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This day in Yankees history: The franchise’s first no-no and Henderson’s historic feat

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Lefty George Mogridge hurls the Yankees’ first-ever no-hitter at Fenway, and Rickey Henderson makes history off a pair of 300-game winners.

New York Yankees Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

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 several 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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103 years ago

New York Yankees southpaw George Mogridge hurled a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox, making history on two fronts. It was the first no-no in Yankees history and the first ever to be thrown at Fenway Park. Mogridge actually surrendered a run in the 2-1 contest, walking three batters while the Yanks committed three errors. (Boston actually committed four. I think it’s fair to assume the fields weren’t as carefully manicured as they are today.)

Notable Yanks in the lineup included Wally Pipp, who would enjoy eight more seasons with the Bombers before famously losing his everyday job at first base to Lou Gehrig. Hall of Famer Harry Hooper featured for Red Sox, but not future Yankee legend Babe Ruth.

97 years ago

Speaking of Ruth, he hit a fifth inning homer off the Washington Senators’ Allen Russell on this day in 1923 en route to a 4-0 win – the first-ever shutout at the just-opened Yankee Stadium. President Warren G. Harding, reportedly a keen baseball fan, was in attendance, rooting for his hometown Senators. He would actually die a few months later, in August, of an apparent heart attack while still in office (and before scandals like Teapot Dome cemented his legacy as one of the worst presidents ever.)

By contrast, Ruth would go on to win his first (and only!) MVP award and propel the Yankees to their first World Series title.

33 years ago

On this date in 1987, Rickey Henderson walked to the plate in the eighth inning at Cleveland Stadium and smacked a solo shot off famed knuckleballer Phil Niekro, who was amazingly still pitching at age 48. The very next inning, he hit a two-run bomb off Steve Carlton, who at 42 was in the waning years of his own legendary career. In doing so, Henderson became the first player ever to hit home runs off two 300-game winners in the same game.

Of course, all three ended up in Cooperstown, and Henderson himself continued playing until age 44. That’s a lot of longevity packed into a tiny bit of trivia.

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Among the notable Yankees celebrating a birthday today is Carlos Beltran, who turns 43. Beltran played for the Yankees between 2014-16 before joining their front office for the 2019 season. Of course, he was found in January to have played a key role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal in 2017, his last year as a player, and subsequently parted ways with the New York Mets, who’d just hired him as manager months earlier.

Other former Yankees born on this day are Mike Blowers (who played for New York from 1989-91); Joe Verbanic (1967-68, 1970); Harry Harper (1921); and Walt Smallwood (1917 and 1919).

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