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This Day in Yankees History: “Godzilla” creeps closer to the “Big Apple”

The Yankees and Yomiyuri Giants pave the way for Hideki Matsui’s transfer, Scott Boras takes an L, and “Doc” Gooden turns 56.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees, Game 6 Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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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This Day in Yankees History (October 26)

18 Years Ago

The New York Yankees co-sign an agreement with the Yomiyuri Giants, promising to work together moving forwards. As the most storied franchises in their respective leagues, the two clubs sought to improve each other’s scouting and marketing operations on foreign soil. Just a year later, the Yankees signed the Giants’ outfielder, Hideki Matsui, coming off his third Nippon Professional Baseball Central League MVP. It wasn’t until 2009 when Matsui cemented his legacy as a Yankee great, becoming just the third player in MLB history, after Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, to hit .500 and homer thrice in the World Series. For his outstanding efforts in the Fall Classic, Matsui was named the series’ MVP.

13 Years Ago

Scott Boras takes a second hit to his reputation in a week when free agent reliever (and ex-Yankee) Kenny Rogers decides to negotiate a contract to re-sign with the Tigers sans representation. Prior to Rogers axing Boras, Alex Rodriguez had done the same when he re-signed with the Yankees, cutting Boras out of the deal. Nonetheless, Boras has since recovered and then some, as he’s now worth nearly a half-billion dollars, a bloated total buoyed by last off-season’s negotiations which included Stephen Strasburg’s mega-deal with the Nats, only to be topped by the deal he manufactured between Gerrit Cole and the Yankees.

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Happy 56th birthday to the major Met and minor Yankee, Dwight “Doc” Gooden. Though his well-documented struggles with substance abuse shortened his prime to his early years with the Mets, he hung around as a serviceable arm in the majors until his age-35 season. He followed up his 1986 World Series win as a Met with two more playing for their crosstown rivals, including the Yankees’ series win in 2000 over his former team.

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