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This Day in Yankees History: Reggie Jackson hits 400th home run

On this day in history, Reggie Jackson hits his 400th home run, Al Downing throws an immaculate inning, and Mariano Rivera blows rare save in third consecutive game in history-filled game.

Reggie Jackson Batting

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 (August 11)

53 Years Ago

Yankees starting pitcher Al Downing throws an immaculate inning, striking out Tony Horton, Don Demeter, and Duke Sims on nine pitches in the second inning. The Yankees would go on to win, 5-3.

47 Years Ago

During the Old-Timers’ Day game at Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantles homers off of his former teammate, Whitey Ford; on the previous pitch, he had drilled a foul ball into the upper deck.

40 Years Ago

Reggie Jackson hits the 400th home run of his career with a solo shot off Royals pitcher Britt Burns in the fourth inning.

8 Years Ago

In the midst of a 5-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, Derek Jeter records his 150th hit of the season, making him the only person besides Hank Aaron to have 17 seasons with 150 or more hits. He does not break this record, as Jeter would only have 12 hits in his injury-shortened 2013 season, and would fall one short of 150 in his final season.

7 Years Ago

The Yankees 5-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers is an eventful one. In his fifth game of the season, Alex Rodriguez hits his first home run of the year with a solo shot off Justin Verlander to lead off the second inning; in the process, he passes Stan Musial for fifth all-time with 1,951 RBI. Two innings later, Alfonso Soriano records his 2000th career hit by leading off the 4th inning with a home run of his own. With a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Mariano Rivera gives up home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Víctor Martínez for his third-straight blown save. Brett Gardner, however, would bail him out with a walk-off home run against Jose Veras with two outs in the ninth.

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Birthdays

Happy 44th birthday to former Yankees outfielder Bubba Crosby. Originally a first-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1998 MLB draft, he was traded to the Yankees, along with Scott Proctor, for Robin Ventura at the 2003 trade deadline. Making the Opening Day roster in 2004, Crosby quickly made an impression, homering in his first at-bat as a Yankee.

He would spend the majority of the 2004 and 2005 seasons bouncing between the Yankees and their Triple-A squad at the time, the Columbus Clippers. Following a strong finish to the 2005 season — he posted a .327/.339/.418 slash in September — Brian Cashman infamously said that Crosby would be the team’s starting center fielder before signing Johnny Damon. His Yankees, and major-league, career would end after he was designated for assignment on August 4, 2006.

Today is also the 36th birthday of former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera. Originally signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in November 2001, Cabrera made his Major League debut on July 7, 2005. After a 2-for-3 performance against Cliff Lee in his second career game, he struggled a bit, going on an 0-for-13 slump offensively and making several bad miscues defensively, most notably misplaying a ball in center field and allowing Trot Nixon an inside-the-park home run.

For the next four years, Cabrera would bounce between fourth outfielder and starting lineup roles, including as the center fielder for the 2009 World Series championship team. That winter, he would be traded to the Atlanta Braves for Javier Vázquez. Since then, he has bounced around the league, playing for the Kansas City, San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh; the Mets brought him to spring training and summer camp this year, but released him on July 22.

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