Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. Even with the start of the 2020 season, the Pinstripe Alley team has decided to continue the revived program in its new 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 31)
24 Years Ago
Prior to the 1996 trade deadline, the Yankees acquired Cecil Fielder for Ruben Sierra and minor leaguer Matt Drews. Fielder went on to smack three home runs in the 1996 postseason, posting a .918 OPS in the World Series with 11 total bases, and helped the team win its first World Series in 18 years. The deal was the first ever where both players involved in the trade had at least 220 career home runs, and the trade certainly worked out for the Yanks.
18 Years Ago
Look away, Mike Mussina. On this day in 2002, Moose was historically rocked by the Rangers in a 17-6 loss for the Yanks. Mussina surrendered six runs in the second inning, including six doubles in that frame alone. The six two-baggers tied for the most ever allowed in one inning by a single pitcher, joining Lefty Grove when he accomplished the undesirable feat with the Red Sox in 1934. Mussina actually pitched another inning, and left after three having allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits.
13 Years Ago
The balls were flying out of Yankee Stadium on this day in 2007, when the Yanks tied a franchise record by hitting eight home runs in a 16-3 drubbing of the White Sox. Taking on former Yankee Jose Contreras (who was actually traded by the Yanks to the White Sox on this day in 2004), The dinger party started with a three-run blast by Bobby Abreu, and it never stopped. Hideki Matsui hit two home runs, and Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Jorge Posada, Johnny Damon and Shelley Duncan all went yard as well.
Props to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen for having some foresight and getting tossed before any homers were hit in the bottom of the first. He was ejected for arguing a check swing call with Derek Jeter at the plate, and didn’t have to watch any of the eight home runs from the dugout.
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Hank Bauer was born on this day in 1922, and had quite the career with the Yanks, earning three All-Star selections in consecutive years from 1952 to 1954, and was part of the Yankee’s five-peat dynasty that remains one of the most dominant the sport has ever seen. Bauer’s Yankee career spanned from 1948 to 1959, and he posted an OPS+ of 115 during that span.
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We thank Baseball-Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.