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This Day in Yankees History: Joe DiMaggio’s streak comes to an end

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The Yankee superstar’s legendary hitting streak ended at 56 games 79 years ago today.

Joe DiMaggio Hitting a Home Run

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. With the start of the 2020 season delayed with just a little bit longer, 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 17)

97 Years Ago

Starter Carl Mays turned in one of the worst complete games in history. The right-hander pitched every inning for the Yankees in a 13-0 loss to Cleveland, yielding 20 hits, four walks, and striking out two. On the other side, George Uhle pitched a four-hit shutout. While that start was representative of Mays’ dreadful final year in pinstripes, his overall numbers from his five years in New York remained quite impressive, including an 80-39 record and 120 ERA+.

79 Years Ago

Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak came to an end at 56 games. DiMaggio went 0-3 with a walk against Cleveland’s Lefty Gomez and Jim Bagby, bringing his season slash line down to .371/.449/.653. Reports indicate that the opposing third baseman, Ken Keltner, robbed DiMaggio of multiple hits. DiMaggio would go on to hit safely in 17 consecutive games afterwards, meaning Keltner’s defensive prowess theoretically could have denied a 74-game hitting streak.

42 Years Ago

Reggie Jackson was suspended for his latest run-in with manager Billy Martin. Jackson, instructed to swing away in the tenth inning of a tie game with the Royals, ignored his manager’s command and bunted with two strikes. Jackson popped out, the Yankees lost the game, and Jackson was suspended five games. Martin’s troubles as manager would come to a head just days later, with Martin soon stepping down from his position.

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It appears the only player born on this day ever to play for the Yankees was Deron Johnson, who would have been 82-years-old today. Johnson made just 26 appearances across the 1960 and 1961 seasons with the Yankees, the first two seasons of what ended up being a long 16-year career. Johnson retired having smashed 245 homers and having compiled a career 102 OPS+.

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