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This Day in Yankees History: Joe DiMaggio makes a spectacular debut

A young DiMaggio starts his legendary career, and a Yankees pitcher balks four times in a game.

Joe DiMaggio Making “Zeros” With Fingers

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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84 years ago

A month or two ago, we looked at the time Joe DiMaggio injured his foot during spring training, leaving the foot in a diathermy machine and burning it. He took some time to heal, and finally, made his highly-anticipated major league debut on this day. DiMaggio debuted in style, collecting three hits including a triple, scoring three of the Yankees’ 14 runs en route to a rout of the St. Louis Browns.

70 years ago

In an odd bit of history, Vic Raschi balked four times in a game against the White Sox. Raschi still managed an excellent outing, tossing a complete game in a 4-3 win. Apparently, Raschi simply couldn’t adapt to a new rule that required pitchers to come set for a full second.

68 years ago

With DiMaggio having retired ahead of the season, and with a young Mickey Mantle recovering from knee surgery, the Yankees made a fateful move. They traded Jackie Jensen and Spec Shea for outfielder Irv Noren in an effort to stabilize the situation in center field. Six years later, Jansen would win the MVP award as a member of the Red Sox, while Noren struggled in his first season with the Yankees. To his credit, Noren eventually bounced back with an All-Star season for New York in 1954.

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Hall of Famer Red Ruffing was born on this day 115 years ago. Ruffing won six World Series titles and made six All-Star teams across 15 seasons with the Yankees. Former Yankee Ronald Herrera turns 25; Herrera tossed three innings as a member of the 2017 Yankees before getting traded to the Rangers.

It’s also the 52nd birthday of Ivan Cruz, who recorded five hits in 20 at-bats with the 1997 Yankees, and it would have been the 126th birthday of Cliff Markle, who pitched 92 innings for the Yankees in the early 20th century,

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