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This Day in Yankees History: Cano wins the Home Run Derby

Alfonso Soriano puts himself on the map; Derek Jeter wins All-Star MVP honors; Bob Sheppard passes away; Robinson Cano wins the Derby

2011 State Farm Home Run Derby Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History! With the start of the 2020 season delayed, 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 (July 11)

21 years ago

The inaugural MLB All-Star Futures Game took place on this day in 1999, and Yankees prospect Alfonso Soriano stole the show. He went 2-3 with two home runs in Team World’s 7-0 victory over Team USA. A shortstop for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate at the time, Soriano played nine games at the MLB level that year as a call-up, and became a regular in 2001.

20 years ago

The Yankees made more All-Star history one year later, when Derek Jeter was named All-Star Game MVP for his performance at the game in Atlanta. Jeter went 3-3 with a double and a two-run single off Al Leiter. It was the American League’s fourth straight All-Star victory, and Jeter went on to become the only player named All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP in the same season.

10 years ago

Legendary Yankees’ public address announcer Bob Sheppard died 10 years ago today at the age of 99. The man Reggie Jackson once called “The Voice of God” spent 56 years as the Yankees’ PA announcer, as well as 50 years behind the mic for the New York Football Giants. His attention to detail, clear delivery and cadence made him perhaps the most famous PA announcer in sports history. After his passing, Derek Jeter continued to use Sheppard’s voice recording to introduce his at-bats until his retirement.

9 years ago

The 2011 Home Run Derby at Arizona became a classic Yankees-Red Sox battle, as Robinson Cano met Adrian Gonzalez in the final round. Gonzalez hit 11 homers in the final round, but Cano topped him with a then-record 12, giving him 32 total dingers. Cano took pitches from his father, Jose, and embraced him on the mound after launching his walk-off blast. Cano became the third Yankee to win the Derby, joining Tino Martinez (1997) and Jason Giambi (2002), and later Aaron Judge (2017).

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Birthdays

Harry Wolter and Vito Tamulis, two members of the early Yankees, were each born today. Wolter was an outfielder with the Yankees from 1910-1913, while Tamulis pitched for the Bombers from 1934-1935.

In more modern birthdays, Johnny Barbato turns 28 today. A member of the Yankees’ Opening Day roster in 2016, Barbato was acquired for Shawn Kelley after 2014. However, Barbato pitched to a 7.62 ERA for the Yankees in 13 games, and was traded to Pittsburgh in 2017.

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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.