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This Day in Yankees History: Honoring the Chairman of the Board

On this day in Yankee history, the Lou Gehrig belts his final grand slam, the race for 61 heats up in ‘61, and Whitey Ford is honored.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

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 20)

82 Years Ago

With a single by Red Rolfe and walks by Tommy Henrich and Joe DiMaggio loading the bases in the top of the first, Lou Gehrig hits the 23rd — and final — grand slam of his career, this time off Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Buck Ross. That would stand as the record until September 20, 2013, when Alex Rodriguez deposited a 2-1 fastball off George Kontos into right field to break the record.

59 Years Ago

Roger Marris belts his 49th home run of the season and Mickey Mantle his 46th as the Yankees sweep a doubleheader from the Cleveland Indians, 6-0 and 5-2.

20 Years Ago

The Yankees honor Whitey Ford at Yankee Stadium. “The Chairman of the Board” holds the Yankees record for wins (236), innings pitched (3170.1), and shutouts (45); at the time, he also led in strikeouts (1956), although he has since been passed by Andy Pettitte (2020). To date, only Mariano Rivera has accumulated more bWAR than Ford’s 53.6 as a pitcher, with 56.3

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Happy 76th birthday to Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles! Drafted in the 4th round of the 1965 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins, Nettles made his Major League debut with the club on September 6, 1967. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians, along with Dean Chance, Ted Uhlaender, and a player to be named later, following the 1969 season, and then eventually to the Yankees three years later.

He spent the bulk of his career in the Bronx, during which time he went to five All-Star games and won two Gold Glove Awards. Towards the end of his time, however, he had a falling-out with owner George Steinbrenner, eventually resulting to him being traded to the San Diego Padres. Nettles would play for five seasons after his Yankees career, finally retiring after the 1988 season at the age of 43.

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