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This Day in Yankees History: Babe Ruth hits #50

The first 50-home run season highlights late September

Tokyo Babe Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. Even with the 2020 season well underway, 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 (September 23)

100 Years Ago

The reason 1920 is marked as the end of the Dead Ball era is underscored, as Babe Ruth becomes the first player to hit 50 home runs in a single season, achieving the feat in the first inning of a doubleheader against the Senators. Ruth being Ruth, he hit #51 in the second game.

1920 would be the third straight season Ruth would lead the game in long balls, but the 54 he managed would be notable even for him. In 1919, he logged 29, more than all but five teams in the game on his own. That changed the game, and in 1920 teams began to realize just how valuable home runs were - in the 54-home run 1920 campaign, Ruth beat out just one team in total dingers. The game would never be the same.

74 Years Ago

The 1946 Yankee team isn’t one that’s historically notable for any reason other than attendance, as the team becomes the first to crack 2 million annual attendees. They finish the season just short of the 2.3 million mark, almost a million more than the previous record, the Chicago Cubs’ 1929 campaign.

Funny enough, also on this day in 2005, the Yankees become the first team since before the 1994 strike to eclipse FOUR million annual attendees.

42 Years Ago

Ron Guidry solidifies his Cy Young season (and MVP finalist!) with his third shutout of the month against Cleveland. Guidry would throw nine shutouts in total that season, which still stands as the team record. Gerrit Cole aside, it’s hard to imagine any pitcher approaching it any time soon.

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