Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. Brian Cashman finally fired up the hot stove over the last two weeks and the 2021 Yankees roster has really taken shape with possibly more to come. 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 (January 27)
65 years ago
The New York Football Giants announced they would be leaving the Polo Grounds for Yankee Stadium. The franchise had played their home games at the Polo Grounds since their founding in 1925. The baseball Giants would also leave the stadium a few years later with their move to San Francisco.
The football Giants would arrive in the Bronx and immediately win their first NFL Championship since 1938. In the NFL Championship Game that year they would beat the Chicago Bears, who were owned by former Yankees outfielder George Halas. Halas played a handful of games for the Yankees in 1919, hitting a robust .091 in 22 plate appearances.
By the end of the 1919 season Halas was playing football and on his path to becoming one of the most famous owners in NFL history. The Giants, meanwhile, were on their way to one of the best runs in franchise history — winning six NFL Eastern championships from 1956 to 1963. During this timeframe legendary players such as Frank Gifford, Sam Huff and Roosevelt Brown played for the team. In the early years of their run, Fordham University graduate Vince Lombardi was the offensive coordinator and future NFL Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry coached the defense.
A major highlight in Giants franchise and Yankee Stadium history was the 1959 NFL Championship Game when the Giants lost in overtime to the Baltimore Colts in what has been called “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” The Giants played in Yankees Stadium until 1973 before bouncing around to the Yale Bowl in New Haven, CT and Shea Stadium over the next several years.
11 years ago
The city of Pittsburgh announced plans to memorialize one of the toughest losses in Yankees’ history with a statue of Bill Mazeroski running the bases following his World Series winning home run. Mazeroski’s walk-off home run to end the 1960 World Series was a stunning ending to a series that saw the Yankees out score Pittsburgh 55-27. It would be legendary manager Casey Stengel’s last game with the Yankees. The Yankees offense was so impressive that Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson was named the MVP of the series after driving in 12 runs and scoring eight himself. It is the only time a player from the losing team has been named MVP.
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Happy Birthday to Phil Plantier as he turns 52 today. Plantier never played for the Yankees, but earned strong reviews as the hitting coach for Triple-A Scranton in 2018 and 2019. While in Scranton he worked with Gio Urshela, who the Yankees acquired late in the 2018 season. Urshela took those lessons to winter ball where he locked in the adjustments and then exploded on the scene when the Yankees needed a third baseman early in the 2019 campaign. Plantier was hired away from the Yankees organization by the Marlins in October.
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We thank Baseball Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.