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 9)
74 Years Ago
The Yankees reached one million home fans drawn at an earlier date than any team in major-league history. By the end of 1946, they had also become the first team to reach a total of two million fans at home. For the season, the club averaged 29,422 fans per game, 14,000 more than any previous year at Yankee Stadium.
The club has a tradition of making attendance history. Back in 1920, the Bombers became the first team to crack a million fans drawn by attracting a total of 1,289,422 people to the stands at Polo Grounds, the team’s home prior to the construction of the House that Ruth Built.
The Yankees’ attendance peaked at 4,298,655 fans back in 2008, during the final season at the old Yankee Stadium. Though they didn’t reach such a monumental number last year, they still drew a crowd of 3,304,404, the most of any stadium in Major League Baseball.
31 Years Ago
Darryl Strawberry hit his 200th career home run, a solo shot in the top of the ninth inning that gave the Mets a 3-2 lead over the Pirates. Despite his timely homer, the Pirates would tie the game in the bottom of the frame, and go on to win 4-3 in ten innings.
A little more than seven years later, Strawberry would hit his 300th career home run as a member of the Yankees, during a year in which the outfielder would earn his second World Series ring, a decade after he claimed his first title with the 1986 Mets. He finished his career with 335 big flies over 18 seasons.
Number 300 came in July on a dramatic walk-off in the Bronx against the Kansas City Royals. Dwight Gooden had pitched eight innings of two-run ball, but the Yankees still trailed 2-1 headed into the bottom of the ninth. First baseman Tino Martinez drew a walk to lead off the frame, setting the stage for Strawberry’s special moment:
30 Years Ago
Eddie Murray hit a home run from both sides of the plate for the tenth time in his career, equaling Mickey Mantle’s major league record. The long balls from the Dodgers’ ambidextrous first baseman came in a 5-4 win over the Padres, the second of which was a left-handed blast that provided the winning run in the 11th inning.
Murray eventually passed Mantle, finishing his career with 11 games in which he went yard from both sides of the plate. Yet he is still not the most prolific single-game switch-hitting slugger.
The current owners of the record are Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher, two teammates from the 2009 Yankees championship squad. Both men accomplished the feat 14 times in their careers.
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Happy birthday to Jonathan Holder, Jason Anderson, and Randy Winn!
Winn, who once hit an inside-the-park grand slam against the Yankees as a member of the Rays, hit just one home run in 71 plate appearances in pinstripes, all of which came in 2010.
He made his lone round-tripper count. The three-run shot gave the Yankees the lead against the Baltimore Orioles, helping CC Sabathia to a 4-1 triumph and his fourth win of the season.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.