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This Day In Yankees History: Jim Abbott hurls an improbable no-hitter

The southpaw born without a right hand entered Yankees lore on this date in 1993

New York Yankees

The start of the 2020 season is finally underway! The Pinstripe Alley team is going to continue to keep these daily posts that highlight a few key moments in Yankees history on a given date, as well as recognize players born on the day. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

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This Day in Yankees History (September 4)

114 Years Ago

In the spirit of this season’s often frenetic and cramped schedule, this date in 1906 is an interesting one to note. The New York Highlanders (the Yankees’ predecessors) beat the Boston Americans (the Red Sox’ predecessors) 1-0 at the Huntington Avenue Grounds (Fenway Park’s predecessor), ending an endurance test that saw the team play an astonishing five consecutive doubleheaders in six days. And guess what? They won every single game.

Whatever was on the menu back then obviously worked. Let’s get some for ourselves!

97 Years Ago

There are two notable no-hitter feats in today’s edition, the first of which involves “Sad” Sam Jones’ no-no against the Philadelphia A’s in Shibe Park on this date in 1923. The remarkable thing about Jones’ performance is that he didn’t strike anyone out, a feat that wouldn’t be replicated until 1969 when the Cubs’ Ken Holtzman no-hit the Braves without retiring a batter on strikes.

Of course, strikeouts weren’t nearly as prevalent in Jones’ era and particularly not for him. He owned a career strikeout-per-nine rate of just 2.8. (And that’s why he was so sad … Boom! The joke just writes itself.)

79 Years Ago

On this date in 1941, the Yankees clinched the American League pennant. No big deal, right? They’ve clinched a lot of pennants. What makes this notable is that it remains the earliest date in MLB history a club has clinched a regular season division. They finished 17 games better than the Boston Red Sox that year.

27 Years Ago

The other notable no-hitter: on this date in 1993, Jim Abbott hurled a no-no against the Cleveland Indians in Yankee Stadium, the eighth in franchise history. Abbott, of course, was born without a right hand, making this feat all the more improbable and special, a lesson to all not to be bound by perceived limitations.

22 Years Ago

Much like the 1941 Yankees, the 1998 edition made a point of handling their business early. On this date, the World Series-winning club won their 100th game, marking the earliest date a team reached the century mark in MLB history. They’d go on to finish with 114 wins, then an American League record, before cruising to the franchise’s 24th championship.

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Marking birthdays today are former Yankees pitchers Darrell Einertson (who appeared in 11 games for the club in 2000); Doyle Alexander (who pitched for the Yanks in 1976 and 1982-83 and was famously traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Detroit Tigers for future Hall of Famer John Smoltz in 1987); and Ken Wright (who pitched for the Yankees in 1974).

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