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This Day in Yankees History: A-Rod, Varitek brawl

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Alex Rodriguez was plunked by Bronson Arroyo before getting a face full of glove.

New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox - July 23, 2004 Photo by J Rogash/WireImage

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. With the 2020 season just getting underway, 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 24)

42 years ago

On this day in 1978, Yankees manager Billy Martin continued his revolving door at the helm when he resigned as manager. The defending World Series champs were playing mediocre baseball at the time, holding a record of 52-42 and staring at a wide deficit in the standings. But Martin was replaced by Bob Lemon, and the team played .700 baseball the rest of the way, got a fairly clutch hit from Bucky Dent, and once again won the World Series.

37 years ago

Shortly after George Brett went absolutely ballistic when his go-ahead home run at Yankee Stadium was waved off due to a tad too much pine tar on his bat, American League president Lee MacPhail ruled that Brett’s home run should count. The game was resumed on August 18, when the Royals finished off a 5-4 victory.

21 years ago

In one of the biggest lopsided victories in franchise history, the Yankees destroyed Cleveland 21-1 on this day in 1999, the team’s largest margin of victory in nearly half a century. Despite the offensive outburst, the Bombers hit just two home runs in the game, one coming from Chili Davis and the other from Scott Brosius. Davis went 5-for-6 with six RBI, while Jorge Posada went 4-for-6 with three RBI.

16 years ago

On this day in 2004 in a game against the Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez was plunked by Bronson Arroyo, which turned into an altercation between Rodriguez and Jason Varitek. Gloves were shoved into faces, and benches cleared. It was another chapter in a rivalry that had reached a peak, coming the day after Rodriguez had hit a game-winning home run for the Yanks.

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Birthdays

No notable Yankee birthdays today, though it is the birthday of Barry Bonds! He collected a ridiculous 162.8 WAR during his Hall-of-Fame worthy career, and the next highest total for players born on this day belongs to Jack Clements, with a 26.8 WAR.

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