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This Day in Yankees History: Bobby Murcer retires

Two milestones and the departure of a beloved Yankee happened on this day.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Yankees

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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99 Years Ago

Babe Ruth hit a go-ahead 10th inning home run in a 7-6 win over the Red Sox. The solo shot moved Ruth past Sam Thompson into second place on the all-time home run leaderboard with 128, 10 behind all-time leader Roger Connor. It took him less than a month to surpass Connor for the record.

Two points to add to show how incredible Ruth was:

  • This came in only his eighth major league season, and he didn’t get more than 200 at-bats in any of his first four.
  • The home run record when he finished his career was five times higher than the one he surpassed.

70 Years Ago

With an RBI single in the third inning, Joe DiMaggio records his 2000th career hit. The Yankee Clipper was 35 and in his 12th career major league season, and would play just one more year in New York. Due to serving in the military during some of the prime years of his career, DiMaggio didn’t have a real shot at reaching the 3000 mark, and finished with 2214.

37 Years Ago

Bobby Murcer announces his retirement after a 17-year major league career.

The five-time All-Star played from the Yankees from 1965-1974 with a two-year break for military service, and then again from 1979-1983. Four of his All-Star Games came with the Yankees from ‘71 to ‘74, when he was one of the team’s marquee players as the team began to climb back into contention.

Unfortunately, Murcer missed the best years as he was traded to the Giants after the 1974 season. As the Yankees were winning the ‘77 and ‘78 titles, Murcer was on the Cubs. However, he would make a return to New York when the Cubs traded him back during the ‘79 season. Shortly after returning, he famously drove home all five runs in a 5-4 win on the same day he gave a eulogy at friend and teammate Thurman Munson’s funeral.

Murcer finally got to play in a World Series when the Yankees made it back in ‘81, however the Yankees lost to the Dodgers in six games. After struggling to start the ‘83 season, he retired. His spot on the roster would go to some guy named Don Mattingly.

Later that year, Murcer would be hired as a broadcaster, a position which he held off and on and became beloved for until his death in 2008.

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Today’s Yankee birthdays are Kendrys Morales, Scott Patterson, Art Schult, Billy Werber, and Ed Wilkinson.

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