Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training any day now, 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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35 Years Ago
The Yankees make a minor move, acquiring veteran catcher Ron Hassey from the White Sox. What makes this notable is that Chicago had only acquired him two months prior ... from the Yankees. Both deals had a couple players going either way, with minor leaguer Glenn Braxton going the opposite direction of Hassey in both.
Hassey had put up good hitting numbers for a catcher for the Yankees in 1985, and would again in ‘86, at least until they traded him for a second time. Just before the trade deadline in 1986, the Yankees shipped him away in a five-player deal. The team they traded him to this time: the White Sox.
13 Years Ago
A couple months after his second stint with the Yankees, Roger Clemens testifies in front of the US House Oversight Committee over his alleged steroid abuse. Under oath, Clemens denied ever using performance enhancing drugs, contradicting other testimony, including that of his former trainer Brian McNamee.
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Happy 30th birthday to Yankees’ slugger Luke Voit!
The Yankees acquired the first baseman from the Cardinals in exchange for Giovanny Gallegos and Chasen Shreve in July 2018. At the time, it seemed like a trade for a depth piece for a team dealing with injuries while also getting rid of two unneeded relievers. Instead, Voit was a diamond in the rough, turning into an important part of the Yankees and one of the best first baseman in baseball.
Voit made his first appearance with the Yankees on August 2, 2018. Early on, it seemed as if Voit wouldn’t be of much help for the Yankees, going 3-for-16 in his first five games with the team. He was sent down, but would be recalled a little more than a week later, as the team dealt with injures.
From August 21st on, Voit hit .353/.427/.759 with 14 home runs in 34 games. That impressive run cemented himself as the Yankees’ first baseman in the playoffs, where he hit a memorable triple in the AL Wild Card Game win.
Voit picked up where he left off the following season, putting up another impressive year, albeit with a second half dogged by an abdominal injury. Then in the shortened 2020 season, he hit a league-leading 22 home runs, finishing ninth in AL MVP voting, all while battling through more ailments. In total, he’s put up a 143 OPS+ with 57 homers in nearly 900 plate appearances as a Yankee. Not bad for what seemed like a fairly random trade.
Busy day for birthdays as other Yankees born today include Jim Brenneman, Jim Brideweser, Nathan Eovaldi, Eddie Foster, Drew Henson, Dan Tipple Todd Williams, Guy Zinn, and former manager and noted weirdo Hal Chase.
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We thank Baseball Reference and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.