Welcome to This Day in Yankees History. Now that spring training is officially open, it’s time to get amped for the upcoming season. 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 (February 27th):
114 Years Ago
Years before his career as a pioneering baseball executive, Branch Rickey had a brief career as a player. On this day in 1907, that career came to New York, when the then Highlanders acquired Rickey from the St. Louis Browns in a trade for infielder Joe Yeager.
Rickey would spend just one year with the team, playing 52 games. He was used all over the diamond, playing at least one game at every position except pitcher and the non-first base infield spots.
He never played with the team again, and other than a two-game cameo back with the Browns in 1914, that would be the end of his major league playing career.
109 Years Ago
A Yankees’ tradition first came into existence on this day in 1912...well, sort of.
Ahead of the 1912 season, the then Highlanders announced that they would join a recent trend in baseball and wear pinstripes on their uniforms. These ones would be black and would only last one season before being abandoned.
However, three years later, Jacob Rupert bought the team and reinstated them, in their more familiar navy blue form. Yankees’ home uniforms have largely been the same ever since.
73 Years Ago
One of the first great Yankees’ pitcher enters the Hall of Fame as Herb Pennock is elected as part of the class of 1948.
After a fairly average start to his career, the Yankees acquired Pennock from the Red Sox. He pretty much immediately turned his career around, helping the Yankees win the World Series in 1923 in his first year in New York. The Yankees would win a further three championships with Pennock. The pitcher was an important piece throughout his Yankee tenure, including finishing top five in MVP voting twice.
Sadly, Pennock did not live to see his induction, as he had passed away just a few weeks earlier in January 1948.
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Not a big day for Yankees’ birthdays, so let’s highlight Art Goodwin.
Goodwin played in just one major league game in 1905, but somehow managed to be worth -0.3 WAR according to Baseball Reference. That was because, as a pitcher, he faced five batters, and retired just one. He allowed three earned runs (four total) on two hits and two walks. That left his final career major league ERA as 81.00. According to FIP, he got slightly unlucky, as he “should’ve” put up a much better 20.52 figure.
Other Yankees with birthdays today includes Willie Banks, Greg Cadaret, Ron Hassey, and Cy Perkins.
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We thank Jacksonville.com, SABR.org, Baseball Reference, and Nationalpastime.com for providing background information for these posts.