The Yanks outlasted the Tampa Rays 5-4 in sweltering conditions in the Bronx on September 8, 2016. Brian McCann was the hitting star, at least until late, in this one, as he drilled singleton home runs his first two times to the plate, but Tyler Austin received much of the adulation due to his two-out walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth. In the “things you don’t see every day” category was the fifth-inning replay reversal of a called balk against Yankee reliever Jonathan Holder, which removed a run from the scoreboard in what ended as a one-run game.
You have to give Nick Swisher credit, he loved playing on (and sometimes succeeded on) the biggest stage, but how about hitting walkoffs on the same day in back-to-back years? One year after Nick hit one of 16 Yankee walkoffs, many of them home runs, during the 2009 Championship season, he hit one yet again, this one snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Trailing 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel with the visiting Orioles on September 8, 2010, started by righties Brad Bergeson and Ivan Nova, Nick followed an Alex Rodriguez single leading off the bottom of the ninth and an out by hitting his blast to left off lefty Mark Hendrickson.
The Yankees honored Joe McCarthy at Old Timers Day in the Bronx on September 8, 1951. In the regular game, Mickey Mantle‘s seventh-inning blast to the last row of the right field bleachers, estimated at 460 feet, broke a scoreless tie, and Eddie Lopat shut out the Senators in a 4-0 win.
Righthander Oral Hildebrand (1977) is the most noteworthy of four [Bill Knickerbocker (1963), George Prentiss (1902), Bob Hale (2012)] Yankee players to have died on September 8. The 11-5 mark with two saves he posted during 34 games (15 starts) for the 1939-1940 Yankees ended his career. Added to his 1931-1938 tours with the Indians and the Browns, his numbers grow to 83-78-13.
With no standout Yankee birthdays to speak of (Larry McCall 1952), we acknowledge the special days of Hall of Fame Negro Leagues player Buck Leonard (1907); and Ken Forsch (1946), who with his brother, Bob Forsch, became the first set of brothers to each throw a no-hitter in the bigs.
Read more history for September 8 on TakeHimDowntown.com