Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. The 2020 baseball season has come to an end, so let’s dig into the history books. 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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56 Years Ago
Nov. 2, 1964 represented the dawn of corporate ownership in Major League Baseball, as the Columbia Broadcasting System, better known as CBS, purchased an 80% stake in the Yankees for $11.2 million. The previous owners, Dan Topping and Del Webb, had helmed the franchise from 1945 to 1964, presiding over a remarkable 20-year stretch that saw the club appear in 15 World Series and win 10 of them (having Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle doesn’t hurt).
The CBS ownership record was less auspicious. During the company’s eight seasons running the team, the Yankees went 636-649 with no trips to the Fall Classic. In 1973, CBS sold the franchise to a consortium including Cleveland shipbuilder George Steinbrenner III. You probably know the rest.
11 Years Ago
The Yankees staged a late rally, but fell short in Game Five of the 2009 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies by an 8-6 score. The Yankees came into the game, played at Citizens Bank Park, up 3-1 and hoping to close out their 27th World Series championship, but the champagne celebration would have to wait another couple of days. AJ Burnett started the game for the Bombers, but got pummeled for six runs in just two innings. Phillies starter Cliff Lee surrendered just two runs over seven innings, but got tagged for three runs in the eight, leaving the game without recording an out in the frame.
The Yankees added a run in the ninth, but it wasn’t to be. It was just as well, as the club then had the good fortune to celebrate in front of their own fans in the newly christened Yankee Stadium III following a victorious Game Six.
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A big happy birthday goes out to Jonathan Loáisiga, who turns 26 today. “Johnny Lasagna” showed flashes of being an impact arm out of the bullpen in 2020, pitching to a 3.52 ERA (4.41 FIP) with 22 strikeouts and seven walks in 23.0 innings. While he may still have ambitions to carve out a career as a starter, his best and most immediate opportunities seem likely to come as a reliever. This past season represented a step forward for him and fans can only hope it’s a taste of things to come.
Also marking birthdays are former Yankees Tommy Layne (who pitched for the club from 2016-17); Wilson Betemit (who played with the Yankees from 2007-08 and was traded to the White Sox in 2008 in a package for Nick Swisher); Sidney Ponson (2006 and 2008); and Greg Harris (1994).
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We thank Baseball-Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.