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This Day in Yankees History: Mickey Mantle christens the Astrodome

The Yankees and Astros made history in an exhibition game in Houston on this day in 1965.

Houston Astrodome Photo by Focus on Sport via 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 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 (April 9th)

67 Years Ago

In an exhibition at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh against the Pirates, Mickey Mantle hits a home run that clears the 89-foot high roof in right field. In doing so, he becomes just the third player to do so, joining Babe Ruth and Ted Beard.

55 Years Ago

The Yankees took on the newly renamed Astros in the first ever indoor baseball game, played at the Astrodome in Houston. The Yankees lost the exhibition game, but Mantle again had a notable day, recording both the first hit and the first home run at the stadium. The teams were, at that time, in the opposite leagues, meaning this is definitely the most historical moment these two would have together. Definitely no scandals and playoff meetings in the late 2010s or anything like that.

16 Years Ago

Joe Torre and the Yankees came to an agreement on a three-year contract extension. The deal extended his time in the manager role through the 2007 season, and also included a six-year deal in an advisory role after the manager contract ended. That part would never come to fruition as Torre would leave and become the Dodgers’ manager in 2008 after a contentious departure from the Yankees. Joe Girardi would be hired to replace him in New York.

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Today is the 35th birthday of David Robertson. A 17th round draft selection in 2006, Robertson made his debut in 2008, and would become a key member of the bullpen for the next several seasons, across two stints in New York. His best season would come in 2011, where he put up a very impressive 1.08 ERA and made his lone All-Star appearance. Robertson was also given the unenviable role of taking the closer’s spot following the retirement of Mariano Rivera.

He went to the White Sox after the Yankees opted not to go after him when he became a free agent in 2014, but that wouldn’t be the end of his story with the franchise. Robertson would return to New York when the Yankees reunited with him in a trade in 2017. He would spend the rest of that year and 2018 in pinstripes again, helping them to two playoff appearances. However, the team again opted to let him walk following that season. He signed with the Phillies, but is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. (Or maybe he isn’t anymore, who knows what’s happening with injuries in the no baseball times.)

Other former Yankees with birthdays today include ‘96 champion Graeme Lloyd, Hal Morris, Brian Dorsett, and Hippo Vaughn.

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