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 25)
50 Years Ago
Yankees catcher Thurman Munson wins the American League Rookie of the Year Award, receiving 23 of the total 24 first place votes (Cleveland outfielder Roy Foster received the other). Only 23 years old, Munson posted a .302/.386/.415 triple slash with six homers and 53 RBI, good for a 126 OPS+ and 5.5 WAR.
40 Years Ago
The Yankees hire Gene Michael as the team’s 25th manager, as he replaces the resigning Dick Howser. Michael, who had been the team’s general manager in 1980, is fired before season’s end despite the Yankees’ 48-34 record; under new skipper Bob Lemon, they would eventually reach the 1981 World Series but fell to the Dodgers. Michael would replace Lemon as skipper the following season from April 27th to August 4th before returning to GM and scouting roles for good (save for a brief stint as Cubs manager from 1986-87).
11 Years Ago
The Voice of Yankee Stadium, Bob Sheppard, retires, citing age and lack of stamina. He had been at the post for more than 50 years before failing health had forced him to miss both the final season at the old Yankee Stadium and the first season at the new Yankee Stadium. Less than a year later, he passed away at age 99.
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Today would have been the 106th birthday of Hall of Fame centerfielder Joe DiMaggio. Found by a Yankees scout while playing in the Pacific Coast League, he made his MLB debut on May 3, 1936. He would go on to play thirteen seasons over sixteen years (1943-1945 was spent in military service), during which time he won three MVP Awards (1939, 1941, and 1947) and was named to 13 All-Star Games. His nine World Series rings are second-most in baseball history, behind only Yogi Berra.
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We thank Baseball Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.