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This Day in Yankees History: Mike Stanton, Mariano Rivera set records

Rivera set an all-time Yankees’ record on this day in 2002.

New York Yankees’ pitchers Mike Stanton, David Wells and Mar Photo by Linda Cataffo/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. With the start of the 2020 season delayed for the foreseeable future, the Pinstripe Alley team decided to take a look back through history. 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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90 Years Ago

The Yankees and Tigers play one of the weirder games you’ll see. The two teams combined for just two putouts made by outfielders, with both coming from the Yankees. At the plate, all Yankees’ outs came via strikeout, groundout, or shallow pop fly. Only two putouts made by outfielders in a game is a record. That’s not to say this was a super low scoring game or no balls reached the outfield (Tigers won 5-4, teams combined for 16 hits), it’s just that the outfielders didn’t have the busiest day.

21 Years Ago

Mike Stanton takes the mound as the starting pitcher for the first time in his 11-year career. Up to that point, Stanton had appeared in 552 games as a reliever, but was given the ball against the Mariners. The previous day, the Yankees had been tagged for 14 runs, while the planned May 9th starter, Ramiro Mendoza, fell ill. Instead of calling someone up for a spot start, interim manager Don Zimmer and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre opted to use Stanton from the jump as part of a bullpen game.

The reliever gave them four solid innings, followed by four more from Jason Grimsley. Mariano Rivera then finished up as the Yankees won 6-1. Stanton broke a record for appearances prior to starting a game, and would never do it again in his career. In the past couple years, “bullpen games” have become much more common.

18 Years Ago

Mariano Rivera records his 225th career save, breaking the Yankee franchise record. His close of a 3-1 win over the Rays jumped him past Dave Righetti for the all-time lead. Rivera would follow that with 427 more over the course of his career before retiring in 2013.

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The most notable Yankee with a birthday today is Chase Headley. After spending the first seven years of his career with the Padres, Headley joined the Yankees as part of a July 22, 2014 trade. In his first game in New York, he hit a walk-off as we here at Pinstripe Alley chronicled earlier this week. He provided them with solid play for the rest of the 2014 season, leading the Yankees to re-sign the third baseman to a four-year contract ahead of 2015. He gave them solid but unspectacular play over the next two seasons before he was sent back to the Padres in a December 2017 deal.

Other Yankees with a birthday today include Eddie Tiemeyer and Jace Peterson.

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