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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20 Years Ago
On this date in 2000, Derek Jeter led off Game Four of the Subway Series with an exclamation point, homering off New York Mets starter Bobby Jones on the game’s very first pitch. The Yankees scored runs in each of the first three innings behind starter Denny Neagle, then held on for a 3-2 win and pulled to within one victory of clinching the franchise’s 26th World Series title.
This was also the game that saw David Cone enter the game with two outs in the bottom of the fifth to face Mike Piazza, who had homered off Neagle in his last at-bat. Cone, at 37, had endured a rough season and had made just one appearance for the Yankees that postseason (one scoreless inning in the ALCS against the Mariners). He got Piazza to fly out to center to end the frame, marking the final pitch he would throw in pinstripes.
As for Jeter, the leadoff fireworks helped net him the World Series MVP award after the Yankees sealed the championship in Game Five.
17 Years Ago
This one’s a sour memory, but it’s also one of the signature World Series performances in recent memory. Josh Beckett took the ball on three day’s rest for the Florida Marlins and hurled an absolute gem against the Yankees in Game Six of the 2003 World Series. The 23-year-old righty went the distance, giving up just five hits and striking out nine en route to a complete game shutout and the Marlins’ second title in their brief history.
11 Years Ago
On this date in 2009, the Yankees defeated the Angels 5-2 in Game Six of the ALCS, clinching the franchise’s 40th American League pennant. Starter Andy Pettitte turned in 6.1 innings of one-run ball to earn the win, and fellow southpaw CC Sabathia, who turned in victories in Games One and Four, was named series MVP.
Of course, the Yankees would go on to win the 2009 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. It is, much to the current squad’s chagrin, the last time the club appeared in the Fall Classic.
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A big happy 96th birthday to Dr. Bobby Brown, who played in parts of eight seasons for the Yankees between 1946 and 1954 and who’s on the short list for most fascinating post-baseball careers in MLB history.
Brown, an infielder, signed with the Yankees in 1946 while at the same time attending medical school at Tulane University. He appeared in four World Series, all of which the Yankees won (he also played with the team in 1952, which ended in another championship, but he left midway through the season to serve as a military doctor in the Korean War.)
After retiring in 1954 at the ripe old age of 29, Brown devoted himself full-time to a career in medicine, ultimately establishing a cardiology practice in Texas. He took a six-month leave from that practice in 1974 to serve as interim president of the Texas Rangers. In 1984, he began a 10-year stint as American League president.
He’s continued to be a fixture at Yankees’ Old Timers’ Day, appearing as recently as 2019. Here he is posing for a selfie with Reggie Jackson in 2018:
Also born on this day are former Yankees Andy McGaffigan (pitched for New York in 1981), Rowland Office (1983), Roy Smalley (1982-84), Pete Mikkelsen (1964-65), and Jack Doyle (1905).
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com and the Sabr Bio Project for providing background information for these posts.