Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. As the offseason has begun much sooner than anyone has ever hoped for, 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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41 Years Ago
A lot of ink is spilled every winter over who should manage the New York Yankees. Fans didn’t like Joe Girardi towards the end of his tenure, and many have grown sour over Aaron Boone. Lest you think that what MLB needs is a Billy Martin-type, today is the anniversary of Martin’s 1979 bar fight with a man who sold marshmallows.
Martin split Joseph Cooper, again, a man who sold marshmallows professionally, across the lip, a wound that required 15 stitches to close. Martin was unceremoniously fired by the Yankees for the incident, then re-hired, broke his arm in a fight with his own player, fired again, and is somehow still held up as what a model boss and manager should look like.
24 Years Ago
The 1996 World Series between the Yankees and the Braves was the inauguration of a dynasty, and perhaps the most dramatic moments came on October 23, 1996. In a Game Four, with New York down 2-1 in the series, Kenny Rogers was rocked early, and didn’t even finish the third inning, being charged with five runs.
Meanwhile, it took until the sixth inning for the Yankees to put anything together offensively, and by that point it was 6-0. Umpire Tim Welke bumped Braves outfielder Jermaine Dye, keeping him from catching what should have been a popout off the bat of Derek Jeter, and that one bit of daylight kick-started the comeback.
The Yankees cut the lead in half in that inning, then Jim Leyritz tied the game two innings later. A bases-loaded walk from Wade Boggs broke the tie in the tenth inning, and the Yankees had tied the series. They’d win game five in Atlanta, then seal their first World Championship since 1978 two days later.
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We thank Baseball-Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.