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This Day in Yankees History: Alex Rodriguez likes September 8

A historically-small pre-COVID attendance, a big day for A-Rod, a career milestone for Babe Ruth, and a big birthday for a big pitcher.

New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez connects for a two-run home Photo by Ron Antonelli/NY Daily News Archive via 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 (September 8)

104 Years Ago

The Yankees and the Philadelphia Athletics play in front of 23 fans, the smallest crowd in American League history (pre-COVID-19, of course). These fans witnessed history, as Philadelphia catcher/outfielder Wally Schang homers from both sides of the plate, the first switch-hitter in AL history to record the feat. Very few people would learn about it, however, as the heavy rain that prompted the small crowd also made most reporters, believing the game to be postponed, stay home.

95 Years Ago

Babe Ruth hits his 300th career home run as the Yankees down the Red Sox, 7-4.

13 Years Ago

Homering twice off Kansas City pitcher Brian Bannister (his 50th and 51st of the season) Alex Rodriguez breaks the Major League record for home runs in a season by a third baseman, a record he previously shared with Mike Schmidt and Adrian Beltre; since he also holds the record for home runs by a shortstop in a single season, he became the only player to hold this record at multiple positions.

Additionally, he became only the fourth Yankees to hit 50 or more home runs in a season, joining Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, and Mickey Mantle; since then, Aaron Judge has also joined this exclusive party.

5 Years Ago

During his surprising post-suspension resurgence, Alex Rodriguez hits his 30th home run, tying Hank Aaron’s record of 15 seasons with 30+ home runs. Thanks to three injury-filled seasons, it was his first time reaching this mark since 2010.

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Birthdays

Happy Birthday to the Yankees’ White Whale, Gerrit Cole. Originally drafted by the Yankees with the 28th pick of the 2008 MLB Draft, he later became the first overall pick in the 2011 draft. This past offseason, the Yankees signed him to a record-breaking contract, a $324M deal that is the highest for a pitcher in baseball history.

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