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This Day in Yankee History: The Streak begins

Joe DiMaggio began his hitting streak on this day in 1941.

Slugger Joe DiMaggio Photo by Photo File/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 History (May 15)

85 Years Ago

For the fifteenth and final time in his career, Lou Gehrig steals home as part of a double steal. The Yankees go on to win the game, 4-0.

79 Years Ago

Joe DiMaggio singles off White Sox pitcher Eddie Smith in the bottom of the first, driving in Phil Rizzuto to score the Yankees’ only run of the day, as the Bombers lose 13-1. Nobody realized it at the time, but the next time DiMaggio would fail to collect a hit is July 17.

6 Years Ago

A battle of rookie pitchers in their Major League debuts occurs as Chase Whitley, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, and David Robertson spin a combined three-hit shutout to outduel Jacob deGrom and the Mets by a score of 1-0. Both Whitley and deGrom each collect their first hit.

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Happy 33rd birthday to former Yankees infielder and Staten Island Yankees manager David Adams. Drafted in the third round of the 2008 amateur draft, Adams joined the Yankees parade of infielders during the 2013 season, posting a 49 OPS+ in 152 plate appearances. He would be designated for assignment following the season and would spend the next two years bouncing around the minor leagues before ultimately joining the staff of the Gulf Coast League Yankees West in 2017. He would later serve as the team’s manager before being promoted to the Staten Island Yankees job in 2019, his current position.

Today also would have been Hideki Irabu’s 51st birthday. The Japanese-born pitcher arrived stateside in 1997, joining the Yankees rotation, as he began an up-and-down career that saw him traded to the Expos for Ted Lilly, Jake Westbrook, and Christian Parker following the 1999 season. He would play in Montreal for two seasons and then Texas for one before finishing his career back in Japan. He was tragically found dead in his Los Angeles home in July 2011, at the age of 42.

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We thank Baseball-Reference,, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.