Welcome to the This Day in Yankees History. With the start of the 2020 season still weeks away, the Pinstripe Alley team decided to revive the program in a slightly different format. These daily posts will highlight several 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 6)
82 Years Ago
Future Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Gomez was saddled with his first All-Star Game loss in his fourth appearance, as the NL side won 4-1. Gomez was the undisputed ace on the Murderers’ Row Yankees teams, winning five world titles and two triple crowns. That year’s Midsummer Classic was a bizarre one, including a bunt home run from the Dodgers’ Leo Durocher, who rounded the bases after errant throws by Jimmie Foxx and Joe DiMaggio.
79 Years Ago
A month after he tragically passed away from ALS, Lou Gehrig was commemorated with a plaque in center field. He became the second Yankee to receive such an honor, joining the late manager Miller Huggins, as well as the first player to be memorialized, starting a tradition that would become Monument Park.
18 Years Ago
Reggie Jackson joined Gehrig, along with all the other Yankee legends, when he was awarded his own plaque in Monument Park during Old Timers’ Day. Every living Yankee honored in Monument Park was in attendance for the occasion, including Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Don Mattingly, and Phil Rizzuto. The mercurial right fielder enjoyed a roller coaster five years in the Bronx, including back-to-back World Series wins in 1977 and 1978, as well as memorable feuds with manager Billy Martin and owner George Steinbrenner. Other honors for Mr. October include first ballot Hall of Frame enshrinement and having his number 44 retired by the Yankees.
12 Years Ago
Manny Ramirez stood at the center of one of the more controversial moments in his career against the Yankees playing for Boston. The Red Sox left fielder had asked to be scratched from the lineup that day citing knee pains, leading to Boston management mandating an MRI test which proved the claims to be false. With this conflict brewing, Ramirez stepped into the box in the bottom of the ninth of a tied game as a pinch hitter. Facing Mariano Rivera, Ramirez took three straight strikes to end the inning. The Yankees would go on to win the game on a Brett Gardner walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth while Ramirez would be traded on July 31st to the Dodgers.
11 Years Ago
A fan hailing from Queens brings a federal lawsuit against the Bombers after being kicked out of Yankee Stadium allegedly for using the bathroom during the playing of ‘God Bless America.’ The fan was awarded $10,001 by the city, while the Yankees, who claimed they always grant fans freedom of movement, paid nothing. Despite these claims, there have been numerous alleged incidents of ushers chaining exits while ‘God Bless America’ was played, perhaps deeming fans leaving to be disrespectful during the patriotic song, calling to mind the recent uproar over National Anthem demonstrations.
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The happiest of birthdays to Willie Randolph. The longtime second baseman, who turns 66 today, is one of the most beloved Yankees from the Bronx Zoo teams. He was a cornerstone of the infield helping lead the Yankees to consecutive titles in ‘77 and ‘78 as well as co-captain from 1986 to 1988. His contributions to the Yankees Organization in his post-playing career are what truly cemented him as an all-time Yankee favorite, as he was the third base and bench coach from 1994-2004, playing a key role during the Core Four dynasty years. He was honored with a plaque in Monument Park in 2015, and enjoys hearty fan support for his number to be retired.
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We thank Baseball-Reference, Nationalpastime.com, and FanGraphs for providing background information for these posts.