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 (December 1)
66 Years Ago
The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles complete the largest trade in baseball history, which began on November 18th and concluded after the Rule 5 Draft was finished. Seventeen players were moved in the course of the transaction, with the Yankees receiving Billy Hunter, Don Larsen, Bob Turley, Mike Blyzka, Jim Fridley, Darrell Johnson and Dick Kryhoski; they gave up Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald, Willy Miranda, Hal Smith, Gus Triandos, Gene Woodling, Ted Del Guercio, Don Leppert, Bill Miller, and Kal Segrist.
Perhaps defying the odds, the large deal ended up working out for both sides, as the Yankees received both World Series hero Larsen and future Cy Young Award winner Turley, who helped the team win two pennants. Meanwhile, the Orioles’ acquisition of Triandos and Woodling helped set the foundation during the team’s rebuild in the wake of their inaugural season in Baltimore.
38 Years Ago
The Yankees sign former MVP Don Baylor to a five-year, $5 million contract. He would play out three of those seasons in the Bronx, hitting 71 home runs and posting a 126 OPS+ while winning a pair of Silver Sluggers as the team’s primary DH. The Yankees would average 91 wins over the course of Baylor’s contract, but were unable to scrape to the top of the heap in a competitive AL East. A couple weeks before Opening Day 1986, Baylor was traded to the Boston Red Sox for their DH, Mike Easler.
3 Years Ago
News leaks out from within the Yankees organization that Aaron Boone will be the next manager of the team, replacing Joe Girardi, whose contract had expired after the end of the season. Despite lacking previous coaching experience at any level, Boone’s communication skills won him the job. The team has rewarded him with three straight playoff berths, including a 103-win season during their return to the top of the AL East in 2019.
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We thank Baseball Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.