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This Day in Yankees history: Walter Johnson vs. Babe Ruth, for charity

The Yankees acquire Crosetti, the Babe raises money, and a bad trade with the Brewers

Ruth & Johnson In Yankee Stadium Photo by FPG/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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90 years ago

The Yankees buy infielder Frankie Crosetti from the San Francisco Seals, allowing him to play out the 1931 season on the West Coast before he begins a 17-year career in the Bronx. Crosetti was a part of six World Series winning clubs, but perhaps most importantly, his purchase was the template by which the Yankees would acquire Joe DiMaggio five years later - the Yankee Clipper was also bought from the Seals, but played on final year out West before coming to New York in 1936.

78 years ago

The Yankees pack 69,000 people into Yankee Stadium for a doubleheader with the Washington Senators, and a charity drive for Army-Navy relief as the US ramps up its troop allocation and material production in WWII. Before the games, the best player in each franchise’s history, Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson, square off in an exhibition competition, with Ruth taking The Big Train deep twice. Our lead image for this post is actually from that very game, with both baseball legends donning their old uniforms for one more showdown to support the war effort.

24 years ago

Needing bullpen help in the 1996 pennant race, the Yankees trade for Australian Graeme Lloyd from the Brewers, and hi-jinx ensue. Neither Lloyd nor the Brewers disclose that the reliever had received a cortisone shot days before the trade that left his arm numb and barely able to grip a baseball. In five subsequent appearances for the Yankees, Lloyd notches a 53.90 ERA, which as they say, is not what you want.

The Yankees complained to the American League about the damaged goods nature of the deal, and the Brewers agreed to also send Ricky Bones to New York, who accomplished nothing in his four games with the club. Fortunately, Lloyd was a playoff stud for the 1996 World series winner, and contributed to the 1998 championship as well, leaving the team with a 0.00 ERA in 13 playoff appearances.

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