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History Highlights for December 11

“We play today; we win today.” The Yanks signed free agent infielder Mariano Duncan on December 11, 1995. That’s not the day’s biggest news, but he was a key contributor in the glorious 1996 season.

Joe DiMaggio officially retired on this day in 1951. The streak in 1941, the great center field defense, the .325 career batting average. And as a righty batter, he hit 361 home runs playing half his games in a ballpark where the fences in left center were virtually unreachable. Continue reading

History Highlights for December 6

The Yankee trade for one-handed lefty starter Jim Abbott from California on December 6, 1992, was good for both teams. Although Jim would only post a 20-22 mark in the Bronx the next two years, his presence was welcome on a team transforming itself from struggling to competitive, and his no-hitter vs. Cleveland was a boost and an inspiration. Looking at what the Yanks sent to Anaheim, reliever Russ Springer didn’t excel for the Angels (4-12 from ’93 to ’95), but J.T. Snow gave them solid play at first base, with 65 homers and 256 rbi’s from 1993-1996. Continue reading

History Highlights for October 31

Tino Martinez drilled the first pitch he saw from Byung-Hyun Kim for a two-run, two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth, game-tying World Series home run in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series on October 31. The sense of the unreal and the impossible was heightened by the fact that Kim had looked untouchable until then. He struck out the side in order in the eighth, retired Derek Jeter on a grounder to start the ninth, and recovered from allowing a six-pitch single the other way to Paul O’Neill by whiffing Bernie Williams on three pitches. The Yanks prevailed, 4-3 when “Mr. November,” Derek Jeter, homered to right on the ninth pitch of a two-out at bat in the 10th inning. Continue reading

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