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 (May 22)
98 Years Ago
The Yankees began construction of Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, which would earn the famous moniker ‘The House that Ruth Built’ in a nod to Babe Ruth’s status as a legend in his own time.
The Yankees had shared the Polo Grounds with the Giants since 1913, until the rival New York team evicted the highly popular Bombers in the hopes they would relocate to a distant borough. Instead, they constructed their new ballpark just a mile from the Polo Grounds.
Their new home paid immediate dividends. The Yankees beat the Giants in the World Series in 1923, the first of 26 championship seasons the stadium would host before the new Yankee Stadium was erected ahead of the 2009 campaign.
58 Years Ago
Roger Maris set a major league record by earning four intentional walks in a single game. Four different Angels pitchers were responsible for the free passes, which were issued during a 2-1, 12-inning victory for the Yankees in the Bronx. The mark would go untouched until Padres shortstop Gerry Templeton equaled it in 1985.
In 1990, 28 years to the day after Maris made intentional walk history, the Cubs’ Andre Dawson eclipsed his record by drawing five intentional walks in a 16-inning showdown against the Reds at Wrigley field, which also happened to end in a 2-1 victory for the home team.
21 Years Ago
Roger Clemens broke the American League record for consecutive victories, notching his 18th straight successful decision. The win, which surpassed the previous record held jointly by Cleveland’s Johnny Allen and Baltimore’s Dave McNally, was a long time coming.
Clemens’ record-breaking start followed a rainout, which was preceded by a stint on the DL. Plus, the flame-throwing righty endured ten no-decisions during his run, which took some of the shine off of the achievement.
Fortunately, Clemens’ legacy in pinstripes doesn’t rest on his consecutive wins streak. Later that same year, he helped the Yankees bring home their third World Series title in four years. The following season he helped them earn their fourth ring in five seasons. And while they fell short of the ultimate prize, Clemens also appeared for the Bombers in the 2001 and 2003 World Series.
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Happy 77th birthday to Tommy John! The lefty pitched eight years for the Yankees over two separate stints. The first ran from 1979 to 1982, while the second comprised his final years in the big leagues, from 1986 to 1989.
During his time in the Bronx he compiled 91 of his career 288 wins, posted a 3.59 ERA, made two All-Star appearances, and finished second in Cy Young voting in 1979.
While he is justifiably famous for helping usher in the era of pitching with a surgically reconstructed UCL, John also participated in three World Series between the Dodgers and the Yankees, in 1977 and 1978 wearing Dodger blue, and in 1981 in pinstripes. This meant, unluckily enough, that he found himself on the losing side each time.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.