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This Day in Yankees History: Alex Rodriguez has a big day

A-Rod hit a walk-off homer, and announced his retirement on two very different August 7’s.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

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 7)

37 years ago

Just short of two months after his final career game, the Yankees celebrated Bobby Murcer Day. Murcer spent parts of 13 seasons with the Yankees, hitting .278/.349/.453 with 175 home runs (129 OPS+). A fan favorite, Murcer etched himself into Yankees history after hitting a walk-off hit following Thurman Munson’s tragic death. Murcer’s post-playing career included a memorable stint as a YES Network broadcaster. He died in 2008 after a battle with brain cancer at the age of 62.

20 years ago

In the most, “He played for the Yankees?” moment in recent history, the Bombers claimed Jose Canseco off waivers. The Yankees didn’t exactly want Canseco, then a 35-year-old DH, but Brian Cashman wanted to block him from going to the Red Sox or A’s, among other teams. The Rays dumped him and his salary on the Yankees, and they got an odd 37 games from him.

11 years ago

Alex Rodriguez launched a two-run, walk-off home run against the Red Sox. That’s fun enough on its own, but the A-Bomb ended a 15-inning marathon. Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett traded scoreless frames for seven-plus innings, then it became a war of attrition through both clubs’ bullpens. Rodriguez took Junichi Tazawa deep at 12:42 AM, 5 hours and 33 minutes after first pitch.

August 7 would remain memorable for Rodriguez, as the slugger announced his retirement, effective August 12, on this day in 2016.

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Happy birthday, Tommy Kahnle! The Yankees’ reliever turns 31 today. Kahnle was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. The Bombers lost him to the Rockies in the Rule 5 Draft in 2014, where he later made his major-league debut. His breakout, however, came with the White Sox, who eventually traded him back to the Yankees in 2017. Kahnle played in instrumental role pitching out of the bullpen in the Baby Bomber Era, including 2.1 hitless innings in the 2017 AL Wild Card Game. Sadly, Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this week.

The late Don Larsen was born on this day in 1929. Larsen somehow only spent five years in pinstripes, but they were quite memorable. He logged 655.1 innings for the Bombers, pitching to a 106 ERA+. Larsen won two World Series with the Yankees, in 1956 and 1958, earning MVP status in the former after his perfect game against the Dodgers in Game Five. Larsen’s perfect game remains the only no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankees traded Larsen to the Kansas City Athletics ahead of the 1960 season as part of a package for Roger Maris. Larsen passed away on January 1, 2020.

Other Yankees with August 7 birthdays include Wade LeBlanc, Jason Grimsley, Steve Kemp, and Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie.

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