Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. With the start of the 2020 season delayed
for the foreseeable future for the next couple weeks, 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 (July 14)
86 Years Ago
On July 14, 1934, Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig was ailing. He had a bad case of lumbago, which causes pain in the lower back, and it threatened to end his consecutive games played streak at 1,426. So manager Joe McCarthy had an idea: bat Gehrig leadoff against the Detroit Tigers at Navin Field, then lift him immediately after his game-opening at-bat in the top of the first in order to get him some rest. He even listed Gehrig as the shortstop so his replacement, Red Rolfe, would remain in the leadoff spot the remainder of the game. Gehrig ended up singling in his only at-bat and Rolfe came on as a pinch-runner, though the Yankees ended up being outslugged 12-11.
By this point, Gehrig was already the majorlLeague record holder for consecutive games played, having eclipsed Everett Scott’s 1,307 mark the previous season (Scott, a shortstop, played for both the Red Sox and Yankees and ironically ended his streak in pinstripes in 1925, about a month before Gehrig began his). The record clearly meant a lot to Gehrig and his team for McCarthy to finagle the lineup in such a way. He even did something similar the previous game, pulling Gehrig after his first at-bat (also a single), though he kept him in his traditional cleanup spot. (McCarthy clearly spent that night refining his strategy).
Gehrig’s streak finally ended at 2,130 games in 1939, along with his career, as he was unable to play due to what turned out to be a terminal illness. His record stood until 1995, when Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. surpassed the 56-year-old mark.
12 Years Ago
Not a Yankees moment, per se, but definitely a Yankee Stadium memory. In 2008, to commemorate the final season of the cauldron that was Yankee Stadium II, the Bronx played host to the All-Star Game, and with it, the Home Run Derby. On July 14 of that year, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton put on a show, hitting a record-setting 28 home runs (in the old format, of course), including 13 consecutive bombs. Seeing Hamilton’s prodigious power framed by Yankee Stadium’s famed right field was something to behold:
9 Years Ago
On this date in 2011, longtime pals Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada set the franchise mark for most regular season games played as teammates with 1,660. Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri set the previous record in 1937.
Posada didn’t start the contest, coming into the game – a 16-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre – in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter. He retired at the conclusion of the 2011 season. The Yankees retired his number 20 in 2015.
Jeter and Posada have continued their dynamic duo routine, with Jeter hiring the former Yankees backstop as a special adviser for his Miami Marlins in 2019.
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Celebrating birthdays on this day are Robin Ventura (who played for the Yankees from 2002-03), Danny Walton (1971), Johnny Murphy (1932, 1934-43, 1946), and Jesse Tannehill (1903).
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.