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This Day in Yankees History: “Roger Clemens is in George’s Box!”

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Babe Ruth hits his first round-tripper, “Rocket” returns, and Gleyber Torres introduces himself to New York.

Seattle Mariners v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/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 6)

105 years ago

Although not necessarily Yankees history, Boston’s Babe Ruth hit the first home run of his career on this day in 1915, coincidentally against the Yankees. Ruth batted ninth and pitched a 12-inning complete game loss, but helped his own cause with the round-tripper. Ruth was hitting .417 at this point for the Red Sox, and probably didn’t bat ninth much longer.

13 years ago

The 2007 Yankees were in rough shape in early May, and the Steinbrenners had had enough. Injuries had decimated and already-thin rotation, and the team was just 13-15 on May 6. The team needed a shakeup.

Still, nobody saw this coming. Roger Clemens had retired from baseball for the second time after 2006 at age 44, yet there he was at Yankee Stadium on May 6, 2007, in George Steinbrenner’s box. During the seventh inning stretch, Clemens took the mic and told the crowd that the Yankees had “gotten him out of Texas” and he’d be coming back to pitch for the Yankees. He didn’t come cheap, costing over $1 million per start.

This is the actual video, including Clemens’s brief speech, but announcer Suzyn Waldman’s exclamation upon seeing Clemens in Steinbrenner’s box has proven far more memorable:

2 years ago

Boy, the early-season 2018 Yankees were something, huh? On this day two years ago, Domingo German made his first Major League start, throwing six hitless innings versus the Indians. The Yankees were down in the ninth, but rookie Gleyber Torres, who had spent less than two weeks in the bigs at the time, capped things with a walk-off three-run home run. It served as Torres’s official welcome to the Bronx faithful, a thrill ride that hasn’t ceased.

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Birthdays

A few old-time Yankees have birthdays today. Luke Boone, who started at second base in that aforementioned Babe Ruth game in 1915, was born 130 years ago. The only other notable Yankees birthday, pitcher Ivy Andrews, started and ended his career with the Bombers and earned a ring in 1937.

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