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This Day in Yankees History: The Boss hires Billy Martin one last time

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Over 30 years ago today, the Yankees hired Billy Martin as manager one last time, not long before firing him one last time.

New York Yankees

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. Even though the 2020 season is over for New York, the Pinstripe Alley team has decided to continue the revived program in its new format. 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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74 Years Ago

The Yankees traded All-Star second baseman and former AL MVP Joe Morgan to Cleveland for pitcher Allie Reynolds. The 32-year-old Morgan was coming off a down year, his first since returning from the military, but owned a 121 OPS+ as a Yankee over seven seasons. Reynolds, on the other hand, was coming off an 11-15 season and had a worse than average ERA for his career. Somehow, both sides benefit from the deal, as Reynolds goes 131-60 as a Yankee with a 115 ERA+ in eight seasons, while Morgan posts a 120 OPS+ in Cleveland.

33 Years Ago

For the fifth and final time, the Yankees hire Billy Martin as their manager. Martin’s tumultuous managerial career in the Bronx would finally come to a close midway through the next season, when George Steinbrenner fired Martin one last time. Over five different stints in New York, Martin went 556-385 with two AL pennants and a World Series championship.

16 Years Ago

The Red Sox win Game Six of the 2004 ALCS.

1 Year Ago

It was a year ago today that Jose Altuve ended the Yankees 2019 season. As has been oft repeated over the last week or so, Altuve’s extra-inning, ALCS-winning homer was just the first season-ending home run Aroldis Chapman would yield in a 12-month span.

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Today is the 38th birthday of J.A. Happ. As such, the Yankees don’t seem much likely to bring back the veteran as he edges toward 40, especially given Happ’s public dissatisfaction with how he was used in the playoffs. In any event, Happ proved a savvy trade acquisition down the stretch in 2018, struggled in 2019 after re-signing with the team, then proved a crucial part of the rotation again for most of 2020.

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We thank Baseball-Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.