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This Day in Yankees History: Alfonso Soriano returns to the Bronx

A middling Yankees team tried to resuscitate its playoff hopes with the return of a former star.

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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 26)

87 years ago

Joe DiMaggio’s 61-game hitting streak comes to an end, as a member of the San Francisco Seals. The 19-year-old tore apart the Pacific Coast League years before he would go on his legendary hitting streak at the big-league level.

81 years ago

The Yankees achieved a rare team feat, scoring in every frame en route to a dominant 14-1 victory over the St. Louis Browns. The offensive barrage stood up easily behind a complete-game start by future Hall-of-Famer Red Ruffing, who scattered three hits and two walks across nine innings.

12 years ago

The Yankees flipeed Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, and Jose Tabata to the Pirates for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. Nady and Marte represented key reinforcements for the Yankees, who were mired in third place in the AL East and were looking to make a playoff push, one that was ultimately for naught. Nady submitted a 105 OPS+ with the Yankees in 2008 before struggling with injuries the next year. Marte stayed with the Yankees through 2010 without much on-field success, but was at least on the 2009 World Series roster.

Seven years ago

The Yankees traded minor-league pitcher Corey Black for Alfonso Soriano. Soriano, of course, had debuted in 1999 with the Yankees, before heading to the Rangers after the 2003 season as part of the Alex Rodrgiuez trade. The 37-year-old Soriano would turn back the clock with an excellent two-month stretch in New York, hitting .256/.325/.525 with 17 homers and a 131 OPS+.

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Birthdays

Happy 33rd birthday to Vidal Nuno! Nuno posted an 81 ERA+ across two seasons with the Yankees before getting flipped to Arizona in exchange for Brandon McCarthy. It also would have been the 87th birthday of the late Norm Siebern, a corner bat who posted a 113 OPS+ with the Yankees in the 1950s. Pete Ward turns 83 today, having spent the final season of his major-league career with the Yankees in 1970.

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