Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History! With the start of the 2020 season delayed for the foreseeable future, the Pinstripe Alley team decided to revive the program in a slightly different format. These daily posts will highlight a few key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
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This Day in Yankees History (July 4)
60 years ago
Mickey Mantle hit his 300th career home run, taking Hal Wodeshick deep in a game the Yankees would eventually drop 9-8 to the Washington Senators. Only 18 men had reached the milestone before Mantle. He would, of course, go on to hit well over 500 home runs in his storied career.
37 years ago
For the first time since Don Larsen twirled a perfect game in the World Series, a Yankees pitcher threw a no-hitter, as Dave Righetti tossed a gem against the rival Red Sox. Righetti did issue four walks, but struck out nine in the 4-0 victory.
26 years ago
Future Hall-of-Famer Phil Niekro struck out Rangers outfielder Larry Parrish to record the 3000th strikeout of his career, becoming just the ninth to do so at the time. Niekro would finish his career with 318 wins and 3342 strikeouts. He only played two seasons with the Yankees, but managed a 32-20 record and a 3.59 ERA in that span.
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Happy 28th birthday to Mike Ford. It’s a bit surprising the first baseman has already reached that age, given he just made his debut with the big league club last year, but Ford acquitted himself well, recording a 137 OPS+ in 163 plate appearances. It’s also the 36th birthday of former reliver Sergio Santos, who had a couple of strong seasons in the White Sox bullpen, but pitched just three innings with the Yankees in 2015 before retiring.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.