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This Day in Yankees History: Mel Stottlemyre gets released

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The future Monument Park plaquer’s playing career ended after 11 seasons with the Yankees.

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. With the start of the 2020 season delayed for the foreseeable future, the Pinstripe Alley team decided to revive the program in a slightly different 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 (March 29th)

72 Years Ago

The Yankees and the Red Sox engaged in a lengthy contest that wasn’t worth anything in the standings. The two rivals played a 17-inning exhibition game that ultimately ended in a 2-2 tie. Ironically, despite nearly playing two full games worth of innings, the game lasted about as long as a normal Yanks-Sox match does in today’s game — four hours and two minutes.

The Yankees offense all took place in the ninth and tenth innings, where they scored a run both times to stay alive and continue play. The Bombers had an opportunity to score the winning run in the 17th, but couldn’t bring home a runner from third base.

45 Years Ago

The Yankees parted ways with a five-time All-Star on this day, releasing Mel Stottlemyre. Stottlemyre was an effective pitcher who played his entire 11 year career in pinstripes, going 164-139 with a 2.97 ERA and twice leading the league in complete games, but a torn rotator cuff put an end to his pitching.

Stottlemyre wouldn’t be done with the Yankees however, returning as a pitching coach when Joe Torre was hired as manager. Stottlemyre’s tenure lasted throughout the modern Yankees dynasty, winning four World Series from 1996-2000 and advancing to two more. He resigned after the Yankees were eliminated by the Angels in the 2005 ALDS, and earned a plaque in Monument Park in 2015.

11 Years Ago

The Yankees dedicated a permanent memorial to the September 11 attacks in their spring training home at George M Steinbrenner Field. The entrance to the ballpark features a foundation shaped like the Pentagon, holding up two towers made with steel from the World Trade Center. The monument is stationed in a grassy field to honor the final landing spot of United Flight 93.

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A trio of former Yankees were born on March 29: Herb McQuaid in 1899, Bill Castro in 1952 and Domingo Ramos in 1958. All three played only one season in New York, and Ramos played exactly one game with the franchise, never registering an at-bat. Castro contributed 19 innings in relief to the 1981 Yankees that would make it to the World Series but lose to the Dodgers, and McQuaid pitched 38.1 innings for a 1926 team that would also lose the World Series, this time to the Cardinals.

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