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This Day in Yankees History: An all-time great passes away

One of the most successful managers in Yankees and baseball history passed away on this day.

Joe McCarthy - New York Yankees

Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. These daily post will highlight a handful of key moments in Yankees and baseball 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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43 Years Ago

Legendary manager Joe McCarthy dies of pneumonia in Buffalo, NY at age 90. McCarthy held a 2,125-1,333 (.615) record for his career including nine pennants and seven World Series championships in 24 years of managing for the Cubs, Yankees, and Red Sox. That winning percentage is tied with current Yankees manager Aaron Boone for the highest mark in history.

When hired by the Yankees, owner Jacob Ruppert told McCarthy that he had three years to win a World Series. With Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the lineup, he was able to win the series in his second year and then continue winning over the next decade. He won four World Series in a row from 1936-39 and was at the helm as the Yankees transitioned from Ruth to DiMaggio. Overall, he won eight pennants with the Yankees and was 30-13 overall in the World Series. In 1932, McCarthy became the first manager to win pennants in both leagues after he had previously won with the Cubs in 1929.

His tenure with the Yankees ended after he went on a drunken bender and missed a series with the Detroit Tigers in early 1946. He returned to his farm in Western New York and resigned. He just missed the next great wave of Yankees talent, as the Bombers of the next decade would rival his greatest run.

McCarthy was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957.

Joe DiMaggio Pictured Together with Joe McCarthy and Joe Gallagher

16 Years Ago

The North Dakota House of Representatives approved House Concurrent Resolution 3006, proclaiming that native son Roger Maris should be elected to the Hall of Fame. The resolution was then sent to the 85 members of the Veterans Committee ahead of their vote for the Hall of Fame. Maris played briefly for Cleveland and Kansas City before a trade brought him to the Yankees ahead of the 1960 season. With a swing built for Yankee Stadium he won back-to-back MVP awards in 1960 and 1961. He famously hit 61 home runs in 1961 to break Babe Ruth’s record. While he remained a good hitter and peers raved about his defense in right field, he never again was a serious MVP candidate. His career 38.3 bWAR, and 275 home runs fall short of the standard set by many Hall of Fame players. The Veterans Committee did not vote him in.

1 Year Ago

Major League Baseball suspends Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow and manger AJ Hinch for one season following an investigation into the team’s electronic sign stealing scheme. Both men were fired by Astros owner Jim Crane later in the day. Hinch will be back in uniform with the Tigers this coming spring, while Luhnow continues to make public statements criticizing the investigation and his punishment.

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Happy Birthday to Darrell Rasner, who pitched 158 13 innings for the Yankees between 2006 and 2008. He made the third-most starts on a 2008 Yankees team that missed the playoffs, paving the way for an offseason spending spree that landed CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and AJ Burnett.

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We thank Baseball Reference and National Pastime for providing background information for these posts.