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This Day in Yankees History: Yankees win wild Wild Card Game

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Didi Gregorius’ home run capped off a crazy first inning in a crazy game on this day in 2017.

American League Wild Card Game - Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. The playoffs may be underway, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a trip into the past. 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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73 Years Ago

In game four of the 1947 World Series, Yankees’ starter Bill Bevens gets within an out of throwing the first ever no-hitter in Fall Classic history. The Dodgers actually scored a run in the fifth inning, but still hadn’t recorded a hit. Down to their last out, they sent up pinch-hitter Cookie Lavagetto to try and avoid a place in infamy.

Not only did Bevens lose the no-hitter, he and the Yankees actually lost way more. Bevens had walked two hitters in the inning (he walked 10 in total in the game), and both would score when Lavagetto doubled. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead into the inning, but the double turned that into a 3-2 walkoff win for the Dodgers, evening the series at two games a piece. The Yankees would still go on to win the series in seven games, and a Yankee pitcher would end up being the first to throw a playoff no-hitter with Don Larsen’s perfect game nine years later.

25 Years Ago

The Yankees kick off the Wild Card era with a 9-6 win over the Mariners in game one of the ALDS. They, and the Rockies who also play that day in game one of the NLDS, officially became the first teams to not finish in first in their division but still take part in the playoffs. Wade Boggs and Bernie Williams lead the way for the Yankees, combining for six hits and four RBI in the series-opening win. The less said about what happened later in the series, the better.

3 Years Ago

After a crazy first inning, the Yankees put away the Twins to win the 2017 AL Wild Card Game 8-4. Yankees’ starter Luis Severino would be knocked out after just 0.1 innings after allowing three runs and two homers in the first four batters he faced. However, the Yankees would immediately rally in their half of the first, with Didi Gregorius hitting a three-run home run to tie things up.

After that, the Yankees’ bullpen took over. Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Aroldis Chapman combined to allow just one run in the last 8.2 innings, highlighted by Robertson’s 3.1 scoreless innings. As it turned out, this would be just the beginning of a wild 2017 playoff run.

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Happy 69th birthday, Dave Winfield!

The Yankees signed Winfield to a ten-year deal ahead of the 1981 season, and he would go on to make eight All-Star teams while wearing pinstripes. However, the Hall of Famer’s Yankee career is most known for his public feud with George Steinbrenner.

Winfield struggled in his only World Series with the team in 1981, recording just one hit. The team’s failure to make the playoffs in the years after would lead to Steinbrenner derisively dubbing the outfielder “Mr. May.” The Yankees’ owner’s eventual hiring of a gambler to dig up dirt on Winfield would lead to Steinbrenner getting banned from baseball for life, before getting reinstated two years later.

Despite the unfortunate moniker bestowed on him, Winfield was an excellent player for the Yankees, putting up a 134 OPS+ in his time in New York.

Other Yankees with birthdays today are Johnny Broaca and Armando Marsans.

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