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 (June 7)
84 years ago
A game that could only happen 84 years ago happened on this day, with the Yankees beating the Indians 5-4 in 16 innings. George Selkirk had the game-winning home run, but pitcher Red Ruffing was the real MVP, pitching all 16 innings while also helping his case with three hits, including a home run. Amazingly, not a single batter on either team struck out over the 16-inning marathon.
13 years ago
Joe Torre etched his name into the record books with a historic win on this day in 2007. Torre notched his 2,000th managerial win on this day with a 10-3 victory over the White Sox. Torre collected more than 1,100 of those wins as the Yankees’ skipper, and became the only person in Major League history to have accumulated 2,000 wins as a manager and 2,000 hits as a player. The score was 4-3 Yankees in the ninth, but Alex Rodriguez added some much-needed cushion with a grand slam before Mariano Rivera closed it out.
12 years ago
Johnny Damon is one of the most underrated Yankees of this century, and he had the game of his life on this day 12 years ago against his old team, the Kansas City Royals. Damon went 6-6 in the contest, which featured uncharacteristically poor performances from Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, who each blew a lead and combined to give up 11 earned runs. Damon came through in the clutch though, with a walk-off single for his sixth hit. He became the first Yankee to collect six hits in one game at the old Yankee Stadium, and the second player overall (Omar Vizquel did it in 2004 against the Yankees).
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There are two Yankees birthdays today, including pitcher Ed Wells, who pitched for the Yankees from 1929-1932 and was on the 1932 World Series champion Yankees. Wells worked as both a starter and a reliever and went 37-20 with the Bombers.
The most notable player born today, however, is the late Thurman Munson. Munson would have turned 73 today if not for his tragic death in a plane crash in 1979. The Captain was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1970, the AL MVP in 1976, a seven-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover and two-time World Series champion. Munson always poured his heart and soul into the game every time he stepped on the field, and his number 15 was immediately retired after his death. Munson’s locker remained vacant in the old Yankee Stadium clubhouse for years until it was moved into the Yankees Museum at the new stadium.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.