Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. We may be well into hot stove season, but there’s still some time to 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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This Day in Yankees History (December 23)
15 years ago
After spending four years with the division rival Red Sox, the Yankees officially introduce their new 32 year-old (and clean shaven) outfielder, Johnny Damon, to the media. Damon signed a four-year, $52 million deal to play centerfield and bat leadoff in the Bronx. He would spend 2006-09 in pinstripes, as he hit .285/.363/.458 while taking advantage of the short porch in right field with 77 homers in a Yankees uniform. That total included a career-high 24 in both 2006 and 2009, when he was also a vital member of that championship team.
12 years ago
The Yankees reach an agreement with free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira on an eight-year, $180 million contract (though the deal didn’t become official until January 6th). The 28 year-old was New York’s third big-name signing of the offseason, joining frontline starters CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Teixeira would finish his career having played eight years in pinstripes, attached with many achievements such as a World Series championship in 2009, a two-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove winner, and even a won Silver Slugger.
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Happy birthday to Tim Leary!
Leary pitched 13 seasons in the major leagues, three of which were with the Yankees. He was traded to New York in 1989 when the Reds sent him and Van Snider to the Bombers for Hal Morris and minor leaguer Rodney Imes. Over 425 2⁄3 innings in the Bronx, Leary recorded 255 strikeouts and a 5.12 ERA. He rotated back-and-forth from the starting rotation and the bullpen, and was eventually traded in 1992 to the Seattle Mariners for Sean Twitty.
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We thank Baseball Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.