behind 4-0 to Seattle, including one run driven in by future Yankee Alex Rodriguez.
The Yankees chipped away at the deficit in the fourth, but they fully took control when Justice homered to give the Yankees the lead in the bottom of the seventh. In total, they scored six runs in the seventh, opening up a five run lead. The Mariners fought back with three runs in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough and the Yankees headed back to the World Series.
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On this day in 1908, Red Rolfe was born.
Rolfe was a four-time All-Star and five-team World Series champion with the Yankees, playing with the team from 1931-42. His best season came in 1939, when he lead the league in hits. In addition to arguably being the second best Yankee to wear the #2, he also managed the Tigers and also coached in the basketball league that eventually developed into the NBA.
The other Yankee with a birthday today is Glenn Braggs.
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We thank Baseball-Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.