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 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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This Day in Yankees History (June 22)
94 Years Ago
The St. Louis Cardinals acquired future Hall of Fame right-handed pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander after he was placed on waivers by the Chicago Cubs. Unbeknownst to fans in the Bronx, the move would spell doom for the Yankees that October.
In their meeting against the Cardinals in the 1926 World Series, the Bombers dropped Games Two and Six to Alexander. The 39-year-old starter then proceeded to close out the series by earning the save in Game Seven.
The Yankees rebounded in 1927 with the Murderers’ Row lineup, beating the Pirates in the Fall Classic in four straight, and then finally exacted their revenge against the Cardinals in 1928. They swept St. Louis to atone for their earlier seven-game loss, and picked up their second consecutive World Series win.
79 Years Ago
Joe DiMaggio hit a sixth-inning home run to help make the Yankees 5-4 victors over the Detroit Tigers — and owners of a new major league record. The blast made it 18 straight contests the Yankees had hit at least one home run, one more than the previous mark, established by the very same Tigers.
DiMaggio’s home run also helped extend his consecutive game hitting streak to 35. (Which, coincidentally, is one more than his brother Dom DiMaggio’s club record of 34 for the Red Sox.) The streak would end in July at the still-iconic 56.
The current record holders for most consecutive games with a home run hit by a team are your very own 2019 New York Yankees, who strung together 31 games with a long ball from late May to early July of last year.
26 Years Ago
Ken Griffey Jr. launched his 31st home run of the season for the Mariners, surpassing Babe Ruth as the man with the most big flies before July 1st. Griffey Jr., the subject of a recent documentary on MLB Network titled Junior, would end his career with 630 homers, the seventh most in the history of the game.
Despite ceding his record to Griffey Jr., Ruth still maintained unmatched early-season prowess in another way. Griffey Jr. arrived at 31 home runs in 70 games; Ruth needed just 63 games to reach 30 in 1928, and 68 games to reproduce the feat in 1930.
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Happy 84th birthday to Jim Bronstad, a righty reliever who made 16 appearances for the Yankees back in 1959. While Bronstad’s ERA was 5.22 during his time in the Bronx, he was a bit unlucky. His FIP was a more respectable 3.91 over 29.1 innings, mostly out of the bullpen.
He fell out of the majors until 1963, when he made a comeback with the Washington Senators. Unfortunately, his bad breaks with shoddy fielding behind him persisted. Over 25 relief appearances, he posted a 5.65 ERA, versus a 4.96 FIP over the same span.
A similar pattern emerged in 1964, when he pitched just seven innings before his time in the majors came to an end. He closed out his career with a 4.32 FIP over 93.2 innings — more than a full run lower than his career ERA.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.