Also on this day in Yankees history, Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro made the last day of his two-year stint in pinstripes a memorable one, as in 1985, he twirled a four-hit shutout against the AL East champion Blue Jays to secure his 300th career victory. The shutout was the 45th of his career and also the last one he would ever throw. Although he was in his mid-forties during his Yankees tenure, Niekro was remarkably effective for his age with a 109 ERA+ and at least 215 innings pitched per season. Amazing.
On this day in Yankees history 88 years ago, the Bambino added to his legend by promising an ailing kid named Johnny Sylvester that he would hit a home run for him in Game 4 of the 1926 World Series against the Cardinals. On a ball signed by the team, Ruth wrote "I'll knock a homer for Wednesday's game," and he delivered with not one, but a record three dingers in one playoff game! That was the Babe for you--he talked the talk and he walked the walk.
This day in Yankees history 18 years ago, Bernie Williams homered from both sides of the plate and the Yankees beat the Rangers to win their first playoff series in 15 years! Bernie was on fire in the four-game set, hitting .467/.500/.1.067 with three dingers. Bern, baby Bern.
On this day in Yankees history 61 years ago, the Yankees clinched their record 5th straight World Series title as future manager Billy Martin's 12th hit of the series beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 6. He won the Babe Ruth Award as de facto World Series MVP with his career-best moment on a baseball field.
One more highlight from 19 years ago today: In extra inning, Mariano Rivera made his first of 96 career playoff appearances. He did it in style, striking out five Mariners in 3 1/3 scoreless innings to preserve the game and eventually get the win in relief!
I'm surprised Yankee Stadium didn't fall apart that night with all the noise and furor. The old place was just so loud. It was glorious.
Nineteen years ago today, Jim Leyritz provided the Yankees' first truly electric playoff moment of the recent dynasty era with a stunning 15th inning two-run walk-off homer in the rain during the second game of the 1995 ALDS against the Mariners. In what turned out to be Donnie Baseball's final home game, the Yanks won in truly dramatic fashion. What a moment.