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 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 2)
79 Years Ago
Joe DiMaggio claimed sole possession of the longest consecutive game hitting streak in baseball history with a home run off Dick Newsome of the Red Sox. The three-run blast into the Yankee Stadium stands extended DiMaggio’s streak to 45 games, one longer than the 44 compiled by Wee Willie Keeler with the Orioles in 1897.
The record-setting long ball marked the 100th hit of the season for DiMaggio, compared to just seven strikeouts in the same span. And he ended the game slashing .348/.428/.624, numbers that are actually lower across the board than his eventual season slash line of .357/.440/.643.
In addition to his immortal 56-game hit streak during that 1941 season, DiMaggio laid claim to his sixth All-Star appearance, his second American League MVP, and his fifth World Series title.
42 Years Ago
Legendary Yankees lefty Ron Guidry beat the Tigers 3-2 in the Bronx, improving his record to 13-0, the most successful start to a pitcher’s season in franchise history.
The sizzling start was part of the finest campaign of Guidry’s career. En route to his first and only Cy Young Award and a second-place finish in American League MVP voting, he amassed 25 wins, nine shutouts, a 1.74 ERA, and a 0.95 WHIP, all of which led baseball and represented career bests.
In the postseason, Guidry won both his starts — one in the ALCS against the Royals, and the other in the Fall Classic against the Dodgers. Over 17 innings he conceded just two earned runs, cementing himself as the best pitcher on the best team in baseball in 1978.
13 Years Ago
Roger Clemens threw eight innings of two-hit ball to earn a 5-1 victory over the Twins, becoming the eighth pitcher in MLB to register 350 career wins. The achievement came in the final season of the 44-year-old righty’s career, which he concluded with 354 wins in 707 starts, the ninth-most victories all-time.
Clemens reached the milestone in front of manager Joe Torre, who had his own unique tie to its history. At 22-years-old, the Yankees skipper caught the 350th win of Milwaukee Braves lefty Warren Spahn, meaning Torre had a hand in the only two occasions a pitcher reached 350 wins since 1928.
For his part, Spahn finished just ahead of Clemens with 363 wins in 635 starts, good for sixth all-time.
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Happy birthday to former Yankees reliever Hal Reniff, as well as former Yankees outfielder (and longtime lightning rod) Jose Canseco.
Reniff, who turns 82 today, worked out of the Yankees’ bullpen from 1961 to 1967, compiling 41 saves and a 3.26 ERA over that period. Unfortunately, he didn’t pitch for the Bombers in either the 1961 or 1962 World Series, and ended his career without a ring.
Amazingly enough, Jose Canseco, now 56, did receive World Series jewelry while in pinstripes. After arriving in the Bronx by trade in the summer of 2000, Canseco played 37 regular season games with the team, and then capped off his season with a lone at-bat in Game Four of the Fall Classic — a strikeout looking against Glendon Rusch.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.