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This Day in Yankees History: 1998 completes a historic first half

The eventual World Series champions tied the best record in history after the season’s halfway mark on this date.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

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 5)

90 Years Ago

The New York Lincoln Giants and the Baltimore Black Sox played a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium, marking the first time that the Negro Leagues entered the Bronx. Bill Yancey, a member of the Giants, became the first black player to take the field in Yankee Stadium, and had some fun messing around with Babe Ruth during warm ups. Yancey would later on become a scout for the Yankees organization.

22 Years Ago

The Yankees defeated the Orioles 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel, with David Cone besting Scott Erickson after both pitchers threw eight innings. The win improved the Yankees’ record to 61-20, putting them 11 games up on the Red Sox in the division and tying the best 81-game start in MLB history. The only other teams that matched their pace to this point were the 1902 Pirates and the 1907 Cubs.

Also 22 Years Ago

He wasn’t a Yankee yet, but Roger Clemens also had a historic moment of his own in 1998. Clemens, then a Blue Jay, picked up seven strikeouts in 7.1 innings against the Devil Rays, earning his 3,000th career strikeout in the process. Clemens became the 11th player in MLB history to reach that mark, and eventually retired with the third-most ever after striking out 4,672 batters.

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