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This Day in Yankees History: Tommy John throws it all away

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On this day, Tommy John accomplishes an ugly feat, while Alex Rodriguez turns back the clock.

New York Yankees Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. The season may be underway, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a trip into the past. 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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32 years ago

Tommy John accomplishes an ignominious feat, becoming presumably the first player in history to commit three errors on one play. John apparently botched a routine grounder, attempted to recover but threw the ball into right field, and then cut off the throw in from right and tossed a wild relay throw home. John ultimately turned in a strong outing, allowing three runs across eight innings as the Yankees routed the Brewers 16-3 thanks to five RBI from Dave Winfield.

Nine years ago

The Yankees were on the wrong side of history, as they allowed the mariners to snap a 17-game losing streak with a 9-2 victory in the Bronx. Ichiro Suzuki racked up four hits and future Yankee legend Dustin Ackley drove in three runs, while Felix Hernandez turned in a vintage one-run, seven-inning start. Phil Hughes took the loss despite six innings of one-run ball.

Five years ago

Alex Rodriguez became one of the few players to homer on their 40th birthday. He stroked a solo shot off Matt Harrison in the the sixth inning of a 6-2 win over the Rangers. The victory moved the Yankees five games clear of the second-place Blue Jays, but New York ended up finishing the season six games behind their rivals to the north.

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As you may have guessed, today is Rodriguez’s 45th birthday. A-Rod hasn’t been covering himself in glory recently, what with his hypocritical comments about instituting a salary cap and his occasionally mundane observations as part of ESPN’s broadcast crew, though today we could do well to remember fondly the 54 WAR he put up in a Yankee uniform.

It’s the 46th birthday of Enrique Wilson, who put up a pretty hideous 56 OPS+ for the Yankees between 2001 and 2004. It also would have been the 115th birthday of Hall-of-Fame manager Leo Durocher, who appeared for the Yankees in three different seasons in the 1920s.

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