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This Day in Yankees History: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig trade places

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The Babe and the Iron Horse swapped positions, and Ron Davis struck out eight in a row.

New York Yankees Photo by MPI/Getty Images

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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89 years ago

The Yankees wanted to give Babe Ruth a rest, and so swapped Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the field. Ruth started at first base for the first time in eight seasons, and Gehrig made just his fourth career start in right. The move proved costly, as Gehrig committed an error that helped spur a five-run rally for the opposing Senators, who won 7-3. Gehrig would never again start in right field.

39 years ago

Relief pitcher Ron Davis set a record for the most consecutive strikeouts by a relief pitcher when he strikes out eight straight California Angels. Davis, who pitched for the Yankees from 1978 to 1981 and compiled an impressive 133 ERA+, induced a pop-up from his first batter faced before striking out the rest en route to a save.

14 years ago

In its May issue, Forbes estimated the Yankees had become that first baseball team to cross the $1 billion line in terms of overall valuation. The team’s value has only skyrocketed since then, with Forbes recently estimating the Yankees were worth $5 billion, miles ahead of the second-place Dodgers at $3.4 billion.

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Happy 46th birthday to former Yankees utilityman Miguel Cairo. Cairo signed with the Yankees as a free agent prior to the 2004 season, signed with the Mets ahead of the 2005 season, then returned to the Yankees on consecutive one-year deals for both 2006 and 2007. Cairo frequently spelled Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano in the middle of the infield, compiling two WAR in 257 games with the team. It’s also the 49th birthday of reliever Joe Borowski, who made nine appearances with the Yankees in 1997 and 1998. Borowski would go on to have more success as a member of the Cubs.

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