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This Day in Yankees History: Roger Maris hits #50

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Maris reached a notable milestone in his chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record

Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. The season may be underway, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a trip into the past. 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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81 Years Ago

The Yankees play their first ever night game, beating the White Sox 14-5 at Comiskey Park.

Night baseball had been around for a few years when the White Sox jumped in and installed lights in 1939. The first ever night game at Comiskey Park had been played earlier that August, and had another when the Yankees came to town, for what would be the visitor’s first time under the lights. Frankie Crosetti homered in the very first at-bat ina a Yankee night game, and the team poured it on late for the win after it was tied in the seventh.

The Yankees wouldn’t install lights back at Yankee Stadium for another eight years.

59 Years Ago

As part of his eventually successful chase of the single-season home run record, Roger Maris hits his 50th homer of the season in a 4-3 loss to the Angels. His sixth inning blast off Ken McBride made him the first player ever to reach 50 in the month of August. The dinger couldn’t help the team get past the expansion Angels, who drew the biggest crowd of their season that day.

12 Years Ago

Derek Jeter records his 2500th career hit in a 9-4 win over the Orioles. Reaching the milestone allowed him to be the third ever Yankee to hit that number with the team. Number 2501 didn’t come that night, but his teammates did score six runs over the last two innings to rally after trailing 4-3.

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Yankee players born on this day include Bill Burbach, Ray Burris, David Huff, Jeff Weaver, and 1923 World Series champion Wally Schang.

Schang had already won titles as a member of the 1913 Athletics and 1918 Red Sox when the Yankees acquired him from Boston in a December 1920 trade. He came over and had a great first season, helping the Yankees to their first ever AL pennant in 1921 as the team’s main catcher. (By OPS+, he was the team’s third-best hitter behind Bob Meusel and some other guy who had been acquired from Boston.)

The team fell in the World Series to the Giants in both ‘21 and ‘22 before finally breaking through in ‘23. Schang struggled in the regular season that year, but did record seven hits in the World Series victory. He played two more seasons with the team before really falling off in 1925, and was traded to the St. Louis Browns ahead of 1926.

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