Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. With the offseason well underway, 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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This Day in Yankees History (November 13)
89 Years Ago
Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert purchases the Newark Bears, an International League team, and turns them into the Yankees’ primary farm team. During their 17 seasons as an affiliate, they sent numerous players to the Bronx, including Charlie Keller, Joe Gordon, and Spud Chandler.
Coincidentally, the Yankees still have a farm team in the International League: the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders.
42 Years Ago
The Yankees sign former Red Sox pitcher Luis Tiant to a two-year, $875,000 contract.
40 Years Ago
During the short-lived reentry draft, which was designed to limit how many teams could bid on a free agent, the Yankees are one of the 10 teams to receive the rights to negotiate with Dave Winfield. He would ultimately sign a record-breaking 10-year, $16 million contract to don the pinstripes.
22 Years Ago
The first home run hit at Yankee Stadium, hit by Babe Ruth off Boston Red Sox pitcher Howard Ehmke, sells at auction for $126,500. Until a few months prior, the ball had been sitting in the attic of graphic designer Marc Scala’s grandmother’s home.
12 Years Ago
The Yankees trade Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez in exchange for 1B/OF Nick Swisher from the Chicago White Sox. Swisher, who was penciled in as the Yankees’ first baseman until they signed Mark Teixeira a month later, became the Yankees’ primary right fielder from 2009 to 2012, earning one trip to the All-Star Game and winning one World Series.
The Yankees are still reaping the benefits of this trade, as the compensation pick acquired when he departed in free agency following the 2012 season was used to draft current superstar right fielder Aaron Judge.
3 Years Ago
Speaking of Aaron Judge, three years ago, he unanimously received the 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Award, thanks to a record-breaking performance in which he hit 52 home runs.
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Today would have been the 79th birthday of Yankees legend Mel Stottlemyre. Signed at the age of 19 by the Yankees in 1961, Stottlemyre was called up in the middle of the 1964 season. Despite being only a rookie with only 96 innings under his belt, Stottlemyre matched up against Bob Gibson three times during the World Series, winning Game 2, receiving a no-decision in Game 5, but losing Game 7.
He went on to play for 11 seasons, making five All-Star teams. Following his playing career, Stottlemyre became a coach. He rejoined the Yankees as the team’s pitching coach in 1996, a position he would hold until resigning his position following the 2005 season. At Old Timers’ Day in 2015, the Yankees surprised him with a plaque in Monument Park.
Stottlemyre was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2000, which re-emerged in 2011 following several years of remission, and he ultimately passed away on January 13, 2019.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.