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This Day in Yankees History: Captain Ruth goes down fighting

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New Yankees captain Babe Ruth is stripped of his position after an on-field tirade; Mariano Rivera sets another record; the 2013 Yankees hit their high-water mark

Baseball player George Herman “Babe” Ruth. Photo by Mansell/Mansell/The LIFE Picture Collection 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 a few key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

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This Day in Yankees History (May 25)

98 years ago

Not everyone may know that Babe Ruth was once a Yankees captain, in part because his tenure was so short. On this day 98 years ago, Ruth was stripped of the captaincy less than a week after earning the job. After arguing a call, Ruth threw dirt in the face of an umpire and argued with a fan before being ejected, fined $500 and suspended for a game. Unsurprisingly, Ruth was removed as captain, leaving Everett Scott to the position. Lou Gehrig famously took it over 13 years later in 1935.

9 years ago

It’s amazing how many records you wouldn’t guess are attributed to Mariano Rivera. On this day in 2011, Rivera appeared in his 1,000th game, becoming the first pitcher to play 1,000 games all with the same team. He pitched an inning in relief, closing out a 7-3 win over the Blue Jays. Andruw Jones hit two home runs and had 4 RBI in the victory.

7 years ago

The 2013 Yankees aren’t one of the finest squads in team history, but they hit their peak on this day seven years ago with a 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees, fueled by a go-ahead dinger from Lyle Overbay, reached 12 games over .500 at 30-18, and sat in sole possession of first place. Two days later, the Yankees fell into second place and never again reclaimed the division lead in a playoff-less season marred by injuries. The full list of players who appeared in this game sure is something, though:

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Birthdays

Happy birthday to pitching prospect Mike King, who turns 25 today! King pitched two innings late last season, becoming the last player to make his MLB debut before the COVID-19 pandemic. He certainly had a chance to make an impact for the 2020 Yankees in the early going.

Other former Yankees with birthdays today include John “The Count” Montefusco, who turns 70 after pitching for the Yankees from 1983-1986, and the outfielder Bobby Brown (not the infielder from the 1950s) who was a Yankee from 1979-1981 and turns 66.

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