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This Day in Yankees History: Wally Pipp joins New York

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On this day, the Yankees acquired Wally Pipp, who played first base before Lou Gehrig took over.

Wally Pipp Batting Yankees Polo Grounds 1921

Welcome to the relaunched This Day in Yankees History. We may be well into hot stove season, but there’s still some time to dig into the history books. 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 7)

106 years ago

The Detroit Tigers waive Wally Pipp to the New York Yankees. Pipp hit .161 in 12 games, but he’d eventually anchor first base in New York for a decade until Lou Gehrig’s appearance. Pipp played for New York for 11 seasons from 1915-1925 and hit .282/.343/.414 during that decade-plus. He finished top-14 in MVP voting three different times and led the league in homers on two separate occasions.

101 years ago

Babe Ruth reacts to his recent sale to the Yankees in the Boston Evening Standard saying, “[Harry] Frazee is not good enough to own any ball club, especially one in Boston.” We all know how that trade panned out for both teams. Babe Ruth became one of the best players in baseball history and the Red Sox didn’t win a title for 86 years.

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Birthdays

Happy birthday to Johnny Mize and Alfonso Soriano!

Mize played with the Yankees for a total of five years. During his tenure with the team, the team won five consecutive World Series from 1949-1953. He hit .264/.342/.463 while playing first base. He was selected for induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1981.

Soriano played seven years in the Bronx from 1999-2003 and retiring in pinstripes in 2013-2014. He finished on the MVP ballot five different times throughout his career including four Silver Sluggers and seven All-Star appearances. In 2003, Soriano set the record for most home runs to lead off a game in a season with 13, and for the second straight year, led the league in at-bats, and finished in the top five for base hits, doubles, home runs, stolen bases, and strikeouts.

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