Sunday, May 14, 2017

Yankees' Performances On Player "Days," 1924-2017

May 14, 1924: Babe Ruth Day. Honored with gifts. No number to retire yet. The Yankees lost to the St. Louis Browns 11-1. No home runs. Attendance: Listed as 25,000, which may be an estimate.

May 30, 1932: Monument dedicated to Miller Huggins. Beat the Boston Red Sox 7-5. Herb Pennock went the distance for the win. No home runs. Attendance: Not listed.

July 4, 1939: Number 4 retired for Lou Gehrig. Doubleheader with the Washington Senators. Lost the 1st game 3-2. Monte Pearson got the loss. Won the 2nd game 11-1. Steve Sundra went the distance for the win. George Selkirk hit a home run in each game, the only Yankee to homer in either. Attendance: 61,808.

April 19, 1940: Plaque dedicated to Jacob Ruppert. Beat the Senators 5-3. Lefty Gomez was the winning pitcher. Joe Gordon homered. Attendance: 15,299.

July 6, 1941: Monument dedicated to Gehrig -- postponed from a rainout on July 4, hence the Plaque says it was dedicated on "JULY THE FOURTH." Beat the Philadelphia Athletics 8-4. Atley Donald started, but got knocked out in the 4th inning, relieved by Ernie "Tiny" Bonham, who got the win. Bill Dickey and Red Rolfe homered. Attendance: Not listed.

April 27, 1947: Babe Ruth Day. The Bambino is honored again, but no number retirement, and no Plaque. Lost to the Senators 1-0. Attendance: 58,339.

June 13, 1948: Number 3 retired for Babe Ruth. Beat the Cleveland Indians 5-3. Eddie Lopat was the winning pitcher. Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto homered. Attendance: 49,641.

April 19, 1949: Monument dedicated to Ruth. Beat the Senators 3-2. Eddie Lopat went the distance for the win. Tommy Henrich homered. Attendance: 40,075.

October 1, 1949: Joe DiMaggio Day. Received gifts, gave a speech, said, "I'd like to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee." But, since he was still active, no number retirement or Plaque. Yankees beat Red Sox 5-4. Johnny Lindell homered in the 8th to win it. Attendance: 69,551.

April 18, 1952: Number 5 retired for Joe DiMaggio. Lost to the Senators 3-1. Allie Reynolds got the loss. No home runs. Attendance: 45,240.

April 15, 1954: Plaque dedicated to Ed Barrow. Beat the A's 3-0. Tom Morgan went the distance for the shutout. Hank Bauer and Bill "Moose" Skowron homered. It was the 1st for Moose, who had made his major league debut 2 days earlier.

September 18, 1955: Phil Rizzuto Day. Gifts, but no other honors. This may have been a subtle way of telling him it was time to retire. He didn't, and was released the next year, before being hired as a broadcaster. The Yankees beat the Red Sox 3-2. Bob Turley got hurt after 2 innings, but Bob Grim shut the Sox out the rest of the way. No home runs. Attendance: 54,501.

September 18, 1965: Mickey Mantle Day. It was the occasion of his 2,000th game. Gifts, but no tangible honors. Senator Robert F. Kennedy attended. DiMaggio, who believed the Kennedys had something to do with Marilyn Monroe's death, refused to shake Bobby's hand or stand anywhere near him. Lost to the Detroit Tigers 4-3. Al Downing had a good start, but but Pete Mikkelsen blew it in the 10th inning. Denny McLain got the win in relief. Ray Barker hit a home run for the Yankees. Attendance: 51,664.

October 4, 1965: Plaque donated by the New York City chapter of the Knights of Columbus in honor of that day's Mass delivered by Pope Paul VI. Obviously, the Yankees were not playing that day, as the season had ended. Attendance: Unofficially, about 90,000, including on-field seating.

September 17, 1966: Bobby Richardson Day. Gifts, but no other honors. His Number 1 has since been retired, but not for him. Lost to the Minnesota Twins 4-2. Clete Boyer and Joe Pepitone hit home runs, but, this time, Downing fell apart in the 6th inning, and got the loss. Attendance: 21,135.

May 30, 1967: Whitey Ford Day. He'd announced his retirement. Gifts, but no other honors. Twi-night doubleheader: 1st game: Beat the Twins 4-3. Downing again, strong this time, getting the win, with mop-up help from the Dooley Womack. Steve Whitaker homered. 2nd game: Lost 3-0. Jim Merritt pitched a shutout for Minnesota, striking out 11, walking none, and allowing only 2 hits: A double to Charlie Smith (the guy Roger Maris was insultingly traded even-up for) and a single to Horace Clarke. Attendance: 41,136.

June 8, 1969: Mickey Mantle Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 7 retired for him. Another Plaque dedicated to DiMaggio. Doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox. Won the 1st game 3-1. Mel Stottlemyre went the distance for the win. Joe Pepitone homered. Won the 2nd game 11-2. Bill Burbach went the distance for the win. No homers. That's right, in 1 day, the Yankees played 18 innings, and used just 2 pitchers. In Peoria, Illionois, a 4-year-old boy named Joe Girardi ran screaming in terror for his mother. Attendance: 60,096.

April 12, 1970: Plaques installed for DiMaggio and Mantle. Doubleheader with the Indians. Lost the 1st game 2-1. Stottlemyre was the losing pitcher. No homers. Won the 2nd game 5-4. Mike Kekich started. Yankee manager Ralph Houk swapped him for a relief pitcher. (See what I did there?) Jack Aker blew the save, but became the winning pitcher when Mike Paul walked Ron Hansen with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. Attendance: 27,308.

August 8, 1970: Number 37 retired for Casey Stengel. He had previously had 37 retired by the Mets on September 2, 1965, and was elected to their team Hall of Fame. He remains the only person honored by both teams. The Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles 4-2. Kekich was the losing pitcher. Bobby Murcer homered. Attendance: 47,194.

April 18, 1972: Number 8 retired for Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. Beat the Milwaukee Brewers 2-0. Steve Kline went the distance for the shutout. No homers. Attendance: 11,319.

All of the preceding were at the original Yankee Stadium.

April 6, 1974: Number 16 retired for Whitey Ford. Beat the Indians 6-1 at Shea Stadium, where the Yankees played the 1974 and '75 seasons, while the old Yankee Stadium was being renovated. Stottlemyre went the distance for the win. Graig Nettles homered. Attendance: 20,774. This is the only Monument Park-connected day to be held at a building not named Yankee Stadium. Whitey would later say, "There's only 4 numbers that should be retired, and mine's not one of them." Meaning Ruth's 3, Gehrig's 4, DiMaggio's 5 and Mantle's 7.

April 21, 1976: Plaque dedicated to Joe McCarthy. He never wore a number, despite managing in the major leagues until 1950. The Yankees beat the White Sox 10-7. Rudy May was the winning pitcher. Chris Chambliss homered. Attendance: 19,619. This was the 1st Monument Park day to be held at the original Yankee Stadium after its renovation.

July 30, 1976: Plaque dedicated to Stengel. At least, that's what the date says on the Plaque. But according to, the Yankees were on the road that day -- at Fenway Park, no less. As Casey himself would have said, "And you could look it up." Well, I did. The Yankees beat the Red Sox 6-4. Ed Figueroa went the distance for the win. Mickey Rivers and Carlos May homered. Attendance: 27,728. Barring further information, I'm accepting this text as official.

August 2, 1979: Number 15 retired for Thurman Munson, who died that day in a plane crash. He was practicing takeoffs and landings at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport near his hometown of Canton, Ohio. He could do this since it was an off-day for the Yankees. George Steinbrenner made the announcement of the number retirement at the same time as that of Thurman's death.

September 16, 1979: Catfish Hunter Day. Catfish was retiring, and received gifts, but no further honor. His Number 29 remains in circulation, although the Oakland Athletics retired Number 27 for him. The Yankees lost to the Tigers 8-4 in 12 innings. Chambliss and Roy White, who was also retiring, hit home runs. Dave Righetti started. Goose Gossage pitched 5 innings of relief, and it was too much. Attendance: 40,192.

October 2, 1979: Plaque donated by the Knights of Columbus in honor of that day's Mass delivered by Pope John Paul II. Attendance: Estimated at 80,000, as the renovated Stadium had fewer seats, but, again, there was on-field seating. Again, the Yankees were not playing that day, as the season had ended. This is the source of the now-outdated trick question: "Who are the two former Cardinals honored in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park?" This joke ignored the fact that, since 1984, if you're talking about former St. Louis Cardinals, the answer is, "Miller Huggins and Roger Maris." Pope Benedict XVI made it three -- but so has Tino Martinez, and when Joe Torre gets his Plaque, well, Pope Francis, you're on the clock!

September 20, 1980: Plaque dedicated to Munson. Lost to the Red Sox 4-1. Gaylord Perry, briefly a Yankee, started and got shelled, not getting out of the 2nd inning. No homers. Attendance: 50,257.

August 7, 1983: Bobby Murcer Day. Bobby had been talked into retiring and going into the broadcast booth so that Don Mattingly could be called up without anybody being sent down. He received gifts, but no further honor. He died without getting a Plaque in Monument Park. He wore Number 1 in his 1st go-round with the Yankees, and 2 in his 2nd (because Billy Martin was wearing 1), and both have since been retired, but not for him. The Yankees lost to the Tigers 8-5. Matt Keough started and got rocked. Attendance: 45,110.

July 21, 1984: Plaques dedicated to Elston Howard and Roger Maris. Number 32 retired for Howard, Number 9 retired for Maris. Lost to the Twins 5-2. Ray Fontenot started and lost. Steve Kemp homered.

August 5, 1984: Lou Piniella Day. He had just retired as a player. He received gifts, but no other honors. His Number 14 remains in circulation. The Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 4-0. Ray Fontenot, Mike Armstrong and Phil Niekro combined on a 1-hit shutout, the hit being a 6th inning single by Brook Jacoby. Vic Mata hit his 1 and only major league home run. Attendance: 30,231.

August 4, 1985: Phil Rizzuto Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 10 retired for him. Lost to the White Sox 4-1. Joe Cowley started and lost. No homers. Tom Seaver, the legendary Met, started for the White Sox, went the distance, and got his 300th win. (The same day, across the country in Anaheim, Rod Carew got his 3,000th hit.) I was there for this one, and with thousands of Met fans infecting Yankee Stadium -- the official attendance of 54,032 seemed to be equally divided between Yankee Fans honoring the Scooter and Flushing Heathen there to see Seaver make history -- it made for a turbulent afternoon.

August 10, 1986: Billy Martin Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 1 retired for him. Lost to the Kansas City Royals 13-3. Dennis Rasmussen took the loss. No homers. Attendance: 40,198.

August 2, 1987: Plaques dedicated to Ford and Lefty Gomez. Ford's Number 16 had already been retired. Gomez' Number 11 remains in circulation. The Yankees beat the Tigers 8-5. Rick Rhoden was the winning pitcher. Mike Pagliarulo homered. Attendance: 46,212.

August 21, 1988: Plaques dedicated to Dickey and Berra. Dickey, 81 years old, ailing and in a wheelchair, came from his Arkansas home to attend. Berra, 63, in good shape, and living nearby in Montclair, New Jersey, was still feuding with George Steinbrenner, and refused to attend. The Yankees Lost to the Seattle Mariners 4-2. Rhoden was the losing pitcher. No homers. Attendance: 42,293.

August 27, 1989: Allie Reynolds Day. Plaque dedicated. His Number 22 remains in circulation. The Yankees lost to the Orioles 8-5. Greg Cadaret started and lost. Bob Geren and Don Mattingly homered. Attendance: 43,799.

July 27, 1991: Old-Timers' Day. DiMaggio honored on the 50th Anniversary of his streak, and he received some gifts and gave a short speech. The Yankees beat the California Angels 12-10 -- nearly blowing a 12-4 lead. Matt Nokes and Roberto Kelly hit home runs. Greg Cadaret did not have a good start, but was credited with the win. Attendance: 45,647.

August 14, 1993: Number 44 retired for Reggie Jackson. Beat the Orioles 4-2. Domingo Jean started, Paul Assenmacher won in relief. No homers -- kind of ironic for a day honoring Reggie. But the Yankees got the win, which was appropriate. Attendance: 52,598.

August 25, 1996: Monument dedicated to Mantle, replacing his Plaque. Lost to the Oakland Athletics 6-4. Andy Pettitte started, but Jeff Nelson lost in relief. Darryl Strawberry and Tino Martinez homered. Attendance: 50,808.

August 31, 1997: Don Mattingly Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 23 retired for him. Beat the Montreal Expos 3-2. This was the 1st Monument Park day with an Interleague opponent. Pettitte was the winning pitcher. Bernie Williams homered. Attendance: 55,707.

July 25, 1998: Plaque dedicated to Mel Allen. Lost to the White Sox 6-2. Hideki Irabu was the losing pitcher. No homers. Attendance: 55,638.

September 27, 1998: Joe DiMaggio Day. On the last day of the regular season, DiMaggio is given replicas of his World Series rings. He had given 1 to noted sports memorabilia collector Barry Halper, and the other 8 had been stolen. He threw out the first ball, throwing a strike at age 84. It was his last appearance in a major league ballpark. The Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 8-3. Shane Spencer hit a home run. Jim Bruske started and won. Attendance: 49,608.

April 25, 1999: Monument dedicated to DiMaggio, replacing his Plaque. Beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3. David Cone started, Mariano Rivera actually blew a save, but Jason Grimsley won in relief. No homers. Attendance: 51,903.

July 18, 1999: Yogi Berra Day. The Boss had gone to Yogi's Museum in Little Falls, New Jersey and apologized face-to-face, the way he should have done to fire him in 1985. Yogi accepted his apology, and George set up the big day. Don Larsen threw out the first ball to Yogi as catcher, recreating the perfect game in the 1956 World Series. And David Cone pitched a perfect game, as the Yankees beat the Expos 6-0. Ricky Ledee and Derek Jeter hit home runs. Attendance: 41,930.

May 7, 2000: Bob Sheppard Day. Plaque dedicated. Lost to the Orioles 7-6. Ramiro Mendoza started, but Rivera blew the save and was the losing pitcher. Scott Brosius homered. Attendance: 52,509.

August 20, 2000: Whitey Ford Day. Ford honored for the 50th Anniversary of his major league debut. The Yankees lost to the team then known as the Anaheim Angels 5-4. Glenallen Hill homered, and Cone had a good start, but Jeff Nelson blew it. Attendance: 50,048.

August 18, 2001: Dave Winfield Day. Gifts, but no further honors. To this day, this Hall-of-Famer has no Plaque in Monument Park, and his Number 31 remains in circulation. The San Diego Padres, however, have retired 31 for him. The Yankees lost to the Seattle Mariners, 7-6. Jeter hit a home run, but a bad start by Ted Lilly doomed the Yanks. Attendance: 55,294.

July 6, 2002: Reggie Jackson Day. Mr. October finally gets his Plaque. Lost to the Blue Jays 8-3. Pettitte was the losing pitcher. No homers. Attendance: 55,005.

September 11, 2002: Monument dedicated to the September 11, 2001 victims and rescue workers. Beat the Orioles 5-4. Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez started, Steve Karsay won it in relief. Robin Ventura and Alfonso Soriano homered. Attendance: 35,183.

August 23, 2003: Ron Guidry Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 49 retired for him. Lost to the Orioles 7-2. Former Oriole Mike Mussina was the starting and losing pitcher. Jorge Posada homered. Attendance: 54,397.

July 10, 2004: Plaque dedicated to Red Ruffing. This made him the last player so honored at the old Yankee Stadium. His Number 15 had already been retired for Munson. Beat the Devil Rays 6-3. Jon Lieber was the starter and winner. Alex Rodriguez homered. Attendance: 54,680.

April 20, 2008: Plaque donated by the Knights of Columbus in honor of that day's Mass delivered by Pope Benedict XVI. This was the last dedication at the old Yankee Stadium. Attendance: Estimated at 60,000. Obviously, the Yankees were playing on the road, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Beat the Orioles 7-1. Pettitte was the winning pitcher. Johnny Damon homered.

September 20, 2010: George Steinbrenner Night. Monument dedicated. Beat the renamed Tampa Bay Rays 8-6. Ivan Nova started, Chad Gaudin blew a save, but became the winning pitcher anyway. Curtis Granderson hit 2 homers. This was the 1st Monument Park dedication at the new Yankee Stadium. Attendance: 47,437.

July 28, 2013: Hideki Matsui Day. Gifts, but no further honors. Considering he wore such a high number, 55, maybe it should be retired. Considering his impact as an international player, maybe he should get a Plaque. And he was a major factor in my 2 favorite Yankee games as an adult: Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, and Game 6 of the 2009 World Series -- against different teams, but both against Pedro Martinez. The Yankees beat the Rays 6-5. Jeter and Alfonso Soriano hit home runs, and Soriano hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the 9th. Phil Hughes started, and the winning pitcher was Rivera. Attendance: 47,714.

I thought I remembered a Johnny Damon Day around this time, but I can't find any record of it. At any rate, he hasn't gotten a Plaque, and his Number 18 remains in circulation.

September 22, 2013: Mariano Rivera Day. Number 42 retired. No Plaque yet. Lost to the San Francisco Giants 2-1. Andy Pettitte pitched well, but lost. Mark Reynolds homered. This made Mo the 1st player honored in the new Monument Park. Attendance: 49,197.

April 16, 2014: Monument dedicated to Nelson Mandela, who spoke at a rally at the old Stadium in 1990, and had died the previous December 5. The date on the Plaque says April 15, because it was supposed to be part of the celebrations of Jackie Robinson Day, to be followed by a game against the Chicago Cubs. But it rained, and the ceremony was pushed back a day. The Yankees swept the rain-forced doubleheader, taking the 1st game 3-0, with Masahiro Tanaka winning with the aid of a Carlos Beltran home run; and the 2nd game 2-0, with Michael Pineda winning without the benefit of a Yankee home run. Attendance: 36,569.

June 21, 2014: Tino Martinez Day. Plaque dedicated. This made him the 1st player given a Plaque at the new Stadium. His Number 24 remains in circulation. The Yankees lost to the Orioles 6-1. Vidal Nuno was the losing pitcher. Mark Teixeira homered. Attendance: 47,165.

June 22, 2014: Goose Gossage Day. Plaque dedicated for Rich "Goose" Gossage. His Number 54 remains in circulation. The Yankees lost to the Orioles 8-0. Tanaka lost. No homers. Attendance: 47,493.

August 9, 2014: Paul O'Neill Day. Plaque dedicated. Oddly, Number 21 was not retired for him, and still hasn't been, although it has not been given out since he left, save for the brief, boo-filled experiment with LaTroy Hawkins. The Yankees lost to the Indians 3-0. Brandon McCarthy pitched well, but took the loss. No homers. Attendance: 47,376.

August 23, 2014: Joe Torre Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 6 retired for him. Beat the White Sox 5-3. Hiroki Kuroda was the starter and winner. Carlos Beltran homered. Attendance: 47,594.

September 7, 2014: Derek Jeter Day. With his final career statistics not yet set, he didn't get a Plaque, and neither was his Number 2 formally retired. The Yankees lost to the Royals 2-0. Shane Greene pitched well, but took the loss. No homers. Attendance: 48,110.

May 24, 2015: Bernie Williams Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 51 retired for him. Lost to the Texas Rangers 5-2. Chris Capuano didn't make it out of the 5th inning. Attendance: 45,681.

June 20, 2015: Plaques dedicated for Willie Randolph and Mel Stottlemyre. Beat the Tigers 14-3. Nathan Eovaldi was backed by 2 home runs by Carlos Beltran, and 1 each by Didi Gregorius, Alex Rodriguez and Chris Young. Attendance: 48,092.

August 22, 2015: Jorge Posada Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 20 retired for him. Beat the Indians 6-2. Homers by Brett Gardner and Brian McCann gave Luis Severino his 1st major league win. Attendance: 47,031.

August 23, 2015: Andy Pettitte Day. Plaque dedicated. Number 46 retired for him. Lost to the Indians 4-3. On a day that celebrated a great Yankee starting pitcher, Joe Girardi used 6 pitchers, none of whom went at least 3 innings, and blew it. No home runs. Attendance: 46,945.

August 12, 2016: Alex Rodriguez Day. Gifts, but no further honors. What to mention, and what to leave out, on a Plaque inscription could be problematic. His Number 13 has not been retired, but it has not been given back out, either. The Yankees beat the Rays 6-3. CC Sabathia started and won. Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks hit home runs. Attendance: 46,459.

August 14, 2016: Mariano Rivera Day. Plaque dedicated. Lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 12-3. Severino started and lost, imploding in a 6-run 4th inning. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez homered, but it wasn't enough. Attendance: 41,473.

May 14, 2017: Derek Jeter Night. Plaque dedicated. Number 2 retired. Ceremony held before the 2nd game of a rain-forced doubleheader with the Houston Astros, but, since this is about "Days," not just the individual games thereof, I have to include both games in the totals. The Yankees won the 1st game 11-6. They lost the 2nd game 10-7. Masahiro Tanaka got rocked. Attendance: 47,893.

Overall record: 37-33. But only 20-24 since 1979.

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